I met a man made of paper. The ink didn’t matter once the rain fell.
I met a man made of rock. Held on so tight my body turned to pulp.
I met a man made of meat. It was impossible to preserve him.
I met a man made of gold. He never worshipped back.
I met a man made of smoke. He disappeared.
I met a man made of me. We never separated.
I relive it and relive it, can’t leave it, can’t live without it. Give it back to me until I find something else. Can’t quite reach the future, can’t quite release the past. If only I could go back to where everything is always more perfect than it was at the time. If only the future wouldn’t take so long to arrive. If only I could live in the present.
Feelings in trousers with penises and shaved heads. Dancing around me, weaving in and around my desires. Lovers that remain in your throat, in the beat of your breasts, in the words I never cease to express. Where is the man like me that can’t bear to change? We would die trying against the heat of ambition’s baying breath.
Come to me, come to me, come to me, come, come, come for me the one that is mine. I’m swinging in the air hung from the clouds by my hair never quite there. We’re trying new things with the spare time that we have but inside there are all sorts of things like clocks, disappointment, coal, desire, a lighthouse looking out for someone as helpless as I am floundering through never ever.
shall bow, in
wanted to be
A minute’s silence please for all the children that have died within me. The lifespan of a dream is the length of a rainbow in the sky. A blood moon to remind me of all the failed prophesies. A woman tossed out in a desert with only tears to wet her lips. A desire for so much more than this.
If you happen to be happy, know that it’s a happy happening, happening at the same time as many unhappy happenings around you, and in contrast to the hapless happenings of your life so far and still to come. And know that happenings whether happy or hapless will continue to happen regardless of the human will to make a happening happen.
A story is told of a man wrongly sent to hell. After the mistake had been discovered, he was swiftly summoned to heaven to take up his proper place amongst the Angels. Feeling that there ought to be some compensation for the torture he endured under the Devils, God sent him to the seventh heaven to experience the full fineries of the after life. However, the man remained troubled, unmoved by all his rewards. The only unhappy individual in heaven, the man became an aggravation to the Lord. There could only be one remedy for one yet to be filled with His full presence. Taken by the hand of Christ, the man was led into the inner temple of heaven and there God turned to him face to face. The man became the first to die beyond death.
(‘But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”’ Exodus 33:20)
Do you want to come on my bad trip?
Meet me at the break of dreams.
Mingle yourself with the sunlight and flood my sanity.
Adopt my reflection and taunt me to tears.
Suggest there’s a tormentor at every turn and incite me to fight mode.
Make me think every thought and fear every possibility.
Leave my system in relief and regret till the next morning.
I am courage wrapped in the skin of a woman. Every night I scrape the cause from beneath my finger nails. And when I’m still they think they’ve killed me, but strength is not my stride; it’s my being.
Second guessing my whole life. As long as you’re certain then so am I… Do you love me enough to leave the universe for me?… Strong enough to stay silent. Weak enough to depend on your strength for me… If happiness means hurting, am I willing to leave happiness to be hurt free?… My little dream come true with two fingers up to the arrogant world… I will live and die by the only weapon they cannot answer for – Love.
My happy thought. My no regrets. My no fear of abandonment. My I will survive. My life is for living. My stronger. My I dare you. My begin again. My consistency. My normal.
(Dedicated to any woman who’s never experienced anything normal in her life).
Memories like dumplings sliding down my throat. Why are we just grains of sand lying on a beach that doesn’t make sense? I found a man made of planet earth formed of forever. Couldn’t look at him, couldn’t touch him, couldn’t keep him. Maybe I’ll die happy tomorrow with a legion of love stories to suffocate me in my bed. Maybe mankind will have discovered the answers by then and I will no longer be the woman of unattainable dreams.
We say Karma’s a bitch, but what kind of bitch? A bitch with no teeth, a bitch with barely a bark, a bitch that doesn’t exist, a bitch that we have created to help us believe that life’s fair, a bitch that gives us morals or at least an impetus to act as though we have them.
Karma, hellfire, justice, what goes around comes around? Where did it come from in the first place? All of the injustices that happened to us before we had a chance to behave unjustly…
Life is safer like this with everything packed into boxes, with all the wrong and right people tucked up in their little wrong and right houses, with Adam and Eve falling from the celestial sky, with Karma swirling around us tying us up in invisible knots, with judgement lurking around the next corner.
