Sift

I’m taking my habits to the Scottish highlands: the best of me, the worst of me.  I’ll sit on a moor in the rain. I’ll call it home.  Maybe I’ll sleep out there too and the birds will wake me. No-one will find me . No-one will find me wanting. And if no-one wants me,…

Let Down Your Hair

  Let Down Your Hair   (after Ciaron Carson)     Not yet the stage there with his mouth open in a silent roar for Stevie Dave O Hara but only stints at DJ Since his favourite songs were the blues, and psycho-trip-hop, darned at the edges with a ragged chain-stitched garage- Certain it was…

Legacy

  Legacy  (for B and G) Between the slug and the lettuce lies the shadow of our green-eyed monsters which, biting white china make tea dribble   circumnavigate the ‘ch-‘ sound in chilli; cheese and onion but then, Proust, dead, would have died for our here and now,   seeing how, seeing how we can…

CBT

CBT*  1.   How many chimeras does it take to change a light-bulb? None. Chimeras don’t do light-bulbs. The halo wattage of a half-imagined smile illuminates his kitchen.   What kind of food is a chimera? An egg-white omelette. What Shakespeare character? Banquo’s ghost? Sexual Practice? Celibacy (selective) courtesy of Houdini: tie him up, he’ll…

Reading Seamus Heaney in April sunshine

    Reading Seamus Heaney in the April sunshine   Even with the warm sun on my neck Even with the breeze Even with pale lily-pad green horse-chestnuts in Castle Park Even with the full flowering cherry Even with the mallards and their medieval snoods Even with my silver bangle Even with my turquoise cardigan…

They

They  They have stolen the certainty stamp from the local post-office. They have franked themselves all over with black ticks. They have never lain awake at 3am, chewing the inside of their cheek. The windows and doors of their houses retain the gleam of someone with arms folded who says: ‘Told you so!’ Their children…

Dancing at the ball of our lives

      Dancing at the ball of our lives   (for Alison on her birthday)   I wear my new gold dress: the soft cling dress that doesn’t fit. You’re in a suit of mouse-coloured suede: tactile, sleazy, brave.   At the masked ball of our lives I ‘m sequinned with purple feathers. You’re…

On trying to make a point but failing

On trying to make a point but failing This is the truth, going under Under truth going And it’s because the Since wherever it was and This is a lie, starting over Isn’t as much as Like it never ought and well Proof’s in the eating and more as This is a lovely tight Corset…

Poem

  Poem  after Frank O’ Hara   Yesterday afternoon was a dance; today’s has been a trudge. No chance of sitting reading in the brilliant park No chance acolytes and diamonds.   You haven’t sent.. That accusatory tone. Better to go home and find your girl and her love making a chocolate cake.   Going…

Love-Object

  Love Object   In the shop- window. Passers-by stared in. I watched from across the road. I was frantic when gorgeous golden ones went in. Would they want to take a closer look? Would they want him wrapped? I paced all day, then all night, under the street-light. I smoked fifteen cigarettes. I ground…

Ask for Nothing

Ask for Nothing   (after Philip Levine)   Instead walk out alone in the morning heading out of town towards the arboretum just waking in the chill spring dawn; the dust risen from the steps of your trainers transforms itself into a fine red rain fallen earthward, not goddess gift, nor Easter token. The ash-trees…

6pm

6pm   I’ve always liked a versatile man who’s willing to do a turn or two when I come home from work, though unicycles and funny voices can quickly lose their charm. This one has the devil’s contours in his legs, (I run my nail inside a thigh, he begs for mercy!) say, ‘Do your…