Monthly Archive: November 2014

Two swimming pools

A photo
Struck out of a steep valley
A hill of technicolour white white
On a sun blue blue painted perch
Set in the Kentish August dust
against a green green screen

A bright bright pool
Blown outdoors
For us swimmers
We get in and can see though
To now
I hold my breath and dive.

A photo
Struck out of a steep valley
A dripping road black black back
Breath still held we walk
To a green green glass room
Against a green green screen

A dark dark pool
Trapped indoors
There are no swimmers
I look in and can see though
To then
Putrid I can only peep, afraid.

(The 70’s series) Swanley

Lumped in a thick chair with sag slippered feet
fatter than blisters carpets scuffed to thread
rubber yellow and crippled with flesh
stinking of stale bed he never spoke just looked
and drank in the TV cops and pale ale mouth
full of dead teeth and gas my best friends dad
was a right picture meanwhile Steve fucked his cousin
or was it his sister in the shed in the grassed yard with the slide
barking at the noises they made on their dog shitty
turf on their patch of Kentish green this England this
scrape of the South East Nr Dartford where
boys and girls went out to play in sheds and parks and station yards
and recs and woods and busses and yes bike sheds
at night till in the morning still trickling with it
he filled us in how he loved her as his Juliet dancing a Moresca spun with bells
her narrow wrists ringing sonnets till dawn when the lark
not the nightingale wrenched him into his bed.

Three

Three is a lonely number.
We are three in a boat
rowing he and she
and me.

Three is a lonely number.
Parked up handbrake
on our lives
held
pregnant in the dank
banks of buttery mud
we float black slop
on.

Three is a lonely number.
He takes the oars and pulls
the drift forward to
the weir
where the roll of water
spins a shell of gloss
that keeps us there till we
turn

Back forward toward
the pier where our car
sits to carry us back
to land.

More martins

When Martin was ten he buried a tin
Inside he put a string
On the string he put
a washer, a key, a bead, a polo mint and a thought
“If you are not dead”
It said
“In fifty years you should
Wait on the bridge in Eynsford
On our birthday
The 16th of January at midday.
Wear on your wrist the things on the string in the tin
and I will tell you what they mean.”
Then he put it all in a plastic bag to keep it clean ready to bury it later.

Fifty years later Martin found the tin
He had forgotten to bury in
it’s plastic bag with some Corgi cars
Wrapped in a pair of trousers
Left by an old man just dead my
Dad
He opened the lid of the tin
To see if it had anything in
side. The peppermint lent
the tin a scent of not now, then.
He put the cars on ebay
and threw the trousers and bag away
He put the things on the string in the tin on his wrist until later.

On the 16th January he was there in as he had said
60 years old and not yet dead
He saw myself leave the sweetshop
Cross the road and on the bridge, stop
“Show him the things on the string in the tin
Martin.”

The bead is for the tears not wept by you
The washer is for the ring she left to you
The key is for the secrets she kept from you
And the string is for the end she leads you to.
And what about the polo mint?
Oh I have loads of those I said offering me another mint I had got from the sweet shop earlier.

In a hole

In a hole we sat together flying
Our wings our tarpaulin pattered
Machine gun rain and washed
Our bare muddy feet kicking
All the way to Australia where
We would build a fort and
Have spades to dig away the sand
To space.

Panettone cat

Our cat is a fruit cake
Spotted with currants
A nutter

Our cat is a ginger cake
Striped with syrup
A sweetie

Our cat is a birthday cake
Smothered in icing
A treasure

Our cat is a chocolate cake
Dusted with cocoa
A treat

Our cat is a panettone cake
Wrapped in sellophane
A micino.

Encounters with a foot fetishist in a white van while hitch hiking

Standing in the shadow of a shop in Rochester on the way to Dover
with sign and thumb up it’s me back a
bit and my turn
for the van with a man in to stop and turn
his shoulder back at me and so to say “you’re welcome
you are on your way to Wein for some
cakes and schnitzel and hot chocolate
with cream and fuck me my mate
your foot looks good enough toe eat.”
So I waited another hour
for an Audi.

Sitting in the shadow of a cliff on an asteroid
with sign and thumb up to the void
our spaceships turn
for the van with the man in to stop and turn
his shoulder back at it and so to say “you’re not welcome
you are on your way to Rochester for some
of the people there can’t tolerate
a spaceship, and fuck me my mate
your foot looks good enough toe eat.”
So he puts it in his van
the white man.

