Author Archives: sjlavery

Below the Circumference

There are dances we
choose to forgo.
Below the circumference.
A bleeding limb.
Never ending now,
or ever shimmering.
In the minds eye.
Frozen in bright headlights.

The Boiler

I saw beasts burning alive
in the shadow of the night.
A thumb and finger pressing
on a candle flame.
The red and orange inside
my folks old burner.
Plied with used newspapers and wood.
Submerged beneath a carpet of coke.
Hard metal furnace, heating
the house on Laburnum Avenue.
Twenty four seven, three hundred
and sixty five days a year.
Regardless of the weather.
Inside those dancing flames,
sit memories stretching out decades.

The Motivation

The motivation.
The decision to say no.
The retrogressive irregularities,
bleeding into reality.
I feel the earth turning on its axis.
One more cycle of depravity.
Who said anything in life was easy.
Who really understands the symptoms.
We call the number and divulge.
Render into a sad-assed study,
your most personal of details.
And in the end all is forgotten.
Discarded because it doesn’t fit the brief.


how we gaze.
Eyes held together with glue.
are barefoot.
I am too.


The waiting.
Thats the worst.
Sitting around,
expecting a miracle.
Then nothing.
A hammer.
A nail.
A crumbling wall.
A door begging
to be opened.
The same four corners.
Her jackknife gaze.
A pause.
A cough.
A silence inhabiting
every particle of air.

The Reptile

Not empathetic.
Not honest.
Not brave.
Not remotely humane.
Nothing but an embarrassment.

Its Your Birthday

It’s your birthday.
A big one, difficult to ignore.
You’re standing in the alley of life,
with a twenty stone monster approaching.

Remember the line from Performance.
Remember the sample in E=mc2.
Step forward and accept the embrace;
then pass on through.

It’s your birthday :
shh, I won’t say how old.
But it’s tall and it’s wide
and it’s difficult to ignore.

In Hydra’s Teeth

The dead they haunt us.
On every street corner.
Groups gather and watch,
the same old situations.
No way of warning they
look on in horror as their
mistakes repeat ad nauseam

After Joy Division

From Broken Down House

Radio transmission
seeks out new listeners,
as night tightens its noose.

A sine wave.
A square wave.
A synaptic dance.

The radio plays
to the static man,
one of his old tunes.

His child wakes with a cry.
His wife waves for help.
His radio plays on and on.

The Incompetents

Wind blowing through the trees.
Why does Friday feel like
some other newly fashioned day.
Keep us all safe from the tribulations.
The horror, just a doorstep away.

With truth staring you in the face.
The illusion of control, crumbling.
We lurch from one fiasco to another.
Will their mouths ever form an apology.
For this extended dereliction of duty.

Cynical, with an eye on some stupid prize.
They resort to the age-old stratagem.
Wetting hands and singing happy birthday.
Will never wash away the peoples blood
from their cold clammy hands.