Pinch

Cut the pain away. Cut the fucking pain away. The scissor blades are cold. Icey edges. My foot slips slightly on the toilet seat as I shift my shoulders for a better view of myself. All of me. As I move, the scissors sting me. I wince.

The mirror reveals my shameful shapes. My awkward, ugly pose. Filthy, dirty angles. Neck twisted, arm reversed and tucked under my right leg which is lifted up and propping itself on the toilet. My stuff hanging scared and insignificant. Scissors pinched. Cold and sharp. Fucking sharp.
The scissors sting again. I have never seen myself from this angle before. The muscles in my back move differently to how it feels from the front. I look like someone else. I feel like someone else. Please be someone else. Anyone else. The scissors, they burn me. Cut the pain away. Mutate me. 

Wiping my arse has been an event over the past few weeks. This huge fucking haemorrhoid. It moved in, occupied me and decided to continue bursting and healing. Burst and heal. Fucking burst and never heal. Only scabs. Well, this is it. The showdown. 

I’m stood strange in my bathroom. Leg up and pile pinched between steel. Skin shining hot-wet. A singular bead of sweat slides fast down my spine before slipping into my arse crack. 

I’m mouth-breathing now. A minute goes by and I do absolutely nothing. Then, I press hard down onto the scissors and squeeze them together. I feel the pinch. I feel the burn, the sting, the tear. The release. My butthole puckers like a kiss. Then it spits blood. The pile hits the floor all bloody and purple. And then everything is wet with red. 

Scissors meet floor. Floor meet blood, scissors and I’m sure you’ve all met pile. I shuffle and rip streams of toilet paper from the wall before stuffing it between my ass cheeks. The tissue turns red and dark. I wash myself down, hike up my underwear and jeans before taking a final look in the mirror.

The mirror reveals my shameful shapes. My awkward, ugly pose. Filthy, dirty angles. Trimmed and unwhole. And yet the pain remains. Somewhere in me. Deep. I pick up the scissors once again and survey myself. The steel traces my skin as I stand weird and unnecessary. Cut the pain away. Mutate me. Please.

Warmth

Slow your bones, my love,

And drift off away

Back to those fields we sat,

Content, on a summer day.

Imagine the slight smile

Which moved with certainty

across the shapes of your face

As you realised everything

You were searching for

Was here, 

in its right place.

Overcast

I’m trying ever so hard

to exist today.

Feeling all see-through;

Thinking foggy, thinking greys.

Overcast by the thoughts 

which have settled behind my eyes

 and the headful of wool 

soaks up words from my mind.

Because I want to say I love you;

And I want to say I care,

but when the darkness falls

it’s hard to see you there.

And I know that you are there,

I can feel your sad eyes,

yet I’m sat here mouthless,

drowning as you sigh.

Please don’t leave me

Alone in my head

Because I’m screaming for help

With every word unsaid.

Warmth

Slow your bones, my love,

And drift off away

Back to those fields we sat,

Content, on a summer day.

Imagine the slight smile

Which moved with certainty

across the shapes of your face

As you realised everything

You were searching for

Was here, 

in its right place.

Trainlines

The train seats are eighties brown etched with egg-yolk yellow. It’s rude to rest your feet on them, but  the carriage is empty so you do it anyway. Only one earphone works, the sun is burning your left side and, christ, there’s nowhere to throw your empty drink can.

A blur of trees. Trainlines always seem to look into the worst gardens the country has to offer. Plastic slides bask pale in the summer heat whilst branches sway like arms in a crowd. We move, with purpose, until the greenery dirties with concrete greys. 

The carriage fills, someone gives you a look and you move your legs. How rude. This is society and we all need to work together to keep everything from changing. Embrace the stasis. Embrace the eticate and expectation please, then we’ll get all get along just fine. The same person gets off the train at the next stop. A waste of a seat. Your legs return to rest upon the seat. How wonderful is it to rebel in the littlest of ways. I see you smiling.

Conversations are happening around you. All you need to do is stop thinking and listen. Suddenly, you are a part of someone’s dialogue: “Sharon never listens. She keeps going back to him.” Poor Sharon, people are talking about you and do not think you listen to them. Sharon, they are assuming that you disobeying them is you not listening. You strangely begin to defend Sharon, the absent party. Your thoughts move to a position of empathy. Sharon does understand and listen, but she still has a choice, regardless of what those around her think.

