Archive for November 2012

Yellow Line 9

How long before we lose our way?
Subway maps were conquered at dawn
as now we know which way the yellow-line-9 is drawn.
So too do we know where to go
when dusk drapes around the gates,
as our maps of adventure
reignite and burn, like ice amongst the freeze,
burning off and down into the molecule drown
of every river in Yorkshire. 
In most jean pockets since GAP and others,
dried snow white,
paper thin, paper light seeds,
have been given to the wind.
Those were the maps we needed,
that we really, desperately needed.
Tissue paper contour dreams
that told us where to sit and scheme,
reel off and scream out of bellow lungs,
with handles heaved together by elder’s hands.

The yellow-line-9 got destroyed
by an act of thought,
educated guesses caught midair,
whisked together with words
and here we are, grown up men
in a Lego den.

Second Hand Smile

Tied back hair scouring the bookshelf,
a second hand smile reaching around her cheeks.
Her lips hugged her sad face,
cold with winter white that sweeps across with haste.
Look at the cut of her coat.
The way it enfolds the shivering body,
it falls down to her knees as if praying-
the natural antibody to her faithful mistake.
Ring twisting on park benches
won’t relieve your post-marriage pain,
in fact the film will come
and wash you away with the rain.
Get off your mark and go backstage,
cup of tea for the wounded actress.

Empty Nooses: Speed And Speight

Speedy deaths
happen in slow time,
low time & static rhyme;
that rhymes with no reason or chime.
None of us could see it coming,
                not in this weather,
                                not in this season.
It could’ve been stopped!
Yes, with a velvet hand on dry-paper skin,
creasing the cheeks as it
runs its way, up past your chin,
we could’ve stopped this.
Yes, with cataract free hindsight
and a much needed, tightly re-strung, foresight,
we could have stopped this.

A noose around a neck
can itch and irritate,
as fibres reach out,
twist in doubt,
court the flesh without cause or thought.
A stool under your feet
provide a stage
for the nervous foot shuffle parade that,
with a rock, you can slip off and
fall into the crowd,
with their flashbulb applause
daily-news-to-your-door kind of cause.

3 Weeks On Green Street, Cambridge

‘Shitting Christ’
fedora man yelled.
That machine had taken his card,
in his voice, tears welled.

‘Invite them over’
gold sole girl said
over loud phone call,
middle of the street,
her behind, me ahead.

‘Bit more to cuddle,
that’s what I always tell him’.
Supermarket aisle is no place
to talk of bedroom hugs
and a person’s pleasure,
not now, and not ever.

Conversations are quiet where I’m from.
People and couples talk slowly, in hum-drum
rumbles of lengthened, lengthy, lifelong songs.

Clockwork Coffin

Prisoners can peak over walls and
wonder what it would be like:
freedom for the eyes, lit by the light.
The old, they can observe it out of rooms- warm
with air that’s taken a lifetime to warm up. A clockwork coffin
whirring to a halt. The battery’s stopped. Money’s been cut.

I looked out of a window in a 60 zone
and saw a blur of something that could’ve been.
Passerby scenery ran like a child’s attempt at watercolour,
too much water, too little colour.
Road signs were potato print blocks of blue,
queued up at motorway shoreline,
wishing to be washed away, knocked down or
destroyed by an unrestricted truck in a 90 zone.
Nothing can stay still for you,
no matter which tape or glue
you’ll pick and choose to use.

University Hallway: Petri Dish In A Lab

Conversation walkway walk
with words streaming into ears.
A soft touch of bags,
rucksacks full of sag,
against thighs, arms, lower arms, forearms, cheeks, butts and legs.

Your eyes were amazing. The greatest
lapis lazuli definition
stuck and held into place by a gold socket,
perfectly pampered with applied makeup, soft
by sponge.
A fringe cut with Arabic Barber, scissor precision.
Hair held with a clip at the back.
Mineral water skin amongst the rock
of everyone else around you, glum with
seminar, lecture, seminar, tutorial,
meet-the-parents, tutor’s comment.

We danced on the ballroom floor
of that ten seconds,
mine were down, the defences clear,
No smile emerged nor did a wink,
we were bound in awkward, Yorkshire grit tooth and blink.
To find you again around the corridors of Hell,
circling back and forth until you show,
will be an expedition of determination,
against the endless rows of A4 communication:
pinned and tacked, behind clear plastic backed

I want to find you to embrace under bedroom sheet, crease wrinkle and duvet’s maze.

Title Track For Paris.

