Sep 132015
 

Dean city

 

Murder mile

I saw girls in ball gowns drinking wine on murder mile,
traffic passing,
the great round circus where we drank beer in your flat before
still there off the high street.

I crossed it holding hands with girls I can’t remember and
talked about my friend from Argentina.
The Caribbean men yelling by the chicken shop.

You never think of now til now,
one room begets another just the same,
one life itself, again
but something moves, things evolve
and we forget, thank god.

These streets all tapered into non-specific
City when I got here first, consulting maps. Houses and shops and sky beyond.
Stories tapered too / the known-tale-courtyard
and the end: flat shops shut up, painted onto wooden boards
The scenery of ending, hiding in the future from the now.

God that desperate lust to write won’t go until
you give up hope and then at last /can/ write, dispossessed
and outsidered, lost,
your legs take you, and what you hunted
is with you everywhere.

/

the city’s silvered-over to the skyline

We drive to Primrose Hill and walk over the hill

 

beneath the rain. You’re cold. Before a friend

 

was talking on and on about his money and

 

his records til I made him stop the car and I got out.

 

It rained then too, the wet boughs shining and

 

the grass soft underfoot, relieved. Soft pressure and percussion

 

overhead, I trespassed through the emptiness that

 

humans hate, the grey skies sighing sympathetic

 

and the telecom tower misted in a veil like memories of the

 

80s. You and I are imposters here I think

 

beside her, far away as

 

deserts and the sea, hand in cold hand,

 

the rain comes down around us like before

 

and the city’s silvered-over to the skyline.

/

Out of food and you

Out of food and you fading

we lay down dying

thin, white and weightless

as a breath.

The tumblers made tall

shapes in the mortuary

the cap-man peering down in

mock concern before

collapsing dash and

cry

              twists claps and

colour,

             they all lithe and well-fed.

Our windows then were

televisions to the

sorry east end pale

light and lost souls’ hustle

blue sirens bansheed by

and lorries stole

heavy cargo off like

rockets fresh from

Palestine, the passing pressure

tightening ribs in crushing waves.

I wanted you in your skirt and

satin knickers with your classic unwell

face straight from the 19th century

pneumonia days of sweats and worrying in waistcoats

but it felt too wrong

too happening elsewhere in

places we weren’t

and people we weren’t

and I didn’t want to

wake you.

              Where we were

the ashy sheet stretched

over the chipboard frame

     —like Heat tales of

anorexics’ faces tight stretched over bone —

stopped it wrinkling into

valleys as we slept.

My boots in the

kitchen, faced the oven

where had I

bacon, or money for the gas

I would stand.

I saw myself there

In them — weighted and

bright — missed him — felt

dead and old, alone and

jagged while you tossed

your head like black salad

               humming occasional

songs of drunk girls

glee and laughing Muslim

kids walking to mosque with

wizened grandfather kind and

slow-moving, the beggars and

hookers, pimps at the bus

stop picking out hotspots;

and here are we, lost as stories.

/

Empty City

When the use-everything drove there, the signs

 

it strangers breathing again. Moving, room-source: smashing garden,

woods gone to dead long town burn

 

               chosen the endless thought

the sad strange forwards

beginning through, outside (read: room)

imagine garden-thousands going home,

they wouldn’ how, or Why

/

[For Carolina]

From your room the windows bracket the city.

 

The light rises at dawn and falls like a sigh into night.

 

The wind blows and we shiver at the thought of outside,

 

rain is lost on the glass, the lightning flashes

 

and the thunder roars and rolls over us, fading into silence beyond.

 

In here time ceases, we cease it, it tries but can’t reach us.

 

You type and I smoke, you talk and I kiss you, we hide in the dark

 

And outside the city lights mark out their loneliness, great spaces between.

 

From your room the windows bracket the city.

 

The light rises at dawn and falls like a sigh into night.

/

Porcelain girl

Porcelain girl
………………..    my tiny pupil
slip
not
……….your foot into your
………………..gauze-purse all stuck through
with ashy silver
………foils pointed
through needle-tips drip run
……………………………in your ink into our lost infinities
………this dispersion space
and soft recovery sofa
………hospital bed
……………………………………. in that old room
………out where the shouting
and you safe and I safe and you
…………………take not the glittering edge
but of wit
…………………………………………………..to write with
………..nor do you

scrawl releasing air for safety’s sake
………..or stir my tea with that dark spoon taken
………………………………………for our cups of tea in prospectus
animate
…………………..conversation and mothers dress or curtain picking
and grandfathers shouting at the dog
……………………………………….in fond secure passion outburst
for tis a sad thing
………..my lost one

                            your deathbed power tools strewn across
some-open shirted sweating desk by candlelight on lakes we drowned in
………………………………………..       dreams
defeat all our childishness
and with their written purpose rule our loneliness

—Martin Dean

NC
Martin Dean

Martin Dean is a writer and Poetry Editor at Minor Literature[s] (@minorlits). Follow him on Twitter @martin_c_dean

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