Friday, 20 May 2011


All of that summer

I ached not for you but with you

(without you)


Beneath the senseless heat

Reformed myself endlessly

All we are is particles

Inside each other forever

And nothing can compare

With you & I

On a settee

A million years ago

Straining to compete


Suddenly we saw
In the glimpses between things
A series of openings
Leading to nothing

There is no honour anymore
Nor anyone to do the honour to

“I hope you find yourself alone
Through a whole generation
And lose all hope.”

There is no honour anymore
Nor anyone to do the honour to

Suddenly we were not the people we'd been
Or I had thought we'd been
The well and badly loved / muddling along

I hope you've stopped taking your mother's advice.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Look Again

It was not your open face I failed to love
If it was not and then the rapture that
I failed to hold or compensate
What was the slipping point upon which
We tipped and repeated old mistakes again

If it is not your broken features now that
Keep attention at your feet or elsewhere
Always shifting attention never sleep
If it is not the failure of a love
never learned by heart to play then what

Look again Look and in that looking
Find your heart's opposite a stranger's love
A stranger love still secret secrete upon the heart
That's heavy then light without warning
An emphasis enboldened before early exit

No loss

Tuesday, 17 May 2011


In the open-mouthed pause
Of a new beginning, the held breath
Of hope. So many rooms to fill.

There, in silence, we learnt at last
To be lonely. And alive.
You stretched your mind and soul
Beyond previous estimations
And your heartbeat shooting.
Long nights of interruption
and your body swarmed with ache.
Possibility, connection, invention.
Goodbye squeezed in, boxed-up caution.
You made a home for a time out of time.
Made days out of futures already begun
And now being undone.
You made, made, made out of love, light, need
and the long dark night that held you.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011


And when the hour came

The man I loved did not remember

Hurried whispers caught in time

A horse after its own tail

Timeless love

A late night journey through a foreign country

All language past

Maybe we will be together forever

Or else pass each other in the street

After the years

If and when anything finally happens
I'll find it's like the call I made to you
When you were all nonsense

I couldn't stand

Great stuff you say and I believe it
Because I want to, need to, feel it

I am nothing except the thing we were
Loss in the morning
2am and legs askew again

This is confusing

After the years of longing I know
The longest journey is yet to come

All night I'll wait for you and then some

Monday, 11 April 2011

Return to Sender

We knew they would come back some day,
turning up in the morning post,
all the things we gave away.

The day turned plain after a time and
we no longer noticed when night came
or the weather changed
or we ran out of things to say.

So many things remain unsaid.

We climbed into bed,
hunting for language like dreams,
or dreams that might speak,
and in the silence made love,
like a ladder through the clouds,
love in the spaces between us,
searching for heaven or somewhere
dark to hide which is like night
or love or somewhere we've never been.

I forgive you all the hours you were away
and promise to start again.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

My Father's Breath

I hold my hand over the candle flame a few seconds and then it is too hot. Earlier today, on an underground train, the tears pouring down my face. All of the memories, always at work but often silent, how they can surface, ah, without warning, and turn a solid day into dust, into dust, turn me into us. A holiday in Paris aborted following the disintegration of my personality. Ah. These may not be the right words but they are the way it feels expressed exactly. Love. All of its manifestations. Memory. All of our hallucinations. Are we just ghosts of a history ah we've been playing out all these years? I remember watching A Question of Sport ah sat on my father's chest - I am five maybe six years old - watching Ian Botham but focusing on breath big man / little boy - same blood, same breath going in going out the breath of my father's chest and me tiny and helpless on the rising island of him Loving it loving it like nothing I've known since the peaceful hopeful body truth of curled up on my father's chest breathing in and out in unison and school tomorrow perhaps and a lifetime ahead no knowledge of pain or modernity - no heartbreak / no search engine and implacable love unparalleled big man / little boy no sense of what's coming of what will come I have remained that child (in many ways) Have remained and today when everything feels so sharp and bright and like I've been asleep for so many years and here in this body is the memory of a time when nothing was named and things just happened and simply breathing was enough. We are just a history of ghosts a bedtime story repeated ad nauseum my love for a man who no longer exists my heart a search engine returning no results.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Notes on Hope

Written to be performed on 26th March 2011

Here I stand, thinking out loud. Hoping you’ll listen. Taking my chance.

