Mabel

Her name was Mabel Cross
And she smoked cigarettes
Grey bloomed between her lips
And bruises wore her neck

She smiled at me once
When I was in the dinner line
And I spent three days replaying it
In the cinema of my mind

She kissed me there, in the real one
Halfway through the matinee
It was the saddest war film
We got heckled to behave

She made romance in the silly things
And love in every room
We fucked everywhere in her house
And on the grass below the moon

Chorus
Mabel
My baby, Mabel
I still think about you, hope you know
Mabel
My darling, Mabel
Why oh wow did you tell me to go?

She kissed me in the falling dark
With sand beneath our legs
I had on all my finery
Dress pressed and lipstick red

We tasted salt of open sea
And breeze tousled her locks
We spent the night under the sky
Collecting shells and rocks

She led me to the ocean
It was cold and froze my legs
She told me she would warm me up
But then kissed me instead.

I told her she’s my darling
And she said she loved me too
Perhaps that’s what this ‘being’ means
No one else, the world, and you.

Chorus

Mabel
My baby, Mabel
I got your text just thought I’d let you know
Mabel
My darling, Mabel
I’m in my car, to meet you I go

From the Sirens Who Fell in Love With the Sailors Instead

I’m hanging between your fingers
Like a puppet on a string
I’ll do anything that you wanted
I’ll do any goddamn thing

I used to stand still like the rocks
But the oceans were stronger than me
Storms came and waves hit
And now I lay in the sea

I’m brittle sand at the shoreline
Shape me into what you want
I’ll do anything that you wanted
You won’t believe there was fight in me once

And one day I will be happy
Underneath the sea
Let waves crash
Let storms brew
Above and beyond me

The rest rest with dirt past your elbows
And soil above their heads
While I’ll choke on fish bones
In my salty seawater bed

The ocean has made me a promise
A pact and a truce if you will
It’ll take me beneath folding waves
I promised it that I’ll behave

No turning back
No turning back

I’ve swam out quite a way now
My feet are touching the floor
You won’t find me my darling
You won’t see me anymore
You can’t rescue me this time
You can’t rush through the door
I’m opening my mouth now
The damage is already done
Don’t wait for me at the coastline
Listen, please, just run.

We Did Everything Together

[One of these days I’ll be brave enough to record these songs, but today is not that day so here’s the lyrics.]

My heart is empty
But my chest is full
My neck is bruised
And my wrist is pulled

I’m dangling from my sockets
And I’m bleeding from my eyes
My tongue is bitten, red and bloody
Throat is raw with cries.

I’ve never ached with sadness so
I fear I’m going mad
This house is so big without you
But you were all I had

None of these things are really mine
They were bought when you were there
It’s like I live in a graveyard
Or a long deserted square

I’m alone is what I’m saying
And alone is how I’ll die
Let my skin tear like paper
On a dangling washing line.

And that’s where they’ll find me
Rotting, hanging there.
They’ll bury us together
I’ll be quick enough, I swear.

Let me pick through the car crash
And lay amongst the wreck
I’ll take my prozac in the driver’s seat
And we can die the same death.

They’ll bury me in white
My hand buried in yours
Our eyes closed to the world
When they close the coffin doors.

Plant lilies by our gravestones
We liked them both the same
Engrave the marble pretty
And remember our names.

Isn’t that you wanted?
The death of you and me
That’s why you said you’d see me there
When we crashed into that tree

But you only broke my arms
And I woke up to see your face
I don’t remember screaming
But you didn’t look the same.

Heidi

[Wow I managed to write a song that wasn’t about a subject matter entirely horrendous. Unrequited love is more conventional, at least]

There are words between my lips
Words that I dare not say
I think of love and years
Of recalling yesterday.

I may be foolish but not stupid
Yes I fell in love with a ghost
I’ll try and purge you from my memory
Yes I’ll do my utmost.

Maybe that’s what sets me apart
From all the other guys
Who slept with you one winter day
And fell in love with your eyes.

They didn’t look away quick enough
They fell into a trance
And thought Heidi’s really lovely
I’m sure she’ll give me a chance.

No, me I know your power
I was out the door that night
I thought about you as I crossed the road
At the green traffic lights

You make my mind so silly
And you make my heart cry loud
But I know that it is fruitless
I’m just another in a crowd.

There are realms of guys who love you
In every town and every place
That you’ve ever graced your presence
In silken skirts, lipstick and lace

I’m really not that special
I’m mediocrity at best
Unexceptional to you
Yes I’ll fade into the rest.

Some days I think about you
If you’re cov’ring something up
That’s why you pick up people put them down
Like we put down coffee cups

Is there a hole inside your ribcage?
Where a broken heart does beat?
And a voice in your head that tells you
To throw yourself a thousand feet

I may not be as pretty
Or have the same way to cope
But Heidi please just listen
Just know you’re not alone

You deserve a nicer world
And you deserve a kinder mind
An inside voice as lovely
As the one you use outside.

I don’t expect one thing from you
Not a smile not a kiss
Oh I just want you better
You’d be terrible to miss.

