Painted ghosts 

Poetry

They drift in and out of my life each day.
Their faces adorned with stark, lurid colours.
Warpaint, as they go about their business.
Are they even real?
These automatons. These androids from outer space.
And whilst their expressions are seemingly blank and impassive, they are also revealing.
There’s a crack or two beneath their cool facade.
But what does it mean?
Are they just lost in thought or, almost imperceptibly, communicating with me?
Do they even see me?
Or am I just grey background? White noise?
Perhaps I’m the ghost and they’re the most tangible thing in this world.
Wearing their warpaint proudly, like armour.
For each day, to them, must surely be a battle against the grey ghosts of patriarchy.
The menfolk who leer and lust, all licentious and salacious with their gaze and their thoughts.
For I am one. I should know.
Maybe as men we should paint our faces, too.
For our own insecurities are buried, perhaps even more so.
Hidden behind layers of bravado and testosterone.
The knowing nod to a fellow male.
The slightest of hugs.
The tough guy handshake.
Beer. Curry.
For we are men.
And we’re out of our caves now.
Our spears have been replaced with smartphones and laptops.
We’re just a few clicks from killing that woolley mammoth. That saber-tooth tiger.
Or ordering some more crap on eBay.
(assuming we can stop watching porn for more than five minutes)
So maybe colour is what we need?
Brush strokes of empathy across our face. The eyeliner of compassion.
The mascara of understanding and acceptance.
God, this is starting to sound like the weirdest fantasy game ever.
But there’s hope in these ramblings.
There must be.
For these painted ghosts and forgotten men.
All trapped in the ether between realities.
Drifting through life with abandonment.

Fight Club

Poetry

Broken bottles and frantic squabbles as two fighters get down and dirty on the rancid cobbles.
Their sweat and blood staining the dirt.
Looking for that killer punch.
A right royal haymaker to get their opponent tasting the earth.
Their whole lives have built to this moment.
But so far they’ve been wasted since birth.
Endlessly killing time chasing the skirt.
Constantly competing and racing for first.

Yet here they stand again.
Two titans, these old men, only making it worse.
Both hungry for the kill.
Like old lions facing the herd.
Feeling ill, as they taste blood and it quenches their thirst.
One uncaged lunges in a rage, but the other dodges.
He’s evasive we learn.
His mind sharper, reflexes faster as he braces and turns.
Facing his foe ducking low.
Looking for that knockout blow that’ll end this damn curse.
Heavy hitter, but each fight just leaves him bitter and he’s getting jaded and worse.
Song fading as he plays out his verse.

If only he could make the other fighter see sense.
Serve him up a cease and desist.
Instead he gets to meet with his fist which weakens his wrist.
Cos he likes the other guy.
And try as he might he can’t be faking his hits.
Fights like this come around less often than a lunar eclipse.
And if he’s honest, these clashes give him an excuse to exist.
Who is he to resist?
Slowly it dawns, he’s getting to grips and getting the gist.
He was made to battle.
Cooking up right hooks coming in at a lazy angle.
Nothing phases him.
It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.
Scratch that, he’s a Lord passing judgement now banging the gavel.
Fists ripping through the air at the speed of sound like they were made to travel.
He’s schooling this guy with moves so fly.
Should have his own demo channel.