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  • Charlie Baylis

Lose Your Illusion: Charlie Baylis

Charlie Baylis is from Nottingham, England. He is the Poetry Editor of Review 31 and Assistant Editor of Broken Sleep Books. He has published two pamphlets Elizabeth (Agave Press) and hilda doolittle´s carl jung t-shirt (Erbacce). His poetry has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and once for the Forward Prize. He spends his spare time completely adrift of reality.

Charlie's poetic statement: "God bless Laurence Berridge!"



can you help me cut the crap

can you help me clear the cache

i want to snap off some parts of my memory

(help me) undress the brackets

vertigo like masturbating on a luxury sofa

vertigo like a long finger placed slowly on a lipstick lip

or flicking the toes off phonological discourse

undoing bad bad neural works while i wax

brazilian german thrust/ split saxons fucked up on xanax rome

the western hemisphere has regressed since the fall of carthage

chelsey comes close to coming on her white glove, it slaps

my ass/ her ass/ interstellar parallax

i hate to bring up the cactus

but it needs watering

welcome to new york

find the one you want and fuck

the lights out the moon glows silver in acid rain

sex starts to drip when you hit thirty

thousand slip on my face burn my money

dip flip whip taylor swift and ryan adams

snogging slick lips to the same sick n y beat

blue genes spiralling jfk inside my lungs

the more you tell me the less i listen

cheers for the vandalized statue

the empty bag of ‘potato chips’

i came into manhatten on the m

a star has exploded over jamaica

shattering into a million little cracks of light

i have forty in my pocket

actually i call them ‘crisps’

you could care less = i could care more

if only i had the guts to question

the words in my mouth

as your mouth moves

meeting my mouth’s moves

all the sounds we hear are shimmering:

welcome to new york

delphine bathes in the moonlight

delphine hits off on the first note, off

on the black and white cover of vogue, off

with her jumper, her bra, her black and white knickers, off

we fuck on the bonnet of her black and white car

the car her daddy stole, off

with the poppy head delphine yells

beethoven plays at the wrong rpm

almost a nightmare

i leave my legs above her legs

in the rearview

if delphine enters a black lake

i do not have to tell you the moon is white

nor if i have painted the windows of my mind

should you ask the colour - it is immaterial

delphine bathes in the moonlight

i slice peaches sticky peach juice on my hands

making a mess of my magic

tricks. i do not have any magic tricks

in the dark we gaze into the solar system

she undoes every button on my blouse

to be closer to me

so she can see what is inside me

by which i mean


lose your illusion

after hlb

h told me happiness was a monochrome kite

blowing in the cartoon breeze between tennis racket strings

an illusion we lose printed on the back of a postcard

inaccurately stamped, addressed to the wrong x

she drew me a comic crocodile with a crocus in her mouth

she advised me to take pride in what i do, in what i do

i asked her why, why i, a living lego axle ego blow, why should i?

i only bought her book because my x stalked her facebook

befriending strangers ‘for my benefit’ - i didn’t even have facebook

i’d give up on my x but the world kept her interesting

her poems loaded with candyfloss fluffing up my rubbish bin

odd moments of clarity like lana del rey fucked on speed

tearing down sunset boulevard in the prose-poem dawn

where the window blinds are lit up by a gorgeous light

the boats in the harbour tinkle in the words she wrote

low clouds drizzling yellows on arthur rimbaud rainbows

back off bitch, don’t you cry, you ain’t the first

her fame waved in my face like an eternal flame

on the point of being put out, forever

charlie, isn’t forever

we kissed farewell in the petals of november rain

i didn’t care that nobody in new york knew my name

I didn’t care for her arts journal

i just liked the blue of her eyes

i told h it can be hard to hold on to illusions

if words are scarce

if there is nothing sacred left to hold

she smiled

she never said goodbye

pink ink

wave goodbye to the future

you bore me to shreds, you self-regarding

piece of shit

i’d rather listen to a whale masturbate

than hear you holding forth about a book

you haven’t read

hey it’s 2018 (who knew!)

wipe your arse with lined paper, 72 times,

ya hey! second collection


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The image of Quasimodo is by French artist Louis Steinheil, which appeared in  the 1844 edition of Victor Hugo's "Notre-Dame de Paris" published by Perrotin of Paris.


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