Real Chang Mai Night Market

Genuine fakes
why leave
why leave?

Here the lights
sometimes not lie
about LV bags
sat above silver
winking watches

Here in the food market
The Nolan Sisters sing
streamed off Spotify

Here fat white men
plod with Thai wives

We could be in London
and the list rolls out
of brands and lies
here in Thailand


It is drizzle


the fine rainfall which is fixing
as the mass of coats and hoods
pass around the stadium
in an unholy circled attendance
at Saturday’s Mecca

Pies and chips

washed by beer

and kids swigging at bottles

now weaned from their mothers
to attend this mainly male church

Here to learn the hymns
and repeated mantras
passed down

No matter


The area code was known
to me

and for a few footsteps
I wished it was bad news

such that would end it all

my troubled family history
which crawls from me
could be sorted within seconds

instead it is another person
calling from the same place

and not the dialled news
of a family death


I thought Fuck It
and pulled in at the pub

I found the weight
of a heavy beer
more appealing
than dry dumbbells

here the men were dead

glued into stiff poses
by the LED screen
as Man City kicked badly
and missed crisps fell
from their mouths

In the morning I will pull
three hundred calories
for us all


I am itch-rolled

curled on my side
of our double bed

my head sandwiched
between pumped pillows

whilst you are spread wide

until that breakfast tray
arrives at your door

and the cooled order
is admitted

Public Bar

Six collies stitched
an unseen thread
among the table legs
of the public bar

more dogs than drinkers

but the pub was good

and the beer sat well
as we touched again

Then on the forecourt
we pressed mouths
in a guilty kiss
tasting of bitter and gin

West Pier

It may have been the 1970s –
it may have been Brighton –
but no one can confirm
when my father saved a pier

I was railing high –
navigating the gaps in the planks
with a slender fear –
a cheap thrill
as you walked above the sea –

and below – under the bolted timber –
waves hypnotised the iron work

The tang of salt over candyfloss
was taken up like Friars’ Balsam
through your head –
as we passed the rides
Dad saw smoke

a daft smoulder rising up
from the deck
and we stopped – bent –
to look for timbers –
for them burning

but it was just
a cigarette butt
still curling

PC 883 -as he was at work –
called out to an attendant
and the fag was drowned
with a red bucket –
marked ‘FIRE’



The House My Father Built

I am still weighted by the dream
of a house being built
by my long-dead father
It wasn’t him – but some stand-in –
and the details in the windows –
where colour was etched to capture
the hills and home of deer
so that the past could be lined-up
with the correct view and angle

A small leak in the high roof
and paint trod into the carpet
and cut timber remained
and an improbable kitchen –
which we mentioned lightly –
and it was likened to a shooting range
He had been a good shot


The Chair

I removed your top

folding it over the chair
and knelt below you
to your call to prayers

I kissed your hips
and praised your skin

you fed on my breast
as I thickened again