Poem: Celtic Call

Beck, Barbara, b.c.1927; Pant-y-Goitre Bridge over the River Usk

Rapid runs the river Usk,
Snaking into serpent’s foam,
Divesting self of scaly husk
And pained dragon bone

Swallow well the windswept grass,
Jesting through greenacre jaws,
Pushing through the private pass;
Last eve of earthly laws

Now knight the nape of darkening sky,
The loss of life we leave,
Callous crush of clawing cry
Gives back the green we grieve


Poem: Memories of Bath


Among buildings of golden Bath stone,
Broadways and alleyways,
Terraced falls and tiered fountains,
The promise of love lurks as a soul refreshment,
The physical geometry of spiritual enmeshment

With half a stout in me,
Stirring my spirit into a state of whimsy,
It’s easy enough to steer into a labyrinth,
Seduced by the scent of a bookstore’s amaranth

Looking at you between the shelves,
Casting sly-glances over page-gorged tomes,
Wanting to place a bookmark in your brain,
A passage returned to again and again,

Memories haunt me of faded loves,
Swiss women nursing me back to health,
Giggling together like drunken vagabonds,
Pissing in the park below The Crescent

How the wind blew cold then!
Hurtling down streets in icy carriages,
Warming our love in a mahogany haven,
Sharing pints in a booth at The Raven

I loved you then in a manner faultless,
If accepting of its brief terminus,
Never quite an Austen romance,
Dying before I reached The Continent

And if I’d been to Berlin, what then?
Would my presence in that metropolis,
Lost in spy-logged Grunewald,
Have made the blood between us any thicker,
Boundaries forged and dissolved in liquor?

The ill-matching of souls and forms,
Miscreates the attraction desire deforms,
Like snowmen built at winter’s end,
All passions must melt away,
Disappearing to hell without delay,
To present Death their resume

So, looking at women between the shelves,
Casting desire down goldstone streets,
Admiring the curves I taste as wealth,
Love must come now summer retreats

Poem: Hospitality


Oh God,
It’s the body conceals the flame,
Animating the thirst poured into us,
Engendering fools, anxiolytic almanacs,
Tearstains in tarot cards,

The divination proves the pain,
The crucifixion of feminine archetypes,
Placed inside a thorn-filled coffin,
Mausoleum of toxic loving,

Nobody to think fondly of,
Just the stains from spilt dreams,
Nightmares hatching from the corpse
Some stranger dumped at your door

And finding brotherhood in putrescence,
I become all I abhor

Poem: The Invalid


I could not get home,
Every way I turned,
I was met with demons,
Barroom fiends brandishing broken bottles

They inflamed my nerves,
Converted me into an invalid,
The sick bed my cocoon,
My sick head a rotting womb

I needed nurses to move my limbs,
Help-meets to remind me of my vital functions,
But I would not sing the machinery hymn,
Or taste the wafer of medication

Now, I can just about sit up,
Spare a minute without vomiting darkness,
Yet, being only half a mile away,
I’ll never walk home again

Poem: The Carpenter



Brushing my hands along old wood,
The sunlight of ages past transmits
Itself to me in Braille of Oak,
Fingertips sense a sullen spirit,
A misanthrope of majesty and malaise,
Cloaking his dark sphere of love.

Like the body of the fallen beech,
I am in the hands of The Carpenter,
The knife of experience ever pressing
Against my skin, each slice bringing
Me closer to my true shape

Let me never lose sense of your hands.
I am yours to hold,
To pass from palm to palm,
The wood of my younger years,
Is beneath your fingernails,
And if I am soft with you,
It’s because I’ve been bled of hardness

Let love be mutual again,
Let tenderness be the marrow
Of my bones, the exultation of my fibres,
The music in my groans

So my fantasies can ricochet
In tunnels of peace,
Keeping perfect time with yours,

And we’ll have no need of external faith:
Our love will be its own applause

Poem: Infertile


Footsteps chime upon the bridge,
But the river cannot reach me.

I hate humans,
I want humans

Wayfaring, wendigos enwrap my ankles,
My pathway a string of corpses,
The phallic church spires are all infertile,
The sky is pregnant with only sorrow,

Being unreachable,
Banned from a whole spectrum of experience,
These limping legs atrophy:
I lay among the nettles,
And, to make things more fertile,
I rot into the soil

Poem:Kafka In The Bedroom


You thought you would’ve wanted this,
But like Kafka’s ‘Country Doctor,’
Pulling away the sheets,
Expecting the reward of pearly skin,
You met with the spectre of gangrene,
The maggot-tongued sore in my side

That is my pelvis,
A warren of pestilence,
The finger-bore of blood marks,
The war inside the roses,

