Friday, 27 February 2009

Poem for Robert Burns

i saw love painted
along the cold ridge
where the mountain
meets the stars,
i saw it in the face
of a woolly child
blinded by her own melodies,
oblivious to the rain

i saw it on august evenings
in a poke of chips
in a smiling kiss
and in the theatres bleeding.
i saw it disappear with autumn,
distant shapes falling
in soundless explosions,
i saw it dance for a moment
carefully without confidence

i saw love plead
for a hearing
only to be carved from
the landscape before its
colours dried.

Thursday, 26 February 2009


Tuning his Stratocaster
Drinking red bush tea
The poet laughs
Like the sharpened sun.

Our New Found Land

So autumn’s colours have now cast their vote,
A season has shed its dead ideas.
A new innocence is plump with hope,
For the last clash between utopias.
The leaves finish their dance in peace,
In the cold air on evening streets
Where children laugh, love is released,
And a new night is made where we can meet.
Songs are swallowed by the ocean’s hours,
Winter’s window is broken open.
In the test of ice we discover power,
Like the politics of a new nation.
Ours is a promise that can’t be fought for:
A thought, still untouched by war.


God damn this right and wrong.
God damn this sing song,
Do I need to spell it out for you?
Do I need words like
"Fire" and "carcass,"
To stretch the fingers of this poem,
And make my words lithe
Like Chinese athletes?

My meter is the jigsaw pavement,
The filth and the broke stone
Old and solid, while you obsess
About mathematics.

God damn it.
Poems have evolved beyond
The naked word that stood
Small on Elizabethan stages.
Or wowed us like ballerinas
With bone-cracking precision.

Poems are just brief notes.
That brush the face awake.
God damn this quibble quabble,
Your rule books,
Your neatly stacked Bibles,
Locked away in glass cabinets.

Poems are just quick flames.
Deal with it.

For The Record

i spill these thoughts because i have to:
i placed you alongside beauty
alongside cold shadows
on winter sandstone,
alongside the knife-like sun
under the glass skies
where birdsongs
and girly cries gather.

i placed you near my books
piled beside romance
and ancient hopes,
scraps of poems
and the music of my heroes,
i put you up there
on my wall
where great men stare
upon my sleep,
and where ghosts wait
for my flames.

i placed you at my pillow
and fed you a dream
where i whispered and joked
and shades of gold gleamed.

Now i keep you buttoned
to my tongue,
housed in a burst of song,
a choked damsel
locked in my mouth,
where your taste always belongs.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009


Last night I dreamt about your kiss
sunlight on my lips

something spun in my chest

a kind of flame
which flutters
in your silence.


The secret of human genius
Lies in heartbreak
Does God feel guilt
After a storm?
Whatever doesn’t kill me
Makes you stronger.
All love exists now.
There will always be a piece of me
Inside you.


Dickensian voices,
girls with exotic eyes,
the diseased breath of London,
impatient traffic,
agitated faces,
angry haggard bodies
lose themselves in the noise.
King’s Cross is a profligate bustle,
an economy of beeps,
lights and smells,
a dangerous knife-like carnival,
loud, expensive and grotesque.
Everyone’s colours opened,
ears plugged with phone-calls or a private soundtrack,
and their expressions rushing past
with a grimace.


The colour of tragedy
Brilliant and cold
My tears sting in the breeze
Thinking about how lovely you are
And everything in its perfect place
Ready to perish


Points at her pussy
And laughs
‘Hey Jack!’
Anna Leena looks surprised
When I look into her warm eyes
‘I’m poor. No Money. You wanna drink?’
30 euros fuck that
‘I have to work now.’
Taps me friendly on the shoulder.


Girls here are ugly
Hard African noses
Eyes like caves
The men have impoverished faces
And bark loudly in the street
Chain smoking and laughing
From the chest.


Cheap sandwich bar
Pirate clientele
With dust for skin
Share secret sarcasms.


The policemen
Talk in a loud rattle
Drag me from under the concrete
Leave me in the wrong hotel
My tongue like a rotten cloth
Memories of drunk Irishman
And bad beer
The disappointed pimps.


Whitewashed houses
Buttered across the hills
Clouds sit on the mountain
Slums squashed together
On the Volcanic crags
On the dry, brittle soil.

Sprinkled on the sea
Is a chilled sun.

At night Africa hides
In the velvet distance
The large wild heart
Of the Black Madonna


I will survive
Cheesy songs make me think of you
In bed my mind is stuffed with heat
Awake now
A scattered heart.

God shed his skin today
In Tenerife on Christmas Eve
I listened to Gladys Knight
And my prayers were answered.

Best cure for a hangover:
Take your clothes off
In a thick rain.
Best cure for you:
Cigarette burns
And John Coltrane.


I do not know you.
In the panic of my ignorance
I have sought to trap you,
To press my kiss as you pass.

