Tuesday, 31 January 2017

poetry 2017 / 024

Composting Words

I got into an argument
at the polytechnic library
where the lady on the counter
wouldn't let me borrow a book
on Tom Phillips, artist
(I met him once, an interview
for my undergraduate thesis)
who make concrete poems from old book pages.

“It's a disgrace,” she said,
glancing through the pages
“to desecrate a book like this.”
and wouldn't listen to me pointing out
the doctored novel was out of print
and stocked nowhere but remaindered shelves
of down-at-heel bookshops
and lost property offices
and besides, more people had read it since the artist's work
than ever did when it was in print.

I wonder what she'd say to me now
if she saw my growing portfolio
watercolours on printed pages
altered books and hand-cut pages
new art pfrom recycled books
with paper figures made from pages
and the leftover pieces
recycled in the compost bin
ready to grow neologisms
and basal dictionaries.

short form poetry 31st January 2017

reading
her diary
and her thoughts of killing.
Why did it have to be him, though?
Not gay.


© Rachel Green 2017

hedge parsley
springing up along the path
McDonalds wrappers


© Rachel Green 2017

guinea pig
squeaks constantly
'Food, Rachel'
the dogs wait for
their piece of carrot, too


© Rachel Green 2017

increased weight
though I feel fitter
than before

increased stamina
lifting ability
knee squats

I still wobble along


© Rachel Green 2017

art project. The cat destroys it.

© Rachel Green 2017

Monday, 30 January 2017

poetry 2017 / 023

Grate Agin

I don't want to go
to your party of dickheads
and smackheads and blokes
with their hands on their cock
and spouting their rhetoric
of privilege, privation
illegalisation of being a poof
or a queer or a faggot
and setting agendas to stop people coming
because their religion ain't baptist white male
(except for the places you're still making money
like Turkey and Saudi and UA of E)
and citing the shootings by Muslims and Niggers
while rejecting the figures of kills by your friends.
The scrubbing of websites,
Denials of Service,
Preventing planned parenthood
burning the world.
I don't want your garbage,
your privatisation,
your fascist remarks
or your fucking big wall.
If we live through the winter,
the spring and the summer,
then Old Orange Dumpty
can have a Great Fall.

short forms 30th January 2017

her life
largely ignored
after her brother's killed
her addiction to chocolate
begins


© Rachel Green 2017

warm weather
sparrows gather nesting twigs
dodging frost


© Rachel Green 2017

late night sculpting
brings a distasteful truth
I'm a rubbish artist
my ideas seem a lot better
than my execution


© Rachel Green 2017

gym rat
fosters addiction
to an ideal

I have an image
of myself in a year's time
leaner, fitter

and probably dead


© Rachel Green 2017

Warrior girl. Fighting off a temperature.

© Rachel Green 2017

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Poetry 2017 / 022

Penn Common

Friday night
on my own again
rainy Wolverhampton
where the mist settles in the dip
of Penn Common.
Golfers curse the dog walkers, their shouts
lost in the glowering clouds
backlit by the sun
and the crenellated shadows of Hosking's tower
as Jack the Setter seeks a lost stick.

Who are you with tonight, I wonder,
what excuse will you give me
why you didn't come home?
Deadlines or office politics?
A drink with the lads in Accounts?
It doesn't matter anyway.
I have another life, too,
and whatever your story is,
I can smell his cock on your breath.

short forms 29th January 2017

plot notes
best written out
a hundred paper notes
colour coded by character.
Squirly


© Rachel Green 2017

foraging gull
bringing the anger of crows
morning mist


© Rachel Green 2017

early gym
got to get my 5K
and my weights done
Shame it does nothing
for the saggy belly


© Rachel Green 2017

excited
for a new  sequel
at the cinema

I stream the first film
with subtitles
for non-Scots

soundtrack of youth


© Rachel Green 2017

runners high. Maybe hit 10K tomorrow.

© Rachel Green 2017

Saturday, 28 January 2017

short forms 28th January 2017

her dad
hoarding his junk
in racks and doubled shelves
what started out as collecting
gone wild

© Rachel Green 2017

rain drops
hang from the naked birch
one single leaf

© Rachel Green 2017

jiu-jitsu class
one of the most useful
for a while
a basic technique
I had forgotten

© Rachel Green 2017

problems
trying to lose weight
exercise

my belly won't go
no matter how much running
and dieting done

fat, frumpy and fifty-four

© Rachel Green 2017

waiting for the gym to open

© Rachel Green 2017

Friday, 27 January 2017

poetry 2017 / 021


Missed Connection



Were you the girl

in the blue two piece suit

with the lovely chequered scarf

on the A414

near Alvechurch?



