Cologne Cathedral: The Asylum Sleeper

I will close my eyes
and wait for them to ask why
I am not hopeful sleep will have a chance to infect

Before one of them whispers in my ear

Because this home is never empty

I am a refuge

for their fantastic pulsating bodies persistently animated
even in the silence of prayer
walking room to room
burning holes as they go
they think I am immune to pain
they think of me as their building
I have no skin

therefore I gain no bruises

I watch them hour after hour door open and closed
the hair, the eyes, the lips all the same

but each voice different
some complain and others beg and pray

but I never shout back
not a word, not a sound
they know I hear everything
when my candles flicker and light echoes

they can offend and blaspheme
and fight each-other
then loiter around my tombs trying to find me and declare asylum
then fall asleep on my lap
even then my lights stay on

outside their flags and posters pollute the skyline

the air is dirty with hatred, yet still
I manage to exhale and stay upright
the strong one at a funeral

I am their godfather
the first guardian on the reserve list with thousands of children
I treat each one equally

when my candles flicker and light echoes

they think they are safe

I will still be here waiting up

I will not turn out the lights at night when everyone else gets to retire

I am sorry
they have forgotten about my entrance fee

I am sorry they cannot bear the thought

of touching each others palms
and I am sorry I am ready for bed now
I want lights out
the candles that surround my corridors are seducing me

out of consciousness

they want to cradle me
and slowly swaddle me in smokey ribbons

blankets as thin as wafers

promising to keep me hidden
with curtains drawn I can sleep

and I know seekers will knock on my doors

With their questions and justifications

But I will sink further into my bed

their chants will be mere lullabies

I will be the asylum seeker

safe within my concrete walls

burrowed in the highest steeple

Unsure of the sound of my voice unsure if I have a voice
I would ask so many questions
why do you crave protection?
why are you always cold
and wrapped up in your coat of arms?

why must I watch your demonstration

when you can choose
to see me or turn your gaze and ignore?

I would also give thanks for your noise and distraction
because at last my nave is clear

and I can search and pry until I see what my voice looks like
the bells of St Ursula and Peter

the caves of the pinnacles and spires

the beating organ of the swallows nest

humming still until the next song

my voice is the shrine of the three kings it is medieval gold
and Richter’s stained glass rainbow my voice is a floodlight

and it has fallen onto its old face

rattled by harsh intolerant winds and anti-islamic gales
the candles cannot find their wicks

and they mourn for each human whose voices

were once melodies lengthly democratic songs
the tunes came from east and west north and south

illuminating the other side of the Rhine

and we remember when you imitated my stained glass window
with a gallery of nationalities

until you didn’t

I Want My House

“When I’m inside my house

I am funking and I’m doing it alone

The music is just a beat

No voice will interrupt

Because it’s my disco I will funk until I die”

Damn it I want my bills to be paid for

I want my lights on full beam

I want to be naked

On the coffee table

I will Indulge in a hilarious game

I am in a gallery

And I am the masterpiece

‘Madame Mystere, Flesh on Four Legs’

I want all of the windows to be open

Oh feel that Italian breeze

Breathe in deep

Fresh espresso

I never want to sleep again

I want to funk out on the coffee table forever

Poor young Alice

An Alice in adolescence

Her breath was stolen

Her heart punched in the face

 

A gust of wind was the culprit

One effortless blow

And down went Alice

Down into the dark

 

It wouldn’t have tried its luck

If she were older

But her youth made her light

Like the piece of thread

that attaches itself to the awkward creases,

and crevices of your trouser leg

 

All it takes is one,

one aggressive brush of the hand

And it falls down into the dark

It’s on the gravel and insignificant

It’s a motion that will never qualify

for a place in your precious memory

 

Poor young Alice…

Light blonde thread in the wind

she cannot stay outside long enough to study
those beautiful lines in wise faces

For the moment they see her

she falls, and she fades

A Brush of Hot

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In a recent and overdue clear out I came across my old art folders and sketch book. Whilst flicking through the mass of artist studies (a worryingly obsessive mass) I stopped on my study of Jean-Michel Basquiat, I stopped because my inspired piece gave me a sudden urge to write. I didn’t know what was going to come out, a story idea, a poem, or just a few dead end sentences but I had to write! (evidently) I ended up producing the slightly surrealist poem ‘A Brush of Hot’ (with a coincidently appropriate name for the heat of the moment nature in which it was written).

A Brush of Hot
Acrylic based, I love the
hungry egg white glare, look
right there, waving his arms at me
a red sky morning in his three finger warning
oh, there it goes
fire fire glow
oil based veins must hurt, tears surely leak
let that pain stain into the background
give in, be weak
Wave, wave, wave
but no one wants to hear you
ever so clear, why the smirking halo?
you know you should be fuming
at such a contradiction, fuming
because disproportion was just decided
that’s it, no consent
oh dripping mess,
look at you, waving around pretending
you’re hell bent!