Sunday, 27 November 2016

1 New Poem

What We Did That Summer

You never did quell these
storm clouds with your speech,
tempest crash of waves
with time that throw us upon
rough shores still, as bodies nameless
to each other, carrying mask shrouds
around in patchwork star craft
that we had before been;

but, then, what had changed?

It wasn’t that the echo noise
had drowned in cascade wave
of sweet sayings, of clasping
symphonies that won out above
this din of pen clanks that made
the best of sour times,
the best of winsome heart skips;

no, far from it, they remained.

But, it felt freer, shedding
husk-shell of normal,
half-lies we had
to speak for ourselves to
be found, the wounded searches
we took on ice flows between
seas of blessed belief
and fearful-minding of ever-closer
clock ticks of empty altar bells;

that was all gone, with you.

Monday, 14 November 2016

1 New Poem

Zero Sum

There isn’t some treaty,
some mutual blood stain
to recriminate ourselves;
not but the ceaseless sort
of car stopping spark
that doesn’t fire by winter trenches
to dig again that grim ash heap
of digital readouts, that pointing
ice shade comes strictly
waltzing in two-by-two form,
passing me through as bug trap

There isn’t some line to draw,
between sweated-mouth cotton
and ground-down tooth puncture
wounds, from these barren bedsit
crooked floors to the cold
granite polish we take as things
given from past lives: as robber
barons, debt bonders, as
grain-cutting serfs and laundress tumblers

There isn’t some swap in mindful
conscience to make these broken
years a wasted whole again, to
place in still water the rushing
reverie of these old stone
sentiments, this number-crunch
spiral of former rose petal
illusions: don’t last a
mid-morning’s knowing in this

Saturday, 15 October 2016

1 New Poem

Auf Widersehen
When we see again the plummy starlight
pattern plays between our golden year
jingle-jangle of bracing for cold
with old-sewn covers, warming
with the clammy cross of June willow,

it shall be as fire had never known
its own truths.

When we meet again our hand-me-down
feeling, textbook diagram of lovers
running a world’s strange turnabout to
have still a strength of memory,

it will spool like spun straw
to floor in karat lock.

When we dance again a pallid spectres,
midhour’s fog of wandered smoke
still speaking its craggy little tonebox
tune of empty-worded promise unpassed,

it won’t be like last we did:
so-lead-foot, so humbled.

Rather, that Sonnenallee strut,
that smile of twisting tales until


Monday, 19 September 2016

1 New Poem

Tribute Acts
Something still flickers, soft age
haze of moonlighting fish and chip
and vinegary black-white television’s
over-pouring ennui backmasks
tape tale too strong for telling
in beer can snap crack
or nerves of sincere Judas
coming across in tender-handed
compliments you pay to shirt
corner raggedness as signs of
authentic outrage, smooth
talking a sales job made
in social pyre for our
selves as whittled ornaments
from oak crosses, refined,
tempered by half-glass
of young years.

It isn’t like embers anymore,
grander stage for smolder of
televisions versions of  crying
sessions, a single wearing
of cut flower cloth for
rose boquet tosses in
off-hand kind of ways,
the hurried undoing years
you make up for in Christmas
dinner acts of middle splendor,
in standing in banquet hall
doorways waiting for the
moment to say of leaving:

“we never should have, not us”.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

1 New Poem

Red As Rosa

It isn’t made like that anymore,
all neckline plunge, in-time white linen,
so slim a fiction as blessing cribs,
and one that could never handle a
crossing of hand wounds tender
for lacing logic of cross town traffic
lights you shoulder with broken beads,

darkened metro rail ticket offices,
you flutter between, dancer’s
grace on way from library stacks
to the pity swirl of paper lace
and chewed pen caps that stain
your face a rose gold shade,
pallid mourning magic through
dawn spaces you treed kindling
brought down from grassy hills
to city centres and sold at the
penny-pound (all I could afford)
straining acceptance of
this single twine space where we

meet as revolutionaries,
leave as shoeshine specters.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

1 New Poem

Equal & Opposite

No words for standing slope-thrust
in muddy mystic sort of stance
that takes up all memory of
summertime, all soot smoke stains on
backyard fire escapes, side bricks,
places you stay with rolled-up dress shirts,
pretend class kind of game, moving slow
to march tunes of considered saying, lock-pick
jingles for dosages when you’re alone and
don’t make it so simple, not balanced in
a car crash logic that it keeps to
run ever farther along to unknown
axioms’ following.

Screen prints of Berlin metros don’t make
you anymore a sophisticate that a
terse-turned sentence of ashen wit that
gets scribbled on grade school walls
and alleyway overpasses in haste,
looking over shoulders to see what
we could have made of ourselves
if only we’d better aligned watch
fragments with sun-dial speculation.

I never got the grasp feeling
you were at a shivering
thirteen pace, or wallowing transcendence
of four corner beds with their stolen
twenty-something kisses;

but neither were you me, so,
how could I know?

