Sunday, 30 December 2012

First Attempted Loss

First attempted loss – public toilets – Central Park – Chelmsford – after Chancellor Hall – disco – between O-levels – and results – the next – to get it over – under – bare light bulb – slipped off – they'd be locked – at night now – he said he – didn't think I was dirty – tried again – in his bedroom – not much to say – he took off – his ring – I could lay down

Saturday, 29 December 2012


Ribbon or buttons from Roma, Romany lace, warming her whole life around a mug of tea.


Purse full of copper and silver for Saturday market. Five of the pink ones and a length please, fifty pence… was all. What could I say, I like your hair? She'd know I was lying; her curls were a mess more than mine.


We were alike but it was like May trying to get next to October.


My change in her fist. Feeling the numbers. Leveret sense twitch a warning, watch over her shoulder, no turning, and mine, run be ready. A posy of I can't explain slung on her back and a braid flower sewn on her hem.


Girl out on the precinct parade, younger than the years ago. Scented and painted Cortina metallics, dull by Sunday tea-time desperation. I dread Monday morning.


Did teachers at school show her or was it from a book Roma learnt how to twist fine satin around the dirt lines old in her palm?

Wednesday, 26 December 2012


Between window and clouds

a shape of birds weaving

heron bone returning

dog tooth and back

over the page off to

find their place

I wish my room

had a clear ceiling

so I could see


more than I can

Sunday, 23 December 2012

I Once

I once

heard someone say

I like you

you laugh at everything.

Sparkly swirls

over an unfathomed dark.

And everything

I bought

was bright brittle plastic.

Now I'll

only buy

if it's made

to last.

I feel

crowded closing


and wonder if

it will all

last longer than



Saturday, 22 December 2012

Raspberry Wine

My friend was on the bed

with his friend,

not her boyfriend,

when his Dad opened the door

and announced, 'no, she's not deformed'

to no one in particular.

Somehow I remember this

from inside the room.

Though I must have been downstairs

drinking raspberry wine,

to see someone spill theirs

and him scrubbing

the champagne coloured carpet.

His Mum said the raspberry wine

had all gone

and gave us something clear

that tasted like vinegar.

Monday, 3 December 2012


A taste of Jesus blood

for my voice

to sing

the fall of rose petals,

softly landing

to seal his wounds.

I wore dove white

like the petals,

though at a touch

they are blushed

with his pain.

I came as a nurse maid

with pearly lullaby

of hope,

my mouth a sweet cup

of his tears.

And leave promising

a kiss

seven days long,

'till you find me

in home I found

I will wait

for your battle dress

to be torn and abandoned.

My memory of him

is young,

so in trust

I fly to you

man by a cross

with love, my song

and life

for you

who holds

the thorn

to pierce my heart.



In a tavern a man drinks

with the illusion

of a widow dressed in black.

She remembers,

but he still tells her

of his riches all lost

at the market,

two crows watched

from the clock.    

How he lost his way

down at the crossroads,

two crows flew

from a tree.

And the wife he lost

to sail with a merchant,

a crow calling through

the dock yard din.

For lost luck

he blamed the birds,

so to free his life of

ill fortune

he served a poisonous feast.

'Be a good woman,' he said

'and pour me another,

there's a sound from my glass

like a bird cry.'

And through his eyes

clouded with laughter,

he failed to see the widow

add a dose of

dark powder,

throw off her shawl

and fly.



I, the Devil gave wing

to the rumour

of a man on a cross

in a crown.

Jewels from heaven would surely

tempt song from a magpie

and let fall my ruby

a rattle on his tongue.

I met the thief at night

in a boudoir

as we admired our finery

before the glass.

With a flourish my hand

flared seven candles

and the bird spied

my ruby set in a ring,

heart alive with flames of hell.

With artful swoop, beak and claw

he claimed it

and mocked me

from high on a niche.

In legend it's told

the audacious drop

is my blood on his tongue,

but be assured,

he only stole my ruby.

Now I've marked him for vengeance,

though my powers are low and sickly

magpie's cross

was carved by my hand.


