Wednesday, July 01, 2009

My Old Man

My old man
runs the local Superstore
up on Redd Street,
opposite The Sycamore.
My old man likes
to sink a beer,
doesn't mind the blacks,
but hates queers.

My old man's
a worm to feed,
rotten apple that
spilled too much seed.
His new wife
is from Maida Vale;
she shudders as she reads
The Daily Mail.

My old man
likes driving at night,
eyeing up girls
with push-up bras
and skinny thighs.
He takes them down
to the Suffolk stream
where everything
smells icy clean.

And he plucks them
off, one
by one, beside
the silent car;
twists
their necks like
new bought jam jars.

Then
he drops them in
the water, oh,
he watches them float,
tiny skirts fanning out,
their mouths
little red inflatable boats.

Sends them
swirling
down to the canal dam,
where dogs
shit heavy and
teenagers
push prams;
where the sun
rises yellow in
the dirty sky.

And every day:
another headline.
Every morning
he pulls his flannel pants on,
gives the wife a peck,
thuds down the stairs
to breakfast.

My old man
runs the local Superstore
up on Redd Street
opposite The Sycamore.
For him,
life is a question of
balance: he works his
fifty hours, then
teaches those fucking whores
a lesson.

My old man
lights a cigarette,
lets it burn
in my palm.
If I could hold a gun
I'd take him out tomorrow,
I'd take out every last prick
who laughed at his stupid jokes,
who bought him a drink.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Some of the Parts

All that made you up -
Ear lobe, spine, and laughter,
That small scar under your belly -
I tried so hard to keep them together.

Now they’ve gone to ground,
Plugging the soil. Seedlings sprout,
And birds build nests
From what made your heart beat slow,
That first time we nearly lost you.

Pacing the room,
I'd prayed for God to take you
Back to where he spewed you from
That first time,
Before I even knew you.

This body isn’t ours to have,
Begged, borrowed, stolen,
It lasts a while, and
Then is given back.
Doctors took your flesh, made it theirs.
Trimming a curl from your head,
I hid it in a pillbox,
I'd glossed red.

All that apparatus
Became part of you
– Hoist, chair, a plastic spoon
Metal wheels, an oxygen mask;

I breathed with you your last
Breath - strained, a tiny hole
Was all that was left of your mouth.

I kissed it all the same,
Pulling down the sheet to
Watch the liquid of your life
Drain away.

Next day I stepped out
Onto speckled pavements,
Sun behind poplars,
Smoke over steelworks,
Poppies staining my eye.
They buzzed with light from you.

You made the woodpigeon coo.

So through steel and white air,
Mucus, spring, fallow

I owe you my life, Mum,
Until red seeps back into that grainy snapshot
And I follow.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

paroxysm

for the girl
of blue equations
and tender faces

for her pink thigh
and the process
of her thinking

i am hiking
up volcanos.

carry her lips
on me

lest they
suddenly smile.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Motel Life

I'm painting my nails a violent red,
waiting for Harry to come cursing
through the door, shirt
out, hair greasy,
mouth snarling like a beat up Cadillac.

I'm blowing on my fingers,
listening for the sound
of his key in the lock before he lurches in,
tosses his jacket, stalks the refrigerator
for the last dregs of milk.

Only, truth is, I don't know any Americans,
least, none with eyes that glint like Harry's.
And I'm not painting my nails in a neon room -
I'm at my computer in England, watching numbers
stagger across the screen like drunken cats

Waiting for something to happen.

Back in that motel room, things are kicking off.
Harry's turned psycho; lost his memory.
He's tearing up dollar bills by the bathroom door.
His eyes look like they've been wired
to the walls' many loose electrical sockets.

Here on the bed, feet curled beneath me,
nipples poking out from under my vest,
all pink and hard like cats' noses,
I remember my pledge:
Time to split this joint, blow this town; make for the border.

That'd be all well and good
if I knew where the border was,
or indeed
which country
I was meant to be living in.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

How Aily Grew Up

Johnny turns out to be
the thinnest rake of them all
with his weedy eyes that train
on you
all night long
outside the diner or during
church.
I lost a lot
that evening, semen
on my dress, the lonely roadside.
In one blackout alone
I grabbed all my photos,
threw em in with the hotel litter.
I wasn't a looker, not fast
enough for the boys, not
cute enough for
Patsy; wailing
to my mother
through the cloakroom wall.
She never answered, course -
hair pulled back, mouth
dangling
like a ripped out appendix,
Moon River on the turntable.
I didn't wait
for the final
climax
that might lift us all
to God and heaven,
I just
crossed my legs
and cried
cos Jesus was a man
who'd never
come
fuck it better.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Mumps

Mumps, I tickle
what’s left of your fur:
king losing his crown
on the stinking rug,
thin graft of lamplight
beneath the stair.

No use struggling
as Mr Seams
lights up the fire, as
Thomas, skimming
The Racing Post, concurs
'This here dog’s life is passing…'

Mumps, your paw is rotten,
jaw, forgotten.
Soon to be like liver
hanging in a butcher’s shop.
We wait for Seams to sharpen
his claw, his jack,

to clean the molten tacks,
as his trolley squeaks;
as charcoal reddens your eye.

Wrap your tail around my hand
before he snips, before your
long ears, yesterday
dipping the water bowl,
get parted like some young tart's lips.

I won’t stop him. I’ve been here before.

Mumps, your time is upon you.
I’ve come to close the door.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

the stars outside are shouting my name

I get my laces twisted up;
my face, lit up
by what's shining in yours.
You say: I've got to go.
Messing with my zip, I say:
If you're going, then go,
and light a cigarette,
forgetting I don't smoke;
get up to make coffee
but the fridge is empty.
The stink from the pan
comes sweet and sickly,
like a man's last rites
when his end's come too quickly.
I wash it up, rinse off suds,

leave the window half-open

like a secret weapon, like
history.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Swings

Tiny one,
you never grew so big
that the world outside
could tear you apart
when you dropped out
onto it like a newly
baked scone.

