Poem: The Nursery of Pluto


The baby crawled its way out of the corpse,
Feebly making its way through tendons and intestines,
Weeping and necrotic, in this world of black nightmare,
The soft, pink hands, making quick work of ribs,
Snapping them like twigs underfoot

Out there, the ritual continues,
The agents of disinterment
Dance to the tempo of up-shovelled corpse,
Binge-drinking bodily fluids,
And other symbols of the devil’s ejectamenta

Like lice in the furrows of rotting woods,
The baby makes good its moribund mission,
Most of the sternum has collapsed now,
With the pelvis and loins faring little better,
All falling away, like slops of gelatinous pudding,
Yummy ice-cream to nurse an infant

Who put him there?
In this strange cradle, where lungs should be,
A nursery emerges, a whole battalion of infants
None crying, but intent on a purpose,
All magnetized by some invincible direction,
The prospectors and fruit of a new resurrection


Poem: Polyphemus


People don’t know how to look anymore,
Eyes untextured, lenses peeling,
Retina retreating in blind skull caverns,

All is just a gawp,
A spasm of a shutter,
Of Polaroids that grow pregnant
And abort in the gutter

We had to go to Heaven to find out,
Falling back to Earth in baroque cabinets,
Microwaves fitted with just the right radiation
We need to feel ourselves

“My body is mine, now it’s luminous green,
Airways sparked by the thrill of nausea,
This body isn’t mine, if there is no pain
To provide tension with its glorious outline

Look at you, my dear,
Your eye sight is failing,
Hair, teeth, fingernails, all falling out,
Offering keratinous kisses to an unseeing world
To perfect the apathy of entertainment

But, if I could leave it all behind,
I wouldn’t know the first place to go,
Filtered by wind, the nature of disappointment,
Caked into a carapace, nurtured with ointment

No, it’s irreconcilable, my love,
Dovetailing to days all our arguments repeat,
So many recapitulations of misspent polarities,
Finding only dissonance in harmonies.”

How did it get this way?
Shouldn’t we have peered deeper,
Not irritated by surface exposure,
These carcinomas of skin,
The ‘not-quite’ disclosures?

I wanted to love,
To feel love-burst yoke,
But all is ailing,
Only choke-hold choke

This weary heart
Has only radiation,
The dream, the nightmare
Of sodium pentothal injections,
Keeping warm the furnace
Of unavoidable madness
Which you could never relate to
Or wish to understand

The day has cast me off;
I do not understand its commands

Poem: Problem of Proserpina


Wine, opium, and orgies,
Wishing I could be decadent,
Piles of syringes,
The sweetness of shattered glass

Living on a dying planet,
How long does it take to brew love?
Trials of hurt,
Deserts of disappointment,
Familiarity fermenting into beauty

But some barriers cannot be broken,
Barbed by well-groomed boundaries,
The elixirs of Bacchus,
Ariadne’s webs,
Intoxication grants not your dream’s indulgence

The outlines of legs intertwisted,
Hips close,
Souls closer,

Yet the lack of ignition,
Of sensual detonation,
Sends up perimeters,
In contrast of genders

From sheer willpower,
I grow breasts, the rondure
Of hips, incarnate fertility goddess:
The realization of Sapphic lust

Then I would not be cast out,
Welcomed into the feminine,
Divine supplicant of the sisterhood,
My body a biological season pass
Into a lifetime of pleasure

Spank me on my roseate arse
And call me Proserpina

Poem: January Is An Empty Womb


January is an empty womb,
Scraped of endometria

In our darkened towers,
Alcoholism seems inevitable

It’s better I disappoint you now,
Save on squalid investments

Born to hate everyone,
An innovator of odium,
I drove nails into the harpsicord
To relieve my torpid boredom

This culture is dead,
Wallowing in pus,
Blankets of raw kidneys,
The underthings of necrosis

I’d help you undress,
But my skin is too cancerous,
Can’t stay in the sunshine of your flesh,
Or do the exalted dance

Ill-equipped, with only a few bones
Left to prop up my sagging flesh,
I slithered into the night
On diaphanous pterodactyl wings,
Pulling clots of blood behind my eyeballs,
The fruitful viscera behind the retina,
To see what can’t be seen,
Only the black yoke of shadows,
Fertile swamp of disappointment,
The never-ending chains of torture
With syphilitic madmen
Cavorting in jellies
Of lucent cyanide puddles

Splashed by their advances,
Fanned by a small tornado of moths,
Even in the light of good intentions,
It’s hard to suppress the urge to attack,
The desire to peel skin from smiles,
As if you didn’t think I was intelligent enough
To think these things for myself

How do you externalize so much hatred
Without actually hating?
So much violence,
Without being violent?

