I’m doing a gig with Howard Marks aka Mr Nice.
I made it ma
There’s a hole in the back of my right shoe.
I don’t get paid for another two weeks.
I walk from Shoreditch to Liverpool Street,
Cold hands and damp feet.
These brogues have seen much better days but I still haven’t thrown them away.
I guess I hold on to things I don’t need.
I keep letters and cards in a bedside drawer in a house where I don’t live any more.
I couldn’t tell you why.
I like walking through the city at night, ‘cause everything’s bigger than me.
Eyes dart up to the red light.
The only stars in this sky are man made and that suits me fine.
I appreciate them more when I find them.
I have a tendency to grow fond of things I don’t see all too often.
On my windowsill there is an empty bubble pot and a packet of Japanese sweets.
Someone gave them to me months ago.
I very rarely see him.
I once met a boy who told me he only believes he knows someone if he can recognise their handwriting.
I think mine’s changed in the past few years,
But then again,
So have I.
288 bus drives by,
Man stops me, asks for a light so I oblige.
He says thanks to the pavement,
Doesn’t look me in the eye.
My pockets are filled with receipts and filter tips,
Chewing gum wrappers,
Nothing of interest or importance.
Mum and Dad are retiring soon.
Gonna sell up and move somewhere open and green so they’ll want me to clear out my room.
There are dance trophies in the top of my wardrobe I haven’t seen in years.
My thimble collection,
China dolls and gold heart brooches my Nan would buy me on Valentine’s Day.
I never take the time to look at these things,
But I’d hate to throw them away.
I like to leave options open,
I don’t like to break connections,
I’m best friends with the only two people who have truly left me broken.
I hold on to things I don’t need.
Broken records and scratched CDs.
As I reach the station I step into a puddle and water seeps through to my sock.
I keep books of poetry I’ve long grown tired of,
Tickets to shows of no significance,
A promise he’s probably forgotten.
Steph always tells me how great my memory is.
Truthfully I can’t believe she doesn’t remember these things.
Like the lyrics of songs we made up in playgrounds about Mr Crozier or Mr DeCruz.
Or how we put pictures of famous dictators under Miss Holman’s door before form room.
I’ve still got all my old dance shoes,
Mixtapes and school notebooks.
The flower that Chris gave me one night walking back pissed from the seafront,
Mike’s United shirt,
Ben’s goodbye letter,
Champagne corks and knackered jewellery,
The dollar bill that Sean gave me,
Anything with a panda on it.
I get off the train at St James Street.
Walk the ten minutes of chicken shops and past the gym on the corner where the Incredible Hulk is painted badly on to the back wall.
Step in to another puddle.
I can never seem to find my keys.
Too much kept in bottoms of bags,
More things that I don’t need.
Fiddle with the key in the lock,
It always gets stuck,
The door’s fucked.
Make a cup of tea in a chipped, stained mug,
Take make up wipes from a drawer in my room filled with trinkets and mobile phones,
The bracelet Ben bought me when we were eighteen,
My nan’s old rings along with things I don’t even know why I’ve kept.
Needle down on to vinyl, it scratches on to passed down material,
LPs stolen from under the stairs,
Drink my tea in bed.
There’s teddies on the table beside me.
Chris and Mike got them for me on my 21st and 22nd birthday.
All the poems and pictures and puzzles Pete sent me sit in the third drawer down.
Keys stolen from hostels on the other side of the world,
Pictures of girls I haven’t seen or spoken to in years.
I turn off the light,
Settle down to sleep,
I can’t be sure why I do it.
Why I cling on to things I don’t need,
But a part of me hopes you might do the same.
As much as I’m sure you don’t need me,
I’d hate for you to throw me away.
There’s a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out,
But I’m too tough for him.
Recently, I swear, he’s been singing.
Sometimes so faintly I can hardly hear it.
Other times he’s behind my eyes.
Trapped between my thoughts and the air, the screens that fill these endless days with empty meaning,
He is there.
I lost my own voice long ago,
Along with uniforms, walkmans and innocence.
These days I am a mirror,
Reflecting whatever’s in front of me.
Jack once told me I walk in to rooms like I’ve got someone to see.
I didn’t like to tell him it’s more so that people see me.
That’s not confidence.
You can cower and hide behind people’s glare because no one will see you if you show them you’re there.
People are fickle.
And so am I.
I have spent nights finding someone to care, only to leave them in dim lit rooms or empty streets.
To descend in to shadows I have cast from demons made in times gone past,
I am afraid.
Time is moving too quickly for me and I don’t recognise myself some days.
The bluebird makes things better.
That faint dull hum in my chest.
I remember the life inside its beats and that it is only me keeping him in.
One day I will open the gate.
I will free his voice and mine.
I will look down the barrel of a loaded gun and come out alive.
Give everything that I have.
I’d give it all now if only I thought he’d give it back.
Maybe when I hear the song from his chest I’ll know it’s finally time.
Until then he has his bluebird,
And I have mine.