Monday, September 24, 2018

If you don't shave for three days and then rub your face vigorously under a full moon, the Devil will appear somewhere close, so they say. I had this in mind on an unshaven day last September when a car ploughed into my Dad as he walked alongside me on the way home from the pub. The driver stopped, which was courteous, and he looked down at my Dad. "He looks a bit fucked then," he said, and really I had to agree. And then -- out of pure weirdness, and I really can't explain this -- we decided to walk around on him as he lay there.

So me and this guy who might have been the Devil did some of this evil treading until after a couple of minutes my Dad awoke with a few broken bones and said "Oi, what are you doing walking around on me like that? I will jump up and kill you if you do it any more." And we looked at him lying there broken, and a star crawled out from my heart and leapt into the night sky. "Fuck," said the Devil, "you guys are pure monsters." "Yes," said I, "but some things are even better than chocolate." And with that we parted, never again to meet.

He's got cold now, my Dad, and thin and dried up, and most cars barely even notice when they drive over him.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Daffodils

please accept that my mind isn't right
and that I am mad
that daffodils grow out of my ears

it's been a struggle, this not being right
all of it, you know
shit, sometimes I wanted to jump in rivers

in a circus way. of course, to show off

I just want to tell you that I love you
I guess that doesn't mean much at this moment
when it all seems so strange and selfish

but I can't go on. I just can't. Oh I so
wish I could be there for you
I so wish that I could

but somehow I can't. I hope
you can forgive me one day.

My boys, honestly
I love you with all that I am.

Can I tell you one more time before dying
that I love you?

Thursday, September 20, 2018

as clouds traverse and clamour

What a thicket what a mix-up
all my
thatches caught in one
attempt at love
all now as we see stretched forever
into the dead sands of what
Marythorpe?
Grimsby?
Dead starfish?
Myths of ice trawlers?

Wow you have to be joking.

My terrorism goes deep.

Mwah.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Friday, June 29, 2018

Go unconscious and replicate

fatherhood is all those bad memories but
that's too simple it is instead, revived
a series of emails about the Beatles
a set of dead flowers an almanac about rain
in none of which is mentioned the beatings
the times when some giant stood over me saying
you are worthless, or asking, one remembers the asking
most of all, are you a piece of shit? -- note, please, this
is not in quotation marks. Perhaps
it is free indirect fucking discourse
for perhaps that is all that I can remember
assuming, of course, that no real human
could have stood above anyone spewing such
endless fields over which curlews tremor and trill.
In which case, as Epicurus said,
fuck off.

Friday, April 13, 2018

perhaps the strangest lachrymosity
accompanied by elephants with blue
crackling about them

one marvels but can hardly feel
in the field they create

.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Six young men and a woman. Sixteen line sonnet.

With some discomfort travailing down the mechanism
of framing not failing to notice in passing how the bilberry
fronds (vb) at the wayside one has concern for—engineering
for the human armature which carries with some instability

to a place slightly—hallowed where she now stands
slightly—awkward in the presence of at least six ghosts
for more are evident in her [country ways] and about her. These
spirit things walk with her in her harrowed life, and one

would reach out quivering across all of time, with urgency
to touch her somehow, to brush them away, to say at last
that this (here, now, again) is what there is, and it must be enough
to sustain her, to lift her from that deep place, to allow her

to feel the waterfalls which flood softly here. This then
is the compact made flesh of negative ions, of potential,
finally, sanctified in this watery and electric place, of love.

I understand and I wish to continue.

.

Keeping love and its deep monster as pets.

In some areas like breath or sex or design
once achieved like the Estwing hammer
the wheel or the loaf, originality has little virtue
now, and one should celebrate the very fact
of being an ancient cliché in one's feelings
in one's ardour and behaviour, of being hugely
referenced in a million pre-emptive poetries
able to find oneself in ancient art, and to know
that you didn't invent this, neither the feelings
nor the manifestation. You got it from all
of history, from something that gathered
like a god in the escalating momentum
of what it is to be human. When the current
is right, you go with it, and you don't make a fuss
or wish for a new current. Every day is new.

An ancient miracle is a miracle each time it happens
to crack the ice around you, monster.

.

