Archive for August 2013

End of August: Art Gallery Father & Daughter

White maze for the middle classes,
collect your museum passes at the door,
continue through into exhibitions,
photo pictures of art you won’t remember the name of
but because you’re educated you’ll hope to retain its
name, medium, date and frame size of,
and equate them with those pieces you Googled before you came.

Through the double doors
her cries walked down the corridors 
whilst cradled in his hands, cradled carefully,
he stood upright in boots on the
newly polished granite, shipped-in, floor.

The art gallery Father and Daughter
are the hidden display
only found in writing in the pamphlet
for today. Some will see them
through cuts in the door,
others may hear them but assume
it’s ambient art-gallery-played-through-speakers
sound coming from the back room.

Wakefield Cemetery

Crest of the wave shoulders
moulded into the final box;
Russian doll soldiers
have nothing on this once free-bus-pass holder.

Open the windows to the let the fresh death out,
past the PVC French doors, triple glazed
and no doubt worth their weight in gold.

Tidy up her lips with thread reinforced with care
and a careful hand tidied up in a well healed white gloved pair.

The next-to-the-cemetery funeral home sits not far from Wakefield

Child at 20

Jumps back on the ketamine and the cocaine
and stands in alleyways and lanes
and forgets why the stars sit and the moon stands;
who fights demons with hairdryers and backward hats.

And it’s okay to look like your Dad you never knew,
in glances through the wood would only a few see the resemblance,
but similar hair won’t make up for lost Christmases
and days away at rain safari parks.

You’ll have to leave the fox hole through the brambles
at some point in the future,
so get scratched now and bleed a little sigh
of relief,
one that you’ve broken the tie and loosened the knot
and show us all that you’re out of your cot.

Steps: Not The Band, The Concrete

Song For A Sweetheart
again being played to the one
without a counterpart,
unholy chasms forming in the shapes
of stomachs and lungs and
a gap for where the heart should be,
taken like every lost jigsaw piece
to the hand of a child, one not
yet realising they’ll have to be with someone
in the 20 years or so.
To wait would be to trust the timetable
that is pinned to every figment board
in this town,
printed in red and finished with crosses
on the bottom, shame they’re written by
the hand of her, for her sweetheart counterpart, not for this boy
from somewhere people only pass through,
not care about.
I’m with you Clayton West, a ring road
to the main show out of town.

Pushed In Syria

From a platform, he was pushed
down onto the ground.

There he landed with a great cry, a lonesome sound,
where the beasts took him with teeth;

molars and canines in the form of sticks and swords for sheaths,
beat him till his lungs gave in, until they no longer heaved for a breath.

Collapsed sacks of skin in a broken body
on a broken roof
somewhere without a name,
just a news channel hook
and gambit,
theme tune and a corpse laying bare on a video screen,
shield your eyes, place a blanket over the body and boy.


Back Then They Were Actually In Love, Now They Just Pretend

for Clem, who I do not know.

Long sand roads lead
to excitements with buckets and worn spades
crafting barriers to keep the sea away.

With baskets and cotton swimwear
we’d look into the eyes of each other,
lie next to each other,
be with one another.

For men will never drop the need to protect,
nest in the trees and wait for the seas:
the seas that’ll sweep up and rise in your lifetime and,
when they begin, no sewn sort branches will
save you from the swell.

Picnics made from grocery store vegetables,
ripened peppers flown in from
the greater somewhere.

Take to the skies, you’ll ask those in the know,
but they’re out of ideas before an answer materialises and is known and
snow won’t fall no more, just ice for our sidewalk commutes,
lovely and unfilled;
it’ll take a large span of time for a man to build a sand barrier worthy of note and fame.

You take me back 63 years
every time I look at you 
and you’re unaware
that you do so.

Professor, I Need Help

Architectured backs hide secrets in their bends,
rising up from foundations built on brown tanline sands
secured with concrete cloth, tied to posts either side
of lengths and widths.

Ask the professor, he’ll know how to demolish a building:
he’s a degree in unfolding the unnatural
and his last paper was in fi
rming up the dunes;
with wooden poles his tests were conclusive
almost allusive as he marched on at night,
but we saw him, with others under car park, notorious, car rocking
lightly in the light, light.

Due to administration cut backs his papers were never reposted to sender
and now I’m bound by glue
that leaked from their spines and lines
of the book
to you:
we’ll never not be apart
but shall remain forever not together.

Baby Waves

By the pool summoned up tragically,
moving men and families,
by the slim line surf of the sea

A woman and baby stand on the fringe
of sand and swell
cut by the scissors of riptide current

She wades and the baby waves t shadows on the sand,
her a hat a rag tied loose and the back and a straw fedora for the mother,
or sister, friend or sitter.

Stripes thin her:
in that vest she appears thinner
but the baby is a sister to a yet
unknown brother,
but for now the Sun bakes,
so cover up with the rag.
Carry on to overtake.

HumaPen Memoir: No Diabetic Can Live Without One

Filaments fixed on your eyes all night
and the possibility of a chance, of an opportunity,
that I’ll be able to talk to you,
because the club lights are blue
stretched like animal hide across your own hide:
complexion clear cheeks still rouged
though tidal club glow is still blue.

