Pub Quiz Variation #12

‘Eric Blair’s favourite river was the Douglas, right?’

‘Orwell? Irwell’

‘Oh well…’

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Om. Van. II


‘Is us?’


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The ‘Contemporary Poetry Scene’ as Imagined by a Peripheral and Somewhat Embittered Figure, Re-Cast as a Beloved Northern Soap Opera Starring Michelle Keegan

‘Have you seen her sestinas?’, says Tina.

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Excerpt From a Stand-Up Routine in Progress

‘So I’m a poet normally, got a season ticket at Ezra Poundland and everything, but it took me a while to realise my true vocation…see I was out walking one day, wandering lonely as a character singled out as a suspect in a popular family board game murder investigation, Brigadier Blue or some such, and had obviously accidentally said something aloud that was particularly deft, when an elderly passer-by remarked to her somewhat supercilious-looking cocker spaniel, ‘oooh Fernando, look, a poet whom it would appear is not yet fully cognizant of the fact’. Because rhyme’s dead ladies and gentleman, let it go. Rhyme has had its time…’

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Orpheus in Raphs


Chaz sends a six-seater
‘disco bus’, ferries
a frenzy
of spike-heeled furies.

A triάs*, bicked-pated,
barks from the mouth.
Blind-drunk Eddie
tramps his weekly nόstoi.**

Lethe on tap darkles
plastic cups;
whomps a ‘dubstep’
Back in Anger.

D-floor DeeCee flings
fervid to forget.
Her occiput’s rose
red bloom.

*Transliterated Greek for ‘trio’.

**Transliterated Greek for ‘homecomings’, plural of nόstos, ‘return’.

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Some Preliminary Thoughts on Dehiscence, Presented in Sonnet Form

‘A book should be an axe that breaks the frozen sea inside us’
-Franz Kafka

‘The human heart, God’s open wound’
-E.M. Cioran

‘You’re frozen, when your heart’s not open’

I wonder if, circa ‘Frozen’
(Maverick Records, ’98),
Franz and Madonna weren’t
conspiring towards
the selfsame sentiment?
So many years/remuneration
degrees apart.
Invoking both that
same pick axe
that, bludgeoning the heart,
blooms the ice-rimmed,
erstwhile hoar-lidded,
molten pullulating?
Flora of light?

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A poem on the occasion of Lady Gaga’s appearance in a designer meat dress at the 2010 Video Music Awards



After Jana Sterbak

Sélavy’s cistern
gone platinum

in a meat

Flayed by
the pre-Emin
order of art,

spit soldier for

No sleep unter
tea shade
saccades of

bulbs, borealis
on a corium

A cuneiform
cow’s loin
clutched to crotch

to be pecked at
by ravening

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