getting to work




By the motorway end of Jellicoe Road,
behind a Smithfield Freezing Works truck
then a Datsun – a trade-in –– destined for town,
past the granite tide there – by and by –
and the on-and-on of the sea
curving the cold weight of a cold shoulder,
you get to work on your ten-speed
lagooning a curved spine at a stop sign:
white socks, clipped and tight;
your stubbies a lazy beige with a firm belt;
a tightly knitted tie tucked into a shirt;
an arm signalling – in good time – a turn.

And – by and by – ‘cause no one holds a lane
like a Dad, I watch you
ready your foot for the push
waiting for a gap to reveal itself in the traffic
and – for a blink – I lose you to a ute
and I am afraid:
temporary-about-myself afraid
through the sleeve-smudged simile of a window.
I don’t feel hair-in-m’-face three
or cold-floor-morning four or – by and by –
the condensation of being thirteen
growing heavy through net curtains.

Instead I wonder am I like you? –
by and by – as I ready my foot for the push,
as I signal a turn on a ten-speed,
curving the cold weight of a cold shoulder,
motorway end of Jellicoe Road – not like you!
This is the way I – like – get to work.

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Liking a song, now


here in Algeciras it feels good to be – like –

perched on the wrist of the world at night


in a grey hotel. Our balcony’s –

like – held up by the Pillars of Hercules


but below unconcerned with time it’s us

but precarious  the couple we – like – sussed


out ages ago still drinking tequila

and talking all night  there we are made o’


glass   we refract everything we know

through the tint and salt of por qué coño no


sarcasm cuts as cut-lemons cut

not like light slicing a stain-glass heart…


but now, it feels good to be – like –

perched on the wrist of the world at night


in a grey hotel reminded of a time or a song

and tomorrow’s first fingers circling moist upon


the lip-stick-smeared wine-glass rim;

we like a song we used to sing


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Meeting Me There Later


you were always meeting me there later:

by the time you arrived at Grand Centraal

there were too many Dutch angles – bicycles

cars, trams – and buildings with hooks. The canal


was already oil – a trick of densities –

in the lamp-light: Vermeer o’ milk. Van Gogh

o’ a thousand candles. Frank. I’ll meet you

wherever light’s allowed. But the blood-light


o’ a well-wrought bridge? The darker paint

of later beneath a neon sign:

pink ol’ Roxy muck o’ fuzz in a head full

of hard lines? The heavy greyness of the dreg-light?


Grand Centraal! When you arrive it’s way too late!

I’m mixed up in shadows that just won’t wait!

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