Category Archives: The Zodiac


Night after cloudless night

pursuing Perseids draws a

blank knowing once

curtains are closed

one fiery fingernail will

scrape across the sky’s

black board.

Cadaver Party

I like that some of my cells won’t know I’m

dead but party on as though their

host had gone to bed and

left them to it while they shout

“Loser!” and turn up the music, break out the

drugs, search my house for something

serious to drink and it will be

several cold dawns before they feel the

lack of food and warmth and

realise that the

doors are locked.


Elsewhere other guests ignore the noise

decide to bide

sleep and dream of all that

nutritious gloop I will provide while

in the attic one tiny bit of

grit imagines deep time and the

Sun’s last despairing belch

spraying them all starward

whizzing past each other yelling “Hey!

Great party!

When’s the next?”

Gossip from the Sky

Venus and Jupiter are sidling slowly towards an

assignation, very much a May-September thing—

make that November in Jupiter’s case, lol– but

I’ve heard he has a trick or two

to please the ladies and

Venus has never known doubt

has she?


The Moon cruised by last month and apparently

considered a threesome but

didn’t feel at her best, sources say, as the

damned Earth made her look

fat but not full when she so much wanted to

look Venus eye to lustful eye

as equals.

Under Cassiopeia

I dream sometimes of seeing

someone else’s spaceship amongst the

stars above my house, its

tell-tale amniotic burn unequivocal

unlike the odd unflashing jet that

just seems to evaporate into the

overcrowded air, into the

mad world of my Masters,

under the big W, under


Zodiacal Envoi/ Orion

The vast lasso the sun throws ropes twelve but

thirteen is the true number as

all roads lead to Orion who

chases and is chased—by the

scorpion, whose weapon was really a

sting-ray spear or the

arrow of Artemis or something that

shivered in the night; he chases

Seven Sisters, none of whom will feel his

frigid hands riffle through their

gaseous skirts; and he is

chased by—well, you

get the picture.


In some way they’re all chasing each other,

the stars, a round-robin of ridiculous malice

mingled with the ennui of

never catching up.


We have a ringside seat: the

bell rings nightly.

All we have to do is

crane our necks and look.




Needing to escape

needing to smoke I

crashed into the garden–

eyes blurred, flint catching–and

ran right into

immense Orion

caught in his cartwheel

across the sky.


He looked so mighty and forlorn,

pinned between buildings—the

stars of Spring

surprised in Winter,

bejewelled scabbard flapping on

frozen thigh, reminding me

how late it was.


Hunter looked on hunted: who

pitied whom? We

both were cold, essentially

alone, but behind me

was my house, warm and



Flint caught,

smoke rose,

keeping him



“Scorpio’s are very faithful,” she wrote

making me think of the fidelity that

chases after you, begging and

cajoling, threatening

suits in shreds and

lives in tatters in pursuit of

love — tender game but

nocturnal and elusive, unwilling to be

pinned down in someone’s

specimen case or be

biddable or be



So the sting is raised

passive-aggresively while the

prey keeps running, forever

out of range, and the

rage congeals into pride that

so fearsome a hero fled from her

into the black night that she

only now notices is

ice-cold and empty– she

who is so sure and so



If confronted by a scorpion, the

eye is drawn to the sting and the

claws are forgotten until they

nip you, painfully.

So Mythistory lost track of

one end of a big beast by being

fixated on the other, inventing some

guff to placate Venus—

scales or something?— that

ignored the danger

immanent in the stars whose

names spelt out the trap:

Zubenelgenubi—Southern Claw;

Zubeneschamali—Northern Claw;

Zubenelakrab—Scorpion’s Claw;

all neatly tightening about your neck.

So drop nice notions of balance and

equanimity and peace to all men because

claws close and when they do they

sting as deeply as the tail.


One swam up Tigris, his

brother up Euphrates but

some celestial joker tied

their tails together so,

tethered to the sea, they

made it to the headwaters but

no further though they tried,

flopping sullenly in

muddy pools, sometimes

thrashing their fins to

slop great gouts of

angry water downstream to

frighten and fertilize.


Brother mourned

brother marooned across

porous mountains which

sent them their runoffs–

reverse tears into the

cold gummy eyes of

lost fish.


If you could tune the sky like a radio
you’ve no choice but to listen to
Sagittarius, for in the heart of the Archer is the
galaxy’s heart, pulsingly unstable,
an infarction of which will
fry us all,

so think of nice Archers like
Robin Hood or William Tell or
maybe ( if you’re English) men in leather jerkins
jerking two uncut fingers at the French,
or a technicolour target with
“A Film by the Archers”, or

think of fairgrounds or
mock Medieval Tourneys,
Odysseus and the suitors, a Parthian shot,
or Eros aiming at your girlfriend’s tits;
but don’t, whatever you do,
look up past the

shiny tang and along the
shaft of the Archer’s arrow into
his unbothered eye, for though
you thought he was aiming at Antares
you will find that Mythology is a
flimsy thing to hide behind.


The best grass in the best fields

–all yours, Ram, in return for

your fleece—which seems

like a bargain until you find your

fleece is golden and

requires your death and

banishment to a star-field where

the grass is piss-poor.


Your fleece, meanwhile, is

dangled before heroes like

Jason, a death-or-glory boy

happy fighting harpies or

cthonic armies in rusty armour

for the honour of wearing your

chafing hide around his

ham-like neck.


And who thought of you, up there

eating burnt air and

eternally knowing what it’s like

to be tupped?

Temperature's Rising

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