The Room

There it is again, so faint

The soft footfall of the nurse’s shoe

In this awful corridor, refreshed

In the palest cream.

There are the glass shelves

On which lie tubes and cold steel.

You see them in the surgeon’s hand.


The trundle beds, too

Pushed into side wards;

So many buses, end on end;

All steel and blue mattress.

Parked. Waiting.

Then there it is.

A small room with glass doors to a balcony.

She never stood there,

Nor felt the sun.

It was, then, too late.

The curtains were drawn.

Pass the Hat

You can leave your change in it if you want
Perhaps you could carefully empty the coins
Put it on and be dragged to the ceiling
The last act is to form an image, an imprint
by which we all pull down from above
to recall, to include you in the proceedings

Perhaps as time wears on the lights that provide
that illumination are wiped free of the grime
the accumulation we think is time but is simply
particles passing through the space we occupy
the wisdom of fickle beginnings does not evolve
through the entire process and prepare you for
the need of it as we unlodge before we escaped

There is a lot of holes in our neighborhood
where they flyed away that night
there are so so many souls missing
it is not funny to think of their bodies
there are no bodies
only the holes they left
they never took them to be fixed
so their unique pattern
means nothing to the process

Pass the hat but not too fast
you can see it training along
crawling along the line
you know it’s coming
and you may never want to wear it

water, sky

I left my shoes in the car, slid down

to the river, walked along the grass

where the water had risen. The rain

fell but I saw the sun, hazed up-stream,

east toward Cambridge & ducks glide

in the shallow pools between the trees

where my feet cool. I’m high of course

because it’s Saturday morning;


& if my son wasn’t on my shoulders & my joints

didn’t hurt, I might trace the source or

anyway just walk long ways, wade

in the water, the wide sky. One day


I quit. Dig a niche, stare

at the clouds that blow east like a dream

that rolls on &


think about this day after rain when the water’s high

& the sky lightly veiled.

days like this

days like this

on days like this
cats sit tucked
between the curtains
and the glass
looking up to the
top of and the
bottom of the rain
people turn to
baking in warmed
kitchens and
in the frame the
dancers round the
village square in
a breughel rustic
come to life
drunk on ale
on the days like
this the rain
unpacks its orchestra
in our hearing
and you remember
every spilt drop
on days like

noJab V’s the cdc

the leaves returned, and left,
without my noticing. in summer
they hide the mountains.
passion-noticed once I thought
would be my leafage, being hollywood
-diminutive, fond of the mirror’s two
-page definitive

guide—a leave-her-gasping kind
of looter. afterwards, maturer,
I wanted…always wanted—a
thing of Zenful actualness…
but what a painful task!
is easier

to amplify the flame,
the burn, of self, called ‘Me’
than extinguish this! the glass,
the Image, mercury—
and where, in this, am I
the Am? tree

is not without
the earth, nor Earth the
other properties.

when I’m on the forklift
I view the actors
in the branches, in their bit parts
bare and free. I watch them
from the press
as I’m waiting the retraction of the ram,

and on the floor, where the grey winter
mud, from the large machinery, cakes
the concrete pad—the hardest ask
of anything I sought, the baring of
the ego to the root, the paring of the trunk
flesh back to sap, and what the leaf
thereof…the trees are not
natives so they shed their foliage.

they grow large leaves easily
vibrated in the slightest currents.
I love that …middle road, some Self,
a silent ego, balanced, nonsense,
when necessary; areas of seriousness
when the nonsense catches fire,
and philosophies, aflame, have parents
injecting flame retarders into the narrow
veins of narrow newborn arms.





In the dark I’m remote from what you call Personality. Nothing but nerve and guts

like flowers that shoot, up when you enter the room and I’m yours if you want.


For an hour, a minute. All night I can do nothing; text the dead, fix the gap of door/ and

jamb. In the mind: I trace


the index finger: air, contours of furniture, cracks,

slant of white light across the wall.


