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2 poems by Cai Draper


one of the main problems with being alive

is that other people accept you more than yourself

this specific thing makes me go into the corner & bang my head

it’s okay Cai they say

but stop banging your head

& I say what you really mean when you say that

is you want me to bang my head even harder

if you didn’t then you wouldn’t have said the opposite

that’s when they look baffled & upset

& say I don’t understand come & sit with me


then we hug but it doesn’t feel like a hug should

it feels like a very bad piece of wood forever

there’s a mosquito is rubbing itself into the living room window in the evening sun

mostly what I contemplate is where the next headswoon is coming from

& by that I don’t mean weed or wine

but perhaps the swan

bossing its way through Venice now the boats’ve gone


today’s the day I release the photos of my burial mound

made of disposable lighters pilfered from the artist nervous at the doors to the space


& a sheaf of part stuck collages



& a Friday night of half cut colleagues whipping themselves into soft peaks

this morning I found a pair of Oreo doughnuts in a box with a see through top

perched on a gate post at the front of my house

I took them in immediately

it was too dangerous


Cai Draper is a poet from South London living in Norwich, whose work appears in various magazines, anthologies and journals. He hosts an online reading series with Assembly House, and organises free poetry workshops at the Book Hive. @DraperCai


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