When I am old I want a face like the plague,
Bulboused and withered and wrinkled with age,
I want grooves that furrow like molten rock,
Crevassed with concrete, carbuncle and cinderblock,
I want cackled craggles and crinkled creases,
Rumpled skin as centerpieces.
I’ll take a face that looks like the sand,
Gnarled and eroded, imbruted and bland,
I’ll take a face that looks like the sky,
Clouded and smoked, polluted and passed by
I’ll take a face that looks like the sea,
Sunken and white-washed, enigmatic and beastly.
I’ll take a face that looks like the earth,
Muddied and contoured, blackened and breech-birthed.
I’ll take a face that looks like the sun,
Red-pocked and sun-spotted, raw and overdone.
If there’s a line for every laugh and a laugh for every line
That we quip and quiver and mime and undersign,
I’ll take a face that looks like the moon,
Cratered and crackled, carved out and caved in,
If it means to laugh life away and wrinkle a grin.
If life were a rock I would carve my name into it.
I’d rinse it in water and wipe off the grit
And keep it in my pocket.
I’d lock it close to my heart
And take it out when I see fit,
To give myself a good kick up the arse.
I’d keep it on the side-table when I slept at night
Or on the mantelpiece – give the world a fright.
I’d hang it by the front door,
To assure I won’t forget
The fury and the clamour
And the peril to expect.
I’d hold it above my head for the whole world to see
And just as quickly hide it, turn back and flee.
I’d wear it as a necklace
In reckless abandon
To remind me to fret less
And live life in tandem.
I’d wear it when I felt the sand sinking on my chest,
Or the air rising up, lungs filled, arms outstretched.
It would be my wedding band,
My grandstand, my last goodbye.
my first intent and last reply.
And when it begins to mould, to fossilize and grow old,
The name is worn out and the end is foretold,
I’ll throw it in the ocean,
To notion the time is here
To dissolve in slow motion
And splinter in the sand.
I Never Asked For More Than This
I never asked for more than this,
No pleas of firm tenacity;
A catatonic revelry
That cast a putrid callow kiss
Before my focus captured rich.
In quiet candle-carved pretence,
We feigned a rapturous connect,
Unseated by a disaffect
Of sullied, spoilt, spent offense
That never was the first intent.
Now it is all over: a wall
Divides my rotten form from thee;
A tale of Pyr’mus sans Thesbe,
No gap, No cleft, No crack at all,
Those fissures now impressed in me.