Inside was so soft -
it protected, encased.
But the outside world
had a way of getting in.
It made you
what it already was;
in its own image.

Days were no longer ours
to play with.
They closed in
the same way
the world closed in
on your stick-thin frame.

By the rope-swing
wood pigeons
cooed
what could have been
your name.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

deserter

tied to the back
-------------- of an old woollen horse

into a land
made of white sand
like snow

rides a cornucopia of flowers
------------orange cherry
-------------------------------- red jet black
--bristling in
   the early dawn weather,

in a sack of aged- brown- leather.

exploding vision,

breaking--up
eye--- sight,


petals
-----------massacring
--- the senses.

the horse is blind----a deserter,
------------------------------------the morning is eyeless

walking to the edge
------------------------where memory
-----------------------reigns useless.

this desert's got no second life to complain about.

vermillion's
--------   gone.


inhale this comedy
of an all white
---------------------waste ground,
a sightless horse


drowning
---------spilling in,


terrifying






   colour.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

tuesday

Alone, I left you
to the quietude of seagulls.
It was a windy afternoon
when I went,
your small arms
lifted towards me,
trembling like
shutters,
hinges of rust.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

frail, we (for Mum)

You were the littlest bird
i'd ever seen;
feathers falling
under the open
window.
i touched your head
with my finger.
your
eyes looked down.
you'll not flit
around our garden again.
nest's empty,
alone, again.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

You Were My Girl

We were the lost ones,
the pretty few,

lining boots with finest fur,
diamante dripping from our veins

till our faces turned milky blue.

I saw you the first time
down O'Brien's alley

amid Coke cans and litter,
the sounds of Frankie Valli.

You stumbled from his car,
hitched up your mini-skirt

against the bakery wall
as he flipped his cigar.

I shrank back into my doorway
like Orson Welles,

only I was wrapped
in sheepskin and gold;

hair like seaweed,
fish scales beneath my nails,

sipping on nicotine.

You swung round,
big-eyed as a rag doll
or a puma;

your coat clung to you
like it was your only full-time lover

as you mouthed a curse
at me, raised a finger.

I wanted you
there and then,

as you disappeared into clouds of rain

at the back of 54th street,
behind cheap car fenders.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Fear Of drowning

What if the book and the pen must become my only lover? What if no one else will be able to… love me this way… make love to me this way… with the power of such feeling?
(a thousand valiant horses pounding on my brain, dizzying sex like opium or headlights, flushed breath, insane noises, all flock towards me… eaten by birds)
   
A deranged spinster in an attic flat filled with birdcages and Venetian death masks, radioactive rocks and black and white Audrey Beardsley pictures on her wall?
Muttering to herself, giving herself completely, surrendering all she is, legs akimbo, a sad hallucination, all adoring to her art?

Is this horrifying beauty?
Is this the only way?
Already, no one sees me for dust these days.
Who can match up, how can I match up any more

when I am an overgrown forest, a babbling brook, an overcast shadow, a yellow crab with pincers, a veritable feast, unknown still, misshapen, god, who will take me with so much emotion?

Too many tectonic plates moving, sliding.
I got Ethiopia in my twisted right foot, full scale blizzards in my cheeks, aurora, red, snowdrops, a wealth of peonies, fickle shadows, black legions of marching men, all tramping through the silent place where pleasure soars and danger beats (it’s here, sniff, the light between my thighs)

My writing voice is that of the wizened and post nubile.
Anonymous, androgynous, without form, shape, breasts.

Take me out of this place and I’m ceasing to know myself again.
Alien to me, with my lustrous hair, fingers soft and simple, and they still call me a beauty.

I shed her in these blank pages, dead as a door nail, voiceless abandon in a ferocious wind, graceless.

Such freedom tears me, all abrupt, seeking triumph, absolution...to be faceless.

I fear total submersion in my own rivers, death by drowning.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Pavlova

I watch your face change
like a smooth stone,
water running over;
like wet weather
in September;
like troops invading
a sleepy East European village.


Here it comes.

I’d sat in that same cafe
six months earlier,
Examining every ice cream flavour –
toffee, apple pie, raspberry pavlova.

I'd felt it coming,
like the pull of moon on tides
or a sure bet on ‘Lucky Numbers’.
We slept together
he'd said, face changing
like pebbles,
an ocean rushing over;
like downpours in July,
like men taking up arms
beneath an East European flyover.

I tossed the menu aside,
overturned his
banana cream gondola.
Stuck a finger up at the waitress.
Stomped outside, shouted at cyclists;
shook my fist at a seagull,
spat her name as if it were cyanide.

Felt stupid, went home.

Now I sit watching your face change
from spring to summer to winter.
This time I won’t stick around to hear it.
So I drop my spoon,
lick sauce from my chin,
say: "I bought the last lot.
Six pound fifty.
This time you’re paying."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

bah Hummbug

Here's to bright lights and joyousness,
it's Christmas after all!
I chopped myself to death with an axe
so I didn't have to hear
the old angels catawall.

Friday, December 01, 2006

I, Eleanor

I, Eleanor, give birth to a forest,
chipmunks and cicadas, antelope and fur
spilling from the white blades of my thighs
into red soreness, brash air.
Leaves are my eyes,
sunlight slashes my mind,
and all that I birth
will come back singing again,
the fox and the sycamore, chaffinch and wren.
This ground is pulled down, fretted and spent,
a toad in its brown paper skin
feeds at my breast, belching
kin
unto kin, a shout of insects
travelling weird
into loneliness.

I, Eleanor, give birth to a forest,
so the sky
kills me for my acorns,
for these windy hairs.
My
breasts, reduced size,
arms, legs,
head, scurrying
from daytime
to the mating ground:
a dead incubate.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Jehovah

Our world is a weak place
of towers and ruin,
tears, taste.
a sun comes up
in an old man's face,
happy to hurt
when the stars race.
turn of grace,
these letters
returned
to the same place,
without cataclysm, nor trace.