Let soles touch floors
on hills, in bars, between cafe terrace doors;
beside scarred walls that bleed paint
of the young, naive, those who cannot wait;
only to be scrubbed down by the thick bristled
brush of the Gendarme in white.

I’m 22 in the 18th,
with a one bed roomed house
high above the wake.
Next door is a wafer thin, paper thin,
wall; the portal through
to another war, of words exchanged
by a relationship estranged by
lies, cheats, drug filled leaps, missed-another-call
in Tuesday’s heat.

Here we take tea without milk,
waste time on the Pigalle, free of guilt.
We let warm metro, subway air
melt our faces,
as we stagger back a few several paces
not to be knocked down by taxis, brimmed with cases of
those visiting and leaving, staying around until the end of the races.

When will you calm down Paris?
When will your children lose their
keys to their cars and cannot drive
quite as far?
When will the tourists leave, so to uncover
the real autumn leafed workers, stretched
inside suits and dresses, only to be late
to that members meeting starting at 8?

Going Home Every Once In A While

Grab a coach home heroes,
sit amongst the somewhere men,
the here and there women
and the growing up fast kids,
with lantern phones, magic tones.

Everyone here is going somewhere,
winter’s bare
and home awaits.

Fantastic lips and red sense in style,
a lady reclines in front.
She texted Rhys, lengthy in characters,
whilst the plot remained precise.
‘I have to agree with you, let’s take it slow’
fantastic fingers itched her fringe.
Was she confused about love
and its rules and regs,
or was he a staller,
‘the old car won’t start again’ kinda feller? 

There are no heroes on this coach tonight,
we’re Sheffield bound and 
all without a fight.

Outside And Inside & Then You

We left the Summer too long, that is ran off and absconded, turned to Autumn, made blue skies red.

I got told that
there’s a girl for every thought,
by a man with brown eyes.
He took a train South at
nine fifteen with a bought
bag of lies tucked between forearm
and chest; below the neck but still high enough.

Hide behind new names
devised by haircut disasters and
rum, gin and past-their-sell-by-date jokes,
thought up in hotel lobbies
in front of a front desk clerk,
oblivious to everything but hotel work.

This Is For Everyone, But Someone In Particular. By That, I Mean You.

When we got back together for the first time, in that
field after Christmas,
I still remember the cold.
Although warm from chasing a dog,
white as snow,
I was cold.
Winter’s air whipped against my cheeks
and you were there on the phone.
It was cruel.
He was sent to the abattoir
and we were happy.
And now you say you like men in denim jackets
and thick rimmed glasses.

Sorry my eyes are perfect. Sorry I like practical coats for the winter. Sorry I am not ginger. 

**The 'Homeland & Borderland' pamphlet is still for sale, follow the PayPal link on the right >>

Camp America Kills Kids

Stay at camp and remember

what won’t be forgotten,
unless the picture you got printed
disappears and returns to embers.
3 months away is 3 months too long,
especially when every day, every day, every day
is reminisced, sicked up in the conversation ashtray. 
Stub out the cig and smoke what is real,
as then the hits you score will reveal the hidden,
the truth and the tiny minute, microscopic detail.   

Vignette: Tattoos

Tattooed timelines
on sugar paper skin,
their time ran down like
table light dimmed.
And the stare they gazed with
stopped the game.
Pool and snookered,
the lovers kissed.

Halfway Between Home & Home

Skyward glints,
another hint from another sun,
London runs down,
daily commute over and out.

And how the weekday work is
coming to an end,
but what do they work on whilst 5 in the evening?
Spreadsheets saved in significant folders,
word documents in for a week on Monday,
presentation notes to be written, rehearsed, re-wrote and printed?

‘Beds, beds, beds,
prime town centre property To Let’
Broken brick buildings sit, they belong
to internet auction sites and in estate agent windows.
There’s no flow in this town no more.
Whatever river of commerce that once ran through here
has moved onto, and into, another course,
oxbow lake suburb by Government force.

It rains in the North.
Jewels in the tarmac,
rings in the walls,
stars behind the factory noise,
sound hidden behind an all-car-call.

My broken skin, my broken hide,
months of thought, a hunger for home.
Far flung, further thrown,
back to the up-north-hometown,
hometown of the known.

BBC News Told Me How To Gamble

Loaded dice love affairs
with snake eyed girl, downstairs
on chance, is multiplying on chance:
roll, bet, blackout, squeeze and a dance
with the winner.
He’s tall, with a
casino shirt and a seven card suit.
Linked up to the left arm of him is
8 ball eyed girl. She potted her way ‘round the table,
blonde haired wisps of hair
occasionally covering her view.