Friday, 26 August 2016

1 New Poem

All So Simple

I circle this colder corpse, still,
an impulse to remain after blood
dries and wandering hands take
their toll of pocketfuls,
waiting for all silence to stop,
resolve itself to green mystic
waters again and find ourselves
once more growing as cedar-pines
we were in first-limb movement
at that hour when everything struck
as crossing of key-locks, rather than
a clang of misshapen metal.

By now you know it’s some
illusion to believe a twine
bridge could hold all measure
weights in keeping separate
their sorrows, their showings of
feeling where once it was a
blank footlocker sort of thing;
but you never recapture that
with all the mushy cardstock
in a whole city, all the
debonair talking in bookstore
backrooms’ learning,

it just comes naturally.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

3 New Poems

Arc Light

Bending blue in afternoons,
sea docks’ wooden lap-laugh
at metal hulls on shoreline tangles,
signs of heartbeat across our
close-miking conversations, when
I go out and figure things
in ruler-slide breaths of face
in cave side etchings of pounded
doorframes, the friends we make
smiling and forgotten with
shatter-gust of soft summer rain.

It’s there you find an ice-hollowed
echo of timeless features, a drastic
chisel of motions made whole in
unseen fissures, skipping frames,
dulling-fade mind’s eye picture
dipped in rust water, like starring
out station wagon windows at 13
in a stardust crusade that made
us feel together, under a same day’s
premonition we could have felt
in rock candy dress fabrics,

if only we’d listened harder
to splashes of rain water against
beach rock, and nothing much else
to hear.

Table Manners

Silverware was set for you,
bleached cloths, spotless crystal,

all appointed with aristocrat’s
wrist-flick splendor, living waxwork;

so you did, with your locks of
bushy-bundled hair, take to a certain sort

the type that never came with knife pairings,
but a sort of eye trick illusion, disguising.

On Paintings of Surrender

When we clash, running to human
points of fleeting touch to steel
as flesh kept under cabinet key,
we light up olden day skies, a thunder-crack
of lost teenage fumbling, with hints
of soft speech we gather from books,
continental conversations.

It isn’t so much to bend a knee
I came, but to draw pencil leads,
sketch some places that couldn’t have
been so gray if only we’d had
greater courage of shutting up when
slipping points called for it,
when we weren’t so proud of ourselves
for quoting columns out of context
and being too clever by half to fall.

But I still don’t wave trillium
bouquets aloft for a certain sight
of you coming back in daydream air,
only for crooked view of
such, more tampered with by salty
washing, nights of ice glass and
spirits sentimental.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

1 New Poem


I don’t take to sugars
the same way some others
have, with washing of mouths
in communion favour;

they sting instead of brackish
water, of spoiled box wine,
cheap stuff to chase away
forged signatures.

Itch of cotton takes over,
ramblings of bottle breath
wet and sunny against
a playing morning’s curtain call,

but it doesn’t look the same,
all starfire-crimson, as
when I felt a collapsing
of old spectrums to one point,

a choking throw-up to still
dawns as always they were:
the pill bottles’ clutter,
empty with chicken-scratch labels.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

1 New Poem

Accidents & Emergencies

We met in ward light,
hands bandaged from climbing cuts,
scaling places we couldn’t control,
with paper and pens and violin trills:
world seemed so sharp, without graces.

But we spoke like prisoners, batting away
winking sunshine, locked in jabbing
rhythm to see which gave first:
my flat regionalisms, your wordly

First things handed as struck metal,
a running of corridors we get let
on, as careful dancers do when they
can’t face a breaching of light,
a cutting of fabric sheet.

Then it was open, warming song
of jumping fumes from open street
air, covered pound notes in cooling
of August fabric, but something
more than that to melody

of scamper-flashing ambulance lights
you could be heard to say:

“Is this in A, is it in E?”

“No, both.”

Saturday, 30 July 2016

1 New Poem

In Between Stars

Blue light buzz, spectrum shift
of darkened curtains cut a
Borealis blaze through midday cloud,
takes me darkly from running dogs,
dusty persistence of sunlight screams
dripping tap-pipes as river current

but I take to it: a flick-flutter
of browning wings, false death masks.

You make me move, from wishing to
want, from bald desire to the charm
jam lights of grandee tradition;
how much I look back with piano trills
on handshake nationalism
that once gave us a lifetime’s peace,

that once I thought to be all things
worth the name, medals hanging from
trophy places, all ordered on American boys’
Swedish shelving.

These noise machines, clang-clacking against
boat-swung rope lines, fishing
nets to dredge a through-line for
thinking for ourselves to be made
of, drown it out a bit

with art-sign neon hues, they say:
“no more here, no more there”,

yet, all around.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

1 New Poem

For Freetown

I wish one day your feet will run
as river basins, flowing that war across
again in punched-up signs the mapmakers always
neglect to trace, as long as sun shines
from then on.