Friday, 16 November 2012


I'd never seen

so many crows

as on the beach


You never know

who'll be there

in the fog.

Our greetings


on white air

and he raised

his collar


the cold.




his shadow disturbs

the light.

My morning walk waits

by Corinthian column square,

sharpened by autumn

sun chills.

His perch,

to stand in silhouette

on a glossed and gilded

guardian gate

and inhale the air.

Breeze of ghost song

through acanthus leaf castings


to grey birds'

choral discord.

They are no distraction

from Ruark.

He has me spellbound

in hypnotic gaze inky,

flight unfolding

gaining from a sea wind.

I am on his line

claw hook hanger.

Feather wing fanning

down cast then ecstatic,

chevron tail.

I give free will away

and I follow.

Glide drawing near

I'm ringed around

twice to be sure.

I swallow a draught

of cold morning

and he leads me

to the place of bird ways.

Far wing caught by shine

caught by my eye

to the nest

of dove young

and Ruark takes their lives

with dagger beak,

one by the last one

is mine.

All gone

to the broken feelings

of a sentimental soul.

And a cradle left empty

for the swag

of a stealing relation.


In my dream

I sleep.

Bird wings like hands,


growing to cover me

a feather or finger

strangling glove

my love

lands whispering

all the secrets held by the sky

stroke my throat.

Beat of wings

and my heart

closing together.

A black drop from his eye

falls on my lip

opens in a sigh of red.



Sunday, 4 November 2012

Bad Wired Female

So do I have to lick

the shit

someone sprayed up the subway wall

then spit out

a pretty French word

no one has used since Sagan?

'Is that actual

or metaphorical shit?' you ask

before I hide inside

my latest dream sequence

and hope for a drop

of short term solution

in my tea

so I'm adequately knocked out

to only attempt a suicide jump

from the edge of my bed.

That comfort cell

killing my voice

with fear, inhibitions

and financial excuses.

Bad wired female


don't know political

career in weight loss,

my feet resting on a floor safe

until pay off day.

Faithless, I could stand

inside an inverted cross

or slogan

mass produced to fit

so keep it on

and march blank bannered

over a difficult dance floor

in circles,

to impress any new face

before panic speed accusations

of misunderstandings of

the flowery print

on a badge pinned to my skin.

A decoration

looking for a church

to sit down in.

What will they give me,

protein and

a question;

'do you despise me?'


but do you desire me

to say




Saturday, 27 October 2012

Mechanics of Exit

Mechanics of – exit – grating – shoe sole – polished to – a slip – on lacerating – edge silver – blured sharply – anger – panic spills – trip escalator – tube flow – an official – to red key – the off – disruptive – for their – ease of – underground – and over – rubber rail – cuff bitten – hand of – stander – sees day light – get to him – waiting – floor built – on floor – X X X – metres – black northern – depression line – stand to the – right – run force – my weight step – the last – one over – collapse – between the teeth – out – want stop – the top – gate blink – static gust – down trap – adverts distraction – nice try – museum – living under glass – hold together – penny map – drop out – bolts – work themselves – off – double shift – operation – spinning – at the – top.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Skin Work

Stiletto torn

wallpaper hip line


marilyn blonde

luxy tit curtains

and a drink

skin work

pays better than

don't ask

and a sense of smirk

shiny shiny

wrist watch chunk

no mobiles

no cameras

no filming

dance wall facing

jingle fingers

bum ripple


one light only


the rules

neat fuzz

and tidy timing

eye contact

one elbow

man style

on the bar

squaddie crops

thank-you love

brighter than

the stage

he left before

all his pint

leg leg


ledge breathe in

smile for a

jang in

day-glo plastic


zip zip

leather pockets

to find a pound

she let me

have that one

for free

knee socks

diamante heart

I'm getting the hang of

the floor

we drink

coats on

nymphette lips

rhythm clings round

last sawdust



I think she


like soaping herself

and slides a tall

corner of

the wall

denial of

arrows for the lav

you undress your

eye pool

I will dip and flick

inside your



girl showing

traffic island

following her tail

sloping feline

lazy flirt

stretch flexy

uncurl pinky

you came

to see

centre fold


finger tips

tippy toed

strap push


on the floor


unstrung of


pulling attention

off an ice point heel

day job

dirty rock

leaning into charge

remote control


she does

verse chorus

along her leg

the hold-up top

lacy lastic

keep intact

for dance

she strips


one hour

men step aside

the door open.


