The direct influence of poets


All around me was the sound
Of water going down a hole
Up in the sky was an angel with a key
Can you stop that dreadful noise I said?
He put the key into my mind and twisted it
The sound of water was gone


My emotions are the gravel
With hundreds of horses galloping across it
If I close my inner eyes, I can see them
Their manes are women’s hair


There is a grave that will save you
And there is a grave that will not
The grave that will save you
Is like a glass case in a museum
And people will come to see you
And they will say nice things
In the grave that will not save you
You’ll lie there in the darkness
Wondering when night will come

  1. When I lived in the hills, the contours became like strange human forms.
    I expected them to get to their feet and run after me.
    In some places, there was no streetlights and there my fear grew like spines all over my body.
    In time I realised the contours did not move and that perhaps they were asleep dreaming of the world to come.
    There was one hill that I conquered all alone and I stood on top in a shirt of bells.
    The evening sky was a glass of spilled wine and I experienced the sadness of the unknown conqueror.


Once I dreamed I was a celebrity covered in a coat of anecdotes all speaking at once like talking wood beetles.
I said stop your noise and go back to your places in the skirting board.


Once I saw a grand black limousine in the night. It had driven over a bridge and hurried towards
The palace.
Mum and dad are home said the swans, the ducks and the Canadian geese that lived so well upon the serpentine.


The courier delivered a bucket of tiredness into which I put my head.
It felt like hot pins in water.
In my room, the air shrank to the size of a feral cat that I fought with all day long.
A woman shaped like a gold flying saucer rigged up the ropes for a puppet show.
The dark winter night, not wearing shoes, fell like a giant purple balloon that squashed everything.
The ladybird flew away


In the supermarket, the rodent ice skaters twitched their whiskers.
A house build walked out of the automatic doors made from millions of flying ants.
The security man was replaced by a teenage girl with smiley face in a sou’wester.
The pandemic was represented by a surgical mask that was a trillionaire superbug shield.
Breathy whispers came from a vegetable stall.
Her eyes were like two frozen peas in a sword fight and children were led out into the flute wind and into the hungry canal as the coots looked on.
Suddenly grappling hooks shot out of everyone’s eye that stood on the bridge and anchored them into the paving stones. No one moved as the world licked its paws.
A giant octopus flew overhead squirting eight pesticide cans into the immobile crowd.


A real surrealist looks like a fish on a bicycle.
He opens a can of worms with a sharp gun.
He visits the Ganges every new moon with a garden rake.
And he turns oil into crepe paper with a wave of his hat.
But, according to Freud, this is only possible in the comics or a Harry Potter book.


I went outside into the garden with the cat. We went together to listen to the voice of the garden. It stood there in a black spectral overcoat within this there was a fountain that had no feet. Its head was an octopus under a hood. This is particularly effective in the twilight. A rope was hanging from the roof. It sounded like a dragon had landed there and was roaring in anger. The cat did not like it. It stared upwards with a face like a flat fish and ran back indoors and I quickly followed it.

I was overwhelmed by section X
The judge, in a paratrooper’s helmet, had made the preparations.
It was a nightmare of sexual sludge throwing that she tried to share with her chauffer
Suspended beneath a cloud I was dragged through the arena.
A few hyenas came to watch but the whole thing descended the steps like a bouncing nightmare.

  1. Sparkplugs and other plastic roses like to eat book titles.
    Spanners do well in a teapot.


If you do not try to find out who you are, how will you know who you are?
You will dream that you are Napoleon but when someone else with the same dream comes along you will get annoyed.
It’s best to put on your braces and try and perform in front of others wo you are.
This is the valve of playacting and it is best done when you are a child.
A child who playacts has the best chance of finding out who they it really is.


The new heart wants to go for a ride. It will consider anywhere.
The new heart is a pool within a pool but it has life’s will to expand within it.
I have never seen a travel brochure for the heart that doesn’t involve the mind as well, the two are inseparable.
In times of pandemic, the new heart is also pandemic with desires to travel and to keep travelling.
But how can it be that with heart surgery the new heart forgets its past life.


