Friday, July 31, 2009

lights fall from the old man of the sea

we fight until I am exhausted
trying to hold a trickling thing of sand
a scintilla that drains back into the beach

a shock of trees
released by strong winds
he is a fish, a slither
an eel that flits away
then has me pinned

he is all around he clenches me tight shoves my face
towards his
buried down there
beneath our grinding feet
mine is down there too
iron-eyed our faces stare it out underground
through lock and tremor

as two prayers
to a god divided

who is it the tide sweeps in
and sucks out?

who becomes the tide will prevail
will not win

he is a lion he is my mother he is songbirds falling
as black snow in early evening my fingers are wings are poems
within his smoke we each fold back to embrace
count five sudden things of magic
and stamp and hold tight

lion mother phantom
my lost brother
whistles hard there in the waves

old father in the fallen leaves offshore

we walk into the sea
each carrying the other
light as children who cannot return
rise only as the tide
sends up her drowned lanterns

each with a heart of red sand
catching, holding

our breath beyond reach

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jesus Army

around 3am some soldiers from the Jesus Army
find a 22 year old girl on acid crying in a ditch
at Glastonbury Festival

by 7am they have persuaded her to embrace Jesus
and be saved

at 9am they gather
and she and others are baptised
in an oil drum of water sprinkled with Oxo

she comes up spluttering and shocked
and the Jesus Army claps and cheers

Alice is now one of them
still coming down off acid
she looks cold and unbefriended

last night the guy shouts
Alice was on a trip
this morning
she's on a new trip


if you say anything about this
the Jesus Army Security
come and take your arms
move you
away from the scene

Alice don't need you no more

they keep going
slam dunk
all morning saving
with Oxo & Cold Water

it's a pretty thin gravy
they are drowning people in


their bets at night

I saw two hedgehogs
butting at each other
in the garden at night
instantly I was out there
telling them to stop
telling them
like little children

I saw two hedgehogs
in the garden at night
instantly I was out there
looking down from the firmament
impelled by my new prickle-drive

I saw two hedgehogs
it makes quite a mess
in the dark grass
I feel like a psychopath
with my blunt blade cackling

I saw two hedgehogs
I wanted to nestle alongside them
feel their spikes
getting soft
as the sun turned the grass
as the slugs flew away
with no sound

maybe there were no hogs
but I anyway
saw two hedge


night of love

he hears something in the garden
he is scared he comes downstairs for reassurance
I hug him and take him back to bed
we share a moment there under the little alien nightlights
later I hear it too
in the beam of a torch I find two hedgehogs
making rhythmic rasping noises

there are lunar phases to this night
humours that tap at the window
signalling their arrival
a coughing of hedgehogs
as though the call and response of this house
gathered in nocturnal animals
who came to feed

I'll tell him about them tomorrow
the other one threw up the Tamiflu
I crushed into his milk
it steamed into the carpet
he's coughing now too
up there in the dark

in the dream a face at the window
a wild sort of face
the owls are yapping outside
somehow it has all swung in close
it is a faltering finger pushing in
a beak a proboscis
feeling for our weakness
it all feels like a nest

threatened by something outside
while we sit around the fire
counting another presence
in our midst

it feels invasive and familiar
something that has slept cocooned
in our bodies

there is a quiet over it all
muted voices in reassurance
the soft wash of the dark
adults holding children

lights far off
shining this way
but no one is coming

whatever was coming is already here
in the sensory fallback
of sickness
it is a night of love slipping
its ropes


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

cock and awe

...............................................I know it says that but
every way it slants
..........................through there is a otherwise
look at this at this like why that age that age only
at thirty you wouldn't do it you'd know better
so the sap wires run down ............all night telegraph
there is arbitrary magic to this soup
........................................come on let it unwind

..............................this isn't sex it is only a blowjob
...............don't find any meaning in it
with dress now stained
for all history the most famous dress the most famous
stain it even suggests the position
the Rock and Roll presidential genuflection

