Monthly Archives: October 2011

A Void

Nature abhors a vacuum so we

avoid thinking about the void all around us,

filling it with ‘planes, fireworks,

sodium to smear out the

great ovens above us,

monstrously far away, thank

God, for they would fry us or

X-ray us into negatives or

neutron-bomb us into

shadows on our walls or

suck us into their very own idea of

infinity, so we try to

reinforce our solar comfort zone with

coloured light like the

gauzy skirts that protected

Europa from Zeus’s

insistent pizzle.



Growing up, she called it the

Penal Colony but now and then she

visits the inmates, sentenced to

babies, early marriages and

disappearing fathers, dead-

end jobs or none, lack of

education, aspiration, horizon except the

sun setting over the supermarket, and

she weeps because

on her way in she found the

gates unlocked, no

checkpoints and no-one to

query her return ticket to

London, one hour away.

Light-Speed Dating

They are not against you, the

opposite sex, they’re just

red-shifted by the

speed they needed to achieve

escape velocity from

someone else and

cramped in their capsule they are

lonely and frightened

just like you.


He kept feeling the sharp edge of something

miraculous under the thick

epidermis of reality like a

splinter worrying itself out,

searching for light and

air in which to propagate and

flourish and make him a

husk, a carrier for whatever

bizarre notions it held in its

deviant DNA.


She wrote a letter gently with

her finger on his

bare back as he slept telling him

all the things she needed that he

didn’t provide, knowing that

he never would or could, and she

placed a cool kiss as full stop.


Her clothes were hard to find on the

less-than-clean floor in the dark as she

thought of all the men (and

one woman) who had woken alone

carrying her calligraphy where they

couldn’t read it and she

wondered if her finger would ever

stay capped or if one day

it would run dry.

A Married Monk

Untonsured, un-Ordered, yet a

monk still, sequestered in

society, my vow of silence my

marriage vows,

startling when I said them,

startling still in their

stark clarity, a thing unusual that

means something, the

terror of meaning seeping through

Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce,

Sext, Nones, Vespers, Compline, all the

ebbs of flow of

life as it is

lived and not as it is



Introspection (take 3)–Thelonious Monk

Listening to it was what it felt like:

Monk’s hands–their hands–everywhere,

unexpectedly feeling for her

chords, her grace notes, her

majors and minors, her

cadences (Oh, you darling!), her

Picardy thirds, stretching her

loins like lion-meat, then

vamping into a second subject just to

titillate, then a third to

make her scream for the

dominant to make her

movement finish with a



Are we just God-botherers of a

different stripe? demanding

answers, courses of action,

strategies, clarity, a

way through the wood or

just a clue?

San Serif

In the edgeless life,

planed smooth by

alcohol or drugs,

ignorance or indifference,

fat nurses waddle after

fat patients trailing

wires and drips like

comet’s tails in search of

somewhere to smoke, while their

relatives watch

pots not boiling on

daytime TV and consume

vast amounts of

time and space like

bus-lanes with no buses.

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