Now for the case of the lost compass dividers. I can find them clearly in my mind but these ones I cannot use. But the real ones by coincidence are lost.
Did they just walk away? Have they gone to bed? Why are they not still where I put them.
Of all the things you can lose compass dividers are not one of them because they stick into the fabric, they grip the side of crevices in the furnished room. They reflect the torch light from beneath the sofa. They straddle the edges of things like stick insects riding a carrot.
Perhaps my mind has eaten them up! I feared it might happen they have disappeared into my head like 99.9 percent of all the things I have ever seen in the world including the bazaar in Istanbul. Perhaps they are there now, walking down the labyrinthine market passing the coffee pots and the silk carpets looking for the way home. I will become a lighthouse and cast out beams of light to guide them back home and then they might reappear standing on the back of one of the chairs like a polar explorer


A god was watching the whole population yet a girl accused him of watching her.
His eye was so big that you could fit all of the darkness into it.
The girl I suppose was one speck of light that never expanded into a galaxy.
This girl paid the price for her arrogance by being turned into a swan.


A man built a castle to keep all the evil in the world. He had enough materials for the whole structure except for missing one brick.
The town planners came along and seeing that it was missing one brick said that it did not meet with regulations and it was to be dismantled.
As they began to dismantle the castle all the evil in the world was release back into the world.
When one of the town planners met with an unfortunate death, the remaining ones found the missing brick to the castle in his new house. The good people of the village used it as the cornerstone of the new prison and locked the town planners up inside it


The government’s version of democracy is lie waves in a sack.
Votes are paper hearts.
True democracy was born in a bar with the six jolly ploughmen on a Friday night.


I held a conversation on the phone in the kitchen with the volume knob of my ears turned down.
One hour later the same conversation took place 10 meters above and six meters to the side as a reflection in someone’s window.
Later on, I saw a dog outside dragging my conversation out of a bin. It now resembled a joint of meat made of rubber and it made a noise like feedback from an electric violin.


Dreams from a life story are seldom eaten with soup
I still continue to write as the steamroller goes over me

Some voices still make demands on me to sink the titanic
So I long to live in the land of the turtle dove and freedom


Dressed in a rain mac
With a howitzer on my back
As the tornado rips apart my spine
Alone in outer space
Separated from the human race
And losing track of time
But she comes up to me and says
It’s time to go
Sorry for your death
And welcome home


Only one person lives in that skyscraper
Each morning he climbs to the top and prays
Each afternoon a bolt of lightning knocks him
Off of the top and he falls to the ground
Somewhere in the sunset a group
Of bad spirits are throwing the dice and laughing


My thoughts are like a torrent
I must wait a day for the rain to stop
My eyesight receives a projection of the world
In a full colour isometric plan – My heart
I do not reprove it for being crushed by reality


If instead of getting baptized every newborn baby
is given the ingredients of poetry
Then at the nursery, you might be surprised
To hear babies reciting verse and getting drunk
Bravo you would say. Excellent


The marble lady
was also a butterfly
that comes in and out
of the window
The siege machine
set fire to the kings throne
The marble lady
only spoke once
and then become a butterfly
The siege machine
was dragged to the place
where her voice was misidentified
as a fallen leaf that never existed
Later on the museum
closed down and all these items
were put in storage


The famous actor was asked
What are you rebelling against?
His famous reply was
What have you got?

A pen


I looked up at the sky
Very high up in the clouds
Were the branches of a tree
And they come from across the ocean


We walk in avenues of candles
We walk through a guard of honour
There are many side paths that re dug up
And there are many guards with shovels
And there are many dead men along the avenues of candles
And there are many widows under our overcoats
That do not remember us


The excitement is a solid
I can make things with it

It is not exclusive like a fiery meteorite
It is a memory that has returned from the earth

I have crossed out these lines so heavily that I must move on
Or erase the ink in my tears, night is here, sleep now

Emotion and Reason as Light Infantry

I was reading a novel when page 66 disappeared. It reappeared 9 years later as page 77 in a book about childbirth. I was watching a tube train pass into the tunnel at Aldgate when it too disappeared. It was later seen in a photograph of the 1st world war where it had crashed and had come to a standstill in the trenches.
How did emotion take shape as a beautiful woman who disappears when the whole night sky and the whole starry universe flickered and reset the pastures of time as a marshland of broken eggs from where she reappeared as a Hollywood starlet in a black and white film.
Emotion took the form of a racing car with a female body. Now the female body is crashing down the mountainside on a sledge into the forest and out and over the cliff into the sea. Litter pickers on the beach find her as a centrefold and blowing onto the pages make her come to life as a flame and after shaking their hands she disappears into heaven.
Reason like a skeleton is running around an electric circuit. Do not throw the switch. Reason like a fossil has woken up to discover itself inside a falling tower crashing onto a modern battlefield and as it falls and disintegrates it turns into a swarm of wasps.