I cannot be here today, but still my words…

For those that could not be here today, here are some words in their honour. For those of us here, here are some words to keep us together, keep it together, in face of what’s coming, in spite of what’s been.

What do we need to know? What can I tell you that you won’t have heard a thousand times already?

Even the thousandth time, it might still need to be heard.

Art is not a luxury. I am stating the obvious.

Love is not a luxury. I am stating the obvious.

Wherever, whenever, however, you live, they belong to you.

Art and love are not inseperable. And when something is gone it is gone forever. Let us not lose sight of that fact.

In the country where I live things are changing. Some might say not fast enough. In the country where I live things are being done in my name. I don’t know how to stop them. I don’t know what to say…


Much that you need has been lost. The poems that we know are merely fragments. We must use what we have to invent what we desire. We cannot work in isolation, or in fear of other voices.

Take as much time as you need.

Learn to use your hands, use your heart, give what you can and don’t be afraid. Here is the hardest thing: do not be afraid.

What would that feel like?

You ask me, is this time worse than another? I ask, for whom?

Big my secret. Not just my secret, but all of ours. The secret we’ve all been keeping.

Take as much time as you need.

Keep on moving. Remember how this feels.

What can we do when everything feels hopeless?

I have been trying to imagine where galaxies end and where they begin.

Dear Tim, who will never read this, never hear it, did I ever, even for a moment, amaze you?

What can we do when everything feels hopeless?
Prepare ourselves not for the world as it is, but for the world as it might become. In this preparation, we experience this world as it becomes one, for a moment. This moment. Us. Now.

The last time I saw you, you said “be here now”, but I wasn’t, so –

We will remember this time as a good time. Let us remember today as a good day.

I’ve loved you my whole life, every one of you, especially those I have not met. Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, place these words inside you, that you be my poem; I whisper with my lips close to your ear, all of your openings, I have loved many women and men, but I love none better than you, right now, us.

Tell me something I don’t know.

Sit me down at the piano and put your hands next to mine, on top of mine. And teach me to listen, to touch and to play. Play me. Play me again. Play me at a different speed. Until I can do it on my own. And then don’t forget the melody. Keep on singing the song of us when I forget the words.

Language presupposes community. Therefore without you, nothing I say has any meaning. Without love or language, I do not exist.

Some stories never end.

And when this is over how will we know?

When did you last love life?
Go tell it to the big man: what will survive of love is us.

You want my advice?

Walk, do not run, for we are going very far. Now is the time of walking the paths we create by walking them. Ask no permission. Make no demands. Just do. Create the world that does not yet exist by living it. Create a space of dignity, horizontality, love.

Come over some time. I’ll improvise risotto. It will take the time it takes. And you can sit there and tell me all about your day; tell me all about your life.

Even after all these years, I can still ask, who are you?

What have you heard and what have you seen and how did that feel? Tell me everything or everything you can. We don’t have much time.

We are each other. Black skin // white skin. It all tastes the same in the mouth, right?

What’s that I hear? The sound of people living their lives at the speed of making love. Totally fucking beautiful.

I wanted to say, I think finally we’re going to be ok. And if not us then the others we’re doing it for, some day.

This is where I am in history. With you, now, today.

We’re all in this together, right?

Monday, 21 March 2011

the become

Wait so long until the become
that never came
person I wanted you to be
expected you to be you never were

All the time the wanting
all the efforts unwarranted unwanted
Elsewhere sometimes but nothing here
and me not caring if you managed at all

These were the first mistakes
early evidence
my eyes I thought open never open
always opening and then the close

Saturday, 19 March 2011

the words

The words I put into your mouth
did not belong to you and the things
I tried to make your body do were
not your thing and all the time I
spent confusing the situation with
my ontological inarticularcy.