I've always been a sucker

for a girl in uniform

and that's more the norm than not

though I've always wondered if a het girl

has the same kick for a man in uniform

the TV shows make cliches of.

When I met you my heart stopped

for just a moment. Not

because you were beautiful

(you are)

or because you wore a uniform

(you did)

or you had an awesome scar

from cheekbone to lip

(it only enhanced your attractiveness)



You were admiring my overweight corgi

and I had a bag of shit in my hand.

short forms 27th January 2017

teen girl

stabs her brother

"because it feels good"

her diary reveals thoughts

of hate






Rachel Green 2017




mist

searching for sparrows

the cat


Rachel Green 2017




schoolday

a teenage boy strides past

his bag held high

cheeks red with cold

under his eighties hair


Rachel Green 2017




I am accused

of bullying

in a sparring bout



the man is 50 pounds heavier

and twice as strong as me

but I have better technique



he retracts; uses 'dominated'


Rachel Green 2017




belly fat replaced by saggy flesh


Rachel Green 2017


short forms 26th January 2017


an age

where she believes

gender is still fluid

until hatred finds her safe place

Destroyed.


© Rachel Green 2017



solitary walk

in the unseasonal warmth

blooming aubretia

© Rachel Green 2017



living on credit

all very well until the debt

needs paying off

my fitness levels fail

to cover the interest

© Rachel Green 2017



internal debate

about exercising

I want to go to the gym


However,

I have jiu-jitsu lessons

twice today


prudence dictates no gym


© Rachel Green 2017



Belly fat. The smile of obesity.



© Rachel Green 2017

poetry 2017 / 020


Commuted



Five minutes earlier

and she would have missed all this traffic;

would have managed more than a tree point turn

in the road she'd lived on for twelve years

(going on thirteen, seems like a lifetime)

and a fifty-yard crawl to the school gates

where breakfast battled mothers

drop recalcitrant sulkers from the capsules

of air conditioned, cushioned four by fours

where the nearest they see to difficult conditions

are the wet leaves from roadside sycamores

and the sobbing, urine-soaked pushchairs

of the chain smoking, council-house mothers

hurrying across the road

to get their Wednesday night lottery ticket.

Five minutes earlier

and she would have missed all the suited gents

in their starchly morninged shirts

and splash of colour ties;

those heavy coated, pavement jostling

student brickies and hairdressers

crowding the bus stop and dashing through traffic

like raindrops in the ears of squalling babies,

ear pods blaring with the foul-mouthed utterance

of new age of record-spinning celebrities

too young to remember vinyl

and what the abbreviation EP stands for.

Five minutes earlier

and her brown-stained, coffee flavoured flask of tea

would still be hot from the kettle

and not warming her lap in the brake-screeching nightmare

of horns and screams and too much blood.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

poetry 2017 / 019

Angela. Staff Trainee

She browses the knick-knacks,
examines the mismatched saucers
for pottery marks of the worthy
and worthful
watched by the overweight lady on the till
curling her Poppy Red Number Five
through her fingertips,
lips smacking on the Juicyfruit
the manageress has already told her off for.
Not that she cares.
She wouldn't know a Meisen from a St Michael
but damages must be paid for
and she had her eye on that World's Best Dad mug
as a conversation starter
about this morning's failed pregnancy test.
Was a positive reading failure?
She doesn't know any more,
not since Planned Parenthood
stopped giving out free condoms
and the women in her social circle
started dying of HIV and back street abortions.
Still, Mrs Brinklow means well
and she's cheaper than the private hospital
who'll do a hysterectomy with complications
for three and a half grand.

short forms 25th January 2017

a girl
kills her brother
"she just wanted to stab
someone to see what it felt like"
psycho


© Rachel Green 2017

winter sun
two blackbirds frolicking
empty nest


© Rachel Green 2017

chapped lips
blood during sparring
soiled kimono
I pick up a chapstick
but it doesn't help


© Rachel Green 2017

radiator warmth
the cat takes over
her room now

three dogs being quiet
trying not to disturb her
grumpy porcupine

I lie on the floor


© Rachel Green 2017

Dozing. Mr. Bear at the beach.