...........hoohaaa least you weren't Linzey have to eat up such
weren't a Jew playing Achtung
weren't an orange guy in Kooba
busting out like Quttb

what you whining for
all you gels was made to eat cock anyway
.................cock and awe
skeets raining down from on high
impregnating everything
........for another millennium

now Sarah Palin is coming like the Iditarod

oh god yes no yes I am a cloud
beneath which
is no land
within which
is no moisture

it's as little as little gets

like a toadstool in the head
like a corkscrew to the fart littles out
looking avidly for shit
upon which to recline
and get with it
with a teenage sweetheart

the internet has blown every chance I had
of becoming a politician

ugh it has forced honesty upon me

yeah I agree
who cares



Monday, July 27, 2009


in the awful awk that the brain works oh
in silence sly savages
in flower salvage so they stoop
look how they have fallen upon that body
do you read divination in this? hey anklebones

a strange moment has come upon us

flee from the scene
large dogs like that

tic tac into the Lego baby
it's never what you think


Thursday, July 23, 2009

a moment with the coconut circle

(dedicated to John Kinsella)

there in the shade in the forest
in the place near the spring
in the midday in Midsummer
that was dredged up from the sea
that was found speaking
in the rings of the sea in its rings

with magic
sea-coconut can you be real
in your dreamswirl
your kelp arbours...
so lofty as you are

we all stand watching
it ring its bright thing
it shimmers there at eye level
scruffy hairy rough little sea-god
rattling with poet-milk

a ring of pigs around the cocogod
up on their back legs
truffling the moment

who we wonder will be the first
to rush in
to start the dance

while it lasts
before we fall again
onto our front trotters
shuffle off quiet
into the stench
of hot mast

each of us now asnort in our ringing avast
our pigs to the ring
at last at last
singing our unknown things


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

would you cut off all your limbs for love (a poem about politics) unconvinced jitter of the low canopy

I know we have done this in jigsaw glances but I wanted to ask formally
if you would mind
making this sacrifice
if I had become paraphiliac
and just required it

these are the tests of true love caller-wauler

please keep holding
as your answer is important

it knits together here it's a little precise
nice attack of the complex patterns uh of life
let us hold hands to celebrate that one

it's between us now
in the air the ether (hold hands)

I have committed myself
to a diet of cold hard unsoaked beans

I spit like a peashooter

I am a marine iguana

please keep holding
while we organise a response

now watch this seaflop dush

crushing wet cottages in the land of the giants
as he walks home dripping

seriously there's a crush I have
starting as influx entering froth
now the alchemical steel
the holding back of the rush
until the moment of caramelising
then the sink
the relief

this much chaos takes discipline

a two year old child
should be covered at all times in bright sunlight Diesel

like waves of goats they came running from the hillsides
shouting Owain Owain vast deltas await you O you

look go back through it with a spacesuit
it's the only way
no it's really not
yes it etc

screw it to the sticking station
and let's none of us exactly sleepover

(got wood, yeah, Tranquility Base, got wood)


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Nelson's Melody

it's all black out there tonight
not a star or a stray stop-out
to steer by
just thick black tarry night

that runs into you
pushes down your throat
fills you up with stiff ink
somewhere in this Nelson night

he's standing like Churchill
by a bus stop eating sardines
soaked in Brandy
flicking the old V sign

with his ghost arm
but no one can see any of this
through this murk
that has come down

we feel our history in braille tonight
unsighted sardines
saying nothing
our throats filled with pitch

with silent cannonades
with seawater
thick with dead songs
we raise our distal

proximal phalanges
in some skeletal shimmer
of ending defiance

nothing will be seen since


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mr Hargreaves the grocery necromancer with one thumb

the hit or miss governor etc I accept
these things as wonders

a burning pontoon floating out

while this continues you can detect the onset of rain
just from the feel and the look
we carry this detection

in our hemispheres like potatoes and tomatoes
they hit the ground and that's that
splat splat splat
the language has nothing
the language has nothing to do
the language has nothing to do with it
the language has nothing to do with it showing

glowing in the shape of a shop
hey Mr Hargreaves walk me to school in your cabbage white shoe polish light
mist across Liverpool huh

see here tablet eat
be well down there in chinatown
huge cattle crashing down the Mersey
rusting back into your dirty little throat

the pontoons (firing up)

the pontoons (Grandmother)

the pontoons (no one)