I wish one day you will take to air,
helium gas drowning out this wretched
fear of vowed parchment, this cocoon
blanket of outgrown clothes, worn away
theatre poises.

I wish for once, your arms might open
to gather breathless the sand grain
hourglasses leave behind in burnished
rubber reflections.

I wish, just once, your eyes to
come upon ocean’s light, night’s
death at the steer-round clockface,
hands all asunder.

I wish, one time, you saw the
sleep that could have been with
greater grace, sweeter words,
beside not yourself

but something more.

2 New Poems

Wildberry Bush
The cotton dresses of village girls hung
a dusty, sallow frame from clothesline cling
to despairing pittance,

like berry buds struggling up against
dry earth, wiry, plastic cable-like
and, still, not even sparking.

Put for two and two, place settings
harmonious as singing choir stockade
upon river mud-rock seats.

I grab tender handfuls, being of
silent tumult, too crass was a
spoken verse, then

as now, never to taste the
leather-ride hide of grown worlds
only sweetly sublime in its infant’s patter.

Smoker’s Cough

I light up, snuff out, candlebox,
wax burning down both ends of it,
for the finger-running freedom of
what it is to wait for minute-days
at Pancras crooked station staircase,

swell of wrought summer iron,
bar gates construction, post-war tile.

When we met, my skin was
cigarette cellophane, giving thin
cover to toxicity, rapping brush
of shore wave carrying crescent moon tide;

I could have washed the old person away.

But you saw through, past the packet
street litter in August rain,
to be so clutching, unadorned
washing out each other’s colours

to bleached brown PoMo
in train car light.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

1 New Poem

Hearts & Crowns

Missing arena floorboards take years
from me, throwing back to those days
freezing in pew aisle stare,
while canteen fryers sizzle-popped with
prepackaged shapes, cousins and friends
shaking the paved ice slush from
skate shop secondhand wares, that
dingy ding-up before signage
came with its blushed-blue expressions,
cutting ropes of desperate clinging
politicos to the wrangle-shake of voters’

how to go back to those days.

When the anchor wheel would spin with
penny candy bets for curious children
in pick-up impressed jeans ripped-up
jogging , we’d throw down quarters,
shiniest, given from father’s long-worked fingers,
from mother’s cashier apron pockets,
to see what there was in light,
the older boy-girls gesturing with face cards
across oil drum tables, and being so

there anew is something grander,
pulled away, forgotten never.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

2 New Poems

Notes on Greeting Cards

I don’t “love” you.

I want to adventure with you.

I want to learn what it is to know you.

I want to make our own words for “connection”, for “feeling”.

I want to discover what there is beyond sayings.

I don’t want love; I want us.

Rollercoasters, Ice Cream

There once was some fairytale caution in
speech given to the cathedral park waterway,
the slanted hill of unknowing tilt-a-bob
I slid down in time, with kids of ham-hock
neighbourhood plans, split-sprouting bones of
Old Europe last names, being so blankly read
in cross-stitch stares, trundling up with empty
fridge poisons, penny-candy notions roller
disco days, where we get lost in car radio
static, sounds of ’92 Sunfire tape decks

And how the rollercoasters that came in
late June towered above beach stand snack
tables, how they cast long dripping figures
on 12th grade shadows earning at once
their first and last gulps of free air
above pier line jumping rough water,
how policemen waved us on in cheer.

But there is time for ice cream
cones, and time for bitter drink,
and time for huff-puff of drawing close
across shimm-shammy board walks to make
bleary town cryer’s tune, time to take
rid above dampened wood of marina boards.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

1 New Poem

Dry Counties

When everything slips your mind past grace
notes of 50th parallels, way up over the
Bloor Street splendor of gutter punk
mystics dancing shoe cymbal jigs for
silvery leather of policeman’s caps;
how shiny with self-serious contradiction
ae they in atoned posture for dead
names carved on concrete with tree-twigs
that wash away crude scars in lilac undertow.

When you get air-locked out of yourself
as surrounding confidant to all
girls who want to be Joni Mitchell, all
boys who think they’re Neil Young,
it’s there you trick Ashweig water,
shivering suntanned with lazy jumping
children, cotton-balled in nostril and
deeper prided than still your stubby-heated
face is, rounded moon of pleasant symptoms.

When all falls from cast-cradle eyes,
wool scales you weigh morning’s breath
to sagging bone structure, adjustment to
heights of bitter air, slacking sheet-towel
cover of matchbox mattress when you
don’t need some firewater concoction anymore
to feel church chime alarm bells anymore,
just cotton shrouds of sleeping action, weights
of blank memory books for you,

secret message lemon bleach of Northern Store signs.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

1 New Poem


Watch it on televisions, still, movement captured time by
red cowboy hat Stampede dance of all places
coming in and smiling cutting off vacant air churn
of oscillating fans in lodgers’ bunkbeds,
and strange Saturday silence but on enduring.

