Things are breaking

Things are breaking apart over us.

Things are breaking in my shoes.

The traffic lights

and the office men

and your words at breakfast

break apart in the

ridges and crags of my day.

Its the sky that’s bursting from me,

angry, full of coagulated wind

and ready to shake things up.

For the longest time

I’d shuttered it away

behind dank curtains

where it raged and

clapped at the cataracts

of my spleen,

at the audacity of it’s host.

And now the baying clouds

storm from me and send out

locust swarms of love

to feast upon

the works, the fields,

the nights that I’ve tilled

into a life.

And the sky from out of my mouth

dredges up the desolate road

along which

I must make my new way,

A beggar after my own heart.


Copyright Ricky Barrow 2014


Sleeping with her

The way she slumps down

into the bed.

The way her breasts expand

creating a sea of skin

to leap into.

The way her darkest parts

begin now increasing

those thick aromas

that will drown me.

The way she sinks

into the flailing sheets,

her eyes half closed

like the lids of the moon.

The way she sinks down.

A hundred years ago,

a woman like mine

drowned in her bed

with her infinite breasts,

while the poet

gazed, captivated,

wrapped in the full cape

of himself.

And long before then,

a woman and a man

swooned backwards

into bliss and annihilation,

and she was full

with the depth and breadth

of all sighing life.

And she is long gone,

and my woman is here

in complete possession

of this universe

plummeting into the raging sheets.

And I am haunted

by these endless and

self-contained lives

that must go on.


Copyright Ricky Barrow 2014

Yashii Park

In Yashii park

down by the sea,

there’s smooth jazz

sliding out of a loud speaker

and there are big walls

for tame swimmers.

And out beyond,

the sea,

in her impossible softness,

invites the boats

over the edge.

In Yashii park

there’s summertime

on the radio,

and people slow and stupid

under the April sun,

and families

dispensing themselves

onto the beach

like coloured pebbles

set out to dry.

And this all depends on

the sea, and the way

she calmly unfolds herself today

and lets the people

touch her and

accepts the braver ones

who wade into her

still frigid shallows.

And the palm trees lean in

and tell me things,

like how

she is the last to forgive.

Like how once

she’d rung their necks

and flung some of them

over the rooftops.

And her hurt had

raged and burst

the great walls

meant as her straight-jacket.

But today she’s

laid out on her back

and the things that once

probed at her explosive depths

now seem far off.

And the voluptuousness

in her rises and

embraces these fragile ones

who come tentatively

down to her shore.


Copyright Ricky Barrow 2014

Rain lessons

The rain is lonely.

It did not mean to fall.

It was the pointed antennas

of this fortress city

that pierced the dark belly

of the hurt cloud,

and the raindrops

like unready hearts,

descended trembling

with wet sleeves.

Now, so exposed

so awfully mixed up,

they shelter in puddles

and sigh under

the undignified crush

of lorries and bicycles,

and whimper

on steal beams.

The rain is lonely

and unprepared

for this catastrophe.

It seeks to accuse,

but there is no one.

Through the open window

of my room, of my heart,

the rain invites me

down into the street tonight

to witness the sobs of life

bleeding away

into the quiet nets of the sea.


Copyright Ricky Barrow 2014

You may find me today

You wouldn’t happen to know

where to find me?

Perhaps I’ve wedged myself

behind the one festering

eye of my yesterday again,

in the café

where all the books and teapots

are bolted shut.

Or I could be trapped

in the spinster’s pocket,

face to face

with her undead child,

while she bombards me

with her nervous ticks

and the dried up vagina

of her soul.

Or I’ve wandered

into the steep streets

of the young women,

going up like legs

to the place where

I’d love to die someday.

But I’m cowered

by their terrible foreheads

and made to endure the brain clots

of girls held together

by pins and lips.

Or I’ve reached

the cold grey pier,

that juts like a curse

thrown at the sea,

where I’m silent as terracotta

and buffeted by

the song of the godless foam

and carved into my loneliness.

And if you happen to find me,

please let me know.

I’d love to have myself back.

I’d love to discuss this

with myself over coffee.


Copyright Ricky Barrow 2014


Out by myself

Today I walked with my

molten loneliness,

wretchedly burning

in my loin,

smoldering under my heel.

I delighted in the company

of bright-faced cashiers,

the pleasantry and

the money exchanged.

I enjoyed aimless perambulations

under the thin skin of the sky,

and the burning mad flames

of our expiring sun.

And I fell for the girl who rode by,

her eyes cast down,

continuously caught

and dragged under her spokes,

and the way she

laughed anyway.

My triumphant loneliness

loved the smooth shoulders of women

who turned away from me

to get on with their lives,

to open car doors,

to wipe away the snot of a child,

to serve the next in line.

And when I returned home

my woman came to me

and subdued my raging solitude,

and bid that panther return to it’s corner

in my soul,

with the other defeated animals,

so that we might

enjoy this evening,

the frivolity of two souls

abandoned to this millennium,

off to watch a movie.

Of Course You’re Beautiful

Of course you’re beautiful.

Why do you need to ask?

When you’re in the

mood and raiment

of a coquette,

a fire of needles and

sunflowers burns in my abdomen

and impossibly, I’m broken open

like husks under a Florida sun.

You bind yourself so skillfully

in that red dress,

yet its like a brace

around the treacherous

energy of a tempest

and after you’ve

swept away the citadel

of my body,

I’m left only with my sadness.

Don’t you know, my love,

you are God’s most

melancholic and desperate creation.

When he despaired

at all his work,

turned his back and

fled the oceans,

the mountains, the forests

and hated them

and their awful equilibrium,

he poured his pain and fever

and longing into you.

And so that he might

have something to lose,

to fear or fret over

in his madness,

he cleaved you

from his eternally wounded side.

So beautiful, so terrible,

men are like moths

in the licking, unquenchable fire-light,

and galleons plunge

over the arches of your eyes.

And I am filled with

God’s madness and pain.