Saturday, 20 October 2012

Low Cloud

Low cloud before dinner,

a speed boat

grafts the sea.

I stop;

two fishing rods

make an X.

A dog,

shiny, there familiar,

'what's new?'

Then chase off.

A shell clutching another.

The handrail's slimy with

'is that all?'

I go fast on stones

and wordy,

the ruin of shoes,

trying to

work something out.

Last week's butterfly,

in her best,

will be dead now.

Someone needs to

flush today.



Saturday, 13 October 2012

In a Bishopsgate Cafe

In a Bishopsgate café

the man with

a rural complexion

loosened his

quilted jacket

and read a magazine

through a magnifying glass,

mother of pearl handle.

He set his phone

on the table

measuring an espresso

in steady gulps

and spoke

with an Irish accent

to someone-

a woman by his inflection-

on a train.

'I'll meet you on

the station steps.'


for being on time.'

Pausing for a waitress

carrying soup,

he asked if

she could cope.

A girl with blue hair

discreetly ate food

bought somewhere else.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


There was a girl at school,

we were second years

just into our teens.

Kim had a boyfriend,

the older brother of

Alison I think her name was,

but he was prettier.

And Kim,

as long as I'd known her

seemed resigned to

knowing that

she was a woman

waiting to grow up,

and had some sense of

what fun and work

and love and sex would be.

Be ready for it

soft, strawberry blonde girl

crystal eyes sad with all that looking,

you've got it coming.


Kim's boyfriend would stand with her

in the registration queue,

his arm around her

stroking her fingers and kissing.

He waited until Kim and her class

had to go in

and I would think,

he must be in trouble every day

for being late.

Or was lateness allowed for

young love?

Her cheek on his blazer sleeve,

looking up at him,

seeing only him.

Happy as if her whole future

was his face smiling at hers.

Then afraid

when she saw school uniforms

with kids inside them,

and corridor walls

painted grimy round classrooms.


A pattern in the wallpaper

left vacant for Kim.


Saturday, 29 September 2012

Someone slipped me a mickey at the Robey.
Kev hard driving home on a pill,
shooting clean down the chrome tunnel.
Talking to me through tin can ear horns,
his car sick road bitch,
pulling colours off the street lamps.
On my own;
should I walk home through dark car parks?
If I drove in I'd still have to walk out.
Someone called to sell me car insurance;
'you never fancied driving?'


Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Out Late

Out late in the

big city

for the first time

this century


aware of my watch

not on my wrist

where I wish

I could feel its strap

if I lose

my way

at least I'd know

the time

in a place

I once felt was

my home

I walk careful as if

the pavement could hurt me

you are here I see

the moon

one edge away

her cheek on the blanket

I catch hold

with a sound

when I see her over

the sea

and walk

ballerina sole weight

I follow the

I want to be home

of suitcase wheels

only us

does she know the way

the girl turns

still walking


Coach number 1 of 8

The next station is
East Croydon
the sun's out
lighting the carpet
bless you says
the transport policeman
a man not of
English extraction
I thought as much
time for me to go
be careful
The Strand
an exhibition
no parallel
on the way home
I'm going Embankment – Victoria
one rabbit listening
ink factory
not over the bridge
Waterloo and all that
I'm taking gloves
Alex said you need
gloves and a mask
the direct route
when you make
your own
get that in your eye
one magpie two
you could go blind
green men in my
you're pushin' too hard
you're pushin' too hard
astro turf doesn't
I want to go
this way
soak up the water
I got levitation
men and boys
an orderly queue
and some girls
hands in pockets
and guitar cases
outside G.A.K.
thank God
what's going on
long black hair
in a field
black cattle
streaks down his face
the rain's stopped
Kerry King from
in town
a leather jacket
all runs off
hot and dry top
legs all wet
I know
I'm wearing mine too
made to measure
for his sister
thank God
the rain's stopped
I got it cheap
can you please
change these coins
what time are you
travelling home
we are now
if you're quick
East Croydon.