© Rachel Green 2017

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

poetry 2017 / 018

The End of an Affair

morning mist
occluding the chestnut trees
in the cemetery
out footsteps leave tracks over frosted grass
delicate spines shattered
the warmth of pressure
your words forced into the light
misted breath mixing
with the morning dew
scattering the solitude of my thoughts
and bringing a flush of heat to your cheeks.
I can't do this.
my smile catches you unawares
a melancholy charity
for the poor-box of your devotion
as you reach for the fingers
taking refuge in my sleeves
as the winter sun
pencils in the ragged tear
of a distant vapour trail
your eyes glistening

short forms 24th January 2017

street life
white kids and mums
obese in black leggings'
The elegance of a Muslim
lady.


© Rachel Green 2017

frosted peaks
the sliver of a smile
from the moon


© Rachel Green 2017

note to self:
you're rubbish at jiu-jitsu
no finesse at all
watch more tutorials
get more practice.


© Rachel Green 2017

new art piece
takes too long to dry
*waiting*

In the meantime
I'll start another
Harold and Jasfoup

aka "Faust"


© Rachel Green 2017

Not enough exercise. Her body sags.

© Rachel Green 2017

Monday, 23 January 2017

short forms 23rd January 2017

brother
lost before time
a parental campaign
to gain acceptance for their boy
now lost


© Rachel Green 2017

a sliver of moon
against the fading house roofs
morning frost


© Rachel Green 2017

bedtime BJs
just the thing to raise a smile
and the sheets
a bookmark lost
among the pillows


© Rachel Green 2017

too much
the wallpaper paste
not drying

papier mache sculpture
propped up with pegs
on crumpled paper

awaiting hope


© Rachel Green 2017

awake before the alarm. Stinging eyes

© Rachel Green 2017

Sunday, 22 January 2017

poetry 2017 / 017

An Urge to Pee

The Davieses had three sons
and a golden Labrador called Jasper
Stand-offish, they rarely played with me
since they were a close-knit threesome
but on the rare occasion Mum wasn't home
(hospital appointments, hairdresser's)
I'd go there after school for tea.

Their Dad was an architect and scout master,
stern and forbidding, especially
about the use of his study. Their mum
ran the local girl guides but was the best cook
in the whole street. Better than my mum.
She used to bring us casseroles when Mum had gone,
and before I turned into one of those
teenage evangelical vegetarians
but her husband; retired and a bit doolally,
thought she and Dad were having an affair
and that was the end of the friendship.

Except for the dog, who visited often
to play with our mongrels and shit in our garden;
a smelly old bastard with balls to his knees
and a constant urge to pee.

short forms 22nd January 2017

her dad
designs a shrine
to his beloved son
forgets he has a daughter, too.
Lonely


© Rachel Green 2017

morning frost
blackbirds attack a frozen fatball


© Rachel Green 2017

visit
to an old friend
time well spent
so many years
rolling slowly past


© Rachel Green 2017

rest day
no gymming
'let my muscles heal'

already fretting
lost opportunity
for fitness

obsession growth


© Rachel Green 2017

morning alarm. A release from nightmares.

© Rachel Green 2017

Saturday, 21 January 2017

short forms 21st January 2017

brother
late home from school
not even missing yet
a body found in a disused
mill pond


© Rachel Green 2017

yesterday's blue sky
occluded by grey
sparrow song


© Rachel Green 2017

whitehouse.gov
all previous pages
scrubbed clean
a search for LGBT
"no results found"


© Rachel Green 2017

hard diet
vegetarian
but no cheese

no bread either
except for pizza bases
which don't count

no salt or spices


© Rachel Green 2017

energy drink. sugar makes her sleepy

© Rachel Green 2017

Friday, 20 January 2017

poetry 2017 / 016

A Letter to My Living Self from the Memory of My Ghost.

Worry less about your bank balance,
about how well you are respected
or loved.
Don't fret that no-one wants your paintings
or your stupid little sculptures;
that your books are worth more
than the fifty cents a quarter you publisher sends
(and why would anyone want Lucifer's Gospel, anyway?)

Those shelves of books on art
and Christianity and techniques of writing
haven't been referred to in years
and your copy of Strunk & White
is digital.

Your family don't play boardgames
so why do you keep them?
Why are there crates of art materials in the loft
when everything you need is right here.
Why keep the boxes of oil paint
when you've no studio to use them?
And why are there a dozen swords
when you practice jiu-jitsu?

