Tuesday, 26 November 2013

2 New Poems

Two Dolphins, Swimming

the carvings of kerosene on Trebant-sharp
lime green paint job, some cobblestone side-street
in some town whose names eludes English tongue shapes,
skin slipping beneath canal water and noon-day shadows.

I took deep a breath of country air.

the feel of clean sheets and hanging portraits of Christ,
five days' diet of wheat beer and dime-store pastry,
with light bending in ice-mended glasses,
in powder gates and tourist camera stops.

I look at the castle wall as swaying in double-time.

the coats of grey-black in ocean print,
dip-diving as bauble-brooks with heart patter tune,
so unlike the facades of spraypaint steel,
of vicious rusts calling us back again.

I bit my tongue in crowds, in private too.

Time Of Your Life

At fifteen,
with wicker torch of youth burned bright in some,
but not you as smothered ash, you as soaked kindling,
held with the breath of angels wished to bed,
you were something to sneer and bereave, separately.

At twenty-two,
with winter jackets and pocketed rail passes,
rushing to get somewhere you'd read in storybooks,
away from that old gospel's temperance of being,
you were left with finding only wicked mirrors in shot glass.

At thirty,
with the edge of blacktop falling behind memory's stage curtain,
promises made, broken as bottles in the green grocer bin
when all wanted was a shared light to hold,
you will be the same as broken ever, accordion wheeze.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

2 New Poems

Saying Things

I said yes;
I'd meet you in the space between clouds
and canal craft-work of skyscraper towers,
and birthday clothes to icicles turning,
and just a little of the Northern Lights' green.

Hearing it was so much warmer in California,
in Palermo and at midnight sun in Ibiza
meetings were made scarce by time, flights
finished past an hour of sensible waking.
You were never so cold as skating rivers
here, never so cold as Christmas in a
desert wind dry.

The greatest slow dancer in the universe,
the moon and back to hold in graceless
charm, the stars to shine in charmless grace,
you'd offer as long as it wasn't here;
I said no.

Dog-Eared Back Pages

Everything was in flames;
that tattered, battered old timey bird clock
and living quarters they pushed, pushed, pushed
upon us in grey-haired finery, something
charming to say, we'd thought about
this timing beforehand with the cake carvery
the ruddy rush by Thames boat sails and
broomstick curtains we has to pull shut as
quick as flashing knives in duelist style.

But never like this, no, never the molten
cause reflecting in porch beams you'd nailed
together one summer dusk with a wet chewing
air to it, reflecting in glass reconstructions of
the English Civil War and rose-coloured stamps
in collectors' books to look back upon.

It was licking, lapping houndstooth manner on
door frames in handprint impressions, matches
to gunpowder and rivers of blood on the
furnace hamper drawings and cuckoo-cloud
dreamers we all were in our youth,
stains we'd look back on in abjection, in
wide-eyed bemusement.

With the locking, the skeleton key catacombs,
I'd take a last look at embers' broken
nose wheeze and four-stone weight upon
crooked shoulder, with those things

I took a deep breath.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

2 New Poems

The Way It Ends Up

You said with the cigarette swirl, demonstrating
flight routes, the shape of Prague's astronomical clock
chimes and everything you remembered about Copenhagen,
that, “you still end up eating Subway sandwiches at
uncleared cafeteria tables, you still end up in some
corner with pens, paper and regrets, nursing an
overpriced Pilsner and tracing your fingers on the
edge of a Lonely Planet pull-out map.”

You know I'd be one of those people in Beaches
one day, growing a front porch garden, painting
siding colours that would huff-up the Etobicoke
Homeowner's Association, voting New Democrat out
of a vague sense of guilt, and talking too much
about Joni Mitchell and Neil Young in some
flicker-light barroom on some street without proper
signage I'd take three calls to direct friends to.

And I knew you'd live in Little Portugal or
Chinatown, chain smoke cloves out your
window above an all-night noodle house,
try to drown out your neighbours with lutes and
piano keys and thrift shop swing records,
skating on frozen town fountains and handling
out anarchist newspapers to businessmen on Bay Street;
clutching something of a future past to remind,

these white-walled and too-bright cafeterias days
are only a phase, were only a phase.

Lyrics To An Unpublished Song

The blue and red light bouncing from greasy cobblestone,
from brick walls where we'd had close calls with love
behind pub letterings and language law compliant
street signs, looked as heavens' infinity,
revolving in time to breathing sighs, slurred words.

Skating on river-thin ice, lakes soft in
the centre were our two forms in repetition,
and you with the same things you said every Friday,
that every girl I didn't get wouldn't be the
ones I'd have loved the best, anyways.