Monday, October 02, 2006

untitled poem

Electric,
this fire burns
dreadful
and all at once
we are branded
survivors
or witless
shakers of
silence.

Once, you plucked
a thorn from this bush,
said,
take me to
tomorrow, there I will be
branches, there
I will know
sorrow
no longer

than these days. Battered
winds of empty
passing, corridors
are the ones winding
into concrete,

thin air.
A step at a time.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Evensong

Sunday,
Chichester Cathedral,
I sit
on a cold wooden bench,
a silent moon
trembling
as the sign of the cross
wobbles above me.

Today I love you
no more, no less
than any other day.
Today, you breathe
the same air
you’ve always breathed.

Yet you are not the same.
Your breath is not the same,
and the air is wilting.

You said all year
how you dreaded the
Big Seven O.
How you couldn't believe
you had got
so old.

And my sister calls you
from a mobile
just to hear you
make any sound.
Just to wish you
Happy Birthday.

It doesn't matter
much to me if you
lie there thinking
we're all crazy
for crying over you this way.
For wringing our hands,
and clinging
like impossible lovers.

In Chichester Cathedral
I write your name, once,
on a square piece of paper -
put it in a box.
A shy act
that makes me uncomfortable
as I don't like
to think of you as a soul
that needs praying for.

And I want to lie down
on that smooth altar stone,
rest my head near
the empty chalice,
and shout ‘take me!'
to the lineage of saints -
my skirts open,
my mouth
filled with their blood.

But I walk the aisle slowly
like the cat's got my tongue.

Today I love you
no more, no less
than any other day.
Though more perhaps
today, for knowing
you do not even remember
it is your birthday.

And today my sister ran
to the nearest cathedral.
The sound of the organ
could not
drown out
her tears.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

poem

We are light
long enough for the sun
to exit the sky.
Our hair turns red then disappears,
our senses, the valleys.
Undone years
become our eyes.

Waste, waste more time.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

my best poem yet

the shiteing shitheads of doom
fill me up with glowering gloom,
follow me into my bathroom,
where they multiply and mushroom,
and I'm a foul smelling buffoon.
I'd get them with my harpoon
if I had one,
or if I had a clue
how to skew
the shiteing shitheads of doom.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Mother Bear

We're feral -
animals
back to the womb.

We climb
over you,
snuggle under
soft flaps of your skin,

sniff, gently
push away
the hair streaking
your cheek.

You are our burrow,
and our mother
bear;

we must
give you back
to the elements,

to the ground, air
and shit,

into fire, water and
breath.

In and out
you go,

dispersing
into white
spaces,

parts of you
eloping into
tomorrow.

So what connects us now

as the
concertina tube
blows in and out,

as your eyes
remain shut,

your toes out of
the bottom of
the bed to cool?

Two perfect white socks
pointing up
in the air.

I held your hand.
It was warm;
it was brown -

all those afternoons
in the sun
in our backyard

surrounded by geraniums
and
stone models of
tortoises.

Yes, warm.

What else is there?
This - a
silver cross?

Today you lay
in a white nightie top,
on a white pillow
among white sheets

A snowdrop
in Winter.

We brushed and plaited
your hair:
one bobble at the
bottom,
one at the top.

Said goodbye.
You opened your eyes.
Looked.

This is the hardest.

Now
a breeze through the
open car window burns my cheeks;

I see a moon, three quarters full.

Kind of beautiful
up there.

My phone rings.

Monday, August 14, 2006

loss

tonight
we cry

and the lost
women shout

up roads
up chimneys

around hedges.

lightning through a passing
graveyard,

weeping electricity.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

poem

mum
singing her way
to other places,
riding the
big horse and
its floppy
whiskers
home.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

red heeled shoes

up London Road
i am a
rapturous emergency,
shouting
at trees
& bus stops
where old men in caps
hang
like crucifixes
over signs
marked for Ditchling Beacon.
and i step
in a puddle of
daylight,
passersby streaking
like Olympic medallists
up the grey lawns.
i am sleepwalking
up the pavement,
or
skating on shiny flat heels.
my head is
communion,
that last Sunday in
December,
i'm a bat
hidden in its own
stringy wings,
a destiny
---already
deflowered, a
nerve
--blooming in
every direction,
a poppy-
driven to
-------------;insanity
and suicide
-by the smell of opium,
--and withering--car horns

-- fucking windshields

Monday, May 22, 2006

if you could see the shapes
the landscape makes,
hear the inevitable sigh of the wind
as it blows through your churches
and factories and graveyards

if you could kiss the breath of the sea
and chase its tides into the distance,
or watch stars falling
from the palms of angels
in white dresses

you would cover yourself in night,
leave the house in secret
and take to the streets
like they were your lover.
and you would not return.

poetry came first,
then later, the world.

Friday, May 19, 2006

...

wood-------bury
body in
earth---------------

-------split
head
open--------------

spider eats
bumble bee-----

--orgasm on the
beach------------------

fall on the
pavement-----cut
knee, split
thigh---
------holy spirit----

awakening----
every angel is
terrifying
------------
tattooed on my
back

desert knows
bigger than ---
100,000 crystal
rocks----

possession-----Lord seeing
everywhere-------------

ritual---bull is
dying--- sand is
red
with his blood----
we are crying---
wine tastes
good--

fucked
up by the
transcendental --

devotion------
suck his cock-----
lie and shiver---
Yves Klein yes
he was a nutter
who

spoke about the
void

the void------form
is ---------------
only------
emptiness-------------

--- gnawing biting
chewing-- born
reborn every
time you came

like sputtering
the fist from
your daddy's
grave ---- echo
---eta
carinae------


- i scatter -----

must -
read---must read
-- must read ---
must read - fell
inside the sun
---- turned over

was a first born

----- broken glass
makes angel
wings and sails
for ships -- hold
in --- let out ---

