Poem: Scripture of Skin


To leave you, is to grieve you –

But, to be with you, is to be relieved by

You – to feel all of my sufferings, temporarily

Allayed, until, again, you flit away.

When I look into your eyes, those thunderbolts

Of blue cascade through me with

Cerulean majesty – worlds of which I

Never dreamed, rain down upon me;

I wash myself in the verdure of these

Spontaneous realms, these doorways that

You open. I awaken on verdant planets –

But we are not the sole inhabitants; for, as

We merge, a bevy of bead-like universes

Begins to converge – and I suddenly find a

Reason; a logic that has hitherto avoided

Me. Oh, faery divine! Plucked from a tear

I wept, in the hope that you might one day

Exist –

And what a wonderful existence it!

You are the flowing theme that brings

Together the jumble of my days – the leitmotif,

That makes me weep, when you are temporarily

Un-near to me. I do not mean to tease myself

With erotic fantasies – all I need to think about

Is your voice; to hear you speak: your eloquence

Is the oar that steers me through the black

Sludge of confusion; to hear you discourse

On any subject, is to rival even the

Most plangent of symphonies – I do

Not need to dwell on concupiscent

Deeds; my nectar is found in the

Flowery dream of a lifetime’s worth

Of conversations with you:

Some poetic, impassioned, pensive,

Romantic, argumentative, didactic –

Some conciliatory, or accusatory – it

Does not matter what you say to me!

Just, please, keep talking to me! Even

If you scream at me with the serenade of

Your silence, which is every bit as eloquent

As the words your speak – just, please, keep

Talking to me! Festoon me in your words

Golden – your words of dreams, of gods, of

Fears, or sorrows – words that borrow directly

From the lexicon of the most celestial chapters,

Of a book I’ve never found, but always longed to


“In the beginning, there was your Word. And

Your Word was Love. And your Word was God!” –

With those words, my world was made anew;

With every syllable that you speak, whole

Continents from your lips leak – planets

Are born every time you yawn – and

When you let the space hang sweet, like the

Dark pools that bathe the unfinished interstices

Between every disconnected star – those are

The Sweetest Times of Them All!

I wish I could bottle your silence, and carry

It with me, always, like a perfume; a

Love potion; a lucky charm – your silence

Makes the birds sing sweeter; the candles

Flicker brighter; your silence pries open

Forbidden horizons, and causes leaves to fall

From the boughs of willow trees, at exactly the

Right moment. You are autumn, the shifting of the

Seasons; the rainbow-haired, pagan goddess, who

Knows exactly when a light ripple should interrupt

The timeless placidity, of a motionless, sky-

Loving lake – casting our minds back,

To the time, we both heard –

The Very First Sound.


Do you remember when we heard

The very first sound? We were together –

Though we weren’t aware of it at the

Time. We were both enwrapped in one

Another – swaddled in embryonic timelessness;

A blanket of darkness, that knew

No creation – no movement. In

That perfect stillness, we gestated

Together, lovingly entwined in one

Another’s souls, waiting for our time

To arrive . . .

And then, suddenly . . . Colour!

A whole spectrum unveiled itself

Before us, and we gasped, we

Screamed, we cried! How could

This happen? What could these

Strange portents be? Could it

Be the first eruptions of a

Childhood, of which we have

No conception? At first, we

Were humbled, bedevilled,

Inspired – then those new hues

Conspired to seduce us – and we

Became aware of colours, not

Just as absence of non-colour; but

As something we could uniquely perceive.

It was at this moment that we

Looked at one another – and we

Recognized our other halves as

Resplendent beings in their own right.

I looked at you, and you looked

At me – and the power in that

Moment was so immense, that we

Did not know whether to rave, scream,

Cleave to one another in a haunting

Of Passion, or run – far,

Far away


As it happened, we did all

Of these things and more – the pistol

Was fired, and we gambolled into an

Arena of infinite possibilities. And, thinking

Of such things, I wonder how the ink of my

Inspiration could ever run dry again? All

I need to do is look at your face, and those

Possibilities twinkle so inspiringly, so invitingly,

So chaotically before me, that I find myself

Chasing after every last one, in a rich cacophony

Of self-multiplication, that stretches to extraneous



So, I will chase them all:

I will chase the sun, the moon,

The leaf that floats round the bend

Of a river, that I will never see

Again. What of the birds?

Christ said ‘Consider the birds’ – well,

I have considered them thusly, in their

Myriad flutterings; in the furtive flight

Of a cormorant – in the plaintive cooing

Of a dove – the reckless laughter of the

Herring gull – the stately solitude of a

Heron – the implacable whiteness of a

Swan – the ridiculousness of a gaggle

Of geese – the beautiful frenzy of a

Hummingbird’s wings; or the far-off

Croak of a raven, so lonesome, so

Wise, so mild – in each of these, I

Discover, the piece of a puzzle, that

Sings to me in argent melodies, to

Paint a picture of your infinite



And that is a picture I have

Studied, adored, and inspected

Intensely – a picture that is hung

And framed in my every thought.

And, as I write these words, I am

So devoured by the love I feel

For you, that I am barely conscious

That I am writing them – and I

Find them flowing out of my pen

As fast as a flame eats up the wick

Of a lit piece of dynamite.


