the boy from U.N.C.L.E

Determined to have left by half-eight,
cats fed and plates away,
they were late.

This raconteur of the recce,
part time life model to Rosetti (among others)
had corralled cagoules onto arms,
thrown shoes their way, warmed up the car,
had marched across driveways, crossings, marshlands to playgrounds
and so far had lost none.

This was him without coffee, a fifth of his repertoire,
and they weren’t even his sons. 


She was selling her half of the stately home off
one set of drawers at once,
throwing armoires onto furnace floors to heat that little hearth of hers
hoping he’d notice.

On the days she delivered
barns were boxed off to the highest bidder,
individual magnified sugar grains rearranged to look a lot like The Big Dipper,
and tea was always served before supper started.

On the days she didn’t, he’d hit her
panting in the steady asthma of steam-room living.

Break the bolt of that door for the blue skies above familiar rooftops and country road corners, honey,
or you’ll have forgot that this house is not a home. 

naps owe me eyes open

She clung to his core, cake filled and warm,
as if the last fisherman pitched around a lake.
She was not gonna let go until evening
fell, until they had made their hotel;
eyes on the autobahn ahead.

They’d trickled into terraced tributaries, once,
hankered after hidden held waists on corners, continuously,
as they learnt of not letting go;
kept the sense of cologne pecked necks,
fuliginous chimney pots
and the fume of hollowed out leaves on rain soaked tress
stacked next to each other on the latent apothecaries patent leather shelf,
safe in the old factory of a shell.

Their single cylinder sang along the road
and she did not hear him singing. 

sky right of tragedy

I dreamt of travel disruption last night
and haven’t woken up since; know that though,
a whole murder of crows hidden along
the hemline of a coat was not the
reason I was late, nor were black stamps spat
out through mirrored windows, panes unmoored from
frames in the wake of two late goodbyes: one
said at a check-in desk disguised as point
A; the second, central, wrapped around an
orbit of children where they now lay.

This news- again, it is news- is an air-
bag of ears, of interviews, listening
so we don't have to, colouring pallor 
in post so the ghosts of aftermath do
not go unnoticed when we believe it
may not of have happened.

I'm going to buy out the sky right of
tragedy and skywrite,
                                  vandals of companionship are not tolerated below this message, or above. 

we were two on the path dutifully improvised

A fortnight ago an Algerian masseuse anointed each note of my joints,
spread thumbed cursive over my shoulders and
back around to my chest;
she spelt out how I'd be shivering now knowing you were leaving.
And last week you led me to an acupuncturist where he said,
Rob Frost had quit his job on point duty to become a receptionist instead.
I knew it was bullshit by the way you barked in the background.
I knew it was wrong from the rumble through the stud wall,
sound of timpani, of gusto's drawl ringing in my ears:
the resonance of windfall if saved 'in the best ISA for years!'
This has been the best February since records began
and I thank you for being a friend.