Thursday, 1 September 2022


I’ll think of you
in spray paint stencilled dreams
The star speckled sky
A chattering of skulls
A purple stippled butterfly
The cosmos, a blinking eye.
Your art will live on
Your heart will, too.
Do you know how much
you were loved?
So many friends.
The messages came through
in white and blue
‘Sensitive, kind, caring’
Your humour, passion,
Your intelligence and talent.
But let’s be real:
We knew your bad side, too
But was that really even you
or just something that possessed you?
One day:
I thought we’d sit and talk
Figure it out
Put those teenage years to bed
Pencil in the gaps
Pour colour in the cracks.
The last thing I said to you:
‘Next summer, things will be different’
And they will.
You died trying
Died making a change
Sketching a new life
Looking to a future that never came.
I’ll think of you 
when I hear those tunes
that connect us
Deeper than anyone knew
On silver stars
in spray paint stencilled dreams
I’ll remember you.


Thursday, 6 June 2019


I woke up to the same old dreams
Old wallets and Polaroid cameras
Old boyfriends and family members
Cats, dogs, lizards, hamsters
Fires, floods, blizzards, cancer.

I wake up from the same old dreams
Different boyfriends
Same old me
Same old hobbies
Same old junk
Same old never reading a book
Let alone writing one.

The sum of my parts is just trash
The sum of my parts is just ash.

I wake up with the same old dreams
Broken goldfish bowls
Broken wings on owls
Broken into houses

What’s the difference?

Don’t give up on your daydream
Don’t give up on your night screams.

I wake up in the same old dreams
Souls of people I used to know
You’re dead but you’re here
You’re famous but you’re here
In my dreams we meet once, twice again
I know I’ll see you in a month,
Stroking a rat,
Riding a cat,
Becoming a doormat.

I know no one wants to hear about anyone’s dream,
Not you
Not me
Not anybody.

I’m sober, asleep
yet high again
Your pupils, my pupils,
We’re both high here
We all float down here.

My heart runs away
And I can’t catch it.

I can never quite catch it.

Like a mouse on a string
it slips out of reach
Like my teeth on the floor
Like my hair changes colour
Like my cats change shape and names.

Nothing is grabbable
Nothing is tangible.

In my dreams I’m high on blame
My brain is in a dish
On a train,
Thrown against a window pane.

Another lack of ideas
Another wasted year
But the dreams stay the same.


Monday, 19 March 2018


Remember that time I came to you in casualty?

You’d had a seizure on the taxi cab floor

That was the last time I came to support you.

Then you supported me

at her funeral.

After that, we were done.

Remember you looked surprised to see me there?

Like I wouldn’t come.

Like I wouldn’t have run

to see if you were ok.

You couldn’t even remember passing out.

I was in bed when your friend called

I didn’t hear right,

Just went into panic and action

Forgot Uber existed

Got a black cab.

Sixty quid. I still resent that.

After eight years, it was like we were married

but we never were.

Later, I realised why.

Remember that student nurse?

She fucked up taking your blood

Your heart was racing

Like it had so many nights before

For different reasons.

I joked with you and calmed you down.

Remember that Asian doctor – how young he looked?

But it wasn’t him, young

It was us, old.

Was this a wake up call?

A sign?

Did it start to change your mind?

I remember

your clothes on the chair

you in a hospital gown – like Rick

Wires going in

Wires coming out of your skin.

Ok, I nicked that part.

You probably don’t remember

That I was wearing my fluffy jumper

with the lovehearts on.

I don’t wear it anymore.

We were so tired when we got out.

5am on those cold leather seats

Magic on the radio

Magic tree on the mirror.

Thank God. Relief.

We held hands.

We got home.

Now it’s just my home.

I still remember climbing into bed that morning.

I sometimes wonder,

did something in your brain change then?

Maybe that’s why everything got ruined

Maybe it wasn’t your fault

Or mine.

It’s easier if I tell myself

It wasn’t your fault

Or mine

It was just your brain


It was just that your brain got shook

Like your body shook after

Like everything shook after.

It’s still shaking.

A year has turned into two.

I’m still shaking.

Are you?


Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Japanese keyboard

If we scroll back far enough,
Can we be OK again?

Back among the lovehearts and lips. 

Your voice before we met
Your voice inside my head


But now you’re gone.


Thursday, 29 December 2016

Box set

I haven't watched a film for six months.

I keep saving up things for us to watch

But I can't face them alone

I can't face outside alone

Our private jokes without a home.

You'll never know

if Glenn dies under the dumpster

(he didn't, but...)

You'll never get to see crappy season 7

to find out if Negan is scary.

Well, spoiler alert, he's not.

You never got to finish your book.

Just kidding, you never read a book

You could barely finish a magazine in the loo

Without soaking it through

with the shower head and the curtain

not pulled over quite right.

I miss your soggy magazines

Complaining about overuse of shower gel

Complaining about things I would kill or die to have again

It felt like nothing at the time

But it was a life.

It was right.

Now I'm soaking everything through

And not in a good way.

And our cat on the landing gone, too

And my heart: dead, like the pair of you

Now all that's left is cat hair, crumbs and


I'm still waiting for the next bit to start.

When’s it gonna start?


Thursday, 15 September 2016


What’s worse than knowing I’m dying?
Knowing the dog will outlive me.
I can’t even walk him today
But in a month’s time
or a year’s time
you and he will go walkies and play
you’ll call to him,
call out his name
and I’ll still be dead.
The dog will sleep in your bed
The dog will lie in your arms
But at least I know the dog.
One day,
even that dog will be dead;
the dog that outlived me.
He’ll be buried in the garden
and you’ll be alive
breathing and laughing
with someone I’ve never even met.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Next door

I will remember you
The way you collected things
like I collect things
The cards and the memories
The religious keepsakes
Except you believed.

I’d always buy you angels.
A month ago, I found one I forgot to send at Christmas.
Next Christmas, I’d thought.

Every Easter,
Looking for a card with meaning
As I knew it meant something to you
And you meant something to me.

Do you remember all the times you helped me move house?
Carrying lampshades and cushions
With your packed lunch
and your Special Brew
You’d always ask for a posh glass.

Lost again with mum on the way home.
Another tale to tell.

Before that, were summers stretched out like decades
Crisps in the cupboard in your dining room
Cutting the grass in your garden
Your son was a brother to my brothers.

I remember you in bright purple
your clip on earrings
with glasses before your surgery.
That was classic Margaret.

I remember your sense of humour
How fucking blunt you were.
You knew your own mind
You were strong and kind
With no time for self-pity.

Your husband was killed the year I was born.
He has been dead as long as I’ve been alive.
I must have reminded you.

Did you know that you took us in on the worst day of my life?
You were there for me
For us
For my whole family.
You never cared who was right or wrong
You never took a side
You were the last person on earth
We all liked.

I’ll drive your car, now mine, to your funeral.

Still with the Virgin Mary on the dashboard
Still with St Christopher tied to the lighter.

And me
who has never believed in anything
I hope you got there.