-------------------------------------
running away
from the face of
God ------------

sublime -----
snakes up back
drag spirit up ---
shake stir throw
shatter blast fuck

a prayer --- pure
always was -----
unspeakable
---
unsayable ---
poem -- must
spin must spin
must quake

-----------------------------
scare---

become witch in
bush under
starlight

a
shrine---
hut-------------
empty ----------
solid ------------empty

------------------------------------------------------
air-------------------
twist-

---untwisted-
knot--------
unravel-----
picture ----------
postcard-from
America.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

the lost, drowned pine

ropes,
i am ageing
eglantine and
spirit.
furthermost
i reach you,
spindle, wood,
lake palm
upper thigh.
bridged between
daylight,
off set by a
whirlwind, soon
escape, perhaps
elevated,
drugged special,we
break flowers
and
die.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

the wake

she was surprised
to find
she was glad
he was gone.

a terrier stopped barking.
traffic silenced
    ;   a window opened.

the Little Punch

i got a bad one to the stomach,
all winded,
i came up

---gasping.

and i took one,
here,
in the centre of
my breast bone.

(sometimes i
still
touch it
lightly,
quietly,

while no
one's looking.)

Friday, May 12, 2006

the lover

your mouth is a cathedral -
i want to pray in you forever!

she looked at him
carefully
from the eiderdown,
and wondered why
the biggest bastards
had
the best lines.

the scene

under lamplight
we eat
everything.

salt
on his belly
he prises my toes
open,
two lids lifting off in the air.

amazed, we
grapple
with blankets and
ring fingers,
deciding where to stroke
the skin down.

absurd,
these household objects,
unceremonious in themselves
become erotic:

cheese grater,
a metal pipe,
dust on the hearth,
zigzag pattern across a plate,
some shoes, socks, a buckled belt.

six doughnuts,
with a raspberry jam
centre
from a supermarket bag.
one, bitten in half.
jam
    on the kitchen table.

the joke

all this shite
about love

and what gets left?
one brown shoe

fourteen hundred
years

of indifference.

the mistake

error, the simplest form of treason,
love's pasture
left unploughed for another season.
diction is best unsaid,
rent is paid on an aluminium bed.
she was sore from too much laboured breathing -
he watched her shoulders fall and rise,
two axes
under the ceiling.
a wishbone stuck in her teeth - he said:
i'll dream you another;
we'll case out tomorrow,
make full daylight
our recognition,
he said.

alas
a mole comes out shivering,
blind before birth,
some pretty thief,
a dead widow.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

New York

This is subway
dreaming,
grey girders,
black shelving, deep
in the recesses
of human activity, living.

I crave subways, signs,
the lettering on the signs;
the silver speed
trains that pull in to stop,
the smoothness of their sides;
the bright lights that dazzle
and the blackness
up ahead.

I smell the people,
next to me, around me,
I can taste them.
They're upon me,
drinking from flasks
on their hips,
singing songs, jumping ship.

No one staring at the ground.
No more London.
They don't turn away.
Too many stories to tell,
too much silver light to inhale,
and every eye
is brimming with
salvation and sickness.

People
dance before me,
not a single victim.
No time for charity -
I see:
defiance, dignity,
ravaged faces.

This is real,
just like the buildings,
and the proximity of buildings,
they are aghast
with history
and bombarding.
Tombstones, wobbling in the air.

This city
is an open palm,
I want to lick it,
taste its salt,
finish its longing,
sail its streets
unwary of belonging.
I want to kiss its toes,
leave fingers touching.

Beautiful New York
in the afternoon,
Harlem below Morningside
like a slow, smoky rhythm.

We are up against each other,
city and I,
pushing shoulders,
leaning in our heads,
some moments touching.

Its pulse laces through
mine. We breath to shared time;
to the triumph of a second.

A girder is before me.
I reach and grab
black metal,
I pull myself up
with strong arms
and a giddy solar plexus.

I am swaying from
the scaffolding, my feet
are free and waving,

I am a dangled rope,
plating footsy with my companion,
waiting for a poet's
shock of hair
to appear
from the steps
of the subway station.

We are suspended,
created, momentarily dilated.
Wickedly free,
open, unimpeded.

The writer's life.
Call it masturbation,

I call it a lifeline.

words from the edge of a book (for Flann O'Brien)

chall reads;
black letters swim
about me.
i lose threads
but others take me away,
into and under
elusive tendrils
of meaning.
i am captured in breathing,
spun grateful
into sleep.
his head perches
centimetres from mine,
my mind
is eloping
backwards in time.
his voice is dark, smooth,
not like honey
but more
deep molasses
over rocks,
on the hottest
july
afternoon
and I am drying up
with a word
that is useless,
fire to my brow,
curling
under deadly sleepness.
bones to slender toes
to neck line
and drifting jaw,
the final tethered line
is two dimensional;
sound's failure.
the last word

is

bicycle.

The Moment Before The Moment After

Long Journey Home - Monday 27th March.

And we bark at
Sound barriers.
Our ears,
Two pistons,
Working
Like armies
Through the night.

Grateful in these arms,
And spent,
We cross highways
And byways together,
Slipping through
And between,
With light steps
Singing
Towards home.

I will not marry
In a church
With flowers,
And a congregation
Of wide brimmed hats.

I will not
Learn my lesson
Another time.

I told myself
That loneliness
Was for the few thousand
Out there,
For those travelling in space,
For those in submarines,
Deep under water.

But Winter brought
Me here, to this place
With its
Rain stenched walls,
With its unshaven woodlouse.
Dampened, my hair
Sticks in shards
Around
My face, and I
Could be
Inuit, lost child,
Long forgotten dream,
Told tales of
From a golden ladled spoon.

I wrote enough songs
To fill a scrapbook
With my aloneness
Til I said no more,
And flung open
The stony door.

And they all charged in
On their
Grey woolly steeds,
Pointing sword ends
At my nose.

