Set List Poem 14/03/2015

Steam lifts out of the bucket
when you stem the spark.
It reminds you of a friend, their glow.
We’re catching firework
and the exploded limbs in the eye.
Dent the sky. Star’s aren’t important.
Learn the loss of night,
how it stays as long as it can.
Grab the boys, feed them salad
all evening. Dark tricked them
into eating chocolate wrapper still on.
Forget the time for how weighty
it moves into our body,
lays us out like roses.
Wonder how many people read tear
as tear, when you mean tear.
I tell you this is how books can die.
Listen to the reverse HEY of the friends
leaving. Know the train home tomorrow.
Wish Houdini was still around to inspire
doorways to cut into the air and lead
you anywhere. Pick up
the rusty-burnt metal with a magnet
in the morning. Count every heart,
the beats that are listened to,
hold the ones that aren’t.
Say the word love, know it’s a stone
you could imprint on the sun.

Set List Poem 13/03/2015

Heart eats a mattress, digging for a spark.
It’s a shovel built inside boys
who are writing songs about the girls they break all the time.
My bag is full of homecoming-windows, jingles before the train.
The water was bubble-thick, my brain said milk. Before here, I was running a magnet
through a bath of iron shavings, a puddle bent into love.

Pushing a RomCom into a DVD drive teaches a TV to love.
The microwave is church for metal being more than a spark.
I have alloyed the inside of a nest, lifted it from the tree with a magnet.
The birds will not know a home to come to, blame the boys
with their morning-shot song, punctuated by a leaving train,
holding men hauling house-guts hoping they make back time.

Mum tells me two years is a long time
to lose. I slept through all my burling in love,
wrecked by the push downs on the earth until I can train
my heart to follow more than a spark,
so I’m not written about as one of the frozen boys,
the ones obsessed with becoming a flesh magnet.

I don’t know enough about gravity. I carry it’s reject magnet.
They put it in your chest to keep it in time.
You will show the river-scar in your breast to boys.
Their hands, fresh in grab, hope to earn your love,
because they’re amputated, thinking rubber. You push them back with a spark,
know that on a platform, it’s tempting to outrun the electric of a train.

He’s talking about his sound on a train.
I’m trying to be a listener, hands clutching a paper magnet.
The couple opposite rub the Standard pages to make a spark,
the flames are the articles who forgot time,
a section of anons who thought they saw love
in a face in the blast-through landscape. Tired boys.

You grow with the damage, the lightning skin of boys.
How sorry you are, carrying a train
into a person you wanted to love
for longer than their body, from their toes to their skull-magnet,
the mind that chooses time
before static, before dampening a storm into a spark.

I wanted to be more than the boys, a hand-magnet,
to train my heart into a steel-woollen nest, take the come-go of homebirds and time,
bury what the mattress teaches love, breathe further than the spark.

Set List Poem 12/03/2015

Spark a dance in the body shower, crematorium,
stays panic and leaving of lungs,
boys clamber into their invisible
silhouettes of old men who forget music sets
time in their unfolding
roses that die too quick, give them light,
tear the clocks from the walls, leave whole minutes,
return the ashes to a place they are understood.
Train fire to know when to leave a building alone.
Houdini was about freedom as much as he was escape.
Magnet me into place, into always smiling, into never falling.
Heart, give me a punch bag to take elsewhere out on.
Love the shatter and crumble of what we built.

This poem is written using the set list words as the first word per line.

Poetry Video: ‘It’s A Bird, No, It’s A Plane, No, It’s Just My Neighbour, Superman Is Saving Elsewhere’

A performance of a poem I wrote engaging with the BARPo theme of ‘Superheroes and Villains,’ as part of our monthly poetry night, Burn After Reading Presents… at the Seven Dials Club, Covent Garden, London.

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Outtakes From The Apocalypse

This is a poem I wrote and performed with fellow BAR and Roundhouse poet, Sophie Fenella. Tyrone Lewis (BAR) filmed and edited the video. Will Tyas (BAR) created the music and soundscapes for the piece. The poem seeks to capture two voices at the time of the apocalypse. Will be developed into a full show at some time in future, hopefully before the world ends…

Air Tax In The Hydrogen Undergroung

Imagine everyone in this carriage is single,
the advert gleams as we rocket through
scratched paper arteries, old posters
selling CCTV smiles, powered by oysters.

We try the hydrogen Overground
learn to breath each other’s exhales
during months that we are closer
to people we don’t know, than the ones we do.

We pay for limbo, hope the quick outside
is still there when we step back into it.
The street churches become lungs,
break dancers undo their feet to choir music.

People will say things like South-West girls are hotter
than North-East girls
. No-one looks like where they grow up.

I shout trebuchet?! at a taxi driver, he shrugs
and throws me out anyway. I expect
cockney shouting and football chants
knocked over in the road.

Grease hardens in chalk outlines of dead men.
They will walk in the parts of buildings
made by the sun sinking lower.
Women will listen for heavy breathing.

I cannot find grass that wasn’t put there
by a government official demanding Air Tax.
We will worry about the gangs
but beg to turn the lights out, to stay green.

Day 5: Gobstoppers Are Not A Make Of Shoe

The coat hanger by the front door is upside down.
A pile of jackets sleeps under it.
I’m certain that soon, enough cold people
will come over to fill them.

I wear my shoes on my head.
You tell me not to walk to you like that.
I put a Converse in your mouth,
wait for you to chew.

These laces aren’t firecrackers,
I can’t talk surprised anymore.
I have rubber band Christmas jokes
and plastic-cast PING frogs.

That’s all.

You weren’t selling Mormon merchandise
or window cleaning blades or subscriptions
to magazines that sell things that make
your house smell like outside on the days
when you can’t fill the space of a coat.
You didn’t want my vote or recipe
for a time machine or my in-sole size
or a fingerprint to confuse a Zebra’s
body paint with.

It was nice to meet someone
who followed the conversation wherever it went.