Category Archives: Poetry

Poem: Me and Kenneth Williams

Me and Kenneth Williams

We met over suds in the Russell Square laundrette.

Afternoons, we lie together on his single bed
slacks, socks, shirts and v-neck sweaters on.
Watching or not watching each other’s closeness.
The national anthem plays on the television.

The Beeb keeps us in taxis and sensible shoes.
I feel favourite for now, I’ve been given the spare door key
but also a list of times it’s O.K. for me to pop by.

I speak affected, I’ve hoovered up the language of Ken,
my PhD supervisors would prefer a spoken English
typewritten, clear with square-edged vowels.

Mother claims not to understand in our weekly calls.
Ken insists I use his ‘phone in the hallway
but I tell her I am in the booth on Coram Street.

He sings again on a chat show,
his Edith Piaf send up Ma Crepe Suzette
in amongst the jokes the code I listen for:

Corsage, Massage, Frere Jacques
Salon, Par Avion, Petula Clarke
Fiancee, ensemble, laundrette
Entourage, ma crepe suzette.

 

 

The poem originally appeared in my pamphlet, The Living Museum, published by Selcouth Station Press. Available here!

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Poem: The Taxidermist

The Taxidermist

The squirrel had been in the freezer for weeks,
wrapped up tightly in Tesco bags
wedged between the frozen fish and quorn.
His evening was just beginning,
giving me a quick kiss whilst putting on his rubber gloves.
The bathroom was soon heavy with blood and borax.
He used a scalpel and nail scissors to slip out the organs
and to tease muscle from bone, scrape down skin.
He always had to finish it in one night
before the body started to rot.

I sat in the living room
reading Agnes Grey aloud
into the high ceilings of our flat.

At midnight, this time, he called me in to show me:

The squirrel’s skin unpicked,
draped, a deflated balloon on the side of the bath.
Its claws still poised and sharp.
One of our dinner plates smeared,
a mess of organs and blood.

 

 

This poem appeared in the Autumn 2018 edition of Eye Flash Poetry 

Poem: Vogue

Vogue

Whitney Houston, Eartha Kitt
Gladys Knight and Bessie Smith.
Ellen, Björk, and Britney Jean
on the cover of a magazine.
George Eliot, Austen, Jane
Intellectuals, eternal fame.
Nicki Raps, Madonna’s grand
Beyonce and Babs Streisand
They have style, they have grace
Nichelle Nichols explored space.
Michelle Obama, Malala too,
Hillary Clinton, we love you !
Ladies with an attitude
Women that are in the mood
Don’t just stand there, let’s get to it
Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it

 

 

A recording of me reading this poem is available here

This poem was published in PERVERSE here 

 

Poem: Behind the British Museum

Behind the British Museum

The road is closed on Montague Place
and a mobile crane has been engaged
to sift through the contents of the lorry
and hoist up particular blondewood boxes.
Anonymous, they sail upward with a slow spin
steadied by the neon orange safety straps.
Bodies inside bandages inside caskets
inside boxes, the artefacts return.

 

 

 

Poem: Ex

Ex

In time the standing water
on the upside down mugs
on the draining board
will be gone, left
to the atmosphere
imperceptibly

 

 

 

This poem appeared in a visual form on twitter here

Poem: Things I Miss

Things I Miss

I
The tug of another planet

and that fraught approach
across the empty.

II
Just when each thing
has an equal answer

and forces rest
on a fair zero.

III
Being earthbound
and whispering
to him

the secret
to the science
of falling.