Monday, 30 October 2017

Poem's by Post

I was recently part of a project called Poem's by Post (through It's Not Your Birthday But...) that asked poets to respond to the life stories of residents at Royal Star & Garter nursing homes. These are homes for the ex-Service community, people with fascinating stories to tell. People who had been submariners, POWs in Stalags in Germany, flown in bombers over burning German cities. All with incredible histories. The project was an interesting way to keep the stories alive, reconnect with our own collective history. It was all organised by the poet Tom Mallander, a poet who wants 'to put on historical record information, before it slips out of historical memory.' Please look him up. He has a unique approach to poetry.

I have two poems in the book. Here are the ones that didn't make the cut.

Stalag dreams of blessed guests, tobacco rations smiling.
Leaking the logbook of guard movements, the Commandant’s 
cursive in the margins. Stalag dreams of quiet bunks & Khaki 
barbwire ribbons. Deceitful horses conceal currencies of dirt.
The forest hugs; Stalag dreams those early morning epics.
Tracking back towards the fence, listening for the worry of a tunneller, 
she turns an ear to the east. Fury is forming. All sport will conclude.
Stalag dreams of digging worms beneath her, larks tunnelling home.
George flipped, whipped his theatre seat, died in Polish sand.
An interruption……………….the goons…………..30 minutes notice.
………dogs…..whiteout…………..…boxcar vomit……excrement….
………………………………………………Slit trench rest………………
All Stalag’s dreams are hollow now… quietly filling voids…………


Living, despite the inky evenings, is surely the shrewder 
choice (granted, death is a lamb, keeps all the simple sins close), 
but to continue - despite the bony knuckles of employment & ego

endlessly pressing until your numb grin slips (yrself propped
up by gin and family patience) - that's the sunset stuff,
the gunship centre of yrself, the accurizing drift towards

a settled carriage, bounded by the results of your 
momentum (settled in yr whiskey slippers), memories collecting 
at your feet – trout tail curls in your box of photographs.


“The people we should have been seen dead 
with,” she said

the antifa

the headshrinker

VISA granting diplomats

funders of relief & rehabilitation

former PMs and ex-friends of Hitler himself

Heroes of the Holocaust


Listen to  w o r d s
do not understand 
from the 
White Horse Valley
mucus field t r i b e
Saxon photo
E x c e. E.  d
rural riverssss

do not speak
simple statement
like foreign r a d i o
in the empty speaker
no speech


carry out

synaptic mud

Monday, 5 October 2015

Hey Albert!

Hey, Albert: when the words whip
across the bar; you have caused offence.
Beer sticky elbows peel away, hands open,
offering your palms. Albert the Innocent. 
The publican cradles the telephone –
offers peaceful resolutions: stands stock in stare.
Retreating into wall watching, the bar
becomes oblivious to your shape and sound.
& then Moby Drunk stumbles in - 
A white whale cresting the carpet.
We pour your pain; we love you, honey.
“Kill me now, wet drunk,” some wit says.
We all cry-laugh until your round drops.
“-|- ”

Friday, 20 June 2014

a bag of lemons from italy

'got it,' you say, 'there's something in the way, 
something eating...'

'me,' i say.

i think of anger & feelings such like but nothing comes

there's a wave waiting always 
to soothe or to break

me. i see

away from me, outside of me
the world dies every night


i think of correct choices, apt decision making
& scream past them, my elbows worn thin

i will throw away things i thought i loved
to give me the choice

i beg of you

a bag of lemons from italy
benzo boxes & old fashioneds
was all that was left

of me. i saw

sourness and yellow
tom & jerry cartoons

i love You 
& i will never be ashamed 
to say it here
at the end 
of these jaundiced lines


Thursday, 20 March 2014

bread & hope

if it were possible to be more tired 
than we are now I would not believe it

please send us sweet tea & soft pillows
sunless somnolence please please

functioning is harder after sleepless nights 
I bit my dog, sorry

it's not helpful or kind to criticise
the parts of ourselves we lost in the dark

those wolffish desires for bread & hope
burn out in the end

Monday, 24 February 2014


tubes of foil, tubes ofoil
dragging thedirt of London
through themselves

filterschokeon fumes

fuckingup over &over again
is easy cometo the party, Henry
we have drink&drug neons ago