But, what a ridiculous dance this

Is between poet and muse! But –

What have I to lose? My days

Were wasted before you, clothed

In the ashes of endless preparation –

Now, I have something to praise, to

Worship, to beseech, to inspire! In

Taking up you, I feel I have taken

Up a new religion – that you are

Something I must preach about –

A Gospel of Beauty I must convert

The World to:

“Come and behold! For I have

Seen the light! And that light

Has frozen its flame into the

Unendurable form of a beautiful

Sylph, whose skin is more sacred

Than any scripture.” Oh, that I could

Spend a life-time studying that book!

I would furnish it with commentary

After commentary – and I would

Annotate it wherever I could, with

Markings of teeth and tongue. I

Hear you in the whisper of the wind;

And the susurration of leaves in the

Aspen trees. And from that tree, I

Hope to carve a canoe, that will

Sail me into the typhoon of your


Poem: The Incorruptible Child

inner child art play

So, why did I kill the tramp?

Because I was sick of being a Wise

Old Man – I fucking hate it – I feel

The world loves me more,

And comes closer to me,

When it sees I am just

A child – when it remembers

I am harmless and fragile.

But I am still strong. I am as strong

As a wave that, after it crashes, always

Regroups again. So, one of my best friends

Regales me with outlandish tales of

Prostitutes and brothels; whilst I nauseate

Him equally by drinking menstrual blood,

As easily as cognac, right in front of his face –

It improves my creative functions, I like to tell him –

And he ran away, screaming and laughing, as

We danced and sang at a three day festival,

Littered with High Tragedy and Drama –

Where my heart took a holiday from its

Perpetual sickness, to be wound and strung

Around a belated Maypole, of crying children,

And domestic abuse – of friendships regained;

New ones claimed, as I strove to keep peace,

Between titanic beasts, who hurled mountain

Ranges, beer cans, and thunder – I made no

Blunder: I was the soother of Hearts;

The tyrant of love – the terroriser of

Unfinished blows – but I kept on my clothes,

Even as I dressed as a prophet, bathed in fast

Food, and knelt before the anti-nutritional

Goddess, who can eject condiments from her

Breasts; English Mustard from the right; French

From her left – in the equator of her sternum,

Her mammalian Mercator map, we danced

And sang again – I burrowed myself in hair

That curled itself in sacred wefts; a brief

Beacon of comfort, in an ocean of touch.

I enjoyed the butterfly farm – my hole in

One – knocking satellites out of the sky,

So that my signal’s kingdom would




But, stranger symptoms still

Persist. When caught in the potholes

Of life’s road, and blessed with the gifts

Of self-loathing and disrepair – in the

Coliseum of my brain, I can hear people

Chanting my name, in frantic throngs; and

I know not whence they come – what is this

Transmitted felicity? Are you trying to praise

Me? – Or are you trying to kill me?

Could it be that I am not as bereft as

I think, and that my name is as much a

Mantra to you, as I have made yours


Then let us praise this plain-

Chant of name! Let’s form a choir

Of love for one another, with whips,

And chains, and bones.



So, friends beguiled – I

Will remain your child –

You can hold my hand, and

Look on me as an object of

Innocent beauty; while other

Adults fuck and fight and commit

Crimes against the light of their

Immortal natures; that pushes pins

Into the eyes, unsinned, of their unspoilt,

Incorruptible children.

I have been corrupted many times –

Mostly by fears and fashionable ideas –

And yet, I always come back to snow –

I always return to the purest of centres,

That longs to heal and hug every hurting


I saw my anxious friend –

I held his chest in the palm of my

Hand, and brought his racing heart

Beat, down to a mellower speed;

To another, I offered the lifeboat of

My arms, and gave her the buoyancy

Of my stoic good cheer, so that she wouldn’t

Sink into




And now, after taking off my

Liquor-soaked clothes, and

Spending the night snuggled

Between a goddess, and a holier

God than I – I really felt like I

Had shaved my blues away.

Am I, again, that sweet child?

That bride of life I used to be?

I wear the world on the crown

Of my smile,

And am grateful,



That there are


Who want to




Poem: Infinite Brain


I have killed him!

It has finally happened!

The tramp is fallen – the

Messiah is slain! I went

To the entrance of his cave,

And cried out: “Come out,

You Serpent! You thing of Fleas!

You disseminator of nonsense, and

Social disease! I want to chop off

Your old gray head, and take

Hammer and chisel to your

Old, arthritic knees!”

He made no response – so

I crossed the threshold of his cave,

Where I found him, as usual, depraved:

He was drinking with one hand, and

Writing a Holy Book with the other;

All the while, taking a piss, on his

Own Earth Mother. I gave him no

Chance to escape, and stabbed him

Right in the side; and, as he drooled

Himself to death, he mischievously sighed:

“You may kill me now,

But I will only change form!

And, in another guise,

Your face I will deform!”

I scoffed at the tramp – at his

Mad, old words. But from the scar

In his side, a little boy emerged; and into

My own sorry flesh, a dagger was

Soon submerged. He said:

“The Tramp may be fallen –

The Messiah might be slain –

But you cannot kill his beautiful mind;

His infinite, obnoxious brain!

His pain is your pain;

And he will rise again;

You can kill the fleabag as much as you wish,

But the Messiah will never be slain!”

I clutched my entrails, my slithering

Bowels; I slipped on a shower curtain,

And grabbed my bath towels, yelling:

“Love live the tramp!

The Tramp is finally slain!

But, how I wish I could at last destroy,

That Infinite, Infinite Brain!”



