Saturday, January 31, 2009


Moving house can be stressful, I hear.

Last pome of three, hope it's been a kickass January.


A short coffin on wheels
raised to rib-height by spider-wire legs
between the pulpit and the rows
of wooden benches.

into the books you’d read
your hard-headed sense of devotion
planning holidays to America
watching costume dramas and The West Wing
eating decades
of sacrifice and stiff-arming self-doubt
through decades
spent herding, corralling young minds.

A poet-saint
worth less faith than you offered
has his last say
on this dry winter morning
you might have loved.

Strange men
from the directors come
to wheel you from the church
in the short wooden coffin on retractable legs
we will later burn.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, January 30, 2009

Steelers v Cards: Superbowl XLIII!

As promised! Movin' flat today.

Riddle: What has two thumbs and an awesome flat?
[points to self with thumbs] This guy.


The CBS broadcasters cut to commercial
as the opening drive goes three-and-out,
and the defense – led by the six-four two-twenty
linebacker in his eighth year out of Syracuse –
mobilizes at midfield, where the hand-poised ball
is torpedoed to the punter whose name
the announcers have yet to fathom,
sent hurtling
end over end
deep into the floodlights
and falling snow – inside the ten, inside the five –
as returning cameras determine
where the next play begins,
where the quarterback sends
his rookie receiver on a fade route
(finding one-on-one coverage wide on the side
the safety wasn’t watching),
the ball arching,
falling across ribbon-white lines, interrupted
by black-gloved hands – complete in open field! –
and carried through an elation of noises,
thousands of voices,
into the snow-drifted

A Bientot,

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Today's Clever Title is Re:Visions

Over the next few days I'm going to be putting up a few workshopped poems, two that have been up already - Crags and Reception (formerly Catch) - and one new one...
Superbowl on Sunday!


And now I am a jackdaw alighted on a rock
above the city, bunnyhopping toward the cliff face.

I hoke at the wet stone,
shake the fine rain from my feathers,

and already my memories
are dripping off in runnels.

The castle, the highrises, the alleys
grow abstract with each fluttered heartbeat.

The river meets the sea and the wind
pushes me softly, suddenly over the edge

and I open my different mouth
and I open my different arms.

Til tomorrow,

Wednesday, January 21, 2009



New poem out of goddamn nowhere. What would happen if you could go backwards through a relationship?
So the inauguration poet sounded like Microsoft Sam. That's gotta be one tough gig. Great speech though, Obama was a hecka good support act.
Other news: Frank Vorassi is gonna publish "Homecoming" in the March edition of Bottom of the World! AW YISS


She looks at him with a tender kind of sadness.
As she walks backward through the closing door
they grow unfamiliar through similar dreams
of things they may some day do. Fingers pulled
together as if by magnetic opposites
recall the times they will warm ill-heated beds,
crooked inside each other like lightning bolts.

Crosses fade from refurling calendars
that survey a systematic withdrawal
of tokens of affection, habits of speech,
a spreading air of innocence as they sleepwalk
into mutual forgetfulness. A night will come
when those last rough edges are filed into smoothness,
as lips lean close, then further (much further) away.

Thanks for reading,

Monday, January 12, 2009

Et Finalement

I know it's been more like eight days than a week, but hey! Hope it's been enjoyable. It may be a little while before there's any new material up here, but I'll try and make it sooner rather than later.

Edit: OMIGODOMIGOD I got published by Gloom Cupboard Jesus


Many Sundays ago I was carrying
pot plants from all corners of the house
to the kitchen, covering the sink and each flat surface
till the room was green and the air was thick.

(In a smaller kitchen in the early nineties
my mother measured the fertiliser
in droplets that billowed beneath the surface
in a muddy miniature watering can.

I stood on a stool and tipped the contents
round the roots, recolouring the soil
as water leaked out in dirt-clogged rivulets –
‘That’s enough now, David’)

The ivy creeper from the sill on the landing
had been overlooked in our shiny new home.
As I dropped it beside the compost heap
I wondered how I’d ever figured out
when to stop.

Ciao for niao,

Sunday, January 11, 2009

As I post this I am watching Mark Wahlberg in the 2008 classic "Max Payne"

Sky Burial

Hollow broken bones,
meat mixed with barley flour,
yak butter and tea;

vultures take the best of the spoils,
bones are left to ravens and hawks.

On this clear morning
our breath masses in fine clouds
as we remember

the one who offered himself
to the sky. Juniper fires

cleanse the air above
the charnel-ground, a tower
of silence stained

by sunrise. Later, man-sized
wings will carry altered flesh

across the mountains.
Nothing remains but dirty-
white feathers and memory.

Last poem tomorrow!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I am very quietly posting this then getting back under the blanket in front of the tv. Which is turned down. Ruddy absinthe.