In impossible movie theatre distances, buzzing crunch
in the fizz of soda bottles and the short-selling of
popcorn scarfing lads, I'd inch a bit, this and that,
read as card player's do in projector's all blue
reflection: you were as radiant, blinding, as ever.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

2 New Poems

At The Time

Someone will always have nerve to say,
in the blurry bathwater gue of drunken
Hallow's Eve, recrimination session at
breakfast table's alarm next to the whole milk
jug, that this seemed like charming gold.

Someone will always hand you another can
of whatever it was they were having, hoping
to trip weights in favour measure themselves
imagined as boldly spoken fortune,
beneath the discotheque's pounding pan-flash.

Someone will always pass a next dirty glass
devil's talking turn amongst hurly-burly boys
and girls you'll apologize to for next year's
feelings today; no mind to place's carving space,
that special someone will always do,

And you'll take it down anyways,
you can't speak a word without its vice.


Heavy wears the headed crown of thornful
regret of gold fashioned from half-glances,
coming on like lighting bolts coursing through
vapor clouds that mingle between our lips.

Guild with jewels most regal, in kind of
frozen blood and tear from Queen of Scots
coronation; the illusion of power in heart
of castle keep, in well-chiseled tablets.

Clinical, piece-by-piece and back together,
inched across in jeweler's eyeglass reflection
the curve of every crystal from both sides now known,
but never their methods, their meanings.

Friday, 1 November 2013

1 New Poem


I want to clash swords with you,
in a Chelsea morning wake up
with river's flow of the fiddle and
drum scrape, apologizing in immediate
regret for things I didn't mean but did,
when clock struck midnight pumpkin faces
and sodden drink overcame sense.

When the sun comes in like toffee cream
and sticks to everything inside from bookshelf to
blanket, I'll be bounding up with slicking
hair and pinstripes to hide it away, how
much we were alike in darkroom development,
how little was our collapsing into now.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

1 New Poem

Church Shoe Monuments

A brush with breezy autumn's sunlight became
today's silver greeting chorus, stemming cut
of hallowed glass stain in quadrilateral window
cast: apostles of Christ and tales told by
furious chime rendered in grandmother's voice at
the bed foot beneath pine box and winter's comfort.

Childhood's time to ask intemperate questions of
the lines in mother's apron strings and the
starch stiffness of father's work shift drawings
was coming nearer its end in rhythmic repose,
asking how we'd fail at the next pace -

Like chalices of feeling offered to drink, knowing
you'll live a life and then some without its
bitter pill persona and be better for that
not; untangled a mess of hair, sopping dog
wet in Pacific's pickling salt, knots in ship dock
style framing in care your eyes of infant boy's blue.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

1 New Poem

Little, Late

Sitting here in a standstill, slouchy paunch posture
between five days gone going nowhere, jazz
dancing on rainy flagpoles in witch hour's
swirl of chemists crosses and Coca-Cola signage,
written on the backs of tatters maps of Edinburgh,
were stanza sheets in odes to cobblestone and
street lamps, colours of eye-shadow we could wear.

And I've met people just as lonely from Verona
to Lille and Yorkshire, cracking their wholesale
smiles for clack of Euro dimes on the top
of wishing well ice which didn't freeze in November,
didn't thaw in July; vivid as light rush
with Western sunrise columns, I am the pence
piece amongst them, you are the American dollar.

“There is a policeman and a Tory inside all
of our heads”, at least that's what I heard
from a subtle lips' motions between big band
trumpets and fumes of dry ice rum, enough
to replay, “there is a liberation theologian
and a Tony Benn in our hearts”; you said
I do too little to defeat them.

Monday, 28 October 2013

1 New Poem


The clouds clear here in five minute spurts
looking out and waiting, waiting for their passage,
waiting, searching out the sun beneath the crackle
of black ice, squeal of import car tires,
waiting, thinking of all the things I would have done
were it not for their tide-like forms.

Stuck in the state between two FM stations,
I have never wanted for much given daily bread and wine,
that which tied hands tight was not rusted wire,
nor shackles of word and deed but those self-fastened;
a flit of birds was better lucked, the salmon schools
swimming seemed the greatest fun with them.

But, sickly, shivering, I could not see their worth.

3 New Poems


I am all out of words,
all out of illusions and three-card tricks,
all out of pretty things to quote and off-set
the colour cold of rings willow-like about
my eyes off-lining and teeth half-corrected.

I am all out of lying,
when intemperate thoughts spill as hobbled
beer glasses, I should know that they are
at least true, at least a soaking water
plank to walk off into something great.

I am all out of suspicions,
I see nothing but a passage in your blinking,
nothing but a stepping threshold I could have
ran across in the dark without falling,
could have heard our breath collapsing into one.

I am all out of half-measures,
those winks and nods of teacup trinkets we pass
between ourselves as two children in sandbox,
plastic pails and shovels, at least in
imagination's meaningless meander.

