“My predictive txt tells me…”

Technology is on my mind alot these days. i’ve been reading a lot about the Internet & its psychological effects. It seems to me the defining factor of everything at the moment, the myth of our times & something poets should be talking about, they are, we are are.

“My predictive txt tells me | I use
too much invective in my daily speech.”
The hubris of 20 somethings cultivating an identity |
the Internet their guru | until the early morning hours
—apparatus to cope or privilege?
It is not the content but the technology
that shapes us most: “that don’t make sense.”
Not much older than myself y’know
Some will mutate from Keyboard Warriors
to senile old codgers in wool & corduroy
in the time it takes to write QWERTY.
“I’ll tell you this for nowt: what we think
is profound in a 100[0]yr old book |
ain’t necessarily so in the context | of today |
this evening under awnings | the afternoon
just ended only minutes ago.”
Did u read ‘bout the kidz fightin’
an adult war for bags of Haribo?
“Nothing we did will matter in a 1000yrs…” |
yeh but, nothing in a 1000yrs matters now.



That day | when the Man Dressed like a Forest…

That day | when the Man Dressed like a Forest
yodeled into the gash of a valley |
the rising echo no reply but

the semblance of his voice “which tragically
has neither eyes nor sense to register itself.”
First the ozone then the ocean

masticated Kim’s missile | the whole world
has gone ballistic. At risk of rousing ire |
in Kim’s mind he’s the revolutionary

flipping his rocket finger up the wall of sky |
toward the meddlers of the world’s affairs that want
him flayed & neutered “being a good boy— there there now.”

Instead of this it appears to me
more pertinent | “to go out & make friends
with a giraffe” | to set rags of tissue paper

alight & toss them into dark | written
on them | all our anxieties & phobias
quickly flaming into CO2 & vapour.

i must believe | only today
the 30th Nov 2017 | could be the day
on which these lines might be born | no other day

— while clouds range the blue spectrum
from over the sea | cramp grey | fixed about
the mountain | my mistakes accompanying.

Man: you unnerving parameter— “gob-shite!”
What would Dr. Z. Busner prescribe
for all these disembodied “gob-shites!”

with their idiolect scansion & negligence?
Google told me Topamax or Lamictal
but i would rather squeeze the juice

from the blue air
& feed it them.

Enter through a door:…

Enter through a door : exit a window
— the Dunning-Kruger Effect | an abstract dip
an invert parabola mocking egoism.
As i poured milk | a car outside
in synch | let out a strain in its throat
: the world’s phenomena are telling.
Later when the rain |…| we played chess

in the garden | & after moves to corner |
a rook & queen quarreled with each other
— a power vacuum naturally took hold.
i wish the world was mostly dead
& then i wouldn’t have to raise my voice.

“The heart will get what it deserves
: to be nothing more than a muscle |

huffing viscid fluids to a pulmonary thump.”
Daniel R. Robinson makes weeping C modal
—there is no music so gentle.
The farewell hand in hand | she weeps
C modal: “you’re a large bird in a small cage
— i should have set you free years ago.”

Thinking out loud in no particular order

Roy Fisher in his Jacket2 interview, explained that his poetry could sometimes be explained as thinking out loud. i’ve been quite taken by this & for the past 3 days i have written something like 25 pages or round there about of this thinking out loud poetry & i am quite pleased with the results & the oiling of the pistons encouraged. i don’t know if i’d call it experimental or even poetry, but it is something & the product is too tantalizing for the method to be cast to the dogs.  Here’s a palm through to scrape your brain across.

Thinking out loud
in no particular order

—blah blah Black Sheep have you
any bank notes made
of human skin
a neo-liberal, whachya-call-it
y’ know, for key changes

— a post-structural
rustic dance with bells,

a popular tune,
rabbits in weak light
bending shadow
with the pulse
of their tails.

What are the gestures of unreason?
In the spotlight
gold tussocked clods of men

Boris here, Tony there
blazers with Eleusian emblems, meaning
something to them;
the sort of men who
consult harridan oracles.

: (a)versions of a meme
what’s that?

