Jack Deeprose

Writing, Photography, Music.

Two Very Different Kitchens

I stare down the clogged sinkhole
at 1 AM
congealed matter
grease and
saturated serviettes
look back up at me
a cold stew of discarded
delicious mouthfuls
have clogged the pipes up
unhealthy water and thoughts
now unable to drain,
It’s now 1:15 AM
and I try
against better judgement
to imagine your kitchen
again,

It’s ten fifteen
in the morning and
the Sydney sun
beats down upon
dark hair, momentarily
blinding
your ambitions-of-Michelin-stars
-stare,
It’s winter in the upside down
but your English frown
finds it hard to believe
as you sweat up the stairs
of the drenched in architecture
simple yet complex
the Opera House towers
then air conditioning kicks in
and cleaners scour
blank faced
the floor leading to your
different kitchen,

The next afternoon
I attempt to slice up
tomatoes
with what you always warned
was more dangerous than a sharp-
and all to soon the blunt knife
slipped
it ripped a hole in my left
thumb
sending blood spurting over
unwashed fruit
and momentarily morbid curiosity
of your kitchen
once again took root
as a cheap blue plaster
attempted to mend
fresh wounds
as old ones grew more and more
numb,

Now it’s nine in the evening
and the opera house restaurant
is heaving,
covers fly from section to section
a flair of artistry added
by many young hands
and yours are there too,
before the steeped in esteem head chef
completes his inspection
of your pastry collection
and screams as though the waiters were deaf:
Service please!
I need less raspberry jus 
and more meringue,
he pleads
and he turns away,
for the first time in weeks
your thoughts simmer and then
slowly reduce
to me,

Seven microwaves ping
in unison
and my heart sings
not for you
anymore
a new song
composing quickly for
someone who
has made imagining
your kitchen
even more
a pointless irrelevant reductive
fools errand than
before,
it’s 2:30 PM and
I empty
seven reheated curries into
seven metal bowls as memories
run down my back with
sweat growing
cold
as they collect at the
base of my spine
and as seven bags of radioactively activated
rice are added to the plates
I start to believe
that everything is forever
going to be fine and
the thought of your kitchen
boils and evaporates
rising into the ceiling
a peaceful vapour
until it collides
with the death rattle
of faltering memories of your
hair over chef whites
condensing and whisking me
away to your kitchen
for one last night,


It was over,
you thought as your
exhausted arms wiped down
your section with a
worn out cloth
sweat trickled from your
neck
and as you cling-filmed wrapped
strawberries
your mind slips with the
sanitiser, you have to
check your surroundings
and flash fry a reminder,
Sydney Opera House
Australia,
over ten thousand miles
from the ancient city you had fled
nearly six months prior
and the words you had said
to me
echoed
through the Opera House
the ways that you’d treated me
by the end
reverberated across the bay
as water took thoughts
from a Commis Chef
and tried to deliver
countless different ways
of saying sorry
and adventures in former
colonies
collapsed into curiosities
of what am I up to now?
and how exactly does
my life and my kitchen
compare to the
prestigious culinary section
you find yourself
in now,

It’s two in the morning,
and I mop the floor of
my kitchen
for the last time
collected debris and
misplaced sauces
are sucked up by my
relieved and deliberate
efforts to make a fucked floor
shine,
and my tense body
courses with relief
as I flick the light
switches
as no more thoughts
of your kitchen distress me or
how the tenuous connection
releases
horrible inaccurate fantasies
of a person who moved
across the world
and who doesn’t love me
anymore,
your kitchen was fiction and I’m finally
OK with it all.

Advertisements

Everything’s Going to be OK, Forever

Everything’s going to be OK,
forever,
you said,
as you wrapped one arm
around my knee,
though ironically
we were sat on the steps
of a memorial built for those
for which it wasn’t OK
not for forever
for them there was never
any question of being OK again
and now they are
dead,

The blue whale is the biggest thing
ever,
you said,
as you wrapped one arm
around my chest
the best mornings
we’d both had in months
a year long summer
sweeping over us
on the breeze
warm bodies and restarted
hearts,
though unanswerable anxieties
building inexplainably in the back of our
heads,

The magpie is my favorite because it is
clever,
I said,
as shallow streams wrapped themselves
around eroding stone
and barley fields swayed
in the golden hour
until they fell beneath us
leaving
two birds alone
the scorched earth beneath us
cracked
leaving open heads to be ransacked
by feelings of
maybe we would be better off
if we never got the bus
home,

There are some things that horoscopes can’t explain
whatsoever,
we said,
as superheated minds
whirled
looking to latch on to more
than on-offer-at-tescos-wine
more than 2-4-1 cocktails
in a bar that wishes it was in spain
past pain not nullified
and past lovers fictionally
vilified
for the sake of
each other
to deny our past peaks
and troughs
will never be enough
to quell questions that linger
after the train from platform four
has pulled away leaving
only a licked finger stuck into
the coming winds an
only indicator to somehow
figure
that you were right

I hope,

that everything’s going to be OK,
forever,
and we’ll be able to
mask past scars and
existential anxieties
with fake tan
tightly clasped hands
endless mornings of dreaming
and we’ll do more than cope
fuck wishing to hope,
and forget all the poorly written
misguided and horrifying
horoscopes
choosing instead,
to fall in love, OK?

forever.

