Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Poem about the Previous Poem

At the derelict end of
the day it fell to me
to preserve
something – a serial
number by which
an archivist can
locate an unpadded
drawer containing
scraped bones or
a photograph – b&w
obviously – of someone
who looks like
Louise Brooks
wrestling an incompetent
dance partner. Quickness
is passé now like
the gift of a rose –
instantaneousness is
where it’s at,
and the puking
of poems bulimically.


statements and unworn words.
the pleasure in watching
a dancer is in seeing
what is left behind –
what happens in the blur
of limbs in the microunit
of time after movement
has occurred. We once
watched an elm shiver
as starlings left it in the dusk.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Poem in 35.22 Seconds

Unlate and full of coffee as
you arrive on the trembling
apex of the morning your
car bends sinews into
a temperate bay. Shells
and wrack and the pastoral
old flame of postcard
writing on the silt humpbacks
where dune-buggy eyes of
waders mark the sand screed.
Sensible and electric you find
in my hair a sea-washed grain
and remove it with a peck
of fingers. An insect purrs
and jumps inside the car.
You have my mouth and my day.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Poem in Ill-Fitting Clothes

Walking in the vague
direction of a doctor’s
surgery or café in the old
town on a Friday lunchtime
is neither the time or place
to be thinking about
a power line or two
on a Welsh hillside but
there you go that’s what
happens I can never be
unashamedly urban like
Frank O’Hara or someone
because I can never be
unashamed I suppose
which got me thinking
about how the people who write
blurbs for the backs of poetry
books use the word unashamedly
as a synonym of resolutely
resolutely perhaps not in its
Heideggerian sense but even so
outside the hardware shop
an ignored row of brooms
what I haven’t decided
yet is whether or not
to go for a swim or
possibly to get drunk
and lift diligent pints and taste
toasted or even burnt
almonds for days afterwards
without really knowing
where they came from but
as I said still undecided
and the reply hasn’t come yet
that would decide for me
and if I sit in this
café until it does I will hear
this unknown cover
of Femme Fatale for a third time
it’s harder to see things in clouds
when they’re grey when they’re white
it’s easy and what is it with
this trend for sensible
shoes with fluorescent laces
it’s a kind of schizophrenia
suffered by waitresses I think
and I wonder can I
pinpoint the exact time
and place that writing a poem
became antonymous with work maybe
it was when I first started to work.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Rough Copy

The rain is not quite
English in its heat
and poise, and then

a Filipino in a trucker's
hat shouts at a dog
and nothing is
shattered. The image

of a tea clipper being dragged
through streets
in the old quarter

of a proudly landlocked
city, not though as part
of a carnival. Navigating

blimpishly with a wake
of indocile hoydens -
cafe girls without babies,
drab and emu-necked.
The trappings of perfection:

zoos, massive ships
under telephone wires
disguised by bunting.
It has come to the attention

of important men that
particles are mesmerising
the universe with beauty
and coincidence and leaving

by the back door, as we shrink
to fit moulds. When you die,

baby, it's rude
and careless not to take
somebody with you.

Friday, 10 June 2011


Dance of
pylons. Sweat once

gathered in our
shared rills,
surge and forge.

The cold sign -
dim aros dros nos.
The rangy aborted

dog of a prince
still laps at

these powerful lakes.
Sisters, siskin
appear only so far up

and in the day. Sage-
. A radio transmitter,
a bent wire

you have been
unhooked from.