By | 1 March 2015


Let’s go then

Because if we don’t nobody will –
I had that this thought for the morning,
We could concentrate our energies on the movement through
Weigh down on the action
Work out where the word becomes feeling
Step over into the traffic through.

Not that it has to be a morning thing,
I work late above the dooryard

The sheer distance
Abstract reckoning
For no other reason
The world.

Which is chatting with you
Watching movies with you
In which the most innocent gesture

Or the smallest forgetfulness

Waiting a letter with


This I can say:
It showed me finally
That the actions of a person
Clear and pale
Thus effectively lost
The evidence
Calm, unbroken
Occur here.

I can say this in the morning
Nobody statements foreclose
No tribunal today
Not this sunshine
No letter either,
Just some life story
Folded through
Played out piecemeal as
Biography happens:


I talk to Simon
Simon sets the birdsong out of Peckham
We listen awhile and
Over the traffic
Somebody cultivates
The Old Kent Road –
Which is the way things go
Things go gracelessly as we go
Aware –
No one asking today
Nobody auditing –
As persons

Standing still
Which is I submit
The evidence necessary,
Trousers nothing special
Watching the way
The wind blows
In your telltale shoes,
The case against
Habouring affections
In the face of

Brushed teeth
Noticed the world wake
All dewy
And Confused.

As these societies became more complex
The need for writing
For administrative purposes
For recording legends

For Myths
All dewy
Woke up startled into consciousness
All the evidence today assembled argued


And all the while some kind of
Collective emergency
Leafing through Mayakovsky
I look at politics in poems

struck at dead of night

I’m thinking


From habitation

I look at politics
And stones

And use the word advisedly
I use the word ‘advisedly’ advisedly
Picture us in some kind of ruin
Waiting for the rhetoric to show
Sea whacked
And no-one home
I shake hands with Lucy Williams
You standing on the battlements
Contemplating the prospect



And so the sun kicks on.
I think I’ll take that document now please
And then maybe later
We’ll come up with some kind of plan
Since this is serious and you’re so well dressed
Shoes shined like your life depended on it
In the rubble
Maintenant en Français
Oui c’est grave.

You say the word ‘grave’ advisedly,
There is no word for ‘all’ in English,
Standing watching the traffic
Waiting for the agencies to show,
Tout le monde,
Waiting for the world to show
Outside your doorstep
Like lilac like
Standing still and walking
Waiting while the dogwood
At your garden door.

Which it doesn’t happen
The way the lyric steps up all uninvited
Like lilac all
You had to do was listen
Waiting in the doorway while
The world rolled past
Some kind of presidency
One by one

I am no recipient of culture
It’s an agency thing
I listen to Jarvis
Jarvis Cocker plays
LeRoi Jones

At the doorway singing
Jarvis plays Gill Scott Heron
Collis starts up
Jarvis plays Olson
I had to learn the simplest things last
Not an ocean stretching out beneath my feet
Just that it’s a you and I thing
Crossing somewhere
Making an agreement
Following the language


But if we had to start over
Even only air and such
Slate grey April
Nobody roots attached
If we had to start lengthen bodies out
Set down a canopy out of nothing
Table something out of nowhere
Wouldn’t it go like this?

This is my question.
I note down books people talk to me:

Edward Casey, The Fate of Place

Mystic sheer distance
That beautiful abstract reckoning
Sun drift over Camberwell
I write a poem about space

Waiting in case the world
Let’s get the implication right shall we
Standing sampling Massive Attack
Down by the salle d’attente
And we shall construct at variance
Singing in the present participle
Urban today everybody

Like some document filled with other people’s songs
The only surviving parchment of the twenty-first century
Some kind of air crash
In which the only thing remaining
Was a line out of Gertrude Stein
Quoted by Simon Smith
In a train just departed Dartford
Space of time filled with moving

I write a poem about Margate
Folded out toward an abstract reckoning
Assemble this night
In the present participle
Watching the uninvited
As they start to sing
The Wreck of the Deutschland
Set down a canopy out of nowhere
Footage you are now exiting the future.


So the names roll out again
Dartford, Chennai
The angel in the doorway clicks his teeth
Because here is how he likes it
Dirty intense
Ibuprofen heavy
Thick with song.

And ready to go again
Because these folds are exquisite.
Only the phone equal
To the next spike
Blond euphoric
And so the names roll back
San Diego, Margate,
Margate, Kent.

Though nobody will vouch.
What we’re talking here is compound interest
Which stands, at a certain vantage, for love in politics
You sit
You do nothing wrong
Maybe you go for a walk.
That way there’s no redemption.

