In series and parallel

Right next to me in the tunnel

a lady vomits hard on the floor


Later I tell the story of the lady

The image and sound present

The animal bends and strains


I am in a confused crowd

We are looking at blank signs

And time is running out

I think of giving up

And dissolving my plans


I wait until the feeling passes

And try again


The sound of the lady vomiting

Has left an echo inside of me

I find a train and leave

The light is cold against the window


Two men talk of women as we

Shudder along

These men are barely friends yet

But they are trying to find some

Intimacy with beers and photos


Still not where I should be

I walk the wrong way

The storm has slipped past us

And left a seaside town

Dazzling in the night

Under the moon and one star


This fresh wind runs through

The ancient bendy streets

And I am thinking of its opposite

The tunnel of yellow vomit

The surprise of hard and sudden

Sickness taking over


I find my destination is filled

With warmth

I tell the story of my confused arrival

I do not mention the vomit in such

Positive circumstances


I have my beer

And listen to two men making

A wonderful sound


I look through the crowd at my dad

And have a huge swelling overcoming

Feeling of pride

And then a sharp intake of sorrow

As I look down from this high point

So many types of black

The purple black as he squeezed his eyes shut and waited
The octagon swarming black that overtook vision as he passed out
The fuzzy yellow black under the covers as morning crept up
The shining still bluest black as I laid on my back breathing slowly – seeing black oceans shimmering
The scary black impossibility as the power cut, him seated on the toilet
The black in which tiny lights blink their reassurance that time is still flowing
The black that is laced with cellular red projected through eyes from a sun that cannot be blocked
The cinema black that revealed a car light on a strange man standing where he shouldn’t be
The black before the show starts and he is buried by the light and those other words, and the black when those words are done and he regrets the return to himself under darkness
The black that fills the house before the switches are flicked
The black that hides me in a moment of hesitation before I enter


You told us you dreamt a scream
But you had no voice
Your fear trapped inside

You hesitated at the entrance of a dark room
Hands holding the door frame
You let your face dip into the shadows

I dreamt of a betrayal
My love closed down 
As your breast is cupped by another

Your sense of smell is alert near the fire
The warmth of a silent death
Is an idea that slips in through the belly
of your day dream

You fear that he is too sensitive for this world
That fear will overcome his small steps into the shadows
You ready yourself to lift him up into light

He is both monster and afraid of monsters
He conjures the shape of his destroyer
And then kills him with a blow of his mega sword

I pull a face
It transforms the father into a stranger
Who are you? He asks giggling and gripping

I am that monster 
I am the maker of monsters
I am in fear of my monster
I am the hug, the sneer, the love, the shout 
And the shrug

So it occurs

So it occurs that growing up
Is accepting a bit part in the story

I am a supporting role
Making the others look good
Not claiming the light
I have hungered for

But it occurs that growing up
Is not what I want

I want to make a mark
Like a now forgotten king
To have changed something
For no reason other than
My own

And now it occurs that growing up
Is a relief not a shame

Never a detail repeated the same way twice

Sometimes it occurs that this is good
Even a gentle failure still has salt to taste

Just the one bar warmth of our corporate
Selves is far enough from zero to count

It can be a hobby just to notice opportunities
For softness, acted upon or not

Or as my ego prefers, the opportunities
To mark another with some splendid idea
Designed to bring on an addict’s longing

My staggered flesh cannot smooth out
The studded complexity of any story

When complexity is a feature of holding on to so
Many story elements at a simultaneous moment
There can be no release,
only a gentle form of multi coloured ignorance
At the point of saturation

Each story interfered with by a new signal
Each story improved through use
Each story falsified by my own tongue
Never a detail repeated the same way twice

At rest in a fire

And what happens when you 

Put your arm into the fire 
And leave it resting on the coals
Up to your elbow?

The skin pulsates and whitens
Until a shrill steam shoots
Red lines furling into ovals

The red flesh purples and fizzles
Until a black smoke laps up around
A dance of bubbles

The burn takes so much longer
Than you expected

But then what did you expect?

Did you imagine that you could so
Quickly undo the story of your flesh?

When you were young your hand was
A plaything and an anchor 
Then a tool and a human connector
It has made all your money
And every kind of sex

And when older your hand was the last
Young thing upon you

Elegant, smooth and long 
Until the cracks broke through
And the shakes began to swell

Your grip becoming an ache
The ache becoming numb 

Now your hand is a burning thing
At rest in a fire

My time

I have a penny in my hand
I see my first dog

I laugh not because of a joke
But because I am loved
And can see no end
To this love

I love my first dog
Although I can’t remember her name

I find a penny on the floor
I press it into the palm
Of my son

He says he has money
I have money
But it makes no difference

My son is counting
He says I am 69
He says he is one

My son is cheeky
And laughs at his own joke
He will not remember this moment soon

First thing in the morning
He presses his face into
The soft black fur of his dog
He tells me she is his best friend

My dad has stopped counting
Numbers become useless at a certain point
He laughs or is engulfed by sadness
Those are his numbers

My mum has calculated the days left
She can afford
It is a surprisingly simple calculation

From the middle, my number line
Fades in either direction

If I knew when I will die
I would live each day differently
But I don’t so I live each day
The same

I have feared plans all my life
And now when I look back
I agree there was no plan

So I have not trained myself
To arrange moments
Or barely remember them

Recently here we have been close to death
And new death
And slow forgetting
And children learning
And the week ahead
And have felt no wiser
To our cause

A warm penny is the clue
The hand opens and then closes
Someone’s dog barks