Graves would whisper
Greek nothings in the ears
of sex & love gods
in Deià Majorca, before
the Brits made it shit,
occupying villas, turning
the local cuisine to
egg, chips & mushy peas with bread n’ butter
or banger’s & mash, Sunday’s
for roasting, obviously
—where he buried himself
in unpopular ideas
that made so much sense & rose
to brain the Times’ academia
with its own absence
of curiosity.

24 hour news
is a dull, great abstract
the separation of truth,
the surface of it, but not
it: too many ifs &
not enough humility.

i’ll plagiarize myself
truly Modern
then blackmail me
for the ransom.



i read recently, a short piece of prose by the Palestinian poet Ghassan Zactan, about his mother’s memories of a Jewish girl she liked, which led him to talk about his friend & fellow Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish. Zactan, explains that just as his mother after years of occupation could still allow the memory to be un-corrupted by all the terrible things that had happened to her, that she could still humanize the enemy, so in his poetry Darwish had continually given the enemy “character traits”, which humanized them.
The article made me rethink what an enemy is. The original title for this poem was Enemies. This is not just a poem about Palestine, it just so happens a Palestinian poet helped me see differently. This poem applies to every marginalized people who are shadowed & in those shadows dehumanized into a dangerous mythology.It sickens me that even after all that has happened in the history of man, we are still led to these conclusions about entire peoples, because of how susceptible we remain to ignorance & rhetoric.


First of all, if you want to overcome it,
you’d best give it a name; transparency
gets under the skin with the word a mother feeds
& loves, a friend puts at the start of sentences.

Once unraveled from the itchy thicket of it,
the name requires a body, something to cast shadows;
eyes that couple the sun, hair that gathers dew;
breath visible on January afternoons.

Mahmoud Darwish made clarity with enemies,
wrote their angle in space, the strait of time
& rendered forms from monstrous figurines
born of a thousand terrors, hidden in sounds.
The failure to meet such silence head on,
is to distend the story-making spleen of men.

i never had an enemy
— what do i know of them?


Powerless But Free?

Tim has the uncanny ability to see beyond the usual way we connect things to each other & what those connections mean & say something not only insightful & smart but something essential to us making better choices with the information that is out there, bombarding us or waiting to be found. To but it bluntly, he’s good.

Mirror Soliloquy

i haven’t wrote a poem this complex for a long time. The symbols/archetypes in it are fluid & should be considered cautiously. i don’t say this about my poems, but for this one, i recommend a repeat reading at least, & a steady read, else i don’t think you’ll take much from it.
i am hoping the semi-palindromic rhyme scheme doesn’t feel gimmicky & adds to the theme & function of the meaning.
i have been preening this for weeks now. The original drafts had me chasing the rhyme scheme with a meaning that didn’t know itself yet, but i am sure of the purpose of the poem & the logos of it now & feel it needs to go out on its own limb.

Mirror Soliloquy

Our eyes each morning raised up from the plug,
half of us looks back, tete-beche— the sink lets out a gulp.
That other half, plunges us in the trickery of a liar
trapped in brick curvature— it’s hard to rail
against a well, its echoes, stifle with the brag
of depths that banish light, & speak in the garb
of tremulant lips. Look at mirrors directly, a peer
is not enough, no one whatsoever, can reap
the ratio of self in a progress of look— the lord
-ing over all this individualism, we’re better off as droll
examples from a taxonomic indices— a lead
face full of animal, cursory nouns we deal
in magnitudes, leave adjectives in poems, the verb to be
is our best means to connect & substitute the primitive ebb

& tide of us. Channeled in ticks of sleep
the latent, Vedic revisions of the day— one peels
beyond the locus of want, sinks the fractious sloop
shipping wayward mirrors, in which a familiar pools.
& half the trouble is to fog the glass & become part
in equal measure of see, speak & write; there’s no trap
in language, though under the bridge of sense an ogre
mates its own tongue, grunts & snorts— ergo,
what methods for decoding its noise, when we struggle to read
the embryonic shapes in the marge of its face? & dear
me if that isn’t something even Levis® denim
cannot make fashionable in a strip tease world of mined
data & daily catalogues of news that bulb
peripheral & lunge us dumbstruck into dissonant blub.

