Category Archives: Work

Dimensia

Since childhood I’ve felt

objects approaching me

unbeckoned but

indisputably on a

collision course I somehow

cannot avert.

 

So many spillages,

so many apologies,

so many blushed replies because

this is England after all and

spillages are assumed to be the

fault of both parties.

 

Oh and I also trip over cables so

don’t let me anywhere near a

studio despite it being my

place of work.

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Frayed

Frayed Richard Potter

I’m frayed but

unafraid of being

battered by elements

as long as one

strand will bear my

bare footprints

long enough to be

seen before the

high tide comes.

 

(Photo with the kind permission of Richard B. Potter aka The Subtle Penguin on Twitter, and go see his lovely work)

A Tree Grows in Manchester

It’s raining again so it must be

Manchester and it’s late and my

tram also so I am

leaning against this tree in

St. Peter’s Square watching

late trams pass, their

cargoes tired (though

that girl is pretty even as

she yawns), when the

tree’s sap seeps through my

sodden shoulder making one

vein of brotherhood, one

lone tree bearing me,

lonesome and needing someone to

lean on, something

alive.

 

Your roots are tight-bound in an

iron grid bespeckled with butts

but you seem to thrive so

perhaps you like all this

noise and bustle, and maybe the

sap from shoulders seeping into your

tough veins, some

symbiosis of the city.

 

My tram hoots up from

Piccadilly, my cold bed calls.

Bud well, buddy, and thanks for

your support.

Juliet’s Balcony

Coming through London

I pass those half a

million pound flats with their

Juliet balconies so

beloved of architects

crammed with suitcases,

laundry, bicycles, kids’ toys,

unopened (unopenable) boxes,

rows of ironed shirts

awaiting another

ironed day,

garden furniture with no

prospect of a garden, indeed

no room for a

Juliet to shriek her love

lost in the roar of

London’s traffic from this

ruinously expensive but

well-placed favela.

Paper-Cut

The Producer wanted blood and

the writer added a bandage but I

persuaded them that a simple

plaster plucked from rawness

better revealed the inner pain

like a paper-cut

like a poem.

Professionals

Because the people who

think they know will

always prevail, we who

do know approach the

shoot with faint faith and

little hope, determined to

do our best whilst

praying for the dubious

charity of our audience.

Scorn

My business has many ways to express scorn:

the Lighting Cameraman who couldn’t

light a box of matches; the

Director who couldn’t

direct traffic; the

Producer who couldn’t

produce his prick from his trousers.

 

But you have refined scorn to a

simple glance.

Script

In the search for raw truth, all those

carefully chiselled words, all those

site-specific stage directions went

out the window to flutter like

confetti in an

empty churchyard.

The Canonical Hours of a Working Man

Matins

In the ghost world the

ghost girl dances her

ghost whirls enlacing me in

veils so seductive I

sometimes pray the

dawn won’t come.

 

Lauds

But dawn does come with the

prayer my feet will

find the floor and that the

floor will bear my weight so I

will not start the day

flat on my face.

 

Prime

If there is a God it is coffee-coloured,

coffee-flavoured, dark-roasted,

perking like heavy breathing, its

consort sizzling in the pan, the

toaster popping its prize with a

sigh like a prayer.

 

Tierce

In the mad rush of the studio I

see something, take my chance,

get the set rebuilt and

knowing it will take time

slip out to light my

prayer to creativity.

 

Sext

Shall I make this poem a pun on Sex? But

lunch is when I have a moment to

lust over those who, at work,

I respect, would never dishonour, but

at quiet times imagine

undressed, themselves lustful.

 

 

None

Mid-afternoon is a sigh—no, a

yawn into the vast face of the work we’ve

chiselled all day into something we

pray is vaguely human, vaguely

real, vaguely worth all that

spent time to achieve.

 

Vespers

Outside the lamps are lit just as we

switch ours off and head away home

praying all is well with those

work has cut us off from, lit

phone-screens in the car-park evidence of

love, concern and care.

 

Compline

Fed and watered—ok, wined!—I

wend my way to my hotel, call home,

check the news, reply to emails,

clean myself, resign myself to bed

praying the ghost girl will still be

whirling in her ghost world.

The Band Room, Pinewood

In the shadow of the gargantuan stages,

I worked in one of those

fathomless spaces which seem to

sum up time and

seam it in its walls: where

big bands rehearsed for

big musicals; dancers

warmed up at now-rusty barres;

where the mechanics of my business exhausted

enthusiasm, energy, blood; where

despair sometimes stuck you to its

sweat-stained, tight-beamed floor; where

once an unknown man

hung himself from one of its

high substantial stanchions;

where now is the home of the

nostalgia of Science Fiction; where

sturdy security guards shiver on their

late rounds when the

memories drift down

like dust.

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