Elan Valley

Percy Shelley’s house hid under the lake
And I quoted a line or two about sleeping lions
Stood looking out on the bridge
With you and your friends

Across fields we rambled
Looking for mushrooms with magical properties
I felt a deep and healthy fear
Looking at the vastness of the land

They ran chanting like Indians
Through the pine trees and down a slope
I couldn’t keep up
And for a moment you all disappeared

We stopped to fill a water bottle
At the stream I took a moment to think
That everybody should live
Quiet and simply, just like this

Talking about getting older
At last we walked through the heart of Elan Valley
And you said that Leonard Cohen captured how it felt
To be twenty-seven

Whilst looking silently at your face
I knew that I would never forget these days shared
And that this was one of the happiest moments
Of my life

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HAZMAT Suits

I’m sat in a cafe with my mother, there are newspapers spread out across our table and every single headline says something about how we’re all going to nuclear war. I look at the words ‘nuclear war’ and I look around the cafe, nobody seems to give a shit that we’re all going to be turned to dust any minute now. They’re just looking at their phones, chatting away to their friends, going goo-goo-ga-ga with their babies, eating their bacon sandwiches like usual. My mother has been trying to tell me something important, I can tell by the look on her face, but I haven’t really been listening. I tune in quickly to see if there’s anything good on mother FM.

‘Even when you were a teenager, you were totally obsessive with boys, calling up Billy every hour, crying down the phone, totally hysterical because you weren’t going to see him for twenty-four hours.’ ‘Nope’ I say to myself ‘just the usual rubbish’ and tune out again. NUCLEAR. WAR. NUCLEAR. WAR. NUCLEAR. WAR. Why aren’t any of them building bunkers in their gardens and buying HAZMAT suits like any sane person would do? ‘Look Mum’ I say, interrupting the white noise coming from her opening and closing trap and pointing to the headlines ‘nuclear war.’ She just looks at me, as if to say ‘yeah and so what?’ ‘Aren’t you frightened?’ I ask her.

I am frightened, I’m fucking terrified. Ever since that terrible nightmare I had. I could hear the bomb falling out of the sky like in cartoons when they drop the anvil over the cliff and then this bright white and green light went off so I couldn’t really see anything for a few moments. When my vision finally returned, all I saw was a wall of fire coming towards me in slow motion. I tried to crawl under something beside me but it was pointless. I slowly watched my outstretched fingers turn to ash right in front of me, then my wrists, then my forearms, then the rest of me. I felt my entire body be burnt to nothing until there was just a black outline on the floor where I once was. Then I woke up.

‘I lived through the Cold War darling’ she says with slight condescension ‘you just get used it.’ ‘Bully for you’ I say sarcastically, forgetting for a moment that she’s my mother and that society expects me to be respectful of my mother. ‘Sorry for not being used to the threat of total, imminent destruction of mankind.’ She drinks her tea and says nothing. ‘It’s just scary, that’s all’ I add in a soft, vulnerable tone. ‘Nothing will happen’ she smiles ‘and if it does, well, then we’ll be with God wont we?’ and then she finishes her tea and sits quietly, thinking about her God and about how blissful it would be to be evaporated by an atom ripping apart above her head so she can go hang out with her God in a field full of daisies. ‘Ok’ is all I say, because there really is nothing more to say to that, is there?

Love Yourself

The room is dark. I look down, my tits are lit by a bluish white light coming from the laptop screen. On the screen is two more pairs of tits, bigger than mine and more tanned. Two women are bent over, unclad, on their hands and knees on a mattress in a fancy looking room with huge windows. A naked man takes turns putting himself inside one of the girls for a bit and then the other. It sounds like they’re enjoying it, but they’re probably not. They’re probably wondering if their dads or uncles or old school teachers will one day stumble across their little faces, mouth open, spunk in the eye.

I paste Nick’s face onto the thrusting man’s body, I paste my own face onto one of the girls. He is not thinking of me as a human being but a human shaped, fleshy, penis-accepting object. I am an object, I am an object, I am a fucking object and then I orgasm. Every nerve, every blood vessel, every muscle in my body contracts and expands simultaneously for 15 seconds. My eyes open, the computer screen is suddenly very bright and is hurting my eyes. The three of them are still at it. ‘Stop it, I’ve had enough now’ I say to them and click the little ‘x’ in the corner of the screen.

Should I be ashamed of myself? I don’t know, maybe, probably not. That odd sensation I sometimes get, where I feel like I could cry for a split second after it’s all over, I put it down to catholic guilt. Wanking and crying, the classic combination. It’s all I seem to do these days. I don’t feel like crying tonight though, well not urgently anyway. I put my tits away and enjoy the last little echoes of pleasure before taking a deep sigh and picking up the self-help book I was reading before I got distracted.

‘Love Yourself’ the title reads in huge red letters across the front page. ‘I think you’ll find I just did’ I wink at myself. Myself, my other self, is stood in the corner, back against the wall, reading a book too and silently rolling her eyes at me. She doesn’t find this very funny. She’s a spoil sport. ‘Whatever’ I say to her ‘…just because you didn’t think of it first’ and I open my page to where I last left off and tell myself that everything is going to be just fine because this book is going to give me all of the answers I need and I’ll never be miserable or have to wank alone again.

Boxes

She threw the boxes,
In your flat,
And just left them there.

All those boxes,
All that baggage,
But she didn’t care.

Because she’s moving on.

Old mementos,
Faded photos,
They’ve sat there for years.

But she’s forgotten,
All about them,
Like she’s forgotten her tears.

Because she’s moving on.

You keep,
A single cobweb,
In the corner of the room.

To remind you,
Of the healing,
That you’ve had to do.

Because she’s moving on.

Games

A play on words,
With contradictions.
Complete denial of,
Fact and fiction.

The puzzle’s done,
The board’s been won.
The hangman’s hung,
You’ve had your fun.
You’ve had your fun and…

Games, games, games.
All you play is,
Games, games, games.

 
You roll the dice,
And move one space.
Snakes and ladders,
Poker face.

Complete confusion,
Just an illusion.
Egos bruising,
I don’t like losing.
I don’t like losing…

Games, games, games.
All you play is,
Games, games, games.

Games, games, games.
All you play is,
Games, games, games.

Trouble

Enough’s enough,
This has got to stop.
You might be tough,
But clearly I am not.

Enough’s not enough,
I don’t want to just be friends.
Every time we touch,
I need it again.

I’m trying to think,
I’m trying to think!
I’m trying not to think.

Trouble,
That’s all you are,
Just trouble.

Trouble,
That’s all you are,
Just trouble.

You say the only time,
You don’t feel sad,
Is when,
You’re fucking.

And I can’t figure out,
Does that makes me,
Unlucky,
Or lucky?

Now I need it too,
Now I need it too!
Now I need you.

But you’re trouble,
That’s all you are,
Just trouble.

Trouble,
That’s all you are,
Just trouble.