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a collection of poems by Kyle Downes
The “Shakespeare” Trilogy
who knew the old man had so much blood in him? Behind the gravestone we fucked the earth still fresh beneath our backs The irony probably would’ve been lost on the old bastard “Over my dead body!” he used to scream (he never thought we’d take it literally) And Mum, she took the pictures down from the wall and burned them, imagined herself rising with the flames. “Please Dad; I’ll never do it again, just don’t…” tired, of the screams at night of the broken glass, drunken words of anger (THUMP!) of hiding under sheets (THUMP!) and under beds (THUMP!) praying that it will stop (THUMP!) stop (THUMP!) STOP!!!! who knew the old man had so much blood in him? I can still smell it, feel the warm flow of his life, see it blossom along the garage floor, collapsing on the ground, cold like the gun in my trembling hand like the sweat that paints my body like the sound of metal on flesh like the black night air, like my mother’s hand on my shoulder, like the lies she whispers into my ear the wet grass beneath my skin desperate to take refuge in the night tears streaming down my face, screaming for mercy, discharging my sins into her, each thrust cold metal against warm flesh. They say an orgasm is like death
the serpent underneath the first thing i remember? butterflies; in the field, butterflies(?) like leaves, littering the ground, hanging in the air, floating, graceful then nothing hands inside, outside, scolding… butterflies, sweet, innocent, colourful like broken glass (NO!) like flowers, yes, flowers, fresh flowers then hands inside, outside, someone screaming (me?) “no, no, no…” NO! the butterflies! but they are gone and I am (gone) alone in red-tipped field of green glinting in the harsh artificial light laid bare before prying eyes the coldness in my soul mocking the burning between my legs
on the knocking at the gate (confessions of an empty shell) So I can't write anymore, but that's okay, I don't think I ever could, just pretended so you all thought i was something, special oh well, not even Houdini could escape forever. But I keep on writing anyway, hoping something clever will slip between the cold lines, of prose and weak rhymes, space filling rubbish about love and life, “you’re a poet, be creative!” am I really that good at faking?
One Word – Angst
insert angst ridden name here I’m sitting in the theatre watching the couple in front of me doing everything in their power to ruin the show staring lovingly into each other’s eyes as if they’re the only two people in the world. I want to stand up and scream: “Reality check, people! Take a fucking look around!” and love? it’s not all wine and roses it’s a hurricane it enters your life and fucks up everything leaving you empty and broken The woman I’ve been fucking for the last ten years just left me for the love of another guess I should have grown tits irony, you son of a bitch (is angst even a real world?) suicide’s a cop out if you're gonna go at least take someone with you a last fuck you to that bloke who looked at you funny, spat in your face for fun, pulled your pants down, and sucked you off. It's the last blow that stings the most. and the kid at school who stole your dignity and sold it on eBay for a measly ten cents (irony wins again) or the crowded bus shelter with the smokers, dopers strippers, hookers and undercover cops pretending that you fit in desperate to fit in even here
too late you realise you forgot to leave a bullet for yourself
Brie’s Song “what would it sound like, if you wrote a song about me?” she asked, head tilted in that cute way that cuts fire to my heart her stare roaming about my soul peaking into the rooms to see what she finds some truth perhaps or worse… “I could never do it” I say for lack of a better answer an excuse not to dwell on my doubts doubts that I could do it doubts that she would like it doubts about my doubts Doubting Thomas would be proud (stupid bastard) so I’m taking a crack at this instead poetry… what a joke should have taken the effort to write you a song any song rather than this I’ll start with your eyes a good place to start “into your soul the window’s clear” you asked me if it was that obvious I smiled and a gentle green washed over brown, a slight lift in the mouth and tilt in the head and your hair? red like fire fire need I say more? I think it’s the softness of your face, the warmth of your body against mine, the way your breath sends ripples over my skin the taste that lingers long after you’re gone hidden in the cracks of my teeth
the base of my mouth “why do you love me?” I couldn’t answer that then I doubt I can now it’s like asking why B goes to C it just does it makes it whole complete I know its boring and clichéd but God if I can’t think of something beautiful beautiful like you sometimes I see us ten years from now in a house by the beach running naked along the sands making love under starless sky my skin burns when I speak your name I need you more than the air I breathe I once called you my song but I know that you can never be owned like a fire you rage, controlled but wild, burning those stupid enough to stray inside your path but comforting those who keep close huddled together from the winter chill “if you wrote a song about me what would it sound like?” Life don’t preach to the converted why must it always be your fault when fate reaches into his bag of tricks, and finds his favourite water pistol? just because you put yourself before me and your life in front of mine, just because I cannot see why you should be behind me in the line of life winding towards a fiery end. maybe,
you feel lost without someone to blame, if so, blame me, for if I didn’t exist, there would be no problem. or blame god, or jesus, or allah, or fate, in its infinite spin. but never blame yourself, for things beyond your control and never accept fault, when it is not your own. now that the preachy shit is out of the way, what say you and me, forget about tomorrow, and just dream about today?
