I Cannot Be an Artist

I cannot be a poet, nor can I be any good.
I have a much more comfortable life, than I feel most poets should.
I want to die, I want to suffer, underneath uncaring stars.
But usually I just get cut off in most of the local bars.
I’d like to be a starving thesp, but for meals I barely worry.
My girlfriend’s mum has made some vegetable curry.

It’s hard to struggle when people have your corner.


I will eat red meat and wear leather jackets because when it’s my turn I won’t turn
the worms away.
For I cannot look away from the fox with a rabbit head clenched in its uncaring jaw that
speaks of nothing but hunger.
If life were fair the fox would not be hungry, the rabbit would yet live, its eye would not
bulge unfeeling.
We bury our dead in lying coffins to keep them away from the reclamation, like watching
someone you’ve mutilated pick up a knife.
Go on.
Try to convince them not to stab you.
We don’t like it when the shoe is on the other foot, the loam is not being harvested and the
loam is now harvesting you.
It is
not fair.


I won’t go and get you a star out of the night sky.
I would if I could though.
I have already done that for another woman and we are happily married and live in a small
outside Basildon.
We keep our star on the mantelpiece and we’ve very happy and content. We have been
for years.
And I’m sorry he wasn’t a good astronaut. Or picked a star for someone else. Or had
agoraphobia and won’t go out.
My partner would ask questions if I fetched you a star. And she’d compare.
Is it smaller or bigger or brighter or dimmer? Is it yellow or red or orange or purple?
I won’t go and get you a star out of the night sky.
I would if I could though.
And I know a million male aeronauts say that
to a trillion different women, promising more
stars than there are in the night sky.
I know the sad fact that most stars burn out,
most marriages fall apart and the cold
statistical fact that ninety four percent of everything you see in the night sky is already
But there are some left. There are those left, who will hold the burning sun close to them
and bring it back to you, their hands bursting with blisters and their eyes streaming. And
you will put it on the mantelpiece. And be with them.
Maybe not in a small flat in Basildon, it may be a bungalow in Ipswich or a semi-detached
house in Surrey.
But he will do it because I can’t.
He will love you because I can’t.
He will bring you your star.
I won’t get you a star out of the night sky.
I would.
If I could.