Friday, May 13, 2005


Another cheap theft:
picked wild flower,
tide-tumbled pebble,
strand of his life’s gossamer
through the judas grid
on double elephant,
foreign whispers, faint signals.

Shrug back at what’s undrawn,
sidestep beeline
arrowheads of focus,
la page est introuvable
the page cannot be found
all my sites crash at once.

Human channel hop
flits repined, reads walls,
pianoman thoughts
a twisted phone cord.

Deeper – where next?
The hair, why straggle it unflattering?
He would have moulded
northern morning light
yet his eyes disparage sleep,
swim the night pelagic,
writhe at his cursed reflection.

Charred deception arcs
across our times
then crackles.

His silverpoint
plays with shadows,
with parhelion glare
while I can only cross-hatch
with the stump of a jaded 2B.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

White Ridge, Baslow

Experts overhaul us
in Gortex and gaiters,
lurid socks that pulsate
as they clump past.
The two of us,
More M & S and D & G
than Craghopper or Berghaus,
we just don’t go for this
stridy, shrunk pedalpusher,
knotted calf-muscle look.
Leaving off
the Speedos and Birkenstocks
for sensible, preppy chic,
we rockhop, saunter,
amble the eight mile circuit
feeling very Sunday and undemanded.
The experts lap us
in their briskness.
We’d rather hold the views off the ridge,
talk of years to come,
hold hands where the path widens
deep in this Derbyshire autumn.

Table 50, Harvey Nicks

Light tilts and slides
this Manchester evening,
the curve of Exchange Square
sets in its sweep,
the neon of the Hard Rock Café
slaps the dusk
a freeze frame firework.
Three floors down
street levellers
stride to oases
while Table 50, Harvey Nicks
attends the night,
starched, gleaming, pristine
at the exquisite centre of
the thirty metre restaurant window,
permanently reserved
table for two.

Sat in the gridlock

Sat in the gridlock
fuzz of brakelights through the windscreen rainfilm
only the dashboard handbrake icon saying
we are not adrift
as condensation steals the tarmac’s sheen
and melts faces in fading machines alongside
for fifteen seconds
till the air-con and the blower
and the recirculator and the heated rear
drive it away and
reshape reality
as defined
(according to engineered, failsafe parameters)
by the engine management system.

Portuguese Dereham

The castor-wheeled cake stand in La Cascata
back-mirrored, backlit,
hybrid pool table / jukebox / pastry conservatory
sits by the wall watching us all.

Portuguese dialect ripples across the tables
the young men
swagger-smoke their machismo
the women talk
knowingly, nodding, repeating, insistent,
open palm reinforcing the wisdom, today’s truth.

My drained, stained Camelo expresso
could get refilled all day.

I devour the reactions,
relish the beauty of brown eyes
that flicker their pre-lunch ritual acknowledgment
as another steps in from the street.

The slow ballad soars on the hi-fi,
vies with the families’ July voices
and the coffee machine’s urgent noontime shooosh.

Poisoning the macho

she didn’t have what he wanted:
now he’s hot-wired to hell
jangling the walls
while skanky dogs
bark inside medullar fizzling.

night overload
zooms mach three illusions
binary options whirring cogs
cyan flashes behind the lids.

light on again

ruthless clock
radio stutter static
life gone tangential
bed battlefield

he’ll tell her soon:
if you can’t buy decaff
it’s over.

east anglia to the north west

- screenwash
- diesel
- sandwich (late-date)
- coke
- gum
- music
- zero mileage

up the sliproad on the dual
through the box out in the fast lane
eightyplus way down to forty
single lane cue trucks & tractors

A-Four-Seven concrete heaven
there’s another illegal mobile
join him now unzip my sandwich
load the cd handsfree drive.

king’s lynn ringroad steadyeddy
wronglanesundaydriver slows me
into third swear at the grunter
lurch through roundabout to exit
up the ramp A-Seventeen deadly
read the sign this is a red route:

eighty-three killed so far this year
faded flowers on makeshift kerbshrines
suicidal audi screams past
keen to test out einstein’s theory
barely makes it scammell snarling
nearly number eighty-four.

out across the fens in slo mo
see the migrants cutting cabbages
on the fields since six this morning
working twelve hour days for pennies
pay the gangmaster his bounty
sleep in icecold crowded houses
dream about the distant sweetheart
read again her latest news.

drag on to the sleaford bypass
gatsos threatening twice they’ve had me
moneymaking one-eyed bandits
three points sixty pounds & postage
each & every time they catch you
dreaming at the wheel of fortune
silver city walter mitty
sell the film rights stage the prize fights
literary actuary

on to newark hit the real road
A-One-M but when I’ve joined it
lakes & river trent to look at
while the holdup lasts forever.

in the name of road improvement
gangs & gangs of orange roadmen
yellow-hatted groups in conference
flashing amber lights on D9s
nothing moving no one working
just here for the calendar shoot.

lose an hour maybe longer
clear the jam to send me wheeling
up the backbone of the country
retford doncaster behind me.

been five hours since the sandwich
coke’s all drunk up gum’s all spit out
see the cooling towers steaming
ferrybridge M-Sixty-Two.

motorway I hate your rhythm
friday night all radio stations
wallow in the carnage horror
queues & logjams hour on hour
here the nightmare traffic madness
crowded crush hour claustrophobic
nothing for it but to fight it
all across the chest of england.

late & later make it latest
longest time it’s ever taken
overtaking weekend thinking
fastlane dozing eyelids falling
blue light red light blue light red.


A bacofoil tickertape of rain
endorses this Saturday lie-in.
That metronomic chrome drip
from off the guttering is back again
shattering against the balcony rail
exploding across my drowsy eyeline.
Mercury droplets slung snug under the rail
wobble and wink as the wind elbows into them
send out their semaphore of flashing silver
disdainful of gravity.

Death of Svevo

sono sempre stato vecchio, anna
il signor eliot il tls queste macchine moderne
tutti quanti sempre contro
il saltimbanco, il buffone,
l’uomo di fumo dei futuristi
ma infine
ci sono riuscito ecco vedi
l’ultima sigaretta nel diario

i’ve always been an old man anna
mr eliot and the tls these modern automobiles
all against me charlatan joker
futurists’ man of smoke
but i won in the end
there you see
the last cigarette in the diary.

Cognac round the clock

It was Dominic Dominic (the third), American drinker laureate,
Who introduced me to timebombs one Florentine Friday.

We’d skipped Etruscology, shambled through piazzas:
Found David on duty, the Uffizi closed.

Art deco lamplight swam the chrome tabletops
As we struggled with abstracts, shuffled glasses, synapses.

It got late too early, dawn broke admonishing
We counted sixty-two opportunities
To never, not ever, do this again.