Dock Leaf

Maybe you could be
the dock leaf
the antidote
to all of my stings,
Maybe you could be
my old wives tale
that makes me think
less literally
about weeds and other
more important things,
like what exactly is
the length of the world’s
most lengthiest cat
and exactly why was that
so important to us both
at 4am,
an eager sun licking through
the window just to
reignite my heart
after too long
again,

Maybe I could be
all the colours
that Monet used to use
soothing pastels set against
brooding shadows who refuse
to fade,
only to be punctuated by
deep red roses
bursting out from the shade,
Maybe I could be
the notations in the margins
of all your books,
messily scrawled thoughts
scribbled
wherever your wandering eyes
happen to look,
these quotations from greats
that we share through
airways,
will one day be our own
great thoughts shared
to inspire other young
fates,

Maybe you could be
the destruction
of me,
another age of shattered hearts
of anguished nights
drawn out endings
and a breaking down into
our once again separate
parts,
Maybe you could
very wrong
about these warnings that you
eagerly broadcast,
like the bright yellow stripes of a bumblebee
shouting danger
don’t touch me
don’t touch me,
though your wings are delicate
and your six legs are soft
the barbed sting only really
ever a last and final resort,
I’m just not that sensible
anyway
when it comes to the matter of
things like,
honey,

Maybe we could be
both our dock leaves
and our nettles,
the cause and the cure
to uncertain lives’ pickings
of they-love-me, they-love-me-not
petals,
Maybe we could be,
I imagine not pure
but if anything a sure
footed stride through stinging
beds,
a welcome relief for
these smoke dream filled
heads,
I don’t know if it
is in fact true
that dock leaves always do
grow next to
nettles,
but I know that I’ll never
be able to settle
until I’ve found out these things
for myself first,
and then
for you.

The Sublime and Garage Wine

I tried to finish a poem tonight
about a time I was full
of dread and panic and
then i just thought
fuck it,
why?
It’s not a question of dragging up old pain,
it’s more a question of I just don’t
care
anymore than I would If someone I didn’t know
had also been sad
in the south of Spain,

Exile in Andalusia,
quite probably quite a waste
of sublime scenery
or maybe a perfect match
between an empty man and
desolate fields stretching
from my unsure feet
all the way to the
edge of the horizon and on
to where over dramatic thoughts
of my-lifes-over and what’s-the-point
meet,

Though the flight home was
more cleansing than any moorish hill
or palace from Star Wars in Seville
could ever hope to be,
turbulent air flow and
thoughts of the wings dipping
down far below cruising altitude,
a multitude of emotions gripped me
as a child began to cry in
row E, seat 13,
She would care, of course
if all that could be recovered from the wreckage was the
black box
full of screams,
but not how at the I wanted
her to cry about me,
less rolling news on the BBC
more heartfelt sentiment in
our local newspaper’s obituary
section
with a rose and a prayer and
young love lost is never pretty
rarely fair
no matter which side
lost affection,

But the plane moved through
the storm,
the children stopped their annoying
wailing
and I landed
hard but in one misshapen
form,
My suitcase came around
and I paced
along corridors that I’d
wound my fingers through others
six months before,
The bus home was boring
and my phone ran out of battery
the house was empty
as was my head
as was our bed
but I slept,
I got up
I slept
I got up
I changed beds
and I slept
I got up
and I read
and I read
and I wrote till
my fingers were gnarled
and aching and the
sun burnt the fuck out of
my sentimental head
I saw planes I saw friends
I told my mother things
I should have always
have said
and I laughed
and we laughed
at summer together and wine
flew out of the 24 hour garage
at a million miles per hour
until one day I slept
I got up
I was fine,
I said
not to anyone but
to myself.

