Thursday, 3 November 2011

I Am That I Am

I am the smoke that bruises the lungs
I am the petrol and the gun.
I am the elephantine buck.
The gas and the smoke that masks the sun.
I am narcissus
The little boy lost
The joy of fixation.
I am pathological growth
I am urban sprawl.
I am distrust.
An inflammation of the earth's crust.
I am the 3D cinerama.
I am photography, perspective,
The splitting of the atom,
The secret of the Vedas used
To boil the blood of thousands.
I am God's closest whispers
Used to deafen the birds.
I am a perpetual Autumn, a summer shedding its skin.
I am the winter sun,
low, impossible to catch,
piercing visions with a blade-like burn.
I am an old story, a boyish myth,
Parsifil, unheeded hero, with the deftest touch.
I am one melody among many,
the song of Arjuna,
the sound of "stand up and fight"
and Krishna, orchestral, silhouetted in flame.
I am black oil, the treasure,
the earth's sweetened muscle.
I am a scorched soul, branded with wisdom,
leather skinned, tanned by the moon.
I am Eros, the coffee-coloured kiss.
I am the velvet rush.
A jolt of fearless blood.
My tongue darts in hendecasyllables.
My fist in iambic jabs.
My body moves in verses, the dance.
I am athletic, poetic,
the secret unfocused, Picasso's neurosis.
I am the sound of the sands.
Gold, the colour of prehistory.
I am the black Madonna.
I am Scotia,
I am kali,
I am Dana,
I am the Goddess, white, ablaze.
I am her primal turmoil, her breaking wave.
I am her body, her wounded chariot.
I die in rituals,
feasts are cleaned with my blood.
I am the leaves like jazz in the sunlight.
I am that birdsong.
I am that ornate bitch's lipstick
– I am that hard fuck –
I am Milton
– himself bond under philistian yoke.
I am an unfunny joke
I am the night
– cool on your chest like a purple pearl.
I am Cynthia – her head cocked like the moon.
And I am Hercules of course
– dancing with his dick out among the trees.
I am god's gift.
I am the ocean and the rock,
the petrol and the spark,
the resistance, the unjust onslaught.
I am neon and the black.
I am hatred.
I am the tears of the sun.
I am not sacred. I am violent.
I am not saintly. I am electric.
I am no craftsman, I am an artist,
aggressive, spiting absinthe on the canvas.
I am quiet but riotous. A threat.
I am evolution, the pounce.
I am deadliness, announced.
I am the tropic breeze.
The sleepless jungle sounds.
I am the keeper of diamonds. The silver.
My soul is sharp, flint, the verve.
I am barefoot speed, the heat and the hunt.
I am visceral, the horror.
I am war, thunder in slow motion,
lightning's terrifying secrecy.
I am the mountain's whispers.
The pierced rock, the bite of frost.
I am the planet's tired songs.
I am Atlantis, the broken legend.
I am a bitter wine on dry dirt.
I am a Tuscan forest, red, burned out.
I am God's exhaustion, the relentless panic.
I am Jesus' hubris, the spirit of attack.
Stand back.
Be still, and know that I am that.
I am that I am.
I am that I am.
I am that I am.
I am that I am.

At Work

she paints alone
dirty still from her sketches
taking liberties
with the colours of blood.

her bones ache
with stories
which she scratches
across pages black with experiments.

today her shapes
crumble together in a shipwreck
and rain and crooked inspirations
take with them the afternoon and its heartbreak.


day drained of quick excited secrets.
gifts wrapped in stories and gestures.
sexy eyes and dancing hands,
the watery shapes love makes
when it pours and shakes
like busy rains;
it rushes off the face
washes off face paints,
washes off the mask of sheepishness.

invisible skins
of friendship meet
despite an orchestra of clattering
despite the noise of steam and chattering.
gradually our glass voices
become clean
and we see through
the mind's lonely smokescreen
into each other's
guarded sunlight.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Athena Revisited

Athena – eyes of copper flame
Spirit pluming gold
White skin, the whiteness of vengeance
Sculpting beauty out of madness.

I etch myself a song,
Pretending not to watch
Athena decorate her masks,
Unfold her cotton black across
Her terpsichorean thighs,
Unwrapping the frills of her womanness
And her lips like scars
On a cigarette kiss.

Athena – loves in Lapis Lazuli
Wraps you in her Titian cloths
Her heart a church of terracotta
Where you can stroll with Jesus
Among the garden leaves.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Hampstead Heath

Are these your signature handstrokes,
Your fresh fingers smearing streaks
Of pellucid flame like broken yokes
On the sky's empty peaks?
Voices like the bells of summer ring and spark
And melt with the naiveness of the wind.
This performance of fires has all the craft marks
Of heroic mischief, the sapidity of your lips.
Now the horizon has blushed into white
Despite the bruised cirrus of drying blood,
The slow and focused flags of the night
And the rainy chrome of the city's hood.
A rainbow of violet salutes above my head
And an ageless song fills my breath.

