War Poets

Paul Verlaine’s Chanson d’automne
was coded – still popular poetry –
to give notice –

his long sobs of French-sung violins
declared an Allied invasion
to those listening

Whilst she never understood speeches
of love – and our common
mistakes –

I would rarely read to her – she rarely read
my mutterings – my weight-pared
compositions

She never understood what was being said
She found poetry too difficult
her own résistance


Breathing Out

This is an interval, ein Augenblick
Philp K. Dick

Before your lake – we stood naked
and overconfident in such ease –
having lost our cold distrusts
in earlier bared dips and slow strokes

Your surrounding land is disconnected
through every minute by our staying afloat
as we mark our desire path of currents
with briefly sunken bubbles

Over that unmeasured depth of secrets
below my grabbable limbs
you whisper – again – of being taken
and my fear of drowning is reawakened

There is a dry patch on your neck
that emits a hazy whiff of chlorine
There are no known medical conditions
to explain your chemical sweat

You break the surface from your dive
as if expelled by buoyant hate
having brushed my shrunken parts
whilst playing with my sinking fears

It takes seconds for your eyes
to open – birthed in that brief ooze
of broken tensions – we have no rope
to pull us from our uncharted abyss

We Lay

We lay parallel on your sofa
as if raft-bound – beached –
rolled tight into hard intimacy –
into another urge of pushes
and pulls – you are so slight
that it seems almost fictional
An unexpected blast of verse
as rare as washed up ambergris
is our mute communion of sex

Home Improvements

Your buck of a builder arrives
in his sign-written truck
they belong
to your dull stepfather –
both the van and the man

and in your imagination
you have used his hands –
calloused – to fix things
in your mind – everyone knows
how these things develop

You returned from a night in Brighton
red-eyed – smelling of men –
of booze and wrecked
He had driven you and your sister
home
Such a gent

A Markov Chain

Your single dice is rolled and fixes
the next move of your red counter –
and then things – like probability –

also occur by your releases –
all observed by him – Markov –
who winks at you and your tits –

We are grey with tiredness –
our dog will sleep until our gate
is pushed to allow steps on gravel

and your return from Markov’s place
with your trolley bag of dirty linen
labouring behind you – suited to city life –

There – stand and stare at bare flowerbeds
and desire for small hints of weeds
to not return to this squared garden –

Let us no longer play games of chance –
Markov has your breasts cupped
and will now roll you across his bed