Bathroom Hymn

These moments – cold,
in the bathroom,
naked except for the blister plasters
and the indent across my ribs
from the new bra.

Before the eyeliner is scrubbed away.
Before I’m back to that flushed girl
with big dreams.

These moments – fresher
than the rest.

And in the end, always,
I’m churning everything inside me,
making pretty songs. But especially moments
like this.

Moments with clothes curled
on the tiles, with blue clarity,
the moments wondering if it matters
that my tits are lopsided.

Always poetry.

There are boys swimming in my head,
boys I once knew,
boys I might know,
girls I want to find. All
poetry.

Suds down the drain. Sponge on skin.
Every moment in every bathroom –
every grimy, cold bathroom,
stacks of them, in my head.

Holy baths and sloppy showers,
moments for renewal,
moments of dirty thoughts.
Underwear kicked off, inside out,
door locked so only
this moment
exists – here – in front
of the mirror, the same crooked
grimace, the same curious brows.

Moments of steam and condensation,
bed socks twisted together.
Cold weight of wet hair, always
the same cycle. Water
rolling down my back.

I am my own voyeur, in all these moments.

 

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attics

Sherlock Holmes said that your brain is like an attic, and ordinary people stuff it full of unnecessary boxes and junk. I’ve been thinking about that today. My headspace is all jumbled up, bursting at the seams, my thoughts are nothing if not erratic. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed and full of everything, and other times I feel completely empty. It’s hard to find a balance. No matter whether I’m full or empty, I always get things wrong. I never know what to say to people, or how to just be normal in conversation. I’m so terrified of doing too much that I usually end up not doing enough. Even the shortest conversation is a struggle, sometimes. I’m good at getting things wrong. It’s a talent, really.

grading

How does poetry pass the test? How do you give a poem a grade? Even in workshops at uni, I can tell which are good, which need some work, and which are utter shite. But how? They’re just words on a page. Last year I got a First on my poetry. If another person marked them, I could’ve gotten something worse.

I think it might be an instinct thing, a gut feeling more than a physical grading scale, but no two instincts are the same. How does it stay fair? I used to think writing was something some people were good at and some people were bad at. Now I know writing is a skill to be learned, just the same as anything else is, and as long as there is the will to improve, anyone can do it.

I want to get better at it all the time. Sometimes all I know is the drive to write better, the hunger to make my words do more. Other times I feel like I’m too close to my own writing to know whether it’s good or bad. I have words in my head that don’t stop kicking until I’ve written them down, but there’s always more. Will the kicking ever stop? Do I want it to stop? No. Never. I never want to be without the comfort of words. I don’t know what else can carry me through the same way writing does.

Angel Verse

You: cheeks stained with opal drops,
lips smudged with ghost kisses.

Film star smoking in the dusk light,
wearing her wrap around coat and a frown.

Give ‘em hell and make them pay,
or cower beneath the blankets and shiver.

She’s a solid punch to the nose
but she does it so well you’ll praise her fist.

And she lets you take the stage for a while,
so she can watch you swing your hips.

Watch her through the frosted glass,
follow her through the demented nights.

Let her make you crazy.
Let her make you cry.