on listening to billy collins if I could capture brilliance I would throw it onto the page pin it down and beat the shit out of it until it spilled forth its secrets projectile vomited its wholeness into my soul sometimes I feel I can take no more but still I sit hoping against hope that a gentle seed floating through the air will gestate in my brain and spread its roots deep down into my core into my heart and rip forth something wonderful, like child birth – only without the pain night whispers I never sleep for fear of waking, far away, in someone else's arms, in someone else's life, with someone else's cares. "mi corazón es el suyo," she whispers, her tourist's accent soft in my ear. I try to tell her that we're no longer in Spain, no longer 24 and young and carefree, but instead i just smile, and whisper back, "sé mi amor." i know... “Johnny, stop fighting with your brother,” we’re older now, slightly, though still young and naïve with dreams of family and fortune. It was not to be. and now her eyes, once so intense with blue, like a raging storm, now float in a sea of haze.
I never sleep, for at night, the barriers in her mind close down and clarity and life, once so vibrant, again burns fiercely behind her eyes. I never sleep, for I know by morning, she will be gone again, to some distant shore and down a long-forgotten river, past empty houses of names long gone, beyond all hope of return, even if she knew the way. I never sleep, for fear of waking alone. a conversation between two people This story doesn’t not take place in a galaxy far, far away though some days it may feel like it. Nor is it a distant star populated by over-gaseous life forms vaguely resembling cows. No, our story takes place, as most stories do, on Planet Earth. No, this is a much simpler story. It involves, like every good story, a boy and girl. Or perhaps a man and woman or maybe no one at all. But for your sake it shall be a boy and a girl. It begins; he, “jeez, the moon is bright.” her, “it is.”
“Oi, you here whatsisname got married yesterd’y?” “oh, really? Not Frank and Julie?” “No, no, the fat one who used to masturbate over your yearbook picture.” “Oh, Johnny.” “Yeah.” “I wonder what he’d say if he knew I’d done the same over his?” awkward silence he does a quick two-beat shuffle; “so…umm…want some pizza?” “Oh, Johnny, Johnny…” “Don’t do that!” “Johnny, oh. my. god.” “fuck you, that’s not funny!” she pauses… he looks down at his (her) shoes… “Jeez, the moon’s bright tonight, innit?”
for alex – oh drunken philosopher you never believed me when I told you I loved her “you can never love anyone more than your mother,” I wonder if I just imagined your sly smile, through internet wires as you questioned the structure of my relationships. Well, let me tell you about her then maybe you can understand. Where to begin? she’s five one sixteen and absolutely beautiful. she jokingly refers to herself as a fire faerie, the joke being in the irony of joking, for there is no other way to describe her. One moment warm and caring, the next fiery and passionate. We do not fit together, so much as melt into some amorphous form indistinguishable in shape but whole in purpose. We are two drops of dew on a leaf freefalling towards the ground. Yes, she fucked me over, but somehow I’m not mad. she led me on, strung me so tight I could have snapped, used me up and sucked me dry, then told me to go slow. But still, I am not mad. For a part of me saw it coming, and didn’t do anything to stop it. And more than anything, I need her, like a poet needs clichés. she’s my safety net, my insurance policy,
my refuge. I am her escape, but she is my prison. I am eternally trapped, but I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be. j’adore tu, ma chère, pour toujours et toujours So, as you sit there on the other side of the world, with your whiskey and PhD, your never ending well that has slowly run dry, can you see through my eyes? you told me she was beautiful déjà vu, suddenly you’re me and I’m you, punch drunk on cheap words and philosophy, telling you to grab her and never let go. you can take what you want, but want what you take so, doctor, it’s it you or me who’s really insane? Either way, I guess I’ll see you once again, out on the D-train. home for the holidays home for the holidays, star gaze, as drunken carollers roam the streets bellow: “deck the halls with gasoline,” sweet dreams, baby, and maybe in the morning, we’ll forget the dawning feeling of ending, unwinding and bending towards some deep wound never mending, torn horizon bleeding out silver bells, while Contrary Mary of Donaldson Dairy sells cockle shells under speakers killing Jingle Bells, and reindeer masquerading as dwarves, trading roses for guns, beer for cum-stained sheets and a warm body, somebody find me, I’m lost without knowing, or caring, I need someone to share in this feeling that the sky
