december 2019






...a coin spins, a tap drips

and ideas seep through the walls


the rivers are so tired

birds feed on what’s left of god


and the seas too have become careless

they smell of apathy


and all these things are now clear

the same longing, the same meaning


for behind the truth

has always stood a mountain


and behind the mountain

has always stood the truth


the world’s obscene ambiguity

spinning coins, reciting noise


this pressure of the earth’s shadow

a mountain fed with bits of god


that smell behind the truth

the smell of longing


of rivers seeping through the walls...







...what possible interest could these dishevelled stars have in me

I look upwards down into the night’s spinning throat


and see only these masses of quivering atoms

these terrified, sexless lumps of rock


that don’t even know or care if I exist

and ’though I too am just another piece of unsculptured gas


an unconscious trace of steam

nonetheless you will know me only as you


and I will know you only as me

because out here the dance will freeze


words will not exist

children will turn into leaves


and each leaf into a stomach

that devours light


the duet, you see, will have frozen

and the universe will be left, as ever


quivering in the middle

a sexless mass attempting to sculpture itself


I look down at my starlit shadow on the floor and wave

after a hesitant pause, it waves back


but does it, I wonder, really understand...








...mistrust darkens suspicion

and suspicion darkens mistrust


a finger moves and the earth splits

and splits again


and as the fragments spin apart

a requiem discharges its rage, its heart


the wasted millennia, the fruitless universal dreams

in my arms the debris calls out shalom


the fatal victory of civilisation

human rights into human rubble


yet is this not the mysticism of the inevitable

the inevitable poem that once, long ago, found me


upon the streams the peach petals

float away in secret


to other skies and other lands

than those of mortals


let then our divided world 

drift away in secret


to other dreams and other victories

than those we have lost...                        






...this is surely a one-way journey into deception

this visionary incubus


that rides through the mire

of me raping myself


this nightly immolation that sees no sense

in words that want only one thing


the archaic darkness of sex

my vulva kissed


my sonnets swollen beyond recognition

pushing deception even further outwards


this journey to some bottomless epicentre

where the isolation is so complete


there is no-one but myself to watch

as the words peel from my deceitful face


this impure fire

these awkward, malfeasant smiles


that mount the dark night-hags

forcing them to spit and shriek


the blank verse that preceded creation

the blank verse that truly


still drives the universe outwards...




                               (v) mother should have to stare with eyes like these

they ask only for respect


for just one moment of a love

that doesn’t have to bury another child


they have travelled across

a million years of servitude


yet blood still runs

down the windows of the rich


knives are still poised above their hearts

and yet no-one should have to live


for some moment of rage

or wait for the universe’s epic destitution


the equality of the grave

such a luxury hunger would never accept


the affliction, O mother of my mother

of having to feed a family of eight


with a single cabbage for a week

for a lifetime with eyes set like this


these words, these knives 

still poised above my heart...