Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Being Mutant

You tongue the word in its mouth,
breed the teeth that gnash your palm.
It's not that it's all edges at all.
It's the curves of it, they way it has
of bending in. The way it has of settling.

It's a charcoal monster, mauling
the boundaries of sanity until it blurs.
This isn't a disease, but it's trying.
The licking of bone, the sucking of marrow.
A blush of bruises on an unmade bed.

And it's sneaky too.
Knitting peculiarities into DNA memory.
A raiser of ghosts, of course.
The bang in the strand of sinew
that tethers you. Softly now the detonation.

No-one loves you more than cells do.
Multiplying, malfunctioning, on and on.

Come and find me, poisoned peony.
Find me now and bloom. BOOM!

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Darning in the Dark


I sew the night backwards, unthread
from the places I once belonged to.
Everything is different in the dark -
snails on fence-posts swallowing stardust,
stems of old man's baccy raising shadows
through the steps and bends of a terrible dance,
next door's history walking itself upright again.

Even the air goes animal, sniffing past
on its foxwings and subtle swifts feet.
I hear the fields calling, knitting a yearning
through alleyways, over chimneys - looking for me.


Once I watched you kill a stoat with a shovel.
Stoved in its beautiful head because it dared
to scuttle through the sanctity of your garden.
The coal of your veins puffed out, made you
God even as your eyes filled with soot.
Those sightless things, dirtying everything.

Afterwards, you chucked it in the bin.
Laid to rest among dinted cans of half-eaten
beans and potato peelings going soggy.
This is what being Northern means to a man
devoted to woodbines and the wounding of things.


Sometimes I dream of its bones.
How they stitch together better than the bricks
of the place I'm supposed to call home.

How even its caved in skull mortars itself
together better than these familial walls.

But now it's little more than a memory
darned through the heart of a lass pricked
see-through by darkness and death.

A spelk in the scenery of a life tapestried
by coal dust woven with strands of ashes.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016



They arrive even before the bleeding stops. And they're laughing of course, it's what hyenas do. But you're never actually prepared for the size of them, how animal they are. And no-one talks about them having wings, how when they reveal them, they dazzle.

Bright as black ice on a bend in the road you don’t see coming. Bright as headlights slashing through water. Bright as a scream. And fast, too. Air bubbles accelerating back to the surface, popping and panting as they savour their permanence.  Because even your lungs betray you in the end.

Their tongues are the lovers you've longed for all your life. But you haven't thought properly about the terror of their teeth. How they'll curve and fit the fear you emit. A marriage of macabre, a temptress of tearing - the bed of the consummation is your very own flesh.

They leave even before the bleeding stops. And they're crying of course, it's what hyenas do. They're never actually prepared for the taste of you, how animal you are. No-one knows about you owning wings - how when you unloosen them, they'll dazzle.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Moving Day

Moving Day.

You see it differently to the fence-post.
Like those faces on the clouds of daisies
that decorate the chaos of the soon to be
abandoned back yard for a start.

In the mouth of midday, the yellow
of their centres dissolves, falls down
among layers of perception no-one ever
properly comprehends. The upside drizzles
sunlight over their roots, blenches them dull.

The fence-post sees them dangling
below, married to mud. The way they allow
themselves an alignment for foraging among
worms and commitment before being separated
by the penetration of memories and shovels.

The beaks of sparrows spear them,
stealing pieces for nests - making miniscule
martyrs resigned to dying among the adulterous
air where roots cannot adhere, just divorce.

You see it differently to the fence-post -
that trace of a tree that tilts towards rotting
by the innards of a wall, tumbled by love.