Matt Miller New

13 Feb

I realise this is breaking the rules entirely but I couldn’t see my last piece working for performance.

I wrote this instead. I realise its past all deadlines, but I’d rather perform this than perform at all, so really what I’m asking is, is this good enough to perform at the show?

If not, all feedback, of course, is still thoroughly welcome.

 

Dear Love –

You massive, roaring monster.

You unsubtle balling bag of sweat and wrong words.

You all encompassing bastard.

 

You are in the banana grin of my ten year old nephew

as he reaches up my sister’s leg for the Quality Street tin,

learning something new with every twitch of his muscles.

 

You bob in the rifles of soldiers and carpet bomb cities

and sometimes, now and again, you’re so there

that you make me want to punch kittens in the face.

 

You have lain on me like a shaking Doberman on warm mornings –

as I cough away sleep surrounded by groggy battered friends

made by convenience and kept because of you, watching bad movies

in a living room somewhere near Birmingham and laughing until the syrup sun sets.

 

You are in my inability to talk to my dad about my fear

of the prospect of his sudden death.

 

You giggled like a firework between the last smiling kisses I shared with SJ

in the waiting room at A and E while we waited for Martha

to get her wrist fixed after she’d lost a spacehopper battle with Tom.

 

I felt you squeeze my lungs together like stress balls

every morning and crawling afternoon for five months

after I came back home to bake myself in nostalgia.

 

Love you are in every A and E waiting room, I’m sure

and drift like exhaust fumes above every motorway pile up.

You are in my hatred of the shape of my own legs.

 

Dad spoke with you when he leaned into the bottom bunk

to read me The Hobbit and skipped past all ‘the boring bits’.

 

You are in every one of the thousand distant conversations

we have now that skip over the boring bits, feelings, ambitions,

and bee-line to coming premier-league season predictions.

 

Love you are in the pages of history books, peeking from between

the carefully constructed sentences that confuse multitudes

and glorify past mass killings.

 

You were in the eyes and mind of a toddler

who drowned his baby siblings in the bath because

mum was always asleep and he wanted them not to be dirty.

 

Love you are in the mornings I can’t peel my scabby self

from my bedsheets, not despite the fact that, but because I know

that so many people have so much of you for me.

 

Love what I’m trying to say is that sometimes

I feel so surrounded by you that I want to

chew out my own stomach and wheeze myself away

rather than comprehend your unfathomable enormity.

 

I have sat for days in my bedroom and watched you

ooze from every crack in the wall.

 

I have scavenged the house for empty jars in which to catch you

as you leak through the holes in the roof.

 

I have scoured the kitchen, wide eyed and heart banging

for pots and pans to fill up with your drips.

 

Love, I am running out of crockery and you’re all over my carpet now.

You’re getting caught between my toes and sticking them together.

 

With your wide hairy arms and wild grin

your breath sounds so much like fear

and there is nothing I have spent more time running from than you.

 

But now you’ve clogged the locks and won’t let me leave

without drinking your gooey weighty snot.

 

You’re reaching the neckline and I know I’m going to choke.

 

You’re opening the first floor window and promising that,

full of you, I’ll float to any pavement of my choosing.

 

Love I know you’re right,

but I will not let myself be another saucepan.

I will not empty myself for you.

I will not catch you.

I am not ready, yet.

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