2014: Confirming Isolation

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I have seen Perseverance
land – left without friends
by its blasted carrier – sat
waiting for a signal …/

2013: DNRs

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He was comfortable
in his pyjamas – less
to undo [auld dignity
tied – a cord] …/

2012: Lost Afternoons

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She lay – lulled – alongside
& bared – stripped & under
her duvet – her slight-ness
[skinny heat & bone] & my
fleet lift [her in place] …/

2011: Ghost Signs

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We will become hand-painted memories
on brick walls left to pale over time – our
original fulgent urges will diminish until
…/

2010: Teenage Kicks

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In no time our ageing teenagers
will be dead – along with Teds &
Bikers & Mods [lost ambition of
rebellion will not be queuing …/

2009: Our Dust

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Our dust we still gather close
will whirl away – Find a space
to settle it for a while [before
it has gone] …/

2008: Southbank

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I have never used their
Millennium Bridge – At
Tate London diners sit
with readied menus to
hand – artwork hangs …/

Here – my kaleidoscope

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Here – my kaleidoscope –
I turned it on my left eye
& I was blinded by it – by
one so trying – I’ll see her
when I twist that tube …/

2006: Normal

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Now there is this utter
loss of purpose under
such necessary rules –
dignity dribbled away
…/

2005: Parlour Games

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Some will clamour to decipher
these lines [in spindly scripts] –
these forgettable pantomimes
which will never play aloud to
audiences …/

My Dad & Two Tone

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Even suits couldn’t smarten
his sneering – my father was
not keen on youth – his auld
ways on race were painful …/

2003: With Weight

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[I am told] let upset of dreams
carry no currency – then every
one of my last seven thousand
days [now foul] …/

Hannah’s Syndrome

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Sprays of spittle & a quick
rap of words [on a cheek] –
A smirk – superiority is her
nest – a narcissist’s hiding
place in open view – Do it!
…/

2001: A Death in the Family

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There will be less pairs of socks
to sort – her laundry basket has
missingness of heavier clothing
…/

1999: There is nothing left

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There is nothing left on parted
lips [no words] – no expression
of intent – there’s no embrace –
no affirmation – there’ll be less
…/

1998: Thick snow

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Thick snow – but last year’s
fast bowler run ups will not
allow it to settle – as if their
indents have left a low heat
…/

1997: Her Chorus

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My old regret’ll crawl forward
[with each stir of my night] &
a slip in my bath & then crack
of my skull will let them seep
…/

1996: Low Breath

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These cycles
of sleeping –
of waking to
repeats of a
disturbance
…/

1994: As painful as this is

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As painful as this is
it will change & our
doubts’ll disappear
[no acetic perfume
to drown in]
…/

That’s it

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I will not push to
forget your other
imperfections – a
mole or a scar
…/

1990: Lost Horizon

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Oona O’Neill held her milk
for photographers as Jerry
wrote her love letters from
his posting – she married a
tramp in California …/

1985: My Sunday best to bag up

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I wear such an unhappiness
every day – sunlight is never
enough to wither auld algae
[nor heal rotten roof timbers
or fix my rattling memories]
…/

1983: Stages

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There was that density
in Catholicism – shade
in ambers & granite – a
mob of belief – prettier

Lillie’s Shot

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Muzzle-dropped as her
lips sip upon dew & all
that she touches & that

1978: Future Rooms

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There may be rich mosaics
fitted & jig-sawed [by blunt
blades] & set uneven by so

1976: Weir Kisses

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Where a laggard canal met Old Father
Thames sat a dingy rowing club on an
island that was formed by an engineer
& God’s whimsies [they did not confer]
…/

1974: As if I am living

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As if I am living in holiday
accommodation – alone/
My bathroom’s extractor
cannot shift sweaty air – a
mist across every cell-day
…/

Her mother [& her sister]

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Her mother [& her sister]
would hover over jewels
ploughed from my hour-
rates [designing shite] …/

1965: Your Field of Reeds

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Your fields of reeds are beyond
your chase of mattocks in dust
for fragments in back-breaking
…/

1964: Wrecker

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My fortress of unasked love
has been pulled down – my
windmill & centre has been
kicked in …/

1963: She was born a liar

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She was born a liar – named it too
as if blessed by such to fool men/
I forgave every one until my heart
broke [anger rushed to fix such]/
…/