Karma is not a bitch but we are. We’re the bitches that get the reckless business of life done, who don’t fear visitation nor hope in comeuppance, who don’t have the answers but ride the questions, who know that life ain’t neat and pretty; no, it’s chaotic and fucking beautiful.
Bitches be bitches. Don’t spend your life fearing a bitch when the real bitch is you.
When you just don’t care.
The money in my purse, let me spend it. My steps on the street, let them be unnumbered. The love in my soul, let him take it. The tears in my eyes, let them fall. The desires of my heart, let them run free. The fear of everything, let it consume me. The waiting, let it linger on. The dying, let me do it.
My sister, my friend, my skin, my memory, my confidence, my spirit, my energy, my strength…
No need for more than I know
Don’t need an army of consultants
Always did alright on my own
After you’ve laid out your picnic blanket with tea lights and tenderness, be prepared to take it up again and leave your moonlit spot. When you’ve discovered an island in the middle of an ocean and marked it with your name, don’t look back as you sail away in the light of its shadow.
Maybe one day when you’re older and the heart is weary of loving and leaving you will settle down. But for now you will go on gathering hearts and collecting tears of continual loss, living only for ‘the moment’ – simultaneously as beautiful as it is tragic.
I used to think it was a myth that women were created equal. It was a man’s world and women had their place in it – life bearers, home makers, faithful lovers – without whom where would men be?
Men were born free, destined to know pleasure and to grow from mistake to mistake. Women were born perfect, pleasure subordinate to a need for everything to be just right. That’s why a man could plant a seed and then walk away but a woman had to watch it grow. Good women were sensible. Good women never took; they gave. They required a man for definition but didn’t need him for substance. Even though the majority of women I knew did it alone, they still had nothing without a man. Even though my life was populated by women, it was still a man’s world.
What happened to us somewhere in time where this became the norm? If I never hear a male female generalisation again, if I never learn about polygamy and not polyandry, if I never see a film about a cheating man and a crying woman for the rest of my life, I’ll die in peace.
I now see gender less than I see skin colour.
I’m not perfect. I’m not a victim. I’M A PERSON. And I’m proud.
(Dedicated to Rohan, a woman’s man)
Give me a day or two for the echo to subside. At the moment all I want to do is write you. Can’t feel anything without you. I don’t want anyone to speak and break the silence. I don’t want anyone to hear and shazam the song. I want to be alone with you lingering like the heavens, never knowing when I’m going to be raptured. Sun and Thunder: beauty and dark foreboding. For once living is not cultural and nothing before has been done, all human life is unique and no eyes will ever see what only our eyes believed.
My black butterfly
Made with wings to fly
Made too beautiful to be still
Take me with you tonight
You’re still in my pores. And when I sweat I release memories of you. And you live again even in this different time and space. And I love you all over again and you love me, and who needs reality when I can live in an ever present past with you? In me, on me, through me and with me, forever.
Skin black as night.
Legs splayed like a spider’s web.
Locked in gaze with prey.
Fly receding into past and future.
To the little girl desperate to feel the touch of a butterfly’s wing.
You’re hungry to experience life so intensely that every breath is conscious and words are so strong that they don’t require sentences. You’re looking into the eyes of the world when others are happy to simply shake its hand. You know that there’s more to come and if you can but feel that fragility on your tiny hand you’ll discover the secret to facing it. It will come, little girl, that invisible touch that will divide your chrysalis in two. And with those wings you will touch a generation.
The Wolf at my window savaged me in the night…
wouldn’t let me sleep, wouldn’t let me leave with him, wouldn’t come in, wouldn’t say goodbye, didn’t have any teeth, didn’t have a heart, didn’t look me in the eye, didn’t let me cry, wouldn’t stop howling, wouldn’t say my name, won’t return to me, won’t stop haunting me…
Painting by Noah Smith
The circus freak is still spinning my plate. His mouth is wide open beneath me, his growl trembling the tightrope that I’m tiptoeing on to my circus death, to the audience’s delight.
And backstage we’ll laugh about how good it feels to come close to dying whilst knowing our skills will never stop us swinging in our frightful and hideous tent.
A comedy duo, an unparalleled coupling, two circus freaks coming to a town near you.
Hold your nerve. Play the game. You got this.