Monday, 25 July 2011

The Idea

Actinics slip between peels of maroon flame
And sleep upon the bricks of weeded sand.
The idea stretches across two planes of hope.
One is concrete, one is built of light.
The idea is Christlike, without death,
It's fleshless body pinned to the bones of the world.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

I Have Witnessed Your Redemption

I have witnessed your redemption.
It didn't come like a flood
With a tragic surprise,
It grew with patience and power
In precise brush touches,
Oil on oil on Venetian stone.

I have witnessed your redemption.
It was not couched in false verses
Of maidenly rhymes or pious hymns.
It just fragmented,
Light from a pinhole obscurer
Scorching a cyclorama.

I have witnessed your redemption.
Not in dreams so much as prophesy.
In visions that come as ready-cooked
Revelations for the exhausted.
Your psyche was warm and your skin, sinless.
Your joy was not delirium, but born
From a rigorous noesis.

I Have Witnessed Your Redemption

I have witnessed your redemption.
It didn't come like a flood
With a tragic surprise,
It grew with patience and power
In precise brush touches,
Oil on oil on Venetian stone.

I have witnessed your redemption.
It was not couched in false verses
Of maidenly rhymes or pious hymns.
It just fragmented,
Light from a pinhole obscurer
Scorching a cyclorama.

I have witnessed your redemption.
Not in dreams so much as prophesy.
In visions that come as ready-cooked
Revelations for the exhausted.
Your psyche was warm and your skin, sinless.
Your joy was not delirium, but born
From a rigorous noesis.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Seven Sisters Blues

Two lipstick harlots gossip on the doorstep at Sauna 2k.
A silver Golf GTI sits like a preying cat,
Headlights insomniac in the red of the dark.
There's a menace in the railway girders at Finsbury Park,
A trapped tension in the bolts of the rust.
Greek cafes and hooka bars are empty but open
And boys talk football and bitches at the fruit stalls
Selling oversized watermelons and mangoes.

Heartbreak is a blessing.
You capitulate or you blossom.
Every time we love someone,
We become one of the prophets,
Tossing our souls like dice
Onto the sand,
Hoping the seed will find wet dirt.

Can you feel the crucifixion
In each of your summer breaths,
Your veins bleeding liquid truth?

This is the meaning of your sickness.
God's grace comes as pestilence,
In a contagious loneliness,
Disguising the sublime
As coal stains bruise Portland stone.

Midnight Belongs To The Boys

Tuesday, 21 June 2011


A magpie cleans itself on his folium.
The clouds are careful among icebergs.
Apples green like erotic buds. The air shifts
In fractal choreography,
Freshening the fingers of the root.
Branches bend their hips like Hindu dancers.
For a moment a stillness comes with a glance of sun,
The wind pausing for a replete note of rest,
Before the city's saxophone blast.

We don't prepare for our passing.
We swallow our joys whole, forgetting to chew
Between each mouthful of light. We want
Salt and bitter citrus, treacle,
Instead of the slow malt aftertaste
Like paintwork on our curious tongue.
We want a shudder not love. Pressure not touch.
We think beauty is locked in the eyes and lips,
Not the toes, shoulder blades and armpits.
Our passions are gaseous light, suction lusts.
We neglect the wood fire chakras,
The slow cackle of heat and burn.
As a woman's soul cannot be traded,
A man's cannot be bartered or plumed.
Closeness is still theater, the body proscenium.

Thursday, 9 June 2011


Each kiss speaks its own poem.
Each touch is that of a sculptor,
Pressing his fingers into the wet world,
Smoothing out new forms of corporeal truth.
It is not a response to beauty. It creates it.
It is chivalrous, a defiance
In the face of infinities.
Even in madness, it finds new tactics.
It is not baffled by emptiness,
But sees loneliness as a possibility.
Sadness excites it, like a gorgeous, dirty city.
All noise becomes music. All hatred, a reason to live.
At its purest, it is furious.
More dreadful than a battle between two suns.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Love Is No Refuge

Love is no refuge
It is no tonic.
It is no drug, distraction
Or anti-psychotic.
Love, like autumn’s bitterness,
Is inescapable, a disease,
A trap.

You know love
By its viper tooth,
By its bite,
By the nightmare rush
That turns the heart to white.
Love is not precious,
Not like diamonds, like childbirth
Or Liberty’s blood.

Love is launched, not born.
Love is hurled like desert bombs,
Mindless erupting dust.
Love is not political,
It does not keep loyal to a promise,
Love is volatile,
A violation of trust.

Love is pure self-indulgence.
Christ-like narcissism.
Love is Jihad,
A destroyer of worlds.
Love cuts and sucks
Like some leaf of poison.
Love worms itself
Into the body’s rivers,
Staining its bones
And ruining its waters.

Love is wrong, awkward.
A terrific sleeplessness.
Love knows no beauty
But prefers to be alone,
Tasting each jolt of sickness
That lingers
Swallowing its words
Till its throat burns.

I Am That I Am


Summer light like celluloid
Slips in strips through the
Bull-red curtain. Rain
Still resonant, as the walls
Are bleached a plague of blue.

