Thursday, May 28, 2015

Old Edinburgh, New Sheffield

Burke and Hare's defence was Jekyll and Hyde,
That drink had made their good characters base,
Was palliative just as Hare had tried
To smooth horror from the dead mute boy's face
After breaking his back over Burke's knee.

Northern Powerhouse, by misgovernment,
Apostates are drinking in Wetherspoon's;
A girl with a sign, "Free Encouragement 
Or Free Disabusals"; and I hear noon's
Bells in Fargate and throughout Black Swan Walk.

Fountains add to this feeling of leisure,
So too the currentous orbs and the trees
From Tasmania, but by myth, measure
Or murder, the people who no one sees
Are those who can afford to lose their faith.

And this empty glass that has amplified 
My iPod's songs, now amplifies the boy's
Gasps; and I hear his voice ring from inside
Fox Hole Cave; odd virgin voice that alloys
Arthur's Seat, Park Hill and here, High Wheeldon;

Shashing noise of sobs with curtailed egress,
Calling. A life mute in mute poverty,
His gasps are residual, to address 
Me by name the boy must have finally
Found a voice; and I am presumptuous:

When friendly instructional couplets
On disposing of sanitary things,
Displayed above the cisterns in toilets,
Have readership greater than mine, why rings
His voice in this chamber for me? He speaks,

And instead tenders a criticism:
"Why do you lament in such ambience
Of love, sing of Apparitionism
When so learned and without encumbrance?"

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Colours Drawn From This Age Externa

Colours drawn from this age externa, pipetted into my introspection,
Dodge ball with yellow and purple enclosure, at Gravity Force, Camberley.

I contemplate my shame — my poems, abstruse, passing for espionage, and how I would betray my country yet, so to belong; how I might be induced to perform iconoclasm on a tender portrait, or be the draw-away for a spirit here to tend his son. Read a precariat’s works, Belonging, Hard Times and The Draw-away, and understand that to be free of shame, eternity must be what his mind takes in at moments.

Eternity's motifs: end times (illusive chaos),
Paul Lee's soda can surveillance camera, Amos
Yee and Softy Sir from the School Fun comic;
Etymological miasma,
Svengali, Rasputin and Mesmer;
And Softy Sir from the School Fun comic.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Draw-away

My bedroom door that is not flush, that will not close fully but adheres to the jamb, makes a palatal K sound, nudged from its fastness. A nocturnal draught, or is it him, on his final rounds? Oh I have been difficult, made trouble, knocked on the wall when my neighbour was playing The Lighthouse Family too late, when it was getting him through, as he looked at old photos. The air is chilled, as if the father he lost is chastising me now.

Hard Times

It grieves me that I cannot provide, and yet I will impute
Part of a failing to sell
To the Brunel Institute
A double portrait of Marc and Lady Sophia Brunel
To end times, hence destroy heritage, snap the board on my knee!

It was 1987. I was 15. Gordon Riley stopped our biology lesson and said: "If you're not going to listen go sit outside on the grass." It was a sunny day and so I went outside and sat on the grass, as if I knew that one day I would have the internet.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015


My seven-year-old son is in his red sleeping bag. I am lying next to him on an airport floor. Sun is streaming in through the giant window that gives onto the runways. The sun here never sets. We are playing a game, calling each other scatological names, and my son is laughing his laugh. "OK, time to go to sleep." My little boy instantly snuggles down, closing his eyes, but then I see his pronated hand. I put my hand flat upon it. "I am here, son." He sleeps. It is simple, nothing is simile, nothing is like anything else, or as such as such, and the sun streams in through the window.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Make a fist, its distal side between the second and third knuckles, subsided staves
Of senescence, shows that you are too old to be enigmatic.
Children early for school righting vases capriciously among the rows of graves
Use their fists to tamp.

With Differs Confined

Nostalgia: with differs confined to what is remembered, art unlocks nothing new.

When out walking along the footpaths with my dog, it is my habit to write verse. I write in my head but will also speak the words evenly to myself if nobody is near, and if competing with the wind, with asperities that inadvertently make my dog slink submissively to my side. This morning, as I was turning over the above line, remorselessly trying to find a way to connect it to a larger passage, I encountered a woman with two lurchers. I allowed myself, as I always do, a quick greeting accompanied by a smile, whilst continuing to audition the line mentally within various configurations. However, she stopped, and asked me a question and the ensuing brief conversation went like this:

"Have you seen the bluebells?"
"Yes!" I hadn't seen them. She was looking for me to elaborate. I did not know where they might be situated, and so added, "And I saw the um, the um, the winged, the er buzzcocks. What are they called?"
"The bluebells?", offered the woman, encouragingly.
The ambient line of poetry was still turning over.
"No, the, well the birds of prey."
I hadn't seen any of those either.

With differs confined to what is remembered, art unlocks nothing new –
With withdrawn mind, I appeased the past on courses connatural to
Concentrated thought, but distracted, I fabricate such wheeling birds.
Distraction makes a memory fictive through panting, faltering words,
But the colours, the colours are new, when, summoned back to this footpath,
I fabricate such wheeling birds.
Using the lid from a Bic pen, I scour the floorboards' expansion gap.
I pick through my daughter's hair, boil wash my son's cap
And spray the roses. Weekend of moths, nits and aphids,
And of Pico's syncretism.
Russians mistake my verse for steganography.
As if I could be got to, with my housemaid’s knee.