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Look down,
I am in a tower
with brick holes
letting in day and
played by the air.
I can hear time passing
and storm battles,
but they cannot touch me
through ancient walls.
Dust glimmering
on bridges of light.


Thursday, 13 September 2012

There are times

There are times when a spotlight blows

like a heart night out

streaming open

and I wonder

'what would tomorrow be like if I were in….?

Patti, you name the place?


Closer on the office wall map

than the United States.

A news story

a reality

as I write what I think

and publish

and note that someone

in Russia is reading

my working organs

dressed and shaded


undressed and re-written

opinions of………

it's not very clear.

But just to fill the silence

what do you have for dinner?

Yes Patti, I like fish too

and the sea

and I would love to listen

and talk to you

for longer than a show

about northern hills

planted with graves,

living and

lovers who are dead.

One of your broken strings

connect me, please.

The girl upstairs

has just come home.

Talking on her phone,

'yes Dad, sunny but a little windy'.

She's out on the roof garden,

a red admiral flying between us.

In a country I could travel to by train

there are two girls in prison

her age, young voice,

dyed hair and tattoos.




With zen acceptance

I should feel blessed

that I keep throwing up

anything I can't stomach.

Can I keep looking through

this open wound on my eye

and be proud?

Or is it a curse

jarring my nerves

when the lid bangs on the wall

as I put my foot down

to throw out more rubbish?

How far is my tread allowed

for you, or for me?

No one to pass this down to

or interrupt

so I have to finish the job myself,

no excuses.

There's something rotting in there

makes me gag every time

but I don't have the time

to take it out

and start a fire,

I'm busy.

And someone will say

'I didn't think you were the type'.

Someone always does,

but I mustn't be judgemental.

So do I glitter myself pink

and poke in some feathers

suitable for my size?

Try and sing in key

or fire rounds from a machine gun

disregarding anyone trying to sleep?

Oh dear, I forgot

it was me trying to sleep.

All that decoration

the trouble it takes

industrially constructed underwear

under a painting

a Pre-Raphaelite masterpiece,

now what was it I was

preparing myself for?

Oh yeah, that fire

but I've left it too late

and this party dress has instructions;

keep away from fire.

Please don't credit me for this,

I might not feel

up to the challenge later.


Just a cosmetic burn,

don't tell anyone,

it really is the tonic.

I don't qualify for

some mothers little helper

and a scold indoors

saves me the shame of

raising my skin in public.

How can anyone be ill

if they're not swollen and livid?

Yesterday I looked down

on a polite English queue;


But tomorrow

even if I get to the window

that surname, I try not to use,

I'll be reminded is at

the end.





Saturday, 1 September 2012

First of September

After a deeper silence

in the mirror

I see a lighter black

than the solid block of night

by a near full moon.


I'm forgotten, don't exist

washed out in the spinner

over and over

they made a carving

on my temporal bone

I can hear when I'm quiet

waiting for her

to come of age.


Feeling like I've had too much

this week

last night a girl years away

behind the veil of clouds

though the day had been


enough to walk by Lois

and a grey cat almost invisible

on a grave

moving to comb through some gold

and let me

lie down.


But we walked on

and again before bed

to see her

and an antique moth

through the window

body like a saint

owl eyes on his wings.


