in transit

faces raised to screens
eyes glazed at a hundred ways to leave,
and everywhere voices
with no bodies
and no souls.

and delays and layovers
that just go to show
that the waiting game has no rules
and not even really any players -
just waiters,
the bored, sick of their job ones,
who'll spit in your food
just to pass the time.


i live my life in poetry
that makes most things alright:
i'm not one to get too angry
and not prone to get uptight.

i live my life an artist
no rulebook guides my way
and night carries my burning wick
deep into each new day.

i live my days observing
no two things look the same,
the street provides my painted scene
the houses are its frame.

i live my days a-pondering
the thoughts inside my head
with days gone by they're watered
with literature they're fed.

i live my life in poetry –
that's quite okay with me –
for another way to live my life
i simply cannot see.

we could have saved him

we could have saved him,
if words were not mere backdrops
to city life half-heard
through tinny white buds.

we could have saved him,
if we’d listened,
really listened and heard and understood,
the line upon line of angst missed.

we could have saved him,
if we’d asked
but they were just lyrics scrawled:
a lifelong suicide note.

we could have saved him,
if we’d connected art and artist:
put two and two together
and made five, just in case.

we could have saved him,
if that was the kind of thing we did
but decay sells papers
and we’ve all got bills to pay.

we could’ve saved him,
if we hadn’t fetishised world fame
and shone bright beams on meagre souls
and made them dance by spotlight.

we could’ve saved him
any of us
and now we wonder why he sleeps
and we cannot.

I've bled and I can settle
for the beast in me is quelled
my inkwell does run dry
and all my stories are dispelled
no words do populate my mind
nor stains my hands do blemish
no midnight candles shall I burn
no empty stretch I'll relish
I'll go to bed at night content
at never having penned
I'll turn my hand to stitching cloth,
relationships I'll mend.
will I then hear the blackbird's song
or see the night's last star?
Or cast blinkered eye upon the world,
and not see how things are?
Perchance I fight back from the gloom,
to praise the Earth once more,
but only onwards will reveal
what beauty lies in store.
now either way you look at this
your views, keep them to you,
for nothing, really, can quell my urge
to put in words what's true. 
so forever I'm a writer
my gift is cursed as such
but suits in empty soulless blocks
don't appeal to me that much.
Now let me pick the blankest page
to sully with my words
watch final stars on morning glow
and hear again songbirds.

I pondered, late last night, whether the book I'm currently working on would be my last. What if, after I'd scratched that itch, I wanted something else? So I wrote this and was reassured.

in this city of writers, there’s not a notepad to be found.

in this city of writers
there’s not a notepad to be found.
it’s given birth to Mr Godot,
and old James Joyce,
but I’m banged up in this hotel room
with thoughts like a hundred moths
to a flame.

the walls stare down on me
mocking me with their blank canvases
socially out of reach.
Now, if I were famous and I wrote on a wall
they’d cut it out, frame it, charge people to see it.
But I’m not. Yet.
They’d probably charge me,
bill it to my room called something boring like
“room maintenance”
(even if it was a bloody good poem.)

So my tired, inspired eyes start to scan.
Tear open a teabag to write a tiny haiku
Or write stories along the streets of the tourist map
Or type a novel on one long roll of toilet paper.
But it wouldn’t be the same.

Outside, the trees tap the glass.
It’s 1-0 to them.
Tree beats human in this twisted artistic game of rock-paper-scissors.
Except there is no paper.
Just the white of the room,
white as the morning you wake up to find it’s snowed and you’re the first one out into the garden.
The shower curtain, 
the lampshade
the ironing board
and who the hell needs all these towels?!
all these things I cannot write upon
as if my thoughts in ink would make them worse
not better
as if there is no place for fledgling art in this world of ours

but there is
and like some poetic superhero
it seems its now up to me to give it that place back
So, with marker held between finger and thumb
I start:

"in this city of writers,"  I write
"there’s not a notepad to be found."