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December 30, 2008

Some late night poem drafts.


My soldiers, my men:

Now that I have your shoulders in my hands,


Soon you shall have marched away from me,

laughing and joking

into the blood land.

We will build pots of clay

to post you our tears,

and duck egg envelopes

of perfume.

My soldiers, my men

growing and browning

into our fathers' shoes.


This Fluox haze parts us from our parting.

I cannot believe

the threat of you.

You will be forever this flesh,

these naked limbs

around my skin.

No bombs will conquer us,

no bullets will prick this white warmth.

Uniforms won't mask the scent

of sexing

or the kisses that I placed so sleepily


Kisses are not armour

but you shall not leave me here.

You shall not be snatched,


from the creavace of my lungs.

Not on the news,

family informed,

but sleeping here.

October 08, 2008

A quick plug

A brief plug. If anyone wondered what my physical parts get up to when I am resting my brain, I have another blog charting the progress of a friend and myself as we train for a half marathon. Not much there yet, but will be updating regularly with details of pain, glory, sponsorship and all things "running".

http://poetontherun.normbl ogs.com/

October 01, 2008

A couple of poems from early summer

Essays on absence

Writers without lichen, or footsteps

Or clay

          Pause on their way up the steps

To the vista of the great grey ponds

In the palace gardens.

Rain sweeps down the hill below

And on the tower stairs

A girl weeps sodden

In a polkadot dress

Her sweet breath hovered laced with champagne

Writers kneel on the wet flags

And comfort her

Or stare at her

Or lick the raindrops and the eyedrops

From her milky cleavage skin

To weep also

Or to stub out cigarettes

Between her shoulderblades.

Without lichen, stones in the garden walks grow black

And her ankles grow cold

Without the soldier’s kiss.


Fire Eaters

In bed with a king

Fresh faced and kissing me down the bone

Of my breast

Over navel and down to the

Hot hard shelves

Of our loving library.

I inhale you, man.

I enclose you, man.

I roll with you, through my sighs

Grow old

In the fallow lands

Of our bone fats

And the great red coils

Of our hair.

We are red

duskier by our thighs

But still red like fire.

Wet fire shifting against wet fire,

Crimson, sticky, devoured.

March 28, 2008

To The Queen

To the queen.

I give you every first and final toast:

When my upper lip flinches over wine

at wholesome parties

or at quiet meals over the steam of gravy

or tongue sucking flat beer in the garden

or the burn nip of sloe gin on the field,

or on lounge carpets

or the bar cackled binge,

gambling truths for sick-sweet boozes with my friends.


I give you the tips of my money nubbing thumbs,

the insides of my purses, pockets, dash trays, boxes

for your commerce and your metal jowls.

I exchange you, and let you sneak

into the rubber foot-mats of my car.


I give you the journey of my letters and my tongue:

Your head presiding over billings paid,

or regal reverences or thanks

or notes and hopes in secret code

or the tawdry jokes in lemon ink.


I give you my pillow thoughts

as both of us rest our curls.


I give you my lover’s body

piece by piece

on the chopping block of war.


(His heart was always yours)


He and I:

though that we live to warm each other,

wait, in crumpled covers,

in theatres or in homes,

in churchyards or gardens

or the back rows of cinemas

or the cabbage scented kitchen

or the dim corners of restaurants

to know you better and to serve you well.



I give you my future.


I arch by night and always

our duty seeds

in all these honourable actions we make:

The investiture of kisses, half tipped

like shallow bowls of blood

to your supreme governance.


It is in our wine and inheritance,

this identifying wish to bend our knees.


I give you my body so to sow,             

inside imperfect furrows, England.

I give you the envy of its future daughters

and the fervour of its future sons.


I give you a dream that was a queen, and pavilions

and coloured rice, and apple crumble

and hairslides

and wonder

varnished tight onto the hull

of our figurative order.

And esteem, such as any woman can esteem another.


I give you the tiniest curled strands at the nape of my neck.

Playing with Rhythm

Another play with rhythm, with an obviously rhythmic subject.


Rise in me

and fall in me

pressing me

and following.

Breath full throat

and gasps on skin

sweating out

for gulping in.

Rise in me

and fall in me

racing heartbeats

for their peaks

squeezing down

into the sheets

pupils fat

with body things

limbing round

and stammering.

Sings in the throes, and he noses her hollow throat bones so long in the echoes of collapse.

Draft playing with rhythm

I run and the song is overtaken

by the drifting mind

of the loving one,

the girl whose legs buck up

head down

sweat tucked

to the Easter air

and whose feet crunch for fun

on the mud park trail

but the mind trails

and the eyes trail

back to the known of the man.

I run flatfoot

undone and breathing

foolish breaths that

do not fall

onto his skin.

The march grass packs wet under

press and progress

      But joyous



pink and panting hard

heart fast

the song pugnacious

spring, meandering

My love, when will you be with me again?