I am all out of most everything,
but this one thought, turning about as
coin copper between two fingers, this one
feeling that you and I should dance on
the O'Connell Bridge some bright evening.

But I am all out of words,
the kind I never said.

Watching Walls

Aching in semi-colon symmetry, stretched out on
mattresses with the lights off, smell of potatoes
and eggs cooking on stovetop, the sizzle
of grease from crisp bag liners tracing streaks
into my daylight, into my evening shattered with
dry tears where I'd watch thoughts dance on your
conscience shoulders and scrub out the red eyes.

I am devoured by this desire,
I am puzzled by it as well.

Streetlight reflections draw pagan circles on
ceiling tile, ships tossing to-and-fro in stomach,
signs of some great point of turning; bathing
in saltwater cures, taking the advice of
party bagmen and mother's acquaintances to
settle in to something sad-eyed, live
in decrees and degrees, flick of bachelor apartment lights.

But I am on the wind,
I am not here.


The plink-platter of subtle storms
on black umbrella canvas, crooked prisms
bending charms of dead and shadow,
stains on classroom windows in the
shape of martyred heartaches; better
to stay in with the white teacups than
face the whistle-wind and dripping leaves.

I was trying to be honourable, let well
alone these foolish feelings, let needles
to their space in hay piles, and stop
with flaxen field rows, eye-twinkles
in the champagne glass midnight of
Dublin canal waters, and all the things
we compare our first love's smile to.

I can't do it, though, just can't.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

2 New Poems


Making you out as a cenotaph reading was so simple,
when I knew nothing of affections but the word of old
sustaining grandeur.

When my love is none but a chain hotel in a
side-street city, two stars at most where breakfast is Welsh cakes
and cereal

instead of full English. The stiff refusal of it comes
the same as sunset in the evening, the same as
miner's lung.

Sitting in Airports

The tacky green shade of Aer Lingus stewardess uniforms
seems a shimmered emerald bathing post in hazy
illumination of mornings when I should have slept in,
on morning when should I have built bursting effigies
of the way five year-old boys think about Snow White
in animation cells.

The oily shuffle of breakfast warming trays,
cluttered clatter of baggage wheels on moving walkways
warm from the bottom of gum streaking shoes, the sound
that woke from dead-eyed shadowing, took day's
lapel and shook it subtle, slight disturbance only
to my thinking.

Propeller props spun up again, time's leaving for
a new plain of lonely air, a new place to wear
on ankle bone and stare up at the carved buildings
named for men of plenty long-since departed,
and it was what life had been long-since, sitting, waiting for
something to start.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

1 New Poem

Wintering Somewhere Warm

Black port jars stored for winter's coming,
car stereo clanging The Mamas & The Papas,
retreats most hasty beaten shoes path leather,
recent events making the distinction clearer,
between what was thought and wished about.

Diving in beneath snowbank calmness, the
mannequins we mistook as suitors, as lovely ladies
faded bright in cotton swayings, bouncers and
buckeyes all the things we had left of Ohio,
left of chilled nights in Akron motels.

Little-known was Pyrrhic nature, the cheap
signs long-faded for topless places which didn't
even stay open past midnight anymore, the
city fathers reshaping downtown's face to their own,
never the kind of teenage runaways, Soviet-chic enthusiasts.

Torching scaffolds drunken with night's rainwater
and beer sweat, it was all I could have the bearing
of, interplay of freshly-tasted concrete and
scents of Turkish kitchens hounding us homeward,
so gung-ho with fiery memory of the Empire State,

seeming sandy as rural routes of Kazakhstan.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

1 New Poem


There are four walls to this room
the same as everywhere, the same
as sleeping under flood lights of bated
breath, of cluckings hen-like gnaw from
pumping blood across blankness in pitied
words, said then falling in stomach chasm.

There are four feelings to this night,
the covered mask in silken finery confuses
a deeper knowing of futile movements,
that all could never matter the slightest
once It was miles replacing feet, once
it was rivers and lakes and swampland to step.

There are four pyres to make us warm
torching the woodpile in oil slick séance,
crackling dust on prarie winds down the
sea air and mountain snow in semblance,
holy ghosts drawing curtains on their impeccable
ends we have always reached out to.

There were four manners it could have ended,
the first two mere delusions of romance novels,
paintings careful in mass production animation cells,
the second set quills in hedgehog dilemna,
biting skin pierce to become close enough;
we chose the fourth, of solace turning bright.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

1 New Poem

Turning Back

The mists rose solemn in September dawns,
creaking swell of boardwalk planks beneath
our feet bare as they were in July
midday's sun remembering the way
your breath consecrated in fell patterns,
strained glass construction on the ceiling window.

