All 3 entries tagged Death

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May 01, 2010

How can I? Hello? Yes? Yes. Well. Well. Well. Well. Well. Well. Isn't this becoming overwellming?

Lamppost Poem #23

I became a tree hugger to meet other tree huggers, but it turned out they only wanted to meet trees.

At our first meeting, I wrote my name with a wooden pencil, and I was accused of eating the flesh of a tree. I denied this, but realised I was chewing the end of the pencil, so I rectified the wooden and sticky situation by living with trees for a week, to learn about them, to be closer to them, to one day call them something other than ‘them’.

This tree is not a calculated thud on the ground. Phone calls are made with osmosis, but they never speak; only mumble. A sound is made when a lamppost collapses, but can it be heard if no one is around? Witnesses cannot see without a lamppost light, and are never heard from again, which isn’t too much of a shame considering their presence ruins the main condition of the question.

In forests, Lysander and Hermia throw away the candles and dine by lamppost light. He is not an expert in global warming, but in an alternate reality, he is. Paris in the Autumn is indifferent when a tree loses its leaves. I wear green, but feel blue. The polar caps melt, and somewhere, a tree laughs because the tree always gets the last laugh, as long as it isn’t Autumn.

I join a group of lamppost huggers to meet lampposts, but the other lamppost huggers are more interested in people.

I meet someone called Chris, and he says: “I don’t really like lampposts. I only joined to meet other lamppost huggers. I guess that I’m a people person.” I look at him with disgust, and notice that he wears gloves whenever he touches a lamppost, which he only ever does if Cynthia is watching. It turns out his real name is Juke or Child or something like that, but it doesn’t matter. In my head, I am still anti-Chris. I am the anti-Chris.

In a thunderstorm, don’t stand under a tall true. It’s funny because it’s tree.

I stand in Raferton, a city where artworks speaks for itself, but only in the language of graffiti. The grass is grey and cemented, and leads to libraries and pet shops that only sell fireworks. The city has two fingers down its throat, but licensed a professional artist to paint flowers on brick corners; the flowers are painted dead with the artist’s signature above them. Love letters and birthday cards are undelivered, but never unwritten. Traffic lights have staring contests with drunk strangers who wonder where their day has gone, wondering if it will ever return to give them a second chance to live their day and do nothing again. The city is an insomniac, always awake when the night breaks, and it aches and aches in the city, the sick Dalmatian, the tree hugger who hugs a lamppost, the last child to find its happy meal, and I love it, I love the lampposts, I love the graffiti, I love the city, I love the spindles of chlorophyll and incandescent light-emitting diodes.

April 02, 2010


An extract from: A Day in the “Life” of Kenicky

Here, at last, I hear
a gasp, and rejoice – is it hope?
A voice tells me: nope.

Another dirty dream
about capitalism, and the sheets
are stained with poverty.

The mourning: open the curtain,
maybe go sole searching;
find a toe, behind my neck,
aching at half-mast.

At last, out of bed: breakfast;
out of bread, so have
uncooked toast instead.

I eat cereal with petrol instead of milk
because the taste is more refined,
although my car won’t start.

Ironically, I hitch-hike on a milk float,
paying petrol money
seventeen voodoo dolls,
each resembling the queen,
if she was shaped like a coin.

December 22, 2009

Murder Mystery Ballad

I misread the invitation for the murder mystery party

and turn up with some cyanide and a bottle of wine.

Hellos are exchanged like currency, but I only have Euros.

I find a lonely man in the basement, painted in a black suit

from the 1920’s: he finds himself acquainted.

I return to the party and jokingly ask for a spade,

almost giving the game away. I make a new friend:

his name is Henry, and he can play the bassoon.

I am about to chime in with an anecdote about visiting

the park and feeding stale bread to plastic animals,

      and then a scream, her voice,

              rotund like an atom split deathly,

and we hear the news, told through choked tears:

      the butler is dead, and the plot, it thickens;

              I bite the bullets and they taste like chickens.

“Could it be part of the script?” at least two people ask.

      “No,” says a pale woman, “because I was meant to die.”

“You’re not meant to tell anyone,” says her husband.

Whilst straightening my ruffled collar, I suggest

it was natural causes, but nobody listens because

      ‘MURDER’ is written in red on the floor,

with a tube of strawberry icing in the butler’s cold hand;

the host cleans it before it stains the carpet.

Just as the invitation promised, we all play detective

now there is an excuse to judge party guests;

cigars are smoked without a puff of irony.

The police arrive in jeans and Hawaiian shirts;

I assume it is Casual Friday. They scribble notes

onto napkins, and help themselves to h’ordeuvres.

The host decides it is inappropriate to serve the canopes,

so eats them alone in the kitchen.

The detective turns up late and is neither Belgian

nor a group of five children with a dog.

He sees the fear in my eyes.

I panic and hide in a different room

and dive into party conversation

             where we say words and nod

                             like reluctant metronomes

                                             and if I keep talking to people

                                                             then I won’t be questioned

                                                                             so I ask a lonely woman:

What do you do? And who are you? Is that your real name? Even the hair? Have you always been a vegetarian? Or ever at all? Are birthday cards just preaching to the converted? Is pre-marital hugging still acceptable in public? Did Jesus have a Godfather? I like your necklace. I really like your neck. Do you think HSBC should update their name and call themselves HSAD? I can’t swim, but I once jumped into a swimming pool which replaced water with joy and found myself temporarily in Cynthia’s world, until I realised I was watching it on 4OD. Samson needed a haircut, so I cut off his head. He didn’t see that one coming. I would never do that to you because I like your neck too much. I had a dream about a lion. Is the lion my friend? Do you think the thesaurus is the greatest love story ever written? It has more ways of describing love than any other book I know.

June 2023

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