On reading Yoko Ogawa







Washing thinly waves of air.

Undulant echoes

Which soon will be

Not there.

They then dance

Into memory

If you wish,

And that is how her sentences


An expert brush


Rice paper.

For Alisdair

I loved you.
With your donkey jacket
and hessian bag.
Your fat Fonz face

Your hopeful notes of set lists,
stage setups and half nicked songs.
Your half bottle in your inside pocket.

Tuesdays in the pool room till the pubs opened.
Then the tales, the adventures.
You became voluble when soluble.

Courting oblivion,
You tried to pull it back at the end,
But I could be so unforgiving.


I sit at the beach where waves
slash the shore . On a chair, I sit knitting
the sea with the sand
my feet in a red basin

Filled with warm water, as the tide pushes in
And laps over the basins edge
The water gets colder.
My feet and lower legs are marble

I can add to the picture

What I’m knitting is green and blue
And glistening and stretches for miles.
It’s never ending and my arms are tired
But I know I can continue,

(I have a bag of words to feed on
And what I’m knitting will be
My blanket at night)

Even if this never ends.

Carpentry of Nothingness

We fuck, desperately
banging atoms together
in the furious hope
one spins off,
to clandestinely collide with otherness,
like sweatbeads flying from flicked hair
as our consciousnesses lose themselves
seeking to mingle blindly in the ecstasy of now.

We collect silences,
haphazardly hammered together,
and this carpentry of
where unsaid half-sentences
writhe and interlace
like an orgy of cold-blooded snakes
or the awkwardness of overfamiliar strangers,

has been built
by two folk well aware of where the nails go.

Letting Go

You opened a hand,

You let it go.

You looked down,

The hand was a fist.

You opened the hand,

You let it go.

You looked down again,

The hand was still a fist.

You opened the hand

And let it go.

You closed your eyes,

You could feel the fist.

You imagined opening a hand.