The Race

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Benetton bravado
Schumacher slicks
a fantastical formula
for race day thrill.
It’s ’93 and I sport
my Benetton supporters
founder member tee
and Schumi gRACEs
my bedroom wall.
Physically conservative
I avoid risk taking/seeking,
but I lap up his
controversial competitiveness.
I lie on the sofa, there is
no physical threat to me.
And yet there is..

For every race I watch,
I have to outrace my memory.
I force my autobiography
off the track,
put up a roadblock
to my one visit to Silverstone.
Memory stalls after recall
of: F3 and Martin Brundle.
Remembrance of WHO took me
and the journey home
flagged and disqualified.

Twenty years on the road is clear,
the memory no obstacle: how my
mother’s stalker insisted on a pit stop,
the picnic blanket, the hamper,
the isolated countryside.
I now know why I can not
laugh at Nabokov’s Lolita.

For each Grand Prix,
I gambled emotional security,
but the risks were always
worth the podium for
Schumacher’s sensational
wins of seven!

Get well Schumi

Desolation and Completion

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Desolation
  bodies drawn
together – mutual
  objects.

Minds aloof
  shun connection.

Genital heat peaks
  disperses into dry-
ice heart.

Empty –
 sickening void
remains.

 

Completion
 stealing a breath
fingers interlock,
  bodies mirror –
GRip then reLEAse.

Perspiration-heat
 binds slow
in a tender writhe.

Her varied blossoms
 open – he has all of her:
nectar of her heart
 flows to his
sunbeam warmth.

Bliss of shared flesh
 neverending story
of mind and body
 belonging.

One drop of blood

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Against her pale,
motionless skin,
just one drop
of blood against
her teenage ear.

I didn’t see the car
hit. I didn’t see her
slump. I just saw that
one spot of blood.

Sponsored walk
became tragedy,
became flashbulb
memory of one
drop of blood.

A girl in my year died on our school’s sponsored walk. It happened some twenty-five years ago, but I still see her lying in the road to this day.

A letter to a gentleman I used to know

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I know it’s late in the writing,
I know you are most likely dead,
but what my rational mind acknowledges,
my tender heart rejects.

Did you know you were a gentleman?
that’s how you appeared in my eyes,
for you always treated me with respect,
so I trusted, with no need for whys.

I remember the honesty of our first meeting:
schizophrenic with co-morbidity;
heroin and alcohol devastation,
but you’d learnt to accept life’s insanity.

You sang of falling over four leaf clovers,
as you strummed on your guitar,
it seemed a hapless insight that
luck could trip you from afar.

Bedroom smaller than your Walton jail cell,
with a mattress on the floor,
at your filthy lodging
I tried to be the smile at your door.

“Don’t ever visit me again”
read out of context seems rather harsh,
but your words were the kindest
(for years protection had been sparse).

Your landlord beat his workers
and kept your benefit book,
now he wanted you to pimp me
at fifty pounds a punter’s look.

I needed no second warning
and never called again,
but saw you on the streets,
often busking down some lane.

In tears one time I found you,
with only pet food peanuts to your name,
I carried them back to your new squat,
and saw your life reduced to pain.

The bedroom was a floorless floor,
the boards all crumbling away,
symmetry of your body that
hepatitis was destroying day by day.

The last time I saw you –
all ragdolled against a wall,
I had no time to stop, and
didn’t know this was all.

You never appeared again,
although I looked so many times,
perhaps you fulfilled your dreams of Ireland,
which you spoke of many times.

And there I go denying that
you had met with your death,
so hard for me to think of
you having drawn your last breath.

May you rest in those lucky clovers,
a paradise of green,
where mind is settled and content,
and you finally rest serene.