Poems, scraps of mold
And food, stick-men sketches,
Traces of ambitious boyishness
Ripped aside in a lonely raucous.
Music impatient in a sexless dust.

Late evening weeps stones
Of daylight's rebellion.
Beauty's teasings dry on the tongue
Like sand. Hope buried in arid panic.
The room sweats a porcine humour.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Intimate City

The blood wings of the dusk
Unwrap on clouds of regal purple
And its fruit flashes peek
Between unruffled branches.
She sits exhausted in the umbrageous hush
Legs twisted, her boots touching,
Leather upon leather,
And her elephant ivory neck fresh
Under red flocks
Resting on her shoulder like
October petals.


It rained all day.
Such percussive confidence.
A damp, cloggy wool clotted the sky.

Off Tottenham Court Road
Above the record shops and burger places
And the air-dried street,
There is a pungent cloud of excited pink,
Proud against a spirited blue,
The awakening colours of Shangri-la,
The sky is the Buddha's belly.
This outburst masks the traffic's fuss,
And like a sacred word it reveals itself
To oblivious tourists, proles and alcoholics
Who see nothing but fox-shadows.


At the Cafe Metro and Electric Ballroom
The skanks and bints track the piss-wet tarmac.
Gaunt couples with oiled heads
Hide in each others' fondles.
The pavement is laced
With fag grease and paper-shit,
Sirens whistle in violence
Through the human flood.
The air's metallic perfume
Mixes with sweet leaf poison
And from the cars and bars
Boosts a music failing to mimic
From the trucks and the buses
A halogen luster smears like finger-paints
Over the moisture of the night.
A soupy swill from the fried chicken shop
Spills towards the drain, on a street
Liquored damp with muck and chilli sauce.

Three in the morning and
London breathes in bulbous breaths.
A cold, aural glow - silence, amplified.
The pregnant current betrays the
Predatory groans of jungle interchange,
The collaborative voice
Of infinite, exhausted narrative.
A cross-wire, insect silk
Of the same recursive, overlapping


There are times when even the wind can't
Get between us.
When the sanctity of death is our shared space
And the city's glitter our palette.
But then there are times when even Eden's trumpet
Dies on your ears, and your beauty becomes a fortress.
Our art forks, like a leaf spine,
And your heart's lenses become spikes of glass.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

The Ghost of Davy Graham

In silence love's allowed to rot itself,
So, buried in the wind the drunkards sing.
The night's street song narrates the dread not health
Of men, their girls, and paranoia's sting.
My bones are tart with drink, I'm drained
Of art, or any form of craft. My feet
Grow bruised to match the bruises on my brain,
And my blood is black to ward off work's defeat.
Above the maple boughs that flirt in shapes
And rush in whispered kisses, tribal touch,
Or dances, gray winds play their strings like blades,
With purity of purpose in their clutch.
Despite the barring rage of noise collapsing,
Your beauty's work is done: insight, escaping.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Spring - For A Girl

Rain-black slate and trees wet with moss.
Bricks damp and bone-cold against
The gun-metal sky.
A sun drenched in rolls of moisture,
Buds green and cling intrepid
On osseous bushes.

The air blisters the branches,
A sculptor's charged intent,
Crafting meaning's echo
From the suppleness of the ground.

Birch leaves like droplets slouch
In the glottal cough of the wind.
Light with heat does pirouettes,
Electric tip-toes on the Thames.

Spring's adolescent sun comes
With its fingers clenched like atoms,
A soundless implosion of warmth,
Like a woman, on the river's curve.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Anna's Poem

We work but we cannot work for love.
Love does not pay, but costs,
and the cost, when cashed up,
Is always a cost too much.

We count it in cigarettes
In hours and in papercuts.
It's market rate is sacrifice,
Each birth a priceless worth.

Saturday, 12 February 2011


we work, we war, we laugh.
these are the points of our cross.
we fight to live,
to make something from fuck all.
but noone gives a shit.

we twist our tongues
and ruin our bones
– we shred our hearts to secure love,
the warmth of a home.

our dreams? our ambition?
they’re nothing but a plight of awakeness;
the drama of food, of shelter
and turning each impoverishment into riches.

we are nothing, but we are chosen.
we are the nameless flock of the earth,
the movers, the commanders of a bloody ocean.
we are human, but we are not dying.
each cigarette is epic,
each cup of wine, an accomplishment.

we are heroes,
though each feat of prowess
goes unwritten.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011


A disturbance of the Devil’s sleep.
A shock of spirit in its flicker.
A new panic for the New Year.
Breathe and catch art’s pulse,
Her slick stride into the wings
Of the sun.
Beauty’s candle is always shifting colour
Its cinders last through night’s seasons.
Breathe in the this rush of warmth,
This heroic voice, this healing touch
- white fingers
Stroking the feathers of your heart.

Life Stops For Art

Wielding the moment like a pistol,
Gently, you guide life’s lines into
Clearness. Urging
Sunlight and brick into focus.

Kneeling, or drapping yourself
Impossible like a Rodin model,
Your crooked bones
And your damaged muscles
Suddenly become
Flammable and supple.

You make life take flight
With each prophesy