Monday, 2 September 2013


The fish faced into the current,
Its mouth agape,
Its whole head opened like a valve.
You said, 'It's diseased.'

A pale crusted sore
Turned like a coin
And wound to the bottom,
Unsettling silt off a weed.

We hang charmed
On the trembling catwalk:
What can fend us now
Can soothe the hurt eye

Of the sun,
Unpoison great lakes,
Turn back
The rat on the road.

Sunday, 1 September 2013


How it makes of your face a stone
that aches to weep, of your heart a fist,
clenched or thumping, sweating blood, of your tongue
an iron latch with no door. How it makes of your right hand
a gauntlet, a glove-puppet of the left, of your laugh
a dry leaf blowing in the wind, of your desert island discs
hiss hiss hiss, makes of the words on your lips dice
that can throw no six. How it takes the breath
away, the piss, makes of your kiss a dropped pound coin,
makes of your promises latin, gibberish, feedback, static,
of your hair a wig, of your gait a plankwalk. How it says this –
politics – to your education education education; shouts this –
Politics! – to your health and wealth; how it roars, to your

conscience moral compass truth, POLITICS POLITICS POLITICS.

Ballad of the Morning After

Take back the festive midnight
Take back the sad-eyed dawn
Wind up that old work ethic
Oh let me be unborn.

After a night of travelling
How can it come to pass
That there's the same tongue in my mouth
The same face in my glass

Same light on the curtain
Same thirst in the cup
Same ridiculous notion
Of never getting up?

Cars stream above the city
The subway throbs below
Whirling a million faces
Like shapeless scraps of snow

And all these melting faces
Flying below and above
Think they are loved especially
Think they especially love.

This is a free country
The jails are for the bad
The only British dissidents
Are either poor or mad.

I put my classless jeans on
Open my lockless door
I breathe the air of freedom
And know I'm mad and poor.

Love is the creed I grew by
Love is the liberal's drug
Not Agape but Eros
With his Utopian hug.

And in the close, supportive
Environment of the bed,
He is liberty, equality,
Fraternity and bread.

That is the supposition
But I say love's a joke
A here-today-and-gone-tomorrow
Childish pinch-and-poke.

Perhaps I'll believe in something
Like God or Politics
I'd build those temples wider
But there are no more bricks.

Some women believe in Sisterhood
They've rowed the Master's ship
Across the lustful silver sea
On his last ego-trip.

And some believe in Housework
And a few believe in Men.
There's only one man that I want
And I want him again and again.

He sat down at my table.
He finished all the wine.
'You're nothing, dear, to me,' he said,
But his body covered mine.

And stoked the fiery sickness
That's done me to a turn
-The fool that chose to marry
And also chose to burn.

Burning, burning, burning
I came to self-abuse,
Hoping I'd go blind, but no,
It wasn't any use.

I see a mother and her child
Both turn with starving face.
And that's the story of our lives,
The whole damned human race.

My conscience is a hangover,
My sex-life, chemistry;
My values are statistics,
My opinions, PMT.

Beside my rented window
I listen to the rain.
Yes, love's a ball of iron,
And time its short, sharp chain.

The middle-aged say life's too short,
The old and young say 'wrong',
I'll tell you, if you don't like life,
It's every day too long.


The toadstool towers infest the shore:
Stink-horns that propagate and spore
Wherever the wind blows.
Scafell looks down from the bracken band
And sees hell in a grain of sand,
And feels the canker itch between his toes.

This is a land where the dirt is clean
And poison pasture, quick and green,
And storm sky, bright and bare;
Where sewers flow with milk, and meat
is carved up for the fire to eat,
And children suffocate in God's fresh air.

Untitled (from Songs of the Earth)