Plight of the Wicked

Let’s fly, you and I, let’s do it together

forget your coffee cup, leave it sitting on this grubby table

in this grubby town. It will make a ring and I

will draw a moon made out of sugar to be it’s companion.

A heap of moondust, that’s all we’ll leave,

and cold coffee with my lipstick on it;

                                                   not red enough for feme fatale, but more a slimy childhood pink-

the colour of saliva and playing

at being grown up – Come on! Just put it down and let’s be gone

                                                                       There is a night hovering beyond the door that is a giant dog, panting,

and I want to be chased, under puddles made by lamplights

we trip our way to twisted spikes of metal gates; fe fi fo fum:


                                                                                       There is a rash growing behind my ears because you keep laughing, 

choking on us like vomit, 

coughing it up in splutters which I hush,

                                                                                  hush hush hush, someone will hear.

Hear the scrape of my shin on the spire of the gate

                                             or hear me asking you with no words for things we can’t have or the squeak of your untied shoes against the lock

on the door.


Will they hear out flumping bodies and hissing breath as we land,

                                                baby seagulls out of the nest, drunkenly squaking?


Grass in my ears

and your absurdly long eyelashes lit up

                                  for a second, like corn or bread or something golden and homey like that – wheatfields and england


                                                   I think of honey on pancakes

and lick my lips.


                                                                                         The sky above is blue with the twilight weight – the erotic un-darkness

                    of scotland in summer

 where everything is seen and alive that bit longer.


We’re here now,

                             I want to say,

We’re here now, 

and your hand is so close

            to my bloody shin – Should I tell you I have blood in my socks, or would                                        that ruin the moment – so very close to the end,

                                                   and the start, and the fucking heart of things and my jeans get sticky

                                                                  Lie with me on the edge of friendship and the bridge of fucking doom and dew on the grass –

Let’s fly.





Cathedral Haikus in sequence.

Cathedral stones stained

puckering bird mess and stark light

crumpled cigarettes.


Grass now yellowing

towards a mellow brown;

a seagull cries above


The empty spires.

Hawk, Caw, songs of ancient brick

listen for voices


Of shadowy choirs,

reformers, faithless pilgrims

and the words again:


Amen, Amen, we

say amen, and cast down our

butts near the altar.


When I find myself wandering at the edges of my reason, I steer my course  down dusty lanes, maneuvering slowly through floating nettles and thorny brambles, plundering through daisies to open water and sky.

Fighting, flying, aching; all of it goes away with houses, streets, and pavements. There is nothing else lived-in before us now, at least not by things like me. Things that build, eat, fight, kill, inhale oxygen and think thoughts of sky and doom. There is just water; space with secrets human can’t hear, noiseless expanse of underwater.

The violent deepness of the cold is pleasant; I stand in the water until I am not-quite-numb, imagining the small heart of my feet beating red, slower and slower against the falling freezing. It’s a matter of meters, between the sloppy shore line and the encroaching quietness. I am just stepping on the very outside skirts of the ocean, numb and black. It makes me long for her center, a place that must be voiceless and frozen. Silent.

A blue jellyfish skids by in the shallows. Shockingly blue, the smell of lavender on a hot day or the feeling of oil on skin. It has such a lonely song in its trailing tails, a deathly dance.

Children fish for crab claws, fish tails, the tuberculous bit of a pink lumpy coral jumping against the rocks. They carry these dismemberings out like trophies, with shouts and celtic cries of war. 

The seaweed lies in it’s island formations, buffeting against the waves. I hesitate from walking through them, ploughing instead through the estuary’s made by time and tide. I worry that if I step in those little floating nations, something might bite or sting. Perhaps in these shipwrecks of plants, something is still in occupation. Living in their own little floating life, so close to mine. 

So close.

The endless shore

When I stand on Anxiety’s endless shore

I can see no one but those fisher-birds,

sitting on the water like puffed-up princes,

picking the eyes out of the floating dead.


The hump of land I stand on is as round as a whale’s back,

rising from the soapy depths. Oil and sand twist and curl beneath my feet;

messages in a language I don’t know, to people I can’t see.

Carcasses flop in on the tide, their pink bellies exposed,

I kick them back in: Take the death away from me.


I wear fury about my shoulders and wrap myself

in it’s angry warmth; it will hold me in against the breeze.

But the winds of this shore are too strong for me;

my fury buffets like a sail, blowing me no where.

3rd of July

Wet, green, gravel in my shoes

and drips in my hair,

full of chlorophyll and light and smell of

earth sweating into it’s sap –

and I am failing to be alive.


Rocks, trees, rivers.

Virginia, Virginia,

pools of brown suds and floating leaves

and the eager pull of river sludge over

rocks, aged,

beaten out of shape by too much water and too much


running over them,

until they lay down and shut their eyes,

their own weight pulling them under.


I think about what my hands might find,

falling gently into cold sludge;

bones, fish, flowers –


Virginia, did the water taste bitter?

did it sting your eyes in the end?


I am hot with sickness,

blocked up with failure.

I feel heavy enough today.