Poem from direct observation

Another workshop draft based on direct observation.


Bullrushes lean around the ornamental pond,

above the green-brown water:

balding bear fingers

antlers half rubbed

on the sticks of the trees.

Thick, chocolate handfuls,

crispy and moulded-

Half finished candyfloss in

the burnt out backstage

of a rubbish strewn fair.

A duck moults also

rubbery chest emerging


from a soft pale casing

of dirty down.


Dry pea eyes squeezed

into nothing

in its green head,

beak wedged and sulky

in oily shoulderings.

A coot picks

its grasshopper thighs

through ripples,

over and under the

green-point reed shoots


and the crumple skeletons

of the white rush stems.

Another, shrugging

red tipped

between the fox stunk

firs and decorative bamboo,


shattered by recent rain.

In the weeds above the water

a sign states no fishing

for the fish that have not risen

to French kiss the surface

and give myths

more than moorhens

to the suburban glass.

For the first time

For the first time.

I decided to require your hands on me

that afternoon that time began,


to remove my clothes.

The first time.

You premiered my bare bones,

my small breasts

and the hot scraggle

between my lumber thighs.

Now I need the feelings

of your gratitude palms

cupping the globe buttock,

the back of my shoulders

then the waist:

Retouching the parts that writhed for you,

and the parts that opened.

Time once-more:

Requiring but alone shift

the unfulfilled and heavier fleshes

of my chill selves against my chill selves:

My love, when shall you be warming them again?


This is the first draft of my workshop poem from the other day. We looked at David Morley's poetry on birds and then went out onto campus to write from life. I couldn't actually see any birds so I wrote about the songs coming from the trees instead. 


Empty trees pierce netted.

Lancing, pipping squeaks between the bark,

Stark mouse-screams whetting peace in the shrill fall

between horizons, escalations.

Dew tremors

Creep tones,



lemon sugar speaking not shouting

sharpening talking

tossing marbles of sounds

of warbles and seeds,


wobbling light

between shiverings


slow over the tips of the wood.

Draft, March 2008

She dreams of the moment

when a uniformed man

comes with his brittle bag of bones

to her little suburban door.

The man is gone

he will tell her

they blew his arms and legs

and now his head

is popped open

on some other cultures dust.

She dreams of how she falls

leg weak to the kitchen stones.

Her love is just red bones

and all his pride

is left to her to bear.

She must be so inordinately proud,

silent sobbing in the pews

where all the men who knew her man

are screwing up their eyes

Some pity her pale face

and most admire

her quiet pride

accepting grace

and sad propriety.

They do not see her secret acts:

walking naked through the home

alone and rubbing ash and oils

into the places he could touch

or when she tears newspapers up

to chew on when her tongue is gone

or turning his clothes inside out

to find the arm hairs he has left.

They send the medals with salutes

they send the cheques by men in suits

they send reporters too polite

to note that she has tired eyes

Another uniformed man comes

to enquire why

she starves

and lies among the smelt out clothes,

terminal, from some weakness,

or disease, in-between her neck

and diaphragm.

Another Draft

The women bounce

on their smooth wet hocks

on the salubrious counters

of the place of ill repute.

Businessmen bid

for these moments of poise

gulping and baying

packed and packing memories

into their pockets,

where the notes have been

in the spaces in their liver cells

in their repertoires of banter

in their trousers

where the fabric tightens at the seams.

In amongst the crowd

a soldier glancing sideways


and duties tied down

beneath his suit.

He sends off texts to keep his eyelids cool

and his wallet closed.

The waiting girlfriend


reads his guilty grumbles

in the paucity of night,

shifting her imperfect limbs.

One dancer knows the soldier’s frowning eyes

comes, enticing, to the lip of her parapet

swaying always

and oiled like a gun.

It is the moment that

his warrior eyes are

resting dubious on the perfect thighs

the coiling elbows, haunch and wrists,

the pouch of her crotch.

And did his trousers tighten too?

And did the little lady know

at home?

Striking poses in stockings

young and desirous

awkward in the straps of lingerie

and pale.

Nervously eager to be naked for her love.

The noise cools

and every dawn

in the still neon pavement light

the dancers poke fags

into their mouths

and with sweat heavy vodka

and fistfuls of fivers

they clean off of their skins

the crusted eyeballs of the men.

And did she cry

that not her flanks

nor her breasts

nor her back

nor her calves

were like the ladies

that he saw?

She curls her legs

into her little chest

that lives for his custom.

January 31, 2008

A poem about an obsession: first draft


You cannot solve the world

and she cannot solve your thought.

The horizon hatches in you

low and dark

and her fingers up and down your spine

are as altering

as the grass heads

to the wind.

She tenses for both of you

and watches you bear the earth.

Cowed and loving,

heart gripped and furrowed.