In the end there is nothing
no-one will care your copy of Faust dates from 1860
of that drawer of computer components
“Might come in useful some day”
or the book on Nazi Sterilization techniques
is worth two hundred quid
if only someone would buy it.

Live your life free of possessions
you're leaving a houseful of junk
for descendants who don't want them
and care less. Nostalgia is better in the mind
than gathering dust on a shelf.

Burn your paintings, your books;
you boxes of might-be-useful.
Hide it for a year then throw it away
You can always get another
if the need is great.

Rid yourself of the shackles of possessions
and I promise you
You live a fuller life.

short forms 20th January 2017

teen boy
mutilated
buried in a field
turns out to be her young brother.
Gay corpse


© Rachel Green 2017

pink sky
promises a fine day
morning fog


© Rachel Green 2017

new film
sparks old memories
dead mother
I never had time to say goodbye
the art of growing up


© Rachel Green 2017

art project
my latest fascination
for sculpture

scaled down into miniature
using books for canvas
subversive author

still nothing sells


© Rachel Green 2017

inexplicably tearful. She turns to Revelations

© Rachel Green 2017

Thursday, 19 January 2017

poetry 2017 / 015

Cloudy

My mother's diaries
rescues from the attic
long years after she died
each one a Crown Dairy diary
bought from the milkman
who left glass bottles at our door.
There was no such thing as semi-skimmed
or virtually fat-free soya substitute
just gold top and blue top
or the crown-capped tall bottle of stera
(the only ones safe from blue tits.)

Crown Dairy diaries had helpful kitchen hints
like the best way to hang pheasants
or how to make aspic from a lamb's head
Remnants of post-war frugality
in an alt.right Britain
where the local bobby knew your name
and gave you back the sixpence you handed in
to his little lost property box.

1973 was the year I turned ten.
I opened the pages hoping for anecdotes
memories about the dogs
the vegetables harvested
and building the cedarwood greenhouse
but all she'd written
in her shaking cursive
were notes about the weather.

Sunny. Hot. Cloudy. Rain.
Frost again. Hail in June.
Stormy. Sunny. Fair. Hot.
24 degrees
minus 6
Coal.

short forms 19th January 2017

brother
found dead in woods
murdered by an unknown
mutilated identity
birth mark


© Rachel Green 2017

misting rain
a trio of sparrows
on the chimney


© Rachel Green 2017

cash shortage
brings a lack of bananas
and no milk
the construction of models
as possible income


© Rachel Green 2017

late start
I wonder about skipping gym
or going later

poetry waits for no man
or woman, either
morning duties

Devious intentions


© Rachel Green 2017

high calorie breakfast. Hot porridge oats.

© Rachel Green 2017

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

poetry 2017 / 014

Constitutional

It doesn't matter
if you think your fundamental rights
are being compromised
by a law that values religious freedom
over the right to be an asshole.
What about my fundamental rights?
Or that black guy? That latino?
Mesha Caldwell who didn't even
merit a byline after Trumps latest tweet?
Or Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow?
Your religious freedom kills people
when all we Others want
is to live life in peace.

short forms 18th January 2017

old corpse
in the house wall
assumed to be ancient
turns out to be a seventies
murder


© Rachel Green 2017

pale glow
behind the grey clouds
a knot of sparrows


© Rachel Green 2017

frugality
must become ingrained
no more purchases
digital books, art
and instructional videos


© Rachel Green 2017

nightmares
about moving house
and clearances

my father's house
with decades of junk
and outbuildings

my hoarding legacy


© Rachel Green 2017

Anxiety and depression. Her psyche shatters.

© Rachel Green 2017

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

short forms 17th January 2017

she's still
losing the plot
the novel still falters
despite an overall vision.
Demons.


© Rachel Green 2017

pouring rain
a drift of windblown leaves
unswept


© Rachel Green 2017

letter from bank
overdraft exceeded
depression sets in
I have no art to sell
my talent, evaporated


© Rachel Green 2017

jiu-jitsu defence
techniques against guns
(knives, batons)

I stay a little longer
to help with the next student
overconfident white belt

old lady blue belt, yo


© Rachel Green 2017

bad dreams. anxiety. Plans for frugality.

