She stands as she presses
[a hot flat curse by her sex]
at an obdurate crease –
not her finest ironing

Her reproach is thin mist
over her too-quick
Welshman slumped below her
Lovely – as ever – is unheard

inside their stained rooms
on steam and smoke days –
coughs of poked coal
suffer too by spotted damp

She is not loving anger’s
post-war monochrome –
Kodak and snapped charcoal
sketches will not hold her

6lbs of jelly babies, Mister
A smack ’round yer head son
Her boredom swells
and she is too gone to stop

and prepare for blood’s colour
From foul names and bin-dirty words
he is sent to meet an apology
Rain tips needle him

He’s only a sweet stall keeper –
but a good son to someone
We had lots of fun –
me and Ma – just being alive

Everything was a slow exhale –
his soot trumpet breath blows
He looks baritone to everyone
but she sees a pathetic man-child

Night Management

It requires –
wrote an author –
a total abdication
of intellect

It does not offer
easy balances –
less so under
a tightened blindfold

It kills your craft –
a single bullet
spat through
a silencer’s hollow

It is every other
which nuncupates
slyly exclude

It explores you
with a soft tongue
turning your voice
into foolish gasps

It demands stupidity
and subjugation
Do not confuse them –
love and wet sex

Same River

It is impossible to maintain
a constant perspective

Heraclitus often reflected
between wept moments

Democritus often laughed
at blubbed floods of words

A month’s worth of rain
fell in one single day

Hellingly’s bi-sainted church
sits above our Cuckmere’s threat

from change-swollen reaches –
wet acts of Peter and Paul’s god

You stood naked in our risen river –
that serpent slips – a gelid rising

You were bare at its quick confluence
with a rushed stream – name unknown

I found you in bed with a clay figurine
Sussex has a hundred words for mud

A Daughter Lies

She rolled her stone-grey eyes
around my emptied house

She stared – hexed –
under her god-given right to be there

She – again – screamed too loudly –
I’m not going anywhere

She was present – moored safely
by her storm-dropped anchor

She unfettered her throaty gob –
spittle built in her foam-filled mouth

She spewed thrice-sworn spat words –
hatred spluttered out

She shouted again
and her vent dripped down my open shirt

She was an execrating creature
with stitched-back red lips

She turned her unmarked right palm out –
this pain was her last gift

She glared from grey marbles –
clicking – as her eyes flipped wild

She slapped with her right hand –
opened out – she rouged my cheek

She always looked more frightened than me
being an arrant fool

Mad Men

Don Draper said –
is of Hellenic origin –
an old sensation –
pain from a wound

Don Draper pitched
in a dimmed meeting room
as he – Don Draper – spun
his so-subtle remorse
via a sentiment-filled –
brand spanking new –
Kodak – a Carousel!

Don Draper quoted Greek
at less fortunate men –
Kodak’s suited marketeers –
who shed rolled tears too
as Don Draper sold his love
on an advance button

That softest sell –
a hard-pressed remote
connected to a hot projector
made in Rochester – New York
Never buy quotable poetry –
even Don Draper’s will not do

Our Cemetery of Companions

You will allow yourself
to re-settle
into old comforts
on his threadbare sofa

and then enter into
a layered removal
from this other man
full of arguments –

from a disagreeable
who lives uneasily
by designing trip hazards
and elephant traps

In that room air will double
beyond that level
required for meditation
and a balanced life

Find a neutral buoyancy
by letting your lungs
half-fill with his kisses
Do not sink to him

A Deal

If I paid you in cash
would that make
meeting up
an easy trade to do –

without those afflictions
brought on – again –
by your loud dam?
(How she stage-whispers

in your shell-like –
that ear-piercing hiss
about your choice of men
and your other failings)

You never liked her
enough – be honest – love –
your mother’s devotion
will not be won – not yet

If I paid you in cash
would you lie down
for me? Currently (I see)
there is no queue

but then my appetite
for easy ways
seems long spent –
Let me pass on that deal


Do not throw anger
back at your other
unless you are ready
to stoke their ire –
redoubled surelye
by your avoiding eye?

Do not find focus
by pin-pricked pain –
held in narrow
concentrations –
unbroken – then set
to scorch again

Your steady point
of magnified aims –
that glass you do not
use to explain –
instead is held
to summon a flame

Do not mark your other’s
yet burnt skin
with borrowed light –
such scarring
will not fade
with time’s passing

Let us idle by pints
and half-cubed shorts
to steady our nerves –
to refine our remarks
and look without trying
to see less censed lies

Check this out on Chirbit


I study there in your sudor pool
which through this night is drip-fed

off your hips and thighs in twists
where your legs are no more your legs

but become – as shown in textbooks
your annotated groin – with pointers

Here is your barrow – lightly grazed
Here is your sliced mound – raw

In my geography – in my history –
in my biology classes – I looked away

Now – older – I work at my lessons –
although I am coming to them late

on this foundation course – of sorts –
of how-to and not-to evening lectures

You kneel down – as my flesh lectern –
and with your open mouth

help me regain my lost confidence –
under instruction – you guide me in study

I Said

Those three words
were declared
too quickly for you
by my slow tongue –
with a cluck of uv

Spilt – splattered
like my milk
from my missed
breakfast spoon –
three spills
mopped by you

Let them dry
and mark our time –
still too short of hours
to curdle
to ferment
to be quite – yet

those three words
were spent
by my slow tongue
having found
no other words
to gift to you

To Sleep

Entwinements of sweat
fill this floatation tank –
flooded by drips off sex

as we lap at salt and skin
with gluttonous tongues
in our unbashful fucking

All we see is unseen
fingering and penetration
in our deep-diving minds

as we couple-up into eases
of our ache-numb limbs –
softening in worn lips

We fall into that sudden sleep
of found love’s discomforts –
Never wake from such reverie

Picking Fruit

There must be a word
for that gritty-ish crackling
of a blackberry’s uncomfortable
remnant – unground – jammed –
bloody unsuckable
from your pitted left molar –

stuck among soot succulences
and odd-chanced bitternesses
Seasonal pickers had a word
for every moment of pleasure –
and one for inequal measures –
such piques are now called love

This Effect of You

To J.S.

