Four Poems

Pema Rinzin, Auspicious Dream 2 (left panel). 2013, Sumi ink, gold, stone pigment on wood, 36 × 48". Courtesy Joshua Liner Gallery.

i hate flowers

all i want is sinking ships
all i want is ships under water
trains under watercars dropped from ships into water
trains carriage by carriage like links
of sausage dragging each other under

transport is so playful without weight
or purpose — metal bubbled laughter
a whole sea of metal and salt

i don’t want to be taken anywhere
i want the traffic to stay still
i want the future lost & rusted

all i want is everything
underwater forever rendered
in scum

i want everything looking
like a shitty picture
of what it used to be


yesterday I ordered a scoop
of each of the three flavours
of ice cream they had
& they brought me nine:
three shining bowls
w/three shining scoops
of each.

today I bounced home
in a storm found
a tenner blowing on the floor
& then another
so thin the queen
was almost gone.
I guess I’m still
Getting used to the art
of letting things
glow —

it can’t last forever.
feeling like this.

if i could kill my freaks

to choose to spend your nasty
sour little days with anyone
or chew them out alone to burst
as rancid bubbles through the neon
straw of your perfection: it slackens
perspective to even think it — makes
my wrists sweat valium
yellow through themselves
& the shirt & the jumper & the coat.
nothing stops that rancid branching
of my body out west & east
of itself to draw you in as though i care
which way you coil your hose — !

you could take a slice of my luv
& not want for weeks
but i’ve eaten the whole & blobby quiche —

“sophie please do a better job of yourself!
something has been sleeping
on your ruins & it barks & whines
all night. we are all very tired.
take 4x painkillers
& turn off the light”


there are places in which the mind thrives like plankton, where jobs
are easy to come by & every apartment overlooks the park, where
the funeral has barely started & the heart is a mist that rises & clears
like a browser & streaming faster — a gapless surface of fake solids

& there are places in which love reproduces itself like a lizard’s tail, heeds
to no alarm or database. places where the sun rises like a fat cunt
glowing in the sky. places where the rats don’t race but rat out
their days in a waterlogged stupor. places you can dive into from a height

there are places where a heart is megashared & its kitchens always full
of foods. where babies name themselves. a place you cannot unknow
& in some place from the past there is a bucket doubling as a womb, full
of infant newts & frogspawn. in some place you cannot know is you

full to the brim with ungendered yearning. & there are places that smell
of honey and decay, places where mistakes can be undone by pressing
a sequence of two or three keys. places where the language flows uncoded,
where everybody understands each other. there are places where people

burn money to keep warm, places where every shop window is broken & blood
makes patterns on the walls. there are places where every building looks
the same & nothing can be bought or sold. there are places through which
a tall fence runs with holes too small to kiss your opposite number

& there are places in which each citizen is tattooed, head to toe, with the face
and body of another citizen & everybody takes to the lakes naked, places
where public transport is free & police tip their hats to beggars on the streets
& nobody dies. there are places where the dead rise from their graves

& avenge the living, places where the dead turn into doves just to peck
themselves dead again. there are places in which bleeding takes the place
of talking, places with water in place of mirrors, with eyes instead of cameras,
patches of pure darkness on a google map, places you can’t arrive or leave

& there are places in which the lives of happy and boring people unfold
day after day, where nobody writes anything down & nobody suffers
from the damp & cold. there are places you have been & will
never go again, where the yearning to visit stands in for the visiting

as though you could trick yourself out of death or labour for a second
go at being free. there are places where the moon is god-blocked into
a pinprick, & places where it largens & honeys, places night never falls
& the citizens sleep with snakes across their eyes to block the light

& the heart itself a snake knotted into a place we can never see or fathom
a stupid fist raised in protest, shrinking by the minute, longing to be dropped
in steaming water, to expand to the size of a glass like a hybrid tea rose sewn
together in a factory in bangladesh & sold for eight hundred times its worth

& the workers streaming utopia their bodies dropping from the walls all night

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P.S. I just bought my girlfriend a full set of Reiki-infused chakra crystals for Christmas.