And now snake eyes is no longer new.
She left with haste, a wind a scent following her tail,
back to her hotel room, complimentary towels, free shampoo.

A Poem For Obama

You buy your love with bourbon creams,
cans of beans and full cupboard brims;
steal clothes to hide a torso of lies
twist that in with teaspoon brown eyes,
deeper than any holy bible’s spine:
found in hotel drawers,
away from the preachy, needy, cast iron shrine.
Whilst the girl you’re with has nothing to give,
no family member nor money splendour,
you battle on with the train rides
cross country,
cross country train track guides.
Audiobook it; listen to it; learn it and write it,
write the letter she deserves, explaining
the ins and outs of your hidden nerves:
the nerves entitled ‘I don’t love you anymore’

**A few copies of my first pamphlet 'Homeland & Borderland' have already sold, but there are still some for sale still. They only cost 3.00 GBP with free P+P to anywhere in the world. All handmade, all self published! Check the right-hand-side pane for details.

Buy The 'Homeland & Borderland' Pamphlet, Now!

Good news!
first CoffeeShopPoems pamphlet is here for you to buy. 10 poems stapled in a handmade, self designed, pamphlet just for you. Limited to only 50, grab a copy now for only £3.00, free p+p (to anywhere in the World).

Click 'Buy Now' on the right-hand-side of your screen, there you'll be transported through the wonderful world of PayPal.
Each pamphlet will be posted 2nd class ASAP with a small thank you note inside!
Thank you for any support and keep your eye on the blog for more poems etc.!

A Child's First Firework Display.

Mannequin smiles with masks of plastic
stand and huddle, fight and juggle,
for their space in the crowd.
Elbows touching torsos,
torsos touching hips;
kisses under the darkness,
bonfire warming the lips.
A child sits on the shoulders of her rock,
hands resting in the lap of his head,
waiting for the fireworks to be ignited,
set off, lit and begin.
Eyes of raw astonishment,
watery with cold,
a deer eye mould,
looked up at the firework display.

Sharp colour crayon lines
were drawn in the night-time sky.
Sound followed,
cheers and claps, applauds too.
They were lost in the hollow hole
of the houses around,
this’ll be the one she remembers.
Her first display of sound and light
and she’ll remember how she jumped up and down
to carnival music and carnival folk, rides and light,
menagerie sights.

'Homeland & Borderland'

**The pamphlet has been drafted, edited, primped and preened. It's off to the printers this week and it should be online/in certain Cambridge bookshops, over the next week or so. It's a limited edition of only 50 and will not be reprinted again, so get Homeland & Borderland whilst it's hot/room temperature. Here's one of the selected poems to wet your reading appetite:

Birthday wishes that don’t exceed 40,
is a sign of torso rings,
so when they dissect you at 90
they’ll see you were nothing but a tall king:
A Redwood in the village,
Pine on the estate-
the perfect wooden image.

Christmas cheers that don’t surpass 60
means that kisses under mistletoe
are an act of the short-changed, the thrifty,
the lonely and the cold, lying still, snow.
Crystal beauty,
the face of precipitation,
the eyes of raindrops-
the eyes that freeze over and stop.

They stop. 

Coffee Shop Vignette

Next Thursday at 2.15pm,
I’ll return and sit, this time with a pen-
so if you do come by, swing by, sit down
with friend,
I can write a number down on napkin’s end.
Let’s talk until every sun sets.
Let’s talk together, not via text.
Let’s wrap up warm to walk ‘round squares.
Let’s bed our fingers into material drawers. 

If Someone Smiles At You, Get Their Number.

Too many frown lines to be certain
whether or not those lips
are worth a kiss.
Face paint cracks,
middle school onion skin effect,
on pale forehead hide, that
covers bare bone and brain.
Costume falls down at the shoulders,
waist and shin, only to reveal
more paint, Picasso paint,
blue and rose, cubist painted prose.
Your dance is little more than
a jig, left foot to right foot, Newton’s Cradle-
strings attached.    

Halloween For New York. Halloween For Thought.

Queue for a dance with
ink upon your wrist,
paper wrapped tight and
a waiting kiss.
Princes march to their kingdom come, on
their checkerboard, light board,
dance floor hum.
Princesses in timely masks
of nightmarish dreams
hide their real selves in
plain sight, with
handlebar hair
cut into wigs,
only hiding scalps of shame.
In head, in thought, I spoke 26 words,
7 points of punctuation and 6
saintly verbs:
You left.
a dance too short,
touch of the bum,
another grope for the group,
feel of the ass,
smile and forget,
forget she ever asked.