Once more woken by my body’s aches

called away from recent dreams

that in a moment flee cool reading rooms

through one of four blue wooden doors

each to reach nothing less than

muddles heaped across a field of

bubble-wrapped, incoherent scenes.


My return each morning on zero gain

is caught on mundane memories

so trite as to leave them in the dark

or, for the young, the naughty corner;

year in, year out, about to lift the lid

of near-dawn shouts and boxing bouts

squeezed tight in every half-full jar,


ready to rebel against the cloying need

(it seems) for dreams to be translated

into tongues of once-trapped moths

that have survived the light, then

translated once more, just to be sure,

into Homeric Ancient Greek, first choice of

the diaspora of duffle-coated geeks.


Wrenched from that curvy cul-de-sac of

truth-induced banalities, the tail of a dream

may, lizard-like, be hung from every

eye-line branch or each tenth rung of

lethal ladders; and the apothecaries

wait patiently for some bons mots to tumble,

in confidence, from its leathery mouth, then


silently (as lizards empty out quite noiselessly),

speedily (like any fall defying gravity) and

throughout it all (the true tenor of each proclivity)…

… then… wait; my eyes blink in the grey-blue kinks

and dog-leg pinks of a branded silvery sky; and

ask what and where were yesterday’s cares,

then recall in full as fifty furless tennis balls


bounce off seven, uneven, bedroom walls,

each reminding me of the things I’ve lost,

the compounded cost of my disease, which

every day hacks at the little left that still

attaches our two tortured frames, a pull or so

(from a pill we know too well, no more), 

required to end our clumsy bodies’ show. 


Yet worse, eyes shut (because the pain will

prick my tears so much), I hear my voice

out of time with yours, both out of touch;

both frightened – shown in very different ways –

both full of fear from the quickstep pace that

has grabbed your arm and scratched my face;

whatever it is that stands between


the ghosts we are, I swear that I will tear it off

our patch, our place, this total shit, this arse for face –

not quite the words you or I would choose to use

(but we know first choice went long ago);

in the thick of which he pulls apart our slipping grasp of

straining fingers, our last gasp of unsure love;

and then they just slip away, as if directed from above.


And would I could rely on dreams

to fill fevered, fragile nights and dawns

banish cruel nightmares, and their causes,

the very last chance for love or losers.




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