On your back at 2 o’clock you twist the ring around your finger.

I know you’re there. Don’t you feel it’s better like this.

Deny Hope

The more absorbed by it
The further away we become
Inside we are tearing a deaf scream
Inside we realize we are the ones that are confused
But we fail to consciously acknowledge it
You can see it I can tell
I will belong to you
The cut of your dress
To look you in the shoe
Shame in my eyes
Could never meet your own
Then the rest would really know what it’s like
The screaming grows within us
Silence in a pool of dreams
Led by a charmers glance
Burn your doubts and tumble away dreams
Gift it back with song
It belongs to us
Give me the words
You can see
The rest of them don’t
I know you believe
No matter what she sees
Tell my lover to come back to me


We hurled it up off the floor. 10 foot high/ four across.

Like a crucifix. It was.


I’d driven in from Damascus. 6-inch bloody nails. The first:

the head bent on the third


blow so I had to claw the cunt off and Jimmy’s giving me shit: hit

the fuckin thing straight. Christ


the man’s in mortal fucking pain but otherwise taking it good.

Cursing under his breath. That’s all.


Fuck me some days I wish it was me but I’m not fit

to even cry & I got no business to.

A Man’s Smile

There was metal in his leg and his back

So it was an effort to make boats he could not sail.

He used his little strong hands to cut and shape toi toi.

He pulled out the fibre and made outriggers and masts,

And from a spiky mast flew a red spotted sail.

And the boat bounced on the creek’s little rapids,

Flicking reeds and sailing over shadows and ‘bullies.

It never tipped. Not this man’s boat.

We did not know he had seen too much death and been shot,

And that his pillow was full of tears.

We only knew that as he whittled, his smile pushed up his face

creation story

In the beginning, she smiled & said Hello.

It might have been nothing. But by the 6th day, I was on her bed, the long grass by the river, taking in the scent of her hair which is like honey it’s true, & her skin and the pink between her thighs… Sandalwood, Royal Blue, her cotton dress, & on the 7th, resting beside her.

He smiled also & said Hello & he knew & she knew that nothing now would be the same. And he thought about her that night; & the next morning – the interplay of shadow/light, their hands…


On the 6th day they fell…tender, her soft folds caved, filled, full of him, falling…


& when she came


& when he came…


Flowers in bloom. She brought him violets, still wet from her garden

& at 10 past 3 he leapt over the fence onto the street & when he got home the flowers were still tight in his hand & at 3.30 she was still looking out the window when Stephen came home with the children.





a painter reflects

a painter reflects 
         to Klingsor of ‘Klingsor’s Last Summer’ by Hermann Hesse

for me the loveliest lovers
were the landscapes the
aged the young naked in
sun or shower and no obvious
face to stare you down in
disdain to question your eyes
and whatever right you might
or might not have to even look
they simply lay in the fullness
of harvest or lean with winter
honest to the point they cracked
open in summer dryness swelled
with river cried out in the flush
of light an afternoon storm
cast upon them entered your
eyes fumbled about your heart
warming the stones of old
loves burned out in fires
kindled under the wind-risen
pines they wore the loveliest
of perfumes summer hay
lavender jasmine loosed
across the dusk no face
at all yet held you against
their body as you lay
to gather the first star
in the palm of your eye
they were the loveliest the
truest of those i loved
i served them only
as long as i could
lay them under
the brush lay remembrance
thick upon them dabbed up
from a bloody palette of
beauties i gutted there once
and drank to the dregs
served them then broke
with them for yet another
and as for faces?
there were always
the women who haunted
my glass of wine my cigar
with a splash of skin to
stagger the eye and drag
me toward whatever curve
of body or soul they
would put my way.
god the heart’s
but a foolish
piano this
old bird has
banged out
the loveliest of lovers
were the landscapes
and i was only
true hopelessly
true to them
as long as
i needed.

july 2015