Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cross Country

We have left the Brighton to London
Commuter line
And are travelling cross country

No longer heading for the city
The carriage is quiet, nearly empty
And outside an early frost
And watercolour sky

I spoke too soon
Into the carriage pour
A hundred school or more
School children

Why do they shout?
Why such loud conversation?
Why are their voices so shrill?
The cacophony and impatience
of the i-phone generation

Oh, where is the quiet girl, reading a book?
Where are the two boys engrossed in chess,

Where is the boy with the nervous glances
And unrequited fantasies?

Sunday, December 15, 2013


The guillemot
Gazes at the sky
And hopes
That today’s weather report
Will be more accurate

Than yesterday’s

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Her hands,
large, but delicate.

Her fingernails,
Bitten, cracked, unadorned.

She is painting an old,
French, sanded-down headboard,
Antique gold.

Why is she painting so meticulously,
Her face, masked in concentration?

I knew you would come, she said,
As she removed her apron
And, naked, moved through the cold room

Towards me

Monday, December 09, 2013

The Night of the Knives

In the Pizza Express
The young man on the next table
Asks the waitress
Do you have the new knives?
She says, We are supposed to have them by now
But they haven’t arrived yet

The young man continues,
Because I was in Stratford the other day…
He lets the sentence hang
And does a cutting pizza mime
Then, as she walks away he says,

They’re one hundred times better.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Counting Spiders

Six mischievous spiders
Tumble out of the dice shaker

One has the gift of healing
One is poisonous
One is drunk on fly brandy
One is a loser
One has no redeeming characteristics whatsoever
And one can never stop cracking jokes

It’s your move.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


(after Leonard Cohen)

Better than the chaotic hunger
Of Brighton gulls
The ordered beachcombing pigeons
Of Villefranche-sur-mer

Better than noon sunshine
The early-morning light
And the buildings’ palette of whites,
Ochres, yellows and orange

Better than the bass tones
and wind-snatched muzak
the stereo-panned swish and swash
of the Mediterranean

Better than neatness
The secret order
Of organic growth

Better than a reality check

A fantasy boost

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Last Lines of Leonard Cohen

And this is the book
You get married
A single step
And there’s no one left in Hell

Jikan Eliezer
You’d sing too

You are listening to Radio Resistance
They’ve wanted all these years
And raising kids

Better and better
Is a comb
My turn to resurrect

I prefer my stuff to theirs
In other little ways
The patient forgets to suffer

“Do not kill”
Why should I want to smile forever
Over my enormous hard-on

Old Jikan smoking