Notebook Poems I-IV

By | 31 October 2012


e-mail to the deep breaths department
five goodberries unsampled
the river brackish,
        or perhaps actual bracken

(slides around us)
like koi, not good eating

first taste of real life exclusion
                in small gloves

                couldn’t read the sandlewood fan codex

        lift both hands to fax home

politically incorrect across the fen
                sexist, but gorgeous
                        – your Elvis-face carpet

it’s old technology
so if they won’t re-make it
        in different materials
        we forget the prompts,
a telephone is mostly
                        more talking

I realise this is no way
to get the product division to notice me
hours spent gathering
        then fusing household objects:
                a letterbox that is also a stapler
                        & a middle-child

when the time came to vote
        we bolted for the door

sent round the hat
for a smear campaign
targeting ferns
                – their floppy politics

swing a hammer into a fence post
                – mark out your patch, you always have


nice to see you
even in the cleaning aisle
        light a cigarette from the little pops
                                of window panes

you can lift up a piece of the road
to compressed dust; a packet of ovalteenies
                later your cordial spills on the sky

a cloud sticks to your shoulder
        which I follow between hills
where the shrubs have rusted

truck is floating carousel

                jonquil = petrol

full mouths change word shapes
        rain keeps you in
                keeps you hung over

someone takes a highlighter to the field
        & you imagine the aerial view

but looking at the thumbnails
        of the same trees making different shadows

(my school of photography
is get in the frame & get going)

        water rushes up to the waist

        lino-cut branches against the sky
different trees pool in the same shadow


his need to kick open trees
until the applause
makes me want to stay in bed

but a package of light arrived on my lap
                wrapped in a vine leaf

this is your
mediterranean plate

        old pretzel taken with a
                spout of liquor

kiss ‘head of a giant youth’
        in split white marble

set up shop in atrium
be bad at goodbyes
change your personality
        to suite your basin face

during a party the most action is in the smallest room

locked outside
the interior of the flat
(each separate component)

is exquisitely remembered
                                like all lost objects

later, thin coffee upon ecstatic entry
shaving tiles with a foam brick

you love that baby so you shorten its name
this is a well-known process
                but it does not work for everyone

nostalgia for your time as a node & earlier
living as a small, volcanic archipelago
how you covered the trackmarks of an about-turn

factory job involved a regular
        provision of sideways glances

bruises are such easy metaphors
        think of something else

what goes on at the tap during warm weather
2 pet guinea pigs, both named Philip

I did not know about this ‘shoe incident’
at the Institute of Hair and Aesthetics


hot lunch eaten standing
wheeling your reservations up the manmade hill

the athletic djs sport cool tracksuits
olympic fly-over & are the royals in vogue now?

pour yourself a heart-starter
assume there’ll be English
                but feel bad about it

busy & lightly iced in the manuscript room
woman seeking bubbler
                crackle-glaze, impasto

minor scuffle on the digest
a granule of earnest disco
        that summer you became “political”
                        spent more time in the shade

away from the archives
        gutter-bird: “I like larking up kicks”

        muster a scoupon of traction for your
silly, inflatable readymades

thought-image collects in a puddle
(under the sign of)
        your sneakers which make me giggle

books hard to part with
(paint with?)
        haptic tautology

“when I think about you I quote myself”
        but nobody chooses a patriarchal tattoo

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