© Rachel Green 2017

Monday, 16 January 2017

poetry 2017 / 013

Musical Chairs

This one time
I had a couple of friends in Walsall.
Richard, I'd known for years
--shared a flat with him, once--
and his wife, Debbie, who used to be
the girlfriend of a mutual friend
but moved around the table.
He worked early mornings, his nights
ending around ten and she and I used to go
around the local pubs drinking, playing pool.
She started seeing this Australian guy
and, with loyalties to both, held me to secrecy.
Foolish, in the end, for when she left
Richard thought I'd shagged her queer
and we never spoke again.

short forms 16th January 2017

silence
in the old house
her new trepidation
as she imagines her dad, dead.
Too late.


© Rachel Green 2017

green bicycle
on a zebra crossing
squealing brakes


© Rachel Green 2017

morning buzz
council workers
pollarding trees
I squeeze into a parking spot
after a station trip


© Rachel Green 2017

anxiety dream
an old flatmate
makes contact

my internet usage
appears on his mobile bill
angry man

we didn't have internet in the eighties


© Rachel Green 2017

she constructs tiny people. Her friends.

© Rachel Green 2017

Sunday, 15 January 2017

poetry 2017 - 012

On the Offering of News

Silenced,
hands clasped
waiting for direction
or judgement.
A downward gaze out of respect
and a little fear.
Life was less fraught than this, once,
and more stressful at others.
The skin of her hand itches
the base of her thumb
where the scar reminds her of Twitchy,
her sister's rabbit fifty years ago,
she wants to scratch it.
Can't.
Curls her toes instead.
Her mind wanders until she recognises a lull in speech.
Aural memory fills in the blank
and she bobs a curtsey.

The relief floods her bladder
She wants a wee
but duty is not done.

poetry 2017 / 011

Prelude to Regret

Her father's out – won't be back
until the early hours. The TV flickers
in the darkness of the living room.
Cold tile floor, rush mats. Wallpaper
chosen by her mother years ago
cubist eccentricity, a seventies style
marked down to ten pence a roll.
Cotteridge Ironmongers, where the scent
of kerosene and Jeyes Fluid dominate
over beeswax and three-in-one oil.
Airedale terriers hog the sofa
Penny snoring, Jake, grinning,
nuzzles her hand hoping
for fuss or a treat. She watches a film,
black and white horror on channel four
and teaches herself to smoke
with an old pack of camels.
Her father won't notice one more cigarette
among the overflowing ashtrays.

short forms 15th Januray 2017

first love
turns out badly
criminal mastermind
dealing in drugs for six counties.
Stevie.


© Rachel Green 2017

first light
a crow calls from the sycamore
warm sheets


© Rachel Green 2017

old film
childhoosd sci-fi
strong memories
even now it makes me tearful
well crafted


© Rachel Green 2017

early rise
my alarm goes off
won't dismiss

DK now awake
takes it from me
turns it off

doghouse blues


© Rachel Green 2017

freezing house She begs a blanket.

© Rachel Green 2017

Saturday, 14 January 2017

short forms 14th January 2017

short play
increased fitness
climbing a monument
her memories of childhood
fading


© Rachel Green 2017

cold earth
even the worms are hiding
dark ice


© Rachel Green 2017

Samwise Trumperton
engages with our visitor
hoping for carrot
Jealous to a pinch
Trickster eats carrot, too


© Rachel Green 2017

ju-jutsu class
only four of us
a splendid hour

some rolling exercises
extended sparring
a lesson in patience

I'm caught in a beautiful Ezekiel


© Rachel Green 2017

fresh-brewed coffee. Winter-chapped lips

© Rachel Green 2017

Friday, 13 January 2017

poetry 2017 / 010

Collaboration

We move in circles
testing the other's defences
feints and counters.
We are two cats on a cemetery lawn
fighting for the prize of a broken sparrow
while overhead a crow awaits the outcome.
Like the sparrow, he cares little
for victor or loser
only that the spoils are his.
And what of our spoils?
Dogs? children?
Friends polarise like iron filings
under the influence of magics
but fundamental frequencies elude us
in the moire pattern of our friendship;
just an old piece of yellowed paper
with the edges curled.

short forms 13th January 2017

Old stone
to Celtic gods
of the river Laver
A sacrifice of animals
rotting


© Rachel Green 2017

the field
vanishing under new snow
my little dog


© Rachel Green 2017

late start
dozing on the sofa
with Trickster
Jack is happy to find
a temporary duvet


© Rachel Green 2017

Kindle offers
I buy too many books
to ever read

still, I learn a lot
about the art of writing
and beautiful prose.

