Archive for October 2013

Gwydir Street Cemetery

They lowered him on string,
his face unshaved and the coffin unhinged,
nothing broke his fall but a green cloth dressed in
storage-cupboard-fluff,
the first death of the second month.


Around him they said silent words, empty sentences
stretching the length of derelict paragraphs: morbid monologues
for the man who used words to fuck up women
and tell them they were beautiful without them ever seeing it,
understanding it,
knowing if he was legit or not. 

Koi Pond: A Love Poem

You have
inner-city-Chinese-restaurant-koi-pond
eyes; infiltrated pupils
that sit behind and spy on the others sitting around,
all whilst remaining dark: a hallmark I admire.


There's a maternity queen wrapped tight in a dress,
blue and white, who sits at the front and speaks and
you write down what leaks and you make it
stick with a biro you bought with a virgin-first
pay check envelope-
ripped open with an eager thumb I'd like to hold
when winter rolls up and in.


Lighthouses look across bigger ponds to warn
of storms that are yet to come.
From afar they see and decide,
weigh up and divide choice into digestible chunks of
we can save them, or if not, we'll guide them whilst they swim:
you make me do this endlessly, almost every day
and this poem is to stop me from thinking
your falsetto hums, that pause in mid air, free, are for me-
you've another bow in brown hair and our corridor conversations
lead nowhere-
I'm gracelessly in love and I just said love and
it's a kind-of cliché, a boring over used word
that we all use when we're excited;
when we run laps around a track that we cannot navigate,
when we're hungover and don't want to work with another desk clerk bore
who sits and talks and works as if an unpaid chore,
but it is true and I wish you'd notice me.

Sex

Experience true love and proper death
in a single moment lasting longer than the average breath.

Feel every emotion under the fake-tan-sun-lamps
for the price of a walk and the Queen's head upon a stamp.

Talk about conversations you had in corridors with ex-girlfriends
with a clouded look back, blurred by your own camera lens.

Preach your side of the debate, recite Wikipedia pages,
listen and retaliate dangerously with more stolen words.

Holding hands under bedsheets and duvets and borrowed blankets
means absolutely nothing, like rain falling around those dog days.

Hot days and cold days and no days and everydays are the final lap,
finish, breath, throw up bits of sick and leave the stadium lonesome. 

Walk away when the light is right
so the rings around your eyes look like jovial creases
instead of broken bits of I didn't last long pieces.

Walking Dog Husbands Walk: Clayton West

Only last week did my phone ring,
I let it linger for just a moment to appear
like I get these calls all the time,
but briefly lost myself in the window and the view it kept for itself:


The trees that cut their leaves
Because they can do winter alone and bare,


Hard stone walls running rings around the land,
Bound together forever as a pair,


Cars are parked on roadsides at math-book textbook
Angles, parked without care,


Curtains covering windows across the street
Hiding makeup clad, moneyed affairs


Bus stop perched on top of the hill,
Red and built up from the ground, level and square,


Up the high street and off on the left
Are the new deigned houses of the poor millionaires,


Walking dog husbands walk unaware
Down paths belonging to the youth


Who sell drugs to each other with a
Giggle and an old rug to cover up their stash.


Only last week did my phone ring,
I let it linger for just a moment to appear
like I get these calls all the time,
my mother was on the other end,

“What took you so long?” she says.

Edward Lear To My Ear

she lent over the bed rail,
wooden and put together by her husband.

without the book she recited the tale,
word perfect and rehearsed and she quickened

with the story, picking up the pace
to the bit where she placed her engagement ring upon my face,

the nose to be precise, and it smelt
of every perfume kiosk in every shopping hall and mall.

the pussy cat said to the owl, in the sequel to the story-
and for another bedtime completely-
'you're the cherry on the tree, un-pick-able
by hand or bird, stay with me please,
I heard marriage doesn't last forever'

Bible Tattoos That Don't Help

Trigger finger 13 is hung
from his shoulders,
though not by hooks found in the butchers book,
but with pride and a sweating brow,
one that can survey the terrain with a quizzical eye,
analysing rustling in bushes only 3 clicks away.

Bible tattoos tattooed below the tribal
ones
and a 13 on the finger used most
when they charge and come.

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

New faces look through
glass, forlorn features pressed
against the panes figuring
out where this all came from.
Long gone lineage, here in this
hall, is now a pressed image
collected by a flower picker’s hand,
gloved to protect the rust and frozen
within two sheets of glass far taller than
any Yorkshire lass, here somewhere secret.
Old faces gaze at another frame
filled with someone else’s misery,
it’s pinned to another wall next to the
menu for the restaurant down the hall, first left on the second right.
Short queues form under hanging light bulbs,
it’s this month’s exhibition, the Pharaoh’s jewels,
on display all the way from the splayed deserts
of Egypt, but some given by a museum in Manchester
so it looks like there is more than there is.

