Saturday, 28 December 2013

Boxing Day, 2013

For Elise and Starr

Water's invented
some centuries ago and
shut in

Red coat
flares out

Now the trews are piractickal and

A head of
deliberate hair

Words just
make it
as words

Water's still but
isn't frozen

Look through
spare and close to where
the horses have coats too

Sun's up to
show cold

Remember: this
is walking

Crisp: the ears

This is us

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Bus note 84

        St George's lit up reindeer
        stares woven eyed.
Towers wait to come down 
        as Winter glisters.
Sparse trees are very mute
        but sharp swing of bus
        says something frantic.
Thin girl in cream faux fur
        with jitters and citric smile.
Cold air throws shards
for flabby hearts.
        Xmas, is it?
Xmas. Xmas.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Bus note 83

One obscene yellow splintered eye
in ferris wheel.
        Over the road
        Bolton, Murdoch and Watt
        in one gold skin
study fat paper plans.
        Broad Street comes up
        running to boring violence
and piss streams meander
in thin almost elegant lines.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Bus note 82

After yesterday's blowabout
        there's Autumn brightness.
Boy from over road
takes one stop trip
        with dissolved amity
        for shabby crown.
Can't breathe evenly:
old ghost fear register.
        A subject scuffed.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Bus note 81

The colouring book is very small.
        Reads: My name is...
Mother asks his name
        and he draws
        a thick blue skyline.
Book's full of stuck in eyes
and pictures of broad skinnylegged men
        Tips of her nails
        painted with dark half moons.
Brightness of her woven cuffs.
        She touches the pages softly.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Portrait 11

           skylight white
                            bleach corridor

She conducts mute themes
               coming from photographed faces
           of people who are dead

       Come evening, a small whiskey fuming

                            Our Lady of Lourdes

                    her Irishness

            a golden brooch
                 her hands hold

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Bus note 80

Someone had penned
"I luv cunt"
on the window
in purple marker.
        Boy with too awake eyes
plagues his older brother away.
        One stop gone
        and he calls him back;
        a stringent rhythm.
In this damp heat
too thick a coat
        and the tether frayed.


Saturday, 9 November 2013

Bus note 79

        Cars go past
        the bus front
with made up necessity.
        Hacked lungs
sound in blinding light.
        Girl coats
        dark lashes
        with dark clinging dust.
Quiet scent of excrement:
        a work signal.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Boy with Pitcher in Rain

Picture bubbles up
and peels at bridge
to paling flesh tint
for a snug mouth
sightless wet and
unfelt or a wound
all raw and genital

First ever thirst
there was again

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Bus note 78

Going home
with the late shift:
        their other languages,
Drizzle softens
street lights:
lens vaseline.
        Thumb smudges
        on the seats
        show up just.
Two bus nuts run through
the numbers: their intervals
and the last ones.
        Three seats in front
the red woolen cap is a sun.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

A Walk: October 17th, Feast Day of St Richard Gwyn

In Llantysilio Church, Ps 111:

He has shown his people the power
of his works giving them the land
of other people.

"...the land of other people."


rust      hill's edge
          with 7 idiot trees

Barber's Hill where they hung the barber
who throttled the barber's wife. Still,

here the bracken shouts, "Prehistory!"


oxide red   

the first rust


The Dee's a silver will and yammering.


Valle Crucis

horsefly cloud

dead trace

corner music


Llangollen Mary had a little lamb
but Mary Rhyme was older. Still,

path down is conker strewn
glisten where
the shabby leaves


human falls: delicate
sky mirror just up
from ferment


Stately rapist mallard drakes
go closer to the weir.


The clocks askew


This many crows are broke charcoal
clattering on rain thick clumps of grass.


You'd learn the thing but

Come down again
to sweet detritus riverside

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Bus note 77

        5a to Wrecsam.
Dandy in sour uric cloud
with worn out violet scarf.
        Us two perched
        on swung down seats
        before him,
his white long baby hair
testifying. Quiet.
        I clutch yellow bar
        and lean
        head forward
with eyes blurred
and stung. Done in.
        Loop of Station Rd
        almost has me over
        at Rhiwabon.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Bus note 76

The stops on Dudley Road
by Summerfield Park:
        Older boys ride
        gondola swings
then the ballet over baby fences.
        One bikes across and harries
        the electric wheelchair kid
(soon gone, mind).
        Fucked up halal butchers van
        coughs smoke that shadows face
of thin frantic girl
who swigs her Nutrament
then hunts for a fag
swearing wired-eyed.
        Read pavement flecks
as Horse chestnuts
cut Park in half.  