The library boat pond

Next to the library is a boat pond just alright for toy ones.

On Saturdays its full of white sails with
blue boats for blue
boys

This Saturday there was a green boat
and a red girl
on

the bank with a stick which she flicked
to make her boat
go

I was too big to talk to her so
I just looked a
bit

She had welly boots so she could go
when it got stuck
a lot

so blue boys laughed their belly belts and caps.
She looked like a girl you might meet in a story
you know a story about bears

On Sunday the girl same boat
same stick same stuck
but

She had brought her brown dog
“Fritz stop it, you are spoiling my
game.”

she flicked her stick the dog would go
in the water and splash about and
make

Her green boat lie down flat
and drift off course really
dreggy

She would shout
the dog bark
stupid

till blue boys laughed their belly belts and caps.
She looked like a girl you might meet in a story
you know a story about bears

Her green boat was soggy
her wellies full of
pond

The red girl’s heart was broke
her watery world a
whole

Mess of nothing gone right
toady, spawn litter of a day
till

I watched flick her stick.
I heard her shout
“Na jut; wenn ihrs durchaus haben wollt!”

I saw her brown dog stop
I saw her brown dog swim
I saw her brown dog eat the blue boats with the white sails

I saw the red girl pick up her green boat
and pop to the library
leaving her brown dog tied up at the door.
She looked like a girl you might meet in a story
you know a story about bears.

A youth hostel zombie thing

A youth hostel is a tame thing
Not risky like a sleeping outside thing.
They are soft potter places
Full of soup safe paperbacks
Thumbed pack-ups and mackintoshes
Till thick oat crumblies by the mitten stove.

Then the border hostel thing
Between this or that mountain land thing
Where the half hostellers hang-out
On the top bunks steady asleep all day
In the cabins for boys and girls and families
That at night settle down nicely to the moons gloom.

The half hostellers wake from their bunk thing
Naked save for a wee thing thing
Climb down past faces as bright as mirrors
The boys and the girls and the families
Dreaming of the soft soup paperbacks they read before they went to sleep
Happily miss the next bit for the half hostellers…

sew paper cut string things
To the whole hostellers lip things
Tiny shards of ash
Feather the pillows of these woolly sleepers
Ash carried from hell drifts into the
Lungs of our innocent drifters

At night the boys and girls and families
Sing the songs of dead crooners
Moon River is a favourite swoon
For our half hostellers
Who light pull the singers string things
And cry hot thick chocolate by the mitten stove thing.

Poor things.

A prayer for a long dead, gay catholic

On the ground lies Bruce.
Weeds grow between his toes
up his ankles to his naked thighs where they
bloom as bruises bloom after a bump.
Purple berries tip from his nostrils
down his chin splashing his neck
and spotting his T.
A creeper wraps his waist
squeezing his bare pierced belly button
mushroom thick with dust.
Under his shorts his balls hang dry husked
by the gee wisp thin cotton briefs
that belonged to his lover.

On the ground lies Bruce.
Wet moss webs his fingers wraps his wrists while in
his open hand rests a pen –
“ .”

When they find him
a moth laced fragrance flickers in the smoke slept air.
Taints of souls he loved once or twice or more
still hang with him. Will hang with him
until those that
lie and creep alike
to the slavish sick sticks of men
who have no love, save for themselves.
Now curse them in remembrance of Bruce.
Are rid.

An enamel poppy

Returning home our soldier found a poppy on the sideboard
It reminded him of the bits of his best
Except it was made of paper and his best was made of person
He took the poppy and wore it with pride after all a
Paper poppy is better than no poppy at all but a
Paper person is just a puppet or a photograph
Pointless when you are really sad.
Don’t you think you should buy an enamel one? They said.

(The 70’s Series) Torpedoes

Led by Mr Dick we rancid folk ran amock
Bowling our crud on the parched cricket lawns of Kent
Rolling girls and rolling boys we sank of teeth into our teens
Like torpedoes.

In dells and holes we poked about for mushrumps
For clotens army of headless, neckless, tat
We gassed and sat undone
Like torpedoes.

Our clog heads fugg full of hate for
The twerps that taught us nothing except
How to push and kick and maul or feel up
Like torpedoes.