If I could just see the sight of blood,
Walk slobbering through an evergreen of corpses,
Feel the agony of teeth against my skin,
Perhaps it would make up for the absence of love,
Forever desiccating

Because I hate love,
My heroin-addiction to it,
The paling of all comparative pleasures,
The evasive puzzle piece

The self-realized surgery,
Drunken extraction of exploded organs,
Just like the Crimea,
When you died in the hospital,
Without even a blanket,
The nurse inspecting you
With a faltering lantern,
Her laughter cackling black

I hate it when you try to help me,
Because I know that you can’t,
Why this poisoned misanthropy?
This throbbing behind the eyes,
The sickness of good intentions,
Incriminating platitudes dripping arid
From pearl-less lips,

Being such a curse,
I cannot see beyond this

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: 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

Poem: Scarcity and Piezoelectricity


Yearning to learn the world through you,
Resultingly incommunicado,
The Geographer’s brains dashed,
No longer stalking ley lines,
Dowsing the aether with magnetic bones,
The normality of things tinged with a romance
Souring to non-completion

Saturn in his horned house,
Leers at lion hearts,
Hard work, obstacles, drudgery,
The onus of space and time,
Leaving hope at the terminus
Of so many calendars,
No day enjoyable just for itself,
But for the lure of what it might lead to

The only reified thing is past,
Museum of petrified memories,
Relics of brief happiness,
Walking on cold beaches,
The way you took off your underwear,
Laying on your back,
Splayed legs inviting me home

Sleeping, enwombed in engrams,
These memories can live,
My cord umbilical, leading to you,
Not a putrescent present

Had you come,
I would have said:

“This house is 500 years old;
In it are tenants of morphic resonance,
The magnetic remains of so many struggles,
The pain, hope, loss, of all these centuries,
Refined to a single structure.

“Someday, you too will die,
And your body, relinquishing its minerals,
Became a fountain of sand, of limestone,
Of jewels, which, christened by millennia,
Your ancestors will mine,
To lend hope to their own thirsty struggles.”

But a speech unprettified
By no one hearing it,
Rusts in the mouth
Into copper Verdigris,
Traded on currency’s disenchantment

The economics of Scarcity,
Run the weathered heart,
Making sacred
The rarity of fulfilment

Poem: The Flagellant of St. Mary


Coming out of the cold,
The cathedral swallows me,
Digested in its stone belly, malformed,
Another soul lost in masonry,
Another thread in the cosmic carpet,
Another crypt of passing years
Who momentarily walks

From another chapel,
Far away as The Southern Pole,
Voices are caught in webbed transepts,
As I am caught in yours

The whole day I’ve tormented myself,
Bearing guilt for whom I cannot reach,
Those bridges of glass,
Locked in frozen waves,
I am not the key,
Trapped in a man’s body,
No breasts, no blood,
No moon-rent thighs,
No softness to usher in
The tidings of a mother’s heart

For gendered thus,
An evil history is my inheritance,
My very form a symbol of rapacity,
Corruption and vile molestation

I can do nothing right in your eyes

But reaching out,
How fain would I warp this skin,
Invert my genitals,
Hollow myself a womb,
Just to release you from yourself,
Be parturient of your happiness

Skulking in graveyards,
Clothing myself in the skin of ancestors,
All their bodices, and muslins, and Catholic veils,
The Priestess hiding in the gloaming

Can’t you see what lies it all is?
Behind this masque of body,
The Venetian rites of tubercular quarry,
Peel away presence, the whole cosmos
Is the mist of my luminous ashes,
My passion is the sun,
My coolness the moon,
Their union the love I give you

But man-bound, all is odium,
Emasculated by being a man,
I am a half-way thing,
Neither here nor there,
There is no vacancy, no hollow,
In which my love is welcome,
A holy well nobody seeks,
A pilgrimage nobody walks

Behind the silence of my mind,
The Soul is the one that talks

I must cohabit with dualities,
Trade in falsehoods,
And gendered neuroses,
Evermore my own flagellant,
My vicious atoner,
In the Chapel of The Mother of God

If I cannot be the Virgin Mary,
Wombless, I wander in Nod

Poem: Shepherd’s Home


Closed for refurbishment,
Your body old sandstone,
Invasive ivy between your ribs,
Sheep-haunches scratched against your bricks,
Looking out cold on a field of rooks

Still, we cling to the past,
Mourning the loss of openness,
Where we once found love,
Only ramparts and battlements,
With scars, over-touched,
Prompting unwanted wars,
When all I needed was a hug

So, let’s tear up the carpets,
Burn all the furniture,
Drive out the harpies
Squatting in the aviary

These walls are still thick
And ripe for love,
There is still a hollow before the hearth,
Where we can ensconce ourselves for winter

Wanting to find you sweet,
I only come away bitter

I carry on as shepherd,
Watching my flock die,
One by one, growing thin,
Wool stained red by tooth of dog

I live among ruins,
Bat dung dwellings,
Approaching tentatively with a candle,
You never dare to come in

For what home can I offer you,
Among all this carrion?
Where my rugs are all of stranger’s skins,
Finding jewels in all my sins

No, you love the cold of the North,
Not my cold, the cold of the South,
Skin picking off the corners of my mouth,
My icicled spine,
Merging with tree bark,
To lay with woodlouse and loam

Now I am the Shepherd’s bothy,
Now I am the shepherd’s home