Archive for poems

Untitled, 4am

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2017 by ofherbsandaltars

So I’m sorry it’s so late at night

But there’s a lot of shit I just can’t hide,


My best friend just fucking died,

Everyone betrayed me,

But never Jazz,

Never, ever Jazz


He didn’t call me by the name I chose

He’d come up and lick my fucking nose

And bitch, my foundation is expensive

But nothing compared to you

Who I’ve lost, forever


I texted your phone yesterday,

I know it’s dumb, I’m know it’s stupid

But I wanted to reach your niece,

She might get it,

She’d rail at me, then speak to me

I hope.


I have to talk to strangers because friends are just too close

I don’t want to hear advice, I just need to talk

And talk and talk and talk

My attention jumps around like a fish on a hook

I’m not over the concussion

The whatever happened to me,

A scar still in my lip


I can’t help thinking, Jazz –

Last night, those chavs picked on me for wearing black

No mohawk that night, but still, they yelled

“Trick or treat!”

And I picked a fight, I asked the fat kid,

“You starting something?

You ready? Let’s go, bring it!

You wanna hit me, fucking bring it!

That kid, and his two mates, they pussied out, they walked away,

From one solo ‘girl’.

I walked ahead, they could’ve sucker punched me, I knew it,

But still, I didn’t care.

Who the fuck am I, picking fights?

If I was Jazz, our gay, Indian, goth Jazz,

I’d have been kicked to pieces.


I can talk a hard game

But in the end we’re all the same,

Just want to walk down a street,

Make friends with dogs,

Like Penny – she jumped up and licked my face

I adored her – so why?
Can’t we take a lesson from a freakin’ dog,

And just treat people with civility?


I’ve got three brothers.

Two of them vomited blood,

After they were battered by chavs for looking goth.

And goths are pussies, we all know it –

We wanna stay up late reading books with the Cure on,

Candles, incense burning, so silent, so perfect,

Not punching bags to Eye of the Tiger


I’ve lost my thread, lost my point,

Jazz is… Jazz is…



On holiday, like usual.

He’s lying on a beach, or hiking over the hills,

Wrapped up in a sleeping bag at a festival


That’s where Jazz is.

He’s fine.

He’s coming home soon,

Because anything else is impossible.


I don’t understand.


No morgue, no funeral,

It’s so unreal.


Suicide, an overdose?

We don’t know,

They won’t let us know


But I’m back on junk, Jazz,

Whenever I can afford it,

And everything’s gone to shit.


Dude, you were the person I’d phone,

Late at night,

I want to phone you right now,

Just to see who answers,

It won’t be you, but someone?

Your niece, a teenager, honest and blunt,

Exactly who I need,

Who’ll talk to me, explain



It’s nearly 4am, I can’t phone them now,

Can I?

I don’t know

Who can ever understand death?


I need more gear,

Need it here,

I stayed clear, for so long,

Because I thought I’d die

And then you did instead

After that, I ceased to care.


I shot up dope, for the first time in years, and it was beautiful,

Sublime, beyond…


I survived

It didn’t kill me.

2011, I’ve got you back,

Dope honeymoon, take two…


But I’ll never have Jazz

And do you see what I mean?

How my brain’s a useless spleen,

And I can’t keep a track, can’t even try to attack

Any subject?

My mind is a flying fish,

Leaping from the waters of logic

I can’t keep track

I can’t go back

Why would I pick a three against one fight,

While wearing a skirt that stops me kicking?

I like my nose, I don’t want it busted,

But I TAKE NO SHIT, not anymore

I’m not your slapped up ego-whore,

No more,

No more.

You can’t break me now

I’ll take it, I’ll fight, and I’ll lay it out,

For my brothers, for Jazz.


And then my brain turns in the water, slips free,

Becomes another part of me –

Was it a bad batch of junk, or just concussion,

When I got so sick,

Scar in my lip

My head hurts

I’m tired.


I miss you all

Gretchen, Granny B, Jazz, Ellie

Ellie. My daughter – the baby who never came at all


I can’t care, or I care too much

Jazz. Cannot. Be. Gone.


I can’t wrap my FUCKING head around it,

Jazz, gone? Forever?



Will she ever exist?

Will she ever be in me after all these stupid meds,

Do I even want a kid?

Will I ever not hate myself,

Want to slice myself out of my own body?


I’m done,

Mic drop

I’m through,

There’s nothing I could say to you


To make you understand.