Those were the wasted days
- that was a wasted year. If only
I had known the things to say
to remedy impossibility.
I had known those things
known and then forgotten them.

This seems to be the way
a good old repeated pattern
I never asked directly or told
you what to do but neither
was I honest about my expectations.

I did not care about yours.

That was a wasted year
- those were the wasted days.
All that time I watched you
but couldn't later describe
what I had seen. All of my witnessing
nought nought nought.
I will not give us another thought.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Fort. Da.

On my pillows is the smell
of where you were that night
and in my mind is the memory
of where you were all night

And now and then I forget and
then remember the shape of
your body on mine - your weight
and how you held it above me -
and the way we kissed that was
nothing like kissing
more like discovery or tapestry.

I'm bearing scars, prizes, gifts and promises
I know now what yes really means
and yes and yes and yes.
I've got a new vocabulary and an equation
which is a bit like one plus one
but far more complicated.

Magic like snow, and just as surprising
when it comes, changing the landscape,
gone in the morning.

And a promise: to return, to repeat, to renew.
To know always and forever that one and one make more than two.
Fort. Da. You.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

For Neil, later

Almost a year has passed
and still my fingers in your mouth
in them early hours
lingers in my mind

Your kisses dancing across
a late night drive
the tense pull and dive between us
now as then

"What are you going to do to me?"
the question passing
before and after and inbetween
the pages of us stuck together
like a book in the bath
impermanent drowning

I want the hurry of you
ticking back time to make me present

I want the secrets of you
all spilled out like an upturned drawer

I want the moment we share to stretch forever
beyond us, inside us -horizon and vertical
lasting as long as we need

Monday, 21 February 2011

the men we are

If you came to me again
after all this time
through the sun or rain or snow
in any weather
you would find me
paused all sticky fingers waiting
recognising the smell of you impatient

What do memories become?

Between your legs
a map of hair to trace
a promise of secretions unimagined.
I can imagine you
opening up into futures unwritten
you have no idea yet
of what you've begun

What do memories become?

I don’t know
About the easy come easy go
ways of who we’ve been
I don’t know
how to piece together
the glimpses of the
men we are when no-one’s watching

What do memories become?

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

For Ezra

Thank you for appearing
and all that thus attends

Thank you for quiet moments,
multiples, proliferations,
conversations without end or sense

Thank you from the part of me
that does not need you
beyond the simple fact of
when you're here you're here -
the part which knows itself
but shuts its mouth

Thank you for showing me
how simple life is
simple happiness

Waiting with you
Always waiting
Sharing news
Not caring at all
And then you're gone

But so am I

At the station
in that moment
existing only
for those afternoons in restaurants
paying our own way
after years of being brought
finding a friend in unlikely places

Oh lost weekends
Oh hungry texting
And what we do but have no words for
Thank you

Saturday, 5 February 2011

This Week

Yesterday I tried to use
my Oyster card to open
this flat instead of keys

This is how the grief erupts
again when I thought it passed

This is how I laughed
stood there ha ha frozen
implements all wrong

This is how the week just gone
has been misshapen
and taken wrong

How it knocked me sideways
when someone barely known
but known dissapeared forever
leaving no note no notice
not even knowing himself he was going

And then gone
with us left
implements all wrong

Friday, 4 February 2011

Between Us

That night we lay
gin-soaked under white sheets
All the signs were there
but we made a tender side-step
preferring instead the narrow
violence of normalcies not ours.

What I didn't say
plus what you did
equals a new balance
between us.

We were each other’s
impossible hopes
in unexpected shapes.
In that stretched moment,
a landing-place. A light.

And how I wish I could have made that leap
yes I wish I could have found the words
but there were too many rules between us
and I wouldn't have known where to begin.

Dear R, I'll never forget,
your invitation and attendant betrayals.
Doing nothing, we betrayed everything.

In the morning, a table scrubbed,
a cliche, and frost in the garden.
You shone.

