Human Anthem

        we sing              our mouths form the words with precision with obedience         but we do not   recognise the shapes               the colours at least give the                 illusion of warmth       I’ve left a lot of gloves on trains                 two to be precise

sing sing sing sing           why aren’t you singing?   it’s beautiful delightful    a           lime green careen             sends you spinning     through the abyss    and it won’t let you lose            faith in oxygen now don’t                             lose          faith sing along don’t                                                                             get breathless

then it slows becomes less    about the tune about the colours or the melody becomes    simply    a  way  of    making     noise                                 a  battle cry                                                     my hands are bloody freezing

rain soaking through my jeans               a way of being a way of surviving            it hurts     all the way up     it hurts         O sweet lord it hurts when will this bloody bus get here           keep singing  keep singing stars are a distraction don’t look up                   keep looking down at your music sheet that’s it there you go

the music spools     and drops           to the ground like a           child’s ribbon           on the street      and everyone just keeps walking                    everyone steps into it treading it grinding it deeper into the pavement and the pavement doesn’t care   why would it.  sing

how many ways do you feel empty? I’m still     discovering new ways still unearthing           strange new jars                the bus will be here soon oh look here it comes and it’s here.  the crescendo and

that final, ponderous note: is this living? Am I living yet?


Cupped, like a bewildered insect
between God’s palms

little flame, choking on itself
you hear the ebb and croak

of the walls. The sea bream, nausea
hours curl under your toes

their voices are quick and frightening
they grind

miracles between their teeth
before you know it you’re pressed

tighter the ceiling bows to kiss your head
the floor rises to greet you and your

disgust. Dear beetle
you couldn’t dig your way out

of here no matter how hard
you willed it. Dear beetle

when you’re bigger,
you’ll know better.