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We want to be heard –
us mutterers – we discontents
who can mussitate

I told you so –
because our righteousness
is so bloody close to Godliness

But we do not carry confidences
in such overbearing entities
and we would rather

leave prayers to those humbled
souls who kneel before altars
with their bare-faced soles

We malcontents will feed
in fast flowing streams
until they run with our blood –

torrents drip-drip-dripped
from our nail-hammered
word-wrung hands

Pinned up and posted –
just another Jesus Christ
expletive – re-fucking-tweeted

Pinballed

An incessant ring – ricochets
off cold button slappings –
leaves me rolled by misses
off others’ flickering wrists –

in a too-fucking-quickness

Punched untouchable parts
sing in summoned recoils
of ringtones – ready taunts
as another highest score rolls

against my own low tally

These lights and chimes
of mechanical retorts
wear down my defences
as my bent-to body flips

in my mind – fantasy ways

We keep quid balls rolling
We paddy-whack in arcades
of resized penny slots –
now upgraded to pounds

into adult-paying games

The Boundary Ghost

A crop of prime turf
is to my back
My thin brick perch digs in
to my lowered leg aches
after a blind walk from Ripe’s
church across three fields –
now sat stiffly in Chalvington

Here they face me –
Picknell’s dead family
Engraved stones staring out
at an unmarked boundary –
was it laid in my eye just now –
was it suggested by Robert
Who Departed This Life
February 7th 1869

A slab is sunk tightly
between three yews
It bears equal surnames –
set to unequal end dates –
to be kept In Loving Memory
More of his
relatives crushed
in their compressed beds

Then a blackbird’s repeated
yack-yack of late insistences
lifts me from that moment –
away from Robert’s ghost –
to have me rise
from that low wall
and to leave them all
well alone – for now
and to walk back across
that even outfield –
around his unmarked boundary

Selflessnesses

Do not be sofa bound
by reelings –
by spasms
off muscle contractions

under that uncommon label
of dystonia –
a low waiting room
for our stiff unknownings

Lift a half glass fully
to your lips
without occasional
spillings

Try to sleep for eight hours
without rum disturbances
and rise to daylight with ease
without drugs – without slowed fears

of standing upright and all
alone
again
each morning

Do not be afraid of night
or day
as your unseen naked pain
rides tight on your skin

Thought

Repeat after me that long-known word
Our first-person singular pronoun

I

Now hold off your birl of cogitations
about other lives spinning from you

Too fast!

They will only weave loose concerns
into your mind off slip stitched threads

We warm containers of

best before

do not sit too well if left too long on shelves

Sleep without disturbing your private view
Do not crowd others’ centre stage marks

Give in to rested dreams – only to those –
and you’ll not be sliced on such barbed wires

 

Labouring Under

There are no greater spurs to human indecency
than cheap shortcuts to wealth

be they lotteries or lies – they are muted calls
to hard work – to tilth

Plough blades rub to blunt – our ground is dry –
our blacksmith has gone

No more steady blows – that loss of his honest hammer
has left his anvil to ring with rust

Old fixed courses of love are smudged in your soft hands
on your quick-to-hold screen

where you advertise yourself to an online world of touches –
you’d resist them if in public

As if everything is circumvented by launches and innovations
as if every previous minute

of humanity is evenly compressed – every way is left to be forgotten
Everyone just wants to be rich

Commissions

To live at all is a miracle enough – Mervyn Peake

He wasn’t a signwriter by trade –
These dabblers have other uses
A wartime false commission
to inscribe – For Officers Only

on lavatory doors was sufficient
for Mr Peake to steal drawn hours
and cross-hatch his written lines –
to give rise to Lord Titus Groan –

to see an Earl born under Arundel –
for Mr Peake to guide Steerpike
to towering observation points
below matched scowled brows –

before our artist set his slow eye
among Belsen’s drawn atrocities –
before his mind was drained –
Mr Peake was a miracle enough

Again – Another Fall

Again
it is that time of year
of carcasses picked apart
by visits of daggered beaks

of leavings
of black stains
of crushed-to berry juice
of later felt stomach aches
spread like buckshot pellets

A stag is stretched –
set upturned –
laid out of the way –
dead parallel to passing traffic
with its legs rigid
in its last-struck gallop

Road kill –
it is that time of year
of car strikes
between Uckfield
and Halland
in Sussex
Again – another Fall

Rental

Hear them – those
too-near rushes
of combustion over tyre-rubbering

There – beyond my fence
I am just fifteen yards
from others’ entered destinations