Each said
They were
The right one for me.
They would make
The wrongs disappear

But I sought
A deeper song,
A wily one,
A crueller twist.
I stuck in my fist
And drew out anemones,
All of spring time,
Mud still fresh
On the roots.
And they smelt
Of clean air,
And life
And beginning.
Everything was coming
Up roses.

But we shift a turn,
Lift and learn,
And standing
In this subway
I find the lights
Are dimmed again,
The floor is covered
In grease and rain.

I won't drown.
But I must learn to
Walk on water.
To skim this life
With meaning.

And I'm no fucking Jesus.
I'm no miracle worker.

I watch the flattened green
Run past this tiny window;
Sketches of trees
Barrows of water,
Lifting birds.
Wales, my home,
I am ill again.
Faint, narrow, collided.

I, your willing daughter.

eternal voyage into daylight

kiss me in the falling shadow,
then give me to the dying night.
i'll be a flicker in the eye of wonder,
i'll be golden, red, charcoal and silver-
a vision of longing, a dangling dress,
a horse broken free, disappearing, infinitely in motion.

whereupon you will not find me.
swallowed up in time,
i pass away
into untamed sorrow, a scattered blessing,
wisdom carnal,
fierce prayer.

sparkle has become glitter has
become gold.
this story is as yet untold,
and incompleteness
is the grail
i seek out tonight,
that never ending wing span
of a white feathered dove,
ascending toward mercy,
every sound barrier elapsing,
collapsed,
vanishing
in awe
of love.

impartiality

we ache to live,
and living takes our blunders
in its stride.
awake, I turn
on my side,
and stare at a pillow,
talk to toy animals,
dream in my head
of life like a film,
coming together.

we ache to belong
to a truth and a wish
fulfilled and ever lasting.
but the time
goes on etching its way across
the universe,
and I am here,
you are there,
she is she
and we all spin lonely
into silence.

life began a long long time ago.
so don't complain about the bitter taste,
don't shake your hands,
turn your nose up high
at your creation.

the wheels are turning quicker,
that is all,
we are just landing
into nowhere,
into the heat of a filthy sun,
making daylight happen,
and skimming the liquor.

I was a stone
I am now an edge,
we all must climb over.

so call me, from beyond love
and tell me, if you can,
why the road tailed off,
what is ahead
when all civilisation
has gone.

I packed my wishes, best I could,
took the last train on
the central.
now I'm waiting for them
to call my name;

kicked forward, I will reclaim
all baggage,
just in time
for time to start
winning again,
for the lost souls to lose their way now.

without hope, I'll stay happy.
with full hands,
I will embrace.
locked tight,
I will whisper
back to you,
in a snapped-out trance

as midnight gathers,
as secrets cluster,
as the smoke from an engine
feathers its way home.

journal

and I am all these things…
a hall of mirrors, or a silent beast moving through the black night, a tangle, a spinning top, an empty space, a flight downstairs, a gypsy’s kiss, the unthreaded needle, untrodden snow, whispering, chatter, a pair of closed eyes, simple rest, wretched prayer, tumbling, tattered, born anew, pretty girl, small boy-woman, two shoes in the hallway, wrinkled brow, belly-ache, song, dream, failing will, shocking, true, terrible, false, little and soaring, scorching all the pathways, brave, a picture in your mind, blessed, cursed, holding a blanket, naked, tossed around, asleep, sparkling, dazed, drowning, helping, bewitched, summer in my veins, filled with dread, steeped in sorrow, red, flame red…white like the devil’s kiss…

I am you. I am nothing you think I am. I wear scarves and I cry from my stomach when I lose the ones I love. Charming, fumbling, alive, driven, silly, cowardly, blaming, idiotic. I don’t remember colours or directions. I don’t notice moved furniture. I like soup and old films because they remind me of when I was little and watched them with Mum. I try to regret nothing. I probably regret a lot. I resent people. I can be scary. I generally feel inadequate in the world. I always thought I’d fallen from a far off planet. I used to run in the rain. I wish I could drive. I feel the loss of my mother, of what she was. I adapt and like to hear her laugh. I love dancing. Most of all I want to sing songs that have burst from beyond. I am an insomniac in temperament, born with fear. I dislike loud people. I wish I could drink Earl Grey tea all day long. The sight of cakes makes me light up like a Christmas tree. I am touched by the erotic. I hate logical description. I feel things a lot. I dwell on details of horror in the world. I am obsessive. I fall, fall, fall, I am full of blood and yearning. I mourn the loss of the romantic dream and I will never give in to the crippling numbness that sometimes beckons me… I try…try again...lose...win… and I am all these things…

Passage

i need a ship
with sails that bellow
to the thunder,
to the Western wind

i need a spear,
an ice cold hard blade,
to melt the flesh
of tigers and ogres

i need water
where to weep
my place among
the ferns and the causeways

i need a belly
to steep me
warm, and to hold me
when I falter

i need wings,
the kind I'm used to
seeing in dark corners
just before i look away.

so i'll bring a blanket
and a basket
where you can lie down,
and i can rustle

and we'll beat
like heavy hedgerows,
in November
when the rain is coming down.

we'll pull the splinter,
i'll write a letter
of a future year,
saying:
come into the greenness,
come see soreness
take off her crown.

into the cold

she waited for the unlit dark
to tempt all life from its burrows,
to trace sheepish across her grey breast,
to wake the songstress from drowsy.

the branches curled in green,
a robin cursed the snowfall,
weapons were all laid to rest,
the anvil by the hammer.

and summer wished for solitude
among those bitter seasons,
and cold had all but died,
whipped into fever
too many times -
she was lent and cursed
alone, all reflection upon the glassy water.

i went upon her like a thirst,
to lap dirty and tall
her icy honour.
we were guests,
oaks together.
i filled her numb small eye with
the tracks of stumbling people,
their red boots turned upwards to the failing sun.

dying elapsed
and broke
her plain song,
the moon was all
a twitter.
god-given, these times of muted rest
to open slakes of unfelt grace,
to steep the wine,
drop the chatter.

holy,
this aeon speaks

of winter.