Then, again, there’s no surprise:
to squeegee wash things with cluttered shoelace,
nervous hand gesture ticks, those softer pleasantries
to help mouth scrub your share history,

to help with sticking a couple pages together.

So, you don’t have to watch the cracked windows on
television, hear the earnest CBC about it anymore;

you can know the scattering of metal,
tang of fifth morning’s oatmeal,

but also to get your own following parade,
of dirty-faced kids, that could have been you,

without only so much choice to watch,
or to live.

Friday, 8 July 2016

1 New Poem

Sun Knows Shade

In basement days, I was shade:
fearful for harm in crunching digital
bit-bobs, silence of heartbeats
still with grease plate sweat, breathing
chain smoke, listening to tap drips,
vinegar washing runs.

I made secrets of crossing wires,
of match-burning twine in thinking
of branch bank clearance, to point
of naked shaking, dull plastic-handle
razor blades.

But I wouldn’t know so long
for that, how much waiting would come:

I wished lighter, less bad dreams,
productive motors’ smooth hum,
antibiotic living.

It’s bursting now, possible pasts,
journeys left locked in lip service,
but drawn to blood thrill,
drawn to the form-function
of light.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

2 New Poem

Glass for Trees

You make your life from spires,
quixotic rush of research-funded
evening on Quays terminal,
drip-drab of international docks,
spouting works of empire:
stuck taps in plane hangars.

I make my life from dirt roads,
backwashing stagnation, kept as
amber glass in summer’s sweat,
lifelines remote for three hours dark
a dying stillness but for chirp of robin:
last outposts left unconquered.

But passing once, winding stream,
as we do, two stones smoothing,

each other against.

Home Team

Bleachers run like steel wire
under concrete,
reflecting a street flashlight
from when I was just fourteen;
you cheer like the home team,
had just one at grand state,
and still in tire squeal
of your mom’s Chevrolet.

When you speak you pass me,
rabbit running away,
there isn’t a word now that
I could really say,
in a world of backwards thinking
sky goes darker than stars
can swallow, even standing
in high school halogen.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

1 New Poem

On First Looking Into Pressed Leaf Preservations

Remember all verdant finery,
lush places, distiller’s passion wild,
that handkerchief tossed from
maiden days to rooted arms.

Remember wilting tilt, shimmer bend
ignored first flushes of rose
petal confusion, for the
dismissed Northern township signposts.

Remember clovers crimson,
fire down below canyon’s train
track tracing, circulatory steel
it turns to in smothered furies.

Remember ash made of dawns,
rather celestial midnight, but
marble still for engraving light,
make some proper time for epitaph.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

1 New Poem

From Primrose Hill

As you turn back in sepia,
Astair-Rodgers light on
Southwark station bends, on
illuminating post-war tenement
brick ways, there isn’t something
more to say,

something more to pause upon.

As you look out on many-wandered
fields, plundered creation
of peace crowns, or scepter
surrenders, as they link in
70s raincoat logic, and
spill full with unsent post,

you aren’t waiting again.

As you draw curtains from
clanging Friday’s air, humid
hanging with pressed lips
of tube driver’s strike talk,
there could still have been
some roiling wave of regret,

for passing taillights of noonhour.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

1 New Poem

Untold Miles

Glory of ember fades,
imperial medals’ twinkling
takes on tea mug tones,
rusty bonnet cap kind
of rushing through cedar
sap places in daydream.

The baking blackness,
electric separation, finding
same holiday greeting card
lines no matter placing truth,
a blistered confession to be made,
of axel wobble sentiments.

Scale of self-help books,
making of wartime lives,
draws rough, approximate, map
of the last time we stood
in subway station tile,
or took to mispronounced names.

Nerves of not-so-young not-quite-lovers
sing still with nicotine twitch,
so signpost obvious in early evening.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

1 New Poem

Unpacked Rooms

You come in all warming,
crop dust creeping of
Northern night skies, dipping gold
and lemonade stand due,
against chalkboard careen:
dusty old thoughts,
snowblind to legal tender,
foot in front of face.

You come in like that,
low grade bed fever,
trailing illusions as footprints
in cast iron.

You stay like sour tongue dance,
windscreen fluttering cool
promise of tinderbox evening
against bleach-wash finery of this
slacking skin, trapped between
scaled breathing (saxophone
chord) and half-hearted speech
scribbled on timely threshold.

You stay like this,
flicking brilliant ashes off
into bold blue navy air,
whispering burnout.

You leave like let boarding
beds, toothpaste cap and all
from nightstand, mud shoe
tracking places on linoleum,
view of paint finish from
cross-swinging door lock.

You leave like that,
wrapped-up as trite
anecdote, two sentence
denial of things.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

1 New Poem

Gentleman’s Gesture

There isn’t a single thing,
vibration of thin-wearing walls,
that keeps arrival time of
feet sweeping, of tracked mud,
of lovely crowding from places before
you bloom a solitary springtime:

Brilliant in light, but bare white
room shading, arrangements
yet to be handled, the life
yet there in all things.

