Time Is Not Real

1990

 

Walking through a sunny door glistening

With pockets bulging

3.5 inch floppy disc –

Daddy 6 inches deep.

 

Treasure traded for sunlight –

You know the rules for 

Big Girls’ Blouses

 

So I’m holding a figure of a snake in my palm

Catching it in the sunlight of my pencil set.

 

It’s Sunday and I’m kicking a football high –

& higher up into the air – is someone there going to see?

 

I walk next door & through the fence

passing the stinging nettles, careful not to meet my death.

& along the plank where I was tied

To grow inside bound to a pole of four by four

 

In their house now, I struggle to breathe

The heat of an Irish roast dinner.

From the smears in the windows I see –

Death to beige vegetables

 

And I too want to die.

 

But I find a totem of the ordinary – a figurine of the familiar

Secretly kissing I take him up to my treehouse to look at the tree

That almost crushed my mother in the hurricane of 87 or 89?

 

How could this come to be?

 

I walk on and its summer

My friend and me we try to kill bees

Clunky with buckets of water, smiling.

And mother is laying like a child

Kicking her red toe nailed feet happy in the air. 

 

A perfect breeze – the neighbours’ sax plays melancholy over the trees

 

Everyone goes home in the end.

So sad I scratch Come Back to the dinner table

With a safety pin I could bind my fingers in.

 

It’s winter now and we’re ill and dying.

I think it might be Christmas or something.

No one came to visit –

There’s a trail of snot like breadcrumbs to rescue the three of us from each of ourselves

 

I don’t care though as I saw the cobwebs in my fathers shed and that was enough.

Him drunk spilling petrol into the lawnmower willing the turf to wither and die

 

He’s dead himself now –

Yet I like to think these are small gifts to me.

 

1995

 

me knowing how to climb over the bin

and break in – to get my bike

and ride off

as I had a job and needed wheels.

 

it’s okay –

this isn’t a sad song or anything.

but it did break my heart

climbing over that fence,

on the bin and letting myself

in.

 

fresh clothes, nice lawn,

treehouse dead

my childhood gone

chalk smeared from slate.

 

I spat on the saddle, rubbed myself in.

 

1999

 

bold speed blossoms as I watch the turn of the seasons

for the first time

alive and aching with miraculous drugs

dripping-off coma 

and drawing – really drawing and that being the education of Art

private drawing – not sleeping –

 

and sinking and hearing my mother drunk and always almost dead.

when I bring my first girlfriend home to wear a condom

even if mum said it’s born from cling-film

and that girlfriend being truly horrified and me thinking

she’s being quite normal really.

 

and riding around suicidal in the backs of cars

on speed binges looking for a perfect spot

in the countryside well away from the law

where we could talk under the stars –

and grow

 

into what it is now I can only remember.

 

 

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