Friday, 24 August 2012

Friday Night Mars Fly

Friday night

mars fly

panting abdomen

out on the glass

look, I don't want that in

phone lines down

flew in before

he could shut

open wider out

in here kitchen

vibing like a metal zip

speed pulling

on broken teeth

white light

shadow wall show

bayonet moon


off and on off and on

I don't like not knowing where

irrational attractor

colliding with his

gas mask face


resting on the boiler

bee or wasp


I've never seen

the door shut

we must keep it where

out of the bed

our clothes

where we can see it

it's late

two of six legs

cross and slide

and wings

peels of burnt skin

gothic arch leading

bullet body

skin tight

painted blood clot colour

uncooked offal

warning stripes

to a mouse

or snake venom

I'd be found

lying immaculate

in the long grass

with afterthought spasms

of a fortune telling fish

can I see a sting

makes Michael very sick

easy to just

a jar


room half size

advance and avoiding



zed zed zed

and chrome bucket


a stop in the slice of


under the door

our cat wines

mine mine

the other side

of no-man's land

what would they do

I'll deal with it tomorrow

just go to bed

climb and trap

and show the boys

spray from a can

a foreigner

the window down

in a different language

stay a wooden yard


out rectangle

then big for

night drills

phones still down

and it's so hot in here

fire could catch

you go

call me

I'll wait

see where it flies

watching swing ball

all the rage

till the wire breaks

out or

down on the lino

under a plastic box

come in now.





I've thrashed insects

from my dress

every hot morning

I remember

and dried my face

on those sleeping

in my towel


outside copper pipe runs

bleed the wall.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

After Hamilton Yarns

I feel homesick for home

I make uncomfortable

the place I know

my place

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Ballroom Hungry Crush - Live

Filmed at the Bleeding Hearts Club, Brighton, 2 July 2012. With thanks to Chris Davies.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Sunn Day

On Sunn night the sky rushed down the sea

and they gave outlines to

an iron age storm coming


tremor and tiny shift of silent anxiety

of I don't know yet

but an unborn sense

in the seed and skull

sound of tectonic step on prehistoric

or over a hairline crack


I'm here but somewhere I've been

something could happen

and tear at the walls

so the floor collapses on what I left behind


but here blood tunnels and tooth

undoes a seed a root

with no knowledge of colour

just eat and drink and lean towards Sunn

a membrane shirt between eiderdown and broken mountains

spoken by men in cloaks


and electric smoke born and trapped between the arches

preachers of nothing lain on a dolmen

or surgery bed

attended by temple bones memorial to a ghost promenade

the stage for curved throats wide as scream angle

where the sun dials point to primal streams

are the only movement on this island

further into my vein a needle thread

in and out through the earth

and stone neck where our breath rests

and crawls ruby to emerald scabs

sonic quick sand deeper than gravity


blade humming birds wing scything

sternum-down-plugged in-solar plexus-floor-earthed

my roots feel their way to wormy mineral waste


as I sway on earth I fuse and fracture

we face Sunn

iron rays ploughing cloud vaults locked

bloom to vapour and last as long as

a depth charge cupped in my hand

leaves touch heat and open to hold more weight


mammoth finds a magnifying glass and stares at a virus

till it flares down on the hot plate

branding death watch beetle into oak

twinkle sparks distract the mammoth

and he falls in love with mistral

charging away false darkness murmuring thunder

inhale every colour together makes white

volume blindness leaves a stain on my hair roots

wasp song to tuber rose

we are grain drowners


if I close my eyes can I touch your arm

in case I forget I'm alive

you'll know what I mean that flowers are blind


nine petals open and curl round air caves

close over my ears

premonition of the grave


blown east by noise

decay eases the mesh

spine spacing surface tension of water ribs


jet was coal


a glass walked to the edge and

fell under sound





Monday, 9 July 2012

Urge Overkill

At the age when inside out

was pretty

holding hands in

an urban field

with Faith.

My unnatural face

shadowed naturally hadn't slept

or eaten

water wouldn't boil

for a dehydrated meal

and deconstruction was my style.

He wore make-up

I didn't

both in our leathers

indoors a tent

early but a replica of night

imagining a Camden backroom.

We'd kissed May, June and July

on one bench in one graveyard

Faith to my left, always.

Once he bought a dress

'an interesting shape'

from a classy thrift store.

Rain and mud

by the main stage

and my boyfriend

with his arm around Sarah

while Urge Overkill play for

some easy number.

