Wigwam Women

Think I’ll go see the Wigwam Women
they feel what I feel,
covering ground on purple evenings
when there’s a mist

I kayaked the love affair rapids
and out on the lake of forgotten pain
made camp on happenstance island
then came back again.
At the inconvenience store
I couldn’t get ammo, beans or meal
now I need to see the Wigwam Women
need to heal.

If I rode out now past the empty claims
and fossils and rusting bogeys upturned
to the wildfire free valley
where no boats are ever burned
where the hunting’s still good
and the gathering is real
I’d see the Wigwam Women
They feel what I feel
They feel what I feel






















Overgrown Elephant

I’m an overgrown elephant
a pumped up pachyderm.
long of tooth and cold of bone
In short
I’m dead.

Around my skull bugles of convolvulus twine,
become my myriad violet eyes in the rainy season,
mass up the vertebrae of
my deadwhite spine in the heat of summer.
That’s when tendrils fill out the deadwood staged
contents of my theatrically  mammoth brain,
that powerhouse of sagacity spilled out
and dried over the suncooked aeons,
skeletal remnants
fastforwarding fossils
of elephants in softpadded
fuckme high heels.

My trunk’s cartilaginous tissue
I prefer to see  dissolved rather than deceased
and still trumpeting and squirting and romping
in the salt-licks of our ancestors.

I died…but
my children still play at sunset in the dust
and when they sawed off my tusks
I decided to remain here forever.

I remain in some magnitude
and everything I have is  the biggest on the planet
including my memory…….




















Outstayed Welcome

I stayed longer
than driftwood should plan
outside the subway station
we embraced on day-glo grass
knowing the earth we’d worked
was now shapeless sand
I bobbed down the escalator,
a squall blew me through a train door,
a wave washed me down a tunnel,
away from land























A floating home to Laurens
who  kibbles  wheat and fries eggs,
who shakes beer with his Gado-Gado
and who never mended the  balustrade.

When the houseboat began to sink
he moved to a brighter mooring.
Ducks took over. Dock leaves, alder,
a tree of unclear parentage began to root
in the moist low timbers.
Soon what with wire worm, timberlice
and the wet substrata, a Crannog
or floating island was formed
and it became a chicken run.

The ivory roots descended cloudy to bottom
latched into silt. The tree strove above.
The flag was removed. Registration cancelled.
Vessel Licence became meaningless.
The narrow gangway became crisp debris,
feeding seed became dangerously exciting.
Brothels flourished around it
Ducks became quick, celebrated like
fruit salad.

Streetsweepers came to cleanse there
but they never touched it.
Enough dirt to deal with already.

It was a nonstop show now
men fought in delirium
women opened their bodies
businessmen opened museums
the place sold itself around
this soft regressive relic.

Waterways Maintenance Division
had only to trim the weed vines stiffly
and marvel at the strengthening rootstructure
like some amazonian mangrove
left to do its surviving.

Laurens made espresso, smoked,
and talked late with friends.


















In this new climate, pears in port wine
cannot be accepted at tea time.
For years Stalin’s shadow tyrannised his meals..
what the belly rejects the heart feels
and stores in its own disordered archive,
waits for another regime to arrive,
and hopes it will be better.

But these were such little, domestic affairs..
He’d never actually said:”I dont want pears”,
and the port’s one of history’s non-events…..
except the heart stores each tiny pretence…
defers it till the masses alter the state,
then he stands up and says “I hate
what everybody loves”

Why should he pretend anything any longer?
Yet we do! Revolutions make us tougher and stronger,
but fresh tea-time tyrannies arise..
Dictators, benevolent or otherwise
alter the diet, and alter the lies
we tell one another.

Sandino salsas limp over the graves
of laughing Afghans. What his heart craves
his fist smashes, creates the loss he fears.
The heart’s archive collects its debts in arrears.

Afterwards, new lovers reach and draw each other near,
anticipating breakfast.




















You can try weighing out
the evidence of days,
of cycles of the moon,
of years, of millennia.
Even epochs and civilisations
will perhaps tremble at your threat
to evolution…
the divine
of your mighty scales.