Hopeless

We are hopeless
in a way,
like if the dodo had
maybe a chance to
say something
to the effect of
can you not eat me
maybe just leave me
to be a pointless animal
that many clearly found to be
delicious,

The sun beats us down,
and the close air
closes nearer
sending sweat dancing
from your I’d-still-rather-be-in-bed-with you
brow,
and somehow you could
obviously sense that I was
scribbling about you again,
after all who else could
I be hopelessly writing
for on this
the next evening after
expecting but never hoping
for summer ending
rain,

It might be too forward
to try and hopelessly
rhyme,
about how sick in a good way
that I feel everytime
that you walk towards me,
If I were to maybe order
a slice of chocolate fudge cake
would I know the right
words to say
as you place the plate
delicately
before I have the chance to make
a fool out of myself
around you,
which seems to be
my talent
of late,

We are hopeless
in a way,
utterly fucked some might
suggest,
but what would the world
have me do
but anything than pursue
a person I can’t stop thinking
about,
a feeling I don’t want to ignore
only to regret
things we both could have possibly
said,
Only a few more pints pulled
until you can forget this place,
It only took a few
until I was hopelessly sure
I wouldn’t be able to
forget your hopelessly pretty
face.

Mother and Son

From Reigate to
Florence Park
you’ve always made sure that
I know who I am
through the light and
through the dark
you’ve always there to say
I can
be as happy as
a mother wants her
son to be,

If success as parent
is measured less
in salaries
a job in a bank
work hung in big galleries
but instead by
wisdom and love
poured from an always half-full cup
above one sometimes more empty
then I only have you to thank
for all the times
you’ve ensured
I’ve always had plenty
of our families kindness
to spread over others
wounds
and that’s your words
through my hands,

A love of our histories
is something we share
though not every
adoration
has to stretch back to
when strong men ploughed
fields and
young women travelled
from wales
I’ll tell my children a
about the strongest person
that I know
who painted signs so
that her best creations
might have the best chance
to grow
into loving and thoughtful
living histories
of their own,

A friend in the spring
in the autumn
a mentor
the best kind of mum
that I could ever ask
for were it not for your
kindness and all
that you give me
I’d not know who I am
I’d not know who to keep trying
to be
and through all of our successes
and all of our failures
my love for you will always and forever
be endless
our bond is unbreakable
whatever is to come
together
a mother and son.

Oxford’s Going To Miss You

Not just the spires
that we know are really
nothing
more than a symbol
less than a reminder
of walking through streets
paved with history but desires
more focussed on
studying a lover than
yet another
example of who
exactly did build this town called
Oxford’s going to miss you,

More than a bed of
nettles
explored and discovered
in the dark by
young love spread thick
a two footed kick
through stinging spores
and unwritten histories
a mystery
to think a bed of
mildly irritating weeds
already knew
back then that of course it is
Oxford’s going to miss you,

Imagine the rivers reaction
the streams the canals
to know that their
always moving often
soothing
paths through your
past and present
desires a gin and tonic
a foot dipped beneath its
cooling friendly but
never platonic
adoration of your presence
it already had to
come through
so many locks just to know that
Oxford’s going to miss you,

Meadows just cannot
believe it
Christ Church, Port
and those bits
off Botley Road that never knew
what to call themselves
find it hard to admit
that maybe their flooding
did infact drive you
away
riptides whirling against
love unfurling first
into a tapestry
then into a fist
receding rains a cue
cos
Oxford’s always going to miss you,

What can the cycle lanes say
when they learn
that you are going
to leave them
trading tarmac
for dust
these battered pitted and
cracked roads are never going
to go but
they’re going to still
need you so
much
Bright lights on
black roads waiting
for worn tires to kiss
them just a few
more times before
Oxford’s going to miss you,

I have little words that
I can add
to a city’s sentimental
outpouring of loss and
sadness makes me sure
that I’ve been right all
along all these years and
whatever warmer shores
you may find yourself
now on
these bricks streams fields
history memories of nights
you couldn’t wait to
get back just to kiss
me
that now line our hearts
in seams
above you the sky is
different now
but the streets beneath my feet tremble
with how Oxford
and I
are forever going to love
and then miss
you.

After Us

I keep buying notebooks,
to write ten lines of things that sometimes
rhyme
sometimes about you
often
nonsensical
but most are never finished
life gets in the way
no it doesn’t
it’s professional level procrastination,
agitation
and imagined creative constipation
all the fucking
time,

This notebook cost me
forty-five pence
from a high street supermarket
which I wrote a poem about
nearly ten months
hence why I have a shoe box full
full of mass produced
and whiskey seduced
words that mean nothing
if they’re not finished
before you get home
and remind me
of the times
that we
almost
pretended we had
not tangible but
naïve cos-the-world-owes-us-a-life-
apparently millennial and entitled
aspirations,

I’m writing now
faster
but it’s the third verse
or is it a stanza and
the thoughts come quicker after
the first double measure
of neat malt liquor
now faltering and
flailing into an
aimless and wandering
train of thought
a direct line between
my own hang ups
this services makes zero stops
until it terminates
at hopes of us being
happy again
together,