Honour

Bless this girl of green, this shoot that never grew past the sole of someone’s shoe.
Girl of green, with hat of silver and a handful of starry night she scatters over shadows and dark things. Bless her and her boots of bottle blue. Her smile of dynamite and her eyes of golden dreaming. Charlotte plays with broken brass and climbs hills of steely grey, and when she reaches the top she is the highest girl in all the world. The tallest girl in all the kingdom. And she can love the people so much more when they are tiny dots below, when they are moving specks on the dusty horizon. She is special. And her cheeks are filled with dough. She laughs like a boy and sings like a sailor. She is bright like a morning when all is good.
Charlotte likes the rain. It falls on her cheeks like a sign from God.
One day she will wake with blossom on her pillow and her hair will fall and her boots will fray and all the stars will gather to see their dawn. Charlotte sleeps and wakes too early. She walks beside the quiet river with feet cool and wet from all that sweetness, all that life in the grassy river. She will get muddy and wet from tramping in the marshes. And she will shiver just before the sun comes up, and wish that she were home.
Bless this girl of green, with breasts of silk and cheeks of darkest rose. Inside her lives another life, of a moon behind clouds, red amongst grey, sound in the soundless.
She draws back her bow and aims her arrow high.
In the bark of an oak tree is her wish, to be strong, and grow.
Birds, find it, take it to the listener.
Fly in circles like a crown upon her head.
And let the dust never settle.

tame the tigers of Eloysia

i wrote a poem
four steps beneath the catawall,
living, flaccid, tremoring, small.
i wrote a poem to dignify the drawl,
catalogue the call.
fake plans
that made you what you are today,
that broke the back of every book
you were reading.
and it told
of you
like a dream song, you flew
into the arms of saviours and pity
and out again, to the stench
of a neon city,
found what you named love,
lost it again, through endless barriers
and time, you fell again,
withstanding not so much as the doormouse's breath
on tattered cheeks. I discovered you,
tiny and incomplete in a window's archway,
shaking off the dust from noon time.
you looked, my eyes were cracking up
in front of you,
your eyes, blanched, unfocussed,
drew back what little sustenance was left
and fled across the room to the red ancient hallway.

we are amazed, it is true,
to find the acre of challenge at our hips,
and flights of pigeons mark the way
for ever ending states of bliss.
round town and down
and around,
pharmacy stare
from a derelict bridge.
this tongue is slender
to slip between the bricks
of a fortress wall,
and a girl's dress that in ripples
caught the sneezing,
became,
well, a prophetess
of nothing,
and the poem is undone,
immaculate,
and breeding.

boy in my soul

there's a boy in my soul
counting flowers in the evening,
birds are singing in the heather,
the sun is watching from his tower

there's a boy in my soul
and he's staring at his lifeline,
tracing circles between his fingers,
spinning stories in the houses

there's a boy in my soul
growing tall like a steeple,
stretching up toward the showers
that are falling on the people

and he's sitting,
and he's standing,
behind long grass he's always laughing,
and his eyes, they are looking
at the shapes my love is making

as he wanders to the edge
of the moment he is keeping.

boy in my soul,
in the temple,
stars are weeping...

Unlocked ( song lyrics)

the kettle is singing it's sad song,
the gaps in the windows are humming along,
it's an empty forgotten day,
but it's sunny outside in a shy kind of way

i'm a storm in a ripe river's mouth.
you're a crack behind my radiator shelf,
and the c.d.s are falling from my hands
as the bath overruns like all the best laid plans...

i once shed my skin for you
and held myself like a turning screw.
we're all whispers nobody's heard,
i am dancing alone to a solitary word.

where's the symptom i brought you?
why are we laid up with hearts like flu?
i only wanted peace, and a locket,
i got tractors and diggers, an infected tattoo

words of wisdom make me ashamed
to be a thing of blood and muscle, sinew and pain,
but i'd rather be in debt
to a love that is rotten, than one that is cleanly and sane

so how can i complain?

there's a clot of life in the sink,
and the bed where we lay makes a terrible stink,
i could make a vow today
to throw all vows and all heartaches away

but i wouldn't be telling true,
cause once the door is shut there's another
we always go through..

so take my riches and turn them gold,
take my splendour and make it's heart grow old,
we are shapes on the horizon in melancholy weather,
we are two imploded stars, spinning together

and as all matter disappears,
drama floods,
the kettle boils,
the sun is dried cold in it's own tears.

there is something wrong with me

there is something wrong with me.
i can't wake up in the morning and sing a little song.
there is something wrong with me.

Dinner is done, noodles from a pan.

So tell me, how do I go down into that place ..where we are simply nothing...where lights are flooding..?

I am confused by the simple, and long only to ignore the stares, sit in a dirty flat with scattered pages and shame gone.

Dinner is done, noodles from a pan.

I watch the London skyline. There are unknown vultures creeping sidelong into wisdom, I cannot follow them until I am eaten black and worldly. So I stand against the grey blocks like tenements, I crave the citadel without blushing, but I am in torment and I know we are dying..

I never braved the rich world, but fancied it some ( banality is too dangerous not to believe in, fashion shows our weakness for smallness and fur lining.)

And with you, I collide the wretched ocean brought to me in the gaps between ears and throat, simultaneously gloating. I am whimpered, and you won't give all my sustenance back to where it is missing, you say we can be pretty some other time. Drowning delicate, in this brine

The sun is a devil today (can’t stand this heat, it’s driving me to colder cities, yes the blue bridge on cathedral hill, a banished monk bleeding like rancour in the wee hours of morning.)

Get back to the crest of the fallen wave again, we must climb higher than people, find lost shipwrecks and tow heaven back again.

So give me back this bony eye of mine

And the book on your lap.

I am not satisfied with satisfaction, but aggrieved to find the fullness of daylight at their wing. I want to live in night. Out of the shade of green, below deck. Such incurable heartache in such endurable weather. I can't wait anymore for the final bleaching of this poverty we claim life, for this smoky city to drop into the Thames.