This is a hermit life
but one with too much –
too much man-made stuff – such is soon useless

My sleep has re-aligned
as it did thirty-odd years earlier
to that of shift workers – once more an hour earner

I am a slow returnee
to my hollow house
of paid-for slept protection before one more day

This Bank Holiday Monday
sucks on my date-fixed time
as I lie bared-as-born on my artificial lawn

I must plant
some lavender in pots
My garden is not an insects’ paradise

My skin will blemish
under our turned-to sun
as my spread chemical vest of UV block – of factor fifty

unlocks and rolls off
under man-made laws
God wasn’t always for burning our butt-naked torsos

A Dead Lover In Marrakech

L. RIP

Let me push a pin
through your ignored Torah
and hear you read every
mounted page about your
butterfly death

You will not

Let us escape from shuls
with my love-foolish help –
you as another migrant –
you beautiful Jews are artists
too with guilty divisions

My choice

of this avenue with no shade
It is scooter-and-horn split
from Miaara’s left dead
Let me bury myself in you
instead

If you must

What Flies Above

Thank you, KP

We were sent down by a tipped sign
along a flint-chipped footpath
on Seaford Head’s composed arc

where we were done – smothered –
along with other unwary invitees –
by crowning flights of insects

which stuck to spitting tongues
and set knots in our tousled hair
Another small equalling by nature

We could only escape that plague
of on-the-wing silent irritants
by upping our uneasy walking pace

Then driven salvation from behind
And a car’s slammed-door
for our shutting out of flying ants

We were ferried down – in his Subaru –
by our grinning artist on his return
to a gentler swarm at that Cable Hut

yo-yo

you you spoke far too soon
’bout your last sandman
’bout that last sandman
’bout your spare fuck man
you you spoke far too soon
’bout men and squirting sex
and bad sex in warm rooms
you you spoke far too soon
’bout a man ’bout your sandman
’bout your sniffed white lines
’bout men limp in your bedroom
you you drunk you you drunk
in a bar with a man not Oman
with a man whom you you knew
a first cousin on your account
first cousins count as last lovers
you you spoke after five hangups
you you answered five before were
five unanswered lies after lies after
you you gave it a week a week
post-valentines after your card
cards swapped rarely by you you
control-alt-delete you you soon

Other Rings

It is not always possible to shake off worn things
such as tightening bonds or shortening memories
Feel them slow on each hour around an empty ring finger
You lost a clasped diamond and made a claim for payment
whilst seeking an arrangement with a rich man’s mounting
On whom you’ll spin with ease around his old stiffening fingers
You were chanced upon – for sale – a maiden’s old tale
Seeking an agreement to include sparkling benefits
Diamonds are et cetera – whilst you lie beside strangers

Coffee?

He walked her to her car
because his rare chance –
a quite rude assumption
of a kiss could improve

Their talk skipped to weather
and about recent high rainfall
and that expanse of blue sky –
those age-old silence fillers

They stood facing each other
He fumbled under his bravado
with a quickened giddiness
of mid-teen awkwardness

even at – his guess then –
their nearly-fused ages
of just over – or just under –
their shared centum of years

How keenly he craved
to sip fresh desire – at his age –
in a pay and display car park
having over-run
his paid-for time

A Dealer Calls

She flipped-into old apparitions
Then Acne-kid stood in her kitchen
with his mouth turned up high
My missus fuckin’ hates me dealin’

One word-blunt white line fixer
He’s still on to it – arf a gram
Fifty quid – No – No more for now
No point-six-measure – or nearishness

but – then – ten longer minutes later
he’ll do one (or – One more for mates)
It runs out yer nose – drips –
She fuckin’ knows I’m fuckin’ doin’ it

But Diamond Wife will not stop talkin’
I live it mate – her drunk mouth says –
One prefers a more tightened wrap –
as opposed to too-loosened stuff?

She likes ’em – those bullet capsules
with grinders
A quick-spun chamber
You’ ve not seen bullets? She hasn’t –
to laughter – You guys got my number?

Reading Circles

Concentric – a new whirlpool-word
found in my father’s
handed down encyclopedia –

when images of Stonehenge –
in line-drawn illustrations –
caught my crawled attention

When an unknown word
required my whole body to shift
and find another heavy book –

an Oxford English Dictionary
to finger flick through to trace
between com and cop to find con

and to be infected
by our endless language
Do not leave me alone with Roget