oh god ohgod ohgodoh

Monday, 27 January 2014

addiction to data
rag and progress

i see no skinned 

in the achievment groups

evolutionary mismatch

environment & ancestors

hijack the reward pathway

Monday, 2 December 2013

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Monday, 29 July 2013

Thursday, 27 June 2013

A to Z of Archaeology

A is for Archaeology
Anubis the god of Copper Necropolis,
a woodland culture (better known by its ancient name AKEATHON), fossilised in pine resin (1459 BC), reached its peak in development, C1986-1458 BC. There then followed a brisk trundle between catastrophe and blunder that, some say, caused Atticus the Elder’s heart palpitations and eczema.
B is for Bes
Ugly demi-dwarf god of the Phoenicians, trampling Christ under his irregular baulk. Upon the bird, boat and sun disc floating across the death-field, Bes drinks; no one slips a him a Mickey Finn: he’s always slumbered at the helm, braced against the Bølling Oscillation. The elegant eustasy of his thoughts unaltered by ice-age or ecstasy.
C is for Cuneiform
Calendar Round > C A L E N D E R
(See below)
a) a cAvEMaN seeks.
b) cannibalism.
d) in Carthage.
The dread galleons of wretchedness promised by the Mayans never arrived. There were no modern equivalents of the fall of Ninevah, no trampling cities into dust; all the banks, monetary mirages, dissolved into thoughts. 
Cats > S A C R E D  A N I M A L S
D is for Domestication
Chihuahuas, the most useless of all canine breeds, were once holy animals, settled in the temples of mexico, turned into water bottles post-mortem. Now, heads peeping out of Californian handbags, their indignity is complete.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

- like the hand
in the dark
  for the glass
beside the bed

A rabbit eating strawberries from a yellow bowl.

Lola is dancing 
in her one-piece blue pyjamas.
The sun is swatting parts of the room -
the shade bites into the glare, leaving blades of light.

The song playing is her favourite. 

She stands legs astride 
& sings a good guess at the chorus,
mangling half the words,
but it does not matter.

She is the glory in this morning.

We have completed a jigsaw 
for the first ever time
& it now lies on the floor 
like a forgotten masterpiece.

It is of a rabbit eating strawberries from a yellow bowl.

She arches over until
her head touches the floor
spreading her arms outwards
she holds this pose - it is impressive.

I implore her to take a bow & she acquiesces.

I'm playing all her favourite songs.
It is an intentional manipulation
I am not ashamed to admit committing.
& anyway, it generates joy for us both.

& what could possible be wrong with that.

We have spread a snowdrift of paper across
the living room floor, practising writing letters
and primordial poetry. 

& what could possible be wrong with that.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

"OCK ENT ATO" Poetry Reading Photographs

My first reading - when I could still read.
From the website: We are working collectively to renovate and redevelop THE MINESWEEPER - LEDSHAM M.2706, DEPTFORD CREEK, LONDON into a space for artistic innovation. Floating laboratory of the MINESWEEPER COLLECTIVE.”
Joe Stohlman and I read three times and then some open mikes blew everyone away. My third reading was marred slightly by the amount of medicinal whiskey I had imbibed, but that was made redundant by the brilliance of the proceeding readings. Honest. Follow this link OCK ENT ATO to see the photos. The reading was at this venue. All photos by Valentina Gaddia.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

(then up and into everything the squall and the rest of it)

there was a part
of me
uncovered by the suck
           of your filling lungs

(the sound / lifting / breaking
/././.::o_) ) )  )  )  ) _ver  
the white-tiled, bloodied room

(then up & into everything & 
the squall & the rest of it)

a part I will never squander

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Fat man through the window bagging up his packed lunch under strip lights

Sunday, 13 November 2011

storks in the arteries

the rumbling
muscle underneath
the dip of fabric
that is my pocket

<...made me answer my phone, dumb...>

a parataxis 
of ligament & bone
a dislocation 
of sense from matter

< is unexplained, disconnected...>

an accident
an uncomfortable 
glide of cloth
& screen perhaps?

<...a dryness of hope, more likely...>

that way (east) 
there is Poland
& the pure blast 
of Russia beyond

<...extracting revenge, short-twitch on my thigh...>

a tremor in the leg
storks in the arteries
flightless birds, fish rotting 
in their blocked gullets

<...I am ringing, not the phone...>

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

the boy's bicycle chain shivered as his back wheel jumped the curb

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

La Granada

I forgot to say, I have a poem published in the first edition of new Norwegian poetry magazine, La Granada. It's great. You can read for free online or buy a hardcopy.


I, a at least, have a copy to show it all happened.


You can get copies here.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Monday, 27 June 2011

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Fragments, scraps and off cuts of Scavengers

Plate VII. Male & female
cockroaches with egg-sac,
spiders’ webs, a cedar in
Highgate cemetery.


blue tit at coconut
unusual site of blackbird’s nest
this rookery too was deserted

Plate IV


large horizontal branches
of the trees . ecclesiastical of birds
the jackdaw must rank

Plate V


in the grounds
of the Zoo
- her normal clutch

Plate XI


most ancient rookery sites
three cartloads of sticks
- hung on longer

Plate XII


nothing zipped pass
the decaying notes of the moon
& its metres-wide

of atoms.