Spoetify #17 Piece of Me (Britney Spears, written in a lively mood with an excitable dog)

If I opened you up

Lifted the hood

And took a look inside

I would find a valley

Of stones, crushing water

A rolling sky-feel inside you.

Or thin stretched flat sand

The impossibly taut tight string of ocean

Still and cruel

I don’t see city

Paper cups and heels in pavement cracks

For you

I see violence in your landscape

Below the line

Something off.

About you.

I like it of course

I’d like to falter on those stones

Slide beneath sheets of water

Feel the music of the world change and darken

But know that I will emerge

Further down the stream

Above the line.

Spoetify# 16 The Ballad of Dorothy Parker (Prince, written in a day after second jab mood with a giddy dog)

What do you do

When the voices in your head

Are louder than the here the now

When the things she said

Are out of proportion

A paperclip

In a hot air ballooon

Through mist but clear they land

She can’t hear how words chime on the other side

Rolls of thoughts like

Fog like fear

One day: let’s do this

Let’s meditate/elongate/radiate

Positivity

Do better avocado yoga

Tofu -na-na-na

I’ll have brighter skin

My son will only like wooden toys

The dog will play in the sunshine

And we’ll all wear white muslin

It tires her.

And the smallest fragment of the beyond fog

Hurts her

A blank calendar

Inbox filled with corporate cheer.

Silent walls.

A no-one to anything.

So the fog drifts down again

And good-looking ghosts leap up

Surround her

With comical dilemmas, emotional struggles, intense connections.

A full to the brink life lived.

She chooses to not think for a moment, a year,

A no-one to anything.

Spoetify #15 Not Today (BTS, written in a sleepy mood with a sleeping dog)

A head explodes with

A thousand thoughts

And I wish they were flowers

And riverboat cruises.

A good tracksuit, really comfy.

Gravel paths,

The perfect eyebrow on the right occasion.

When your kid

Tips their head back to laugh

And for a moment you see the

Baby again.

When frames are straight and solid

In a cool, tiled gallery.

A basket of something. Delivered.

Royal blue fountain pen ink.

The completion of

A long planned surprise.

The anticipation of a friends face.

These are the thoughts that should.

Can wishing make it so?

I will step carefully into those too tight, too cheap ruby slipper knock offs.

And defy/reverse/obscure/evade logic.

Spoetify #13 Survivin’ (Bastille, written anxiously today with a confused dog)

This morning

a bastard magpie

thin, oil skinned,

flew into a perfect blackbird nest

and flew out

dangling a purple chick

in its beak.

Briefly the chick’s wing

spread like fingers.

Its first flight.

The parents came out and

I felt their hysterical no-no-nos

As clearly as my own.

But I am not being honest.

This is not the first time the magpie has done what it must do.

And the blackbirds still return

With worms and twigs and hope each time.

And I still watch

And keep my desperation to myself.

Spoetify #12 Between Memories (Flying Lotus, written in a grumpy mood with a nonchalant dog)

Once I took a photo

Of you. With my little camera.

We were on holiday

Near a castle by the sea

All the hits.

On a belvedere.

A place to look.

The lense blinked

Just as a dolphin

Arched out of the sea below.

Triggershot I took another

Of you as you turned

At the noise, the sound

Again as you turned to face me with child eyes.

We travelled on.

I finished the film and more

Than once

Ventured as far as the door of the shop

Too shy that my language would fail

I never entered.

And the film in its barrel stayed in my

Rucksack

With my flip flops

And Airport book and

Scrunchie

And lotions which eventually met and insinuated their way

Into my poor defenceless little film in its barrel

And those moments vanished in a haze of showergel and lipbalm.

And no, the memories don’t linger.

Just a little glimpse

Of your child eyes

Is what I hold onto

From that day.

Spoetify #11 Ruby Tuesday (The Rolling Stones, written not so long ago with a sleeping dog)

You can’t take a bath

In the morning

Says a fuckwit.