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Heavenly Food

Fat dark fly meanders unfelt on dogtooth check lapel
of silverbearded wary auburn man: a territory. Silver
cup of blood held out. Body shakes; a moment. Hands
palm up as if on the beg. My body. Everybody
in a line going back to where my eyes don't go.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Bus note 75

Pink polka dots
on soft blue cotton top.
        About twenty and
        thin as anything.
Broke pieces of laugh
and snatched glances.
        From Moseley
        to St George's
where her mother
cups her elbows
        in grey hands
        pressing her
outside into warm air.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Portrait 10

            human   water    falls

             a thinnish mouth

             hands in pockets
                for solitary kickabout

    Old Whiteheaded Villan

                 Autumn chittering

    blackened twig garland

                out the back

             vowel music

                Old Age's a bastard
                                      but still
              on scuffed up ball

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Bus note 74

Pulls a sycamore leaf from a tree
and rubs his hands with it
        then stabs
        at pictured fuckers
and goes raging up
Edgbaston Road
        as our bus necks crane
        amused or afraid
till the roundabout
and the dead electric menorah
waiting on working wires.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Bus note 73

One seat behind:
        "She's there.
        That fucking music.
        Gone, then. Gone."
Whisper drops lower
than engine drone.
        Sun affronts.
With each misheard word
        itch on face gets worse.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Portrait 9

 Recite: "I have, of late..."

                        He makes the name
                   resonate: "Shakspere"

 Picture: a paper thin crown held up
                         glitter sticky

             Hands become claws
                   He's a monster
         "That's right"

     From room to room
                 thieving papers              his bliss
            for under the bed

 comical          unmanageable

                 Chucks my chin
             The old roué and the chorus girl

          His slow way
                       slow memory

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Bus note 72

Morning after funeral;
        green testicles
        in trees.
Pass the Moseley junction.
        At the lights
        girl full with child
        rubs her cotton belly
        (optic spasm pattern)
as if a bit of fear might shift.
        Come out into grey.
        Come out into cold.
Almost the rain.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013


5 mistlethrush   6 or so
           beaks with worm

Crease your eyes:
           these birds
    make gathered angles
       and stab time

Beasts smudge clothed persons' heads

definite against
    softened usual grass
against mushy fall
        of rain braises

This is theirs
    hedged with subtle menace clouds

Stop off
       with close trees

happened triangles
         then boxes
    then away

We're now bereft

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Bus note 71

Expounds on Revelation to his wife:
        seven seals then
        something about
        three branches
        of the Church.
There's Dad years back
and his Endtime models.
        Up from Harborne Baptist
        a poster peels:
scratched and bleary colours;
words aren't words anymore.
        Off one stop too far.

Bus note 71 (revised)

Expounds on Revelation to his wife:
        seven seals;
        three branches.
There's Dad years back
and his Endtime models.
        Up from Harborne Baptist
        a poster peels:
scratched and bleary colours;
words aren't words anymore.
        Off one stop too far.


Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Portrait 8

 long face
           (his Old Man's face)

         Large eyes flat
                till the bagpipes sounded

      When were you and me together?

      You and me together, have it said

                       Lean in

                       to poverty

 The fits:


            energy brightness

                  lambent hands

 Friday last,
            he disappears

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Bus note 70

Girl in green dress;
        same green as the stop
        she stepped up from.
Everywhere is pebbledash
below delicious clouds.
        Past flyover
        with shadows
and past the Quarter's clock.
to Spring Hill
        and with Tesco cyst
        too vast
the holy terracotta library.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Bus note 69

        City Road.
        Dudley Road.
White can't quite trust
African's directions.
        She steps off
        to look about
        for paler guide.
Icknield Port Road.
        Outside one house
        hang heavy
        headed roses.
From nextdoor's window
Jesus stares out
not smiling.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Portrait 7

                  You could peel
             the clementine
                        but you ask me to

    service     to and fro

                   saying hello (that is
            touching thumbs
                     or looking longer)

    shown palm with
            mehndi fades

     Little you thumps big him
      where the spine
           is winding down

               growing old
                 but this picture you

        You shut the door
                     and have to tell

   Painting with the worn brush

    You make:
                beautiful, this
             hardly there

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Bus note 68

        Two in silence
        mouthing prayers:
flaking bindi at bridge,
round face in repose;
        delicate taqiyah rests
        above young beard.
Ladywood wastes again,
        looking a strain
        on first thing eyes
till we're past
        and the beads
        run on through
        the different fingers.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Bus note 67

Long and slow line
of cars turning in
to Hallfield school
        carrying rich
        and legitimate children;
dear lumps
of expectation
        capped and hatted,
        red and green.
The bus waits and waits.
        Tap out riled and
        displaced patterns
on jutting, resistant knees.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

