Lament for Apollo



Through Grey Street
I stagger

Clothed in silver

Dreaming of Apollo



My lips are blackened

My fingers numb

The prospect of warmth ahead

Somewhere, why doubt?



I’ve seen his bow arched over the river

His flaming arrows around the market place

Yet men seem distant

They count their pennies and sigh

Drink ale and forget



From the sweltering heavens

Apollo aimed at us by the Tyne

But then he argued with Dionysus

Over wine and theatre

And grew weary himself



The Swing Bridge bears a glorious scarlet

The stalls at Monument sell sizzling sausages

And I shiver

Day after day after day



Whilst Apollo heads on a cruise ship for Hyperborea

To bathe naked with the muses

I look out to the world from this tiny window

Open the latch, drop

My last burning desire in the stove

Breathing is Easy

Anyone can do breathing
In and out mechanically
Don’t have to think about it
Dreaming, you see
That’s something else
Dreaming is for losers
But just the type that knows its worth
Not all losers know its worth
Not all losers are of worth
The type that knows
The exact amount
Of shit that moulds his life
And yet is prepared to take more in
That type can well and truly enjoy
Full, mind-blowing dreams
The rest of us, mere mortals
Can only wish for

Words


Carried out firmly
On the tip of my muscular tongue
Delicately poured onto silken paper
Vowels moaning as they fall, head down
Consonants landing with a thud
Avidly they rearrange themselves
As if to please me
So is the beginning of loss
And guilt
For if they aren’t the right words
I cannot take them back
The pen rises
The wrong words shiver in dismay
I draw a jagged line over them
And instantly learn to regret it:
Dread the sight of the blotch
That makes up their crossed, annihilated bodies
Upon my soft, white page
The ghosts I set free
Come back to haunt me

The Birth of Doubt

I know I have a soul
Because I feel it within me
Tugging at my insides
Gnawing at my flesh
In want of being worn in the outside

And although it hardly comes out these days
And whilst not, it sits half-heartedly
In waiting
And wanting,
It roars nonetheless
Low-pitched and visceral as if of real substance
Making me feel
The lesser
Or the greater when the rare occasion arises

Feeling, in any event,
A little less happy, a little less “me”
For souls can also dwell on the emptiest of spaces
And make it theirs
Turning us, with them,
Into cold, miserable bitches

Whilst the brain decides with reason
The soul’s ways are its own
Brutal is their battle
The body endures it
Like a loyal soldier
The faithful, torn lover in the triangle

As you can see, there is no evident end to the conflict
So please stop saying the choice is mine

Lunacy


Over the rooftops my soul glides
Gently and unrushed
As the night closes in I see
People in the streets below
Pacing to-and-fro
The body in bed, numb with cold,
Contorts and shrinks
Into shapes too familiar
Yet so unlike me
And I smile
For over the frowning clouds
The best of me is saved
Rocked by a soothing wind
Towards the moon
The bowed new moon
That draws stars upon my brow,
Nurturing with glowing hands
Every illicit minute of sovereign insanity