You try to conceal your grimace,
With the tact of a scarred hostess,
Replacing the covers,
We continue to kiss,
As though all weren’t rotten beneath us

It’s only a courtesy gesture, of course;
No sooner than dawn comes,
And you’ve wrangled me for
The necrosis of your last orgasm,
You’ll wipe the gangrene from the bed,
And my affection with it,
Like so many crumbs,

Embarrassed by the light,
You’ll inter me into a grave,
Inscribed ‘Pleasures Past,’

Then, like Kafka’s ‘Country Doctor,’
You’ll rape my lady servant,
Washing away the skin of my ink,
With the perfume of her blood

Never but every few seconds
Did you think sepsis would taste so good

Poem: Sex Pollution


Knowing better than to believe in gentleness,
A figment of the wind,
People use you as objects,
A sage to be burned on the mantlepiece –
An extension of her masturbation

Now sex is polluted,
A contagion of fear,
Floating monsters with trailing spines,
Heaps of genitals,
Oozing over whalebone corsets

Floaty dresses, starched collars,
Knife for a phallus,
Teeth-tiered jaw for a cunt,
Let’s genetically cripple each other,
Pounding my scrotum in an infernal mash,
I can turn your torso,
Into a buffet of entrails,
A human bank account,
From which I make my withdrawal

Turning the lights on,
It’s easy to see,
Why I can’t go any further

Poem: Kink On Crescent Moon


When she smiles,
Her eyes become crescent moons,
Sentries blinking out from Turkish sheets,
Soft strokes caught in the tangles of dream catchers,
The train roaring past where we lay in her hammock,
Exchanging music as a common currency,
Interspersed with titbits of languid philosophy

But, it is not to be helped
That shared nakedness unveils all errors,
All the bed-bugged blankets,
The disallowance of masculine expression,
Forever the second woman in the bed,
Casting tears on the proceedings

“I have toys if you want to play,
Genitals tingling lubricated,
Electrodes to ensnare your clit,
Grant seismic jolts to your swollen nipples,
Offer everything a boy could want,
Except genuine affection
Or exchange of feeling”

I am not just a dick with a brain attached,
A dildo animated with life,
My male form is incidental to the cosmos,
I am a soul first and foremost,

But who cares for souls at all
When crucified on hollow passions,
Sharing all tenderness but that sincerely felt?

Of course, I can choke you,
As I grind against your ass,
I can wrest moans from you,
Play you like an instrument

But God forbid I should have feelings,
Still wearing your scars like medals,
God forbid a man should be anything
But a dick, a bank account, an amalgam
Of muscles – a sacred patronus
Of sex and security

May you forever be cursed with sensitive men,
With non-acquisition of the superficial,
Next time you want something divest of meaning,
I suggest you study The Law,
Or fuck a gigolo,

No scars from crescent moons,
Or incense-laden beds,
I wish I’d never met you,
That my confidence wasn’t dead

Go fuck yourself on your own hollowness;
I’ll be more careful when I undress

Poem: Nothing Good Ever Happens In August


Nothing good ever happens in August,
Month of false hopes and skewed desires,
Amidst the fruition of berries,
The nauseating silence of robins,
In the hills of The Cotswolds
I reaped a sickly harvest,
Putrescent with distrust,
Undermining faith
In anything at all

My dreams had foretold all:
Herds of bulls trampling your corpse,
An invasion of beetles suckling your veins,
Every cell of your legs pincushioned with needles,
As you lay, bloated and blue in the bath.
Is it small wonder the policeman shot your child,
Leaving his pulp to merge with the dirt?

Nothing is wonderful to me
In this freakshow of marvels,
A steady conveyor belt of disappointments,
Hiding in stainless steel perfection

But I was willing to go along with it,
To be seduced by museums, by undiscovered
Entomology cases, a hidden universe of iridescence,
The praying mantis my future. What does he pray for
But more things to be ensnared? For more men to fuck
While she eats off their heads?

Go on, I’ll put up with it. Look blindly on
As you take me inside of you, my face
Pulled off, fascia by fascia,
Rent by your mandibles;
The pain and humility we’ll face
For the prospect of happiness,
Until we hear the skull-crunch,
The soft implosion of sinuses,
And we realize with a thud:
It’s all to no good

Because nothing good ever happens in August,
When you stumbled faceless down murderous streets,
So blue-eyed and brainless, you can’t even see this
For what it is. The whole while dreaming of jewels
And diamonds, of Lords and Ladies in their palaces,
Of beauty offered gentle,
In oriental dressing gowns

You may make your trek to Pre-Raphaelite churches,
Paint your brain silly with William Morris stained glass,
But her mandibles still eat eagerly of your flesh;
The hellish truth of reality cannot be suppressed:

Because nothing good ever happens in August,
When you have sex in a spider’s nest