It is now measurable –
this effect of you –
by improved
qualities across my skin

You are layer-healing
a soft fixer of
my ripped tiers
and light filler of erosions

You are still as radiant
when back-lit
by another day’s sun
as you run to me

Across you
my dared fingers scan
with ten eyes more
than first had looked

This is our skin tale
of with in and with on
Our time teases us
by obligated constraints

Record it in a diary of sorts –
typeset in italic recall
Dance for me
and my eyes will join in

Waking Naked

To J.S.

Waking without you
stretched and pinned
like a readied canvas

bared and laid to light
to be brush-touched
is my missingness

Where my fingers dip
is temporarily lost
along with each kiss

placed as unsaid love –
that naked word
sits readied on my lips

A Dead Lover In Marrakech


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

If you must

1,000 New Church Road, Hove

His twisting right foot
takes him past that door
where she had twice –
maybe more
quick-scurried through

up double-took steps
to a fat goatee face
which she’d anointed hard
with two monkeys’ worth
of her itching kisses

One thousand more
than he had accrued
in those thousand days
of running aways?

As his turned-on-heel
takes another’s embrace
which lifts him higher
as his suddenly-lover

No more counting
or care
of steps now rhymed
and left unnumbered

First Person Singular

From my Mass Observation Notes 12th June 2017

I am both fully awake and in pain at seven-forty AM
I am now learning a new word – Imprimatur
I am feeling a rough poem coming on
I am taking the rake of our stairs with care
I am making two teas in the fitted kitchen
I am climbing the stairs with two mugs of tea

We are drinking cooled tea in our double bed
We are discussing how much the day will cost

I am reading the headlines on my smartphone
I am now stiffly rising from our double bed
I am now stood showering
I am singing loudly to Clair from the shower
I am checking my emails as I dry my body
I am dressing as Clair showers and talks
I am listening to Clair’s words
I am listening to Clair’s tone of voice
I am watching Clair dry herself
I am telling Clair that I love her more than chips
I am leaving our house in a sudden rush
I am walking with my stick to the high street
I am at breakfast with four other husbands
I am ordering a Full English Breakfast and latte

We are talking about last night’s comedy show
We are talking about imported lawn mowers

Glen is now paying for all the breakfasts

I am walking back to the house on my own
I am now stopped at my favourite park bench
I am on my smartphone checking my emails
I am now standing up and turning to home
I am now back at my emptied-out house
I am suddenly greeted by our small dog
I am walking the dog up and down roads
I am sorting the recycling bin on the drive
I am lending Otto my Karcher pressure washer
I am walking up the garden to my shed
I am sat at my desk in my shed
I am sending and receiving emails on my PC
I am doing kid management on my smartphone
I am redesigning Cars3 experiential space for Goodwood
I am re-rendering FatBoy Slim’s DJ booth in Lumion
I am reading a new brief for a design to be completed today
I am walking slowly from my shed on uneven slabs
I am eating a rushed lunch of cold beans and toast
I am walking back up the garden to my shed
I am being hassled by clients by email on my smartphone
I am Whatsapping our kids to sort childcare tonight
I am opening my shed door and stepping up with care
I am sitting at my high desk whilst waiting for a reboot
I am listening to The Archers whilst working on my PC
I am hassled by another text on my smartphone
I am hassled by the wife to get to personal trainer at four PM
I am managing and meeting my design deadlines
I am rendering out 3D models in Lumion
I am designing an exhibition stand
I am listening Gardeners Question Time on Radio 4
I am making more more changes to Cars3
I am postponing the personal trainer on my smartphone
I am thinking about tomorrow’s poem

Clair is now back from her hair appointment

I am commenting positively on the change

Clair is setting me a countdown to theatre-leave-time

I am finishing what I can to meet my deadlines
I am now shutting down my PC

We are rushing to get out the house

Clair is driving our car
Clair is worrying about her mum
Clair is not saying much
Clair is filling up the car with petrol at Tescos

We are now in Eastbourne
We are watching the first half of the play
We are now sitting outside in the interval

I am watching a smoker light up

We are discussing the show

I am conscious that my legs are hurting
I am checking social media on my smartphone

We are now heading back in to the show
We are leaving the venue after the show

I am now stuck at fifty-three
I am now treated like I am eighty-three

We are looking for our car on the seafront

I am being driven home in the dark
I am trying to find out more about Clair’s feelings

We are now arriving home
We are entering the house in silence
We are being greeted by the dog

I am locking the back door
I am switching off the last light
I am climbing the stairs

We are now in bed
We kiss goodnight

She is turned from me

Unforgiveable Acts

Euphoria is only possible
by uncoupling from affray

She rolled me over so far
that I am now low – cowed

by a fear of never forgiving
her – my youngest’s mother

I lie in beds of others’ sighs
and wake to complications

I fail to recognise myself
in their bathroom mirrors

My pilferage of toothpaste
becomes my regular crime

along with naked promises
of being a polished surface

No smears from her fingering
is my implausible defence

A Price to Moor

You have found
a preferred supplier
My observance
is contracted out

Small service
is true service
he said –
but for you
it was always in doubt

You took that
online attention
and confused it
with some kind of love

Now you live
in your house by a river
where mirrors
reflect your old doubts

I found your profile
but then found
that you lied to us both