Wednesday, 30 January 2013

In Memoriam Anselm Hollo

News has come through that the great Finnish poet, Anselm Hollo has died. Tom Clark has posted a wonderful tribute at Beyond The Pale.


For Camille Nao Katsuragi, the memory of her 1973-2003

In yellow light go riding fast,
            riding with big, unfelt, ungloved hands

    flex fingers
    stretch a span
    aching where
    they are so much here

There's a way where the street lamps aren't,
            after the safety beams

    ghost mist drops
    down and about

    white with

How the birch shows

    up, up
    living as
    a placed person

Recall, splinters:
            you were hit on the bike and remade dead

In your paintings
            pieces of things were always disappearing

With phone call, forgot how to be sad


    an ought

    an held breath

A bit after that, a big book shut hard
            with those fingers still in it

In the yellow again

    deep dip of Portland Road
    before the left
    a short hard climb

    up we go
    to shut out
    the flurries
    coming down

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Bus note 38

Black flat cap.
Red-rimmed eyes.
Frail hair strands.
Man giving up on visibility.
        Scuffed up once white snow there.
Brighter patches shift distances.
        Adrenaline swilling about
        inside me hurts.
Outside the dirty bus
is somehow still
beautiful - dreamt of stuff,
near blue and whitening.
        Our scenery.
        Our quietness.
        Our maybe quietness.
A city covered over.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

At the back of the New City

The New City Takeaway, Shireland Road, Smethwick, January 2013

Disused Shop, Shireland Road, Smethwick, January 2013

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Bus note 37

        Through the fog
        with downstairs whispers heard
        as shimmering non-language.
Outside dead leaves blown
into regular heaps with machines.
        Pass the boarded up houses 
        on Pershore Road.
No clues. No getting past
the patina of as it is for now.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Harborne Walkway

      The cut is put together first
                                         with mud and ivy
                       with broken up wood

                 Behind the sycamore there lies
                          brown plastic garden throne

                      up top a smashed up PC
                           cracking a screen smile

               decomposing stump with
                        ecstatic upside-down
                   mushroom beard

                     All trees are unreasonable

               slips of torn porno mags
                           (paper trail for boy hard-ons)

      Spilt milk, coagulate!
                              Make sour and paint along!

                dead beer cans strewn
                      with here and there teeth

           sleepers on their sides

     The woman and man run fast  
                         sweat sheen
        that fixed portable distance
                 two junior solicitors or something

                Under the higher arch
         blackened geometric
                               dirty grandeur working

            Come down from between the houses
                      into the boring streets

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Bus note 36

Young man turns
to witness to Jesus Christ
on late bus back.
        There's us set
        in our dull post-work opacity;
his stupid valour and open face
and his compulsion (very old).
        "A bus is not a church",
        an old soak says,
        eyes sharp for now.
Girl with steady crew cut
in seat next to me
spits worded acid
with hurts on show.
        Then a small man about my age
        (West African, I guess)
        says softly, "Let him speak.
        It matters to him."
The disquiet goes on like something familial.    
        Faces get much closer, the air
        thick with odd ephemeral intimacy
I'm off by St Germain's
as the enmity flowers behind,
very garish and exciting.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Bus Notes Abroad

Should you wish to have a gander at the latest Bus note with pictures and all you'll find it at Tom Clark's blog, Beyond the Pale.

TC has hunted out some excellent images that open out the poem further.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Bus note 35

First day back, 2nd of January.
        Waiting on bus
        by bank (HSBC)
        on Calthorpe Road, alone.
Granite cladding and glass; an edifice
full of swallowed tales. Smart.
        It's cold. Grey
        undifferentiated light outside.
Frostless: no soft tiny stellar mirrors anywhere.
        The bus goes slow, in stages,
        till we cross the Bristol Road
and then the nurses come aboard.
        This is a waiting room on wheels.
        Box, temporary,
        to pretend there's respite in.


Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Before the appointment

  CafĂ© full of those decent people

                 all pipes
                     all that joinery
                                wiring on show
           in grey disappearing skin

                         worked up as unworked 

                                 wanted blotches and
                          concrete washes

                   The wall is like a wall is somewhere

        I drink oolong tea better dressed
        than any of the other children
        (including the red-haired lad
        with the Raphael tattoo)

        said an amulet, strung

                      chatter bubbles bloom very steady
                          that sprung same talk

                picture: myself, fifty feet up
                  lifting a big old head
             with work sticky hands

                       thumping sweetness

                      (a hidden baby 
                                 corner sigh)
                    the worn and
               paling tongue shut
                             up in doors

                     Aren't I to be childish any more?
          The words in the tune are, “You just
                  keep on saying
                         the same thing”.
              There’s digital clapping hands.

   I’m going off soon enough I’m gone