27 Nov 2011

Who sleep alone

I don’t claim to know anything
other than how night obediently tilts its head to morning
and life in its endless week never tires of opening and closing flowers
for those of us who sleep alone and set one plate on the table
laughter has a different meaning
to us the sound of one fork clinking to one knife is reason
to us the stillness of the moth on the wall is a second shadow
to us memories are either before or after
to us the ticking of hours grow louder after midnight
we lay in our coffin cold beds repeating
age is but a little box in which we press ourselves

21 Nov 2011


The wind often carries your voice
enveloped in a dream

sometimes the shadow of your arm reaches out with mine
in a trivial gesture; when turning off the lamp  
or closing and laying down a book

I wish to unwrap from your caging murmur
to feel the gentle falling of night

only you can touch darkness 
put the twitching flicker of candles to rest

next to me you lie
always in your absence.


Celibate, she lives in one country
and calls another home,
weighing the dearth of options;
be, or not be with a man?

Her female belongings
even in number, not in worth
between two continents
loneliness and alone.

Little Heart

Your little heart pounded inside me
day and night
I fed you all those thoughts
pumped my sadness inside you
my feelings spiralled into the darkness of my womb
injecting you with tainted images I saw
with all the broken souls that touched me.
and you; so small, so helpless
how powerful my weak female body was:
moulding you, weaving your complex mind
stitching every patch of skin that covered your bones
every idea I had, I channelled through you; perhaps
that’s why you came out looking so wrinkly and old

And never before and never after, would I, the woman
be given so much authority on the human race.


Autumn returns
with its floating leaves
descending like graceful dancers  
a heart curls in the
frosty corner of its hardened pupa  

throw me the crumbs of your half burnt loves
the leftovers of your copious content
the ragged desires you’ve outgrown
throw me a drop of calm to steady this violent shudder

or throw me a bone

a crochet shawl
a tattered blanket
a flickering candle
any scarce warmth will do.

15 Nov 2011

What to do with your wedding photos after your divorce

There would be one photo you’d want to keep
your dress: gorgeous, your hair: glossy
the virgin sparkled and danced in your eyes; a wild
barefooted gypsy
the hopeless romantic you used to be
the one who believed in fait and happiness ever after.
All the time and effort invested in that mad ceremony
seems to have paid off in this photo.
You’d also want to keep it for your child to see in the future
that one moment of pure bliss they never witnessed.
But the rest you throw away; I first thought I should burn them
but I don’t like the smell of burning, fire makes me nervous
and well who needs that drama after you’ve survived THAT drama!

But there was that photo his mother took for keeps sake
and the one he took when there was still hope
what happens to those? Do you ask for them to be returned to you?
Or do they sit in their drawers and old chocolate boxes, every
decade found by a new pair of curious little fingers:
Mum! Who’s this?
Oh! That was his first wife, that woman he once knew.

4 Nov 2011

Why didn't you tweet?

I checked again if you have shared anything new with the world, or the 28 people who follow you on Twitter! Your last tweet was “tea and biscuits” and that was yesterday! You have shared nothing else since you’ve had your tea and your biscuits.
You’ve blocked me on facebook because this is how you tell me you are angry; this is how you tell me we are through. And I, angered by your behaviour have withdrawn my following of your musings on Twitter; because this is how we express our anger, the changing in our feelings towards one another, we let each other out of our electronic lives, out of our electronic thoughts, this artificial cyber world we share with the our artificial cyber friends; flat pictures of themselves a year ago when their hair was different, or last month when they were on holiday to Venice, or their new born child, or their new born grandchild, or a flower, or their pet dog, or with their friends around a dinner table in a restaurant with the camera focused on the Chinese food and they all are doing the peace sign. Our facebook friends; some we’ve never met before, and some we have met only once, a very long time ago and we can hardly remember their voice or what it was we talked about and yet they sometimes share with us their most intimate secrets:

“I feel I am nothing, nobody, I don’t want to live” followed by a sad face using a colon and a bracket and in some cases an apostrophe to suggest a tear drop.

“My vibrator and I are very happy together, it’s the most fulfilling relationship I’ve ever had, and best of all it doesn’t hog the bed.. LOL” followed by a happy face with double brackets for exaggerated laughter.