I am from the future and my name is your name. They asked me to decide, knowing what I know, whether you’d want to walk my path. Whether you’d consider the pain worth bearing, whether bravery would be your choice. And I reflected on it all and I felt the spirit in my bones and I knew what you’d want.
Once upon a blue moon…my mind was at ease, my soul was laid out in your arms, my dreams were realised…I was happy.
Swathes of knowing. Swathes of confidence. Swathes of passion. Swathes of you. Swathes of magnificence. Swathes of awe. Swathes of everything. Swathes of you. Swathes of destiny. Swathes of power. Swathes of forever. Swathes of you.
Dedicated to a silhouette of a man
He’d never listen to a woman ’cause he’s a misogynist
He’d never listen to a man ’cause he’s an arrogant bastard
He’d never listen to his mother ’cause he has no respect for the womb
He’d never listen to his father ’cause age is just a number
He’d never listen to a friend ’cause he’s the greatest of them all
He’d never listen to a lover ’cause sex is subordinate to the mind
He’d never listen to a child ’cause no one ever listened to him
He’d never listen to a stranger ’cause all people are flawed
He’d only ever listen to God ’cause God speaks through him
I can take away the guilt, and
I can take away the anxiety, but
I cannot take away the love, and
I cannot cure the pain
If you think you have a chance of escape, just ask all the residents of hell what they’re still doing there. How they grew to love it, at home amongst the flames. If you think there’s a page I haven’t written on take a look at your journals. See if my words aren’t in every sentence and my descriptions aren’t undoing your determination to leave. If you think you’ll ever be a free man, remember the slaves of old and how they sung in vain for their liberty. See how their bodies slowly surrendered against even their wills.
You’ll never be free of me.
Mama prepared me for this.
She held a mirror up to my face and showed me the colour of my skin. She promised hardship, she promised a fight – she dared me to it. She handed me all she owned – the well spoken voice, the brains, the pretty smile, knowing that none of these would ever be enough. She tore up every piece of work and told me to do better, ignored my tears and told me to come harder. I love that woman for never lying to me with pretty pictures and soft words. I love that woman for dying too soon so that I’d wear scars of pain that would last a lifetime and perhaps prove just enough to make me succeed.
The problem with black people is that they’re always fighting
I’ll never stop fighting, Mama. Never.
On turning 26 you realise that all the men you meet are all used up, overweight and fatigued after a 26 year banquet of cheap meat. If they were to take a much needed shit, out would come their vows and kids and years of investment in subpar women who’ve drained their digestive systems and turned them into an obese generation that can do nothing better than look at caviar without the stomach to consume it.
And all I can do at 26 is keep these eggs in good condition until some ravenous adolescent is ready to begin his banquet and I can drain his digestive system in the hope that some future 26 year old will find him overweight and fatigued years later and be utterly disappointed, just like I am today, at 26.
‘Don’t trust everything on that blog. They’re usually posted posthumously – post the death I’ve died writing them.’
She bought me edamame before the interview and now beans carry the taste of rejection. He swore he’d never leave me and he did. I promised I’d never stop fighting and now I’m the escapist that I was raised to resent. All pain feels the same and one is all and all is one. And even the sun, even the sun cannot purge this disappointment.
I hope my life gets better. I hope I remain alive. I hope I stop crying. I hope I accept who I am. I hope I stop hoping.
Let’s stop asking each other questions because neither of us have answers
I would like to say many things, so instead I say nothing
The moon slashed itself in half hoping that it’s appearance would rupture fate. But it would take more than the elements to convert life to a slave. She sits there waiting to see how her handiwork pans out like a divinely planned dinner. Whatever it may be, we shall consume what was prepared only for you and I.
I know I can’t have what I want, but I can dream. Of a time when we’re both unadulteratedly happy, loving one another amongst the Angels, covered in gold and held by the universe.
They say I’ve met my match. So if we kill each other, tell me, then will our ghosts abide happily together?
You’ll never find another me. I hope that one day I will find a more mature you. Someone that will spin me out but then spin me back in and hold me.
I had a weird dream the other night where I was at your house for dinner, but then I left to get a snack with Holly, but I ended up getting molested at an art gallery by a child. His mum then threatened to kill me and my brother. We escaped and got driven away – further and further away from your flat. When I finally got back you were buying nappies in a supermarket in your pyjamas…