“Her choices are illogical.” The other person in the conversation says. How unfair. Choices are rarely ever illogical. There is always a logic to a decision. This, however, does not mean that every decision is a good decision. Sharon may be coerced into staying with whoever it is they are referring to. She may just love him more than he hurts or disappoints or annoys her. Or children. There could be a multitude of complex systems influencing Sharon and her decisions. Sharon weighs up her finances, hears what everyone has to say about her life, imagines her future, considers what change would look like then she decides on who she wants to be and who she wants to be with. Then she decides. It turns out Sharon decided to be with him and be that person that people talk about. She decided to be everyone else’s business when deciding her own. Don’t listen to them, Sharon, even though you probably did.

Breaks

Life, is it over yet? 20 minutes into coffee and she looking at me like she’s wants to fuck or fight. I can’t tell which. I haven’t been able to in a while. And this might be why she hates me. One of many reasons, I suppose.

My book is closed and laid out in front of me on the table. I glance down at it every few minutes to check it’s still there. I would have hoped to had finished it during this lunch break if she hadn’t spotted me. Four hundred and twenty three pages down and I’m itching to read more. I hate finishing on an odd page number. I sat in the corner with my large latte trying to avoid the company of another person.

So here she is. Her hair scrunched up into a dirty blonde fist, mouth pinched and eyes cold grey. Should I just leave? I mean that’s what I usually do, right? Withdraw in cowardice. 

“I don’t hate you, James.” Oh, well that’s a relief. 

“You don’t?” I look down. The book is still there. Thank god. 

“No, but I still don’t think we should be together.” She gives me a half-smile. She’s relieved to no longer be a part of my life anymore. “I mean, you don’t seem to know what I want anymore.”

I nod in agreement. It disguises another glance at my book. 

“Or listen.” Her words were familiar. As though I have heard them before.  

I twist my mouth and nod in a way that makes it look like I’m listening.

“You never gave me the time.” She looks exhausted with me. Am I really this draining? I’m not perfect, but I’m no 9-5 shift either. 

“It’s 1.23pm.” I say. 

“That’s not what I meant.” Another sigh. I mean, of course I’m not making this easy, but Christ, just get it over with. This is clearly hard work for you. “So what do you think?” 

“I suppose it’s probably for the best.” Break ups make me talk in cliches. “Maybe you deserve someone better than me.”

“Maybe.” She stands up, straightens her skirt and leaves. Actually, just before leaving she did ask if my book was worth the read as she was looking something “new to get her teeth into”. I lied and said no.

And she is gone. I sit alone shaking my head to myself. Coffee must be ice-cold by now. Waste of money. A waitress appears at the table and I order another. 25 minutes of my lunch break left. The book opens and suddenly I’m over it. Completely over it. It was only a  £2.50 latte. Over it. 

Lost

And this is how you fuck up

And lose the ones you love

Because you let her down

And didn’t give her enough

Of the respect she deserves 

And the time she deserves;

Just moving, lazily and undecided,

Like it’s your right to be hers.

But it’s too late

To make a stand,

You’ve lost something special

Like you’re catching sand.

And even this poem

Is focused on yourself;

Grow the fuck up and change,

Become someone else.

The man she deserves,

Give the respect she deserves

And then you’ll have the right

To call yourself hers.

The Great British Dream

So you were wrong

about the skies getting clearer

because the people above you

built ceilings to your ideas.

But they don’t disappear,

they become memories;

The ever-present shadow

of who you were meant to be.

You try to move on

and you try to change,

yet every minute that passes

just feels the same

because you were wrong,

this world is not for you;

It’s designed for the suits

who want to sell to you.

So you forget

about times you smiled,

the times you fell in love,

and laughed out wild.

There’s a height to happiness,

reserved for a select few,

and our ladders are too short

to enjoy the same view.

Camping

Outside there is a tent

where mummy makes us sleep;

“Let’s go camping, kids!”

dragging out our bed sheets.

We are noisy little boys

and mummy can’t stand

when we fight and we shout

in front of the new man.

So we camp in our tent

made from bed sheets and pillows;

No matter the weather,

we camp in rain, wind or snow.

It’s naughty to tell friends

about the tent and where we keep it;

Teachers can never know

About mine and mummy’s little secret.

The hole

So where are we now?

It’s hard to see

if there’s anything left

here waiting for me.

Trying to look past

my next warm beer

at what needs to be done

to make a change this year.

Eat healthy, stay fit,

quit everything that kills;

Move on, get a job,

develop management skills.

And today doesn’t end

until she texts me back;

It doesn’t end, it won’t end,

until I’ve smoothed out the cracks

Which have formed in my mind

and stopped it working;

Forced numbness all the time 

which stops me hurting.

So where am I now?

Left outside your home;

Sad shapes against the sky,

Standing within myself, alone.