Here is a picture of a long lost friend.

Here is a picture of a long lost friend. He is aiming a spear at a woolly mammoth. He comes walking out of my brain like a stick man and sits on the floor. He starts a campfire and spreads his belongings in front of him. The smoke is rising up towards a cluster of stars.

Here is a picture of a woolly mammoth. It has a placard around its neck. It is trapped in the Thumb of Michigan by fires. Hunters are running towards it as it makes its protest. Save The Wooly Mammoth. One of the men is a long lost friend, how did he get there?

I thought he had died long ago, but he rode the dragonfly back into this past world. Next summer I will look for the magic dragonfly that can fly me back into his ancient world.

The magic dragonfly is as big as a lion. It flies into the bus stop at West India Dock Road between when the sun disappears and the stars open their windows. It is a brief enclosure of nothingness from where you can travel backwards into the ghost world.

You can tell that my friend is a ghost man from the picture on the stone wall. It is strangely lacking in light and shadow and the days are heaped up into mounds rather than weeks. Here is a mound of ten thousand years ago. The lake waters were alive then and told stories and all the woolly mammoths, after their appetites were sated, would sit down and listen to its haunting noise.

The experience was different from what it is today, days were longer, the air was fresher, and all the year round was summeresque.

In the thumb of Michigan, the mammoths have gone to sleep. The hunters are men and women now and are smiling at one another. A great flock of birds and a herd of deer take up residence by the singing water. A shower of meteorites goes across the sky.

I can only get two legs

I can only get two legs in my trousers
Sometimes I try to get all four.
I can only get two arms into my shirt sleeves
And wings just don’t fit anymore.

I try to get two heads inside my hat
But they argue and always fall out.
And I try to get two hearts together
But one is always left out.



Alone in the Shoe Repair Shop

Alone in the shoe repair shop
The child becomes a spider
Who carries an anvil
Behind the shop counter
That becomes a crippled clotheshorse
That gallops amongst piles of shoes’
In the unlit workroom
Where the smell of leather
Is as slick as a tin of Brasso
That spills over a box of rubber heels
Where the smudges of wax polish
Like burn marks are branded
In the cobblers heart of shoe leather

Alone in the Shoe Repair Shop
Another shoe jumps
Onto the upturned iron foot
As cobwebs cover the dead child
Who rolls in the eye of the cobbler
Who fills his mouth with tacks
While bleeding from his feet
Whose socks are bedraggled lions
Tearing the carcass of the rent man
Who rolled on the floor in flames
After a bible thumped against a door cupboard
Where old hammers are stored
In cake tins along with bankruptcy
That walks in the army boots
Of a Methodist preacher that echo
In a parade ground in France

Alone in the shoe repair shop
The child is split in two by a cuckoo
That turns into a Football Pools lady
As shoes fly at the clock-face
Carrying bags of nails
That dam up the floods of tears
Of the small child looking for a seat
Amongst the generation gap of black machinery
That dribbles oil and grease
Into the eye of a dead bantam cock
That pulls a Wellington boot
From a plague of birds in the fireplace

Alone in the Shoe Repair shop
The small child is a shattering windowpane
Where the distant sound of a town
Is falling into an orphan’s nursery rhyme
And fills the empty street outside
With powder puffs and nail varnish
As the tram cars whistle by
A tune like a broken pitch pipe
As girlie books fall from the thundercloud
That opens an old budgie cage
Hanging from a weeping willow tree

Alone in the shoe repair shop
Where the darkness drips like magnetism
Into the grimy sink
As earth worms cover the machinery
That becomes the loss of a dead bird
Who sings itself to death
In the lap of the lonely child
Who followed it into oblivion
Where a dragon lived in an old shoe
In a bowl of mashed potato

Alone in the Shoe Repair shop
The thick canvas machine belts
Rotate the earth
Beneath an avalanche of worn shoes
Piling up in the toy cupboard
As darkness falls on the street outside
As Christmas stuffs a chicken with a nightmare
That turns the small child into granite
And runs away from there
Into mists of forgetfulness