The Ironies

Bitter the ironies,
Fuel of my life,
Devourer of time,
A grave for a wife.

Seeds in an apple
Letting trolls down,
I remembered you wearing
Your basque wedding gown.

All memories sealed
In a chest they had drowned,
Deep in sharp oceans,
A long-submerged town;

You can still see some rooftops
When you dive further down;
There’s the church belfry,
Brass bells make no sound.

I cannot choose living
With this charged weighted load,
For as soon as it’s given
I must cross their toll road

To pay with the striking,
The force and the blow,
So I hope you’ll forgive me
If I remain here below.

My Doppelgänger Returned

Locked out,
Extraneous to a house
As I watched myself
Inside, combing my hair
And walking about as if
I owned the place, which I did;
Re-arranging a shelf I had
No business organising
Books alphabetically by author
And ornaments I bought
On travels around the continent.
I pounded at the pane and
I shouted to no great avail,
My voice as light as partial hail
As it melts on a lawn, early April.
I couldn’t hear my outside-self think.

Held by an undressed woman,
You danced across the kitchen
Captivated by her supple spell,
Her hair in a band and laden
With all the meaning of murex-purple Embroidered silk.
A sash fell down, and you
Both collapsed against the sink
Where I used to wait
For the immersion tank to work,
Its creaking pipes would groan
And from my vantage admire
On salmon terracotta tiles
Willow baskets, jasmines in pink.
Your feet looked just like mine.
I became a voyeur to myself
And could not help but disappear
Into my own open mouth
Where all my words ran out.
I changed the locks to myself.

Many years later I lived
In a quintessentially different city,
Stood in a different pair of sneakers
At a different kitchen window,
Yet I never could forget
My tergiversated self,
Collapsing on the verge of that house,
Aware of all we could deserve
And all we could not help.

Ode To My Addiction

When feeling down in deeper depths,
Self-loathing flooding ten regrets,
The sure bouy’s back and surfacing fast
On waves that whisper ‘never last‘.

There is my rock to which I cling,
Where oldest sirens preen and sing,
Dressed in feathers I caressed
While pecking at my sunburnt flesh.

In succour I bloomed for an hour or so
But little considered my loosening soul
Would fill where prayers refuse to go,
In briny, speluncar fish-bone holes.

And though on sailing I depend
I always return to that place in the end,
The flock is feasting on my heaven
While my senses drain and deaden.

I convince myself, like many others,
That I’m alive and that’s enough;
My brothers below betray such comfort,
Empty-eyed beneath the bluff.

I woke, the awful crows transformed
In to an ambulance outside dorms;
A student there departs once more,
To a different, distant shore.

Black Dress

This bleak and empty screen,
Like repetitive angst, or writer’s block,
Trying to eke and will words out

As contrived as a tattooed snake in my jaw,
Polarising a use of my
Fruitless time, amoral Time,

As trying to help pull you through
From one place in our denuded lineage
And the space between rhymes

To another untested angle,
But there’s your better lover
Returning home from work

While I wait through centuries here,
Willing improvements in words
To emerge like moonlight

On a dim and distant
Drain-scarred stagnant moor.
You dropped your black dress,

Yes, I watched the seismograph
In my mind finding new charts,
In a pool on a kitchen floor.