But guarding
the future’s threshold
is a thankless, endless task.
No creature passes through
but no one comes to relieve you.
Your legs grow varicosed
your countenance fixed,
your body stiffens
over its outdated blacklist
and finally
through lack of exercise
the exercise fails.
















Chair in the Loft

I’ve been here for years.
Dust lies drifted in the polished place
where warm-bottomed
and curvaceous creatures
would once have been supported
by my kapok and red leatherette.
My seat feature,
was pride of the kitchen
when I and my mistress’ bottom
long ago first met.

Gathering dry dirt in a woody gloom,
this monotonal  terminality …
cast in the home’s last room
and resting place…
decays and depresses
objects such as us
who were once allowed some grace
and functionality.

Each 15 months or so, and so
a chimney sweep
or an aerial contractor
visits us
and also now and then
a fresh discarded victim
joins our haughtily resigned community.
We make no fuss…
we are devoid of opportunity.

Old settee covers
balefully receive the chipped stares
of plastic soldiers,
the letters of old lovers
now addressing new directions,
VAT reports
in case of State Investigations,
books and papers from a time
when life was just the future
and this information could be used
somewhere along that endless line….

The pram, and then
the doll’s pram  waiting
for an unlikely retro-taste
in some new toddler’s
strange or mystical demeanour….
the nappies that were outgrown,
the heavily branded lid
of the handed down
handy-pack dispenser
caught in an unfulfilled function
that  doesn’t matter any more
and perhaps never did
(but it gave them something to shout about
took on meanings
it had never had before),
the broken guitar
the grotesque toaster
the fruits of work,
all the still parts of humans
that become impossible to sever
because their physicality
goes on for ever

As useless objects we are immortal.
We lie in chinks of ginger light, beamed
where a roofing contractor may arrive
some time next summer
and we might hear him coming up the drive,
the leather-squeaking tread of him
by-passing our captivity.

So they bequeath us.
So are we rocked, in our silence
and acceptance of passivity,
by the process of forgetting
going on beneath us.





















Cars dont turn me on one little bit..
They crush toddlers’ skulls into the gravel.
They box in our imaginations.
They change the climate for the worse
They make us sit in lines, calculating
the road tax and the deaths of our marriages
through psychological cruelty on dual carriageways.

The best thing is the death of a car
but then we get spanners out
and treat the resurrection of this monster
as a weekend hobby.
Or we polish the old ones till
they gleam in museums so we can
reminisce over the shapes and engines
of the old killers instead of the new.

We even use  them as chicken coops sometimes
what an insult to the egg.

Chicken coops?
Museum pieces?
Weekend hobbies?
The march of progress?
Give us a break
Cars may get us about, cleverclogs
but they break our spirits
and we asked for it.





















They staked out
the smashed carapace they had
forcefed for months with jelly and glue
to make it fat for this special time
daubed mustard on an exposed lung
to make it twitch
and danced to that rhythm
round and round
round and round and round
in a cruel cycle of cleansing pain
a ring of sacrificial vision
pulsing with evolution
and ritual ablution
like the  madly puckering
wet sphincter of an oyster
sex-changing every year
in its spawning bed

The giant loggerhead turtle
dredged its jugular up from the slime,
flexed its flayed and oozing legs
uprooted the restraining birchwood staves
croaked an ouch that hurt but felt nearby
a sense of crashing waves…
and heaved itself back into time
to lay more eggs.


















Buried Alive

No air can reach through that,
nothing gets past soil
pressed into its brown wet self
and densening in the downward weight of
No force can push through that,
you might want to bloody a few nails
strain back, knees and shoulders raw
in the dark box of this enormity.
No avail.
No sound can rise through that,
try your lungs until the time of breath is past
time will go slowly, time will go fast
and neither matters.
This is the end of all banality
the ultimate finality,
the big one
at last



















Weekend End

To be so broken, wet, saying things
you don’t care about, croaking for warmth,
strapped by the state of me
I’m illogical. You’re critical.