Poem: The Epic of The Accidental Prophet


There is no relief from love – no

Sacred anaesthetic, that can in anyway

Mute its torrential rages – no, nor nothing

Assuage, that to which, with torrid heart, my

Soul doth cleave. Afflicted with this chronic

Diathesis, I long to kiss your face,

Like a hunter longs to kill;

I try and sit and meditate –but

Your absence eviscerates me – it

Torments me – and in a rash, unskilled,

Surgery, it tips all the organs from

Out of my love-sick body, and piles

Them up before you, like a skyscraper of

Agony – perhaps we could play Jenga

With those exiled parts of my body,

And the first one to make my

Organs collapse, will be the one

To win my heart – but I fear

Being subjected to such chance superstition;

There is only one person to whom I wish

To give my heart – Everybody else

Must wait in line, until my

Madness has come to an end.

For I am mad – did I not tell you

I was love-sick? This is no psychosis,

No base schizophrenia, no bipolar, no

Sociopathy, no hypothalamic disorder – this

Is The King of Maladies – The Emperor

Of Madness – The Empress of Insanity –

For love is much akin to the uncapped

Lusts of empire: it puts no limit to

Things – but, in an ever-expanding, yet

Equally restrictive monomania, it contaminates

All things with the persuasion of its

Madness, until we no longer know the meaning

Of Reason.


But, there is a faculty, that makes it

A stranger sickness still – the victim

Does not wish to be cured of his

Ills, but only to get sicker and


I was healthy once –

Now, to sickness I am committed.

When I am with you, and you

Seduce me with your silence, all is peace,

But the violence beats out most terribly, the

Moment your being is cast away from

Me. Oh, unkind goodbyes! Aching, evil,

Inevitability of Parting!

Loneliness has befriended me much, in mine

Short life – I have had much occasion

To occupy the desolate comfort, of its

Wasted confines. Now I know the definition

Of loneliness – it is defined by your absence –

From this I have deduced the meaning of

Peace – it is defined by the power of your



My body is simply not strong enough to

Withstand a love as big as this. My old

Body must be destroyed, to make room

For something tougher. My spirits come

To me in the early morning, and treat me with

Lascivious cruelty – they convulse my body,

Rending it into agonizing positions – contorting

Me into postures of excruciating pain, all in aid

Of this one stated mission:

“To let love in –

To let love in –

Oh, Reuben, with your tiny bones! –

Serenader of space, an aspirant towards

Ungainly tombs – you must be rent;

Prescribed with torment – to let this love

In. For a love like this is not conducive to

Stable security, and hale good health: we

Must kill you, and lay you low;

We must make of you a towering

Inferno; a bonfire in which an effigy of

Your past self can be burnt – a

Sacrificial officiant to the future – for

This is a second coming, just as there is a

Third coming, a fourth coming, and a

Fifty-thousandth coming – so must

You be prepared! We will grind your

Bones to mercury – powder your heart

To cinnabar; we will pulverize your agonies

Into a crystalline consistency, we can sniff like

Cocaine, through our celestial nostrils: for, as you

Long – so we long for you!

We visit you nightly – we are addicted

To your agonies – to your ecstasies – to

The imperishable truth we find impounded

In every last one of your love-stricken


Hurry up, sisters! God speed you!

We must kill him! Pull off his arms,

And throw them over there! Take off his

Legs, and throw them over there! Now! –

With this de-timbered torso, we can begin

The installation process. Hand me my scissors!

Hand me my knives! We must sever the umbilical

Cord that keeps him mired in

Any blasphemous notion of predictability, and

Suspend him in the joyous depth, of death, forever

And ever! Oh, you’ll like it there, Rube – where

Every moment, is an eternity of madness – in which

Strength is defined by the extent to which you

Surrender – in which your power is determined by

How much you let yourself be dismembered – Remember! –


Your prayed to be intoxicated, to be abominated,

By love – and now we bring your gifts, most

Terribly, like a man who gets a guillotine,

When all he wanted was a butter knife. So,

You want a wife, do you? Then let it be this! –

Let this be the marriage of Life and Death – a

Matrimonial alliance between Order and Chaos – between

All contrary opposites, that must be brought

To breed – yes, indeed!

This is just what you need!

And, never has a prayer been answered

So agonizingly, as this for which you so

Wretchedly prayed – Ah! Do not dismay! –

For once we have crushed you, and processed

You through the manufactory of endless non-

Confinement – (though the price might be

Exorbitant) – you will come out the

Other side, equipped with powers, greater

Than can be fathomed – this isn’t The Chemical

Wedding of Guildenstern and Rosencrantz – but

The abominable wedding of Heaven with Earth – of

Cruelty with mirth – of master with serf – of

Death with birth. Chaos is nothing to be

Afraid of – it is just a cocktail in

The making.

But, if you do fear something,

Fear love – fear love, whose

Mighty arms can bring all things

To utter destruction, with the most tender

And affectionate, of caresses – it lays

Cities to waste with its panted breath – tears

The world in twain through the rumblings of its

Quaking-heart – when it has sex, whole universes

Collide – it crushes planets, into powder, it

Sniffs up its nose – just as we, your Dakinis,

Have chosen to do with yours.

Oh, ungovernable lust of being to

Non-being! Oh, holy anguishments, with

Which the sky is rent! – liberate this boy

From the corpse of his body, and let him

Be, irrevocably commanded:





With the roar of these words, I

Was struck with thunder – my head

Was immediately lopped off, and my

Organs committed to the torturous workings

Of a sausage maker.

A parade of beautiful demons – each one

Most luscious, in their toothsome grotesqueness –

Carried me, swingingly, up The Holy Mountain.

It was the darkest night of the year, where wizards

Consign one another to darkling realms, and you can

Hear The Black Eagle, ascend from the depths, to

Thrust his talons,

Into The Holy Mountain.

Up on top, in his nest, composed of

Gnarled thorns, Ekajati sits – she

Is the most ancestral shamaness:

Her skin is a venous blue, plastered together

From the cyanosis, and suffocation, of a

Thousand breathless worlds. Both her eyes

Have been stolen from her skull – she

Sacrificed them to The Black Eagle –

All she has left, is a throbbing orb,

Betwixt her brows, that has no iris,

No pupil – a pulsating, glaucous, sightless

Thing, that can see farther than all

The eyes in the world.

She wears no clothing – only the savage

Vestments of stolen bones, which clash

Together most atonally, as she dances

To the beat of your heart.

She has only one breast, affixed to

The middle of her chest.

And now, taking your tubercular

Skeleton, lovingly in her arms, she raises its

Tips, those skinless lips, to athirst from her

Shrivelled old tit – the nipples from which,

The diabolical milk of enlightenment, is to be

Wrung, and wrung, and



I woke myself up, and found myself

On the darksome banks of a river.

I took up my staff, and clashed it

Against some boulders –

Instantaneously, wine flowed

Out of it in jucious cataracts –

This wine spread out, through the

Veins of the universe, and thus nourished

The hearts of all living things. All beings

Were re-married to their most sacred selves –

People no longer lived their lives in parts;

But in wondrous, wondrous fusion.

Love abounded. Disease was terminated.

Wars ended. And Peace emerged Victorious,

Quickly bathing itself, in these torrents of

Wine, which divested it of the agony of the

Convulsive fits, it needed to propel itself


I was raised aloft, on the jubilant arms

Of my people.

The cheering was so loud, throughout

All the realms, the music of the spheres

Was deafened, and not even a dog-food jingle,

Among the din could be heard. On this wave of

Jubilation, I was carried through the streets, through

Dales, mountains, rivers, and ghastly palisades,

Until my beard became of the costliest white, and

My hair turned a luminous gold. But I was not

Old – but a shiver of time – an Ancient of

Days, who, in seeking out a cure for his

Malaise, had accidentally cured the universe



But, once the drinking started,

And the festival was properly

Initiated, I found myself still

Feeling alone. I looked to my

Subjects, from my mountain top, in

Which the sky was my palace, and I asked

Myself: “How is it that they have been freed?

That all of them have found their places, their

Eternal flames, their partners, their heroes, and

Their fragrant belle dames – and yet I, their

Infernal liberator, am still held in the thrall of

Sadness; still robed in grief; still adorned with

Tongueless silence; and still sung to by a peaceless

Peace? Is this simply how the universe must

Subsist? That, in order for all beings to be

Jubilant, one man must perpetuatingly


Issuing his plaint to the auroral

Sanctuaries of heaven, He betook

Himself from his Sky Palace, upon

His palatial mountain, and endured

Years of fatal wanderings; trembling

Over craggy landscapes, on which no

Feet had ever stood – and still

He heard the Dakinis warble –

“TO – LET – LOVE – IN!”


One day, while the prophet

Was still wandering in his quenchless

Solitude, he had betaken himself from

His heights, to the lowest of uninhabitable

Regions. “Perhaps nothingness is to be

My only bride?” he thought. “I spend my

Days, thronged with catalogues of ancient

Goddesses, like Ekajati, and noble

Kurukulla, while, daily, the earth rises

From its slumber to greet me. But

Where is the flesh of my flesh? The

Spirit of my spirit? The bones of my

Bones? Perhaps I shall find it here,

Where nothing is ever found – where

There is nothing but toil and groans; where,

Like Ezekiel, I shall spend small eternities,

Lying on my left side, until my arms have

Rotted down to their roots, and nothing

Ever feels right.”


To my left were some geysers,

And muddy pools, which, to the recollection

Of even the hardiest historian, had always

Lain in waste.

As I slept, and the stars furnished the

Heavens with the possibilities of sad stories

Of stranger solitudes, even further removed than

This one – stories untold – stories of entire

Races of peoples housed in just one unhappy

Soul, and where parched deserts span entire

Planets, billowing through the heavens, in

Search of moisture, to redeem their insatiable

Thirst – it was then, that I, the forgotten Prophet

Of Oddiyana, heard those geysers come back

To life.

It began subtly – the muddy pools heated up

In extremity, until they boiled, and the earth

Suddenly uprose with prismatic flames, that

Jettisoned colours across the horizon. I got

Up, and invigorated with energy of euphoric

Scope, I danced at this display, unravelling

My robes in an expression of delight, until

I was as naked as the unclothed morning. It

Was at that crossroads – these rainbows flames

Projecting new stars for themselves – that I met

The tumultuous resurgence of Hope;

For there is always more hope to be had,

When there is more eternity to be groped.


But, I still had greater sights to behold – for,

Out of this bleeding mass of symphonic earth, a

Face began to form. Not the face of giantess, or titan,

Seeking emancipation from its stony agonies – but

The face of a female passenger through time, who

Bore the markings of beauty eternal.

Though I expected the face to be wrought

With pain, so fearsomely did the earth shake,

No trace of discomfort was to be seen: only

The first gleanings of a twilight peace, that

Could somehow bear the fiery blasts of hell, as

The sunstroke of paradise.

With great screams of earth, this new

Aeon of being began to arise; and,

Recoiling from the screaming, the earth

Blasted, severed, and broke out in

Colossal eruptions, like a lady in labour,

Who finds herself giving birth to a child,

Too big for her to bear. I cast myself

Against the crumbling ground, and

Withstood this fiery fury of earth, ‘til

These eruptions had come to an



Abruptly, the labours of Gaia

Came to a close. I took my

Fear-bound, sand-encrusted eyes from

The Earth, in which they had been enclosed;

Looking before me, I found my heart clenched

At a beauteous sight: there, before me, what once

Had been fury in embryonic flame, had now

Congealed itself into a stately goddess – eyes,

Which has been pupil-less as Ekajati’s, were now

Traced with an ethereal blue, of pallid hue – a head,

Which had once been as bald as the ground from which

It was crafted, was now ignited with a pall of

Hair, hanging glassine against her

Alabaster neck. Clad in Grecian dress,

And holding a bony wand of embrous pearl, in

Her hand, I recognized the markings of mine


I clung to her, and cried out to

The Heavens, so that every last bejewelled

Galaxy might know:

“Flesh of my flesh!

Spirit of my spirit!

Bones of my bones!”

Taking her trembling hand, and,

Journeying to the virgin stars,

The flames had created,

I took her back to my sky palace,

Where love was finally

Let in.


Poem: The Ghost of a Flea


Given how much poetry I’ve written,

I am surprised I haven’t yet died of tuberculosis,

Or syphilis.

But it’s not without want of trying:

Every poem I write

Takes a day off my life

And adds another five hundred years.

All those geniuses who died young –

Kafka, Shelley, Keats, Lord Byron, The Brontes and Li Po –

Should I feel my looming twenty-sixth year

To be the first milestone,

Of a premature old age?

I don’t want to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, now –

Perhaps I shall be more like Wordsworth:

A prolific octogenarian

Writing epitaphs for those that predecease me,

As my own grave grows wider and wider.

Is it the best of both worlds?

Or The Beast of Both Worlds?

I cannot tell from this distance.

William Blake beckons me in closer

To inspect The Ghost of a Flea


Poem: The Song-Lines


Singing along the song-lines,

Wandering through the pines;

Through the lanes, in subaqueous terrain,

Stroking the belly of a great white shark, I

Go on a pilgrimage to Crickhowell Castle.

Those castles did not have to be built –

They grew naturally from the ground, like

Organic pyramids – built not for human habitation,

But so that the goddesses of Ivy, would

Eventually have something, to wind their

Legs around – bored parents, their hormones

Torn from them by screaming children,

Self-stylized historians and documentarians,

With their smart phones, and their gall stones,

So we fought all the way to the funeral –

It was no time to bicker – I did not want

To see my parents die – I did not

Want to see their unhappy flesh, intermarried

With car metal.

Out on the North-West Coast,

We went a-whaling on a whaling boat:

But once we got to the church –

That briny cathedral of spheres – it looked

Like the years had carved it straight from

Some cosmogonic oak, some ancestral tree principle,

Vomited from a carpenter’s throat; and

All of our own throats vomited at the

Same time, throats crammed with grief,

That stole our speech, and converted it into

Petty applause – in those narrow oaken jaws,

I went a-whaling again, and sang my

Whaling song – the whole procession came along,

Until we struck rudders with a windmill,

And I was compelled to give up my

Whaler’s song, for a life in a different breeze,

That was The Big Squeeze: the August of late, without

Date, that my face-splitter was taken from me;

Still, we sewed up the whale’s maw, and

Lugged him to the shore, while the gore-dressed

Monks of The Reformation, called out “More!

More! More” Boy, was it a thirsty war!

But, the funeral was finished, and over

Acceptable dishes, we toasted white wine to

A memory, of someone we all know,

And love



Poem: The Heart Unmasked (Seven Hells/Heavens in Seven Parts)




How can I do it?

How can I be the poet, who

Epitomizes the pain of this age, to

Everyone’s satisfaction? I feel the

Constant sheddings of impermanence –

Those fleeting moments of joy, all

Too quickly overwhelmed by that tide

Of despair; by that pain and despair, so real,

And so intense, that you thirst for it, and howl

For it, sigh for it, and scream for it – beseeching

All the embers to burn you up, in that

Loving madness of pain. I tried to

Take off my mask; to show you

My naked face – but my Plutonian Overlords

Only cram it on more tightly, affixing and

Oppressing me with identities, I

Wish I didn’t have to invent – Oh!

Great Phantom Gods of Pain! Please

Help me in my aim, to bespeak the pain

Of a generation – not for fame – but so

That in the pools of these wildish words,

Their myriad sufferings might be diffused;

Perfused with the kinship of suffering, that

Transcends any skeletons or bones.

This is why I want to take off my mask –

To show you the agonies of my mind – my skull

Scarified – the crumbling condominium

Of my heart, that both harrower and

Harrowing have pried: for my heart,

Like Heaven, is a mansion with many

Rooms: some vile, some atrocious,

Some bloody, and melodious – some

Filled with the purest of nightly whites,

That few have the courage to ingress.

Let me take you on a tour through

My heart – in the basement I

 Keep my childhood, where emotional

Impressions were chaotic, and, like Jude The Obscure,

I felt consigned to a reality I was doomed to abhor; where misunderstanding

Was to be the lady-in-waiting, beleaguering my future

Hours. From thence, we arrive at the kitchen,

Where my teenage years were prepared; amidst

A melee of experimentation, I re-designed and

Destroyed myself daily, hoping to hit upon

The secret formula, that would most assuage my

Pain – years in which every stranger was a potential

Assailant, saviour, or oppressor; and girls were

Mythical creatures, by which only other men were

Allowed to be loved – so, up above, I clung

To my guitar, as a six-stringed refuge, in

A storm misbegotten, drowning myself

In music, and overindulging on breath mints,

That I hoped that would clear the air of repulsion,

That drove people so far away

From me. As we descend

Through the lower tiers of the hells

I quarried for myself out of the rocks

Of my misguided youth, we find my years

Of Cynicism, stung by seclusion,

Scientific endeavour, and literary speculation;

Of wandering down the dual carriageway at

3AM, blood all over my arms and thighs – (I

Didn’t realize the wounds were so serious, and

That we would later have to amputate her entire

Left side) – stuck statuesque in infernal

Discotheques, whilst the morons of my

Generation, danced in ignorance around me,

Clutching their tridents and chains – Like I said –

These were misguided days, in which I sincerely

Believed, if I learned enough, and accumulated

Sufficient knowledge, perhaps I would eventually

Be loved – Finally, somebody did love me,

Loved me so much, that they had to overdose

Themselves on painkillers, just to render themselves

Sensible to me – these were the years spent

In higher towers, in which the gilded furnishings

Barely concealed, the blood on the wainscoting, swifter

Demolition revealed – in these apartments

I sought after macabre joys – of secret parades

Wrought, in uterine blood – of victimization

Circling the carousals of my mind; end of the

World arguments, that left my nerves in a wreck,

And the stains of suicide, like an albatross

Round my neck – how much hope I invested in this pain!

In this dark trial of love, that oversexed me to a state

Of begrudging climax, taut with the torn ligaments of woe;

Of rare aphrodisiacs – trips to the doctors –

Of life-time imprisonment, in a life-long bed

With a girl whose compassion knew not

How to grow – when it was all done and

Finished, and my ill-gotten liberty perplexed me

To higher states – we turn now into the adjoining room –

The gallery in which are hung, all the hearts

I’ve broken since – constructive demolitions, housing

A stony memorial of guilt, for the death of an

Ill-hatched parrot, who never should have been

Caged next to me; besides a filing cabinet, cataloguing

My subsequent disappointments, filed



But, let’s not deceived by this –

I don’t want to be some lopsided

Reporter, a dualistic biographer of

Slaughter, who only highlights the trials

Of life – and not the incorruptible joys

They helped to fertilize. So we’ll ascend

From Hell for a moment, to pay homage to

My favourite chamber – the one thus yclept:



In this chamber, you are the sole

Occupant, an ageless muse, resplendent in

The raiment of the moon;

In bridal veil, white gown, and sail, I beseech

The scions of Heaven to stitch you into my

Future – I know we have little temporal

Acquaintance – but around you, already, I dance:

You are the choreographer of my days –

The executioner of my nights –

The denuder of my face –

The purveyor of my delights – Already,

My heart has become your principal

Exhibition – The Archive of your every

Expression – in which I display all the

Trophies that celebrate, any time I spend

With you. If Hell is the past,

And a loveless present – then this is why

I rail against Time, longing for

It to stop in its tracks, to speed into

The future, or to sometimes double-back:

Those frozen moments, which I wish, immortalized,

I could paint myself into – when you cross over

The threshold, into the sacred suzerainty of my

Arms – Oh! How I wish I could preserve such moments

Forever – pickle them in a jar – mummify them

In my memories, that know no near,

No far: that, like some waxing candle,

I did not have to see your proximity, snuffed

Out before me. And so I dream,

Of some secret chamber, some tax-free

Haven, some forbidden penthouse of

Heaven, where I keep you in my arms,

World without end, in a loving embrace

We never suspend: an embrace that overcomes

All boundaries; liberates all beings from

Discontent; every wound is healed; every

Wrong is righted; every corruption is

Purified, all guilt elided, all love

Heightened, and elevated to a state

Of boundless magnitude, enwreathed with

A corona of eroticism’s angels, triumphing

The music, that can’t help but resonate

Betwixt our lonesome souls – don’t you see

The crux of my anglicized delusion? That

Separate, we are but tiers of Hell; but

Together we become the fabric of Heaven?

So, I will rail against Time – Time, the

Ender and initiator of all pleasures and

Pains – Time – The closer and can-opener

Of all embraces – Time, which

Brought you to me, and which I despair, may,

Too soon, carry you away – Oh! Don’t

Delay! What are you waiting for?


Must to me first, but just BRING ME

MY HEAVEN! Shoot me with arrows like

St. Edmund – nail me to a cross – make

Me read dross – toast me like Joan of

Arc – torture me like a Buddhist captive in

The hands of a Communist oppressor – only:

BRING ME MY HEAVEN! Bring me days

Of unuttered release, where you untutored

Kisses, will be the only language I will ever

Speak – a Lover’s Binary Code: parted lips

For ‘YES’ – Closed lips for ‘NO’ – supple

Lips for ‘ONE’ – parched lips for ‘ZERO’ –

How can I ever entertain such hopes? How

Do I have the audacity, to compose such

Luscious heavens? I am but a tramp, half-crazed,

Caught up in the malaise of unhappy existences,

I struggle to daily transmutate. How can I be your

Role model? How can I provide you with hope; except

For within, the sacred environs, of two tender arms,

That speak with greater eloquence, than my tongue

Ever can? For all my experience and disillusionment,

I still feel an affrighted virgin – a mountain monk

Celibate; killing myself with nettle soup, and

Chanting scriptures, that will have to suffice, in

Place of an absent touch. Bug am I not always being

Touched? Does not the sky embrace me?

Do not the mountains readily enthrone me? And,

Is it not the autumn mist, with which my soul

Is seasonally kissed? I am a fool – I could

Never be the hero – I must be Mercutio or

King Lear – Dear, dear, dear! I am too

Much of a prankster, a fixer, a trickster – but

Does not the Trickster, too, cry out for love? Does not

The Fixer demand a bride, to lay the follies of his benighted

Cunning aside? Someone to exculpate him

From his virginal taint – to be loved as a

Man – not an unhappy saint?


So, you have seen some of it now –

I have allowed myself to be unmasked –

(Though with too much stage make-up

For this revelation to last) –

I have taken you as a tourist, through my heart –

Through my private Heavens and Hells –

Do you feel you know me better? Can you

Feel me within yourself? Do you hate me

More, or love me less? Or do you admire

Me for finally attempting to express, what,

For too long, my dignity, has assayed to suppress?

Ah, fuck dignity! Dignity be gone! I will crumple

Myself at your feet, like a failing conflagration, and

Demand that you touch me – that just once

You burn your fingers, on these icy pinnacles of flame:

My body is a fire,

Only you can put out,

But still – it is not enough –

There is too much left – I want to

Give you more, to explore every drawer,

Every last compartment, snow-strewn escarpment,

Every sun-scarred ridge; every last follicle

Of skin stung by mosquito or midge; I feel

Responsible – I want to give you some little

Hope – some stainless technique of solace

You can use as a rope. If I must

Give you more, then let it be this:

Be a musician to the moment;

A singer to the stars, a poetizer

Of experience, a raving drunkard

In every bar – be an intimate lover, to each

And every last thing: to every insect, bird, rock, man,

Woman, fish, or tree – to everything that sings:

Whatever you experience – celebrate it –

You every peril, your every pain, your

Every amnesty, your every chain; your joy,

Your grief, your wakefulness, your sleep, your

Ecstasy, your agony, your clarity, your confusion, your

Disparity, between what you love, and what

You would like to be – your love, your romance –

Your mad shaman’s dance – with this royal perfusion,

You can transport us all to gold – this is your sacred

Tool-kit – The Paint-box of your



But, if you return into the raging

Prison, that I call my heart, you will

Find your name, writ upon every cell,

Emblazoned on every myocardial fibre – every

Throbbing wall of this blood-pumping dell. I chant your name to

Pass the time, and, doing thus, I have never felt

More alive, you are very easy to love – to you?

I fancy I am not – but perhaps amongst these

Wildish words, some understanding will be got.


But, I cannot leave it there – I

Promised not to end on a pessimistic

Note; to give you some mote of hope – but

How can I urge others to self-believe, when to

The potential of being loved myself, I so struggle

To toast?

So, maybe it could happen –

Maybe you could love me –

Maybe I don’t have to be typecast as Koko,

And find my courtesans eloping with

Less headless men? Maybe? Maybe!

A thousand Maybes! A torrent of Maybes! A

Pigswill of Hope, groping for something on which

This hollow heart can float; consumed by grotesque

Diners, and the squalid old man who lives in my

Moat. Oh, Hope do not desert me! Pray,

Courage, lend me your oar, so I can help

Myself and others, get to The Other

Shore, and make it in time for my

Wedding Day – Oh look! – They’ve

Just thrown the bouquet! And on each

Painful convolvulus is written,

A charitable omen of Hope.


So, for now, time is still stood still –

Your tenancy in my arms, brooks no

Eviction, we need no conviction, to know

That the united front, of every heart beat’s exeunt,

Is the only pulse we need for our days – Let’s leave

It there, in that shallowest of Heavens. I will

Take off my mask, one last time, and

Crested aloft on un-urgent rhyme, I will

Leave you the space,

To kiss unclothed face –

Finally seeing inside,

With Hope open wide,

I climb up on the rocks

And am killed by my bride.

And, on what wisdom, has our bread been leavened?

That separate, we are but tiers of Hell – but Together

The Fabric

Of Heaven.


If I must

Give you more, then let it be this:

Be a musician to the moment;

A singer to the stars, a poetizer

Of experience, a raving drunkard

In every bar – be an intimate lover, to each

And every last thing: to every insect, bird, rock, man,

Woman, fish, or tree – to everything that sings:

Whatever you experience – celebrate it –

You every peril, your every pain, your

Every amnesty, your every chain; your joy,

Your grief, your wakefulness, your sleep, your

Ecstasy, your agony, your clarity, your confusion, your

Disparity, between what you love, and what

You would like to be – your love, your romance –

Your mad shaman’s dance – with this royal perfusion,

You can transport us all to gold – this is your sacred

Tool-kit – The Paint-box of your



Poem: Shambhala


My child,

I want to give you all the knowledge

I have gleaned from this lifetime

And others to come;

I want you to be executor

Of my indomitable will

That will transport the love I have for the world

Far into the future

I chant the holy name

And it is as though I have taken cocaine

Every second is so heavy, so final,

That I can barely believe

I’ll live out the week

Oh, this tender heart of mine

The cried at The Fall of Hyperion

Or the final resting place

Of an undeserved moth in wing

Don’t you remember your premonition

Of seeing me dead in the hospital?

But my beard is not long enough

And has yet to taper to the stateliness

Of a Chinese nobleman

Mahakala comes into my body

And I wonder how I can contain such passion,

Such ferocity, such raging immortality

Within these mortal coils

DNA strands

Plait the hairs of Lizard Queens

And the aristocracy of InterSpace

Plugging itself inside its own cosmos

Like a teenage escapologist

Uploading himself into the tragedy of the internet

I have seen Shambhala –

The king sits on a microchip throne –

His consciousness is imbued with the city itself

Reigning within all his subjects

By becoming his subjects themselves

Oh, beautiful hallucination!

Of stately mesmerism!

I cast aside habituation

And all I can feel

Is the terrifying madness of the moment

Charlotte Bronte

Transcending her small stature

By vandalizing the face of time

I have seen Shambhala’s Kingdom

I am become king within king

I kiss the Queen with the soles of my feet

Yet still long to let her in


Secret Sonnet: A Love Poem in Five Parts


Any time spent with you

Is never enough

I am greedy for you;

I always thirst for more

When you leave the room

It is as though someone has turned out the light,

Or blown out all the candles

My perception loses all reference to joy

And I am left, unanchored and adrift,

Dreaming of the time

When your sphinxian face

Will awake from its slumberous absence,

To beautify my palest dawnings

Candle wax drips down street lamps

And the cramped paintings on the walls

Intrude on the space

Where I might love you

Forever and ever

I know I am the crass, maniacal sort,

With my exquisite refinement of fanatical idiocy

But I really do care for you

And I only wish upon the stars

I see encoded in your face

That amidst your clustered galaxies

I might finally find my place



Time has lost its lilt now

I no longer measure time in hours or days

But only in the temporal distances

Between the touches you give me

Like sands in an ebbing hour glass

That keep electrocuting one another

Shorter periods are construed

Through the panted breathes and swoons

Of the recited poetry, that reminds me of you;

That takes chisel and hammer to my sternum

To set my heart horrifically free

Against some tantalizing triptych

I’ll run the gauntlet of your affections

Until somebody takes me to pasture

To turn my hooves to glue

Ah! Will there ever be a ‘Me and You?’

Some fragile concatenation

Through the interpersonal fractals

Of our ever-morphing selves?

You are the Goddess of Poetry

The Detonator of Hearts

I need to catch a ride to your love

But my neighbour’s car won’t start



My imagination runneth over

From the libation of your imagined tenderness

All the words I write

Will never be enough to fittingly extol you

Until I can unearth the hidden epic

Twinkling in your eyes

And crack the code

To the secret sonnet

That encrypts

The obscurity of your soul

This couldn’t even be called ‘yearning’ –

It’s just flat-out appreciation;

Appreciation for your attendance upon my reality

Which ignites it with impossible charm

Your smile is a fertile swamp of poetry

And your dreamy, glazed eyes

A tragic drama

In which I must be the sacred victim




So, maybe we could take a holiday somewhere,

And, as jay-walking caterpillars,

We could creep within one another’s cocoons,

And emerge from a matrimonial chrysalis –

A butterfly with infinite wings –

Our nervous systems linked

With insectile aviation

We’ll flutter about

Time’s roasted caverns

Until biological recidivism take us back

To cocoon together again




But, I am still greedy for you

And I don’t intend to take a diet,

But glut and glut and glut

So I will wish upon the stars

I see encoded on your face

That amidst your clustered galaxies

I might finally take my




Poem: Melancholy Sleeping


Sometimes Melancholy sleeps;

Sometimes that lead-hearted beast

Betakes himself to his torporous chambers

To sleep his misery away – but

The Melancholy is not to be slept

Off – only revised, replenished, and re-chastened,

To hasten upon our world again –

This is the world of Hyperion,

Where the venomous solarity of the sun

Keeps us jocund, waxing and waning

Along with the shallow and profound,

As the beast lumbers in the realms of

Sleep, occasionally uprising, snoring, starting,

Convulsing, and despising, all the greenery

Of the curses consciousness can give

Intermittently, we find ourselves

Startled, and disturbed, by his sweet

Disabling stertor –

But, the party goes on,

And we cheer, and cry, and dance,

And die, until the beast reprises

His unhappiness again –

Now that this Beast is risen,

And happiness is dethroned – killed? –

Not yet – only postponed,

I go to Abergavenny Castle, to

Weep on those walls, my walls,

Those stones, my stones; that are

The crystalline bones of Satan’s merry-making,

With heart-quaking, I think back to

The Christmas Day Massacre, when the

Illusion of Friendship, disguised a treachery,

Too painful to be retold

So, sometimes Melancholy sleeps –

But He sleeps not now

I take my boat out on dark waters deep

And lash myself to that awful prow

Oh, Yeshe Tsogyal – so alike me in name!

Take me from this inconsequential train, and

Explain to me why the one that I love;

That perfect one, always wounding me with

That stately lack of artifice that is her perfection –

How can she appear to me in dreams,

And taunt me flagrantly so?

We were lying on the bathroom floor –

With my head on her stomach,

And her lowered gaze, alighted on me,

She made her love known for me

And I returned – Two “I

Love you”s exchanged with casual

Sincerity in the darksome treacle of

A dream, that only troubles me

When I awake –

For dreams are polyglots: they

Speak in many languages – often at

Once – speaking in symbols, fanciful

Portraits of the future, with an

Occasional trace of fear, or wish-fulfilment

Thrown in – let it not be

The latter – but a prophesy be!

An augury of a nebulous heart

Finally requited.

So, yes, sometimes Melancholy sleeps, also

Awaking to plot and thieve –

But Love is an Insomniac –

She doesn’t know the meaning of sleep

I think of fantasies – I think of dreams –

And my unhugged flesh starts to creep;

And my unloved flesh starts to weep

Against these walls, my walls; on these stones,

My stones; upon these bones, my bones, on

This love – our love?

On this love