Monthly Archives: July 2011

misunderstanding (lost in translation)

it must have been a misunderstanding?
language barrier.
cultural differences and expectations mismatched.

you won’t talk to me, so I asked Google.
of course.

dear Google Translate

what is the word for ‘torture’ in Catalan?
what is the word for ‘grief’ in French?
what is the word for ‘humiliation’ in German?
what is the word for ‘deception’ in Japanese?
what is the word for ‘isolation’ in Swedish?

what is the word for ‘broken’?
in Spanish?

international life of a spy.



throw away my photos
stop asking why.

tear up my words: poems, letters, books
stop asking why.

change your linen, change your cologne, change your breakfast cereal
stop asking why.

buy a nail file.

stop telling lies.

I don’t sleep.

Four days.

Has to be some sort of record.
At least.

But now I don’t sleep.
Like I’ve forgotten how.

Instead I lie.
Like you?

Sore, swollen eyes wide and searching in the dark.

If I am able to distract myself,
the result is highly productive.

Would you like me to do your tax?

This is the wrong bed.

And this sickness. Uneasy, terrifying, lonely, dark, sickness.
Like a tiny kitten following me everywhere.
Unlike a tiny kitten, not cute, not soft, not loving.

Reminding me.

Like I could vomit any moment,
and no-one would know the liquid was you.
Tearing at me from inside.

I know you.
Conjuring all the usual suspects.

Maybe this time something more.
I am defeated.

I am too well-trained to be the sad one anymore.
I am too well-mannered to show the truth to anyone but you.
I refuse to be a victim, but it doesn’t stop the inevitable persistence of the sickness.

And in sleep I am overcome.
The knife is deep in my skin.
This is not the envelope I imagined.

I knew not to trust the postal service.

To sleep for years and let my life go by.

But I don’t sleep.

small bird.

I reached the sunny peak
of the lighthouse once more.

I saw a small bird
We stared at each other as he finished nibbling his berry.
He jumped back and forth:
one eye on me —
strange, hunched creature with wide eyes and an even wider hat —
and the other focussed to select his next tasty morsel.

He stops still.

Tiny, brown, gold-flecked wings
that revealed a flash of brilliant green
as he rose to continue exploring parts of the world
I would never see.

I think, ‘he seemed like a ‘he’. But then I never got a chance to ask.’

life of a spy.


this time two weeks ago?
elation, love, cherished.

this time one week ago?
humiliation, pain, discarded.

this time today:
departure lounge.

the life of a spy.