is an open door and the floor is just an unanswered question do you love me anymore? faith departed begin transmission... dear world the end is coming. there will be no fire, no ice, no great wall of ocean. our stupidity is killing us. our loneliness, our selfishness. doom, doom, doom, doom, doom. much love, insomnia
dear peter, I’m sorry I don’t write anymore, but I have been terribly busy. my latest creations have abandoned me, yet another failed experiment. I fear it is not to be. I’m so lonely. not even my own son can look me in the eye. regards, God dear God, so sorry to hear of you predicament. have attached a photo of our seven wonders of the nuclear age and a small vanity basket. also included a small supply of anti-depressants. hugs and kisses, the inhabitants of Earth
to the inhabitants of mulberry court, we regret to inform you that under our new policy, your lives have been declared void. you will be terminated by midday. we are sorry for the inconvenience. have a merry christmas. many happy returns, the federal government
dear uncle frank,
aren’t the stars so beautiful tonight? I lie here under the stars and remember when you took me and john out to this very spot. I remember making love under the stars. he told me he’d be there forever. he never saw the accident, his life snuff’d out, out... so alone your loving nephew
dear uniting church, thank you for providing your grounds to our youth group. me and my fellow Satanists sure do appreciate you letting us use the holy alter for our sacrifices and all. i once again apologise for the mess, and father ian’s heart attack. he really should have asked what SYA stood for. wishing you the best Luci
dear midnight lover’s hour, you bear no fruit for me. my arms are far away, my body lying empty in an oversized bed. my heart bleeds out my mouth, spilling on my page. fuck you, writer’s block to whom it may concern, it is not the distance that kills you it is not the loneliness that haunts you it is not time that breaks you it is not love that keeps you up at night it is not god cracking jokes or satan claiming souls it is simply an overactive mind, and far too much to drink fortune unto you, confucius
dear whoever never forget me. do NOT forget me, you sons of bitches. drinking your wine, fucking your wives. do not forget me, I am the knife in your side and the blood in your pool. I am the slime on your teeth. I am yours. anonymous
dear reader you see all the bad and all the good. you deconstruct my life through microscopic eyes. am I worthy to be blessed with your presence? am I worthy in your sight? or are my words too honest for your eyes? my eternal love, kyle downes
ps dear brie all my words mean nothing. only you know the meaning behind the mask. only you. forever and ever amen. I love you. end transmission
farewell (drunken musings of a pissed-off albino)
and the dish ran away with the spoon... Stop thinking so much Stop thinking so much \ break ho, ho, ho its nearly Christmas; according to the two-fers in the stores and the small, pansy trees in the park playing dress-up and make believe. sideways I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, not this same monotomy of sand, surf and fun. Holidays!? bah, humbug. Give me a bag and a gun, two shots of whiskey and a small heart-shaped chocolate, that’s all a real man needs! timewarp but really, why do we hide behind empty facades and plasticine masks? we are not the ones in the marksman’s sight, we are stuck between the arrow and the always petty philosophy of a punch-drunk pissed-off albino, we are all human we are all human dancer
come dance with me, by the sea, buy the see, to see what he could see and all that he could see see see was the bottom (ha, you said bottom) I’m not drunk, I’m just fucked-up, MPD, schizo, bonkers, nuts like snickers, nuts like a bag of peanuts. one car short of a parade one monk shy of an orgy one priest shy of a paedophile God would appreciate the irony, if he weren’t rolling in his retirement super and singing killswitch songs at the top of his lungs. you never told me where to go, so why do you seem so surprised when I walk into walls? Merry Christmas, fuckers, I’ll see y’all on the flip side.
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