But it’s not impossible
We assemble a line
Picture a strictly ornamental universe
Geography situationism
The twenty-four hour news cycle
Your soul at bay
You like it here
Don’t you.


Lucked out didn’t we
That historic evening
When the angel of summer waved the whole thing through
And you stood outside the yard
Picking up the remains of the century
Assembling outbuildings
The way we asked them to be built.

Remember nothing
Immigration man.

I have this document in my pocket
Waiting to be rote
And I’m thinking if we could just do lunch
Maybe pick up something easy

Recording equipment
Is not allowed in the building.

Watching the trucks
Shake down the evening
Into particulars

Video evidence cannot be used in a court of law.

Please be aware
That any person
With picture taking capabilities
May not this
Dealt according.

The way the evening stepped forth –
This broken English
At the outbreak of the century
A sensibility at work
All singing all dancing
Only a notebook in which to annotate
Totally unconvinced by anybody’s back-story.


‘Marcie’ starts up.
Hello Marcie.
Marcie knows everything
There is to know about feedback.
She stands at the edge
Listening to the qualities
Of transmission
You stand alongside her
She pushes some kind of song.

On drums:
Max Ernst.
On bass:
Hannah Arendt.
Things to address directly:
The way the story ends.
Marcie buys a bag of peaches.
Eats one.
Hides the rest from the state.

You sing along with her
Some kind of dictionary of sensibility
In the right hands it’s a love thing
Hitting all the wrong notes
A siren, a cigarette
Sure signs of somebody’s emergency
Riffing when the song stops.
Marcie cuts her own hair.

Stands outside the arcade
Learning to trust the way a person tells it
As a blackbird locks down the skyline
Scarcely credible on such a scale
Only this is the way the story opens out

People clustered together
In the Arab spring

Marcie not confident of anything
Save some kind of reckoning
Occurring here.


A car horn

Did the percussion section leave you standing?

A cigarette
that extends.
On rhythm:

Did you call a taxi yet Marcie?
Or did the footage persuade you
This is somewhere you could stay
At night
Lined up against the square
Though nobody said so
Capable of a simple
Straightforward anger.

Marcie checks out.
The blackbird sings into
A person’s whereabouts
In the city
Some person’s washing
Leaving them hanging
In the wind to dry.
Air and such
While the networks go down
And you just standing
As the story breaks –
Still no letter
Only the operations.
Good to see you


We should stay up all night
Watch the law prosecute its business
Still no letter

Walking the beach
Watching the aircraft drop

And you dance sometimes and I work
Because all this meantime
What else is there?

To signify
Arms laid against him.

Still no letter. Possibly so.

Things to address directly:

In the dooryard momentarily the traffic stops
Too late for birds
And no sound happening
Of anybody’s emergency
You smile in another language
I sense a dance coming on.
Because there is space
Jarvis samples Arrested Development
Crowded only by the skyline
Not a measured room
And not stopped
We decline the implication

One must not have a permit

Push the tables

He slept deeply until morning
Went out into the brilliant
It’s what we should pitch I think:
The ground is now the sky.
Breeze to zero.
Streets roof-tops.
A person takes notes

Watch as you dance
Foot out the architecture of the century
Co-ordinated in somebody else’s neighbourhood
Only a history to call your own
Riffing on the direction of travel
Silently annotating the new geology
Pictures told in three dimensions

Even by telephone in dead of night

Quietly brilliantly
In all the available spaces
Dapper like the morning
In those tell-tale shoes
A rebuke confronted

with the structure of exception

Clockwise and counter-clockwise


Still no letter.
I use the word still advisedly.
Still you say still
Struggle to get the intonation right.
Stutter over the doorway
A plane goes down
People gather before the wreck.

There must be something we can make of it.
You stand there radiant before the court
Explaining everything
The moment you first came through
Impossible to frame
Only this is the way things happen

Eyes set deep
Subjected to examination.

In this broken English
The sun sets laterally across the century
The fugitive lands
Crowd under separate names
Joined in semi-abstraction
You stand and regulate your bearing

Certain outskirts of our cities

Hardly a way back through
Down along the Medway River
Strolling annotating
Shipyards in the cold
Bystander taking notes
Down by the intersect
Where the language happens
Forms like lilac
Where the uninvited
Stand in line.

And the radio fades
Nobody certain which way we’re headed
You shrug
Maybe somebody somewhere
Assembled evidence enough
At variance with the theme
Some stack of mistranslations

Statements rendered
By the state.

But that’s their story.

Remember nothing.

I make a mappemundi
To include this point.
Your story air and such
stones bearing
Doorjamb at variance

Existing claim

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