May

May   (after James Schuyler)   I’m squinting at the horizon. The sun I can’t see but its hands are on me even though I’m not outside. I’m leaning over a balcony in New York even though I’ve never been there and I won’t be going next month. I remember the first of April as…

As We Don’t Know

As We Don’t Know (after John Ashbery) All that we feel is permeated by it – Cherry-blossom, yes, that old pastoral let’s not mention, get all Japanese, think of wedding fixtures; arcing trees. You presented to me your city which was not a city but was my city and I gave you everything that wasn’t…

The shadow-children’s birthing partner cracks under the strain

The shadow-children’s birthing partner cracks under the strain It’s an accomplishment, this slipping through the eye of a blade of glass, a grass pane crack, down a ginnel, past a church slime wall without looking up towards tonight’s moon which is always full and extra weight deems you earthbound, your white moon belly with its…

Hotmail

Hotmail Upstairs in the post-offce at the bottom of Belfast High Street a woman hands out pound coins for thirty minutes online and a reguar cappucino. Her username’s ‘Ruby’. Her password’s ‘Daffodil1′. The egg-timer twirls after she logs on to Internet Explorer for an infuriating amount of time. If her husband had been with her…

hours

hours he wandered out of the blue away from his shadow and the window-frames leaned in and the shadow stretched away inside that hour where last notes quivered above coffee in polystyrene cups and all the other hours became indigo, violet and you’d surely be rewarded for your waiting in the not-dawn of improbable light-beams,…

Variations on a theme by William Carlos Williams

Poem for April 21st Variations on a theme by William Carlos Williams (after Kenneth Koch) 1. I set fire to the derelict house which was your only means of shelter. I’m sorry but the lighter was new and I get bored around six and the flame was so enticing. 2. We laughed at the lambs…

Ash-rise

Poem for 20th April Ash-rise let’s pretend we’re alone in an empty house which came here in the Gothic season and that the house was not a facade but had dimensions and ghostly herds grazing in its passages behind which fortune lines seemed to ridge and light cringed from the sentence of elevators and stairwells,…

In the night garden

Poem for 18th April In the night garden I wasn’t there but, I heard, the birds, looking for planes, were restless. No, I was there, and it was the Amazon all of a sudden, and hummingbirds flickered through my hair or then again it might have been Iceland: the white belching core of the volcano…

Frocks

Poem for 17th April Frocks Each of the flowers in the bouquet the woman from Interflora brought into the garden by the side-gate had already seen too much of the world: lemon daisies as pretend pale suns dominated mauve freesias, and tiny frilled pinks like shells bobbing in seaweed trees. The lilies were the most…

Speck

Poem for 16th April posted late Speck Green-gold bubbles in your Appletiser fuss around a black plastic straw. Another pub, another day in this uneasy life when you think you’re dying; that your heart’s giving in. Nothing reassures you: not the perfect ECG print-outs pinned to the notice-board not pulse-readings that are more than fine;…

Partly underground

Partly underground We were going to live partly underground. So much shot over powder: don’t say ‘cast me a steady toplit mountain’, causing a volcano to erupt in Iceland and ground all flights out of and into the UK. Manifesto follows manifesto into a multi-hued muddle. Patrons of desperate causes have already thrown out the…

TV Dinner

TV Dinner Back from a walk to the shops that nearly did you in you pull a pack of Bakewell fingers from a blue plastic bag, eat two, make me tea then eat chocolate because the pulse says you haven’t got long. Meanwhile, the crackpot chef serves a Regency dinner: cocks’ testicles like like glace…