Family of Four, One With Cancer

Every word's a path,
each sentence a tree
and all attached to a stump of a woman
thin at the base then growing in circles,
until age is defined by height,
her illness by weight.


How can the wood of trench walls
look so lucid, perspex branches
contorting into string in the wind,
knotting air into eddies keeping them
floating right there? 

WEETABIX WORLD ATLAS

Take my hand to continents only known in the books,
the blue maps on tiny tables sat in stacks
ready for the lesson on Mexico, or thereabouts- third this week because
the timetable is weak, poorly thought through and cobbled
together out of half-dressed evenings in the lounges of
teachers; ones once loved by the master and mistresses, leaders
of the well dressed and caretakers.

Take my feet and walk with them, balancing

on borders separating language and currency,
the gymnast's beam looking out over the forestry,
its taller trees than you and me standing upon toes tipping
down towards the urgent ground, urgently warning to stay
upright and stick around, with her holding your hand.

Piano-Flat Black Rooms

Afternoons that were once body clock mornings turned to early mornings
which became sweet evening bath time odes to rest;
they’re tests we all win at because the prize is quietness,
primary-school-hands-on-heads quietness,
so still it hurts to sleep because
comfort has wrapped every bone in
ill fitting armour making it, once moved,
difficult to find that point of paralysis once again.


Piano-flat black rooms are lit
by dark midnight suns, the bulbs
burning through, the taps in their place,
chairs thrown under tables away from the morning queue
yet to form for the day.

Maps & Manuscripts

maps don't exist for
the hardest routes,
instead only for those green diamond
lines playing over manuscript flat paper,
long like flutes extending out over and up
mountain ridges, down across narrow
beaches leading to fisherman rooftops
taking hits from the ocean in front.


We must make our own way lost,
ending up somewhere ill and icy,
dressed up in the frost in nothing but socks, unwashed
from the running, screaming grace from the
windowsills;
it's a place most won't meet, won't want to meet,
but will nevertheless greet with wide open, French patio door
arms. 

RICHARD FEYNMAN

Nervousness speaks true thought
turning fresh air to gold as it travels
across the pub interior ether from
rough pale lips to your rouged
set, sitting tidy in front of me.

Shaking fingers shake hands with
thoughts and nothing, melding something
of answer to your question you asked
I think twenty-five minutes back,
I know not of Richard Feynman, please explain though.

Come the occasion of a plane crash or
shipwreck, can I sink with your voice
running soft laps around my head?
At least then your intonation's tread
and heel's step of educated well-read
can offset any pain caused by a wing in my thigh
or a timing belt leaving my tongue tied and wrapped.

Glebe Road Moss

I didn’t see the moss at the foot of the white-clad border walls
because I was holding you by the edges,
so to not crease, rip or crinkle you.

The road is always long, but this street
takes the piss. The same trees grow and repeat,
twisting up into great nothings acting as a canopy,
but not quite pulling it off as the rain broke through.

You looked comfortless in my arms, as though you’d
rather be somewhere different in a lot less clothing, and asleep
waking to a familiar ceiling nearer to the weekend than this weekday
in May.

Sometimes, if the wind is right and ushered correctly,
the crane lights of the night highlight that moss
and only those searching will be aware that
it lives at the bottom of a white-clad border wall
just over there.

A Bow In Brown Hair

For the girl with the bow in brown hair,

            the heat from the upstairs 
restaurant cures the street where we walk,
            the freight’s in on the track,
you can tell by the horns,
            I from the diesel smell below the
afternoon clouds, faint above,
            sometimes when we speak a heart rate
somewhere peaks,
            another graph pinned to an office wall 
shows this clear,
            sometimes when we talk tense chests 
fear the answer you may say,
            the graph strays past paper and onto 
those office walls, in red with a palmed
            smudge where you forgot where
the words ended.


            For the girl with the bow in brown hair, 
your eyes are theatre-light reflections in twenty-four hour
window panes sat packed neatly off the corner of West 47th 
and 7th, for you’re my central Times Square.

Remain Dressed

Your cleavage is the sum

of everything you want to be:
on show and constantly talked about,
but when you have loaded words in
a shotgun mouth, spewing out
miscellaneous shells to the nobodies
of your street, then you’ll
fail to become that gap between your breasts.



Keep quiet and remain dressed;

having numbers next to friends
is a contest you win at,
but count on your hands the mouths
that like you, and you’ll realise you’re
alone.