Monday, 8 October 2018

1 New Poem


Forever Summer

The washing in of late afternoon
comes tidal in still glass of
warm shades, soothed calm with
bright-breaking whispers in
windowsills over and against the
dawn fires, a wafting trash burn
that flicks unnoticed against
pale blue spaces, like sullen
damp through air bricks.

When all is calm, relieved, bound
again in immortal palm green,
it gives feeling to impossible time
drifting past on electric rumour.

In a second of gutter-running rain,
there are no masters, no reasons
for disbelief in magic’s presence,
save the unpaved tumble it was
to the sickly slick of carved-off
roadsides, the tossed metal clang
being thrown to-fro in bleached
sheet breeze sweep.

It looks like much more, or less,
than this, frozen in eye-dropper
place by the worst of memory,

But, most of all, it never went
on as long as the sun,
setting even against tricky haze.

Monday, 24 September 2018

1 New Poem


Ghost Stations

All bright in stonework:
polished, immaculate and
winter soaked.

It comes on, rushing,
dreams in the windy room
made of open windows
and dying breaths.

With kingdom come and
the traffic flow,
glasses tinged modern
with sculptor’s care
in 1973.

Still and begin ahead, looping
music boxes to tune of
shuffled loafers with nothing
to prove in holding.

Sounds pass, no stopping,
against skin points in tight switch
harmony, rummaging around
in dust, Clark Bar wrappers
for lying proof across
walls in nameplate etching:

Something great, because useful,
here once stood.

Monday, 10 September 2018

2 New Poems


Separation Anxiety

Rum, ice, tea in glass,
they take together in
peculiar form, burnishing
off the white floor tiles
and helping with tremors.

Or, helping could be too strong,
there isn’t much beyond greenery
to share at, making sense
of if this fire or that was
set deliberate, merely down to
careless matches left amid
dry brush.

There isn’t much calling these days,
spirits won’t do for you when
tasks are as simple as eleven
numbers, dot-dashing through
bending horizons playing gold
against tin roof cats.

There is, though, an echoed clasp of
skin to memory, deliberating ‘round
an oaken cabinet table through
rapid descent to first principled
buttoning, shutting off, shutting down
those possible pasts I kept
mulling through damp screen light.



Components of a Tricolour

Your mouth makes shapes that
call to work, the kind most freely
taken in good spirit where sun
shines freely in heated miracle;

How much beloved to take it on,
the hearty pickaxe shade
it takes to shelter beneath.

Your eyes call forth ships to
battle brotherhood, that many-thrown
sacrifice to names that came
close before this crass age;

How much obliged to carry up
the dead-weighted pole of
rotten expectations, clich├ęs on banners.

Your hair flip-flowers with ripples
of freedom, keys jangling long
into brackish swamp of
summer nights, touching door locks;

How much closer to signed, sealed,
stamped, delivered these visas to
real life seem in such moments.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

1 New Poem


The Unfinished Country
I draw the lines, they trace themselves
straight, true to paper scaffold
crackling up against a vision

Of lands great and beyond sky’s reach,
sumptuous, possible and laid before.

Too coloured from rain to grip
quills again, if I weren’t
so sullen I’d do it
myself without a moment’s

Mulling over the shape
air makes over borders.

As if skipping lightly, traversing
taps through boiling last lances,
my shapes are not so undefined;
capitals have roots to road,
set down on high, from distracted hands.

In that they weren’t so different,
in delirium tremors,

Than the last time I stepped
out into newfound soil,
terrain yet to be overrun with
razor wire and shadow figures

That rode and came along
through buses and Buicks to be here.

Monday, 13 August 2018

1 New Poem


Things Were Golden

It came through windows,
streaming, dappling the
wine glass Wednesday
in fantasia’s soft edges,
taking woolen stock of all
before;

Tinted in pooling memory,
I stood in it, lapping
up with a hungered air.

Though, as quickly, it left,
with barren sweep of sound
through the valley ringing.

It echoed of well-spending
time before warring words
and spirit rations.

They had been so quick
to fizzle as spring coil
against rock-plunged cliffs
of self-doubting restraint;

Or was it all bitter taste
of dog’s tooth elixir

That made it go so dark
again?

Friday, 20 July 2018

I Now Have a Patreon

In preparation for some (hopefully) upcoming projects in the new year, I have decided to set a Patreon account for myself here: https://www.patreon.com/cartervance

All of my content will always remain free to the extent that I am able to control that, but if you've ever felt the work posted here, or the other stuff I have done online, was worth something, consider pitching a couple of dollars my way.

