Archive for June, 2019


Posted: June 30, 2019 in Chat

Unaccountably missed from my Suit-Shirt-Tie sequence. I’d set it to Publish… but nothing.


Circa ninety-five, a hot long evening
the Edinburgh Festival, the auditorium,
a Peter Handke play with no script;
and scanning the crowd for a feel
of the vibe of the night, saw
a man decked out in a Bob Dylan shirt,
from circa sixty-five.

‘Hey!’ I said, ‘scuse me, ‘scuse me, Hey….’
‘They were big in Berlin. Last year’, he said,
then the house lights dimmed, and so crept
to my seat, my son, and the set
of a desert town: was it Mexico?
The actors passed hesitantly, afraid,
then more boldly; so we read, misdirected,
a character, storyline, place;
stringing together a time-line as the desert ebbed
and flowed in the light over… Sinai? The Negev?

Back in the back places of England
where nothing ever happens, more than twice,
I saw one, that shirt –Yes!
heart in hand, hand on card, card flexing in the reflex
over debits and credits… bought it.
Black, with large white spots. That’s it!
‘In the press photos’ my son said, ‘it’s green.
With white spots.’ ‘You misread it!
You’ll have the shirt off my dream!’ I snapped,
‘with your new generational take
on an older generation rap!’

The child is father, and I the man,
he pointedly didn’t say
before leaving for the city; where things happen,
they say, every day.



Posted: June 23, 2019 in Chat
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Something is speaking, but you don’t know the language.
Your body does, trips you, its knowledge
coding through into nerves of muscle, to balance.

You will need an app to help you stop, listen.
What is it saying?  It’s saying
you’re stretched beyond your limits, a wire spring
about to buckle. It’s saying
listening is no good, but there’s still time
to save the debilitated, ruined.

Listen, and then act
by stopping doing.

Falling is just the beginning.

Night Thoughts

Posted: June 16, 2019 in Chat
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To be able to say, ‘Here was where
I had made a wrong decision.
And at this point, see, I was right’

to admit, ‘Here I had not thought through
to the consequences of everything
that I was going to do.
It was only half done – but then,
everything I’ve done’s been half done.’

And here: ‘Something said five years ago
toppled my equilibrium, much later
when poise was essential.’

And admit at times I have maybe become
the kind of person I most hate.



Posted: June 9, 2019 in Chat

The inward look on a smoker’s face
handling their experience.
Hood up, young smoker, suffering it
to know it, the burn, nausea,
the rush, and the altering.

Vacant faces of seasoned drinkers
so far down their road only fellow travellers
know them. To touch back down,
common ground,
sentimental, and vociferous
describing emotional landscapes
passed through at speed, but continually:
thread-bare, neglected, divorced.


Silver studs in black velvet, the night streets
and their litter. Come day and come-down,
rubbish strewn wastelands.
How world mirrors mind’s furnishings:
modish, recycled, tat. The drugs corrupt
that innocence you bartered for experience.

It’s not what you meant. There is nothing else
they whisper to you.

Tiananmen Square

Posted: June 2, 2019 in Chat
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Leaving the city for the student quarters
was to postpone grief, hold off horror,
by all the arts study finds emotion capable.

That night’s examination caught us all heads down;
ours the unquestioned rights to question,
our right to rights.

We woke to outrage,
found time had stolen our innocence;
witnesses, unable to act, found space
had made us impotent.

Made old
by the escalation, that morning,
between immediate loss, and the long,
slow, discovery of loss.