I exhale

Swell up from the water, dripping silver

Feel the red scabs

Beneath my hair

Like strawberries

In a muddied patch

To live and walk in steam

My eyesnosemouth smear

Oil in heat

And do nothing

Really nothing

To change my living breathing being

to change the directional pull

bones pulling me downwards

Seeking softness

Or the most down

Of anything ever

Drag me to the

Hot Core

I will find the comfort

There.

Spoetify #10 Push It (Salt n Pepa, written not so early this morning with a playful dog)

The pram-man in the showroom was proud to inform me

That this model ‘can do it all’.

It off-roads easily

Brakes on a dime

And has the largest storage capacity of any brand,

Comparable or otherwise.

‘Great for the shopping!’ he intoned with a humanoid charm.

My eyes were as big as my belly

The adventures we’ll have, I murmured.

We’re not in London anymore

We live in a land of hills, slopes, litigious pavements.

The first time I pushed it – with you – inside

Up the steps to my house

A windowcleaner, idling, watched me

‘That looks like hard work’ he chuckled.

I huffed a grin but

As with anything a woman faces repeatedly

Overtime I developed a party line.

‘Yes it’s good for the biceps!’

Breezily, cheerily, fuck-you-ing on the quiet.

I never pushed it without damp sweat

Gathering like clouds

At my hairline, armpits, my groin.

When I think of our magical adventures

I think of sweat.

And yes, it was good for storage

Especially good for hiding the pre-packed steak that I stole

From a supermarket.

Just to redress the balance

Of being a good and virtuous mother

Who had magical adventures.

Spoetify #9 Fade to Grey (Visage, written very early this morning with a bemused dog)

I will not do as you tell me

Not heed your suggestions

I will listen to your feedback with the same level of interest

That I reserve for

The waiter telling me the soup

Or nudging me higher up the wine list.

Recommendations. Just a thought.

Your tiny hands beat against my storyteller’s skin

And leave a moment’s imprint

Butterfly kiss

A thumb in dough.

I. Spring. Back.

Please. Don’t stop.

Carry on. Forget about it.

Think again. Retrace your steps.

Reflect. If you must.

Do it here. Do it there.

You are, to me, more immaterial than the most immaterial of things.

Fond regards. Best wishes.

Allthebest.

Spoetify #8 Shame Shame (Foo Fighters, written actually not so early this morning with a contented dog)

You can see little beads of powder

In the crevice where her nose meets her face

Fixate on this, bitch! It screams at you

And you think yes

Because that is a warm bath

Not the cold of realising

That people think that the thing that you did in a moment is you altogether, all the time.

Briefly

You’re thinking now

How difficult easy would it be to

Slip off the tuxedo, leap the railing

And drag yourself under

Before they can do it for you.

Spoetify #7 Here Come the Girls (Ernie-K-Doe, written very early this morning with a dreamy dog)

Taut and brisk

As I was shown

I pull the sheet under

Dream for a

Moment

Will they notice

Appreciate

My hospital corner

And wonder who created it?

All the beds

Are out

Like Orphans

I could tuck

Them in

Switch out

The light

Listen to the whispers

Till they ….

But they are

Not orphans

And I am

No governess

Kindly or

Otherwise

I push the

Bed against

The wall

With my knee

And feel again

My efficiency.

The room is as they requested it

But executed by me.

So-me. So me.

Sharp lines

Crease fold

Crisp

Smooth

Cool

‘Leave a space for us to fill’

Was their only request

With what?

Balloons

Oiled wrestlers

Bunnies

Alcohol

A vomitarium

I look at the carpet

And express my sympathies.

It is not for me

To consider

Until tomorrow.

I go to the

Middle bed

Run my hands

Over the nylon sash

Laying in wait

For the incoming queen

The Bride-to-Be

And tuck a condom beneath its folds.