There isn’t a personal penny
you could make from being
a cellophane pacemaker
of clearly handled transactions
from being so feather feather-light you
unsettle causes just by
taking a shoe-leather wear
of them,

But fortunes in darker places
damp form of wax-end
expression are those copper
coins still to take.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

1 New Poem

Shared Paragraphs

The read word flashes, keeping awake
through knotty wire, fish light
kind of lumineering:

It says, “these relics crumble
from storm batters, they reveal
an illusory shape,

A liar’s tongue dipped in
contradictory passageway murals,
signage pointers to all,

Of how things were once,
not so good, not so bad,
but wholly clipped

Of measure weight” to your
destruction, to your
melting into worldly demands.

Then, though, without pages
to pour, gin-slow, glassy,
would I still want

This kiss?

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

1 New Poem

All Things Scarlett
Coming down with something’s case,
fever flush of card suits taken
too literal, whiskey-faced haggling
with diner shop case radio dials,
with dusty countertop linoleum for
a place to rest comforted hands;

I am no longer in darkened
rooms with chalk sketches,
with star charts searching June
skies for dusk.

The road polishes, near-reflecting black
of graceful shadowing leaping grandly
from pulpit page to dreaming ink,
it carves a winding gold river band,
a miner’s lung of bespoke ring fingers
from the sketch chart physician’s
notes we made of each other

(flopping haircut, skin strawberry milk shade).

Whirring, fan clatter cuts speech,
to hung ribbon strings from ceiling,
to adolescent party paper chains,
shedding their old tones for

something stronger played:
electric, with feeling.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

1 New Poem

Horizon Lines

Weaver’s tomes don’t make it these days,
the linen paper loom gets stretch-swayed
from toss ship breeze, tightened white crisp sail,
that type you cast to oceans just to know what
might happen from it, suggested words to fill column

It comes close; you recognize the shape of chemical
fires for faint hearts, how much of a hash you
make, a dog’s dinner of chewed-up trapper journals
that couldn’t be given back for the very best of friendship’s

A hidden from hit parade thing, fooling eyes
dart a stage hand tableau, scene switching
but you can’t take chances with that sort of street

I never maze-built a spiraled case for why,
as patient-faded the dusty building glass

wandered wound of aged

Sunday, 29 May 2016

1 New Poem

High Street Signage

Glinting in the Arabic numeral light,
it’s an Anglican cobblestone’s throw away
from ordinary, from eight pieces of broken
Cadbury bar you share with sweethearts,
in dinner jacket spaces for greenery
knotting contradictions as fishhook collapses,
‘til you get a timely toothache
from the broad cliché of it all.

I wasted visions,
they fade in splendor shades.

Those gaudy calling card posters,
to Poland, Latvia, Bangladesh,
stood for that sense of finding self,
that sense of taking cross-eyed punches
from summery states of grace, worthwhile fights
to put up in pleasured spin of mountaintop,
Primrose Hill declarations standing cool
light of wished unending,

in warming flicker of Tesco red.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

1 New Poem

Second Act Slumps
Stay there, still in dying battery static,
with drowning echoes of Shard-spun dusk
time, the elongated brick window shading
of mobile factory signage and the next
seven stops on ways from keeping even-keeled
to madly stamping in grate casing bar floor
for notice amid dinning guitar plank-plucks, as you
only want to shout how much you are in
love with love with political posters and forgotten
romance lyrics from transistor tower bridges.

New grounds to be broken, the discovery
of hanging white cream bed sheets on pudgy
underskin of plastic-faced self-reflective
sentiments, the kind you bring as flash grenades
to pocket switch-knife knuckle brawls,
that rehearsed little pitter-patter of tim-tam
shimmy the schoolboys became so unpredictable
with that valedictory premonition had to tear
bracing maps to pieces and fall back on song-spun
courages, the kind you let in some evenings

to cool the room from all this wooden pacing.

Monday, 16 May 2016

1 New Poem

Undiscovered Shimmer
Ricochet of signal towers,
kindly bent licorice twist
of steely Singapore’s modernity:

Clean-lined, pressed sheet crisp
and orderly, ever orderly
to choose the broken cycling
spokes of four degrees past
boiling point in summer sticking

Puddle bending, the jump-splash:
let’s go to back page administrator’s
leaning to one side and other,
while you talk out the hasty implication.

What you say in without thinking,
in Tokyo light parades,
in Kowloon market stalls,

where we had sketches made to
full of face, confirmation gowns worn
there, tempting the fate-logic of
dawn’s Dreamtime. 

Saturday, 14 May 2016

1 New Poem

Sun On Nice
Wastes of time and space,
blank expanse of still evenings,
creep up grassy ground in need
of spacious lightning, downpour logic;

that tin-eared taste of ocean rings lip,
lemon scent in water cooler dissolving,
for ramparts there in hindsight
crackled of brushfire maple.