oh god our kites dropping


Monday, July 13, 2009

two stoops over Pateley

overlooking Guisecliffe at about 3am
like a crane extended over the blue black
leaning out
I would like to suggest we abseil down
into the lost world
it's wet and hot down there
it's steep
maybe we can deal with hot
wet and steep
with North West Eliminate reared above us
it's tricky in the dark
that first traverse

but then you are on the arete
it's juggy and bright in the light
of a headtorch
cobwebs everywhere
sharp V of an arete
legs astride
a cheval
headlights beaming

some of those holds move
when you pull them

there's a little area on top
where I thought we could sit
looking down looking out
across dark Pateley
like little drunken godrats
in the gritstone
and grass

drinking watching the sunrise
kick itself right back up the hillside


Sunday, July 12, 2009

an occurrence on sheep-creek bridge

if someone followed every cord in this carpet
I think they would walk several miles before they arrived
in the other corner
it might take a few hours
and there they would find a low roof
the persistence of arrogant sexual perversion

some candles just fallen over
spilling wax
evidence of drug-taking

clearly some dacoits had just left the scene

following the carpet god back up the hill

the sneak-god who just walked in
snuffles down in the fluff in the firelight
rolls itself in feathers
sings itself to sheep

they coo at the window astonished
as pigeons
twitching their ears
at his overtones
wondering if they should come in

but it's just not the time for sheep

nor swimmin neither

being interview

it was as though moss
had grown over everything
the faces the torsos the carpets and TV

I ran around in the new green vacuum
shaking hands with anyone still alive

them foliate faces sneered back
down in the alley where the mushmen grow
the wind comes on and we start to slow

breaking wind is never straightforward
for adults in company

my old man laughed from the clocktower
heh he said fat remind them fat
is a feminist
I mean like atishoo

it was a joke about a pandemic
that no one got
he'd been waiting with it for years

but I was now in
a reality show

how now to eschew

like this he is cavalier with our safety

his pheromones fill the car
I cannot resist his crash and verve

O take me home before
I wet myself
Jesus is a rally driver
or something
who stopped for a piss
underneath a tree
in which a barn owl
was evacuating

this is why he has that white streak
down his face
in all authenticated photographs

his schoolmates still call him Streaky
though his new gang
are all icky and polite

he hates them really
but they buy him fish
to eat on the forest tracks
where he shoots owls

Jesus he whispers Jesus
there in the fucked frost
of his own south mouth


Friday, July 10, 2009

pumping the far road eastward

I am not so outsourced from humanity
and its bovine origins
that I don't feel hurt
when you dig up my relatives
there with lanterns and curses

I only bide it for the holy pumpkin
here in my stiff blanket


bees of the fury

going further was no longer a choice
it had become a thing of condition

he felt it like waves
rolling in

each new tide
could mean murder or religion
so many things had become uncertain

in the middle of it all he sat
saying things like aha

the weather here oh
it shines now
where it used to shake

there are so many things to consider
when setting out to establish
a new cult

what, for instance, will we wear
and what attitude will we adopt?

it won't do at all to be complacent
for we are not merely rats

but now examples to all humanity
in our long-tailed sunshine
our incessant whirling
our devastating umbrella
of all that is new and holy

O how we advance inwards
knowing no caution
but the bees aloft


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

fell cow from plane

her moves in the sky etc
now listen

in the askance a story unclouds

a Japanese fisher
what could he fish upwards

gazing down there Take Kakuzo
it comes from above

envisioning cows of the deep
we are beset by the pressing sky

Brother Lustig at the lake laughing
the Devil in his knapsack

you are furled in your stockpot
little yellow-winged cowman
until the cows come home to roost

three elements you may count
these are future/present/past
as lantern as pond imps
gathered upon you
a slow dream of sinking
in a lake with a small island
reaching down the inking
into the highland

catch now these blue oranges
which here I toss
see uproaring they spark and shout
under your hide of sparks

dance aloft then oh good grief


cooling angels beneath broken box

I will I mean I am anyway avid
at tapping
I have realised now
the thing sits there shifty
deep in the belly
in the waiting room it slides
hey it laughs you hear the one about

no no one heard that one no
there's a thing like a trunk
keeps reaching in snuffing
fuck's sake you might say christ

you say fuck and I say banana
really does this help
outside in midsummer
when the grass is wet
oh I can't slough it up that easily
it's a waiting thing inside
that's all not a dream no
because you would dismiss that
no a turning thing inside
a shift no no

a strophe
a catastrophe
here are the forces
in which I am still banging this drum
shatter here the telephone
lean in
man my gas biceps look big tonight in candlelight
they are lifting me outta my chair
like little Hindenburgs

call me fishmale
for I am a flapper
full of gas I have come over
full of gas
I have come clover
that ship\/////////
haha foundered a new nation
it keeps coming in storms in morse code
dead to each other now

we smile every next hour pigeons
dropping on our rooftops at dawn
cooing angry stop
in heavy weather