From Outside

wall lips
mouth black
green damp


water mapped
on white not white

impure baby waves
where eventless
matte skin stills

picked at
tendered threads
all slow

the bacillus ink
slinks out

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Bus note 66

Pissed up
and his bare arms
all limned webs and flags
he falls into Iceland
        as lean kids
        in Henley shirts
        carrying cue cases
take up pavement
with fuck you laughter.
        The storm
        comes closer
with each tiptoe breath
using up the comic force
of the grand false lashes
on the now shivering girl.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Portrait 6

   tonic see saw

how sweet the sound

             shook and stuttered vowels

        singing into there       opening ear
             faces very close

singing aye aye yippee

       an interval's ache
                       plus pulled up time

      fingers touched hardly
   for friend markers

     look clicked for less than
                          then lights out

            hymnal creaks    4am

  This new sign looks like tears

     "I never seen him
             leap about
                     like that before"

          chemical flowers

             music is just
         about everything
                  in half lit hall

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Bus note 65

        School kid music
Heat aches
and the skin all raised.
        Red sweat
        taut face.
Girl holds her head
heavy in her tiny hands.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Bus note 64

Morning prayers, week one:
       handed; heart; 
       eat this bread;
       broke; splendour.
Shift the world clutter
out from here
        [Striking the breast,
        exit clumsily].    

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Portrait 5

 cortical folds showing
                 on a kindly head

     the feelings swung
               in set out space

"Duncan, I'm having a fag".

               off with his blue flat cap his crown

  He says/ he doesn't say
               what's what


                a rum and black
     in Weymouth                     drunkenness

         water    water           soft crushed face

       We eye each other up
    knowing the trick
            and keep the laughing     almost hid

"Goodbye, All!"



       A scratchy music hall number
                          playing out somewhere

    What time's home?

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Bus note 63

        Top deck
        side lights:
a seizure trigger;
neon spectral shimmer;
        false movement;
        backwards wave.
Her same-difference
piebald hair over there.
        The corner:
        Bearwood High St.
        with bruised fruit.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013


For Tom

Hawthorn green
is green so here
I am, still

Think of the bird you hear

Summer blisters slowly

at odds

dropped words

One narrow yellow beak
telling what's left    

the eyes

black    dew    drops


Saturday, 13 July 2013

Bus note 62

Alcohol vapours
from wrung out bodies.
        Everybody shines
        and sweats non-charm.
Heatbruised to stupidity
and gracelessness
        so bitterly
        the skinny pen thinks here.
How to be kind
and to feel it?
        Ball point
        eases out
        black ink
        on feint squared grid


Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Smethwick Fire

Chinese lantern floats and stops
at detritus peak till smoke funnels up
and out brown grey from the plant.

Later at City Hospital some plumes still
showing up thinner from Aberdeen St.

Babyfather with mirror sunglasses
pours out slow Dragon Stout libation
on tarmac where it won't sink in.

Upaways a kid does a wide arc skid
on scratched up bike oblivious and young
wiry in careful quiet. He is too small.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Bus note 61

Ants in formic (maybe) happiness
crawl along the red bar
above the seat in front
        and the boys and girls
        of Challoner's
        exit the top deck
led by spurious
and charming logic
to catch the bus behind.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Portrait 4

      The coat gets thin for Spring

          codes for between

        Her brow figuring
                    below the heavy fringe

  This is the way along

    Yellow cat face balloon    
                             clutch of trust

             (a sometimes ruse)

                      great tea stain up front
                                        green hex cup gleam

                  Tartan, for the corner:
                           puce and magenta;
                                         cream and pencil black

                 This is the way along

                                her anger eyes

           the foot to foot music
                            pivoting: the balance aches

    She hits and then hits and then
                    reaches for your hand

            The home time tempo

         where's the shape of before

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Bus note 60

        She takes a good swig
        of the methadone.
Bleached jeans cling.
        Sunlight. Slate
        coloured clouds too.
We go the longer way into town
        to a birthday party
        with ghosts.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013


One grey card
         for a world
    to show off
  the colouring in

A doll's lipped head
        sucking off
     the memory crust

Busted hands
   the fluttering will

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Bus note 59

This little boy
in suit and tie
23 years old
and talking at me.
        The feel in the guts:
        a wrung turn; burning.
The feel in the head:
a vice; a wiry line.
        Woman there:
        her badge
        with deaf 
        penned on
        like shouting.
My poor and blunted tongue.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Bus notes 58