Sunday, April 08, 2018


America: it's like watching
a brain-damaged child
punching its own face
again and again

.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

the night's travel

in and now out the same door
like all knives whirling
our utter politics in collisions
of limestone pavements

across all this she travailed
with sepia sandbags
of County Clare

all sailroads to traverse
and only 8 O-clock
by the whale's chime

this big hand by the night's wild travel
points to 12
the little hand
flickers and stops

iris of heart attack hope
—love of small things
and wild places

be certain now be sure

it's that time
in between
where the hands don't count

it's okay to be scared here
to lie down and breathe
to lie a little
before waking



(Published in PoetrySZ 2009)

Monday, March 26, 2018

all up the road
me and my boys
overarched by great snows

sastrugi, I mean

I mean like watch out
a huge sculpture might fall on you as
you walk
All we will know is your silly little legs
kicking next Spring
when we come looking

Jesus we might eat you by mistake
thinking of which
all along this path have been witches
throwing care to the wind
and it seems unlikely now
that the wind
ever caught it

we shouldn't ever walk on this dark path again
oh God let's right now retrace our steps
and make this right

dumbass, we're stuck here forever
don't you see?

and look how big the sky
with its face full of crying

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Now there is snow again. A few days ago, when it was dark and snowy, the deer came down -- five of them -- and hid in that little trench which used to supply the mill. There is a tunnel there, and maybe they use the tunnel for refuge or something. I think about these deer quite a lot. They are small and fragile things with thin legs, but also very hardy. One of them crashed past the door in a state of fright last summer. I want to reassure them, but they are reluctant to speak my language. I think of them in the snow. Really, I would like them to come to the door and eat titbits from my hand. I wonder what the ideal deer food would be. Hello, little deer, I would say, whilst offering beans on toast. Would you like to come in for a coffee? Maybe I haven't got this quite right yet. They looked at us warily anyway, and their eyes shone like broken glass in police lights.
then what for those,
those damaged, for whom
love was never enough?

how to write pertreh

there were flowers. they were small but colourful and they reminded even the sheep of death. we stopped for moments to admire them. there was a stream also and it ran past.we looked at the stream. in its shimmer and stony gleam. it ran indifferently. far along the stream was a great hill where water gathered. this, this was the great and ancient story of that.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Well who doesn't like getting new books through the door? Mmm, it always excites me a bit, and then I don't read them anyway as I generally think that somehow if I surround myself with the right books then some kind of cognitive word-osmosis must occur. I haven't known this to work yet, but if anyone would like to see my Amazon receipts you can see that I'm trying very hard at the osmosis theory.

Monday, January 29, 2018

just what I've been through; it's nothing like what I'm going to -- The Violent Femmes

Emily must have sat here
looking at things
perhaps the same things
which now bite my legs
and then roar up
the non-road, the track thing
where I lost my phone
one day in the ferns
the same things, oh
all of it is about
a small girl trying

40,000 bodies in Haworth graveyard
it is almost impossible

Triumph Bonneville

oh, nothing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqwFR3dl5IE
.

stars, yes, but why?

I wish you lived next door. If you didn't like me I would leave you alone. Perhaps very occasionally I would take your bin around, but not so often that you would think I was attempting to make a point or inveigle you into my dreams of bins and neighbours and things. Sometimes, when the moon was high, we might meet outside in the cold with our bins, and regard each other. You would not trust me but we would chat a little and shuffle our feet, and I would go back, deflated, to my routines. One far off day, despite your reservations, you would invite me to a river, and I would say yes. Both of us would be nearly dead, and there would be a waterfall, and we would both wonder why
it took so fucking long.

.

15 million pirates suddenly confounded

some weather systems
I almost
then a small bird
perhaps lost
perhaps they have spare ones
but I
even through the glass

bang bang bang
they said, and I
not yet but trying
hard so hard I was trying
don't know who I was, though
maybe perhaps possibly
my tiny beak or analogue of my beak

aches and says
yes I would
if only my pecking
could be wider
wider if only
it was wider
and could

.

.

stifled dances of the dead people

all poetry ends in collapse
when the gimmicks are over

we only do this for so long
this equating, this anger, this conflation

which is what it is
stuck together by verve

now we must talk urgently
of dead submariners

their hoarding of breath
their trinkets, their stifled youth

I don't feel like a disease yet
I don't feel like a disease yet

a friend told me she was/is
a poor feminist as she was/is
too forgiving

I am not forgiving
not in that way
they put me in prison
for trying at 4am

not to be an illness

down there with not much left
I promise I have not even one
little song of you
just a choke and a feeling
of great and pressured darkness
inescapable dark
with such light
with goats dancing
on some silver ceiling

it is all about goats now, and what they do
it's not about peoples
not now

.





.


Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Triggerfish Critical Review No 19.

Latest TCR is out, guest-edited by Lynn Otto, who is one of our fellow 'advisory editors.' Well done to Lynn for an excellent job. 


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