Monday, 16 July 2018

2 New Poems


Jazz at Green Mill

The air of smoke, of gangland
auras passed long since into
myth maps, legend books,
hopes to still me to these
wooden walls, sticky hearts
going in time to upbraid
themselves with old tales spun
in weaver’s haste with
sloppy finish.

Arisen, bass tones go up-down
off table legs, off chair cushions,
into night glasses,
flecked with cold air brandings.

Dish soapy, clearer things
run close to tops, making me
break a touch red, break a touch
too flopping for comfort,
jelly-legged in back-page memory
of Paris cabdrivers,
people you wave to on some dead end
street and curse in hushed breathing.

All that, though, to one side
thrust, thrown as tube bags,
there was still the crisp
of hon, the strike of
string, to trust in.


Mangos by the Roadside

Blended of lemon custard,
sea air’s salt

taste comes to lip,
then dances for,

red-shining quiet
of afternoons that don’t

choke with smog of years,
evenings unbent to city incandescence.

It danced, just as you said
my eyes were showing more

blue than I wanted,
more blankness than experience.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

1 New Poem

Glass Castles

It felt as things did in
the New World,

a smell of fresh paint, possibility,
wafting through window cut-outs,

the taste and Spring fizz
of Coca-Cola on ice.

There was no old stone
to these wining places,

bare a huff-puffing gasoline
leakage down sideports, down blindly,

to water that cut loose a
churning, a restless sense for home.

Monday, 25 June 2018

1 New Poem

Backyard Creations

We were as monuments there,
lighting tree fires,
building carved knick-knacks
from firepit logs

Living with brambles tangled
in hair and strewn about
on mother’s carpet that we scented
in pine sap and oak chips
every once in blue moon passage,
every once when things had less
sense than now with clear
eyes.

I see the old shed come down,
its wasted-away tremor shade
switched for a newness in
fiberglass and careful-poured concrete,
with windchimes and cuckoo vanes
set out front.

It wasn’t that it was so
beloved to me, that hearts danced
on merry gilding edge when it
came by,

But it smelled of ash
(pine sap, old ways)
just the same.

Monday, 18 June 2018

1 New Poem


Hymn to Hillsborough Gardens

The rolling out of green passageway
hills must have reminded pale men
with leg chains in ship hulls of
the misty home counties;

why else would they
have graced these rocks with
names of kings, with Sunday’s
best, with three-prong electric
plugs?

As old as the flying places
were, top houses dotting the
bright, rococo Spanish shades,
the fixtures in sheet metal were new.
The telling ocean shade of
Samaritan tarps below pointed
to who was enough without
two silver coins to cross,
enough without a Labour Party
badge number, or enough without
fortunes in family names

to Brooklyn, or Rexdale,
or inner-ring London, that could
have lent a hand.

In rusting white time I watch,
hear the spray of ocean and
chop of housing lumber, again
like the timely overseer,
the court magistrate.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

1 New Poem


Mood Music

Snow and silence traces me;
a figure still amidst the branches
and bright ice, contemplative
tripping up to follow the cacophony
of old rules being lost, time
flowing through in rusted
pipe logic.

The evergreen rains echoes,
rapping against shades that
clack-clatter through night,
stirring alive old festering
cuts, the bruise flesh
blue-white against knuckle.

Drafty windows become a bristle
chorus, tones breaking in ghostly
stride the silence left with
chalk trace of where were used
to sleep as den lions  though
winter:

nuzzling and withdrawn
from glinting teeth of other
tribes, the cross-heeding pound
of nighttime drums.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

1 New Poem

Rubber Burns

If we weren’t so rash about this,
so falling from stillborn skylarking
there wouldn’t be
the marking masks, the chewed bone
expressions on royal gold faces,
making mock time of crackling leaf
burn-ups , half-dawned realization
of blank space.

But, then, at least I am:
the first to know, last to speak
on all things great of heart,
all things pitch-blackened in depth.

So lily-shamed the crossing of
almshouse manner, we flicker
across boot-mud floor as
wax wicks in barn door wind,
contrasting creaking board,
drizzly coffee stains in this
warmer blanketed space;

I drown with cracking drywall dust.

Yet, still dreaming in crystal glass
of oceans still, rising times
from long-sought mist, there is
a hope undamaged for once from
impact:

A slumber’s together,
undisturbed.