You’re Hot and I Want You Naked

I have no idea where this came from, I was just trying to be funny. And I was a teenage boy.


I love your birthday suit.
Not quite a suit though is it?
More like your birthday lack-of-suit.
That’s even better.
Do you still have it?
You should wear it on your next birthday.

You’d look great in the Emperor’s new clothes.
They might be a bit big for you though.
I mean the guy was really fat.
Just look at him.
Maybe the tailors did make him real clothes,
He just ate them.

Don’t get me wrong,
You look good in clothes too:
Summer dresses
Blowing in the wind –
My very own Marilyn Monroe.
Just don’t sleep with the President.
Or Frank Sinatra.
I mean… he’s dead.

Could I borrow your birthday-lack-of-suit-downsized-Empress’-new-clothes?
Just for a bit?
I promise I won’t rip them.


Where’s that porn?



There must have been something to inspire this story, but I can’t remember a thing. It was included in one of my school’s arts collections, but I don’t remember the collection being on a particular theme, or this being written specifically for that reason. Whatever it was, this is the result.


I saw a man in an orange jumpsuit today,
Walking slowly but as if he were running
Against the hoards of people
Flowing in the other direction,

The orange jumpsuit sticking out
Against the work suits, every one a different shade of grey,
Like an adult film store:
Everyone looks but pretends not to notice.

He crossed the busy road
And went into the park,
Slowing his steps even more as he walked through the gate,
As if encountering nature for the first time.

He stood below a tree
And stared up at a bird’s nest in the branches:
A nest no one had ever stopped to look at before,
And he heard the bird singing,
Or singing a lullaby to lull its chicks to sleep.

If I had better sight I might have seen him shed a tear,
And I imagined him, his cheeks moistened from crying
Over this simple beauty,
Embracing the tree for giving the birds a home,
As if encountering nature for the first time.

Instead he just sat down and closed his eyes,
Listening to the storytelling,
The lullaby,
Until the men came and took him away
In chains he didn’t need,
And as he was dragged past me
Mum said he was a bad man
And he would be put where he belongs,
But I just saw the tears on his chin dripping one by one
Onto his orange jumpsuit.


There’s no question about the origins of this one. At 18, I had what I would label my first ‘serious’ relationship. I thought I was in love, despite all the difficulties, and this was simply the result of a weekend with O ending. I was such a melodramatic teenager.


Stripped of my wings
I’m grounded –

The nocturnal void
Cannot compare
To my empty arms.

I sought no release
From your chains
Yet was granted bitter freedom:
No release for the enchanted.

Assumed Dignity

My therapist (T) has tried to convince me that this poem betrays my ‘true’ views on the world and expectations of it. It may be very deeply subconsciously, but I remain unconvinced.


She steps into place,
Her heart beating faster than ever before.
She thinks of her loves,
Impatiently waiting out there for her,
Hidden from her view.
She sees the light change
And suddenly she can see,
But is blinded by the glare.
Her mind goes blank
And all she can think of
Are the people staring back at her,
Her lip quivers,
Her breaths shorten,
She trembles
And feels somewhat outside consciousness.

As if treading on glass,
She stumbles forward
Almost to the edge,
Almost falling.
Her mouth opens,
She inhales hastily.

Snapping back into life
She hears the music start,
Kneels to look into their eyes
And feels the first dollar against her waist.


I went to an expensive boarding school, but not from a rich background. I had always gone to private school, thanks to a lot of hard work from my parents, but I had never particularly enjoyed it, so when I had the opportunity to go to a fancy public school with both a discount and a scholarship, I couldn’t protest, nor could I fit in once I arrived. I made a few good friends, some of whom I still keep 7 years after leaving school, but for the most part I spent 5 years feeling out of place and unwanted.


When I go back to school
I disappear
And a vacuum replaces me.
Ignored by all I sit and stand,
Abhorred by my surroundings.
I try to speak,
My words come out
And your blank faces show me I’ve achieved nothing.
Thank you, friends, for ignoring me so.
I’ll never forget it,
You already have.


I am a film lover. I did a degree in Film Studies, I am an aspiring screenwriter and this week I am getting my second tattoo, depicting the origami unicorn from ‘Blade Runner’. It has been one of my very favourite films for years, ever since my father took me to a special ‘Blade Runner’ day at the BFI for my 17th birthday and I saw it on the big screen for the first time. This poem, if my memory is correct, was written shortly after that day, inspired by (and written while listening to) a track on the special edition ‘Blade Runner Trilogy’ soundtrack entitled ‘Piano in an Empty Room’. I’ve embedded the YouTube video of the track below.


A piano stands in an empty room
In grandeur.

Strings taut to resonate,
Hammers poised to fall.

Seen only by a ray of dusty sunlight,
No stool shelters beneath its cool ivory.

Not even piano –


Dry Eyes

I must have been 18 when I wrote ‘Dry Eyes’ because I remember having a certain girlfriend (O) at the time. This wasn’t knowingly written about O, but she was the person in my mind’s eye when envisaging the subject of the poem.


The droplet that ran over your shoulder
And down your spine
Left a silver train behind,
The slug of water.

It wasn’t raining –
Was it a tear
Tearing across your skin?
Some symbol of sorrow
Sorrowfully symbolising some
Strange strain on the senses?

Yet I saw no sadness in these eyes,
Nor a gleeful twinkle,
Nor any emotion at all,
Simply a droplet
Sliding down your back.


In retrospect, I can see how my relationship at the time inspired a poem so filled with and lacking in emotion. It was a strange relationship, ended (by her) with little reason given and little remorse, when only a week beforehand one of her best friends had told me how much happier O seemed with me in her life. It was a time of confusion and strange new emotions, and O could swim happily between emotional outpouring and coldness. Perhaps that inspired ‘Dry Eyes’.