By Richard Barrett | 1 March 2015
Those poems suck; those poems mean ‘no progress’. Including side-effects such as cock-rot; no sleep; no appetite and, you know, dandelion and burdock is a drink like self-esteem is; tautologically. As him from Westlife sings – the sound is so off it’s a PhD. Virtually unknown. Auditioning for The Apprentice, 2014. Is something happening or am I just in stockinged feet, waiting? Socks, rather. Thursdays, it’s, in Eccles, hard to breathe. A place name. Romance of the future Carl Solomon’s (of Eccles). This couch featured in the Supergrass song. Class distinctions – based on the use of couch, sofa or settee. Asking: is this poetry? Applauding; without knowing why though. I am obsessed with knees. The word for that loudly whispered ‘shush Richard’ – something Jon Bon Jovi knows which Jim Burns used to. His own ‘personal brand’, now, being ‘whacko’. Unread; 7 hours there; in a+e. The coolest month being, of course, Eliot’s intended phrasing. It’s spring. Regret is dirty like guilt which my breath reeks of. While nearby, pot plants wither and die The brief-case in your hand is not porn That severe centre parting is not porn The dancing at the juke-box, your back turned towards me, knowing I’m watching, is not porn Liking me better when I am sad is not porn Describing me that way to the barman and off-licence bloke is not porn Ocean ripple. The line between cold separating cold from ‘calming’. Oxford road station will never change Moran (you stupid fucker). Neither will wanking in public in Prague. Attending the drug and alcohol clinic; Salford Royal. Still, bumped off the anthology list. Cognizant of limits though: stating ‘aged 23; married at St Peters church; Swinton’. Linda, you were so bloody beautiful. I imagine sex lives and friendships. Anxiety. A coldness sensed from up here where this view is outstanding – accompanied by a smiley face sometimes now though, sadly, more often, nothing. Text me when you arrive please. Welcomingly. Asking: but whose fault is that (knowing the answer). It’s half one in the morning. Or, it’s quarter past eleven. It’s, anyway, time I went to bed soon. Poetry blows – never ceasing to be amused by that distinction. Listen to ‘the Mac’. High on paint fumes; high on Sertraline – taking 7 days to exit the system. I want more fun times with you. Eating and not eating; eating bratwurst. A kick in the teeth or a knock. A 6ft 2” Scandinavian on Facebook The talking on the stairs is not porn Wanting, so much, you to be not anxious, depressed or lost to yourself is not porn The morning laminator workshop and reactionnaire is not porn The triage assessment is not porn The private chat with the deputy for half an hour at work is not porn Mother’s day. Pharrel said ‘NO ONE EVER REALLY DIES’ which was, of course, totally not a lie. You are stronger than me. Now all bets are off. No poetry when a person is poetry means Frank O’Hara – in Preston and in numerous dissertations and theses. I float in space wondering, always, where Tiplady is. What was the title of what you wrote I asked this week (I forget when though); and what was the name of Jim Burns’ magazine Mark? Available to read where? Play intellectual games and call it poetry you poetic bearded knob-end. This is, essentially, just a list of stuff that happened or that was said to me Julie – no depth at all required. My wrist touches your wrist and I fantasise of car wrist sex. I self-plagiarise. I believe in that. Scrolling up to the first bit to extract something from there to insert in this last bit. I went to Birmingham once and all I got was this lousy t-shirt. I don’t know why Sue, you fucking idiot, you would ask about orphans – how it feels to be one et cetera. I don’t know about anything. Including crying at the poetry reading.