Also, what not to do


© Rachel Green 2017

Wellbeing? I'll skip the gym. Double jiu-jitsu.

© Rachel Green 2017

Thursday, 12 January 2017

poetry 2017 / 009

Love, Lancet

Two weeks clean
I feel so independent
I don't even have a blade
(not on me, anyway,
though Alannah wants one, I know)
It seems stupid now
Why did I ever cut?

I tried to tell someone,
times of confidence eating at break
friends notice I feel better.
Told Fergus I was hurting from his vitriol
He apologised, blamed it
on anger issues.
There's no excuse for being an asshole.

I just feel no one understands me.
I hate them all but I hate myself more.
I feel awful.
I'm so fat and a massive nerd.
A cow.
A nobody.

Everyone hates me.
Why do I even try?
I have no blade
but I have a pencil sharpener
and a jeweller's screwdriver.

Somebody save me?


short forms 12th January 2017

statues
of river gods
abandoned long ago
An answer to an old riddle
about death


© Rachel Green 2017

high winds
my garden filled with rubbish
neighbour's dogs


© Rachel Green 2017

high winds
I collect parts of the shed roof
from a neighbour's garden
I think a redesign
may be in order


© Rachel Green 2017

badgered
into jiu-jitsu
by the teacher

I regret infecting folk
who just want to train
with my cold germs

Should've stayed away

© Rachel Green 2017

fitter than ever. Heavier than before.

© Rachel Green 2017

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Poetry 2017 / 008

Free Fall

I really hate my parents.
They honestly think I'm stupid but I'm not.
They don't know what goes through my mind
or what I'm going through.
Give them any idea of even half
of my troubles and I'd be happy.
No, wait.
I forgot.
I can't be happy because I'm depressed.

I don't know how to be happy.
Fell out with Ash 'coz of other people

Anger!
Feel it, mate.
Made up with Ash. She was upset.
Took it out on us.

They hate me. This is obvious.
Every single one of them.
If they did care they wouldn't do this.
They wouldn't keep doing this.
I've left them because I don't want to be here.

I guess Alanna's apologised.
We still made out,
Stuart and the boys weren't upset.
(negative emotion) I also wouldn't get my hopes up
only to have them destroyed.
I can't take this any more – the horrid comments
and people hating me for being me.
I don't want to be here.
I hate this life.

Ashleigh's being a right bitch, joined our little group
(me, Amelia and Gee) insults me in front of everyone.
I'm leaving.

Everyone says it gets better but it doesn't.
It never does. Just gets worse.
One good day,
two bad ones to compensate.
Then I'll call 'Free Fall'
One bad day. Another. Another.
I'm in free fall.
I can't any more.
I'm tired of living.
Why am I even here?

Constructed from torn pages found in Boythorpe Woods, 11th January 2017

short forms 11th January 2017

her dad
doesn't respect
her adult life choices
despite the bad parenting as
a kid


© Rachel Green 2017

clear blue
orange vapour trail
underlit clouds


© Rachel Green 2017

late start
but taking Lu to the station
too early for gym
I've reluctantly agreed to Jiu-jitsu
after the teacher called me a pussy


© Rachel Green 2017

dude, honestly?
you think pussy is a bad thing
better than balls, yo

one kick to the nuts
and you're out for the count
a pussy can take a pounding

Thanks, Betty, you rock, lady


© Rachel Green 2017

providing for family. Her overdraft beckons.

© Rachel Green 2017

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

poetry 2017 / 007

Wolverhampton Station 1986

Midnight
Yellow cones of fog from the sodium vapour lights.
The guard opens the door for me
offers a hand as I step down
onto a wind-swept platform.
The fur on my collar protects my face
I nod a thank you
click-clacking toward the exit
and the concrete tunnel and steps
to the Wednesfield Road.
Moments in the limelight
cars flash past
businessmen collecting hookers,
young men returning to their mama's house;
pimps in jacked-up jags.
On Inkerman a bunch of Jamaican lads
fire million-dollar smiles
Do I want grass? Resin?
A length of cock and an STD
I laugh and wave.
Concrete stairs that smell of disinfectant
overlaid with piss.
Someone's wiped snot on the wall light
and Baz has left his mark
in out-of-date orange spray paint
though I admire the lines.
The lights are out on the concrete walkway
though enough flats light the way.
Home is the smell of oil paint and mildew
and the grumble of a boiling kettle.

short forms 10th January 2017

worries
about the time
she stole from the bookshop
a instructional manual on
cloud apps


© Rachel Green 2017

piped white edges
on
swirls of dishwater


© Rachel Green 2017

art project
small investment
five pounds so far
plus two hours of time
and counting


© Rachel Green 2017

distraction
while driving home
I almost crash

my attention taken
by a woman selling timeshare
on the side of the road

She offers me Watchtower


© Rachel Green 2017

aching eyes. streaming cold. early morning.