Memory poem

Hello handsome
I'm here again ready
for the hairs of you all
spaced and bodily

This secret place I've found you in

The long thin marks and tracks
stick with me here
intention to cause a change in behaviour
you've taken me over again

And stand I do and let you
all agape and small again
knowing that you will hold me
till the open closes pushing
at the long abandoned bounds of me

And here in this image and
a few barely conjured words
something hits like hope again
and again

We are all scars and long lines
burning for each other
the wish crack of a memory from
before my time

I am always reliving that moment not mine.
I am over and waiting
hanging for the thing
you'll bring
the promise that we asked for outwith our fear
The gift I'll give to pay you back for being there
year after year.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Absent Friends

Again and again I stumble,
over my words and deepest intentions.
You hold me steady amidst fantastic detonations.

Where do I begin?
One summer day you cartwheeled in my gardens -
a house lost now, a moment passed, impossible -
and in that moment something clicked

I waited.
Would it pass, this stomach opening?
You would have stayed up all night
and stalk through the darkest places.

Later, after a film, amidst the throng
I hardened thinking of you
and the moment passed.

What a long waiting I've had of it
and further to go.
Piece you together, so much still missing.
And what I was trying to say
again and again was lost and disappeared in all the cracks between us.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


a long slow remembrance of skin
on the soft edge of a hard memory
the taste of all night folding in
and spread until the morning

your hands searching out beneath
the folds and tucks of us
and then your face so serious
suddenly caught and loved ferociously

a memory unhinged against a hope
the moment when our hearts
and all belief thrown tumbling
into a brave new world of touch

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


In the invisible places
where the first thoughts stir

This body and its ongoing history

Like a looked at thing
being turned in all directions
Suddenly looking

A swapping of shadows
glimpses through a sped-past wood
desperate to be poured and underfoot
and in the heart and keeping that promise
upon which the sunlight takes its bearings

Somehow smelling of a sudden entering elsewhere

Carrying everything; keeping nothing

Monday, 17 January 2011

Summer Poem

She stepped into the garden
Slow motion in a summer dress
Light caught in points around her
Something in the air
After a year of refusing kisses

Any intimacy
Once spoken
Loses elasticity

She hovered in the doorway
As if the day would last forever
Endless moments inside her
Nothing to be done
She began to unravel

Until the Leaves Fell

The rot set in early

There was nothing to be done
For a soul already torn by being opened prematurely

The rot set in early

She never wore the dress
Except on days she knew the sun would charm her

The rot set in early

His tree spread arms enveloped every hope
And held her still through every possible disruption

Until the leaves fell

Who could have known?
What would give and what would take and who to trust?
When winter came she was warmed
by it's inevitability

Inside her the spring holding back

The rot set in early

It took
She barely felt it
But shook
Still, almost from convention

Friday, 14 January 2011

Some Thing

There was something about her
about the thoughts and their

There was something unfolding
in the conversation between us

Picked up and continued
despite the distances between
each moment borrowed from time

There was there was there
was there something about her
that couldn't be articulated

Something about the us
that we became
in conversation now and again

That made both of us bigger
than we had ever been alone

Thursday, 13 January 2011

That Evening

The young man left
the door wide open,
warmed up a cold floor
made a space a home.

And I gave you
my heart
although you never asked
and we didn't touch.

Well of course it's a lie
because our job is illusion
and all of this time
our lives have been passing.

Now I feel something missing.
It's much too late and I
couldn't get back if I tried.

A bottle of coke
and your sweet mouth in passing
and all that lost time spent
avoiding what's missing.

That evening
you left open every door
and made me ready to walk through.

The Sad Night

Is this how a revolution happens?

A kiss on the hand
the quiet betrayal
history unravelling
through the tender gesture.

Lucky coincidence
the right man in the right year
mistaken for a god
you made a history of us.

I was to blame.
An untuned radio
through the longest night.
Dead within a matter of days
retreat and return.

This is how a revolution happens.

Begin Again

Here are the last words
to begin a new way
of existing in this world
with memory and desire
always in the now

Here now today
these are the old words
becoming new words
through the warmed up tongue
and desire always moving us on

This is a new day
in which we discover
a language of the body
politics and sex
preferably at the same time

This is our new way of loving
hands free
no fear