If my fortunes should one day fade,
And experience dull the sharp edge of fame,
And popularity precipitate out of its false solution
To rub salt into the wounds of life’s insults –
When the rest of the world is still waiting to win this game,
Just give me an orchard of my very own,
With trees I can call by name. A living database of the ones who stayed,
The ones I helped raise,
Even the ones who got away:
Each one a monument to the moment we gave ourselves the permis
and we may
never land on the value that sufferance cost us but
Neverland is just one too many tube stops past caring and
you won’t find happiness in the place where you lost it
(it will be in the space that opens when ‘Born to Run’ plays through your headphones
as you kick the first fallen leaves of autumn)
and together Wendy we can live with the sadness
then we’ll stick our hands in our pockets and
find the stones we’ve carried have fallen down the valley of
We live by the light of shadows:
Absent figures cut their silhouettes
Behind Act V curtains,
Where paper dolls flirt
In the muted hush
Of a stayquiet breeze;
Pockets full of posies –
Hands linked in mind and material marking boundaries I never knew how to find. (But Embankment was much sweeter when the busker sang that night). The skies fly by as painted scenes,
Fat nimbus accumulating cumulo-witnesses
To our wretched lovelorn dreams;
Where the mushroom-cloudy heads
The skyline is jagged with cranes –
dipping fishing lines into tracheal tunnels,
to dredge compliments out of the brine
and the brackish lachrymal funnels
into which the day drains. I jump-cut trains:
Keeping trust in transit
like my life’s a montage edit
to teach the new hearts Please Please Do not wish the world smaller. Because one day you’ll grow taller
and that faraway tree you longed to climb
will stop somewhere below your eyeline
and the Eurostar will be just
4am draws a bath
surrounding island limbs,
nail polish the shape of foreign countries
in chipped enamel,
signalling semaphore loneliness
across lachrymose trenches –
or shipping channels,
broadcasting the old vibrations
of some thread-bare intimacy be my be my baby a star of federation
to a new white flag nation,
stitched with silk cotton grief
and the forgotten belief that
e equals somethingsomething constant
I can count on that can I
Remember staring at those Magic Eyes? I can sure remember being blind –
Didn’t even know the trick I couldn’t find;
Nose getting closer to the chromatic-static,
Rods and cones still in their flat-packs,
Wanting to see first but always beaten back
By another’s Sight, like a club in a blindside attack:
An exclusive club, in fact, with an existing founder,
Charging admission –
With change –
For twenty-twenty vision.
This ivory tower is bricked up with soap blocks:
So when hard Hope knocks she’ll knuckle-dust
Fine white-fleck blizzards to remind us:
Even snow has his false-effects counterpart –
So what have you stage-named your heart? There’s no vine to climb, it won’t stick to the side:
Rain-slick walls will slip-slide and suds-up;
The urgent ablution of detergent absolution,
A lather of missteps and sins to be drowned:
Forgive me, father – for I won’t let you down. No dirt-steps
They’ll dig us up in a thousand years
And dust off the bone-idle lust:
Tripping along the path to the weir
Past the bolder-hearted boulders,
Down where the agitated sediments
Kicked up tea-cup tempests,
Stirring sugar sentiments
In over-brewed brooding tar pits;
But the love-note motes settled finally –
Where the boats sit like index fossils,
And weathered Wisdom sits weaving
A striated riverside history. They’ll build a quarry one day,
And with visceral granite s
Back to the start.
“We should just go,
I’ve had enough of this.”
I’m sorry –
What did you say?
It’s really that simple:
A life worth living, eh?
You know you could easily just give me
A hint – ha ha.
You think I might take
It all away, everything significant.
I’ll continuing wishing,
I suppose, but
It’s not important now,
All far too hard to solidify –
And your vinous thoughts are
Needing room to breathe.
These hot heated words are just
The sands can run backwards –
And I’ve seen
Right into the heart of somewhere intoxicating:
The Archer has shot his arrow
The wrong way but
You’re afraid of navigating
In this Dark Matter.
So we’re just time-travellers standing
Our own fabric of space
Is woven from
The eternal blank canvas
Of a potentiality.
Right in the heated core
A French knot singularity,
A single stitch of a time,
Marked our Genesis – But we’ve already
In tennis there’s Love in a zero,
But not in Roman numerals.
That’s a digit in absentia;
Love is absent there.
Nulla, void –
Null: a void.
A trap to now avoid. Nought’s had: nothing gained.
But how could you ever feel loss
When there’s no number for “nothing remains”?
That explains a lot. But the hard-inked figures will try to linger,
The ones of greater magnitude.
They’re etched into my sight,
Like when you look out of the window at the sky
And then close your e
I dreamt a dream last night. I dreamt there was only One Life:
That the universe was dreaming through us all,
Meeting all motion and becoming its soul,
And with the sun streaming through the prism of my Romanticism,
I dreamt of rainbow serpents projected across my walls
Like songlines through the Dreamtime,
Tracks well worn by the footsteps of spirits with a greater understanding than mine –
A sense sublime of something far more deeply interfused. And when my own night
I. If your touch could liquefy
The frozen music of architecture,
I’d want to sit where the silence would fall.
Seek the space in the seam
Between white noise and daydreams:
Breathe the breath before the applause. So just hold me like you’d hold a pause. Or a ‘fermata’, if you think you’re smarter,
And feeling the vibe of a cheeky sonata:
Those birds eyes can stop time.
Stretch it like the truth,
Test it like patience
Balancing on the peak of a heartbeat.
Checking my score on the DLR
Measuring the social bar:
This tally card of the day, I find
Makes a sim of me,
All my sins multiplied
By a double scarlet minus sign. That’s how it works, right? My heart was feeling
Always this fucking train line –
A game of points on the underground:
Fifty up, a hundred down.
Green red green red red
Redder than I was on the inbound. Did I lose ten more when I slipped your eye?
And slid off your mind
No further flirtatio
We slip-slide past each other,
Like honeycomb-slick layers of graphite. I fall into you for an instant
And inhale a future that lingers
Like the vapour-trail of a stranger’s perfume.
The portent of a terrible possibility.
Where our timelines cross
And we brush palms,
And feel a fever that shoots through the vertical plane like a pin.
The mounted specimen of a moment. That’s it. The pendulum stops swinging and we pause in the Now.