I go for material stuff, the standard lamp’s shine,
I smash it for company, violent like my heart,
you see scales on my skin, the comic hun, the bad egg,
the monster of dependency,
a hunched public enemy,
and dealer in the unacceptable.

You put a brand to my brow,
I scream, it scars, permanent disfigurement,
“unforgiven” it reads.
I become the bad sadness of me
as you turn away, your tones
frogmarching the raw sob of me
back to my shit-smeared cell.

Then later, in solitary, a bash of keys
and you come down on me,
a sudden lust for company
violent like your heart
a rubbing need, a self-determination.
You are muscular and meaty, globs of liquid
fold from your lips.You know the physical, using me,
you know searing me with softness
you know to ruddy me with pink, going beyond
the rude in me, you know breaching the edge,
for I showed you this in stronger times.
You appropriate all of me, I am taken with you,
emptied of bronze, melted for your statue
and what a monument we make to you !
Then you slacken, sigh, linger at my given thigh
and the smell of birth swaddles us.

You mutter opinions in your dawn
while I dress, damply stoic to repeated severance,
stoic to this door closing over again
then Monday.
I back into stained pavements,
the flyovers of humanity,
places where no one stops,
the open prison of the exhausted
and the meek.























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….






















Age of Commitment

The business gurus tell us to commit 100%
to the cause of selling it,
then someone says just bear with me a bit,
I’ll get back on the mobile later,
last minute fast minute
like we like it
then we’ll need it yesterday
so we’ll bike it.

For this is the age of keeping options open
This is the modern age the modem age
the instant access to the sage-advice-page age
the fast car undertakers and road-rage age
the age of  expectation, choice
the age of the voice. Male and female
keys to making all these sales,
are uttering buzzwords (no is not one)
dressing to declare that you’re the hot one
and getting a dress if you haven’t got one
addressing the stress with a guru book,
for volume sales make our figures look
better and thats a restful stress
that harnesses our stressful stress.

And oh how
know now
we must all connect, believe, state our mission
focus, cascade, network, work out, make decisions
have a vision
but I cant see it
my search engines find
the more I know
the more I change my mind.

























It’s a judgement isn’t it, by thee of me,
this so called abrogation of responsibility?
So now that the social skills police are out
do you think I’ll pass muster?
If this is about social rights, the system, all the law enshrines,
then give me back the right, the right they say is mine….
the right to be dull, lacklustre
a sheep, uninspired, uninspiring
the right to be quiet, shy, boring , tedious, retiring
the right to fold up, cry like a babe, shout like a football commentator
the right to be humble, receptive to the total sum
without planning on a calculator,
the right to love without wit or charisma
plead without pride ,
lose face, slide,
scramble back up towards self assurance
scratching, slipping, straining,
without ever getting there,
just the right to care
without being entertaining.























Into Blue

We group hug,
in suspension
at the border of security.
A stranger, asked to point and shoot
smirks like he’s caught us
in flagrante, the intensity
of our pasts touchable
like the skin of a lover.

He counts 123  cheese
we manufacture grins, link arms
he flashes and we fall
into a file somewhere
that may never ever be

I cannot hold this
I cannot hold this longer
a goodbye is a goodbye
a clear division, a cut
in the connection,
a decision.

I pull from the others
only a thin thread leashing me
for decorum’s sake,
at the frontier, anxious to break
I strain towards the nice x-rays
and the plastic laptop trays
and the man in uniform
studying a screen
and then on through the beeping gate
to be frisked lightly
and passed up up up
into blue !























I Heard You had Died!

It was a small surprise
for you died 20 years ago
and the news just reached me.
You came into my life from nowhere and left again
having introduced me to Pink Floyd’s
The Dark Side of The Moon
to the arcane art of sodomy

You were a dirty girl…
and I brought out the filth in you..
I loved to do that….
to make you wet yourself with lust

I think the last conversation we had
was whether you had given me
those pubic lice or not
You said No!
Perhaps we’ll never know
but if you did
I can definitely say it was worth it…..

Sorry to hear
about the breast cancer….























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