Rant Soliloquy

i’ve been mostly off the radar this week, so much work & perhaps a bit too much booze & trying to oscillate between Foucault’s The Origin of Things (which is just now starting to make more sense after 160 pages that have taken a month to read), David Foster Wallace’s Consider the Lobster, which is hilarious especially is ventured into the sordid world of porn & of course trying to write when all that has been hounding me is a character study of a fictional character i made up called Saul Sintooth, who is an unkempt weasel of a drunk who i have plotted (among many other scenes) into an annual Dervish festival where he performs a naughty trick of getting beautiful women to hold thermometers, which he proceeds to melt with his despicable gases until the mercury drips on their fingers, then he peels off to other misdemeanours. i have committed nothing to paper, because it is such a stupid idea & i should stop listening to Viv Stanshall’s Sir Henry at Rawlinson End because although it is brilliant i just conjure festering tripe in my head, in obnoxiously, exorbitant amounts.

After that little catch up a Soliloquized rant, which may be a little hard to swallow.

(The photograph despite there being no cormorant, drizzle or Alka Seltzer® is nonetheless, where i 1. wrote the poem (though not on the day i photographed the landscape) & 2. where cormorants can often be seen, but usually in higher tide than pictured.)

Rant Soliloquy

Drizzle & cormorant, the tenor
of undiluted sadness no Alka Seltzer® tonic
can nurse— & snipe forage the litter
of me, find little to nothing whatsoever, not today…
perhaps tomorrow. Dirt beneath fingernails.
There’s no love just talk & U-turns.
No foresight beyond unconquered hurdles.
That lighthouse must be taking the piss;
the delineation of Biyang island advises
me on everything i need but cannot have
— turn me into a gull, anything other than
this risible flesh & shtum pulse. Parade me in
God’s own showroom, hang my pelt
on a nail & leave me to dry out.

Birmingham on a Saturday

i posted this in Winter, after my trip to England. i began writing it in England & finished it a few weeks later in Korea. Since then (being a serial faffer) i have made additions & amendments & as it will probably prove too difficult to get such a long poem published in a journal, i want to re-post it in a polished form, which i feel is quite an improvement on the original. i’m fond of this poem if only because it is one of the only solid poems i have written about England in the last 6-7 years; there being only a handful & room still.

Birmingham on a Saturday
for Sarah

morning: cold drizzle
smattering of blue sky declining
no blustery episodes yet

The train journey flip book window
a bucolic oscillation of industry bucolic indust…
London Midland: Cannock – Birmingham New Street
10:28 a.m. arriving 11:14 a.m.
— atrocious stink of old wet clothes, dairy & fizzy pop.
A scally sat next to me, cowled like a Jesuit
the smell of last night’s sesh on his hoody
the telltale signs in his double glazing eyes.
An exotic girl from Landywood, outta my league, rouge lipped
i couldn’t confirm her ethnicity (maybe Iranian)
—the rest of the journey, tedium: heads in phones
no one behaves outside their chair.
i read snatches of Ted Hughes’ Crow
which dismantles you.

i squirmed anxiously, surprised by my unfamiliarity
of Birmingham, as if i’d forgotten the spelling of enough.
i want everything to be the same when i come home.
Everything in its rightful place else how long i’ve been away from home slaps me
like the crack of dark trapped wind when a train smacks a tunnel.

i struggle to cope with
the evasion of guilt i should stand up to.
This is where i escaped, as a teen
from the stopped clock, one horse Cannock.

noon: cloudy, still cold
— blue sky replaced by samite of cloud

We met at the well-knit bull of consumerism.
Your eyes, the same blue as the woman
from Ford Madox Brown’s The Last of England.
i’d forgotten what crowds on slim pavements meant.
People striding in time to the vamping hook
of Alice Coltrane’s Ptah the El Daoud.
The weather’s geography closing in on pedestrians.
The invitations of glass to reflect, ignored
except to correct a libertine fringe.
The brick & mortar of Victorian Britain
mutely corroding under historical & elemental forces
—fanning moss wings readying for forests.

i bought books to mimic
advised you to buy Symmons Roberts.
You did—such a wise decision.

afternoon: downpour downpour downpour
cloud foetal round the city’s downcast plod

After lunch coffee & your poems
which still need work, but there’s potential.
Calm the angst down a touch
& get some incidental details in them.
Don’t write how you think a poem should be
write a poem instead.

