Sometimes You Belong
You've been laid up in hospital wards
sickening for the wage-prompted smiles
or genuine care of nurses, Nigerian
or Filipino, you belong here sometimes.
Sometimes you belong
and the strip-lighting no longer reminds you
of the naked skies, the sun.
Sometimes you burn your skin
knowing only barricades,
no less a borderline between
the space without,
the space within.
Sometimes the footsteps and the callings
are monastic echoes, sometimes an aerial
in a lightning storm might be liberating.
Sometimes from the font of a bucket
detergent is swept cursive on the floors;
you can will its smell to lavender
and the colour of the walls doesn't matter anymore
for in the end everything
is either white or invisible.
Roadrunner & Coyote
Then the day comes it no longer makes us sad
looking back, remarking upon the covered ground,
that we just ran, called ourselves cosmopolites
ignorant of the terror of our tourisms
the protean fantasy
Alice and the Red Queen, perhaps,
or Roadrunner and Coyote.
History in the Phosphors
You always wore black, I observed,
four years of passing you in corridors
on checkered floors,
sometimes I'd want to say
but I never knew you.
You'd always fade.
Then I came to be with you
shivering by the Thames
at room temperature
listening to waves,
calm echoes of the embryo,
or sharing ice creams
of cookie-dough and cinnamon -
the obsidian beyond your innocence
the horizontal cries for help
along your wrist.
Why are you scared?
What do you fear?
Why and from whom do you run in your dreams
into the safety of the otaku world?
You couldn't answer. You spoke
as a neonatal lamb would walk
and not really needing to speak at all
for your dark clothes were language,
whispers chosen from a wardrobe.
And by black light you radiated
in the phosphors.
The Story So Far…
I've heard Spanish mumbles between motel walls,
I've heard drains pretend to be Koi ponds,
I've read the time from a Seiko diamond watch,
and had a pony bite my hand.
I've had the pleonasm of an A4 page
and shrunk my feelings into SMS,
I've felt lonely and I've felt fulfilled,
felt naked and camouflaged.
I've had the headache of halcyon streets,
swam fully clothed in Kentish lakes,
worshipped at the Other Temple, have witnessed
my hairline recede like a religious faith,
I have lived beyond my means,
longed for meaning beyond this life,
I've flashbacks to a strobelight flickering
in binary of blue and black
had the comedown of two a.m. ambient tunes
feeling loved-up, befriended, and somehow lost.
I've felt fear before a long haul flight;
I've known what it's like to want to hold
that person who will never requite.
I've missed opportunities, kicked myself.
I've tasted chicken Malaya,
talked football, laughed,
promised "we must do this again".
And never did.
James Garry: My name is James Garry, 25, from London. I am a psychology graduate and I currently work in a library. I especially admire the poetry of Derek Walcott and Hugo Williams.
James Garry Christopher Barnes Jennifer Thompson Tom Savage Sam Vaknin Dave Ruslander S. Simpkins Maggie Zhou Maria Claudia Faverio