Blue suits

wearing ties

Cuban heels

Brian Jones hair.


Sunday, 8 July 2012

A Moth

In absence of the moon

a moth came to the glass

moon shavings work the dark

tissue blades blur my

bed lies waiting

let me in or

come out.

She'll wear bridal weeds

till she dies.


Ballroom Hungry Crush

Did you see Skinny dry out all charcoal

in the ballroom hungry crush?

Just look at yourself moth girl fluttering

in a chiffon bag, dusting the night

soaked in ultra violets.

I hope to grow up

as the crow flies,

with money for the cloakroom

after a T-shirt, tape and lucozade

fitted out and standing in

so can one of you mind the coat heap

volcanic disturbance of scarves here.

We all know what'll finish her

she'll do an Isadora

caught in the car door

all the way down to a beach holiday

east coast to south coast sole crunchers

both are imported just like America

but I've only heard the recordings

so get me a ticket when they come over

and for Christ's sake

stop waving that torch about

we're leaking fuel all over the place

makes the dance floor a bum bruiser

worse than Romford cabbage market.

When his plane crashed

red one side of his face, blue the other

half the passengers burnt

the other half jumped the fare up north

as far as the black country.

The prettiest colours

need to land on a girlfriend

lemon and lime are all the same

it's just a matter of purple

and a twisted ankle,

'that explains a lot,' he said

'now I know this is concussion'.

Isn't that cute, a claw with hinges

white wire hook trawling for me

swallowed up whole by a primitive wormform

dislocated clam shell on wah wah,

no he's just yawning

can't help it late nights

laying awake is as bad as the drink

grinding nail dust up to his back teeth.

Three finger prints are never the same

but when you think you've lost them

his prints turn up again

echoes in a bucket alive with bait.

She isn't really going out with him

draw me some icicle tears

and come out tonight

scales of moon flakes in her eyes

slower than overtime

I can't quite reach that drum beat

repeat that

he's overstating the fact

yeah, but do it again

to a shiny dreamer

someone liberate that tambourine

from the spotlight, she's shy

and everyone wants a bite of the fairy cake.

It's enough to make a girl want to

throw herself in the Chelmer

and break her nails on a shopping trolley

he's not worth all night crystal gazing

now she's curled up under his tongue

sing in the chorus everyone

the sea birds brag like

they have their own personal tailor.

Why do you pay at the door

and then talk in the front row?

My kitten would teach them.

If only I knew what goes on at home

swishing her tail

objet d'art cha-cha on the dresser

for the carriage clock it's too late

and the dome has fallen right over their heads.

Moving parts not safe for children

that string of beads she kept twirling

snapped all at once

a mirror mosaic hangs in the air

because they like it in here.

Out there skyscraper windows

wide angle panning

everyone's up and watching the telly

I'll go door to door tomorrow

with coloured light bulbs for all

but now it's time

to walk back in on four strings

heel to toe on a bridge rope

then drop straight down into

a glass of alka seltzer

on the lowest step and descend

until Saturn's ring has a day off

he said he'd come down

for the beer mainly

and five men on a weekend planet

after a warp the ring has caught it

his hair drawing curtains

dig ditches under listed buildings

palm grease clap on the classic body

can't stop till he's out of ammunition

and wipe his hand on his jeans

when the drum says it's over.

Turn his voice down up difficult way

to furnace throat, cough drop ripper

all over their hard labour

nice work for young men

now the mills got knotted

and the mines all consumptive.

This is no balloon ride honey

excuse me but I've seen her in London

there's a bird on her way

to burst your bubble.

You mean like a sparrow?

Yeah, she's faster than road kill.

Hey have you seen the cormorant?

He went down, was down forever

I built a fish bone shrine

then up he comes like

some sort of coat of arms

for a family like that I'd never leave home.

You only see pigeons where I'm from lass

or some damn great vulture

poseur for pictures, then he cleans up the candy

and we'll need some of that

because she's spitting bottle tops

that tambourine's back doing cymbal stomp

she heard him two timing her fizzy love

he's a slanger

feedback ring on the rebound.