Slagging off Shirley Bassey

There’s a man in my knife and fork drawer.
He sits in my palm during dinner.
I need to run through rain in his skin again.
The skip in my record player is a tut
to me slagging off Shirley Bassey.
At night I like to imagine
an eccentric old Oxfam customer
settling down with a hot water bottle, her legs
dressed up in his God-awful
grey camouflage pyjama bottoms.
I wish his warm winter hat fit my head.
I keep fruit in his sausage casserole dish.

© Carl Burkitt 2020


You are the last thing I see at night and
the first thing I see in the morning.

Curtains, you beautifully grey bastards,
I love you. You stop the outside coming in.

You absorb the rays
to protect my sensitive skin,
you blend the days into the next days.

You let me do that naked dance
and open up when you’re ready to.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Limbs stapled to spiralling offal

I can’t remember the last time
I saw my feet in a mirror.
I often forget I have organs inside my body.
My room is full of dust but my skin looks the same.
I can barely keep up.
I used to have three sugars in my tea and
mince pies had the taste of the Grinch’s armpit.
My eyes are the same size as when I was born
but my ears and nose won’t stop growing.
I get headaches in my face.
The creaking of my left knee sounds like
the squeaky front door hinge
of Grandma’s old house.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Cold bathroom tap

Cold bathroom tap, you’re pretty cool.
You make quite the splash
of a first impression every morning.

You tell my face the sun’s alive again.

Remember that time I was sick on you?
And then used you to clean it off you?

I wish I was as self sufficient as you,
as chilled under pressure.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Strips of plumped universe

We were all shocked when your eyebrows fell off.
You weren’t. You could feel it coming
beyond your roots.
You felt it in the blurred line between
where the sky starts and the ground stops.
It was a thousand knots tying themselves tighter.
It was the rumble of a never ending
dishwasher coughing up smoke.
It was the slow lane of a motorway to the moon,
a phone call, neatly stacked and organised boxes.
Your pillows were strips of plumped universe,
your hairs a thousand fallen stars.

© Carl Burkitt 2020


I’m alive with you in my hand,
mug with the pig on the side.

Your mud on my lips is the shit
your pink-hipped friend would kill to roll in.

It’s wicked, ancient Red Bull,
my tongue loves dancing inside you.

Two fingers through your handle
flickers my calves like candles.

I’m alive with you in my hand,
mug with the pig on the side.

© Carl Burkitt 2020