Sunday, July 01, 2018


Beyond friendship and blood's circle,
I am yet your friend, outside the milieu,
And have formed sweet impressions, peu à peu,
Of one who'd interview Studs Terkel,
And who sees no impossibilities.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Might I, as one in a seminary community
Towards whom God is indulgent, learn
The Welsh language with impunity,
And, for my good works, use chime to describe the fulgent fern,
Write about it in the way that I would?

I earn and owe my craft and, pre-empting formality,
My thoughts, too — earn and owe each in turn,
And, if this sunlight is the beauty
He gives to me, then I shall give back to Him a nocturne:
Sunlight does what I thought but the moon could.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Holding the mirror, thus

Up until the point when I splayed my buttocks and, twisting round, saw my anus in the mirror for the first time, I had never been curious to know whence my faeces came. I was nine or ten. When I mentioned my anatomical discovery to school friends the next day, they told me that they were well acquainted with theirs already. Suffering a chemical burn to my scalp was the only reason, at age 40, I again used a mirror, this time to check the back of my head, and noticed I had a rather pronounced whorl. Dorsal awareness delayed once again, I promised myself that I would henceforth pay more attention to this aspect of my physical being. But the back parts of me, which I have subsequently observed carefully, are difficult to liken to anything else. Similes introduce unnecessary traction when trying to establish a subject for a poem. Holding the mirror, vigilant for signs of pinworms, there are no similes, no likening terms.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

And Now I Empathise With Empathy

Empathy—child I keep on begetting,
Only to orphan,
Whose suffering's never their own, nor merited,
But makes others' pain to me upsetting,
So that I earthen
The abstract refugee with some inherited
Features of my own loved ones.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Pushing Providence

Well-meant intervention
May hurt thee
And maken thee to blenchen;
May trick thee,
Maken thee to confuse
Giving and warranting interviews.

My death, mine intention,
May hurt yet,
When, hard by it, invention
May spark yet,
When, alas, I can use
Neither hand for to harness the muse.

Saturday, April 14, 2018


Danielle Nolan is a book reviewer and a fellow vertigo sufferer. Her interview with me, about my book “Apparitionist”, and life and writing in general, has today been published on her website. You can find it here:

Monday, April 09, 2018

Cuts and Valence

Intuitively, we glimpse
What presstitutes and their pimps
Would hide, whilst Cressida Dick
Brings, to the arithmetic
Of the Home Office, balance,
A less negative valence,
When she says “We are but stretched.”

On glimpsing what my friend fetched
From the car boot, hunter green,
I looked towards the crash scene,
And his entrance into it —

A paramedic’s jacket,
Good God, and the trousers too,
Of that green I had glimpsed through
The back window, green, the same,
But animate on his frame;
And I watched that green made quick
Whilst he posed as a medic.

Sunday, March 25, 2018


I hold the button pressed at the pelican crossing to keep myself steady as I investigate a tackiness beneath my shoe. In agony suddenly, I leave the chewing gum where it is to clutch my wrist. A road sweeper has yanked the broom from his cart and brought it down violently upon my arm. He explains that he thought I was being electrocuted, that he needed to knock me off the control panel.

Fractures to the radius and ulna
Retort upon my incunabula.