All of this reminds me of
living alone
before salaried hours and
buying you apology
flowers
when writing was my light
in the darkest
of miserable
hours pass me by but
days drag me kicking
and screaming into
a reality of sliding towards thirty
but not owning anything
that we can call
in anyway
ours,

The more that I write and
the more the fog
clears
the more the thoughts of
buying you a dog
brings me to
not-in-the-tenancy-agreement
tears
I should write more
I can write more
We should dance before
the time that we’ve had
in the last three and a
half hectic
nearly four years
is
gone
Everyone pretends that
everything’s alright
when every non-social-media shareable
non attention seeking non
re-tweetable marketable
metric
points towards the idea that it
clearly isn’t
it’s all
wrong,

The last section
of this thing
I don’t want to call it a verse
or a stanza
because I clearly don’t know the
answer
if writing was as easy as
wanting a life with you
then I’d already published a
New York Times best selling
erotic fiction trilogy
pissed the royalties up the wall
and outsold Ballard
then Bukowski
but I like summaries even if
superfluous
and I enjoy conclusions to
questions and queries of
the unknown
as long as the topic
of study and speculation
now or until beyond
what is forever
is never
the state of you and I
a vision of an
imagined future
alone after
us.

Super Fantastic Supermarket Trip

Last night I walked
around a busy supermarket
looking to kill some
time,
the last place I wanted to be,
but it felt almost
spiritual and
calming
amongst the hustlers
and the bustlers,
all buying their Friday night
smokes and
wine.

A shiver ran down my
back
and across my arms
as I walked past the
pre-made sandwiches,
I felt alive and amazed
that waiting for the bus
could be so
fucking exciting,
and then comes
the memories
the inside
smile
an outside
grimace
as I think back to
what then could have been
motionless,
while gazing down
the cleaning product
aisle.

Chinese girls buying cereal
what
a
rush.
Single men buying
a
single
tooth
brush,
What a complete and
and utter
experience I was having,
the calmness inside me
spread
and soon I was
reminiscing
about hand holding
in fields
drinking and smoking
in fields
and fishing
in rivers
before he was
dead.

I needed deodorant,
I thought,
turning to face another
shelf,
I needed the moment
though,
I needed to stay in a trance,
in the the body
of a ghost
a non-consumer,
not myself,
but a spectator.
My feet planted by
the kitchen appliances,
my mind
ten years ago
South Northamptonshire
then West
Devon
furious seas and
those gently swaying-in-the-breeze
fields
located far above hell
but just below
heaven
the floor beneath is
screaming
clean me
but my elevated existential
plane of existence
is pleading
please don’t
mirtazapine me
take me back
not to change things or to
lament
but to fucking revel in
the simplicities
the freedom
have I lived a good life?
has it been full
enough
is that why I yearn
for another spin of
the wheel to
turn reality around
I have never been good with tying my motives
down in the belly of
a city-centre supermarket
strip lights illuminating
products
of late night
epiphanies and
fifty years to soon
local newspaper
obituaries.

Excuse me
he said
edging past me
as I still stood
fixed
I need deodorant.
the mist lifting
yet clinging like as it mixed
like teenage body-spray
with the sweat on my palms
I grabbed the can
and headed for
the rows
and rows
and rows
and rows
of self-service checkouts
automated,
poorly
calibrated,
Surely this was
it
scan the bar-code
and the Zen of my
late night super fantastic
supermarket trip
would rip
and tare
the newspapers
boil
the seas
burn
the gently swaying-in-the-breeze
fields
how long could you keep
a life made of
memories
memorized on
life support,
My hand grabbed the deodorant
and, then
beep.

Last.

The last bastion of
solitary drinking,
of,
apocolypticly
thinking
that maybe things
might just end up OK,
of,
crinkling raincoats and
cluttered tables,
Are you using this seat mate
of,
course I’m not
mate, I’m here to drink
beer and to write
prayers as I
sweat under all of my
too many ill planned,
and now redundant,
layers.

The last sanctuary of,
nostalgic thinking,
of,
charged glasses
clinking,
To health and,
to futures that
were maybe always
roared
with overly optimistic
mouths,
too hopeful from the beginning
of,
that summer when
I thought that you too wanted
me as I had
always assumed that
two young people
marooned and
consumed,
by new build
and cheap thrilled
cul-de-sacs,
would eventually
do.

The last manned outpost of,
the west,
of,
fucking awful jobs,
but still insisting
on resisting
the call
of,
the salary man,
the commuting man,
the planning or even
talking about pensions
man, I wish
upon
a busy bar
that I was
unaware
of,
just how beautiful,
you are,
of,
rain laden haze
of,
aspiration combined with
limitless procrastination and
of,
all the ways
I could better
fill my days than
nostalgic drinking,
apocalyptic thinking,
and pretending that I will
really
be the last
of,
anything.