Daniel Sluman


You may feel like you've drained
all the clock has for you,

but this isn't forever;

your comingsofage packed
in ice, each needle smiling

like a lover. When you wake

to find a tube hanging from your chest
your ears will swarm with bees,

the doctor will catch you

just before you hit the tiles.
You will never feel more alive than now:

someone else's blood sizzling

under your skin, your mother's make-up
shaking to the floor. The tumour on the x-ray

tells you life is a fistful of cobwebs.



The last time we spoke

I was smearing the red flag
of myself around the tub;

the bottle & knife clinking

in my hand. I mentioned
that since I was a child

I have been narrowing

all the questions in the world
to matchsticks, striking them

against my skull., I don't know
how I felt nothing so utterly.

I've learnt patience,
not everything has to wisp

from my fingers. There is a priest
who prays for me; they fly

off his knuckles & hang in the air,

swooping, their feathers
line my pillow. If he could see

these gaping white smiles

on my arm, could taste
the dreams that split my sleep

he's understand. God sees me

as a tiny pink coffin, wandering

from place to place, waiting
to fall into the open earth.


*Previously published in Ink, Sweat and Tears


Daniel Sluman is a 25 year old poet based in Gloucestershire. His poems have appeared widely in journals such as Cadaverine, Popshot, Shit Creek Review, & Orbis. His debut full-length collection, Absence has a weight of its own, was published by Nine Arches Press in 2012. He is on the editorial board for Iota.