© Rachel Green 2017
slabs of grey weather

Monday, 9 January 2017

Poetry 2017 / 006

While My Daughter Gently Weeps

Three wise men at the door
(though no-one's about to give birth, thankfully,
and I'm pretty certain about my state of virginity)
identically dressed in black suits,
white shirts, black ties.
Three round and very white faces
if you discount the acne and the shaving cuts
and I'm deathly polite as I open the door.
I spot the name tag of the middle one and smile.
“We're poly, leasbian, trangender and atheist,
so in your eyes we're going to Hell.”
My words stun them to silence
and I follow up with Leviticus 19:27:
You shall not... harm the edges of your beard.
so you'll go to Hell too. See you there.”
“Okay,” says the left hand of the trinity,
and they troop up the motorcycle ramp.
While I smile and wave goodbye.

short forms 9th January 2017

Chloe's
dialogue with
the reader brings some depth
to the characters and the world.
Adult?


© Rachel Green 2017

cold rain
battering the front garden
old plastic bags


© Rachel Green 2017

streaming cold
I cancel a jiu-jitsu lesson
reluctantly
at least I can work out
solitary treadmill


© Rachel Green 2017

anxiety dreams
another round
begins

mounting debt
and moving house
intolerance

impending death doesn't scare me


© Rachel Green 2017

Determination to Kondo away her books.

© Rachel Green 2017

Sunday, 8 January 2017

poetry 2017 / 005

Scattered Ash

Smart in my school uniform
I watched the coffin
slide behind the velvet curtain
like a battleship to a watery grave.
Hard to imagine mum was in there,
her diminutive frame no longer making tea
or mincing the leftover roast on a Monday
for casserole or stew, bubbling
on the ancient Aga stove top
as she scooped away the fat from the top
some to keep for dripping,
some to soak the dog's biscuits.
I still do that now,
a little gravy saved for the dogs,
though now it's low fat, low sodium
and entirely vegetarian.
She would have disapproved
but then she would have disapproved of me
being an artist, an atheist,
a writer and fighter.
Onlt the best for her child.
University and marriage, three kids
and a house by the river,
a good job in the bank and an aneurysm at fifty.
I've had a stroke
I wonder if she'd be proud enough
to read my novels.

short forms 8th January 2017

writing
I missed a day
like a lazy old sod
also, no poem yesterday.
Buck up.


© Rachel Green 2017

an absence of wind
the neighbour's litter
on the lawn


© Rachel Green 2017

gym time
becomes important
for me
Every day I fight apathy
and gluttony


© Rachel Green 2017

exploring the way
other writers manage
their description

How to get lost in a tale
with just enough direction
to keep it moving

Focus on the details.


© Rachel Green 2017

Stephen King writes six pages daily.

© Rachel Green 2017

Saturday, 7 January 2017

short forms 7th January 2017

Angie
changes gender
from a queer white girl
to a beautiful black transman
called Trent


© Rachel Green 2017

sweeping leaves
investigating the detritus
a little cock robin


© Rachel Green 2017

evening TV
with my genderqueer friend
gentle tales
I pretend not to hear
their quiet tears


© Rachel Green 2017

gym time
hogging the treadmill
for thirty minutes

I want to up my walking
to a full five K
before summer

aching knee


© Rachel Green 2017

Reducing calories. An increase in caffeine

© Rachel Green 2017

Friday, 6 January 2017

Poetry 2017 / 004

Dear Younger Me

It wasn't your fault. You were born
in a different age
by a father raised
by the war,
by nationalism,
by bombs planted on underground trains
in inner-city buses.
Television preached racism by default
Love Thy Neighbour, Rising Damp
and the xenophobia of Dad's Army.
Even Monty Python was devoid of colour
and Dad refused to watch It Ain't Half Hot, Mum
so you watched it in secret,
recorded on Betamax cassettes and
appreciated the inclusion of queer and transgender
(though the terms were never used
and 'difference' was relegated to 'poofter').