It’s pathetic, worse than any diabetic
with their HumaPen Memoir insulin
length of pen, recording the time
and date
and precise amount of pain
they inject from the last 16 doses.

My pen is my keyboard and records
miserable times
and forgotten dates in cafes
and precise amounts of pain,
though this diabetic is a pathetic poet
and he knows it.

Hug The Coast

Half cut teens dressed in high street dreams
stand and survey the beach,
combing it for male shells, to clarify:
uys who think crucifix tattoos on their lower leg will save them from hell.

A mother whose job it is to look after surfboard and parasol,
yes you the mother looking my way,
you should ditch the marriage and get on the road,
hug the coast with tire squeals,
hug men with body sacrificing screams in
cheap French roadside hotels that don’t clean their bathrooms that well.

Girlfriend left to sit the sun out whilst boyfriend joins husbands in the surf,
reads but really she’s breathing,
passing the hours and folding over page corners,
don’t let him see that you don’t love him.

Tablet kids who watch the sea on screen, in apps,
when behind them is a torrent of live data swells and boils
causing swimmers to tumble and coil up close to the sea bed,
some parents, increasingly the same,
forgetting why they came to the coast in the first place.


I need a woman to save me:
preferably a waitress with hair caged at the back,
loose strands running down her neck
and evergreen tattoos growing up her arm,
turning into buds and flowers at her top arch
bend into shoulder and space,
with a large vest down to her thighs but the right side hem held up by her machine-
put the orders through the machine, press with a pen-
the other side drops lost and catches her walk whenever she turns or flusters,
musters up the courage to ask how their meals are going.

I need this woman to save me,
preferably the waitress with wild caged hair.

Graffiti in Tours 

Your Lips Skimming The Linen

The world’s on a street,
on a string, running
at incomprehensible speeds-
well it’s a 30 zone
but it might as well be
a highway for the kids-
those who pray on their knees on Sundays to please their mothers.

Mouthing lyrics against the pillow

your lips skimming the linen,
the blinds are half cut
letting light in, highlighting your out-of-the-bed foot.
Alarm clock call was late as we relied on the front desk,
the telephone wire twisted behind cavity wall green,
so we wake together to inner city rooster roar
with the traffic tearing past and the cafes opening up to more coffee drinkers and business smokers.
We’ll get our to-go coffees
in a spree of NFC later,
watch sons saying to dads that they need to go wee
and start our day again with a hotel cup of tea.

Elizabeth Taylor

This is where I’d rather be, 

amongst the forest and its greener pine trees,
walking through woods we walk
with the bells of bridesmaids ringing in the eaves;
the sky is gray and
cascades in and out of lunchtime consciousness,
it knows our footprints before we know our footsteps
though it cannot know how hard I’m holding your hand,
melding slowly with non-brushed off coastal sand,
neither does it know that you’re the girl with Taylor hair
whom wears blue-lined shirts with white pencil
stitched up skirts.

But Certainty overruled with cool hand
to teach me that reality assembles on foundations
thoughts are built on imitation expectations:
but the Taylor haired girl exists.

That Evening, This Night

and when they're alone
sleeping in separate thought,
caught under a blanket borrowed not bought,
windows open to flap and lay back down in their latch,
letting slip a blood stream of wind
that pulsates through corridor veins, unleashed and off its reins.
Does the couple wake?
Do they stir from forgetful fantasies?
His: a silhouette shadow reading in the wind,
Hers: a lifetime of happiness spent only with him.
Do they cuddle together when their bodies notice a change in the air?
Do they care?

and when they were alone
underneath kitchen table light
that evening,
this night,
an argument between the two broke out
highlighting pursuits that were lost,
never started and cashed,
and dreams of marriage never realised,
though the ring was bought and shown to the eyes
of a father who waited cold on a bed hooked
up to clear tubed nooses.

North Of Bordeaux

And we'll stop at the side of roads
with wives in white dresses
who smile into the sky,
red hair in bobs and sunglasses,
with rings of black
hiding divorce and loneliness at the very back.

Bleak walls of white offer solitude to the single parent,
holy antenna spires that break cement ceilings
reaching for God and truck stop safety leaflets somewhere north of Bordeaux.

She's the soul driver with soles of sandals that contrast with her dress:
blue with fabric swirls-
got dressed in the dark is my only guess.

Hopper would've drawn here,
I'll lend her my ear.

Couples, Coffees, Murals

Chipped shutter-covers
above the main street lovers
who kiss and cuddle,
hiss and huddle,
in the alleyway leading to their flat;
with door knockers and interesting push-button
telephones to contact those upstairs already alone.

Past the Cathedral and on the table set,
five women walk about
to talk about, pour chalk into their coffees,
mix it up to make it sweet,
whilst the girl in green reads in the centre of
the flower bed pots: huge
wooden crates casting midday shadows
to the nearby holy parking lots.

Back in the Cathedral, history has swept by
scratching face from stone,
leaving robe and bone
tattooed as a reminder
for those who don’t follow
the rules and red rope around.