Recaptured on TV crew camera prints,
sketches done by hand by the man in the suit and
tie who sat in park bends with easel and palette
and laughed as he rubbed out the mistake he made in
the peculiar shape of your eyebrows, wondered if
he should notice the bit of chewing gum stuck to your tooth.

I tired to trace the lines on compass point
last night in turning fevers hope to talk,
but would not, could not join the dance of
faithless lovers to tune of pouring glass
shapely neon holding as tight as they
do each other in posturing passions.

Stare at the clock's maddened face, wishing
once it would run counter and give some relief,
run back to mistaken haste and cover
ourselves in it like shuttered hotel blinds;
it never does, it never could, march bringing but
the scant relief of Boxing Day's dinner.

Monday, 14 October 2013

2 New Poems

Grown Up

Children's backpacks flood the city centre as Friday's
makeshift parade begins in pinwheel swirl the same
I'm sure it always has, but do not know.

Pondered by the stone arches, Cheshire waterways,
smiling sundown clouds above Ferris revolving
lights, peak air breath drawn from Inverness down,

how I could have been the pinwheel spinning sharp.

I could have grown up here,
and cheered for Celtic over Rangers,
and learned to wince at tourist camera clicks,
and ate kebabs with wooden fish-and-chip forks,
and walked the Royal Mile to school and back home.

But I grew up amongst the maple keys falling,
and slipped down the ice-slick hills in Winter,
and scoffed at the American accents of summer beach travelers,
and picked strawberries in August at the farm five miles out
and rapped on suburban fences with replanted oak branches.

Table Salt

It was you with the salt and sugar at the kitchen table
in linoleum and soap-stained fixture abodments that cost
thousands more than their worth;

you, restless and wild as they do come.

Dry as grinding bone meal between strange glades of time,
wobble-stout the bridgeheads built-up of dashed hope,
2-litre Aldi cider bottles,

the Sunday light level I retreat into.

Yes, it was you, with the rusted hair-trigger feel for all this,
the beret cap whipping about in autumn's leaf-winded shadows
on the porch of the faux-French cafe,

you sang “The Last Time I Saw Richard” like you lived its every word.

And, yes, it was me, carving plastique and table salt into
statues to your beauty and how close I wished to clutch
you as a renaissance repainting;

imagining every song by a depressing Scottish band was about us.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

2 New Poems

Do I

You looked your best at 3 on a Tuesday afternoon,
when I swallowed unsaid guilt as the bitter edges of shattered CDs,
metallic in catching prism's bursts but-once joyous
serenade out in voice of a man much better-dressed than I,
your tide hair still swaying harvest moon's swift current landed.

There was no supposition in your sake's simplicities,
little time for drawing room curtains and fair maiden's
wrist-gloves, not quarter-length of second hand's dawning
for lipstick loves and balmy perfume's tongue-kiss promise,
you knew of steel pens click-chiming charm all too well.

Still, I wanted to touch my lips to your cheek just once
to know the feeling, just once to know what alive was like,
just once to know, really know, the stories of singers
and mad men have spoken in cavern's endless depth,
just once to know life's chance did not merely mock.

Half-asleep in the Dublin airport, watching falling glass facades
recollect the time of new-built steeple-houses upon emerald tithings
built, looking ahead to the off-white of youth hostel sheet walls,
the blurry haze of Ryanair ticket stubs and continental breakfast plates,
I wrote a note on the crumpled reverse of Supermacs paper:

“If you could see the same grey Glasgow skies as I,
run together between the Clyde's dockland decline, and
the alcoholic ruby sparkles dressing nightclubs that took
their occasion, it would be my greatest sight to know
for you'd have finery in oil rag tatters to me.”

I tore it across the middle edge, and left.

A Recollection of Rainstorms

I am as impermanent as the Highland's rocky recollection:
we came both from somewhere long since forgotten, the
space made in time of ice storms, and must return
some day to mere murals on desolation's dust visage.

One day, it all crumbles and to the sea restores,
not matter calcified remain or limestone spire grand;
there is no reassurance in this matter, knowing
our pointless echoes stop in place at nature's hand.

Still, could carvings of glacier weight grand know the
immensurate pain of lonesome laying at evening's end,
could the wall stone paintings reflections of midnight's gentlemanly
airs in failing from polished shoe leather?

I wore no clan's title and a story half-thought,
you surrounded mists in pale-eyed sadness sweater-knit,
carrying pints in plastic cups, at least, we could
have that much tonight's together, it seemed.

Piercing run, clumsy-handled questions, shattered storms
a second lasting but decades wished upon, truly
those were the moments in deep night with the
flashing neon pattern to be held immortally close.

Beneath the melting pound of Prestwick airport lounge lights
sleep a haunted thought between mechanical spring clangs,
the disembodied rumblings of freshly-recorded warnings;
I was going somewhere, but no time so soon.