I watch him with a knife.

And I want suffering if suffering kills the pain, I want trouble when there's a war on.
I want the sex to sniff out clean air and make it rattle. I'm tired of being a servant.
Take all my panties and shake out the feathers.
My head is upright, a peacock.
I salute you forever.

Untitled

chords pass into
into
floating towards
through
and under
webs
we crawl into
spat drivel
cockneyed and wurzel
i egg you on
like a blizzard
and we're all gone
and skin
we're gone

lunchbreak poetry

let's send out
through the bright air
and the steeples,
colours like red,
turquoise,
orange and purple.
let's fill the sky with
inflatable lovers
who kiss and who cuddle
with string and with rubber,
who squeak and who pop
in shameless abandon,
who soar and who drop
like crazy Tibetan mountains,
for whom blue is the canvas
into which they weave their thread
and the ground, it is tiny
like a bump on your head.
20,000 shades of loving,
across the chimneys of Worthing,
bumping and grinding,
losing and finding,
big balloon love,
to catch our weary eyes,
to take us up from the factory
into bigger skies.

this is ending

We are an effortless race, chasing the tides to see the distance.
We are a barren few, rending the witch with barrow and forceps.
We are an easy crew, scraping alive and all with fever.

I am indigo, a chosen river.

And fly, tell, pray we land on soft earth today.
Because wickedness is a fortune teller’s eyes
Counting the money

And telepathy sinks like time or
Bravery.
The crunch came at daybreak, on a summer’s morning.
The whistle was blown at too many stops
With not enough signs to show
Where we were going.

Encased, I was
In soft clothing,
Grandmother sheet that needed mending.
Lies tell the best truths
We can never know
Until we feel the feeling.
And all comes clean,
In a dirty kitchen,
In some man’s bedroom.

after the party

There are fourteen hundred and twenty things
I never said tonight.
Including
Why am I here
And
Where did you go.
Dancers cross the room
Like pretty tinsel
On a special day,
And me,
Well I’m propping up a wall
With my good friend Mike,
As he drinks canned lager
From his offy bag,
And throws gentle barbs out into the air
With a tongue of grey
And a heart as soft
As new mown hay.
I tried to make peace
With the superficial
And the gay,
I moved with the rest
To salsa
And French music.
But I hate salsa,
Cos it makes me feel
So English,
And I didn’t
Want to turn on the charm,
I didn’t want to have to say
Anything.
Except,
Fourteen hundred and twenty things
That I didn’t say
And
“I found a new book, it changed my life today”.

littlun

sick of the sight of all you fuckers with your windows and your bright red shoes. sick of town and sick of the river and sick of bloody poodles with their curly hair. sick of sea fronts, sick of back streets. sick of lovers with their blazers and a school tie humour. sick of charities, sick of fleet street, sick of pay day, sick of lozenges and my sticky throat. sick of weekends, sick of trade. sick of flight sickness, sick of swashbuckling heroics. sick of driving, sick of being a passenger. sick of those who laud the lame, sick of television, sick of bagpipes and the Welsh flag. sick of babies, sick of the grit in my teeth. sick of shaving, sick of fireworks. sick of the end of the day. sick of waiting for morning. sick of sick bays and false teeth and words about being sick. sick of alone. sick of crowds. sick in spirit. sick in long pauses. sick of trying
so sick of trying.
whip up my feet on the mattress, write a song to take me home...back to where the gypsies and the trees are together, where i am a green one, fresh out of the ground. and Grandma, she bakes sweet smells in her oven and foxes hide in small holes where no people go. in this time, i did not know enough to feel sick of anything, and everything was a new seed, we all sat by the fire and whispered, treasure was in the stump of an earth, and daylight was a running girl, chasing through hedgerows.

moody teenagers do produce geniuses, moody geniuses do produce teenagers

i should start
at the part
where the tired
and the lonely
take apart
the tinkling
of any girl's art,
who was a lost cause
waiting to be found
on highways
and byways,
by the pavement,
the cracked slabs,
i'll take hunger
where i need it
in dribs and drabs
like
all these vessels
put together,
sad shrivelled excuses
holding drinking water,
and
i'm a lost,
i'm a lonely,
wasn't you i saw
disown me
with a wink
and a shy
sly eye.
he was a goner,
the switch tripped,
the light nearly died
but oh,
i am a lighter fuel for you,
true n cruel
and lowly -
i'm shown
ever too late
and too alone - me.
where'd the pretty years go?
thirteen and a dirty knickers
and blood smear on her fingers.
she bought Plath
and watched them
dig up bodies
while she was eating
her fish fingers.
19 years, where'd it go?
i'm an old one now
and still alone,
still here, was never there,
tried to be a good one,
tried to be fair,
and now, its taken too long
to fill my empty lungs with song
and cast off these cast - offs,
take and play, swing and sway,
ole`.
she's alright girl
let's make her here to stay,
catching sweetness on the hooks of desire,
chasing widows' money,
to light a dying fire.

just when you thought you'd got it made

oh-but-oh-
there they go
out the door
here we are again
back to counting the pennies
and the driving test with the L-plates on,
and waiting in the queue
for ugly school dinners,
back to tea on your lap
and missing the end of Eastenders.
back to masturbation and misery.
back to Manchester,
back to the hidden.
back to clich├ęd clare,
zombied frenzy killer queen…

she little girl lost in the woods
with a crazed piano?
NO? she horror score writer
with her eye on the trigger?
NO? she a black force
in a terrible night
of ardour and small vapour?
NO? she a gig and a triumph
and a fully stocked larder?
NO? is she a crumpled sheet
without even any stains to honour?
NO. is she crimson?
is she Welsh and proud for once?
is she a titan or a muse?
forever baking bread at the witching hour,
she never even got this far
and she’s
none of those tiredly things,
she is splendid
fired up on crystal rings
and barbequed angel wings.
hey!
i just saw a play!
it goes: she think she one,
but that just ‘cos she think she is-
she become just that,
when she is TWO -
she is not twat.
she is Two and she CAN
live like that,
stretched out beauty on a harpsichord,
and I’ve seen her floating in
a star spun nightly glass ceiling,
i have seen her moving on the
sheeted dance floor screaming
like wretched of desire
and tumble blazing afoot in it all…
so why all small?
why small girl who want to be tall?
why tall girl embarrassed to not be
more small?
why big feet too little,
little feet too large?
why ever-present witchcraft
hovering over gold-spun head?
trust yourself girl.
you’ve spluttered up way too much blood
for one
two three lifetime.