People stabled like reindeer at the Christmas market
swilling Warsteiners, sodden in the stench of bratwurst & ketchup
— you looked so unimpressed & unhappy about it all
those pitiable consumers you thought
& said, something along those lines
—nothing’s all that simple anymore
now the picket fence of tradition
is slowly dismantling & taken its banners.
They know not what they do
the wisest thing Jesus said i reckon.

We ducked out the rain & into Birmingham art gallery
to avoid the bustle & gloom.
That ornate, pseudo-classical mausoleum
paid for with Empire dosh
—a statement of wealth, power & progress.

We talked about ambivalence
the complexity of decision making
when there’s too much to take into account
in front of a religious painting
of a woman in a simple robe, genuflecting
in a sleeve of light, denoting God Almighty
her arms raised to funnel the brightness into her face.
i don’t know the painter or painting’s name
didn’t care to look— it was merely a useful to-hand
for the purpose of exampling ambivalence
: i said she may be trying to strangle God (or light).

Very little relevant in the galleries.
Most of it just colourful background noise
focused on possession & piety
—a hell of a lot of holiness misunderstood.
i liked John Everett Millais’s The Blind Girl
anything pastoral, which illustrates hardship
—it should omit the pomposity of the rich.
You didn’t seem to care much for anything
but that’s ok.

evening: downpour continues unabated by prayer
there’s no light, whatsoever

i left you wet through & i thought lost
a little baffled with everything, it upset me.
When i first met you, all kinetic
a parable of perpetual motion
i could hear your pulse from across a room
& now the years have ground you with their pestle
—i didn’t & don’t know what i can do to return you.

The world’s track record’s never going to stop
leeching from us our thin vitality.
We need console ourselves with the consistency
of our epiphanies (sorry this didn’t come to me then).

i have archived the important points
i will return to them on days i’d rather forget
—something to anesthetize
all the after effects of growing pains
& placebos of happiness
—i only hope you will do the same.

Remember it’s a slog to get beyond ourselves
many don’t reach much further than the tip of their snout
the rim of their eyes n’ ears or forked points of their heads.
We’re trapped in this dualism against our will
no matter what New Age deacons preach through memes on Facebook.

night: still raining (lashing)
& chill up to the bone

On the train two quasi-posh tarts
slagged off a woman not present to defend herself
saying she is poor ‘cuz she buys her clothes from New Look
in flawless Black Country accents.
They have children & husbands, perhaps a job
its hard to believe when they speak like playground teens
—must be tired from buying things off the bull. Too much for me.
Young sisters got off at Walsall, talked about love
that if you look into a person’s eyes for longer than 1 minute
you will fall in love with them

sounds like a mix of hypnotism & roofy to me.

People talk such a lot of wank.

pregnant with all of god’s alter egos.

i read one of Zoha’s poem in Noble Gas Quarterly, & the pulse of their thump was felt, she has that rare ability to write lines like

my rage screams the dark
to life, phoenix
fury imported
from the same land my chains were
shipped from.

which are so full of strength & energy they almost break from my laptop scream & choke me with their power.


From Gwen to Zorya, closer and closer
to home but always a white breath
away, defiant
breath away; you put your one desi foot in and you take your
blasphemous, illegal foot
out and you shake
this conflict of identity about and that’s
what never belonging
is all about, always
half too much.

Sun-whole passing for green crescent if
she keeps her face smooth and
her dupatta low enough to hide the resistance
and the rainbow,
catastrophic awareness set to a flicker that won’t attract any moth-boys – ashes
to ashy,
fetishization to dust – but
the flare of my rage screams the dark
to life, phoenix
fury imported
from the same land my chains were
shipped from.

came riding foreign aid and
led the coup against my rights. Belief was
bearded and demanded
my kin slay my kin and I
watched faith grab her children and run

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