Sunday, July 05, 2009

every excuse for warfare

there was a poem that went nowhere

it went nowhere like this:


they were dead voices
down the bowling alley

it dropped down

the anus thrust back at the face

it was disquieting
all those absences
the roof leaning in on wires

two men danced opposite each other today
each connected separated
by blades of intent

the one pulling the other
push pull you know

as though there was something in it
I mean something in it

you things of light
saying nothing
now watch this moondragon bend at the waist
and lift


giants dance under the waves

don't look at me like that

what story are you trying to tell?
I can't help but hear drumming

why the silence anyway?

how do you feel about your mother?

okay I just said that
because I couldn't think

how do you feel about crows then?
do they crawl inside you and eat things?

is that too invasive?

why are you slapping the chair?

here's a story a man was typing on a computer
and an insect a tiny tiny thing was crawling
over a key that he wanted to hit

he was in a quandary because he was a kind man
who didn't like to kill things

a giant suddenly shifted itself from the paint
and masonry of the room in which he sat
for a moment it bore down upon him
it didn't grab him it just vanished
though he was left with the idea
that it could have grabbed him

this doesn't relate to the insect in the sense
that to the insect the man
was a giant
it just happened and left him confused
watching the little speck crawling

god only knows where these things go to

outside there were fireworks for Eid
he felt himself close up slightly
with each explosion
though he tried hard not to be racist

somewhere in his knees he thought
there was something locked away

to do with his mother
to do with fireworks or


Eid mubarak
he thought
rail travel is the future
maybe powered by high-flying balloons
maybe not that exactly but
the wind anyway must be utilised
in any future reality

at this point he paid the kind man

he was in a pretty terrible state
down the old stairs that were collapsing
into the river


Saturday, July 04, 2009

friend of goats

all goats have always loved me
in their yellow upside down eyes

I get my fist soft and ready
screw it into the skull
with sounds of affection

if necessary I'll get down in the mud
and butt her a little
till she gets the idea
then back off quick
before she gets serious

go back to the gentle fist

she will twist her head around on my knuckles
occasionally stopping to look up
to make sure I'm enjoying it as much
ah baby you okay
she says
yeah I'm okay
let's keep doing this all day

sometimes she will let me ride her

I've never got down and suckled a goat
that would be too much for me
but the feel of the hairy udders
as you squeeze them into thin jets
of milk warm and swirling with white hairs
in a pan
the smell of milk and hot pelt and dawn
yes we did this at dawn...

do you know that goats like to give birth at dawn
on calm misty days?

I always knew how to find them and when

they would be there with their hind legs apart
a little drunk from the shake of it all
somewhere behind a hedge or a barn
in the still moment
wisps of fog all around
ready to lay down in the dew
but waiting for me

it doesn't take long for them to squeeze out
but you have to keep the rats off the baby
if it's near a barn

after half an hour
we would walk back in together
both a little slimy
me carrying the newborn
her waddling a little sassy

both of us ready for applause
from our separate places

a yellow eye goat can shift
across a yard
quicker than a bird
no one will see

there I was walking in alone
my jumper covered in blood and eggwhite

sticky with secret shit


ex libris

have we read all of these books between us?

we are now so stuffed with words
they ooze out from our holes

these books between us

somewhere far back
there was a chapter
that woke me
shook me by the ears
like a wolf

since then it's all been grazing

if someone bursts in now
some wild ruffian
demanding to know at once the situation

I won't know which book to find it in

it's in all that somewhere
over there over there
I will whisper
gesturing faintly
from my seat in the orchids

as you wheeze
back there in the shadows
where I hear your chair creak