I am trying to be a lotus for the millenniu’nth time

I sit and try and be a lotus
after killing the third fly of the evening
with a pocket book of recipes and a
thirty centimetre ruler stolen
from bathroom dick measuring contests to our knees.

Young professionals tread these boards
and I watch, trying to paint them lotus.

I listen and learn like I was told to do
then clock watch, mop, cycle home to you;
I am still trying to be a lotus
even in wet shoes and no socks.

With less than five-hundred pounds to my various names,
an office-chair-cum-clothes-horse, eight USB charging ports
and a future that stretches to Sunday’s last reluctant second,
I am sitting, trying to be lotus figuring out the professional path
David Attenborough heard in his gentleman’s class: that son of a-

- I walked into an army recruitment vault with dreams of being Gulliver,
though was asked to leave out the cat flap cathedral door back into war
as they’d got their laugh and didn’t applaud.

Perhaps I should’ve been better at maths
where apparently a career can be predicted on a scatter graph,
and the pigeons of today were the pigeons of next year and the months that’ll follow the century after that.

I am still trying to figure out the hoo-ha of menstruation 
and ring fingers and collar sizes and the inner circles
of hyenas when the winter solstice splits the seasons.

There is no reason for this lotus procrastination
when what’s there to live for but a crooked world
and one bandage left. 

Video | Barnsley Bar (sirens as you leave)


Recorded live in a shed.

mix me up a morning

After the bin men left, after each call subsided,
came the scaffolders outside number ten
ringing poles up in peels, building as they went.

Unbearable and balling, eruptions of conversation
(early morning’s first wind)
blew on in over venetian plains,

cocked thin and open for their abysm grins
to escape smiling mouths as they
rang poles up in peels, building for the clouds.

Stopping short at the chimney crown
all their catch up and chatter and, I suppose,
coordinated avoidance tactic, team-building, name-knowing

flanking of their soft boiled love feelings
for their other halves were lost, in part, to
ringing poles up in peels. Building as they went,

Thursday’s scoreline and Friday’s fine-dining plans
found their way to me, asleep, naked from the night.
Their Friday feeling was a nonevent, a lost translation
down the cul-de-sac of singing Poles and three mixers of blast furnace cement. 

Video | Sleight of Hand


Recorded live at the Cambridge Hammer and Tongue regional finals 2016.

And one and two

and three and four,
said the helpful nameless stranger.
I wanna know more,
where it all comes from
before the Before,
where what you call work
hangs out with lore.
Is there a map
a burlap sack
and a two-by-four
bound in a shoulder strap?
And do you know where you’re going, yet,
where you'll be after that,
'cos I may wanna follow
something different from the pack.

(two weeks of summer sweat in held palms
leak down legs: a seasonal science
or two lost parts in sun-flare defiance)  

So, what, they swing you senseless,
return you neat,
roll you from their arms
back into the beat,
where pushpin baskets
catapult hatchbacks
into shoulder slides
and side-to-sides,
and then you go eat?

No.

Well, I slow down the present with stopwatch starts,
teethe under lamplight, write in the dark.
Your no suggests you can get lost in these self same steps
so I wanna be your blur, your stitch,
and that last one-and-a-two.
What I'm trying to say is
I wanna go dancing with you.