Tuesday, May 29, 2007


goblin who is not my enemy
goblin who looms at my edges
waiting for sunlight
to tug at the curtains
to run out
clasp at my heel
not enemy not saboteur

nor the unkind words
of loved ones
but mist that hangs
in the air
after spasm
that leaves footprints
in wet grass

who is neither loved

nor unloved

for your succession of moments
that come to nothing
your lightning sorties
the swirl of your dust
your sadness, your trying-again
you who are not entirely my enemy
even now

withdraw my medication
while I watch
from some distance
feeling that truth
that all things of the body
are sort of holy
sort of terrible

faintly irresistible,
and compulsion itself
just the shadow
into which words fall
when voice stops
in this world
moves elsewhere

please don't burn so hard so fast man
for the smoke offends my fucking eyes also of my friends here
at the next table

and I must have words

with you

in your dart of sunlight
goblin of my heart
leaving me here
to my own wordless

time too late
here we are beyond recall rolling


she pounds the table (who pounds the table?):

1. Remember, this time, damn it, the waves,
the count, the clock, the all of it, fucking remember
, she says, remember

2, this croupier ain't no one you ever knew, mind
just a door banging in the fucking wind
all of that, no favours, just a hand reaching for you
so much as start to breathe ugly how you do


goblin of my spinning
of my flame in the day
goblin hands that reach to catch
hands that pull away

goblin of the heart's engulfing

roll the damn yellow dice

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007


I went to see my neighbour
used to be a cartoonist
little funny things
better drawings than jokes
but okay
told me a cat got squashed
mentioned its eyeballs
told the owner
who got it back out of the bin
wrapped up in black plastic
stiff, still warm.

His wife said I had a rival
another guy she now looked at
yeah, I said
we drank coffee
both of them chewing nicotine gum
the house smelling of lard
and last night's alcohol
sat there talked about the other neighbours
with the cars busting their sumps outside
on the level crossing.

Then he says
least you ain't a Paki-shagger
and she laughs
watching me to see.

Then we talked about the fridge
leaking water into the fresh-drawer
(what they call it)
how the people with the big field
had got some pheasants
all that
cars breaking underneath.

She's sixty
and does something to do with coal
on a computer
deliveries and stuff, orders
and she looks and smiles
a bit yellow now with the years
of smoke and living there
but, you know.

And he's sixty five
and keen on gardening and beer
and young women
the cat got picked up
put in a bag
at the roadside
then a roadsweeper came by
and took half its skin off
fortunately the kids were at school.

They like me, these people,
sort of
like I'm one of them
watching the road
the things that get swept down
looking out
into the leaves
with the cars banging
and that little guy from the station
who we all know
is a transvestite
on his knees
filling the scrapes in the tarmac
with some gunk
that never lasts
running out to the gate
when the bell sounds
and we all watch
when a special train comes by.

We like these little moments
with the smoke blowing
and the steambox blasting out

It's a river, this road
from the moors
to anywhere
and we'll talk about any damn thing
that crawls down it.

Not that any of us
actually really like each other
like, don't like
like this, not that
you know how.

Just that we're all here
at the side of the same road
at the same moment
watching the same cat run out
at the same wrong moment.

That's what we've got
that makes us
dead cats and racism
and a load of people
going somewhere else
in broken cars
crashing by

cracking all our sumps
into the distance

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Valediction for a departing prime minister

the rictus is a manifesto
sealed from within,
a gateway into
refusal to engage

fixity, worlds of rarefied trust

(look what we found, witness
the shared miracle, reach out and touch
the portal

REALPOLITIK beyond understanding:

a Level Above Human
see gods wrestle, see fingers of radiance
at work, at the helm,
tapping the rhythms of being, of real being here
now always like this, as it ever...DIVINE PLAN
FREEDOM, PARITY, look, freedom...

where gods wrestle with texts

from the sky, from dreams
serving purpose that derives
by strange mathematics
from the imperatives
of the hovel and the palace

the urgent tickertapes
from Damascus and Gaza,
and Archangel
and Vatican City
and all I want, soon, soon, but

fish with no eyes, mouths sealed over,
claiming the gift of prophecy,
but forgetting now, forgetting...

the eyes of the unfaithful can't resolve
these dances in the sky
can't place them
can't read the texts
tune in the receiver
can't find them
on the shelves
or fix a clear gaze
on shifting things of light

with such sexless fixation
such urgent banality

the radio fails with a crackle
as the water reaches the throat

the lights come down,
fingers break the glass

(Now swallow the damn medicine,
you need more fixing.)

The weary woman
sweeps up hilarity
and teeth.

Night Night Night.


merlin: Kent 1940 ( to Yeats)

spinning in the opening sky
the merlin cannot hear
the gunfire
see the trails
the puffs of breath
as frames fall apart
and centrifuges fold --
sheer descent is stooped
upon the earth
the mere rustle
in the gorse
the streak
in the campion and thrift
and the beast slouches
bloodied up towards Gravesend
and Sittingbourne, a pulse
failing in its claws

and the singing of Merlin engines
over the fields
of new Jerusalem

Friday, May 18, 2007


back of the front
the pieces blow
a reverse
a trunk's shadow
out of sun
not stilled

not sleeping this
back of backer still
behind the town
behind inmost
the tap
of leafy
fingers there
behind bed/wall/thought
scratching night
mare in a little head

cool fingers rest
revolve bring back
the front to the front
so the eyes
align eyeholes
and all comes back
into sleep

never remember
you were ill here -- there
more there at here times
-- what held you
while you slept
and struggled

to come back.
Back now.
Here back.

Friday, May 11, 2007

dead moon

all down the east coast
the ghosts blow
like dazzle
over the waves
the surf's arc
the pattering cliffs
I go looking
in rock pools
for eyes
looking back
full of jumping
full of sinking coins

dead men and

big-eyed idiot frog

another midnight philosopher
face down in a pond

grasps a dead moon

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Whatever your arrow is
let it fly
as though aimed at the heart
of your enemy,
as though all your life

was balanced there
in that moment of flight
in the intention
the desire
the act.
Hold nothing back,

give all that you are
to the preparation.
Breathe it in
until it fills you,
then let it loose
and move on.
When you release the arrow

the certainty
must be so complete
that you can close your eyes
forget about it
sing a song
or jump in a river -
it doesn't matter

don't wish for it,
don't be controlled by it

the universe
will take over
will guide it home
in acknowledgement
that you did all
that was necessary
and all that you are
was in tune with this act
at this moment:

the arrow singing
into the heart
the self
the quick
the moment
is just the finish,
the gasp, the full stop
that says it is ended.

heartbeat, breath