The Rope You’ll Use To Hang Me

[As with another of my songs, this deals with the topic of abuse and domestic violence. If this is a topic that is triggering for you, I’d recommend against reading.

Also, just a heads up for anyone who knows me in real life and may be concerned about the content I write sometimes: my work is not all inspired by close personal experience. I have tried writing mental health poetry about my genuine experiences and it always feels too strange and personal for me to publish online. There are little pieces of truth in a few lines, and the overall feeling it the poem is often experienced by me at some point. But between grief and domestic violence, I am lucky enough to say I have never experienced either.]

 

You’re razors to my forearms
And a rope around my neck
You’re the wounds I keep inflicting
You’re always a step ahead

I post on twitter about my feelings
About the storm tearing me up
And next thing you’re in DMs asking if I’m up

And I hate myself for getting a taxi there.
I hate myself for knowing how I’ll feel the day after
And I hate myself for doing it anyway
And I hate myself in general today

He asks me where I’m going
I feel sick at your address
Your postcode on my lips
And tattooed across my neck

Like the rope you’ll use to hang me
Make it clean just do your best
If you ask if I’m alright with this
Give you a thumbs up and say yes

There’s a word for guys like you
And a word for girls like me
It’s written on the bathroom walls
Of our college and secondary

I wish you didn’t haunt me
And I wish I didn’t like ghosts
But you’re water in my lungs
And God, do I like to choke

But when I turn up
In your favourite black dress

My heart sinks to my stomach
And I fall in love again.

Your words are just so light and kind
Your scent like lemon soap
It’s hard to think you’ve been hitting me
Since we were thirteen years old.

It’s hard to think about the words you called me
A whore, a slut, a cunt
That my dad was right to beat me
That you’re not nasty you’re just blunt

And maybe I deserve it
This broken state of things
Cos I poison boys like berries
With all the pain I bring

And you’re only still here
Cos you built up a tolerance
I’d kill anyone else who knew me
I’m a cancer, a cholera

My tongue is flecked with toxins
And behind my eyes lay sin
You drag me back inside
When I turn and start running

A change of heart just isn’t right
When you got me up at ten
You tidied your apartment
Not that I deserved it then

But I’m gonna get what I came for
In heavy breaths or heavy fists
And so I choose the former
Always have, this always is.

Friday Night Mistakes

[while a lot of my poetry handles themes of mental health I feel this one may be particularly triggering for those with experiences of abuse and trauma, so if you have felt discomfort reading things with such themes in the past, I’d recommend against reading this]

I’ll get drunk, I’ll be naive
I’ll choke on shots you won’t believe
How familiar this all is to me.

This downwards spiral down to hell
What percentage’s this let’s take a smell
Yes, yes this will ruin me nicely.

Poison, bottle, down the hatch
The world is blurring what a catch
This whole ‘existence’ deal is

I want to scream I want to die
I want to drink I want to cry
I want you to give me a single reason why.

So kiss me hard ignore my no
Put your hand around my throat
Take me back to places I don’t wanna go

It’s your face I see but not your eyes
Is that a frown is that a smile?
Do you shout my name in anger or in rage?

The tarmac’s hard against my knees
Tear me up, I want to bleed
I want to know I’m real now.

I’m halfway here I’m halfway gone
It’s not just the alcohol
It’s the Elsewhere that has taken me so long.

You get it now you’ve cottoned on
I don’t know why it takes so long
For the shouting yes the shouting to start

Let’s walk away let’s leave the rave
Just beat me to an early grave
I’ll be quiet now I promise I’ll behave

Smile at the taxi man
I’m here enough I know I can
I promise babe he won’t suspect a thing

I’m not nervous please look past my shakes
Tomorrow I’ll cry for my mistakes
But the moon’s still up and the world is different now.

We get out here panic sets in
My heart hammers hard as you break my skin
I see myself fall apart on the floor

A broken toy a damaged good
I’m so fucking weak I knew I would
Ignore me please this crying isn’t me

Okay so maybe I don’t enjoy all this
But it helps me see beyond the mist
It grounds me, helps me, if you will.

Those words this blood it’s what I know
The cries, the pain – I call it home
So if you enjoy it I guess it looks like we both win.

I’m the drum you beat and here it starts
There’s an empty hole right in my heart
It won’t last long but for an hour I’ll feel full

No, I don’t know how it got this bad
Therapy and pills, six years I’ve had
But for the pain that’s left I medicate myself.

Summer Wine

A line of kisses down my front,
The stitching from my head to heart,
Where you live amongst the scarlet,
As if I knew you from the start.

Your skin’s the shade of fresh milk,
The top – the froth beneath the lid,
Spoiled, with bruises like,
The fruit the farm hands hid.

If your neck is peach your hair is lemons,
Squeezed for the finest lemonade,
Tart – not bitter – the colour of summer,
For dizzy dreams beneath the shade.

I lay beside the fallen trunk,
Delirious from pollen and drunk on wine,
I’m in heaven when I’m here with you,
Wishing for a stretching, endless time.

But your eyes flutter open, widen still,
Push willow leaves behind your ear,
I’m sorry, I really should get going
Into the evening light you disappear.