We walked the chalk downs cheese skinned
Pongy, runny, pitted with black salt smiles
Cursing our strim shon sick short little lives
Like torpedoes.

Our bags burst with petrol and soft jelly syrups
Zip pocket of string, steel wire and wool
Till from the parched cricket lawns of kent
Our crud fucking flared
Like torpedoes.

(The 70’s series) The fountain.

At the water fountain we waited
Our friend had been mean to us
He had joined the group we hated
So in assembly we gave him a bag of crisps so he must
Have a drink before long. We had bated
Him well and when he tore to quench his thirst
In playtime after art, before it could be sated
We smashed him till his bladder burst.
What a fountain.

Stephanie Bristow

Flared faced he charges at the finish
All ‘Bristow’ vest, braces, skittlegs
Tufts of hat black hair everywhere
And the donkeys bulging thick with fur cakes
Gallops past me and Stephanie
!sat watching
!at the derby
!in the rec
!by the river.

Eyebrows that hat black tufts like him
Cut too short for a girl
Her daddy is the fastest ever
Stephanie that loves me
She tells me she is a boy
!sat watching
!at the derby
!in the rec
!by the river.

Fast like her daddy so she had to be I knew
So I couldn’t love her back she was a
Strong kisser all the same and loud
Like a boy
So I gave her a bird book instead
!sat watching
!at the derby
!in the rec
!by the river.

Clever too her daddy like her I did
Her sums like him were like a boys
But she wore a dress with birds
Like a girl
So I let her hold my hand
!sat watching
!at the derby
!in the rec
!by the river.

She loved me
She said so
She told people
She did kiss me
She sat with me
Watching
!and in the river
!at the rec
!after the derby
we paddled like boys.

Another story

My dad’s spare dad leg is on my bookshelf
It has his sock on and is in a paper bag.
It reminds me that the rest of his dad body
Is in a purple box by the telephone table
But that’s another story.

My dad’s spare dad leg is on my bookshelf
High up so that people don’t peep at it
They might laugh or not – for dad
Was not funny about it except when a dog bit it in Wales.
But that’s another story.

Last songs

‘September’ Strauss played loud so she hears it in her room
Her chin, butter grubby from the scrambled egg that now slips from her spoon
Onto her blanket and chicken thin skin bruised legs bare nightie, tissues and crumpled bag
Her barely slippered feet in white warm socks, sits a body so limp, so lost, so sad
so graceless

This silken shadow of my mother
Gurgles and throths like a greedy toddler
Stretching her lips, her tongue, her teeth
She pain pours away her breathless grief
and grace

Not with self pity at her sickness
Her self silence, her self stillness
But the music, this Strauss, his September
Smothering her in the saddest joy to remember
Her voice and her mother’s voice singing Strauss
restoring grace.

An English churchyard on Christmas eve

Skinless sausages the dead lie frozen whole
Bedded in sensible rows like seeds
Fur white wrappers turf them over but its still too cold
They won’t grow in this weather

Coal for eyes, brillo frosted mittens and stiff neck scarf
Snowman is sat sad sobbing
“What a place to build a snowman”
he sobs to himself
“Hark the herald angels sing”
he sings and sobs to himself.

You see snowman did not enjoy Christmas
Because he knew he would only ever have one Christmas
And stuck in this miserable place at Christmas
Just made it the worse one Christmas.

Maybe we should consider holding Christmas somewhere else
For this snowman at least.

Bluekini blue

Offshore in a pedalo
With Maria who was new to me we pedalled a duet.
Shell salted tresses and toes sandy splashed
Bluekini blue, brown bottom and thighs, beautiful.

Over low breakers we bubbled
Out past the rubber lapped sea mumps
Lilo lounge parties playing ball
Past toys and laughing tiny dark girls strapped to burgundy bellies

Ahead a crack scar struck out the shore
And a sea cave sucked us in
She dives, I like a drip “me too”
Jump, a leg boned and flailing flop

Head up, small and brave she swims
I faint panting in my plastic sandals walk the water
Till the sea bed slopes away and I’m frightened but
In love we swim inside

An echo pool of mirror blue
Glass cold shadows the sun
While we swarm the warm water
And cuddle

Charm struck then and charm struck now
Bluekini blue, brown bottom and thighs, beautiful.