So Here We Are

And “so here we are” as my therapist says 

to open each session 

Her light Swedish lilt soothing me into a liminal state

“And how did that make you feel?” 

How did it make me feel? 

Well as the weeks went on the knife pierced less flesh 

My heart beat 1 bpm slower 

each time he appeared somewhere 

A mention of his name used to floor me 

And now it doesn’t 

The fall became a falter became a flutter

One step, in front of the other 

Away it went

And he got smaller somehow 

He dwindled & diminished 

And now I can laugh sometimes at the silliness of being afraid 

Of him! Ha ha ha 

His tiny knife, from a toolbox of pitiful tricks that only work by sleight of hand 

Shit magic that only fools the already wounded 

Those of us who walk among you half-made

But we can remake ourselves 

Slowly stitch up the parts left fraught & fraying 

And I have begun sewing suture 

Strong scars across thin skin 

Thread thick enough to never come undone. 

Sea Air

You can think a sea breeze will cure all your ills 

Escape to its briny saline moisture medically administered by air to the lungs 

The promise of its endless floating freedoms

But you are only ever as free as your own mind permits 

This door is a window where you sit and admire the ebb and flow beyond 

You heard them say “we each are the masters of our own destiny” 

But you scarcely believed it, with that grip on your wrist

The tingling tangibility of your hunter’s trist, trust up in faith you’d never let slip YOUR heart wasn’t in it

You can only ever be owned if you gift your captor ownership 

The door to your mind can always be opened and closed

Be changed from a window to the whole world 

You can dive deep at any moment into oblivion beyond 

He doesn’t hold you 

His weak grip you perceived as slack rope that could tighten at any time 

You thinking a noose

doesn’t kill you till it’s taut 

all danger is impending, imminent, potential

So you believe if you jumped the cliff’s edge it would catch you 

But scissors and knives you never needed exist 

The ultimate trap

a prison with no bars

a window without glass 

The frame and nature of limitation held by nothing but air 

The sea air and you could smell it all along 


Poem #11

Hope is a small cut inside my cheek that my tongue continually worries at

Unseen and unspoken it lurks in the back of my mouth

It clings to intangible threads

I only want one, just one, let me have one

Let one thing be alright for once


There is no certificate you can obtain in becoming an artist 

You never applied for the position 

You work in sales on a commission basis 

Like sex work you sell yourself as product 

You have a few testimonials from satisfied customers 

But these are subjective reviews imbued with personal circumstance 

They are empirical truth of nothing 

The money you do or don’t make is no barometer of artistic achievement  

Glittery shit sells and greatness often doesn’t 

There are no catergoricals to be found in cold hard cash 

You could insist the prolific nature of your output is the proof of your pudding 

But you know quantity does not denote quality 

Nor are they mutually exclusive 

So the slimness of your cv is no signifier of success  

Thus you drift denied your definitive 

Like an addict only after applause 

An exhibitionist enabled by audience 

A crowd pleasing, precarious, conditional 

Question mark 

My Cutting Tongue

No one says they like the sharpness of my tongue

to be on the parched tip of it

but licked luminant by the light of a thousand forest fires

you were seared into the landscape

never so strikingly seen

lit up bright

bathed in light

Rock and stone

may break my bone

my back

is only so strong

so straight

arches under the weight

of dragging you along

As you cling to the fraying end of my tether

for dear life

a guide rope in the dark

your dark

the one you grew with your doubt

that you carry about

With its deepening void

its vacuum

into which

every good deed must go

but never unpunished

derided and diminished

for doubt is all you know

A shadow

defined only by opposition

a negative preposition

needling, feeding on

the only light left

May you linger

in your ashes and dust

rusted by your own corrosion

may it dampen all the fires you started

fade around you

like the smoky plume of gloominess

you are



in the


longing to be scorched

upon my cutting tongue.

Poem #10

Not without fault or failure 

To choose to accept change 

To live in lines and in laughter 

To live it all again

To live it all again

Expand the reach and range 

Untethered and braver

To drift like a drop of rain

Hold the heart of a stranger 

The one without the pain 

The one without the pain 

Gift it all away

I have a heart that harbours

I have a heart 

I have a heart 

That harbours 

Not without fault or failure 

Poems in Isolation

Postpone the thought of a handshake 
Or a hug 
Forget the future for a moment 
Actively narrow the horizon 
From a line to a dot 
A full stop 
That begins 
and ends 

Let the sun set 
May it rise tomorrow
Hope for much 
Expect less 
Need other things 
Things nearer to you 
Eat only what is here 
Love everyone that’s not 
Love and let love a lot. 
The single biggest 
Lip sealed, censored 
All consuming
All or 
Something and nothing 

When does an unspoken truth become a secret 
When does a kept secret become guilty 

Held forever 
Like a breath 
What good does it do
If we build a tree 
In the middle of a town 
Surrounded by traffic, noise and fumes 
Suffocated in sound 

Its roots 
poke and protrude the pipes under the ground 
Interrupting existing life 
Trying to live alongside 
All that is alive 

Is it still an act of love 
If it can barely breath 
If it might not grow 
If it isn’t chosen 

To flourish and thrive
All green earth 
Who am I to plant it here 
In this dirt 
To decide 
Waiting is the game with you 
Whether you will or won’t 

You would’ve said if I had waited 

My impatience impaled your intent 

Your cautiousness is never cruelty but it cuts the same 

A will is just words without deed 

Poem #9

 I do not speak subtext anymore 
 No longer do I wrangle with the entangled communication 
 If you have something to say, just say it 
 However unkind. 
 I promise not to mind more for your honesty 
 But don’t try to blind me with your offensive defensibility 
 The trick you stick with is the cruelest of slights 
 The slow trickle of truth from a sewn mouth
The barbed knife, 
Insidious insinuation device 
Regardless the work is all mine, to refuse to find the hidden messages 
 To change my ears and the way that I hear things 
 And what I take to heart. 
 A place of limited space must not have an open gate policy 
 I must finally learn that all must earn their time 
For a kingdom of carefully crafted kindness  

Poem #8

The Monologue 

The deafening silence 

The absence 

The one and only echo in your lonely chamber 

The slow creeping of regret 

The cold sweat 

The restless night 

The sight of it slithering over the brow of the hill 

The still of the sound 

The downs

The reflection 

The dissection of every word exchanged 

The change that is necessary 

The scale of it 

The futile fight 

The missed moment 

The opportunity skipped over 

The clipping of wings

The sound of it singing 

The words endlessly ringing in 

The begin again 

The end 

Poem #7 Notes on the Indestructible

If I cry in public

Will you believe me then?

Is the onus on me to display my vulnerability ?

Must I wear it like a badge ?

If I make myself small and weak am I then deserving of care ?

Is it the rough skin on my palms?

Is it hard to believe that words of pain are truthful from a mouth that speaks them with such assurance ?

I practice them you know

I don’t sing songs I’ve just written for fear that my crying will crush them

and I’ll never get them out

You have to pull yourself together

Or you would fall apart in front of their eyes

It is learned poise, a pretend

Strength as an artifice I made

That now I cannot end