Mute in the audience

of your frown.

A third Person Persona Poem: Parklands


Fletch squats his fat butt down onto the

fibrulous bench

where it sways, half belched,

in the decaying park.

The children fight and play

while Fletch smokes fat Rothmans

and itches his ears

with his newspapers.

Business sheets. Thick and pink as

his hands:

Twice as useless and unstudied.

Sometimes kids swing, or point out his

slow eyes. Thighs.

Trees recoil without cannons,

the bark

crenillating and slow.

Watched. Creaked autumns and Sundays

and Mondays and spring,

buttonholing the days.

Fletch likes the park.

In his pocket, there is a ring

that his older sister

left by the stove.

Gorse Flowers

His dark hysteria and her own

retreat back to their faces, cigarettes

guzzled incongruously, and sad hands clasped.

Determinedly they kiss away their woes,

and wrap their thighs about each others thoughts.

But In the hearts, the wordless whispered loves,

she hears the seed of doubt much like her own.

Her: The coward in the face of joy.

Her love: The young backed titan with his thoughts,

too proud to fear the portent of his frown.

These blissful tear eyed lovers make their smiles.

That stone is in her heart now he has gone

too many miles to lift it out; burdened

as he is by pebbles he has found.

A Poem About Food

Seam bursting gut straining sprout chewed

tongue flapping rolling squelching cramming heaving

and the room for one more sugar chocolate mouth

hot thirsty mouth and the nauseous gut

swollen into the round.

Christmas. Sick clogged belly fare

tables clustered and jostled and heaving at the joists

hoisted laden forkfuls and crumbling turkey flesh

and skins juiced with gravy fat and oil. Herb crinkled potatoes

squishing under the knives. The goodslush and the hot mulled

slurry of kings, food falling out, spilling over the white cloth

and warm on the cold plates.

Poem in imitation of Roger Finch

It is in the dark that I find the difference

between myself, the green ink user, biro penner,

and you, who blues out thoughts in fountains, scored wet

between our thighs and scrawled on our hot backs.

Nibbed up into us the words, and their oppositions,

inter-loop: some dry and some bleeding out;

Looped sighs over the kaggy handed words.

Looped sighs bind our opposing minds

into composing flesh and sweat. In the dark

our difference condenses, smudged under the finger

tips and the mouth, and the cry words and the language

of a sobbing groin. It is in the moment, repeated, that

our sentences find one another, and we are the same

writer, with different diction. Later I scratch out your

scent, verdant, in words such as melting snow,

silver polish and moss. And the sound is mine.

Termless: A love poem employing no terms of endearment or adoration


She lets you open her

like the two halves

of a nectarine,


from about it’s core.

You liked the seed:

Licked it, and kept it in your palm.

Now, without you,

she shall never be whole.


She screams out sometimes

in her sleep,

and you whisper her awake,


close to the moon of the nose

that has taken in your smell.

The sighing mouth

that sometimes smiles around

your wide heat.


She watches when your

thoughts come

and your frowns come,

and leaves little bruises

with her teeth,

upon your arms.

You comfort her in the old fears,

and the fear

of this new requirement.


She sits by you

with the silence of tea,

still warm

from your finger dance.

The tasteable smell.

Now her throat throbs

while dual skins cool:

Shared heat

made milkily.

Poem in imitation of Douglas Dunn's 'Land Love'

The gate is warming in the morning sun

and where it holds my arms. Over the fields

I see your head limp and I kiss our son.

The still cold breeze halts. It scents his hair

Where it stirs under my lips. Thin

and warmer; You approach us, bearing pears

in your thick arms. Our child gargles at the

orchard and the softening view. You

check, pause and smile in your journey.

Bulbous fruits red-rolling your hairs, and, damp

from the tree, wetting the shirt. You

are as toughened and tall he is plumped

and smooth.

The pears are for us both and our

fences whiten in the light. Faces

turning simultaneous to him,

pinkened by the wind and by the joy.


These circular words are dancing:

Carving rings into our chests.

Thoughts as brands, compassed

and encompassing the strange world,

returning, unsolved, to itself.

Scarring the irreconciled hearts.

What can one do but tremble

when the bleak ideas come,

unanswerable and cold?

One of us frowns, black eyed,

into the unknown fibres of his night.

The other twitching in her terror

of old discontinued discourse.

Of the weight of all those words

that fail, and the need

to engender them:

In the shifts of naked skins

in the reverent lipping things,

kisses, irrelevant, and sighs.

But what are these

when she cannot find the lies

to form your comfort?

December 06, 2007

..The World Is Going To End in 6 Hours..

Exercise: A three or four line poem about what you would do in the face of the certainty of your demise within the next 6 hours.


Now, my kiss can trust you.

It is the unevaluated promise:

A deep clammy dedication,

fearless of it's future.