Saturday, January 31, 2015


Those bastards in thrall to instincts tribal,

And antidisestablishmentarianists

Seeking to revive blasphemous libel,

Heed Rimbaud's cheese bagatelle,
Or the manifesto of Mark Hollis.
Commit to a silence,
Pending note to play,
A loving reason to play it.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Logic of Lapidary

Trickler and tricolour French flag,
In Stratford's fluvial recreation,
I hear this homophone, and understand
That Rimbaud did not stop writing at 21.
As seer, he employed future events' editorial.

He laboured well and terse,

Producing the incunabula of verse

That would go on writing.

The "other horrible workers" are not poets,
But events, pursuant, and changes in context;

Rimbaud's verse was powder,
And time is a trickler,

Making it run and run.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

By the River Avon

How impoverished dignity,
Paltry I own my pride to be,
That I would have an amnesty
For all those who unfriended me,
To reinstate warmth; but sadly
Not the warmth I want, like the wee
And E. coli in kiddies' pools.
Meet me amid the shade that cools,
Where the coxswain fillips the spools
Of light in each stroke, and where drools
The big dog, oozing past like stools
Of blood. Of all a writer's tools,
Through the trope of lapidary,
Meet me by Vivien Leigh's tree,
All those who once unfriended me.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

On Lapidary

That is lapidary, change one word to establish the right tenor,
Or leave it in place and wait for perceptions to change. The seer's plenum
Belies Proteus, is salvation from illusory time's flowing,
And by the logic of lapidary, applied change through redacting
Is no more or less real than change that transpires through ever evolving
Contexts; and the seer's reconnaissance for a poem is in the past,
Present and future, and in the crepuscular light, vast
Scherenschnitt dendrites. See, how verse can alter without intervention
Using non-literal time, made relevant and annealed of tension
Through figurative context change; and note my semantic extension
Of Lapidary, the cardinal trope.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

On finding an old cassette

In the antechamber, upholstery of decreased turgor, tented by the pinch,
Was slow to revert, and my head was swimming with tropes, false confessions, postiches.
I court the short, flat brush of Salgado. My past is redolent of David Lynch;
I liked the portraits that flattered nobility, whilst evidence of my species
In classical music was anathema to me; and my joyless repression
Strikes me ad nauseam when I listen to myself talking in an old session
Of psychotherapy, recorded onto cassette in 1993.
In my twenties, I kidded myself that strings were playing supernaturally,
And I couldn’t listen to choral pieces at all; I liked portraits constructed
From templates, so that the sitters appear similar, with eyes puffily ducted,
Because I felt threatened by diversity and life and jism; and I declared
My heroes to be Rupert Brooke and Stephen Fry, and made noises of blame, and shared
The plot for a novel I was working on, but at 21 I could not know
How I felt. I had not read Tagore or Hart Crane; and now I invite colour (will
It come to one who lauded the template?), and court the short brush of Salgado;
Whilst I defend my younger self, and listen to Morrissey’s “Unlovable”, still.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Notes for a new poem

Our house in Old Woking was a non-house among the shambles,
Opposite the church where campanologists pulled random ropes.

My wife was in Germany, and I was looking after my parents' dog. On the morning of New Year's Day, walking past the rehab clinic at the end of the road, I heard loud sobbing. A man was standing alone, facing the high brambles at the entrance to the footpath. I could see his shoulders rising and falling with each sob. As I got nearer, the dog began to bark, and I remember saying something like "Are you OK, mate? Mate?" It was an odd expression for me to use, mate, and a silly question. He didn't turn around. He didn't answer. He just kept sobbing.