blackmail press 26
Robert Grant
Berlin, Germany

from: Angipanis of the Abanimal People - Andy Leleisi'auo
I’m a writer, living and working in Berlin for a little under two years now and have just completed my first novel entitled Much more than Mexico. After university in Southampton (England) I was published in a number of small independent magazines including Love Words and Beat, which introduced me to the emerging poetry scene. My poetry was first published by Searle of Norwich in 2005, in the form of a solo spoken word poetry album, entitled ‘The Rambling Man’. This lead to performances on numerous stages, events and festivals all across the world. 
Since moving to Berlin I have quickly established a strong reputation as a writer and poet. With articles about me published in The ExBerliner and the Berliner Morgenpost.

Robert Grant

+ Dirty feet

Options of the day start to present themselves,
with a vale of back ache, thrust and coffee shop inconspicuousness.
Wind blowing papers across the street,
as beautiful women wonder what the disheveled is writing.
Considering as they pass if they should introduce themselves with a fake smile over latte’s.
For a man of that age, in this neighborhood, looking so crumpled
Means, he must be a creative.

If only they knew the truth,
they would see me a depraved bum,
wondering what I have to do to fuck them right out of their beautiful tan pumps,
for any purity has been squeezed dry.

Sitting with dirty feet, as I stumbled into a night club last weekend,
so drunk that in order to proceed, I had to tip gravity in my favor.
Then, whilst wearing flip-flops, balance myself at the bar wishing I had remembered to bring my glasses in order to understand the strobe lights,
making snap shots of sexual advance, seam sleazy.

If only they could look inside here for a moment, see the depravedly sensual things I am doing to them right now, they would simply look at me dirty feet and walk on.
Tell a ‘Berlin lunatic’ story to their friends that evening, over neat dinning room manners.

Luckily the sun is burning their eyes…I positioned myself correctly,
for all that is now on show is the romantic hero.
Normality dispelled and distilled to a single drop of coffee from my lips.
Sunlight burning away my bad hair, social skills and dirty feet,
leaving only a dream that ‘He could be the one’.
The one to take all this falseness away and give me back some semblance of life.
He’s a creative!

The truth is,
that I am no more sexy than any other imagined archetype…no more misunderstood than an accountant or parking attendant.
When the history of bravado is stripped, I am no more unusual than any other man on this planet.
No more capable of romance, no more jaded by life or spontaneous. Just a man, sitting here writing, hoping for someone to notice.

Yet, as they walk past for that split second, I seam luminous,
because of all the things they would normally berate.
Dirty feet, bad hair, Tuesday…midday, drinking coffee to get over last night and my stained perverted sneer,
all my faults evaporated, just as my coffee in the warm sun.

They may come back round again tomorrow, see another romantic hero,
sitting disheveled in a café, trying hard to make sense of himself.
‘Oh he’s so tortured, so brave’
Yet they won’t remember it’s me.
the accountant, the sordid actor, playing out his fantasy
in the morning, with romantic notions and festered thoughts, humbled to think that one time they may just sit down and say hello….

+ Temporal tin pot

and so it begins again,
thought corroding reasons,
reasons sculptured into distortions,
Rorschach impressions of life.
The past has been drawn to this point,
now consuming the present,
with future possibilities,
fragmenting any want to continue in a form of now.
For what is now?
Is now the experience you are having in this present tense?
by thinking about it in this way,
are we not changing the present?
making a new construction of now?
So is it true to say that I am temporal?
Temporally controlled by knowledge of my past.
all time is moving in both directions,
time being no more than a conduit of experience.
If I choose to get run over by a car?
If I choose to drink this coffee,
smoke this cigarette.
The present effects the future in the same way as the past effects the present,
for time is merely an illusion,
existence is all there has or will ever be,
striding toward a memory of even writing this.

Do I stop here?
Or here?
Or continue writing until the ink runs clear,
or paper becomes extinct.
Do I stop mid sentence……….to simply confuse.

If time be truly temporal and there is only this moment,
existing purely in the mind.
Then maybe
this poem should go on forever and we should all fuck!
Exceptionally slowly.