When we parted both tying scarves and looking for
streets we had seen only in map headlines, I stuck
with before's determined conclusion of the night,
but if I hadn't had been lying in steady breath.

I'd have spent until lochs hour of dust return
in Glaswegian streets with you.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

1 New Poem

Night's Retelling

I'd remember one evening in the pouring rain,
bounding of you in white scarf wrappings,
hustle-and-bustle down sidestreets where
canal waters lap-wash together above your feet with sky-fall,
the January timetable marked with gifts and
nights spent in with turf-fed fire and parchment
for company, I looked at you in shaded regret's blue.

Half-seven time read flashing on your expression,
I was blank, chipped-away as crossing sign paint,
cold digging you scanned for something better-mended,
minding umbrella hat strokes, turning up-side out,
it could scarcely be found in this skin's state.

The last of bearings could be challenged through bitten lip,
bone-soaked half-literary pretension I took everything
to be, and not be; houses in distance so close,

we stepped beneath our porch lights, becoming shadows.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

1 New Poem


Taking the express bus from Battle River to
Swastika, the reversed magnetic rail from Paris to
Luxembourg, same windy wind of shielding
tundra held out cutting wire, stake pins
put through the permafrost in four foot's depth,
I watched ice fractles form mathematic on windowpane,
haunting plains from here to Rosetown.

The last of the city lights fading in 2-for-1 vodka
bottles, in tin-crinkle of cough drop packages,
only long-vanished heavens, bleaching shine of colours
only drawing closer shades of Winter's paradise
only damning in faint feeling one-time echo of
voice in the rumble of car on concrete, crossing the 417.

Your presence consumes this place as four strong
winds, forever bonded to the lonesome glint of
overpass lines, ghostly pastures spread about
in the dancing of fireflies on Northlander conductor
wheels; your breath in the exhaust of stream trailing
through yonder nighttime's soul-dark, clouding
above Thunder Bay in its diamond-rough keeping.

I wanted to take a train car all out to Bonavista,
the taste of salt and cod fishery encircling me,
body swamped in Atlantic's dead-end depth.
I'd still know tones heavy in the way you spoke
about chopping of evergreen trunks; I'd hear it,
even in the cedars of Lebanon.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

1 New Poem

And If

And if I'd asked in six months time about
the shape I was in last Friday's blurry tranquil
of pale moonshine by blighted docks,
you'd say “just fine”, a smirk and that would be

And if I'd said some half-remembered thing about
your belonging to the National Trust for Preservation
of Pricelessness, some more beautied than Pollack's patchwork,
you'd say “alright” with thanking and remorse of

And if I poured the stout glass too tall and
talked to myself in crossbeam's corner
most of night's clock and cowl hours afar
you'd be concerned with lights lapping, but laugh

And if I made us two fools falling on blank
page, wishes dripping ink wells, quills
shattered at right angles from tree sap weight,
you'd look lop-sided, characters matching but by

And if I'd write one-line poems of Eros,
addressed to no one in particular, but jammed
so tight with nodding winks none could deny
you'd exasperate and clasp hands as you did for

And if I passed out in those dress shoes
with the crack in the heels on parlour carpet,
speaking things I shouldn't about hair shades and wheat fields
you'd cover me in thin comfort, waiting on a

And if you marked the door in typists fingers,
in plain old handscript flows so that all could see
the Victorian manner you'd prefer to keep it,
I'd puzzle about its suspicion, question, still knowing

Monday, 7 October 2013

1 New Poem

Here & Then

The Ulster midnight sprang crooked wells
gushing forth beneath the staircase soot
and the curbsides painted Union Jack; embraces
furthest from memory, stumbled past the threshold
next morning's noon, feet unbalanced from pavement chippings,
head unbalanced from your memory in voice.

The moon's reflected temperance, steel pen sharp
in the long shadows of kebab shop windows and
taxicab vacancy signs flipping light patterns,
gave a mug warmed of mother's milk to ponder,
brought with its ticking tidewalls the looseness
of flapping springtime dresses in dull ache above your knees.

It was then we bit into each other as ripe persimmons
in Venetian royalty's covered garden, heat
of once-touched lips burning bright as October's first
snowfall, denied skin lapping together harmonious as
saltwater's carnival kiss, sweet as boardwalk taffy,
our bodies half-empty wine bottles along the sand.

The angel's share of whiskey cask coloured
crease lines along your back, smoothing stone
sweat caress as our last partings in careful construction
untangled, shaking, swaying time obsidian curls
unfurling, Rorschach tests of observed beauty on bedsheet,
quiver-tremble a second as we became.