Candyflip Memories

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2017 by ofherbsandaltars

I miss the crystal mayhem

The music like a velvet band

Like lace

Stretching with every movement

The writing on UV lights

It would change

A mobile phone like a puppy dog

The 20p on the bathroom floor

I still have it

Because I watched the walls vibrate

While playing Snake

On a Nokia 3210


Then the club burned down

And it burned my memories too

I got sick

And it’s all gone

I’ll never drop another Shuriken

Not even a shitty Mitzi

It’s all gone


But I remember the neon and beauty

I remember seeing the afterlife

Zinging purple and white

Souls without boundaries



It has to be the Glis remix – it brings me up every time

It’s better than wine

Not as good as a decent pill


Assemblage 23

They meant so much to me

Let Me Be Your Armour –

It spoke of everything

I still need armour

But my armour sucks

I suck

I lost everything


Neon Midnights

I still miss them

I just write about them now

Sing about them

But they’re gone


Just the dust of memory

The residue on scales

It’s gone.

Bones & Stories; Morgue Drawer

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2017 by ofherbsandaltars

Magnetic as the moon –

No one could help

But love the lunatic

Who licked faces left and right

And hid every inch of his ongoing plight

Behind smiles and drugs

And the warmest of hugs


Now he’s lying cold in a morgue drawer

Lost and gone forever more


They’ll slice a V in his neck,

Bloodless flesh

Bleached yellow with death

Crack open his ribs

Weigh his heart, check it for size,

It was plenty big enough – no one’s surprised

They’ll test his toxic tissues

And take slivers of his brain

In that organ nothing will remain

Of the superstar he used to be.


Some people want to let the dead lie

And just lie down and cry

Because dead is dead

So sterilise it, synthesise it, powder it up

Take it away – don’t let me smell the stench of decay

But the fact is it’s all true

It’ll happen to you, it’ll happen to me

No one gets immortality

In the flesh

And that flesh, that fleshy vest

It comes off, it gets sliced and prodded

It lies in the ground and it rots

Bloodless with decomposition

Eyeballs fall back, gasses burst free

Veined purple with pooled lividity

Underneath –

That’s all any of us are

In the end.


In the end, I want answers

In the end, I want to see him

Even in this state –

It might seem real then

It might be final then

That he’s really gone, forever –

Misshapen and cold on the cutting room floor

In the cold, cold blood-scented air

Of a sterile cold morgue drawer

He’ll never style his hair again

And it might seem real to me

Some kind of epiphany.


Is it easier to let the dead live on?

In photos and stories

Of their joyous former glories

Or is it better to tell the truth?

To be perfectly ruthless

And grab it by the entrails

And pull them out until you see

Until you see the end of you and me.


I promise I’ll love you just as much,

Cold and stiff on a tray

I’ll just have to love you in a different way

Because you won’t talk back anymore

And your kisses are cold, they taste like frozen meat

There’s a tag dangling from your icy feet –

I’d want to warm you up.


Like you’d done something stupid

And taken too many pills

Then gone for a walk, got lost, caught a chill

I’d want to invite you back in for soup and a beer

But you’re never coming back here,

Are you?


You’re lying in a morgue drawer

I hope it doesn’t hurt your back

I want to give you a pillow and a duvet in there

But soon, you’ll be ash

Or beneath the earth

Crumbling away, never so pretty as on even your worst day


Just bones, just bones

And stories


Never forgotten.

I need to know how you died.

I need to know why you didn’t say goodbye –

That’s all.


Just bones and stories…

Just bones, and stories.

Twisted Sunrise, May 2014

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 16, 2016 by ofherbsandaltars

I wish I could go back

To before

I remember the full moon was beautiful

And you were pissing me off

I was pissed off with you a lot,

If I’m honest

You were so far in denial

With the rainbow bandaids all up your arms

The cutesy artwork

Hiding a mess of cigarette burns

And the food, the fucking veganism

Those goddamn healthy pitta-breads

And the endless candy

That you were only going to throw up

The fact you were so obsessed with your fucking self care

With your rituals – your movies, the incense, the yoga, the nail polish

Self care – like a sick joke

Healthy food. Cutesy bandaids.

And we were all supposed to ignore the fact

That you were drinking with your pills

That you had pneumonia more times than I have fingers

That you crashed your car every week for a fucking month

That you’d been disappearing for over a year

Until you looked 67 instead of 32

And I barely recognised you anymore

And your goddamn idiot teenage fans

Those fucking repulsive teenagers, who idolised you

And idolised you even more once you were dead


So, yes. You pissed me off.

But I wish I could go back, to before

Before the full moon

Before your brother’s crass announcement  –

Or maybe not crass – he just couldn’t find the words,

But all he said was “Gretchen is dead. She died in her sleep last night.”

Just that. On your account. As a status update.

