Avatar Review

Issue 18

Poetry » Dane Cobain »


All Hallows

I won’t deal with pumpkins
or race magic carriages
against dual carriageways;
I won’t open doors
to witches and warlocks
in case they’re actual witches and warlocks
and not just kids with free sweets
and who said I would treat them

As a theoretical adult,
I try to avoid people of all ages,
but it’s the kids who scare the shit out of me
whether they’re costumed or not,
and we’re watching gang fights
where one guy’s packing heat but no ammunition
and the other guy has a knife
but doesn’t know about the bullets.

I had my doorbell disconnected,
but now people knock instead
and scare the shit out of me,
especially when it’s the police
launching an enquiry
about previous tenants
in the past tense.

Preserve the apostrophe
and save the whale!
Drown yourself in chainmail
like industrial estates
with barbed wire fences.


Sleep is for the weak,
the meek and mediocre,
the poster-child of the idylls
when you’re tired and ribald
and your mind melts
and drips down your spinal cord
until surgeons have to reattack it
at great expense to the taxpayer.

My nights
are like Chinese torture chambers,
and my days
wash away the rain.

Now I’m lighting incense
and shaking like a Polaroid picture,
too shy to kiss her
in case she kisses back
and I have a heart attack,
‘cause I’m like that –
I have anxious panic attacks
where the world goes black
and the doctor says
that I should sleep more.

But what’s the point of sleeping
when you’ve got no-one to sleep with?
When you’re lying wide awake
with the fear at 4 AM,
the sensible option is to stop trying
and to start doing some work again.

she’s my carbonated caffeine,
and I’m her
artificial sweetener.

Positive Vibes in the Desert

I wish I could climb inside your mind
and hide there,
watching documentary films
and occasionally leaving to go to the bathroom
or to smoke a cigarette;

your mind is nice and kind
and partly mine,
half-crazed and strangely insane
and if I could take your pain and shoulder it,
I’d shoulder it,
and when it rains
you can control it,
‘cause you’re a child of the elements
and the fallen angel of sunlight.

So when it feels like the worries of the western world
wash over you like tsunamis in the middle of the desert,
you will see my vibes like beams of light,
shimmering mirages you think are real
‘cause you can feel them,
and you will know how it feels
to love
and to be loved.

Another Day

I’m sorry for all of the shit I cause
with my feelings and thoughts
and my wolf paws,
which are clumsy and knock things over
because they don’t have opposable thumbs;

I try to be strong
and I write my songs
and get things wrong
because failures are just steps on the road to success,
but sometimes I get anxious or depressed
and do my best to fuck my life up,
without even realising it,
and I’m scared that I’ll affect you
in a bad way.

Don’t get me wrong,
I love you,
and I love spending time with you,
but when the car’s accelerating and the cliff’s coming up
you should open the door and jump out
and save yourself ‘cause it’s too late for me,
although what’s more romantic than dying together
in the moonlight?

You are my white light
in the darkest night,
and I will live to fight
another day.