Thought and Love on the Albert Docks

So, me and a few friends went out last night, to Liverpool. Me and one other guy went to see Beans on Toast, though I mainly went for Will Varley. If you don’t know who he is, check out some of his music and grab a copy of his novella, Sketch Of A Last Day. It’s an absolutely fantastic book and is quite unlike anything I’ve read. I was raging about it a while ago, and I did a miniature ‘Ramblings on’, which you can check out here!

I got into quite a bad state last night, and this is the first of two poems I wrote (though the second one isn’t finished yet, I’ll get around to it soon). I actually wrote this in a bathroom, though I finished it just as I was about to fall asleep last night.

20141128_225854
One of my lovely views last night as I wrote poetry in various bar bathrooms. I’ve become one of those people, haven’t I?

I love Liverpool. It’s one of my favourite cities and I really don’t know why. It’s grimy, it’s dirty, I’m not that big a fan of the accent, but it has an air of… something about it. I don’t know, I’m still in a pretty bad way. My head is threatening me with an ache and my stomach is recoiling at this now cold tea I’m drinking.

Anyway, here’s Thought and Love on the Albert Docks, as inspired by overly strong rum, piss-poor, yet incredibly sugary beer, Guinness I could barely drink afterwards and a fantastic folk singer and entertainer or two!


My teeth are tombstones,
vile slabs of concrete boasting
curving lines of imperfections,
forgotten names and dates
as scarred engravings.

And Liverpool doesn’t quite glitter below,
or around, me,
engulfing my body, yet leaving
my thoughts, my eyes; these dried lips
to float, stagnantly free.

We started well,
in a top floor flat like trainspotting,
whiskey and wine and the ghosts
of a Friday night yet to be murdered,
by shivering fingers and their insubstantial plotting.

My hair clings around my jaw,
like a shipwreck to a protruding rock,
and it encompasses my thoughts like a shroud.
I recognise the cloth of my dull intent,
as I remember the columned shadows of the Albert Docks.

The cloth will leave me blind, in the morning,
but that is a worry for another me.
Am I not young, am I not strong despite
this debilitating weakness which holds,
inarguable dominance over my physicality?

Am I not alive?
So the first round comes from my purse,
filled by entitlement and charity;
piss-water and black and cream,
for this night act as my nurse.

There are some hideous creatures sat ahead,
ugly throats emitting the laughter of seagulls,
and orange dust as acid to their skin.
What madness it takes to live this way;
faux-excitement as a rebuke to the lull.

The apples they use to repulse,
medical professionals and
the loves of their lives,
have been tossed into chemical vats,
to create the Sourz they clutch in their hands.

But they are no concern of mine,
as the cold and the warm fight for domination.
Guinness numbs me,
numbs me;
numbs me to it all for protracted seconds.

I hear truth at some point,
and I laugh with the audience,
I drink, mutter with propaganda,
thought and love,
and the weight of science.

And I hug an author,
whilst the very last chords of his conversation,
hang in the smoky basement
of a forgettable barroom
in this, the heart of a dying nation.

What would he saw if he knew
that I wore three pairs of socks?
To provide pale flesh with the illusion of warmth,
to make these boots fit,
whilst haunting the gallery at the Albert Docks.

If he knew how badly I
needed to piss would he direct me
to fluorescent toilets or the alley,
to the dumpsters, over-flowing with bottles and bodies,
or to the porcelain holding that meagre sea?

There will not be sorrow later,
when the high of this meeting fails,
and the weight, the great weight,
of existence and humanity falls
upon us all and the pleasures of this city pale.

There will not be sorrow later,
when sugar boils in my blood
and conspires to scratch like sand,
at my organs and ways;
my lungs torn, my liver gone, my pancreas rotten, sodden wood.

I know I will vomit,
I gag and I wretch and try to drown myself
in myself. My knee is stuck to the floor,
tacky, gummy, the texture-of dried urine
like an example of previous rude health.

I feel that I am lost,
in translation, if not in sanity.
The bathroom light cuts out,
so I shine my phone on my burning cock,
and I take pleasure in such vanity!

I piss in silence,
as much as I am able,
for I am an evolved creature,
I know the soundtracks and the connotations,
and I dream of ancient Babel.

The lights play across uneven cobbles,
a gorgeous footing, if an enemy for drunks;
mountains emerging from an ocean
of cigarette butts and condom wrappers,
the refuse of these modern monks.

Revolutionaries, every one,
to the point that it is convenient;
with chequered shirts and
cultivated beards
and avoiding the threats of their sentience.

But every motion is a struggle,
a crypto-fascist endeavour.
I think of my author,
and his accent and his songs,
and I dream of eternal sound,

Forever.

Thanks for reading! Despite myself, I’m actually quite happy with how this turned out.
Be sure to leave a comment, to let me know what you thought, particularly if you’ve got any criticisms!

2 thoughts on “Thought and Love on the Albert Docks

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