Saint Gatien's Cathedral Cloister.

Silent Sewing Train

A silent sewing train stitches in a straight line,
riding the hem of the horizon south to a station somewhere.

The sky is kind this morning, fresh and lapping clouds on the shoreline blue behind,
it carries on continuously from 8 to 8 without pause nor care.

The double bed low to the ground-
for aerodynamic sleeping I guess-
glides under the window and with propped up shoulders I can watch
nature's hand alter the seams and stitch up man-made wounds
and failed gentlemen's dreams.

Euro Tunnel Chaos Blues

To the sixty-minute delays
and digital window, look-at-me displays.

To the headache child with collapsed legs on the floor
and his sister who can take no more.

To the purgatory building where fates are decided
with a piss-poor menu and a Starbucks selling scars.

To the window wet with rain
and bands of heat protecting us from cold's pain.

Dad's Wedding In Chicago

Chicago, where the rails become streets,
where the wind winds around corners to 
double tier trains that rain down with thunder below 
cloudbursts of snow and slow traffic

Chicago, where cars and trucks stop at lights on the bridges, resting wheels on wet tarmac and men pass by wearing cagoules and flat caps: bohemian grandparents on northern fronts.

Chicago, where every building is a flat iron or a pencil windowed and widowed of safety net architecture, I look up from the window and flutter as she does, the suicide shipwreck standing atop a roof looking up and falling down, into river and rail track wakes.

If the dial-up allows it and this note finds its way through the orchestra, let me tell you this:

You look lovely in your flower tattooed white dress.
I shall write about  you until you read about yourself and smile, the rest has
been thrown into the wind and has come to settle in the tidal flow, sit tight and see where it goes.

The Missouri Review: Working Writer's Series Interview

I was recently interviewed by Alison Balaskovits of The Missouri Review, an online blog and printed literary magazine, for their Working Writer's Series. 
We talk about my adventures in self-publishing, the highs and lows of social media and how I write in general. Check the interview out here >

RE: An Open Letter To The Sciences

RE: an open letter to the sciences

                To the laws of science, physics and attraction,

it's the reaction when I wink
that I'm worried about, it's my weak link,
my loose link, a failing eye that cannot blink
in a sexy, discreet, try-and-compete-with-this,
In bars and upon streets is where I wish to catch the eye
of a woman walking the opposite way, on a wind
that makes her walk a little quicker than usual,
it's then, at this point, just as she passes,
that my left lid would close is a gentle flash
and I'd swoon into her memory
as, that-guy-who-gave-me-a-non-weird-completely-in-context-wink.
This is where you come in laws of science, physics and attraction,
I'm failing to achieve such a goal, I'm a gimmick;
they'd probably use it against me to appear the better person
in a conversation they may have without me,
help me laws.
I know you're just textbook pages stored in classroom drawers,
but you must be filled with information about casual flirtation,
maybe a how-to chapter on how to capture the eye of someone
or a section on how to practice the wink in a reflection, in a mirror,
somewhere else that isn't here.

Science. Physics. Attraction. I know my grades
in you were less than perfect, abysmal I will admit,
but I'm asking for your wisdom.

Tim Knight
Age: Inadequate

Knitted Cancer Hat

Cheer me up with a knitted cancer hat
and a joke about tomorrow's goal
being that of getting to the end,
safe and unharmed past the chemotherapy combat.

Clear me up with plastic pills that
sit on the tongue and slit the throat
and the surrounding gum,
all to get better and to get back on the feet.

Cheat me with wise words that you
pawned off of pages and curdled
website phrases that offer
nothing more than a little comfort for yourself.

Take me to where tracks lead to tracks that lead to douglas fir lined, dirtier farmyard tracks and let me breathe in that sap, that golden wood-coated scent that'll wrap itself around my nostrils and hat.

- - -

Be sure to check out the interview I did with The Missouri Review on writing poetry >

Byram Arcade, Huddersfield

In an arcade
a couple choose an engagement ring,
through a window they peer and grin
for this is the beginning of something new.

He, the larger of the two-
tshirt clad and cool-
stares with nose against the pane.

She, the rounder of the pair-
dressed for work but doesn’t care-
looks to her lover and smiles.

In an arcade
a couple chose their engagement ring,
through the door they came out
for that was the first domino to fall.

I carry on with this coffee
and think to the day when

I’ll be in an arcade choosing a ring.

In A Queue, In A Cafe

took sight of the seafaring kind
in a queue, in a cafe, that wound around
tables and carried on the line out the door.

your small vessel body will travel
with clothes and stitches and sails of material,
mapping points in the tide that'll
slide away as you move on

your jumper hangs off your left side
shoulder, or is that your port
side shoulder that dips lower in the air
than you starboard blade?
i'm new to this, please stay and listen

Catamaran girl with a smile as white as wave tip breaks,
what a sight you are on this flat sea lake
of-a-queue in the height of summer,
the air-con-is-broken-
we could leave now and do a runner
find a boat and paddle out,
fix the rudder and raise the mast,
have summer on an island
and not look back.