15 x 22

I’m standing feet apart          believing the truth in my head
attempting to reach my brother         David Dave Dee D
         Enough of us overidentify as fundamental
      the movement refuses a fad        Raise your privilege
if you’re having a great time!        Our faces
are stuck between the barriers of a dream       save our future selves—
tomorrow’s children!     
I’ve been up rinsing my son’s favourite fruit
filling my jeep before for the big drive: I’ve turned notifications off
I’m trying to limit what I become                          wherever I go next
I want to remember.           Years back. In L.A             Hamza fired a gun
into the abdomen of paper             his arms a loaded tremble
           We’re the only species on earth with crooked teeth
laughing in our brand-new English                 Outside the abattoir air
stayed perfumed By now we’ve broken everything that didn’t need breaking
                  & I can’t stop
chewing on the city’s vein                   the same saline flags billowing in the countryside
over the post-war council estates             You wasted my dead’s habits & it’s only Tuesday
I’m scrolling & moving & every time it’s this—
            honeyed blood carrying the coffin towards a pulse

Endgame

at the close of capitalism catch me waving
my big flag at the show

a haircut inspired by Barthes’ coinage
                              gusts of life

senior ladies leaning out of windows
their imminent deaths a thing of the past

that’s me in the corner suffering conclusions
that’s me itching to sing my killers to sleep

leaving them supine & horny in a retro spa

All Together Now as if we were smuggling winter
into Dartmoor as if this were a collective effort to find

the oath I buried inside an organ

the magus knows my mother thought to smother
the hour I was born in             forgive me I’m reaching

beyond the pabulum for a straw man to leave my plasma
on                  muscled colonies so saccharine I could die

All Together Now as if we were the history of a pale body tanning in unison

it’s not life we want more of
                             it’s beauty

these days you can watch the world soften in high
definition

watch a man fire into a crowd until the man
becomes a government

my grandmother dug up the last of her savings
then went on to fill her purse

the cicadas are screaming to know
why I’m not pushing them away

why their singular music moves me to the point of vapour
the soloist dropped her golden plectrum down a drain

& the magus believes the future is undergoing

its final autopsy               perhaps that explains why
the highest grossing movies always contain
some kind of high-speed chase

& why most conversations between strangers
begin with the mention of weather

which in itself is a kind of light.

My Weapons Are Working People

Heat from my father’s chest North
London parkland sweating like ice
chocs a cranium of thick black hair
inflicting memories smoking slats of
anxiety tonight we’re here to weigh up
streets demanding justice as if each of
my weapons are working people each
politician repatriating trauma It All
Becomes Political went my father’s
rejoinder what I would add if I could
hold him the way I do these words on
a wooden stake but I never could say
what I felt man to man to woman
falling under our estranged selves
genders impaired our love dragging
what it was like to the headlines I read
another white telling us to go back to
where we once were alive before the
butcher’s apron a stint of bad science
+ tabloids erect with military men
lofts loaded with records your sweet
granddaddy probably hated us golden
oldies Union Jacks relics of a dirty
haunting how does a Luton fascist
relax on Christmas day follow that
logic through to banter when Tom
from school joked I should suck my
dad’s brown cock at home when I told
him he punched a hole through the
watercolours of his steak I ran quick
through Cable Street past Churchill’s
stone overseeing six rough sleepers
under the lights who each knew why
nobody ever stopped to ask them
what happened my brothers today
we’re all placards facemasks no amity
knuckles like hockey pucks feral
crows stuffed into rucksacks there’s
zero reward for whoever learns to fly
without their true name I’m still
looking for a place to park my sundry
blood my son in my father’s lap the
skin around his neck limper than an
outline of Saint Bakhita I’m behind
the museum tonight on the road
philosophy loses steam proximate to
my feet is the call for sand & isn’t the
future made up this way of people like
us becoming the history of the way we
tried to breathe

Subscribe to Five Dials. It's free.