It is any wonder you fell in love
with gay boys and trans girls and your freedom
in New English Punk wasn't about racism
but about inclusion – a rejection
of the right wing domination;
of Enoch Powell and I'm Backing Britain,
and the disgust on your father's face
when he found you in bed with that black lad.


Short forms 6th January 2017

she's not
a lesbian
nor a bisexual
she falls in love irrespective
of sex


© Rachel Green 2017

morning frost
mobbing the Queen's Park ducks
Canadian geese


© Rachel Green 2017

hunger
becomes a solution
for boredom
boredom a result of depression
This is why I weigh so much


© Rachel Green 2017

new laws
to protect religious bigots
from ebil gay peeple

Deny us a wedding cake by all means
but make sure you also reject that straight couple
who have tattoos and earrings

They're Levitical 'abominations' too


© Rachel Green 2017

Two slices of toast. she's fat.

© Rachel Green 2017

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Poem 2017 / 003

Mother's Knee

My judgemental face, you called it,
when it's the only one I have
and besides, any judgement I might deem
appropriate had already fled,
withered by the ease of your irk
so I flee, seeking solace among books
and the words of masters long dead.
Am I still remembered among my peers?
Those I went to college with will be long dead,
and the dream I had of meeting them
was tainted with the memory
of a borrowed record never returned.
Lou Reed's Transformer, walked on the wild side
of Wolverhampton and Newcastle,
where I learned to run faster
than the thugs behind me;
learning self defence not for the discipline
but for the lifeline it promised
among the high-rises and concrete walkways,
an epitaph to childhood,
where the cold granite of the grave has become
the lid of suppressed memories.

short forms 5th January 2017

inclined
to be hopeful
about her father's life
despite evidence of despair.
Hometown.


© Rachel Green 2017

tits and sparrows
clinging to the mahonia
damp paper chains


© Rachel Green 2017

morning start
Lu to the station
then get petrol
I'll forego the long traffic queue
along the Derby Road, thanks.


© Rachel Green 2017

breakfast
produces instant crash
when I have to go out

I knew it was a bad idea
to eat marmite on toast
I knew better.

I should stop eating.


© Rachel Green 2017

An hour in the gym. Overeats.

© Rachel Green 2017

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Poetry 2017 02

Props

“I've been to the gym,” he says,
gets props and kudos from his mates,
his mum, the girl he fancies
(the sister of his best mate
but he's never said nothing)
but I was there as well.
I saw him sat (forever)
on the assisted pull-up
listening to music on his iPhone
followed by a couple of half-hearted exercises
and a selfie of his bicep.

Angie feigns admiration;
doesn't know he fancies her.
He's the dorky friend of her brother
who smells of curry and desperation
and besides,
she prefers older men.

short forms 4th January 2017

lines drawn
across the street
territorial split
between the haves and the have-nots.
Parents.


© Rachel Green 2017

dry leaves
the space between trees
uncertain


© Rachel Green 2017

dear dog walker
while I appreciate you picking up
your dog's lawn deposit
do you actually know the difference
between blue bin and grey?


© Rachel Green 2017

plot points
for the Chloe novel
too many to choose

I have the idea
of a cyclic timelime
but it won't work

the consequences of travel


© Rachel Green 2017

forging Dad's signature. Practice makes perfect.

© Rachel Green 2017

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Poetry 2017 001

Past Love

In the midst of indignation
she finds regret for the man he might have been
if she'd stayed with him.
One more day might have made a difference;
he might have stopped drinking, drugging;
stopped picking fights
stopped assuming he always knew better than she did
when she was the one with the education,
the GCSEs and the determination
to put herself through college with no help
from a father more absent in alcohol
than her mother ever was having died.
At least she could talk to a grave.

Her exes spout vitriol when all they need
is an ounce of contrition;
a “sorry I was such a dick to you”
or a recognition that they'll try to do better
to treat the person who loves them
with a little more consideration
than they treated you
but nine times out of eleven
they think the problem was all her
and she was “probably a lesbian, anyway”
but she has news for him: she isn't
although she's pretty sure there must be a name
for someone who falls in love with misogynists.

In the midst of regret for the man he might have been
she finds hope in the man he might be;
the faithful husband, the doting father,
the considerate lover or the confident socialite
but the quickie in the disabled toilet
where he leaves her unsatisfied and more then grateful
she had her own condoms handy
convinces her he's still an asshole and besides,
he got stains on her bridesmaid's dress.