And I’m sorry, but I laughed at it

Because it had to be bullshit

I saw you drinking cocktails in the sunshine

Just two days before

And you’d been here forever

In my life

So you couldn’t just be gone –

Not you

I thought it was bullshit


Because I’d been to that place too –

Hadn’t we all?

Bleeding and emaciated and silently screaming

Eating and puking and posting pictures of nothing

But endless food and our shrinking selves –

The only things we valued

Bones and sinews, and shiny candy wrappers

But it never lasted – it never took anyone –

That’s why I was so pissed off

I was pissed off with you

Because you wouldn’t just move on

From this annoying phase

This dip into idiocy that we were too fucking old for

I thought you’d come back, and then you’d be fun again

I didn’t see it.

That we were too fucking old –

That was the clue, the clue I missed

Too fucking old to weigh 60lbs

To live on alcohol, and pills

And just keep on going

That we weren’t 18 anymore

I didn’t see it

And I’m sorry

I’m sorry for that


But I don’t know what I would have changed

I was mean to you, sometimes

Because you were being stupid

And those teenage fools were idolising your self destruction

And you believed your own lies

And I wanted to slap you

So I did, verbally, a few times

I hope you forgave me

But I suppose it doesn’t matter

I think everything was too late

Your collision course was so long in the making

I couldn’t stop you

Maybe even you couldn’t stop you


But I wish I could go back to before

Before the full moon

And tell you how much you meant

That I loved you even though you fucking pissed me off

And that I’d miss you forever

And that you mattered

I don’t think you knew that

How much you fucking mattered

Like a goddamn rockstar

And the mourning spread over the whole world

For you, for weeks

You left holes in souls on every continent


I see you in every rainbow

In every full moon

And if life ever gets too much

It’s nice to know that I’ll see you again

When I get there.


Miss you, G xx

Purple Ghost

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2015 by ofherbsandaltars

Is it because my dick is not yet bolted on

With screws of flesh and hammer of bone

That I am not welcome in your presence alone?

(And do not mention the stag night)

Is it because I wore a dress on All Hallow’s Eve

And she seemed insecure, not knowing –

Is this thing a boy, is it prettier than me?

I do not trust it…

But no, it was before –

Always before,

That she knows our tangled histories

Stretch back into the infinite, unknowable,

Like the tangled webs of galaxies

For isn’t that what children are?

And how can she ever know

What is gone and lost, forever more


But I know what came before

I know what lies beneath

The thickening flesh of his exterior

The boy I knew was bones and hair

Insecurity, thin fingers, a drifting coil of weed smoke

Redbull cans and Prozac pills,

Angst and nihilism and Nine Inch Nails

How can memories not prevail

Against the puckered lips of a nervous present

Manipulation, mistrust inherent

And worst of all his own lethargy

To let his history drift away

Like the unmoored boat of all he used to be

So who are you now, Mr D,

With your suit-clad figure and your new degree?


I do not know this thing I see

The boy I knew is dead to me.



…Or does he wander, like some wraith of memory

Still sitting in a Brite-ian cemetery

As though he never saw this ugly reality

For isn’t that what memory is, intangible,

Prone to fits of doubt, or nostalgic romance?

If the past is a place and memory is its realm

Do our past selves all wander through the

Minds of one another?

Is each one of us a fleshy thing,

Surrounded by the ghosts

Of everything it used to be

The lust, youth, naivety

And with every version that emerges

From its cobwebbed black cocoon

It grows uglier, more staid, more grey and wrinkled and realistic

For isn’t that the crassest word?

As we turn into our parents, into sagging caricatures

Souls trapped in office blocks,

In briefcases, management meetings

In closed-lip kisses and casseroles

And if this is the thing you really are

Then I’ll just keep your memory

Of the imperfect thing you used to be

When you would smoke weed under a dripping starlit canal bridge

When the world was full of magic, blacklight and uncertainty

When we saw the planes plough, exploding, into the Twin Towers

In the dingy monitor of your dingy room

And it meant nothing to us at all

Because we were too young to fear the adult things, like war and loss and catastrophe

Because all we needed was you and me

And everything seemed temporary,

The whole world disposable

In its unknowable concrete tangles

Its maddening adult routines

The demands of your mother

To fill the fucking dishwasher, James,

And we always stood apart from it

In the tangle of thin limbs under sex-smelling duvets

We made a shelter from it all

And the world seemed more purple

Purple like my hair, and purple like your bedroom

There is a shade of purple that to this day belongs to you

But you do not belong to it

Now that you are something else

With your suits and your stag nights

And your…and your…

There are no words for unremarkable

We know things by their difference


I watch you sink into her world

Her dreary adult world

Like a screaming black amoeba

Devoured by a larger one

And you are gone forever.