MOONLIGHTING

I am waking half way through your life,
you are slipping underneath mine,
we negotiate the crossover like
night and day, like you are sky blue
and I? Dark, dark navy.

How do you understand these hours
I hold of melancholy wakefulness,
listening to the muffled rumble of lorries,
amplifying this every sound,
illuminating objects one by one?

I slip down the staircase, turn pages,
view things half-lamplight half-shadow.
You, in the sunlight, drained,
thud feet on the pavement,
see the world through your window.

I watch you as night still lingers,
you watch me as day breaks,
forever duvet-rumpled, I cannot sleep
for the heat of your body and the chill
of my skin and your insides.

I live on the other side of the moon.
This, my gift to you:
I put myself out of place,
out of time, out of mind once in a while,
moonlighting.

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ENGLISH LITERATURE DEGREE

I was strolling along one evening
when a convict leapt out of a bush.
He held a blade to the throat of my companion,
a graduate student of Mathematics and Physics,
and said to the both of us, “Write an essay
on the portrayal of chaos in King Lear,
to a ridiculously strict time limit
and without looking at the book at all.”
He paused, and then added in a tone of menace,
“Exam conditions.”

I turned to my panic-stricken friend,
and said, “Bro, I’ve got this. I spent 3 years
of my life training for this moment.”

I wrote the essay, finished it off with
a thought-provoking conclusion,
and handed it to the convict.
His bloodlust satiated, the convict
gave it a C+ and ran off into the night.

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ODE TO ALL THE WINE I DRANK TONIGHT

Kumala White Wine -
I instantly pollute you with energy nectar, the gods,
you slipped by without much notice through chapped lips,
smooth down the throat, past meaningless endless teeth.
You were the first, you were my gateway sin,
crisp & refreshing – and empty, surrounding this
in white liquid suspension, onwards.

Blossom Hill Signature Blend -
an ‘Italian stallion’, oh my, pulling me onto your horse
and plying me with grapes, one at a time, the skin
catches in each tooth as I sink into your red body.
You are the wine that sends us running
through the night to your companions, far away from your
reddish contaminated blood, and onwards.

Hardys Chardonnay -
with Heinz, I love chicken, a vegetarian, the bird
and the flesh, we dice together between shreds of skin
in anticipation of our past consumption, degradation.
You are the devil on my shoulder, the Cain
the Cain telling me to kill my Abel, elusive,
drink me, drink me, kill me, and onwards.

Hardys Pinot Grigio -
crisp, without ‘crisps’, a wine, a found wine,
find wine, wine pudding wine dessert, wine breakfast -
now – in the early hours we wine, and dine and wine.
Eleven point five, you scoundrel you harlot, wine,
pass my lips like water now and slither to my liver,
like delicious nectar and onwards.

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PHYSICALITY

(2/10)

One night we find that we are animals.
We shake our hair, spit out this cold gum
and roar into the glass. This happens -
one or the other becomes the mirror, or
remains the other to pull the reflection
to pieces, nails and claws. Are we lions
that physicality rolls and nuzzles as we do?
Hands paw each other in passing, growls sing
in the inside jungle air when we are together.
The trees are alive with the sound of monkeys
as we shed our human furs to reveal
skin, manes, teeth as far back as either of us
can put these human heads. My fingers
through your mane. These animals are us.

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MONEY/THIS WORLD

Heavy weights let our earth spin;
sometimes this land grinds still.
Coins fall from pockets to mouths:
world over, we choke, all fall down.

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WAVES

Grubby bird, gull,
the sewage stained wings,
limp, agile,
the swiftness -

We didn’t see the eel
salty in water: not until
the beak raised,
quell the struggle -

Squirm the way down
to the absolute,
only it’s movement
slowed to flop within,
over.

Seagull, weighed
determined, drunkenly
lifted the ground,
the weight -

The eel in the neck
hanging and longing
to the waves,
ocean-bound -

Eyes never saw
the rupturing,
but around the edges
of the sea -

Lie neck-ripped gulls,
beaks bleeding,
squirming like eels,
eels they swallowed.

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CONSTANCY

(1/10)

Prior to lacing my shoes, you stop. On this chair,
spectacular, giddy in the sun through the half-blind,
I smooth your frown while you check my soles for signs
of unstick. Check the ground I walk upon. They’d think
it one second but it’s a labour of hours, sturdiness,
these winding ropes would unchecked choke, my hands
occupied on your creases and temples. I have never dealt
with shoelaces. Each loop spins a black hole
to the private universe into which I fall, and from which
you walk freely, to and fro, with constancy.
These shoes, I tread around within each day,
in the lamplight picture the snap of the laces,
and as they carry me onwards, intact, I look back,
check the ground we walk on together.

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