Forgive me.


a b-girl from Brazil
laughs with her eyes
like polished coal
writes down the name of a club
she used to dance for in Vicenza.
I tell her I’m a material girl
and it will cost her 10 euro.
she sparks me up a Marlboro
says we all have our problems.


do you remember
small winds
like soft music
on your face?

In the slow dark
Did your heart skip
By the river?

Do you remember
The hard earth,
The cold laughter
Of the rain?

The ghosts
And the whisky,
Frog shadows
In the puddles?

Do you feel
Warm still
By the friendly fire
Lips wet with beer
Under the song of the stars?

I remember your
White smile
Quiet in the sunlight;
Love’s dance
Without movement…..


say something
let your eyes melt
your quiet arrogant lips
cut like a bitch

my throat is on fire
I had to pay a chick to talk to me
Woke up in the toilet
choking on my own spit.

you know
I was



In a dusty corner of Cadiz
I find you fighting for my dreams.
I am aging under the heat of business,
While you are frozen peacefully
With victory in your marble eyes.

I can only cry swallowed tears,
A weak rage at your feet.
I can’t cast a shape on your name
Or hope to purple history
With my blood,

If you have already conquered
God’s palace, immortal,
A legend of blond colours.

Blue Rain

Greek gods sway in the trees
And ghosts hiss like snakes.
Values drift in the drains
And loneliness rattles on bin lids.

Behind closed doors
Rich men snort pride off bellies,
Their muscles tight
In the hungry light.
Boys and girls huddle up closes
Drunk like forgotten cattle
Nursing their baby screams.
Everywhere the great spider,
Wasted thoughts
Buried under pillows.
Everywhere a web of patterns,
Passions trapped, in wet metal railings,
In the city’s growl, and the capped glow
Of souls.

So hours get disused
And tossed in corners,
Sheltering on sodden cobbles
Under dank stones and rock shadows.
The world rested in the piss
Of its own cleverness
Making loud sarcasms,
Addicted to comedy and orgasms,
Smug in its complexity
Like a sewer,
A labyrinth of smells, sickness
And muck.

And all the while
The blue rain batters.
Scatters a relentless cloud
Of noise and sadness,
A pouring grief
Washing from the sky
In a tireless grace.

Montgomery Street Blues

An evening chaos.
Various rhythms colliding.
Someone’s guitar practice.
Blonde on Blonde in the kitchen,
Upstairs, Jazz trumpets.
Outside the wind moves in brushstrokes.
The trees grin with caresses
The sad clouds and damp stones
Are getting impatient.
The street is cloaked in
Clockwork noises,
The smell of frying onions lingers.
Children, businessmen
And girls in frocks pass
Relieved at the
Day’s exodus.

Angel Voice

Where did you come from angel voice?
Stripped from the human soul
Like a new bark?

A sharp and sly poetry
Your guitar like barbed wire,
Chords that cut through
Old wood and medieval dust

Tell me, where did you find those wings?
From which feathered sky did you
Steal that song?
Where did you come from,
Fierce and full of flight?


Poem written on a doorstep on the Cerrer De L’Hospital

This city celebrates its festival of heat
With its rough cut men
And its sun-blessed women,
And children playing in the street,
Their faces ripe like fruit.

The shop windows are graffitied with freedom
– the ambitious language of life,
And the day fills with a pungent war of feeling.
At night the branches of Barcelona
Mingle in a crowded dance,
And its veins are lit with
The blood of love.

But through the rhythms
My thoughts like flames
Reach for your body,
To your laughter under
Street lamps,
To your nakedness folded open,
And your shapes wet against
White tiles.

And I think of your Venus belly.
Curved and covered
In a moonlight skin,
Warm and luxurious like
A Spanish morning.

Flashes of you

Pearls of laughter fall from your shoulder
As your face bends backward in a bamboo smile.
Each circle of your skin is fresh,
Each flicker of your breath floats like winter.

Your eyes move in currents of black water,
A rolling fortress on all sides.
Your body is the flesh of mystery, the mouth of touch,
And your heart marches to the whims of the tide.

You are an Indigo moon,
Crowded out by the smoke of the clouds.
You are the wisp of a crescent soul,
A flame buried in the earth with no sound.

Chuck D

Chuck D
Laughs like Buddha.
Chuck D is his own religion
A blend of compassion
And the pointed venom
Of violence.
Chuck D raps with his lips
Spits and burns holes in your eye.

Chuck D
Rips open the mind.
Unlocks love with a gunshot.
Chuck D is a philosopher king
Wild priest, poet laureate
Rap scholar, father figure
Of the rebel rabble.

Chuck D
Sweats in rhythms
An angry shaman
Uses the beat in
Vicious sacrament.
He cuts open culture
And bleeds out its myth.

Chuck D
Is a black earthquake.
Prizes open the streets
Cracks up the unconscious
In a riot of ideas.
Chuck D is the last
Soldier standing,
Defiant, calm
Careless, wise.

His eyes are sacred stones.
His face like a Vedic painting.
On stage he is a moving mantra,
Repeating to the unleashed beat,

All is culture
All is culture.