Oblivion until Islington

A flight of stairs.
The narrow confines
of a bedroom –
the one I used to use.
Overlooking the garden,
small and neatly driven.
A slow roll of a suburb,
attached arterially
to the mainline.
Only twenty or so
minutes into London.
The great smoke
of tube journeys and buses.
Rise at eight
and never too late.
Through the gate running –
six hundred paces.
With ticket stub
into a smoky coach.
Walkman on and engaged.
Oblivion until Islington.
Greeted at Highbury
by the twins in hard hats –
never finding out why
they stood there each day.
In with a coffee at nine thirty,
before swapping the tape reel
and heading upstairs to work.


The Breakup

The breakup was unexpected,
like a fissure in the fabric of time.
There it goes flying high,
making vapour trails in the sky.
A neat little tear that happens
to be beyond repair.
Sit-down, standup, walkabout –
fill a private room with doom.
The likes of which will wrangle,
writhe and shift, until things settle –
like angel dust in a vacant space.


The Giant Wave

The giant wave,
inside a mansion block.
I go outside,
when the water subsides.
Call my daughter,
to see she is safe.
She’s moved inland,
out to the countryside.
Far from the river,
and further from the oceans.
The lower floors
are muddy with silt,
and there’s people
carrying out furniture-
still dripping scum
and saltwater.
The people who run
this place, think I’m unsafe.
Think I’m a crocodile
snaking my way in.
And I stand there,
rigid with pride and pain-
waiting to be vouched for,
waiting to be recognized,
waiting to get back in again.


The Night Mission

We cross the tall grass, first.
Moving like panthers
in the thick dark night.
Heading toward the light,
that shines in the far blue yonder.
No words are exchanged,
but the looks we give are enough.
Heart rate at slow to stopping,
palms as hot as irons
resting in the fire.
Foreheads drip, drip, drip.
The squeeze of a boot
and the wheeze of someone
who can’t quite breathe.
On a night mission –
a wade through
with stealthy progress.
And the probability
of never coming back.


Pills and Poetry

Fantasy childhood memory.
Distorted truth rambling
and incoherent – fake.
In an old place
that’s not an old place,
there’s a door
that leads to another space.
Three young guys, one’s a girl
work in front of large monitors –
white hot computer hacks.
My flat is trashed,
and they are analyzing my things.
I remember the whole thing
subconsciously, so it’s never real –
just a fragment at the site
of a memory.
A dog whistle that’s unbearable.
A blank filled with pills and poetry.


The Ionian Night

Didn’t you know..

plays again and again-
following me through
the ionian night.
Shaking hands with
Eddy Floyd in a corner bar
frequented by those who
prefer their evenings brash.
With temperatures staying
at one hundred and five-
the cats are stretching out
in doorways they are guarding
and dogs they are a howling-
out into the restless night.
Where mosquitos circulate
round legs just ripe for biting-
sucking silently and skin deep.
On white sheet pillows
we return to sleep.
Beneath the citrus sweet
and the low hum of a airconditioning.


Birthday

Filling the intervals.
Making time with a
beat of your heart.
You’re another year-
but don’t you look good.
Happy birthday –
Happy birthday to you.