Tuesday, 29 March 2011

By the Book

It tells you how to dress yourself and which
Fashionably unfashionable hairstyle you should get,
It even determines the way you think and smell and
How you like your coffee with your supermarket lunch.

It makes you feel guilty for being surrounded
By people you hate in a trendy bar and
For not doing or saying what you want
But just what everyone else expects.

It turns the artexed ceiling into a screen
Rather than the door of an iron maiden,
Across which your regrets side-scroll in slow-mo
Instead of flashing in crimson before your eyes.

It doesn’t tell you how to ignore your name badge
Or that you’re not the man you should have been,
And it doesn’t tell you that you’re not just numb
But that there’s nothing for you to feel.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Paper Cut

Lean-to sheds seen in allotments through
Rows of sweet-peas and nasturtiums
Seem bemused at their decrepitude
Like sentries who pause to read a sign
Saying: “Honour Bound to Defend Freedom”
That hangs on a prison camp wall.
A woman with half-buried carrier bag skin
Etched with faded corporate logo tattoos
Considers a patch of ragged, unworked dirt and 
Lets out a lungful of air in a time-withered sigh
Like a girl in a coffee shop apologising
To a heavy-set customer for his wait.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Liquid Lunch

From beside you at the bar
I watch as your eyes turn away to
The constant breath-drenched words
Appearing on your mobile.
As I take a slow sip of my drink
I think of all that I would give
For you to be whispering to me
Instead of texting someone else.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011


The sound of an empty can
rolling on a concrete floor
is the sound I hear in my head
when left alone with my thoughts.

It is impossible to give up
on hopes that I never had and
my dreams are small comfort
when I know I will wake up.

My shadow asks why it’s alive
rather than simply being cast
by a man who despite his flesh
has no substance at all.


As I sit here drinking hot chocolate and
Watching videogame trailers,
Somewhere a man sees his son taken
To become a drug-addicted soldier,
And I wonder if even just for a moment
He smiles at the absurdity of it all
Like I do on seeing a Morris Minor estate
Amongst legions of Fords, Fiats and Toyotas.