Tuner

When I heard the piano tuner was coming
I was expecting a little metal can
with tiny black and white keys and wooden legs.
Not really, but it helps the days go by.
A 10-year old once asked me
how I got to their house from London
and I said By giraffe
and her best mate whispered He’s lying
and the walls melted and reformed
into the shape of the wagging finger
of a worn out teacher saying
That’s what you get
for thinking you’re better than you are
.
Not really, but it’s how my days go by.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

Things I’m not allowed to think

I am scared
about the rate your forehead is growing.
Why are your ears the way that they are?
It’s not actually that impressive what you just did.
I am scared of your eyes in the baby monitor.
When will look after yourself?
You are not perfect company.
This is difficult.
Today would be easier without you.
This is difficult.
I am a normal, well-rounded person
for having these thoughts because
they can co-exist with the thought that
you are every beat of my heart.
Shut up.
Just shut up.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

Lower yourself, forgetting all your standards

I cleaned my skin today
with something called Prince Charming.
I tried to think of clever lines
like it washed the frog away from last night
or it had the scent of a glass slipper fetish
or it gave my skin a feeling of undeserved power,
but all I could think about was the Adam Ant song
in the Pimms advert with Alexander Armstrong
and the weeks after you died
and how we requested it from nightclub DJs
so we could cause a scene and get kicked out
just for anything else to talk about.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

Track

I built a train track with six drooped curves.
The pieces were grey and dark grey and black
and stretched across the beige carpet
underneath a dining table I don’t own
and a piano I can’t play.
I watched the red automatic train
know exactly where it was going.
The little smiling driver in the cabin
was covered in blue.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

My shit

In 2018 I was trampled by cows.
People say things and move on
with no clue about the day they’ve exploded.
The dishwasher can’t exist
when I don’t know
how many cows stepped on her.
The teeth my son hasn’t grown yet
are every bone I imagine she broke.
I can’t watch the telly
until I’ve been told every cow’s name
and whether or not they were actually bulls.
The cars outside my house have udders,
the postman is a rump steak.
How can I ever walk on grass again?

© Carl Burkitt 2021

Cheese

I will take photos of you
until your soul is swallowed.
I will ruin precious moments.
I will turn strangers against me.
I will test the patience of friends.
I will make you a stamp on time’s envelope
for a creature I will never meet
to one day wade through
dusty loft boxes and say
I wonder who that guy is,
he looks content
.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

18

I wonder what was
the last film you watched.
I bet it involved cars
and ended with a moped.
What were you eating?
The day we sneaked in
to Gangs Of New York
you had a large sweet popcorn
or small salt popcorn
and a regular Fanta
or a bottle of water
and a knowing smile
and a heart beating blood.
I was drunk, pretending to be 18,
forgetting all about 17.

© Carl Burkitt 2021