Between Falls and Shankill in feeling now,
were you here I'd hold you aligned to the Sands mural,
kiss-write you love letters in the Peace Line wall;
were you, I'd say, “stay the same don't ever change
from springtime's green-eyed pastures”, but that was then,
and change was the one thing you always did.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

3 New Poems

Crooked Hourglass

Desperation held out a warm hand, patience
of its pursuit so apparent from the
hours spent in pacing planning to the
mere second consumed by nervous comment,
the kind you make at dinner
parties around people you barely
know except for the host
whose name you keep written
on hand to remember;
that kind of night
in fact, truly
I'd say
it was
the run of sand
grains in trinket shop
fashion, cheap blue plastic
to count on when all our
wound wires in transistor radios and
finely lab-polished microwaves some
day do fail, some day do fall as
old growth redwoods, the cracking sound
as arid gunshots bursting in December night.

Marks Left

Watching the EU funding signs and the green pastures
of centuries bygone roll past beneath strange
comforts of roiling grey Ulster's permanence,
the inaccurate clock and the flashing red seatbelt
sign that no one paid any mind, but the tourists
were always subtletly scared of violating,

the light seemed bent only to make prism astonishment
rainbow's end just beyond Belfast horizon,
and great star's setting hue close to touch the
village houses tucked between before time's
forbearing carpentry carvings of mountain stone.

I drew a signature on the air and let it pass,
I drew a time's presence on the window, in half-measure.

Tea & Ulster Fry

Contemplating the shape of sauce can
beans spread out in front of me by the
waitress with her cool indifference of manner,
the same eyes felt scanning across the Casey's
countertop seem to reoccur in spades.

Stainless steel spoons click off coffee mug edges,
roving banjo twangs sliced grey air in chef's
knife abundance, right around I looked to the
steeping of Orange Pekoe for some conclusion:
just some water cooling, just getting darker each second.

Thinking back on the Northern BBC logo, how it
looked so satisfied with breakfast bread, with
a ration rasher and cleaned white plates;
the grease seemed to melt with time on the
chip shop wall, carried vestment scent of long past years.

How was it, the right of peasant and king alike
stared blankly to face and ripped sharply lip;
knife-and-fork clatter merging Vivaldi tone,
I flipped back through old pages, canary-bright
as smoker's fingertips, and clarity became:

I had my tea on morning in Ulster, but
none to share it with.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

1 New Poem

All The Time

The same uneasy emotion as dry land docking
waters in Creole-speaking flood plain,
the same as rooms half-lost with the motel key
and number-crunchers handles, stick flames
to licking wound crosses, the twisted-up
way we always left it.

Struggled for standing, exasperation's grasp of idea,
thoughts to convince with low expectations
and half-exaggerations that I'd be just fine,
just alright, just peachy and all that
fine-balanced jazz they write in books
that end up in the quarter-Euro bin.

Hexing, vexing, spinning plates on
waterways, fisherman's fly casts catching
between our lips, moist the barren tufts
of pottery soil between our toes, last
winter's evidence they burned as cheap oil cloth
for warmth in 35 below.

Theirs was a lover's kissing, so strong
buried the conscious 'til tomorrow's frightful
sight, the standard thing when you can manage it;
ours became nothing of the same sort,
half-bloom, half-grown tulip half-gardened
and half-even-bought.

Lampshade shadows burst forth through
dreadful midday's sun; I thought
about a comment on it, died on tongue.

2 New Poems

Ducking The Question

As player pianos plucked out the last strains
of old Sinatra, we ducked beneath the barroom's
smokey facade, ashen dragons breathing coal dust
across the grandfather-like chimes of digital wall clocks.

It was fourty-and-three seconds with the coach bus
driver's puffing on hand-rolled cigarettes, flicking
ash under the bridge's prison limestone, adds
colour to the swirl of dreaming 10-pence pieces,

before I noticed your stepping boots, running built
in genuflection to all time's approach, much the better
than half-torn collections of faux-suede, I called
myself in half-jest, knowing the remainder too true.

Sleeping Early

Under rug swept, neuroticism of broken glass,
of toothy cliff walls fallen between in 4/4 time;
last of the bottles sink drained, last of
the three-sided shade I felt as crimson destiny,

you as fickle copper turning Irish post box.

I'd know it's all just half-heard sayings scribbled
in textbook margins, denied by the very words
wormed between, the grim echo of water spouts
still; some portion could have seem faint gold glimmer,

you'd know that too, but lacked belief.

Chest cough syrup fever dreams, tossed clock chimings,
turning light switches off-on in waiting, curtains
drawn to heavy-block the sound of reckless hearts,
the tone of less cowardly souls;

you might feel the same some night.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

1 New Poem


Grass stained knees from childhood misadventure
faded in time to rust-tinged stirring of leaves,
the kind so sodden in March's breaking of ice to care
about the high perch once upon they sat.

