Friday, December 6, 2013

Marking Time

It's past midnight
I'm on my third wine
I was going to stop at two

The strobe lights
make me peaceful
and your voices blend
like cheese

I say no
I have to go
A meeting at eight
don't wanna be late


You sing, I sway
I'm helpless, you play
I have no idea
Songs all around
A story to be written
I don't know how

And here I am, sipping wine
Here I am acting all fine
Like the world isn't crumbling
Like my mum isn't dead
Like my life isn't over
Just your music
inside my head.

I float over the pain
I know it's there
but for now I can't feel it
for now, I don't care.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Running on Empty

I wake up and you are gone and I search for you all over. Pick up my phone, and call you on speed dial but it's my mother. I look all over, but there are no traces...and I ask but no one seems to have heard of you. Nobody. And I think I must be going...and then I forget your name. I forget your name but remember your form. I forget your form and remember the curve of your jaw, the shadows under your eyes. I forget the shadows under your eyes and remember, this feeling, this feeling of joy, of bliss, of being safe, of being loved.

And then I wake up tomorrow and forget that too.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

How Could An Angel Break My Heart?

Mum I thought about your grave today. We haven't visited it since that seventh day. We came for your one-month Mass and I rushed back, in indecent haste not wanting to stick around. I'm sorry. I thought about you today, lonely, in your magnificent coffin, with all that earth piled on top of you. Lonely, because none of us had visited. I felt like I had let you down.

Mum, I don't know how to deal with your death. There is no manual. They tell you the stages of grief. It starts with denial.

Was that what I was feeling? Maybe, that over here, I could pretend that maybe, were still there, because I didn't have to think of you, didn't have to deal with the reality of your absence?

Mum, I need to go back. I need to buy flowers. I need to drive to your grave. I need to place the flowers there. I need to weep and pray over you. Alone.

Strange things have happened since you were gone. An unravelling process of all you kept together with sheer willpower alone. Was it supposed to unravel?

I know you're not here anymore. I know you've moved on. Thank God, I say, you no longer need to look down on this world that disappointed you so. You no longer need to look at us. It's time we grew up, fended for ourselves.

Mum, I'm sorry.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Same Old Auld Lang Syne

It's like I'm living suspended in green jello? Why green? Just cos. I've taken a break from reality for the past two months, because it was too painful and I couldn't deal with it. So I created an alternative world, an improbable world, a world where none of this mattered, a world where I didn't care, not really; didn't remember, not nearly.

And for a while it was OK. I got to pretend. I got someone to pretend with me. Pretend so realistically that I believed it. Almost. Another place, another time, another world, another reality, another fantasy.

How is it that it's so easy to pick up when someone else gets tired of playing? Is there a nerve ending that's jangled in the ether, like a bell, telling you, OK, it's over, this brief time of make believe. It's time to get on with your real life now.

You know the dust and debris and the overflowing laundry basket and the aging dog stretched out across the room, regarding you lovingly through half-closed eyes. It's time to get on with the backlog of unfinished stories, with all the things you filed away for future reference, not being able to deal with it in the present.

The present has passed.

It's tomorrow now.

So what if it's bleak and dreary?

So what if it's sad and empty?

When has your life been any different when you were not busy pretending?


And so I settle into the jello; it's cool against my skin and I try to weep but I can't because someone took all my tears away and dried it at source and I try to sleep but although my body aches, weary as ever, I'm tense and awake and thinking about pills.

Sleeping pills.


For one night at least.

Let the screaming voices stay outside for one more night.

Let them occupy another space for one more night.

They crowd around me and I see them without feeling them. But that's OK. I am used to their ghastly faces. I've been looking at them for so long now. It's just that, this once at least, please don't let them place their grubby hands in my chest, and squeeze. Rip out my heart by the cords and dangle it, bruised and bleeding for all to see and laugh over.

Just this once.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Far From The Madding Crowd

I am reading Emily Dickinson's biography and her loneliness (for although she chose to be a recluse, she was very lonely) has affected me strangely. She felt so much and her feelings were neither guarded nor polite enough for public consumption. She loved so much that the people she loved moved away from her; shunned her.

Her heart was broken over and over again. She was rejected and ignored over and over again.

Nice New England girls are supposed to feel just so much and no more. Everything nicely bounded with a border of daffodils, perhaps.

Until, rejected and misunderstood, she shut herself off from the world. Better voluntary exile than to keep being rejected.

And need I say I understood how she felt?

And I wonder if I should shut myself away next year and work and write and read, far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I don't belong anywhere. I don't belong to anybody. I am part of nothing. Always alone, even when with people.



There is a pageant before me, shifting faces, places and I look on, sometimes slightly intrigued, most times indifferent. Time passes, people pass, places wobble and shift and reform into something else.

I meet someone on the lift and we chat and exchange stories.

I meet someone at a gift shop and she tells me her name.

I meet someone for dinner who smiles and asks me if this could ever be home.

I say no. Not for me. I don't have a home. I drift, like some piece of wood, forever searching, never finding, buffeted by the waves.

Never finding.



Thursday, September 20, 2012

The House Specialty

The dark, cavernous space, the bar that went on and on for years, is thick with ghosts. Sometimes, she throws them into oil, has a big fry-up.

Some taste like meringues, slightly burned around the edges. Others taste as bland as despair, a taste that is no taste, except that it sinks deep inside you and goes on forever. And some taste sour, like the breath of a drunk, the sweat of a drunk.

She moves through the space with a butterfly net, a cloth tea strainer, anything she has on hand, and traps the wisps, throws them in.

They look better fried. Corporeal is a good thing to be, when you haven't been for so long.

And when the others start to shuffle in, the dead ones still on this side of the veil, she offers them her fried ghosts, the house specialty. Take your pick, she says, luck of the draw, she says.

You never know what you're gonna get, Forrest Gump's mama says.

Sometimes she melts chocolate over them. Sometimes she flavours them with beer. Sometimes she serves them up with a side of chips.

No two quite the same. Saunter up, take your pick, ghost to taste, ghost of a taste, ghostly aftertaste, and whathaveyou.

They file in, weary, dead-eyed, chew the treats mechanically, and breathe.

Still breathing.

That's something.

And sometimes this world makes sense and they matter and have a reason for being.

But if they did, they wouldn't be here.

Anywhere but here.

These are for the deadends, the no-hopers, the ones who have just a little way to go.

These are the ones you hear about, read about, but never see.

And so they shuffle into this halfway house, poised between living and the opposite of it, coming from nowhere, going nowhere.