Archive for June 2013

Cambridge Is No Paris, Yet Fine Wine Exists

Left bank beards
in Beat hotel rooms,
a boulangerie breakfast
down the street and to the left,
and for lunch fresh baked bread and brie.
Letters sent home to fathers and mothers
singing sweet serenades of Paris
dressed up in autumn shades,
cheques for the royalties that'll
get them to Belize to write and swoon,
chat up ladies in the early afternoon;
where hotel fees that are treble those in the 5th,
bookshop stalls that'll never be found
another closing-down-establishment myth.

They were climbing with oxygen
long before we came along,
base camp poems written under
floor lamplight right before
the eyes of others.
Jett powered prose and wine in the light
sleight-of-hand punctuation and uptight
editors looking for finer narration. 

Wood Burning - Cheyenne Bailey

I love the warm glow of our woodburning stove.
 And the rising lines I can only see from shadows and sunrays shining through the windows.
 I can feel those lines take a walk, traveling up through my hands.
Three levels of intenseness. Too little. Perfect. Too much.
 They start young and vibrant.
 Breaking the air.
 As they grow old, they become cold.
Becoming the air.
They remind me time has passed and I have wasted it for comfort.
They die as new lines are born. The young heat that makes our fire glow.

 But the glow will get thinner and thinner until nothing is left. 

Mail Train Bitch

your thoughts are being passed along
at mail train speeds,
no pauses or restraints
no clauses or complaints,
all with a face that would make tear gas cry.
This is a present to you,
it's everything I want to say:

stop wanting every moment to be music video magic
because it’s something you'll never achieve,
what you say isn’t MTV,
so go head-


your feet are falling apart again,
let me grab a new sole
for you, old soul,
sooth you down into your new low;
let me miss you and kiss you
in my head
because that’s what the books have led us to believe,
pity the painter who has to grieve.

you painted Death from the palette in your palm
as you looked up from your hospital bed calm
and delighted, but you’ve lost this fight tonight

Shower Head: Read This When I'm Dead

And we showered in prison sized cells,
white tiled and PVC clad,
the B&Q recommends it!-

And we died in those showers
that were prison sized cells,
white tiled and PVC clad,

And we were saved by the
eat again yellow doors,
peering through blind black windows
into the clear streets at dawn.

And they yelled with a siren mouth
dirty blue profanity and
you left your mark with a bloody white tee,
wet with the water that
hurtled down from the
shower head, unclean and dirty.

Beheaded Viral Video: Syria

carrying Kalashnikovs on their backs,
the rebel mules have panic in their eyes
and resting at the back?
fear filled pupils that dilate
with every corpse seen vacating itself
of tissue and blood,
smell the perfume of gun barrels
and those lonely enough to be culled,
picked off by a trained eye
and a government lie and
a man laid down in an apartment block out of sight up high.

civilian fathers laying spread on the back of a flatbed,
cinderblock walls that offer no protection but that of protecting the dead,
sharpen another knife for another internet viral video of another guy without a head
and finally, cat walk model rebels wearing beaded shrapnel necklaces, gorgeous and chrome red.

and they’ll try give them away around,
a daily sound of the everyday
so they can have a price that they can pay
for the ordinary,
for the sane,
for America’s definition of the lame.

Truth Telling Exercises

Catch her before she lies,
twist her back over and tell her not to lie,
face her and plead with her not to lie,
forget what they said and listen to her lie,
hear her odes peppered with lies,
hear the static between her lies,
hear those terminal marks stop that lie.

Run for the terminal, wait to fly.


so what do we do
when the buses become blood clots,
stationary auction items up in the next lot,
nails placed firmly within the traffic’s trail,
beads on an already beaded bracelet
fit for a wrist as thick as yours;
delicate slips of skin wound around a bone
that glides along the air?

so what do I do
when we’re lost mid-city
consult and ask the commuter committee
that pumps around us in a lunchtime break
or walk on further just past mid-city lake
and look out for lost landmarks?

arrange me in an arrondissement,
unfurl me and curl out into a quarter,
lead me silently down another street,
kiss me in another alley and call me mine,
take a holiday with me, cross that line.

Through-A-Glass Wakefield

That’s Wakefield out the window,
kept between four corner walls
landing flat and rising tall,
this is how it walks and that’s the way it goes
and its red brick timber lined walls
are pieced back together
with a forever piece of wire tether.

That same wire would have led down
back streets and alleyways,
turning into a hardened mess of grey lined,
grey hound steel,
that ran around as tracks for the trams,
the Chantry Chapel couple
waiting patiently with their pram
to cross the street,
to cross the bridge,
to get back home-
put the milk in the fridge.

I can hear you cry, Wakefield
your calls are cast so near.
I can hear you cry Wakefield,
your fear distilled within the hum of the traffic outside,
spilled onto the road deaf and dead,
caught within the grooves of another tyre's tread.

The Two Sides of Beer: How Not To Dance

Sober in the virgin light
sees me looking out over an empire,
the chimneypot stacks pointing towards
gray weathered skies
and my clock lies,
it’s an hour ahead of time,
near six to be precise,
and my head is soldier like:
vigorous, vigilant and abled to strike.

Drunk in the virgin light
sees me looking out over disappointment,
a recollection from last night-
let me dance in an awful club with a girl whose eyes know what I’m on about,
and that my dancing is only a dance- not performance art nor a joke-

-and the chimneypot stacks are early with their smoke,
I am cold in this jumper
and my I lie,
it's an hour behind the rest,
just past four
and my head is all over the place,
unsteady and unsure.

- - -

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Firm Ground: Move The Foundations

Under the eaves we’ll be dryer,
sat down in those chairs so not to tire;
there’s a fire in the back slowly smouldering.
            It reminds me of your desire last Spring.

Below the light we’ll embrace once more
beneath the bed sheets that pour over us like tides offshore,
but you were different with your Trojan war, Iliad heart.
            The snow has fallen, outside is the core and we’re now apart.

Inside the cabin we’ll be warmer
laying loose on the couch like lost foreigners:
you used to be a charmer back when it mattered.
            Now the ground is firmer and the leaves are scattered.

Celluloid Cells

Celluloid cells of candid smile fun
printed in race track, river-run stems,
the 120 down to the 35mm
fold it over to form the hem.

You can be my New York
that never sleeps
or that Venice Beach
with bright, chiselled high cheeks
the more probable
lesbian lover I’ll never get to meet;

meet properly for a drink.

Break-through Affair

I'm going home,
leaving the pack unknown and unsafe
and my eyes strafe, swoon and sigh at the holy display
of the pure 9-to-5,
walking away from her place of pay, 
to go home like me tonight.

A swift above carries on home,
food for its young carried between teeth and tongue.
A family walk from the local school,
with song being sung from the cooler two of the sons.
A car reverses nearly knocking and smudging the woman in blue;
a jacket atop a blouse, pristine shop-bought-new.

I remember her sunglasses.
I remember her eyes from behind her sunglasses.
I remember her staring me down through the lenses
melancholy and blue,
knowing that this was a passing
break-through affair.