Enjoy the Riviera’s signature tie,
split separate from the whole ride
home you make a point of
pinning to glovebox map line;

Isn’t anything there now,
more shocking than turning
reveal for showman’s pride
that keeping of amusement portraits,

I had but use of quick-spark for.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

1 New Poem

Spain in Heart

Life becomes binary series:
some welfare office file folder
laid end to end, flung between
hands, hastily shipped, shining
bright in steel city ‘til the
shadows come as half-moons,
stars hand as sticky-tacked together

Without that same withered spark
to speak, that same unchased dream,
that same unconquered hill with
gunnery’s plume,

without that same reason.

You don’t run
as black,
as red
and all that
khaki-crossed mythos,

all that fooled,
“could have, if only . . .”.

Live with glass splinter
of months as Catalonia,

the next five years as
reactionary bayonets.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

2 New Poems

Three-Line Bio

Let’s put it to rest:
the coal miner’s lung infection
of repeating sickle strikes
deep basin echoes dragging
things out far past the point
of all sense,
of all proportion,
of all sensible tut-tut ATM machine
rhetoric into something more
metered by presence of children’s
garden places, by half-swallowed acceptance
of our matted skin after

We’re not some social service
office folder, hastily shuttered
with tax lien bills and scrawled
physician’s chicken scratch;
we bloom with atmosphere’s
radiance, empty-handed on
sidewalk dimensions, beer glass
table rings as Olympian in

A goodbye bow in hair,
airy-fairy floating frost
that turns to memoirist’s
summer with treated drug
of missed impossibility.

After Blasting Caps

It comes across as Irish rain,
the singing saw warble of voice,
knocked-loose vulture sky
circling to say:

“Take me this way,
nothing more.”

It takes you close to chest,
closer to the rummage of radio days,
looking for dances we did
as cocksure 20-something

“You aren’t contemporary,
are you?”

In wake of explosions, what
more is here to remark,
what more to clamor for
amongst piecemeal rubble,
played in cinematic string
sectional humming:

“It had to be this way,
didn’t it?”

Sunday, 24 April 2016

1 New Poem

Boarding Luggage

I number the points of electric
candle glow on wooden back walls,
the endangered rising of old-style
English police sirens and the
gargle-rabble sort of shouting,
indistinct low-end hum you
take wool shears to,

and be the lamb’s crossing.

In chance defeated, word by perilous
word as boxer’s blow, red-gloved
but never quite the knockout, just
dancing with time unspooled to

I count spackle-gray
paint chip clouds on letterless
Sunday alongside pounding
headboard strikes of walked-o
dirty soles, of coming upon
less-traveled roadway map
and tangling them to nowhere’s

To say you’d love me like
Americans on vacation
wouldn’t be the half-knot
of Boy Scout code spark,
cracking it for sunways,

but all deserved.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

1 New Poem

On Fainting in Tube Stations

I don’t want that smart bomb sort
of love, that painless thing all
beset with clang of rust knife,
mouse click, screen swipe, before you
meet to touch.

I wish us not to belong to modernity’s
gold-laced bars, that hedonist’s
psychology of the thing,
but rather in some futurist’s fashion,
reinventing risk in step.

To pass time with pine needling
observance, vain seduction
of pictures waiting in turn,
runs its course as long as rivers
flow, grass grows green.

Revealing stares of Platonic
shape, shoving awkwardly in
slumber party chatter, imagination
of wedding cake decorations
at fifteen and vine hanging solemn.

Can’t let the clock hands drop
mania of wording tongue;
buying books of Badiou
and Sartre to make sense
of name.

Like opening of lips to
accept chest breath, resigned
laying, light pollution obstruction
for North Stars on south-facing
youth spit-shine ball diamond.

There aren’t five couplets for that
stringing lamppost memory I’ll
write in old age about it, these
summery flings between accolade pages.

Or, then again, with bonfire we make
of address books, of phone records
like some desperate Polish secret police
archivist on the walls’ last day:

I’ll forget
no, couldn’t,
that clumsy kind of love.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

1 New Poem

Limey Lemon

You said, “silence is that ancient
virtue, a former ruling class’s
inheritance we spent on cheap
booze boxes instead; so, why
not drain those gold glint paces
here in arm’s length tonight?”

There isn’t so much a reason to
say no, the foil of
champagne bottle tops still
sparks late evening light in
bringing cold the past’s morgue rooms.

Yet, I hold back from lips,
from red-hued possibility.

Yet unready, unsteady in
emotionless clanging of street steel,
wet concrete.

There was more to these black
phases, fuzzy-tuned radio dial
bleat, than I could tell
in swelling tongue.

Yet thousands of pin-prick
destructions behind starched
shirt collars.