Going Home

Sun hit the room through tall windows, painting shadows
in the slender, breezy light of morning, clearer
than your camera for picking your nestled brownness,
throwing mustardseed freckles on your cheeks.

Hair rippled like running water down the alleyways and canals
of places we’d never been. The door stuttered shut
where the carpet lay thick, or the door lay low,
leaving a pile of clothes spilling green from your suitcase.

There were more stairs going down than going up;
I couldn’t recall the frosted windows overlooking back yards
or the bikes locked up on each floor. The Edwardian front door
with the red plastic lock buzzed and shunted onto the street.

The concrete sat ordinary underfoot, the breeze from the sea
wheedling its way under layers of clothes.

Happier tomorrow,

Friday, January 09, 2009

I'll Fly Away

So my flat isn't perfect, but it does have an awesome view of the crags from the living room, and this time of the morning there are dozens of gulls flying around the buildings, screeching away. It's been a while since I've mentioned birds, and I'd hate to think I was becoming lax in my duties.


And now I am a jackdaw perched
on a rock above the city,
bunnyhopping towards the cliff face.

I hoke at the wet stone,
shake the fine rain from my feathers,

and already the memory of being human
is slipping away in runnels.
The alleys, the highrises, the castle

grow abstract with each
rapid heartbeat. The river meets

the sea and the wind
pushes me softly,
suddenly over the edge and I open

my different mouth and I open
my different arms.

Til tomorrow,

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Football with the hands

I love American football. I don't care what anyone says, it can be one of the most dramatic games going. Its format practically requires a game to have at least one pivotal moment - 3rd and long, no timeouts remaining, yadayada - while each play (I don't think it a coincidence that such a dramatic game should be made up of individual plays) is rehearsed and refined and deployed with remarkable attention to detail. It's an underrated game on this side of the Atlantic.

Superbowl on the 1st of February. Hold my calls.


The opening drive goes three-and-out,
the defence – led by the six-four
two-twenty linebacker
in his eighth year out of Syracuse

mobilises at midfield
as the white-stitched ball is torpedoed
to the punter with the European name
the announcers have yet to fathom
and sent hurtling end over end deep
into the floodlights and falling
snow – inside the twenty, inside the ten
as mathematics and replays determine
where the next possession begins,
where the quarterback sends
his rookie receiver into single coverage
on an in-and-out route the safety
was only half-watching,
where the spiral of the ball will be
interrupted by gloved hands
and carried, screaming,
into the floodlit

See you tomorrow, sports fans,

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

O Tannenbaum

It is lucky term has not started because it is 11am and all I have accomplished is weetabix.

Edit: My blog was two years old yesterday. Happy birthday, blog.


We unraveled the fairy lights my sister
left when she moved out
and threaded them carefully
through the needles of our fold-out tree.

I jumped from switch to switch
until the room turned black and grey,
ushering the night through the big french window,

and the lights flashed and for a moment
your face glowed and your eyes were wide
til something blew and then silence.

I knelt by the socket with scotch tape and tried
to secure the shot wires with giftwrap.
Spreading my arms like a priest before
a burnt offering, I prayed against the dark.

Hasta maƱana,

Monday, January 05, 2009

New Year, New Poems

First, some plugs: I'm an editor for Read This Magazine, a little Edinburgh-based publication for young and emerging writers, and our editor-in-chief Claire Askew runs a cool-as-fuck poetry blog at One Night Stanzas, more than just a witty name.

So! I've been fairly active over the holidays, and as such, over the next week I will upload a brand new, never-before-seen poem EVERY FREAKING DAY. Wowsa!

Today, a poem that is pretty darned straight-forward.

Train to London

The cloudline tears and sunlight spills out in streams.
Stars hide behind the two-way mirror of earth’s atmosphere,
the full-grown ash looking dwarfish as the motion of the train,
the motion of the farmer’s quad bike, throws us in centrifuge,
the vast brown field growing vaster.

A rickety wood-pole-bridge slants
across the bare-bark-reflecting stream. Sheep-trails and fox-trails
that line the woodland are not veins for plasma flocks of cotton,
and I cannot explain what makes the yellow digger such a good shepherd
though I can hazard a guess.

I give you birchwood. I give you the white flowers of hawthorn.
I give you witchhazel and alder with sunlight strobing through their branches.
You give me the fuzz-yellow buzzcut fields, heather like coral,
gaps in stone walls, a scarecrow, faces of cliffs like ellipses, the sea,
the sea,

a bluebell, seagulls following a tractor like seagulls following
a trawler, the soil deep brown, the summerhouse overlooking the water
where hawks hover, haybales like pigs in a blanket,
like an art exhibit, like the wheels of the sun, like morse code, like braille,
like the sign language I never learned,

the elm bare like handstanding roots, pheasant farm
net-roofed, sheughs of water left in train-wake;
horses graze by the river that curves out of sight,
branches reach out through reds, greens, blues,

Thanks for reading,