1962: After John 16/22

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[So with you] Now’s our
hour of grief – say I’ll see
you again/ We will meet
…/

1961: I am walking towards

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I am walking towards
our moon [our vowel-
ghost suddenly close]

in a field bordered by
moss-hipped trees – it
will see sham gardens
…/

1959: Infected

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Such a thrub in my
mouth – pus gobs –
a twisted yank of a
tooth & there’ll be
…/

1956: Inequalities

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When decrepitudes become
inequal [such as it’ll be with
an older husband] there is a
guarantee [actual] outcome
…/

1955: Enucliation

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My eyeballs have been
removed & left in a jar –
what do I see? Our life
in a vase of cloud …/

1954: This State

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Missiles – jabs & quids
for our cash-rich lads/
All that our geo-politic
state grates …/

1951: I can not recall

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I can not recall
you taking any
selfies with me
[so seeing your
picture on that
site [self-aware
…/

1950: I have sat in a cell

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I have sat in a cell
[although not yet
arrested – never –
but held there for
an easier life for a
…/

1948: I was a moth

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I was a moth
pulled to her
flame – an ill
denial of age
by my heart –
my ignitions –
struck by her
& so she sees
how I’ll flare
…/

When that snot &

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When that snot &
tears swill ‘nough
[to make it feel as
if I have drowned
in my warm pool]
…/

1946: Herding

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Now we have our streets awash
with returning school kids – now
we will avoid those [deodorised]
oiks – gaggled off fogged buses
…/

1945: This winter

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This winter will not be good/
My ‘chute is ripped & jumps
are stopped – no returning to
Israel & beautiful things/ It is
…/

[& now]

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[& now] that poisonous
hit of port-barrelled-ish
whisky – whisky after a
bottle of red – it’s not a
good idea…/

1943: Blanking auld thoughts

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Blanking auld thoughts
is my pastime during a
year of living without a
family [my convict trick
to conquer listlessness
…/

1942: Plant a tree

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Plant a tree under
whose shade you
will not sit [advice
from a monk] …/

1941: Such dishonesty

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Such dishonesty [it’ll follow
you like a hungry pup – that
you took from us] – priests’ll
reduce your quitting ghosts
…/

1939: Future Parent Evenings

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I would hang out with you
[but I may get slapped by
your sad mother following
lies sold by you to trip me
…/

1938: Friday Beers in Lewes

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We watch a bonfire drunk
[furloughed] who’ll writhe
ahead of us – from pub to
pub – guided by his scowl
…/

1937: Anamorphic

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Anamorphic – such words
challenge dulled abilities –
focusing of tongue turns –
of lips & mouth/ Thoughts
trimmed to fit all apertures
…/

1934: That moment [this morning]

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That moment [this morning] as
I ploughed up rancid thoughts/
My earbud batteries were long
flat – so no dull of painful recall
& disturbances from my recent
…/

1932: Kaparot Is Not

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There will be more days of atonement
for others [with or without chickens to
take on human sin]/ Kaparot is not on
my to-do list
…/

1931: The River Doctor

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A gull dips to river water
& excretes a downwards
pressure [concentric dib
& waft across tensioning
surfaces]
…/

1929: Working in Scotland

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Working in Scotland
[for a Scottish man]
she found a room in
Garnethill [actresses
got hourly rate
…/

1927: Herding

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I have to guide his words through
narrowings – skittishness – a flock
of unintelligent beasts with single
furrows – they say – less ideas
…/

1926: Kids

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Glyndebourne’s turbine
is that active youth high
on my quick horizon/ In
my foreground a spire’s
weathercock [in uniform
…/

1924: She was a graceful thing

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She was a graceful thing
who did not mind my eye
on her skin – or hands – a
song for her – alone – see
her way among old men?
…/

1923: As A Freelancer

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As a freelancer I understand that there will be quiet days – there will be occasional periods of not billing …/

1922: My hand is on

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My hand [it’s on a Jewish bride‘s
breast]/ No other connections to
that once-woman – she is lost to
her darkness – of no more being
…/

1921: This Paperboy

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I greet sunrise with Scout
& note our later starts [as
we head into October
…/

1920: Read Less Hardy

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These laodicean daily moments
are not unusual – I listen less to
news – I have no faith – no lover
to worship [or mirror my ways]
…/