In the West

Of those whose lives indent, meander, stall, elasticate
beyond the points where laminates of land perhaps have met the sea ,
sing the unsung as they slosh and snag and mist their ways
nearer and nearer to the edge of that inscrutable haze.

In hamlets where smoke rises in plumblines, then totters off true,
places where the damp leaves of the season
settle on electric mosses and the fibrous remains
of other histories snuffed softly long before this last
like a blanket warming all the frozen vessels that have passed,

In coastal inlets where there might be leaden sky beyond,
or it might be water, light as air… and boats row langourously out
as if to find the boundaries of all that we have here
the final reckoning of a humbling, muddy, subsistence-based career,

On hillsides rusted with bracken, bog myrtle, bog cotton
bog dwellers carry their carcasses into rich peat
and in light forests, dawns find roedeer in fine rain,
sheets of the Atlantic lost, windtossed, until this random landfall
gives them a place to drop their wandering pain.

They have Joker hearts,
these Tricksters,
Janus, Uranus,
quiet, liquid, thirsty
no obituaries likely
but fresher far than you or me
this rude but fine complexion on the edge of mystery.

Of the blurs and blends of time
in those shy riddling lives sing now
and never ask them for a meaning or an explanation,
On the edge there is no why, or when, or how,
just whisky, religion and temptation.



This is not the breadbasket
nor the orchard
of our country
this is the smelter

we are spread here
smeared over snowfields
like sump-oil,
slid inside animal skins for warmth
valenki boots for transport
to the motherland’s lode
where we melt stones each day
to feed her.

You’ll notice, as visitors
that we scurry with purpose
and little choice
for its cold
and has always been that way

you see
we were taught smelting
as infants
stoked adolescent furnaces
as we played with ourselves
and swelled our own value
to the common as muck good.
We are the biggest.

there is no smelter
in the world
can match ores,
nickel, red earth
low life span,
high products and stacks of them
coughing their own clouds
in climatic dumplings
just airborne enough
to clog a low sun

Here we have poisoned trees
in the tundra
taproots of icicled black plants
our grandfathers, the great ones sowed
forming a blocked, steaming city
not a little unlike your
New York New York

Norilisk Norilisk
we wheeze to ourselves
through furry lungs
as we vie , a quiet smelting people
for streetstall fish caught
in sick coloured waters.
(our giant freezer
keeps them stiff as spears)

Leisure, you ask?
Well the men have huge fox hats
and are well endowed with patience
the women wide hips and great gashes
of splashed carmine lipstick
you can see coming for many blocks
in this monochrome city.

In summer we fish or fuck
and in winter there’s no fishing.

























I’ve just walked to
The South Pole
but all it did
was leave me cold.

Why dont I ever
feel surprised
enthused or zapped
between the eyes?
Am I too old and wise?

Did I try too hard,
is that the truth?
Did I somehow squander
all that youth?
Has all my hunger
and desire
burned up the heat
that makes the fire
and were those years
I worked and waited
hung on and hoped
and felt frustrated,
in fact just dissipated?

I was the first
to reach the top,
went round the globe,
I never stopped!
Should I have seized
more of those days,
have I missed some trick
along the way
and now do I have to pay?

I feel
for nothing
but my own orgasm
though children
seem to have some worth
(I do feel moved,
affected by Birth)
What does this mean?
Did I do wrong?
and will my Death
take very long?
Do I have to carry on?

I’ve done my odd experimentations
magnetic turbulence and variation
sundogs, cancers, capricorns
forties, fifties, roaring storms
twilights, blacknights, dawns.
Not only deserts, edens, calvaries
but kisses, tears and cups of tea
Is that the end of me?

There must be more
to this than that
an apocryphy
a caveat
a dream, a thrill
some indication
some subtlety
or some revelation
of a purpose,
something new
some thunderbolt
out of the blue?
Do you
have a view?

Perhaps its something
in my soul
that made me walk
from Pole to Pole?
Having circumnavigated
the Earth’s core
you’d think I’d be close
to being sure
just what life’s for
but shouldn’t there be more?


Frankly my dear
you’re damned,
so stop bugging me
You’re already going
through Purgatory
Get on with Death
then go to Hell
or will that leave you
cold as well?
















He peered down my epiglotis
and spoke briskly with a glottal stop
just here and there
as if the airs deposited at Dental School
had been rinsed away
with pink liquid.

“No injection?” he inquired
knowing my answer would be No.
“Well just yell if you change your mind”
knowing full well I wouldn’t.

He had been the master of my mouth
for 18 amalgamated years
ever since I could afford to pay
for this character building
this stretching and loosening
of my pain threshold.

I had seen his drills go hi-speed
his chairs go hi-tec and full tilt
his landscape photography improve immeasurably
his whiskers grey
his nurses marry
and his rubber apron
cast into the skip,
(though the smell of it
hangs always
like an ethic)

He tied the light plastic bib across my chest
reclined me to the supine position
shone the bright light
into my inner tubes and cavities
and flashed
a tray of stainless probes
towards my chin

his face came
flopping forward
gravity presaging
his fifties
jowl tied up with white paper
eyes absorbing
my wasted cusps

looking past his ear
(vast and lightly dusted with dandruff)
I noticed the silver
bi-planes on the mobile
were flying backwards
and there was a new mountain
over the fireplace

the drilled nerve
gave me spasms
the nurse aspirated
eagerly near the rear
of my tongue,
and I dealt
with the pain
as normal
by opening
wider and wider
to help

later he scaled me and polished me
and found a dark curly hair
stuck behind the porcelain crown
I scrub twice daily
and always after cunnilingus.

Did I detect
a human glimmer of remorse
behind the white mask
that it wasn’t his
but that of some sallow
foreign muck?
























Your meal table’s in
the arm of your seat
your seat is on the plane
but you’re nowhere near the airport
not stuck at Hangar Lane
you’re crouched behind the sofa
crying again.

Your meal-ticket came through early
they say you fell on your feet
and sprinted the fasttrack to sitting pretty
like your wife in your soft plush place in The City
or your secluded country mansion.
Your chiselled chin and your shapely seat
have much room for expansion.
Your attitude’s spot on for us
and you’ve a sharp, well-focussed mind
so why are you crying
when everything’s fine?

They booked you on the 7.30
and I dont think you’ll make it.
I suspect I’ll have to fire you.
How do you think you’ll break it
to your plush and pouting wife
that you lost your marbles
all the reason in your life
in the time it took to miss a plane
one corporate Tuesday morning
of multi-conglomerate pain?

What is this deeply hidden
fear of flying
that leaves men like you
behind the sofa

Wings dont seem to fit
on a back that wide and strong.
I think I’ll hire your sexy wife…
flying turns her on….






















I Believe in Eamonn Andrews

(The smooth talking charmer)
I know that one day, even though
I got several answers wrong
and ended up with 3 cabbages
and ignominy on TV,
and I’m now universally unemployable
and he sent a hitsquad out
to assassinate Ian
(that’s my hamster)
wittering and woganing on in his Irish way
about the university of hard knocks
and all that baloney maloney malarkey,
and now he’s going to tell the whole world
I’m a secret crossdresser and I carry disease
and I really shouldn’t have treated
my best mate that way that day
and he’s going to bring out some bony old
crone of a schoolteacher of mine
who I hated and I’ll have to pretend
he nurtured my creativity….

I know
in the end
he’ll intercept me with cameras
on my way to the STD clinic,
show me a big fancy book
with embossed leather covers
and blank pages
and he’ll say :
“This is your Life”























WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien