Poem: Patriarch, O


When the home was possessed by fire
All within became agents of its sorrow,
The mother, the baker, the taxpayers,
Those that had once been happy
Became advocates of suicide,
Travel agents selling test flights
Into the unbearability of The Known

“Take it,” I said to my Punisher,
“Chop up my corpse,
Imburse it to your debtor,
May my blood be on your hands
As long as your pitifully live.”

We cannot sustain this environment,
Hostility governing all our actions,
Days spent in unending tension,
With you blaming me for all the things
You cannot face inside yourself

Why are you so tortured?
Such a treasury of territory?
What King pushed you from your throne
That you had to declare this your suzerainty?

Because I can’t live with you like this anymore;
It’s either death or departure,
Slowly killing my mother,
Clogging her lungs with the yoke of death,
Making her lose the will to breathe

What would make you happy in this impossible present?
Make you see that you are the spring of embers,
Cascading the current,
Running these rivers of pain?

Of course, your generation
“Just got on with it,”
Suppressing all that doesn’t add up
To a soul-denying day’s work

Hence why we live in a world
Where apocalypse lingers
Beneath a functional surface
You would have us believe is the whole

Carry on then,
I’d hate to puncture your toxic surface,
Expose your squalid depths,
Run fingernails through putrid membranes
Concealing a lifetime of hurt

If you wanted to be a true man,
Not a Neolithic simulacrum,
You would share your hurt,
Learn to speak of love in a human language,
Not in stomps, and shoves, and blows

Yes, your father was a shit,
Feet eaten up, diabetic, necrotic,
Do you want to fill his blood-soaked shoes,
Crawl through life on an unsatisfying raft
Of mindless indulgence,
TV drowning out repressed anger,
Sorrow, those Golden Years of Comedy,
Granting a coma of canned laughter

I love you, you ursine bastard,
So please change your ways,
Before somebody slits their throat
Or ends up slitting yours

Poem: Sex In The Winter


Winter is the time for love,
Getting naked before the fire,
Headlong in the hearth,
Our bodies soft and warm
To elegiac cracked branches,
Wind threatening to chew up the house
Where origins grind apart

With the trees bare,
Asymmetry of bones everywhere,
Reflected in Death’s ribs,
What can we do but grow fat,
Fucking to the scent of burning pine?

The fire makes you sweat,
Painting your body with my lips,
Squeezing your belly, fermenting
Elixir from your breasts,
Everything descends thighwards,
To the Gateway of Womb,
Gravity is a sweet thing
When it weights me to you

You fuck me because I am not you;
I fuck you because you are not me

And why not?

For out in the woods,
The wolves are taut, alerted,
The sands in the hour glass,
The creatures in the swamp;
To dust we’ll be converted

So before we die
And the only worms to penetrate us
Are the sisters of putrefaction,
Let’s taste what little pleasure there is to be had
In this world of perpetual woe

With the rhythms of the sea,
Madness of a gale,
Severed heads on battlements impaled,
The guards will capture us, mid-orgasm,
And what’s left of our moribund lust
Will be the breeding zone of crows

So kiss me, darling,
And let me squeeze you,
Before time chews off our toes,
Death isn’t the end – just another kind of sex,
So the loving one knows,

Poem: Endymion and Selene


Lazily languishing in lingering love,
I would recline, head in lap,
Listening to your breath while you read,
Partially deafened by the weight of your breasts,
Drifting in and out of sleep,
Belly swelling, falling,
An abdominal sea,
I, the bladderwrack,
Enwrapping your thighs,
Upon the midnight shore

If I never had to wake up,
Trapped forever in that idyllic twilight,
The lurching madness of hypnagogia,
Licking sweetly with its tongue,

Then sleep on I would,
In that abyss of endless comfort,
With only the warmth of your body
To tell me of the world

The Goddess reads,
The boy god sleeps,
The oyster and the pearl

Poem: Trip to Birmingham


To make the train tide bearable,
Hallucinating mountains in the mist,
Invading Midlands with Celtic madness,
Obscuring horizons with mind escarpments,

To stop the crush of people,
The crossed knees, twitching fingers,
Glazed eyes with hermetic headphones,
The invasion of territory,
In this enclosure of ribs,
My soul needs space to breathe

Disembarking at the university,
Riding the stripes of zebra crossings,
Spectral, the clock tower,
Phallus of the diurnal, emerges,
Dictating the lines of tidal students,
The glowing face, a giant’s candle,
Luminating the cold supper time of Winter

Students regard me as a thing to eat,
What am I – a new professor?
Some expert on the Permian Extinction,
Or the magma inside ourselves?

Truly, a universe, but a universe
Excited by the discovery of itself,
Attaching microscopes and electrodes,
To its limbs and excrescences,
Seismographs to measure the shudders,
It feels inside its soul

If I could just turn back the clock,
And roam silent down empty corridors,
Stick my tongue in marble’s frozen blood,
The haemoglobin inside the cells
Of a monolithic structure,
The lifeforce waiting behind a suture

Then in a dazzling array of colour,
I could be my sister, my father, my brother,
And with no one to read time from my entrails,
The coroner would leave me alone

The city is a colourful thing,
Resting cancer in my bones