it’s never perfect enough?
and it never will be.
not got no ending?
it never will have.
and
that, my girl
is what you big enough to live on
if you thought on it enough…

you are big enough
(but you think yourself
a small tepid whitish thing)

and that never blew you out of
the Carolina water.
that never made you a star.
He said:
EGO DID IT
Ego made it SOAR.

and I don’t want him go alone in Abyssinia.
i miss the nights
and the absinthe
and that gun-shot
through a
hotel wall

this beautiful hunger that kills

downloaded kill a man for his giro today am squirming in my own obsession am replete with the removal of a mask. feel like a dirty boy, a stained joy. not happy with myself, i see a way of coming to, out onto consciousness all i wanted to forget. and i no longer feel man or woman. there’s a girl fading out like a valium hit, and she’s watched by a hundred unwashed rock stars, all straining at their weakness. could wipe my own sickness across this computer screen for i’ve found my delusion, i’ve found everything i ever wished i was, in the dead of a library, at the opening of a scripture.
i could feel blessed and cursed, but i feel more ever lost on the highways i track to bedlam. i am doomed to folly, and ever closer to the truth. cold rum won’t soothe my soreness, it runs deep inside my tendons, under the fur of ache and safety.
i am losing the thread, losing thread you lost me again into the tattoos on his chest. is suicide the only victory? i wonder and i wonder. you won’t learn much about me by the way i smell, by the cut of my hair.
and this beautiful hunger that kills will not entertain ravens of mediocrity and leisure…it was born of grace left alone and suffer still will all come upon us and leave us saddened by a country wall. torment lifts you, a union jack dying in your arms.
and genius is an empty jacket floating down the river, it is death on the night of victory, it is hammer house of horrors. feel the landslide, lie on the back of treachery, not a prisoner or a priest, a popster or a poet. unsurrounded by hope, dreaming the impossible dream, a corpse without speculation, a narrow line of light between two walls that became god and was forever godless. if this is genius, i am a knocked down door. and we can be, we can be. brilliance fell out with words, with what is spoken. it became homeless, a dragged out party queen drinking only liquor, eating nothing, never asleep.
all this hunger is inside of me and i am unravelling rope, unravelled rope.

Monday, May 08, 2006

i read creeley today

i
read
Creeley today
properly,
the first time.
i clutch at it,
sandblasted.
never
let go.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Darkness When The First Light Was Born

Homage to the world. Homage to the raging fires that eat it alive. Homage to tomorrow. Homage to the day when none of us will wake up. Homage to ships and planes. Homage to speeding clouds. Homage to the stripe on the zebra's back. Homage to all fallen prey. Homage to the predatory. Homage to light. Homage to the baby's skull. Homage to machinery. Homage to apparatus. Homage to buildings and to streetlights. Homage to my sisters. Homage to bad friends. Homage to mistakes. Homage to silent birds. Homage to snow.

Homage to stereos. Homage to the yellow stain on my mother's nightdress. Homage to kissing. Homage to fingers. Homage to harrowed eyes. Homage to brilliance. Homage to stupidity. Homage to sex. Homage to abstinence. Homage to a blue sky. Homage to apples, unripened fruit. Homage to leprosy of the soul. Homage to worshippers. Homage to the uncontrollably vain. Homage to TV. Homage to the hermitage on a hill. Homage to the ringtones of teenage children. Homage to their fathers.

Homage to the dying. Homage to every tear wept at their bedside. Homage to my mother. Homage to my father and his ebbing mind. Homage to animals and to beasties. Homage to the night. Homage to the frail, the ugly. Homage to superstars. Homage to the brave. Homage to power stations. Homage to sadists. Homage to euthanasia. Homage to the suicidal. Homage to insects. Homage to bats, eaten alive by beetles. Homage to caverns. Homage to church steeples.

Homage to the beatific. Homage to the horrific. Homage to the damaged and needy. Homage to air. Homage to sunlight. Homage to wrinkles. Homage to breath. Homage to limbs. Homage to eyesight. Homage to decay. Homage to the Atlantic Ocean. Homage to gravestones. Homage to small Northern towns. Homage to nonsense. Homage to the written word. Homage to mystics. Homage to tenderness. Homage to the cry of the wind. Homage to bad smells. Homage to the face in the mirror. Homage to you. Homage to me. Homage to waving goodbye. May fire eat my words as the worm protects us.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

At The Fountainhead

Tonight, I tried to talk about life and death
in that semi-meaningful way,
eyebrows raised philosophically
without giving too much away.
I evaded deeper questions
by staring round the bar
at its cool Buddhas and Czech beer bottles,
its pseudo-spiritual, trendified blah.
And I remembered when I was twenty-seven,
in A Midsummer Night's Dream -
I played Helena in my spectacles,
my tights torn at both knees.
I remembered how I felt
speaking one soliloquy;
how everything became silent,
except for the wind in the trees,
as my lone voice spoke up
for a woman who'd not believe
she'd ever be the kind
men would desire and never leave.
For those minutes, I was the most myself
I've ever been; it was Helena and me
telling our story
into the Somerset breeze.
Back in the bar, I saw my friends'
faces craving love, just like me -
from boys or God, or even poems.
We talked about the smoking ban,
Then I ran and caught
the last bus home.