Tag: shit you can’t have

Poem in Cordite Poetry Review

Pinch and a punch and white rabbits to you on this, the first day of November. I’m stoked to share my poem ‘Chemistry’ with you which has was chosen for Cordite Poetry Review’s ‘Toil’ issue. It’s the second poem of mine that Cordite have ever so kindly published and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it.

I have to say that I’m very happy with the way this poem turned out. I wrote it back in winter, and if you think this piece has some deeply romantic undertones in it, then you’d be right.

dedication #1

Not seeing you, then colliding with you on that step

had my heart banging like the hammers of hell.

My eyes sought out the ground with a heart

I put to bed so many years ago;

silently waiting for the one who might never come.


The ravages of being human spike and stiffen

as autumn steals in, tearing summer away from our bodies.

There is nothing ordinary about this,

so I watch you with your meditative graces.

Your hair, knotted tendrils winding down your spine that

frame your face like brass around a locked box;

another place I’ll never know because I cannot find the key.

lust: a follow up meditation

It is as though I have two heartbeats. This is how you make me feel. You give me fucking tachycardia, and then in a breath, my heart softens. I want you to lay with me; I want you to read to me. I want to read to you. Soak up Johnny Cash’s entire catalogue with you in me so I can taste your sin.

I care not for coffee, phone calls, dirty dishes, washing, paperwork. It all seems so unnecessary and futile, so I forget and clutch your waist with my thighs, squeezing the breath out of you. It’s like I want to make you hurt, but for reasons only I know. Then you catch your breath and surrender heavily into my neck.

Stars hail down on us like confetti and I want to take you across the street to the river; get you alone, cup your face in my hands. Simple things. It is all simple.

You make me want to strike piano keys and suck on cherries and peel pears and beat my boots into the ground until my foot bones splinter and bleed.

And all of this terrifies me.

Like water snatching at ropes, you pull me in like a tide, then let me go. Spank my rosy arse in the night-time. Hell, even in the daytime; such sweet agony. You’re someone I don’t want to leave behind.

And all of this terrifies me.

It’s like:

shovelling wet sand up a mountain of ash

exploding fruit

writing that killer line

hitting a money note

swallowing sour milk

a stitch in my belly

a sliced finger

a fresh burn

a lime tree bursting with fruit

sun splintering through clouds

rain on dry land.

So many things.

And all of this terrifies me.

I watch you and your mouth and see it’s a little lopsided. I could unfurl that crooked grin with an eager tongue.

In the afternoon, we wrestle; bodies laconic with fatigue and marks from hard fingers. I pin your arms and you to wrangle my body to the other side of the bed and I’m yours – at your mercy and you know it; my sex wet all because of a lopsided grin.

I can’t tear my eyes, hands, mouth off you.

And all of this terrifies me.


To the two women I had to listen to at a café today:

I don’t want to know about your birthing plan or how the gas helped, even though you didn’t think it would.

I don’t want to know about how you pissed and shat yourself and what effect having your baby had on your perineum.

I don’t want to hear you gush about your breathing plan and the connection you had with your midwife. Your midwife, who you’re having coffee with now. Because you’re pregnant again and she will deliver your baby. You speak in voluptuous, but scratching voices that bite my ears, turning them into burning pistons in my head.

And then, when you leave, my anger compresses and I begin to cry.

Can you learn to speak in hushed tones about your bladder and how your baby had anal thrush?

I don’t care for your avocado smeared baby, either. I probably would have had you just keep to yourselves like the couple at the next table from you. Why is it that I didn’t hear them, even though their mouths were moving?

It’s not that I don’t care – I just don’t care to hear about your most intimate bodily functions and moments while I am drinking my morning coffee.

the month of love, lust and craziness

Welcome to February – the month of love [insert pretty love heart here]. What’s not to love about love? My favourite dirty old man, Bukowski wrote grandly about love –

‘Love is all right for those who can handle the psychic overload. It’s like trying to carry a full garbage can on your back over a rushing river of piss.’

Hmmmmmm. True that, but we do it all the same … Here’s a prettier love quote from the evergreen Walt Whitman –

‘In the confusion we stay with each other, happy to be together, speaking without uttering a single word.’

The month of love and out-and-out lust means I’ll be hanging tags with little slices of love pencilled on them around Blackstar and writing love/lust haiku, haibun and other poetry That’s right – all pieces about love, lust, love you wish you’ve never had, the love you can’t have – the agony that is la douleur exquise; people you have to love from a distance, first love, stoned love, broken love and lust that leaves you broken, bleeding and bloodthirty.

Some people may identify themselves in these poems because I write about what I know, what I want and what I know I can’t have.

The jewel in the crown of love songs for me over the last little while is ‘Northern Wind’ by City and Colour. I’m ever so slightly obsessed with Dallas Green and am going to be his second wife.

Here, have a fap listen to Dallas …