37 subtracted from 32 divided by the first number you thought of Donnie Darko and Point Break Every day is special when you’re me I wrote this bit of the poem in less than 10 minutes Not just anyone can not rhyme A decision only the psychiatrist can make That guy who did all the sound affect stuff from Police Academy Do you fancy a drink one night next month? Labile doesn’t mean what you think it means I’ve seen some big tits in my life but you’re the biggest, Dave Doctor, doctor I’m scared to come off my antidepressants. Do it anyway It’s a secret where my third penis is If I ever obtained what I wanted I wouldn’t know what to do with it Patrick Swayze’s second poetry collection: $42 from ABE books (some foxing) I could have been playing Mario Kart instead of writing this Lithium. As and when required I was The Fall’s back-up kazoo player. I received a credit on the track Jazzed Up Punk Shit After we’ve finished painting, Julie, can we take our clothes off please and lie on the floor together Why don’t you text me anymore? Every poem I ever wrote. Each saying essentially the same thing
porn glasses. remember that ass-hole gape remember the world’s a computer it’s noon; the world’s a turgid cock draw the curtains please pretend i’m not here where cambridge is sucking stones like beckett did cream-pie face heart glasses seen through a stone being a water-feature the judith e. wilson theatre strawberry fayre you first time vodka jelly drinker my googlewanking heart said repeatedly ‘porn’ introduced, then we sucked stones that day (did we?) anti-telescoping emotion hardening hard like / and fast like a cock like a heart (remember?) a stone online ‘why are your glasses porn?’ r_________ asked that mother i’d like to fuck, that front room curtains and blinds is another world’ s asshole i crawled into that asshole in manchester atrophied, you are far away but directly addressed still emotion is still far away ‘you wear your porn glasses why?’ r_________ asked
Tilda Swinton’s face. ‘I cannot do it’ though I can delete every Facebook post I posted ever. Explaining ‘we thought it’d be funnier’. Elfin or skeletal. The pathologist explaining about sepsis; about the side-effects of the surgery; necessary. Tomorrow is mother’s day. Standing for crying at school. Too much of that. The question is ‘how to be alone’. Angular; cheek boned. I cannot do this stuff for you (though I can wish it for you [sincerely. And from the very bottom of my heart]). Like a hard to follow movie. A child raised to believe in vampires and that it was born a vampire * Cheralyn, thanks *. A nought to sixty acceleration. Tilda Swinton’s face used as a bong. Smiling. We take on guilt like some high-end fashion item. On Saturday’s we sprawl outside the – at Oxford Road. We speak to former lovers. Had to remove more liver than. In the road – anticipated – a skirt falls off. Androgynous; the man in the off-licence says, he says stuff about Scouse and Manchester girls while Tilda Swinton listens; bored; existence lasting an infinite number of years. Sorry, but I could not possibly buy that poetry collection by Kirsten Stewart as – as it doesn’t exist yet. So yes this is my street. Yes, this is your street. Like water like. A mind colonised. Looking constantly for others – Tiplady then then. Be alone in that house where we will never let anything hurt you as advice is, Hans – I just don’t know if good or its opposite. Yes, through that door. Upstairs while I potter. I just don’t want to be like that though. No feelings. Living on memories. The surgeon in his evidence stated ‘the risks were always there he was advised’. But sometimes that’s perhaps all we have? I’m not upset I have this, no. We laugh til the clocks go back – on consecutive days. Outdoors; shirt-sleeves. You robot. That fragility. Ice cracks by the bed; ward – . fuck, I forget which ward. Forgetting the Manchester girls. Cheetham Hill. Thinking and thinking; forgetting St Swithins day. Wearing shirtsleeves outdoors on consecutive days. At the edge of the platform where we stood where I forgot about being together and being mugged off. You robot. I just want to know what you’re going to do about it. Slang but not northern slang so anachronistic as slang. The grieving process means to incorporate absence. So no footsteps upstairs today then getting dressed eh. Tiplady, where are you; Pete asked, are you ‘bigger than time?’ And we laughed in the Fall. In the Spring though Spake the grand slang king “I am alive”. Text me. Email me. PM me. Used indiscriminately and filled in and covered with whatever helps. Tilda Swinton’s face the starry canopy beneath which at night we all dream. I need to finish this poem. Ocean Ripple walls are not blue, oh no. A spoon left unwashed for four days is though maybe a Mayo spoon. Consider alternate titles. Washed now and remembered like the interesting Belgian I am. A small bag of aquamarine addressed directly ‘I know you care. And I know just how much. I need you’. HATE THE WORLD. All words considered fair game and likely to end up in this poem. Draining the blood out of IRL experience for writing. Ethics of bite marks on neck. Sweating in Albert Square; something is rotten in Manchester. The infection spread so much so that by Friday he just didn’t know where he was hallucinating. The town hall. Sharing confidences with aunts. Manchester suffering multi-organ failure. I am a jealous bitter mess who you’d be far better off without. Fuck the poem. The production line manufacture of poetry at the University. Fuck it and my / your martyr syndrome. Thwarted ambition. I cannot live your life for you. Don’t drink; take tranqs or be lonely. But learn again how to be alone.
