First Person Singular

From my Mass Observation Notes 12th June 2017

I am both fully awake and in pain at seven-forty AM
I am now learning a new word – Imprimatur
I am feeling a rough poem coming on
I am taking the rake of our stairs with care
I am making two teas in the fitted kitchen
I am climbing the stairs with two mugs of tea

We are drinking cooled tea in our double bed
We are discussing how much the day will cost

I am reading the headlines on my smartphone
I am now stiffly rising from our double bed
I am now stood showering
I am singing loudly to Clair from the shower
I am checking my emails as I dry my body
I am dressing as Clair showers and talks
I am listening to Clair’s words
I am listening to Clair’s tone of voice
I am watching Clair dry herself
I am telling Clair that I love her more than chips
I am leaving our house in a sudden rush
I am walking with my stick to the high street
I am at breakfast with four other husbands
I am ordering a Full English Breakfast and latte

We are talking about last night’s comedy show
We are talking about imported lawn mowers

Glen is now paying for all the breakfasts

I am walking back to the house on my own
I am now stopped at my favourite park bench
I am on my smartphone checking my emails
I am now standing up and turning to home
I am now back at my emptied-out house
I am suddenly greeted by our small dog
I am walking the dog up and down roads
I am sorting the recycling bin on the drive
I am lending Otto my Karcher pressure washer
I am walking up the garden to my shed
I am sat at my desk in my shed
I am sending and receiving emails on my PC
I am doing kid management on my smartphone
I am redesigning Cars3 experiential space for Goodwood
I am re-rendering FatBoy Slim’s DJ booth in Lumion
I am reading a new brief for a design to be completed today
I am walking slowly from my shed on uneven slabs
I am eating a rushed lunch of cold beans and toast
I am walking back up the garden to my shed
I am being hassled by clients by email on my smartphone
I am Whatsapping our kids to sort childcare tonight
I am opening my shed door and stepping up with care
I am sitting at my high desk whilst waiting for a reboot
I am listening to The Archers whilst working on my PC
I am hassled by another text on my smartphone
I am hassled by the wife to get to personal trainer at four PM
I am managing and meeting my design deadlines
I am rendering out 3D models in Lumion
I am designing an exhibition stand
I am listening Gardeners Question Time on Radio 4
I am making more more changes to Cars3
I am postponing the personal trainer on my smartphone
I am thinking about tomorrow’s poem

Clair is now back from her hair appointment

I am commenting positively on the change

Clair is setting me a countdown to theatre-leave-time

I am finishing what I can to meet my deadlines
I am now shutting down my PC

We are rushing to get out the house

Clair is driving our car
Clair is worrying about her mum
Clair is not saying much
Clair is filling up the car with petrol at Tescos

We are now in Eastbourne
We are watching the first half of the play
We are now sitting outside in the interval

I am watching a smoker light up

We are discussing the show

I am conscious that my legs are hurting
I am checking social media on my smartphone

We are now heading back in to the show
We are leaving the venue after the show

I am now stuck at fifty-three
I am now treated like I am eighty-three

We are looking for our car on the seafront

I am being driven home in the dark
I am trying to find out more about Clair’s feelings

We are now arriving home
We are entering the house in silence
We are being greeted by the dog

I am locking the back door
I am switching off the last light
I am climbing the stairs

We are now in bed
We kiss goodnight

She is turned from me

A Price to Moor

You have found
a preferred supplier
My observance
is contracted out

Small service
is true service
he said –
but for you
it was always in doubt

You took that
online attention
and confused it
with some kind of love

Now you live
in your house by a river
where mirrors
reflect your old doubts

I found your profile
beguiling
but then found
that you lied to us both

Serpentine Paths

Today wary Canadian geese
avoid paddling screams
from lido-blue rowing boats

finding cooler shade ashore
and rich landed pickings
among flat pressed patches

of lawns below London planes
where an hour’s respite
was snatched
by shade-hungry office bodies

A flaked Royal Parks bench
holds a mother and her boys –
silent with ice cream smiles

Here we share recovery positions
as both boys bum-shuffle
to their right – making an old man’s
space

I see what I will again see later –
strangers’ glances at unknowns
Now at her clothes – her veil

I built this park – in my working days
I planted most of her trees
and laid clean sand for her gallops

I should be able to name
more than London planes
as my known path takes me
to David in Fitzrovia

Pension Planning

When this gets real bad
and we will not see that –
not for quite some time yet

ten years was said to be
a good guide
Now half my path
left to that X-marked place

then it will be time to book
a Swiss or Dutch room
and neck a small glass

if my mouth still works

and find my best sleep
Do not live a whole life
less – that will kill me

Traveling Through

For DS

Soft disturbances by a welcome breeze
have woken me – along with crept daylight –
as my room’s weighted curtains dance

Rise – like Stafford – and write before
another day has been sucked of words
No slow verse
will earn me enough to labour to such

But on my back – my normality is a rush
of common complaints – not that difference
shown by my drags and drunken-ish ways

What would Mr. Sangster do in my position?
He would be up and rolling with his kids –
but then Mr. Sangster has secret superpowers

And another daybreak in my hand – as this device
brightens – clever sensors inside meet sunrise –
Another call to get up from my sloth’s slept pit

This ragged imagination of mine has risen
before my body – that is where errors are made –
too much thinking – William E. will expand

Lift Me

Cure me –
please –
of fatigue

If of nothing else – if you can –
without causing side effects –
leaving me somewhat replete

Climbing three runs of stairs
is now enough of a bind
to find me seeking out lifts

In this moment is my submit
to half-slept nightmares –
but I have to be awake to work

Lift me –
please –
from this curse

Before An Alarm

I am abraided at five AM
to another sung summoning
of loud bird light beyond
my night-bared sash panes –

but was thankfully deaf
in those dark hours earlier
to returning songs of drunks
on their way back from clubs

with their waved polystyrene
trophies of spilling chips –
that mayonnaise trail of fun
runs drip-drip-dripped away

Let me slip from this long itch
and find release from stiffness –
as it was in my lost night
of splendent working dreams

Instead – only a cooling rinse
under that wide shower head
and then a return to this bed
and cold emollient for my skin


 

Fluxus

My heated tears contain stomach acid –
piteous shit – feeling sorry for myself
having thrown my empty gut’s content
into the piss-plated Made in Italy bowl

They will not scar my face – we only fear
such long-term effects on our throats –
heightened instances of – that is enough
for now –

Sit with me as I pop my evening’s dose
of slowers and helpers – shaped as pills –
and pray they stay long enough to kick in
and get me through a night I need

I am still sucker-punched – struck as such
through this day – but needs must
so let me sleep and find a brief peace –
I am sorry Son for saying I want to end it now
It comes and goes


Stops

Another thirty-ish minutes of life
lost to indecisions
By my lethargy
By her rough mis-reckonings
of tightly wound watches
and bare clock faces

You will never get it back

Did I ever want it thrust upon me?
Did I ask for that rum half an hour?

You have no choice in time’s ways

That furled-up woman was also held –
stilled – by a sudden summer downpour –
without coats – they were anchored
as rainwater oozed into a tidal rush

down Crowborough’s shined tarmac
The butcher called out to them –
I’m taking the canopy down! A joke
I won’t buy pies from Him again

Under library clocks her heart stopped
for a few seconds – even her pulse –
and no breathing – nothing was working
But it was a mistake – merely a pause

Another thirty minutes of unaccounted
being alive will be inexpertly multiplied
becoming a whole day – a whole year
of slumbered nothingness
and then turned to sleep
once time is tamed by her old age