THE HEAVY HEART

I am the sea elephant, my harem
awash with dead bodies
too heavy for the tide.
I am so heavy I sink, collapse my chest,
draw the moon to me.

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DON’T STOP THE MUSIC

Eagles_Of_Death

DON’T STOP THE MUSIC

This is for the punks and the pop divas.
This is for everyone who ever sang along:
enjoy your Eagles of Death Metal.
This is for the pirates and the producers:
fuck the noise, but don’t stop the music.
Dance till your Converse kicks fall to pieces.
This is for the mosh-pit and the VIP,
worlds apart but on a single mission:
to suck the last bit of marrow from the bone.
This is for the ravers and the metal-heads:
keep thrashing because once the music stops,
you may as well be dead.
This is for the bobos and the foodies in the Marais:
enjoy your gay bars and your 2 Many DJs.
This is for the loners and the cynics
who find that improbable place of worship,
six beers deep in the dark with no ear-plugs.
Enjoy the creepy doorman and the clipboard-bitch.
Enjoy the sticky shoes and dirty toilets.
Enjoy the list you never get on.
This is for the snares and the wah-wah pedals:
fuck the squares with their wartime medals.
This is for the PTSD survivors in platform shoes,
flashing belly-buttons at the BO18 in Beirut.
This is for Ibiza, Goa, and Black Rock City.
This is for the nectar of the damned,
but I say you’ve got it all wrong:
ours is not the nature of the damned,
just the dancers.
This is for the last-minute ticket to the Bataclan.
This is for the goths and the emo kids,
the ball-room dancers and the full-moon ravers;
speakeasies, jazz clubs, and white spats;
combat boots, safety pins, and prison tatts.
Make peace with your dead phone.
Get on that busted vélib and enjoy the ride home,
Enjoy the back seat of the vomit comet.
Enjoy your walk of shame.
Hell to pay Monday 8AM, but until then,
don’t stop the music, boys and girls,
or you may as well be dead.
This is for the secret dance parties
in the deserts of Iran and Afghanistan,
where the thought police can’t see you.
This is for the weekend warriors,
the night-crawlers, and the vampires.
This is for the right to sin.
The right to almost, but not quite, fall in.
This is for the right to do it wrong—
anything less, and we may as well be dead.
This is for the mother of all fat ladies
when she breaks into song:
enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

ALL WE NEED IS FOREVER

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Play the voodoo doll,
make me dance—break
the laws of thermodynamics:
react before the very act.
We don’t stand a chance
against each other.
Whisper of wishbones,
knuckles in a dice cup.
Listen: the rune stones.
Heed the old wives’ tales.
Look: a heart in the mail.
Step into my sandcastle
built on a wing and a prayer.
The first brick is golden;
blood-red, all the others
flow upwards—sand
can petrify, break the tide.
All we need is forever,
Milagros.

DotA Teaser: COLD WAR GAMES

COLD WAR GAMES

I will keep you warm in the cold, cold war
even though you are a Montague and I am KGB.
Hang on to this rose while I holster my PPK.
Now put on this latex dress, I’ll get the Cabernet.
Let’s pillow-talk Renaissance painting, architecture,
and your country’s key military infrastructure.
Have a drink, tell me about that place you’re from.

I was trained in the brothels of St. Petersburg,
trained by the best in the amorous arts.
I was also trained by the Stasi in the arts of torture,
but I wouldn’t want to bore you, lover.
Just slip into this bathrobe while I defenestrate
this M15 spook—don’t look, close your eyes
and think of wherever it is you’re from.

“O Romeo!”—I am tired of hearing my name
exhaled by an Octopussy of exotic secretaries.
My heart is probably made of solid gold.
In the world of counter-counter-espionage
there is no room for emotional growth.
I cut hearts with diamonds for king and country.
Pick a card. Any card. It looks like I’ve won.

CS-Cold WarCut
Cold War Games – Christiana Spens

This poem is featured in my forthcoming collection Dawn of the Algorithm, published by Inkshares and out in bookshops real and virtual on May 30th, 2015.

Pre-order your copy here:
http://www.dawnofthealgorithm.com

Goodreads reviews

DotA Teaser: IMMUNE RESPONSE

IMMUNE RESPONSE

I watch the television, I’m no fool.
Size matters in the war against the microbes.
I’m working to boost my immune system,
juice up my intestinal flora.
Starts with a bulletproof breakfast,
a nice, bloody chicken tartare,
essence of Salmonella.
I’m field testing a vaccine for swine flu
by French kissing an infected sow.
Never in my life have I felt so low,
but no one likes the bitter taste of truth.
I’ll be the last man standing
after all these jack-in-the-box plagues
hiding like cyanide capsules in a rocky tooth.
I lick all the metro rails on the way to work,
bump and grind with that hobo chick
loitering platform 3 at République.
On weekends I eat cows
that were fed other cows,
sheep fed other sheep.
From dirt, we were made to eat dirt,
to tango with the bacterial secret agents
the government designed to water down
the global population density.
I’m no fool: I’ve got my own mithridate.
I’m saving up to buy an Ebola monkey.

***

Immune Response - Samantha Wong
Immune Response – Samantha Wong

***

This poem is featured in my forthcoming collection Dawn of the Algorithm, published by Inkshares and out in bookshops real and virtual on May 30th, 2015.

Pre-order your copy here:
http://www.dawnofthealgorithm.com

Goodreads reviews

VOLCABULANO

Yes, strange title. This is a strange one.

So a colleague linked me this vocabulary test by the University of Ghent. (I got 83% the second time I did it, this particular time I got 73%, which was quite a blow to the ego.) It’s clever and really challenging, I recommend you give it a shot. One of the perks: the software generates fake words that sound almost credible. So I ended up with a list of semi-realistic computer-generated nonwords…

GhentVocabTest

So obviously I wrote a tragic love poem using as many as I could.

VOCABULANO

I kissed her hemcrack,
chelublerously, her smile atrulant.
The stecatil slope of her engid,
was simply stenalning.
She looked into my clumpery
with the neuvel eyes of a gisho.
My propudets were on fire.
She took a sharp breath, awtich,
the samboard between us stoftwase,
a thermokoid glistening constossly
in the cantydrass of our bungstourness.
It was an apeant love song,
krombope with corcadable mowergantness.
The rebraratois, so French, so sengeily,
falling across her naked ubtramamoid.
A dreabb flango of spearbite, forever.
Adieu, Pililodas.

HOLIDAYMAKING

An ode to that sacred family tradition: the road trip.

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***

HOLIDAYMAKING

One wants to eat.
One wants to shit.
One wants to play his favourite music.
One keeps talking down,
one keeps cracking up,
one tight-lipped and fuming,
one is driving, on a mission,
one is pretending not to be there,
praying for a head-on collision,
chewing a lock of hair.
One is discussing money matters,
one has some serious cash flow issues,
one lost weight, one got fat,
one’s got a whiskey bottle in his backpack,
one’s on anti-depressants, one is sky high,
and one has earphones in deep,
no idea what the hell is going on.
One wants the air-con,
one wants the heat,
one wants to know if we are there yet.
One wants to just pull the fucking handbrake,
walk out and off a cliff.
Then someone farts. It’s a bad one.
Rancid, like road kill on a hot day.
Someone smirks, someone laughs,
someone coins a new curse word,
and everyone rolls down the windows.