I smiled thinly
grinning him down
from the peak of his wife’s affection.
for so I was,
I climbed a vacant chair, a throne,
merrily thumping straight-legged.
The joy, mine alone.
pub-rushed and boozy,
on coming home sat in a seat
heated by someone else’s arse.
We all bounced our secrets around the room in silence.
Razored through the rub,each considered mark
an artist’s insinuation,
stretched sinuous, black,
sure as coal.
Asserting primacy of
image over word,
and in stark revenge,
I approach a
Rothko in a room.
the brush of a pen,
and thumbed into
red to print,
a sentence as horizon
to barely visible hate;
a swept wash
of pale skin, nibbed
to puncture and relate,
delivered to paper
than any artist could wring from their mix.
It’s unclearthis pic
when it went
from black and white
Its filmy gloss
got gradations of grays
A forgotten beach
and unfamiliar happiness.
Me in an ecstasy looking up,
clasping your big hand.
Her majesty’s wreath
gets carefully placed
at the Cenotaph’s foot.
Followed by those of her family,
who, dressed in full regalia,
are representing the armed services.
Then one from Her Government,
followed by more from political parties
and a regiment of commonwealth nations.
The Last Post sounds.
The march past comes.
But then, in a break with tradition
she is assisted by her ladies-in-waiting,
and dons her cloak of Invisibility
and with her newly acquired powers
she goes up to war widows and orphans,
and with gloved hands does the hitherto unthinkable-
awkwardly hugging folk.
the page’s fog.
dying breath meanings
over our eyes.
Their faintly irregular pulses
to some memory we dare to allow.
Last week the Nazis were busy, stripping flesh and muscle from bone,
flamethrowers burned travellers in crammed train compartments.
I watched the skins go in the heat, then the veins bubble and flare,
muscle and sinew blacken then vaporise like film on fire.
This week, they were back. They crammed in through the front door
shuffling shoulder to shoulder filling my grubby house.
A woman who presents home improvement shows on telly
supervised. Furniture got smashed and thrown out of windows.
Garbled German shouts as the rooms are trashed. The Nazis squeeze
back out through the door, their collective boots echo down the stairs.
The woman is appalled she has let this happen, but as I look around
the house it is white and gleaming and through my terror think
“This is actually fine.”
If you really care about a word,its inferences and associations
dance about you when you read it,
the same way that lovers dance about
each other when they sit
and stare into each other’s eyes.
When I look at a distant star
I am already there
In the looking
I am there in the past
And here in the now
I am not a traveller
For I am everywhere
The Universe is Love
Is not a metaphor
In my most scurrilous dreams
I go to the shops, make tea,
maybe read, or walk around the house I live in
during the regular day.
I waste the chance to fly,
to rub the lamps of sleep.
On waking, I smile at this,
knowing these ordinances of self-denial
are commenting on the surrealism
of my everyday existence.
Car after car stays unmoved as the lights go
green to red to green
a cyclists slices through the clogged artery
I search for the original thought
which will transport me to a new page