Or those facebook friends who simply repeat the news, they repost news articles we’ve already read, or chose not to read because they’re too trivial or too disturbing. They are not sad, they are not happy, we never know what they are feeling or experiencing or going through, they never even tell us if they are having tea or biscuits! All they do is repost the news. They are our boring facebook friends, we never notice them when they are gone and when they are on facebook we never bother reading their old news posts about some celebrity giving birth to a baby and naming it Apple! Why on earth would you name your child after a fruit? Nobody knows.
Then there are our facebook friends who want to include us indirectly into their lives, they post their favourite songs, the song that represents their feelings on that particular day and they tell us to listen. They say: “listen, listen to this wonderful song” obliquely hinting that it express them well, and it is sad, or triumphant, or such an old song by one artist or the other and leaves us wondering why are they bothering with it so much, but we listen to it (sometimes) and we say something like “great song (kiss)” or “good choice (wink) (heart shape) (wink, wink)”. Because today it’s cooler to say: “I heart this”, than to say: “I love this”. Today, it’s cooler to ‘wink’ than to ‘smile’, it’s cooler to kiss than not to kiss. So we kiss and wink and heart each other, only we do it from a far, we don’t mean it, we’re not really kissing, we wouldn’t dare kiss if we were sitting opposite each other say at a cafe and you said: “here listen to this ancient song by the Smiths” and I would say: “great song” wink shamelessly at you, grab you by the collar and plant a dozen smooches on you, would I? It’s all unreal, artificial, flat, cyber, imaginary, one-sided, one dimension nothingness and we are swimming in it, every moment of the day. My flat faced friends in London post what a terrible day at work they are having at noon, but my flat faced friends in Shanghai have already ended their day and are posting pictures of the dinners they are making, whilst my flat faced friends in New York have just woken up and are posting poetic verses about the beauty of the morning light, the divinity of a new day written by dead poets who will never see the light or experience the divinity of the beginning of day.
Pushing through the news of war, riots, revolutions, oppression and corruption we post funny pictures, witty sayings and we steal them from our friends and repost them, always mentioning where we stole them from because that makes us ethical, we don’t steal without referencing unless we are poets, writers, politicians or academics of course. But here on facebook we call it sharing; sharing ideas not stealing them, always mentioning the source but telling it differently “Watch this it’s hilarious.. LOL” while our predecessor wrote: “This is tasteless” followed by many exclamation marks to emphasize the vulgarity and a riddled unsure face; an I don’t like this face, but I don’t want to appear like a total party pooper what do you think face.
We add new people and the number of our friends increases, we notice this, until it reaches a certain threshold then we stop noticing. Friends of friends; do we trust friends of friends? Yes we do, but do we trust everyone? No we don’t, so we hide, we hide information and reveal information, we’re not sure, not quite sure, it’s all very daunting.

Lucky for me even when you stop following someone on Twitter you can still see their activity. You still have not shared anything new with the world or with the 28 people who follow you on twitter, have you done nothing since you’ve had tea and biscuits?


Once a month she opens herself.
her flesh pink folds let slip an incomplete existence
red lava rolls down her inner thigh
around the bath tub it spins dizzy with warm desire,
with a final suck, the drain groans.

2 Nov 2011

Lid off

Lid on

Lid off

Lid on

Lid off

After you have fallen in love; truly in love,
drained out of your contents in love,
eaten whole and left nothing but bone in love.
You feel like a tin box of Quality Street chocolates that’s been
emptied from its jewel coloured riches and filled with dry lentils.

Every time someone was fooled by your colourful exterior, they came closer; once they open you up, there’s nothing but limp, tiny stones, dead and repulsively orange, rattling aimlessly from side to side.

it doesn’t matter what they fill you with after the lentils are gone
it doesn’t matter if they fill you up at all
you were always empty.

1 Nov 2011

After I hate you

This poem has recently been published in the Bad Language anthology, the theme was "bad language", hence the foul language in the poem.

After I hate you

After ‘I hate you’, ‘Damn you’ and ‘Get the fuck out of my house’

there is a silence.

A profound, mature, heavy silence,
more sustained than the silences which
separated their routine arguments.

His tooth brush
his shaving cream
his mule slippers lay untouched.

She turns their family photos face down
their smiling faces too judging.

Everything is divided:

Things he may come back for,
things safe to get rid of,
things that are hers.

Mutual dreams that have expired,
dreams that survive him,
dreams that are hers.

Mind calculating the loss.
Heart filing memories to be kept
and those to be discarded.
Body lies cold and disconnected.