        Face like that Lady 
        with an Ermine,
a daft black knot
of hair on top.
        There's rust stains
        and damp creep
        along the white balcony edges.
The tiered brick and dust wastes,
the cement flats going down
to the hidden canal
are nobody's.
        Today the muggy rain
        wants to be
this failing skin,
this shit disguise.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Portrait 3

    counting the beads you
                         couldn't ever stop

                wooden      colours

                                 her blesséd (sometimes) way

                    her clenched heart

         She sings, full on
                     Where's your mother gone? 

               hurt kindnesses

        her gathered necklaces

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Bus note 57

Folded up white cane
with fat rounded tip.
Black refusing sunglasses.
This is a younger man.
        The friend comes
        with her care showing.
The thought: (this is my head)
that there's some pretending going on,
        that I'll catch a furtive glance.
Alight here now.
        Blue's bled down
        to tops of trees
        and made hot roofs.
Arch Sun above
corner house on Abbey Cresent,
the garden's Union Flag
all gone now.
       Wasteland in front
       a long time empty.
The blinding Sun.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Match Day, 26th of May

Black liquid slips
             down the red inside

           Even here, there's British shapes
                                  some itching strains

What are the rules then
                    the remaining
                           still, a waiting hand

                  a rest     a minim rest

Talking is somebody's house

        raw laughter by unlit fire

  heavy men     and thinned men

         We'll be drinking
                           holy water from the cup

Chair skins swell
                   and a table breathes

            Hibs, blue painted
     ghost about the pitch    

       out of hiding corners stare

                What's the face you get round abouts

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Bus note 56

Sour laugh for phone.
        "You get me?"
         again and again.
Can't look through
the misted up windows.
Misanthropy spasm.
        Traffic's relentless
        shut world
        poison music
won't make an outside
gather up and show.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Game traces

The photographs were taken at Coughton Court in Warwickshire, home of the Throckmortons, a one time Recusant family with connections to the Gunpowder Plot. 

The room guide told me the key was left over from a children's treasure hunt (the family still live in a wing of the house and make use of the rest out of hours). 

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Bus note 55

Hail fall making noise
in straight white lines
        and people start
        in their seats
like children wide-eyed
and briefly charming.
        A proper boy says,
Look, the sky is going blue.
        Well, showers end.
Eyes soon get smaller.
        On, my own (temp.) loves,
        up Three Shires Oak Road
        to various elsewheres.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Washing song

rain says nothing

old oh hole mouth
hid behind
looked after face

would you be
bright clean again

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Bus note 54

        Getting old
        with each other:
        mother and son.
Sat together,
the same face on.
        Him dressed down
        and her dolled up
        (crayoned lips).
Neither of them
saying much.
        A picture.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Bus note 53

Today’s dry with shadow trees
        on red brick
        on white stucco.
In a friend’s delicate throat
something is growing.
        Morning. A nakedness.
An HB pencil in hand.
        Write in careful letters:
        Fuck off, bloom.
Silvery scratches in broken-up light.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Portrait 2

                   draws up
               her mouthful
                             of long hair

     Hunched, she            
                              She leans out to

          You're there with stewed meat on blue spoon.

                    DINNER, she says.

    a thumbed table

              a bitten hand

           a chewed film

   crashed    wants     said     loud

         throat     graze

          black long
               long hair

           smile razors moderated world

                                     key scratches

    eyes kick in doors
               black hair and eyes

                 from where
   white zig zag lines
              shoot out from where
        her chair presences

subject ball
   between us goes
  to and fro

        She says, BALL.

           cackle splits and cracks

       a sideways


            The names she's given


Saturday, 4 May 2013

Bus note 52

        After Warley Woods
the girl sat up back
closes her phone.
        Wash of tears
as if you (you/I)
could dip a hand
into her face:
a bruised pool.
Look about your person
for some piece of pity.
        Now. Now.
        Nothing there.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Portrait 1

    puts his hand on my head
           says, "Head".

    a   large   hand

           Things come in parts or
                        told wholes.

   do up his belt
        says, "Thank you".         Laughs

           (remember, not yours for the getting)

         In that broad mouth
             a    few    thin    delicate    teeth
           hung on         eerie filaments

        not getting the what
 but holding a feel of

say a square with a light on

            shapes that are nice
        have a here and there smell
                                   a taste

            hand in your pocket
                  a pinched lapel

         (comic tenderness)

          Outside the Bowling Alley
       he now shouts, "Car horn".

                    All join in.

             Queries, managed chat,
                  planned fun:
                      all goes off
                 in vanishing gas.

             all gone       Laughs


Saturday, 27 April 2013

Bus note 51

       Time told
        in driver's mirror
A second, less than:
weird glyphs come
through eyeholes
        haywiring after
        in outside thaw.