Sharp hangover steering through oaken folds,
arm's length from the promise of stable concrete,
pilot's downing led in foot trail tracing to
some open door: coffee and tea all hours.

Below the radio static, the bohemian couples
kissing shut their wound keepers outside the
frostbite metal of the Trotskyist party recruitment
office; suit and tie and Peter Hitchens talking point.

Death of cold coughing, comfort but a Wal-Mart
suit jacket and newly woven impossible tapestry,
I was starring at the woman across the room,
wondering of her fevers, her grass stains


Monday, 30 September 2013

1 New Poem

Caught the Light

Out of focus, lens cap lacking, the raindrops turning
lamp light explosions, rendered a Skeena Fall's red hue,
a barrier coral's shade of ocean depth, and the
thousand pigments held in Kamchatka's frozen ground,
was the way you caught the light.

Auburn, tree trunk melody of tapping wind whistles,
conspired a conjure rise of possibility; feline
string pulled in taught constriction, close to burning
from two smooth-rubbed sticks, stepping to night's frigid breath
was when you caught the light.

From witching hour's twinkle-sway, romantic constructions
of past-pot and Popsicle stick could be made
beneath the haze of adolescent drippy desire,
but never that, something in elegance ageless,
was how you caught the light.

Evergreen fragrance and champagne flutists I swam
about, parting bodies seeming sewn in thatched pattern,
heedless charge in charity shop shoes and high school
dress coat, though I could reach closer and be within:
the way I wish we caught the light.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

1 New Poem


A bit apple and two flashes of lightning
were all we wanted out of each other,

just as well you seemed as the last
rose in barren landscape, drinking the desert water,

came across the high cliffs and pin-wheel spiral
of dry-crackle fire-spark oak leaves,

the honeysuckle you roamed between, open umbrellas
in milk-supple tone.

Reading Pablo Neruda on the early bus from Galway to
Cork, seat lights in their cheap half-blue fluorescence,
the road signs in Gael flowing; canal water I
wished to drown in, the pools I cast fishing wire
between, cast cupped hands for livelihood. You
looked as two nuclear shadows, cast in lead,
cast in the fort's wall feeling that comes when

loving is so short, forgetting so long.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

1 New Poem


When I looked at you in pale moonlight's depth,
your figure cut clear air as a sheathing knife,
inspired thoughts of a three-day stay in a
wordless motel room, sunlight's dawning cast
shadows in long tempo on the stony-smooth
patches of your skin.

In memory as highland mists, I painted you in
softest shades, knowing hard edges sought to make
a house of dollar store playing pieces, but I
remembered you beneath the parliament lights at Christmas,
making snow angels in blurry photos with the
flash held half off.

As I said, “put me in with the bomb throwers,
the women burning dynamite sticks as candles, kindling,
and the men who sprawl their hearts on pavement
for a mere chance to know their lipstick fragrance”,
and you, caught in the seasons of your day, just
chuckled in bound ecstasy.

When I looked at you in the dull wash of mid-April through
the ruddy dorm room curtains, limbs strewn about
the couch fabric's floral pattern, a brief sight
came of our hands in symmetrical grasp, lying
in prominence of together's sins and virtues, but
gone just as quickly.

Friday, 27 September 2013

1 New Poem

Another Friday Night

Riding the conflicting waves of alienated love, and
the loving of alienation, the screens flicked by,
suited men saying something important too
low to hear, too familiar to be trusted.

It was blank, window open wide to catch the night air,
bring some voice bleats along for the ride, room friends
and I sitting silent with our paper pads and tea cups,
looking out and thinking how the street lamp hit the leaves

might have been the most perfect for your face's framing,
but I was stuck with the cloud roll of Centra milk
in store-brand tea, nothing more than the same
old set of switching lights for company's comfort.

Something amazing might have been meant, some travel
or grand work to be made in its name, but
judged and measured in half-day's retrospect, it could
have only been so in mirrored illiteracy.

No, this was the meeting minutes from another round of
EU beef tariff talks, the idle chatter of stiff
men by watercoolers to stave off another day's
inevitable betrayal; only this, upon a night.

1 New Poem

Undressing Gowns

With nightsweats congealing in grease pools
on my breakfast plate, terror's dark clutch bone
breaking the salt sea waves which weathered
drowning sailor cap-and-gowns, ceremony swords
crossed over bravery's breast and cloaking dagger,
I sought

cross-examined testimonies written on left-handed
yellow legal pads about your dreamscape memories,
the upside-down bottles and cans in the sand
where sun sets up on a roping ladder,
stand softly but for a century's midnight for
burning twine.