Yet thousands of unsolved
lives behind cream dress

Sunday, 3 April 2016

1 New Poem


Professorial papers, unshredded legacies,
postcolonial pastimes give
off airs to waning conversation
like pre-Confessional movements:
still suit-and-tie, but wider-open,
but controlled in pen line,
to what we are.

Blurry but for the half-manic
blush of celestial turning,
the handicraft of Swe-Danish programmers
with imperceptible accents
as grid piping,
as semaphore happenstance.

Hang your hat to fencepost,
gated garden twine at
noon-hand striking, at
Queen Lace when night runs
aground on dawn light; have somewhere
to lay heads. If not
next as matchmaker pinheads

Then dreaming, dreaming
of circles unbroken. 

Saturday, 19 March 2016

1 New Poem

Sing a song for something,
for ice and fire, moccasin shoes,
antlers and spire case tree

you make it birch bark and
wine glass flow, carry that weight,
of rolling hill years in eyelet

skip-jump over dead wooding
shorelines, ring Glace Bay bells
to tribute fashion to drinking

and, most of all, have an offering
for deathbed’s tranquil that
meant pyres glow bad Borealis

Friday, 11 March 2016

1 New Poem

At Dawn
You choose;

there are no pistols in cases
anymore, no saddle sore breaking
up the pace of peace,

there are no swords of shaped iron
you could lend yourself to
that would clang steel to breast,

there are no water colour brushes
that could be dim-lit swirled,
faded shades as dockside artisans,

there are no monied dreamscapes,
a promise ring fortune’s golden,
it isn’t that timing, not now,

there are no breaking waves
on filmic beach, turned lighting,
tequila sunshine mornings.

But, you choose, not so hard,
just waking up.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

1 New Poem

Beginning of Saturdays
At the star, I take form,
from notions and air, from
tambourine timbre of Yonge Street
corners and mass brewery notes
of metro underpasses;

at the start, I let it wash.

I take glad tidings of
street sweeper cleanliness from
the McDonalds cup kind of pure
ash that Fridays always take
as tribute, only to be there

I take it in a sickly sweet stride.

There isn’t some life yet there,
some memoirist’s floral print
reflection on deathly winters
that came as revelations in

It’s a summation, rather,
IBM adding calculator crunch,
of what are poster-printed as the greatest
years of our lives.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

1 New Poem

Codewords for Dissent

I believed in dedication, unwavering
in kind of wish-white snowfall,
reach across voided letter-stamp
notational crosswater chopping,
shattering sunlight, hector glass
on ornament rug, carpet staining
from memorials of past time,
wise and foolish fraught.

You aren’t like that anymore,
grounded in some theory of
old continentals and longitudinal
ruler lines; it’s animated,
full flower of spectrum,
blooming on half-hearth.

But I still am, perceptible
persona projected in light box
hue, flickering against smoother
walls of polishing stone; but never
so much a mythology as
protest song banner,

crooked hung.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

1 New Poem


You rush through me, port call
wager flooding spaces between,
shipping reports cluttering, stacking
up Caribbean minders’ stockade
file room banner march, molecular
by nature.

Permeable, I let in breaths,
let in illusions, let in
chapbook illustrations, let in
breaking weight, being there
in lighted solemn digression
just to

let us know you do.

Monday, 15 February 2016

1 New Poem

Proceeds so logical from
prop-engine dreams to settled state,
fugue between distraction, dedication,
two poles before logic of
iron ore pits; it wasn’t worth
all these screaming matches across
grays of matter, Brighton waves
finding their life’s match in crest
of skylark wing motion.

It was so well-kept,
made imperfect.

Sketched out dragging formation,
that rumbling surface ever same:
hot from penny-piece pill remedies,
hot from swelling deliberation.

It makes greater moulding than impressed
copper, faces of ancient god-kings in
line: yes, again, it remains, hovers,
cloys, prom dance perfume,
teenage bonfire cedar.

It was so monochrome,
made infinity’s shade.

Taste of colour drags heavy,
touching as oil spill ink pot
next graces of glance, next
kind of hopeful nature could
come to shaking leaf sprawl

It was so imperfect,
made whole.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

1 New Poem

An Exchange of Nothings
You make me bare myself,
to Northwest winds,
to casks of Iron Age reprise,
to Mayflower rot of time,
to lost language, stolen hours,

but it isn’t so cold I can’t

It’s not the logic,
no constant shape of
your lemon dress shading,
however close it comes to
liberation to spindle-spool,
revelation always withdrawn.

But I came with reflections:
you shatter.

I came with glad tiding:
you treble.

I came with numbness jading:
you realize.

If I bit tongue, it was
only to cease formless flood,
only to give proper blueprint
to something without a mapped place
in phrenology charts,

to wanting your Gaelic shorthand
astride my battered Franglais accent,

calling each other as permanent
notion, perfected;

no, not that, something better:


Saturday, 30 January 2016

1 New Poem


If summer came early next year,
the long light strikes against
blessings chalk of cheek, making
deeper gold, tainting with denied nature,
it wouldn’t be swallowed so hasty this
time, it wouldn’t be so hesitant as

No longer the clumsy embittered
poise of college bookkeepers in limerick
embraces, but the Greco-column
marble of lasting arm-wrapped
ecstasy measures.

