Friday, 25 June 2010

Press X to Not Die

Pin thieves are operating in this area

As fingers trace the worth of names

Written in bullet-time keystroke pulses

Mimicking the wary caress of a lover’s back.

Our phones, iPods, wallets and hair

Are constantly checked up on whilst

We realise but never admit that there’s

Still something missing about ourselves.

There was a splash, and that was all

To remind us that we spend so much

Time standing at check-out conveyor belts

Watching glaciers of consumption erase us.

We wait like artificial particles for

That lone split second it takes us to die,

When our kinetic and potential energies are

Rendered down to determine what wasn’t ours.

Life is just an elaborate reminder of our death,

A series of scribbled on post-it notes ruffled by breath.


Reflected in the side of a transit van

A couple cries on a corner,

Not for why or where they are

But for who and what they are not.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

New Review

My review of the Faber New Poets Series books 5-8 is now available at

Friday, 11 June 2010

Maternity Leave

She stands aghast at the sight

Not of full movement but just a flicker

As brake lights turn a corner

Through a puff of oily smoke

Like phlegm floating in a puddle.

From an alley-mouth it watches

Something cold and secret in its eyes

Like a truth she decides not to believe,

Whilst its thoughts are a swift, wet wind

Coiling through broken windows.

Its grinning lips are the mouth of a drain,

White lines in the road are its teeth

And claws of curdled shadow clatter

To at first match the beating of her heart

Then turn to the wail of a siren and a hollow laugh.

Cardholder's Name

A blind man passes judgement

Like the light fumbling with my face,

Whilst heavy rain brings with it the scent

Of fresh manure and chemical flavourings.

There is someone singing loudly

Along to a stereo in a flat,

Where the postcode makes the building

Worth more than their life.

Beneath a layer of peeling wallpaper

Is a word not written but scribbled,

As if it were dropped mid-conversation

And its recognition was taken for granted.

The letters are insects seen through amber

Imprisoned as much as preserved,

Each one a memory of what once was

And a life that was not lived for long.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Limited Stock Video

Traditionally, the summer is a period of low productivity for me. Whether it's the insufferable heat or the intensity of the light, the season is generally incompatible with me and that tends to have a negative effect on my composition schedule.

This year, things seem to be somewhat different. You may be glad to hear that I'm continuing work on my poetry collection, 'Tell No Lies, I'll Ask No Questions.' However, I'm also putting together a series of short stories under the title 'Human Trials.' The first story in the collection will be up on this site as soon as I've determined an appropriate publication timetable.

In the meantime, here's a taste of what the world of my poetry looks and sounds like courtesy of J.G. Harding.