When time ran off with the dish and the Mad Hatter's
watch, juggler's knives thrown alight to
tree trunk marked graves, I papered the
walls in Gramsci's Prison Notebooks and the
collected works of young Ezra Pound, it was then that
I found

the sun was not truly orange, but chicken,
cowards' bellies growing big as the city fathers;
placed your name in a plaque site, boxed
beneath the granite carve-polish, noses
pressed to see the stripe-scratch marks in
naked glass.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

2 New Poems

It's Not Me

How many refusals, how many half-actions, apologies, in
a month, a year, a lifetime's era, were made
under sullen grandeur's pretext, under illusions of
morality superior, under some vain belief of
oncoming love?

It's uncountable, the wasted night notes in back pockets
with jar change, with gum wrappers and scribbled phone
digits we never received from faces we never spoke
to, all because we thought it better after all to
be a heathered bull.

Whoever I'm supposed to be would not abide this,
he'd turn up tender nostril to the very question
of spirit casks left out in the rain, of swaying body dance,
he'd cast odd-angled judgments about as protective fly-fish hooks,
with excuse of,

“it's just not me.”

Middle River

As we were watching the suds of river foam
flow past in Sunday's naptime current beneath
the overcast clarity, the gushing tone of rotted weather
gate to keep us company, hidden wishing coins,
drunkenly-hurled cellulars and Bavarian beer cans
lining the dug-in rock below depth's visions,

you said we'd both grow old one day, but
that didn't mean we should grow old together,
the pairing swans would lose feather flight,
bodies plucked ruddy to the midship mud, and
even the leaves on the maple trees grow
tired of the place they came from.

In time, the circular placing's logic would be
known as the eastward sunrise, would be as
well-welcomed as midnoon's saucer and teacup;
I could see the appeal, but not the complacent
stammer, not the river-lazy objections to
some statement so grand as that, and

you said people were always changing, but
they aren't always changing for the better.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

2 New Poems

Two Cents

Take my word for it, it's not worth it
the laceration scars and ink blot bruises
never sit quite right on your skin, they are
forever unwelcome guests to your cathedral dinner party.

Challenge-clash between reason's disaffection, and
the faintest half-twinkle of two specks of exploded
stardust that could have been meant to touch,
in that contest, it's best to take the first bet.

You'll be tempted to stray and sway upon the vastness
of Anatolia's plains where you look for a left-on
porch lamp carved in the shape of your father's
arm, in the shape of your mother's lips.

And sometimes you'll think you see a film reel
in your lover's eyes, of secret names and
moon-washed Croatian beaches where your feet
feel six-feet-sunk in white pebble sand, but

Take my word, for what it's worth.

How Do You Feel About Europe?

I thought about kissing you in the Sandinista rain,
grey sky storming reflected in revolutionary sunglass,
trains carrying our tender skin, milk-white in shade
from Beirut to Buenos Aries and back, and
never had I known your touch from the opposite
side of a kitchen table.

I thought about you at a rooftop party in Brooklyn,
the dusk of August breezes dancing through strands
of your hair as hitchhikers and squeegee men through
a Don Valley traffic jam; you'd make the round,
red wine glass in hand and talk to me just the
same as the others.

My life seemed so bland to compare, colourless, eating
Tesco bread and jelly snakes in a County Tipperary
coroner's office, the sun tick-tapered behind about
six layers of concrete and piping, double that
for clouds and clinging indifference coming on
tight as turning hairpins.

I thought about your many-coloured coats streaming through
Prague's November snows and the breweries of Plzen,
standing still as Cubist lampposts on the side-street,
my legs shivered bone-deep beneath thin polyester pant,
reaching limit, stepped into the bar with the pivo place-mats,
neon flicked a second


Monday, 23 September 2013

2 New Poems

Daily Actors

Of all the bloody-eyed, bent violins playing wedding hymns,
of all the marks left in hesitated haste, dry mouths
from running and communion wafers' contemplative taste,
the worst is always the newest.

Still fresh, scab-like peel of name etched in thought
as eroded water rock, as gift store broaches
carrying Connemara's marble eyes, thought it over
coffee and tobacco pipes; it was not so.

Tip-show in dancer's style, moving to the doorway and back
in weakness pretending not to notice your musing
features, pretending you weren't brighter than the
halogen lamp, pretending vision did not stray,

and most of all, pretending nothing lasted.

Museum Pieces

This skin is not fine pottery shard, encased in
inch-thick glass and alarm, not to be touched
for voices echo sets afoot the teeter-fall
to shoe-polished floor and crooked smile reflection,

though it seems in midnights as fragile.

This breath is not becalmed as September's breeze,
casting window's light at awkward angles, tilting gusts
at Eindhoven windmills, shaking loose beach grains
and abandoned gum wrappings in casual float,

though it can pretend at moment's alert.