But a recaptured scan never
lights up as fictional paper,
possibilities burning up quick
for that.

And everything after August
as metallic hallway echo,

everything after as refracted autumn sun,
everything after as half-won prize.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

1 New Poem

Not As We
Too long since I felt wisened skin,
your palms against me;

Talking like that,
burrowing closer, junk drawer memory,
knowing it kills of affections

Knowing cross patches of
steel reading lamp light,
all keeping company.

Knowing next time, if ever,
I’d hold you closer to heart:

Beating still the same.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

3 New Poems

Blood Work
Line tracing, interlace of brutal
freedom; there isn’t so much
of an imprint in charts,

Imperceptible what it does,
clear as ice water, swift
as bony February chill.

Still there, though, gnawing red,
face-flushed, wriggling away
each time it gathers
past some point of resistance,

Breaches some barrier.

Starring into 50-year’s dawn:
a kind of tempered obsolescence,
planned and begun now through
forward ever.

Your still life chase of bloodstreams,
of beating hearts, something charging.

Would Not/Could Not
It’s a sort of quill-based dilemma:

To suffer shocks, string, be stung,
but to have felt all along,
to have been but for the hour,
came the man in stride.

Or, retreat, denial of
blood being bled, tea kettle warm
but not so close, cozy, as all
that implied,

Not so much as lemon water
lip touch.

Once, it never came,

In spite of
dreamcatchers, newspaper clippings, awkward gestures.

Now, I deny it.

The course of treetop pine,
summer lawn humming,
seems so far, statues’ tumult,
outside one window pane,
outside dusting glass shard,
paper-push arrangements,
diet drink formulation,

and why?

Sliding sop, wet linoleum,
slick in over-polished glisten,
chalky disposition worn in
defensible typecast:

too bright in sainthood,
too dark in January work mornings.

Friday, 15 January 2016

1 New Poem

Ashen Lights
That made sense, once;
it did in the way it only does
at 21, 22, 33, ignorant
of ways you sweat, hand-flutter,
stumble about paper sheaves,
of photocopier chiming, blurry
facsimile sort of love.

It makes sense, as you stare
blank into lunchroom crosswords of
B&W film star honorifics,
afar with Acropolis
dreaming, afar from madding crowds,
fluorescent dusty department
shades, reading lamps.

It makes sense if you see
same across forsaken
Mayflower muck, or did in
wilder time, afar from
meeting close in train platform tic-tocks
for the recent-minded, the
wrecking crew sentiment.

But it never does next noon,
never does at stumbling dinner,
never does in type-delete-type,
never does in that bent, sickly light

only bureaucrat barracks
ever have.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

2 New Poems

Start Together
Four late trains, four missing
minutes more of pacing unused
dockyard, four times unspent
together in heated, deathly starlight:
bit bent, bit wavy, streaky road tar
paint; I collapse.

But you hold up: water bottles,
backroom bedding, why didn’t
have to, why do?

Nearest thought: it’s a bit charming,
to have a drapery, a kind word,
a chuckle,

or, could be, we started something.

Plastic on Plastic
It’s a whistle of timber, falling
wounded steel,

those first churning treads,
then glowed maple-trace petrol,

peace-making Medicine Wheel,
formulation of Garden River signage,

vague reminders from federal
buildings that it’s still living,

here, the land with creeping totems
of checkerboard morality,

chess jump movements through
map line.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

1 New Poem

Viennese Trinkets
It’s not so glittering here, with all
the flake crest sort of patter
making lined smile of imitation
leather; in fact, it’s kind of darkened,

with the paper letter sort of
framing, you lose that swampy
August tender, through no

but passing of sunlight,
the setting of moonshades.

The easier thing passing
hotel maid service sort of
affections through the briny
box wires bramble-snare
tongues in two by turns.

The mailing parcel of craftworked
sentiment, letters emboldened,
Renaissance pretension stiff;
it is all managed, not fainting

spells of first meeting.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

1 New Poem

Cities Can Be Lonely
A kind of bread and water living,
impressions unfaithful in disappeared ink,
takes its cresting toll, wave batters,
not as in Bloomsbury backrooms
of men-of-letters candle burn, but

some imitations we find by chance,
or screening midnight intents.

I don’t want to be your newspaper
lover, some scandal morning press;
we’ve never lightened names enough
for any ways of great confusion.

I don’t want to be some summer’s
sea-breeze, Ascot memory etched
there, defaced by schoolboys’
pocket blade turns.

I want to be,
more than bread,
more than water,
than passing glances,
than swallowed words,
fainting phrasing,

the kind that makes unfinished
spires on Dockland shore less

that springs old column placards
back in pristine shade: