But I Did

I listened to Tom Waits
‘Hope I Don’t Fall In Love With You’
It would have been on vinyl
But I couldn’t afford it
So had to settle for headphones
The irony was not lost on us
In fact it made me smile.
The past was always more costly than the present.



I sleep alone,
In a bed with room enough for more.
Some nights it is bigger than others.
Some nights I am smaller.

I sleep with the lover of my dreams,
Nestled in the empty cradle of my arm,
Legs interwoven like DNA.
In our sleep we are the building blocks of the universe
The base unit of existence.

I sleep with my back to the stars,
Because no beauty can match the dreams I have some nights.
And some nights I don’t want to see the beauty I can’t reach out and touch.

I sleep sporadically,
Chasing after hours to kill with forgetting,
And remembering too much to succeed.

I don’t sleep.
Because the words are keeping me awake with their dancing.
Because the faces are smiling too brightly.
Because outside the window drunk people are enjoying life.
Because I have slept too much already.

But when I sleep,
I dream of dull and boring things
And in their simplicity they are the most beautiful of all
I sleep with a smile
Even when I sleep alone.

I’m Sick of Writing Love Poems

Look the sun is coming up
And I haven’t written a damn thing of any consequence.
And it’s not me it’s you.
You’re too stimulating.

It’s painful,
Like the shock of a knife in a plug socket,
No that’s too instant,
Like a sickness,
No that’s too cynical.

No, it hurts like every muscle being strained into nothingness.
Like protesting death.
Like a full body hangover.
Like writers block and a head full of stories.
Like uncertainty.
Like knowledge.
Like smiling back devils.
Like finding out your heart has evaporated.
Like evaporating.

It hurts to love you and not say it,
So I’m saying it now,
I love you.
Not some illusion airbrushed like a magazine.
And human,
And alive,
And exactly what I’m looking for
And I don’t care that it hurts.
And I don’t care that it hurts.

Letters to the Girl

Dear love,
On the night you left the first time
I walked upside down through the night sky and watched the sun fall out of the city
The second night you left me I didn’t look outside until it was climbing in through my window
Both times I didn’t sleep

Dear love,
I don’t sleep so good anymore
I blame you
That’s not entirely fair
You see I blame the ghosts of you haunting every object in my house
The bed is the worst

Dear lover,
There are things I don’t do anymore
I can’t watch Miyazaki without you
It sounds so silly but there it is
I don’t write about other people anymore, trust me I’ve tried
But you keep sneaking in the back

Dear lover,
What have you done to me?
Dear lover,
How do I make it stop?
Dear lover,
I don’t want it stop
I just want this to be over
Dear lover,
I never said thank you
And now I never will
Dear lover,
How did you manage it?

Dear lover,
I started keeping images of you under my eyes
I got bruised from replaying them
One of these days I’ll stop
One of these days
Until then I pack restless nights under eyelids

Dear love,
I don’t sleep so good anymore
I blame you
And her.

The Composer

He worked out back in a musical graveyard
Said every night he heard the double bass skeletons humming to themselves
While the street lamps gave up the filaments in their bulbs to be strings for the violas and violins
He once caught a group of alley cats pawing at the piano that died of neglect and cancer rust
Said it didn’t even try and sound
or together
with it
And he respected that
When the wind picked up
All the brass and woodwind would harmonise like a choir
Except they’d be all off key and broken
like a real singer
And he wanted them to be singing classics like St. James Infirmary or Dark Was the Night
But the guitars always told him they were too alive for memorials and everything was too fucking bright for dark night howling
So instead they all chanted about how the sun played the varnish off their backs
And how it reminded them what it felt like to echo the wind around leaves back in the day
Not that they minded
being bazoukis or banjos or drums or bassoons
or harmonicas chirping like whisky hummingbirds
fluttering through the blues
But they did miss the roots
Not relying on fingers and mouths for their music
Like they do now
Like we do now
He said he once spent a night dancing with dogs who snuck into the yard just to hear the rain on old wood and dusty keys and how the percussion sounded like tap dancing ghosts
And they all howled together
the dogs and
the ghosts
like rivers or revelers
The last thing he said was
You can’t kill music
They’ll just make a song of silence
Said you can dance to anything if you let your feet listen
But never
Leave the instruments unplayed.