The rope of truth does not go far
You may only roam
the world you know

Paper mines are scattered
like rose petals
Each lick of ink explosive

We are in glass jars
stacked on shelves
Pricked holes on top to breathe

Is it easier to wait for the sky to fall
or take out the pins that hold it up?

Wire cats sing until they don’t
“Sing no more” says the fog

And the phonograph sits silently,

For the bull to find its horns.

This is the title poem for my anthology, “We are in Glass Jars“.

Shall we watch Coraline again?

If I lean my ear on the table
I hear the scribbles
And whispers of class

My eyes follow the horizon;
I see the soft wood dimple

With words from kids
With empty on their minds
And Tim Burton films in their inhalers

Why I was late to school

Wake up
To electrodes on you
Plugged in
Charging up
Or don’t wake up at all

My lungs shook
Dialing three digits
And waiting for the pick-up

Yes, hello
Yes, meadow lane,
A car, yes,
Um, he’s alright
I think, yes. He is.
He is.

The crumpled wheel snapped
Like those crackers you get at church
With the wine
No, the grape juice

Too sweet
And stale
And probably
What electrodes
Would taste like

Carrot sticks, raisins and cartons of milk

Duels between lightsabers
and rounders bats
Dandelion fluff
in heads of sunny hair
Prickly grass
that stuck to the backs of our sweaty fleeces
We carried miniature crowns
on our pinkies
And rearranged the vegetables on our plates
into smiley
smiley faces.
You asked me what my childhood was like
And I could only tell you
In games of consequences
And bulldog.

Bread and Honey

I was waiting for the bus
Counting out my money
And a copper wheel rolled out of my hand
And landed with a ping
On the pavement
I was about to pick it up
But left it
Knowing someone might need a little luck

broken bulb

“It’s like the light in you has gone out”
I nod through tears
Maybe it will come back
When i watch Les Miserables
For the 17th time
Or when the lava lamp finally settles
Or when i find that all the towels in the house
Are completely dry
Maybe just
When the marmalade gets sticky
Enough for me to remain conscious.

Glow Girls

She told me to write about potatoes:
her voice dripped
from rain clouds.

I honestly couldn’t describe us better.

small knives
in keen hands

and ashy hair from the fire.

glowing faces from beyond

“Tell me I’m an addict.”

I say to the blonde on my right
the goblin blinks numbly
and continues to scribble
her biro turning the white paper

when all there is fades
she steers me by the shoulders
to a world shrouded by sunflowers

all is ink and petrol:
gas stations producing pure marzipan
to satisfy the goblins
that gnaw at undeserved apologies

For Ruby, who I promised I’d write about. She’s a nicer goblin than you might think.

I am stuck in traffic

don’t hold your breath for this
make chlorine your home
as the tsunami of us
rushes over

i will still wait for you
when the light blue cracks in your ceiling
blacken and screech

i am the ink in a pen that is broken
i am visible
and disregarded

don’t wait up for me
what difference will it make?

Brother if you were

I cycled alongside the cars
as the sky turned to water
The deep
dark kind, where headlights
block out the monsters

I stopped my bike
and got out my phone, to write for you
My pink hands tapping
at the glowing screen

The streetlamps to my right
turned the world upside down
and venomous orange

I had never written for you before
I didn’t think I could

But as the water above me began to crack
I knew that your grin was my trump card