Night Sweats

Never write
about your sweated dreams
or sleep beyond each sunrise

You will not shake off
those fallacious night beads

There are no secrets left
in my head

And waking late
to such a foul mouth grog
does my humour no good

Good God
Do not listen to this shit

We ran painless and fluid
We were wanton again

Do not return to me
in my sheet-damp dreams

Takeaways

How shall I study
your offered body?
With intimate sight
through my fingertips

I shall measure your
almost-bare prospect
as a blinded map maker
set to plotting contours

Such thoughts ease
into my half-dreams
Each stroke takes me
by pathways on dips

then up to almost-chalk
landscapes of Downs –
stretched before slept travel
Before sleep’s other sights

Breathing Out

This is an interval, ein Augenblick
Philp K. Dick

Before your lake – we stood naked
and overconfident in such ease –
having lost our cold distrusts
in earlier bared dips and slow strokes

Your surrounding land is disconnected
through every minute by our staying afloat
as we mark our desire path of currents
with briefly sunken bubbles

Over that unmeasured depth of secrets
below my grabbable limbs
you whisper – again – of being taken
and my fear of drowning is reawakened

There is a dry patch on your neck
that emits a hazy whiff of chlorine
There are no known medical conditions
to explain your chemical sweat

You break the surface from your dive
as if expelled by buoyant hate
having brushed my shrunken parts
whilst playing with my sinking fears

It takes seconds for your eyes
to open – birthed in that brief ooze
of broken tensions – we have no rope
to pull us from our uncharted abyss

Not Undressed

Last night there was
an uncured intimacy
between three old lovers
of common threads
These damaged nights
are my fluid playground
of sex and rekindled
offset stuff – old urges
and displaced motives
which will take this day
to loosen off and unknot
from that second place –
reached far too early
when nightmares broke
whilst I was still dressed
and bound by my state
of delayed readiness
for those long night’s game
of subconscious plays

A Casting Couch

Again – a rolled-eye look upon you – a lost lover
in muddling dreams – with me as your interloper
who pulls at those fetters you forged when away//
We had made our tugged bonds in bicycled years
when curious games stopped at bare cliff edges//

My role in this slept future is as a limping outsider
writing cinematic recall of my much-dreamt scenes
between us// Ages ago – we shared flat beer and lovers –
rounded turns as we sunk our pounds into pints
and did low crimes before spread cathode light//

Back then we had fewer things to switch between//
None feature now in my sleep’s three-part act
of sweated sheets// Now our phantom presences
are acted by sleep’s bit-part reveries –
so close to the choices we made without a script


 

The Boat

His boat had seen action in the East –
the reek of cooled sweat met him –
not yet mopped by long-damp cloths –
Never dried enough to work well

so that his first breath taken underwater
faltered – his onshore training failed him
making him cough like that last fag had
as he carried his black kit bag

He crouched to find the right height
at which he was to live and work –
now his skimming on the waves
were inked notes on his service record

This is how it started – it’ll make him –
those hours of constant perspiration –
a hundred nights of coffin dreams –
and still yet to learn Jack Speak

From the Gift Shop

In the dream there were scatterings
of things you had bought and then kept

Small gifts from a trip which were never given –
a sprinkle of purchased intentions

I bent with ease to pick each one up
and being of sleep they adjusted
to become other things and other thoughts

On waking I re-assembled the slim moments
from yesterday that my slept mind had touched

– I had briefly looked at a snapped picture of you
from that shortness of unschooled innocence
that age when we inhabit a world so small

– I sat in the sun on a hard garden bench
with my awareness shrunk to that of children
into only considering that which I could see –
down to that hemisphere of no more than a step

– Momentarily I had thought about a family trip
That was a rarity then and more so now

– An ugly fly landed on my emptied plate
but there was a jewel’s quality to the intricacies
of the fly’s translucent wings and rolled eyes –
an emerald’s glint as it fed on microcosms

We no longer stride the globe of our forbears –
that inheritance which childhood soon sheds

Our interests and eyes wander too wide
and so we stop seeing into the eyes of flies

Saturday

The weekend recolours
into the red wine stain
inside my rip run gut

she takes me to sleep
under these weighty dreams

They vainly organise
all the light
into a Looking Glass

that hyper-realism of repose

in which I now struggle

as I do in the day’s slow death
of this reducing disease

The House My Father Built

I am still weighted by the dream
of a house being built
by my long-dead father
It wasn’t him – but some stand-in –
and the details in the windows –
where colour was etched to capture
the hills and home of deer
so that the past could be lined-up
with the correct view and angle

A small leak in the high roof
and paint trod into the carpet
and cut timber remained
and an improbable kitchen –
which we mentioned lightly –
and it was likened to a shooting range
He had been a good shot


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