+ Naturally man made

and then it fell quiet,
the pond skaters only dancing when he looks their way,
humming cars, silenced by a thought,
bumbling in his belly,
as the cigarettes wrestle his gag reflex,
due to forced…man-made serenity.

birds make no sound, but for that of mating rituals,
played through a broken phonograph in a distance constructed purely from song.
whistled from small children swallows,
then thrown back up in disgust of the noise,
those noises more affirmation than ritualistic.

fish flipping their tails,
absolving themselves from petty arguments,
put forth by a large seagull,
turned instantly to dragonfly, purely for acoustic effects.
for this is a quiet place,
a man made serenity,
too constructed to be natural,
too symmetrical to be accidental,

a 21st century version of how calm really should seam.

the illusion dispelled, the lie protruding,
he sits and vomits reaction,
breaking forced silence,
if the silence was there to be broken at all.

+ A first time for everything

It was the first time in his life that he had sat shirtless on a hay bail.
The first time he had seen a wheat field littered with herbal toilet rolls,
the first time he had felt so small.

The sun burnt his back, yet the wind kept him perfectly dry….Another first.
Birds sang only for him, the sky winked blue, rodents disturbed quietly,
yet something felt estranged .

For, it was the first time he hadn’t thought about her since they met.
First time her smile didn’t burn his eyes, her smell arouse, her lips whisper lies,
but even that was now over.

For he realized that she was all around him, smiling, as the wind on his face.
As the sun she clawed his back in memory of something secret, discrete yet familiar, 
as the hay bail she gave him warmth.

The reality of that field was dispelled from that second on, not so pure or natural.
As he could see her all around him, hiding true beauty, making everything plastic, manmade,
for her innocence had arrived to enveloped the earth.

Nature was made ugly, everything normal turned grotesque…contorted, dissolved. 
He knew she was somewhere in the world, somewhere clear of questions and that place,
wasn’t beside him on a hay bail…in the sun.

+ Have you handled me badly?

How can you play so nonchalantly with someone’s heart?
How can you feel the need to do so?
Why, when decisions of sex had been passionately made, could you push aside this validation of trust and truth?

Your passion for life consumed me, your beauty astounded.
Now I bare a conclusion of misplaced gestures,
which have no place in my life.
I think the idea of this poet made the rational become flirtation, become passion, become sex, become secret, become scared, become forgotten.

Now it rapes me of sleep.
Once excepted advances seam forced, even sleazy…and can’t be continued in this way.
For I like you enough to sleep with you, share time and emotion with you, I being the man I know myself to be…emotion is all I have, it’s keeps me breathing, is my past and future.
Never changing, never bettering or worsening, yet positioned to be confused.

Have you misplaced your hands?
Wrapped them around the heart of an artist? When the only artists I know is irrational.
If that be the case, then damn you for being so callus, you shouldn’t confuse the already contorted!!
For that is just unkindly, even cruel or stupidly flippant,
of which all characteristics I thought you didn’t possess.

So to end these questions…these rants of crumbled satisfaction.

Just tell me the truth, for it the only language I know or care to indulge. 

+ In time to drink

I’m destroying myself,
becoming a parody of everything I think I should be.
Sinking any real reasons to consider myself anything but what I have become,
that being…a drunk!
Now it has to stop,
for words will not fall onto the page by themselves,
poems won’t be written.

I have become the thing I most hate.
A writer who thinks that by simple saying I am makes it so!
Not seeing that I am only lying to myself,
for I’m a drunk.

Put down the drink and pick up a pen you mirrored excuse.
Tell yourself in the morning and every morning that today I will write.
When the urge comes again
and it will
put down the bottle and pick up just the smallest sliver of artist respect.
that there is still something in there to say,
that there is still something in there worth holding out for,
my rare, dare to be great moment of clarification, not coffee shop pantomime.

This tide of wallow now resides in hollow sentiment,
these thoughts of pre conceived greatness…now rest
in twitching arms
as days turn to weeks
and yet more great poems reside firmly in my bowls.

Honesty lives in the true parts of this lie,
in small moments of clarity,
when you know you are doing something you should not,
in that spilt second at the end of the night when you realize you have had to much.

As you tumble through the same streets,
confessing your sins in self monologue
residing just behind reason and fate.
then you trip on the pavement and end up face down in a pool,
of freshest Berlin dog piss. 

Standing to confess change ideas, find a sink and kick the next dog I see firmly in the balls!
A time to encourage yourself,
take away these foolish whims to live in the eyes of poet’s past,
move forward to glance upon the world with eyes of sanity,
with reasons to do rather than say…have done.
Hold tight, never to let go of this mind, so nearly
confined to history by a bottle of whisky and past success.

I’m undone, still unmade, yet my mind would have me think otherwise,
my liver the same,
as I tap out these few words,
in time to drink.