One-stop angry birthday poem

LOVE has gone off to fetch what you wanted

whether you’re tired or not, even if you’re asleep LOVE will wake you up snarling and

start bitching at you about why you’re spending your time on youtube looking at

baby manatees sneezing and dogs talking in Canadian voices

[which they’re starting on in universities now

which is a good reason for getting OUT while there’s still time]

LOVE has, like I said, got other plans that have to do with being angry and spitting blood and missing people you barely know and countries you’ve never been to under high plains or deep polar stars.

and like I said, fetching you what you said you wanted like a Halloween chemist with a fridge full of needles and fever creeping round the foundations and a wipe-that-smile-off-your-face smirk

pain, nausea, a six-month headache not touched by aromatherapy and iron bars between you and the night that don’t even dissolve with wine

like they used to, to go back and befriend that girl you missed without knowing, before LOVE came looking for you and smashed up the house you were born in

its been twenty-eight years since you had nothing to spend your birthday crying about and now when your mother comes to visit you’re not sure who bakes for whom

or should or whether you get to glory in creation if you don’t glory in yourself

but because you have LOVE you are still angry which is the greatest glowing technicolour gift of the ineffable all

it’s keeping you off the drugs, cycling without stabilisers, with your feet in the air as you piss yourself down hills

and giving you a silver tongue at the great spelling bee

and making you so hungry you’ll steal to eat.

so you’re not reading enough books anymore

you’re not reading any

you’re burning them nightly when the shivering starts

you’re slamming out chords on a borrowed piano and laughing in the open in cafes alone where children watch you singing like a gospel space-angel

because you are determined not to edit anything, even the real moments starting now


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