That eventually there will be a time when you realise you feel okay again is Learning, with practice, that what’s said and done is said and done and, so, can’t now be changed is The comfort of photos is Everything good that could possibly happen tomorrow that is Sun, through the curtains, at dawn is Behind blinds, curtains or sheets; the sun is. Undrawing. Two vouchers here, yes; yes this room has some theoretical knowledge. People waking there. Such peaceful quiet, I mean. The sun comes up, the dawn. Early first job bank account opening. Such and such a percent interest paying. As a vessel so then – . Learn of research; taken on faith. That first Pavement CD. Knowing nothing and happy in that knowing. No secrets. Empty of experience. Our Singer’s resemblance to Hip Priest: unnoticed at first. Unappreciated. Through the skylight the sun wakes me *in Cambridge*. Remembering, slowly, where and who I am *in Cambridge*. My simple bird song brain. New beginnings. Interest; mortgage and ISA payments. Colours flood my eyes now opening, like morning. That, this first time morning opening. Smelling green and new and fresh I hear the sun today. Up with the, balm for the brain [like a duvet, kind of]. Free of memory. Brain wiped clean to; undraw curtains now, and No matter who might or might not be here with me now this room is Footsteps next door, early Saturday morning, is Your cousin’s daughter scrolling through the photos on her dad’s phone is Lying there thinking of all the day ahead holds is Walking to the shop for milk is My simple bird song brain. Synaesthesia. New optimism morning, remember ‘just put one foot in front of the other for, like, ever’. The letter expected. GP contact from the life of a colour chart (dulux); oh but I was never a list maker. In poetry as in life Adrian. Colours come as sounds, smells and feelings. Poetix of lists, the. Brothers Karamazov’s Grand Inquisitor. What we take on over years and share (some of it); what we keep to ourselves. Calmness; unexpected, gentle. How precious the soul is I know. How hard to visualise (!); a slow, calm, gentle interference. Welcomed. Whitworth park in the morning, crossed. Curtains opening. The recommendation ‘new meds plus mood stabiliser’ now feeling like old news. Opening an account: a complimentary hold-all. Pure rainbow morning over Manchester; Salford, the north-west; the world. Know it. Know that not carrying on will not happen. Birds sing. I taste red, yellow, blue, and green on my tongue. Hear the same. Talk to the grass. The park, opening up before me, I Joggers going round and round and round is The memory of a face that will be seen again sometime, though differently then, is The Fall being just not as much fun as Pavement, though for strange reasons hard to admit, is Old people complaining is The reflection of the sun on the ground ahead, you’ll be passing over soon, that is Feel the air in. Outside. The world. Vistas granted as nature. I remember you, you bullshitter ha ha ha [which only I can call you]. Starting work to a depressed brain. No model of grief. So natural because as moods cycle so does it all. Keeping going; systematically; putting one list in front of the other. The advice is, as always, be a cloud, Bruce Lee. Contact continues consider ‘running down the hill’ [no four hundred and fifty quid expenditure, there]. Buzz Cola, Ron. The air. Pun on Kate Bush song titles in poetry [annoyingly self-referential]. Get energy from somewhere. Remember, whatever’s been taken on or has happened is done now. Socks off. Grass and soil beneath. Vitamin D. The sun up. Malkmus knows what the sun up’s like. Malkmus knows plagiarism and has no qualms to plagiarise. Like water. How displaced water will then resettle. Trees offer succour. I will run there all the way and I will run forever as stars explode today. Exploding into blinding energy. Into nature, life, the world; and love 37 years set up against 6 or so months is My favourite thing ever being live music [as once you said] is An epilogue being a prologue being an epilogue being a whatever is Poetry is Walking to work with my eyes closed at half six in the morning, just the wind guiding me, is
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