My Octo

November 10, 2013 at 9:59 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

My arrival on planet Earth began with

an inconsolable open mouth

which shut silent in swallowing


now exhausted, addicted

I take the long, slow exit

 from your planet dipped at the axis.


 to become part of any realm you consume their food

tonight prepared with much affection, fattening and hot

dumplings, spiced tuberous vegetables, garlic,

sour cream, smoked paprika and pumpkin


on my bed a nude and perpetual stasis; eyes down eyeballing my

Bermuda – the jutting hips and pubic bone

where earth men lost their way


the arch between convex

insides scooped out


thoughts dissipate and rise to the ceiling

with the damp

and gazing back at the body on the bed

with paranormal potency

riddle together sleepless while the ink warps


we stare at each other, those thoughts and I

now and then and later

until a sound then/now, here again and

further present a sound almost 9000 days after my first meal on Earth

the word

an extinguishing breath.


I stay a second longer with

his hand on my clavicle






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Filthy and Sip

October 10, 2013 at 4:32 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Rib rattle plastic box.


 And over bones

a calloused thumb is pressed wrongwaywards on a pin, pain kept comfortable on translucent epidermis.  Starting every time with the want to –

every time –

to stop before that time that was the start the first. 


A dawny buttery ritual  with its tea or coffee (neatlyplease)

on hardboiled ceramic white

skipped –

or stoic. As though in accordance with the darker longer hour before.

A private protest logged only

in same-old drooping eyes and intestinal moan.


A life strewn across cabinet in tablets bandages creams powders drips pills pipettes

and duh duh

duh damnable biology. Orange pill crowning microgestin tinfoil,

there the sweetness.


Nogra Arikha, historian of ideas, worries about the prospect of collective amnesia. It is said. And broken out of ohso appealing loop of malignant time paradoxes (some days self pity is speculative fiction), a sulking one lifts its skulking brow. The way it thinks,

it thinks,

is far too persistent and ugly. The way it thinks, it thinks,

might be better left be.


Just one implicit tear would be enough. Token thoughtless sorrow ringing from thoughtful mind;


an effigy.


It (cruel)

became an island; and cruelly  forgot – such thoughts are bitter (pump adrenaline) on a guilty tongue.

 It draws its skulking scowl. An involuntary sight

of sand

by night, riddled with wet coils from worms, of worms.

A hagstone skimmed then sunk with bubbling weight on its brine.


The water claws about everything and sometimes makes a hole.

All poetry eventually leads to the sea. As does breakfast.

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Venus De Milo

January 31, 2013 at 5:36 pm (Bodies, For Larks, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

The feet had to go first. Or perhaps the anus, so she could exit this world by the way she entered it: embryonic, gut first. Didn’t matter which, she told him – she was a breech birth. He had forgotten their penknife, ‘ just a zippo and some keys’, he told her fumbling through coat pocket. Giggling now ‘Oh-don’t-you-fuss’ – he would make a fine job of it, she was sure that he would make a fine job of it. ‘Eyeballs can boil, you know’  suggestive. Her nodding, ‘lovely’. She laid out the plastic sheets while he dug around his satchel for the marigolds, blowing each into a bulbous little salute before donning. How he loved her.

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Uses for Electrical Tape

October 14, 2012 at 7:39 pm (Bodies, poem, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Bookspines rebound, latticed, black with it.
When sole of your boots came loose
you taped the mouth closed.

Repossessed jars labelled, white ink on vinyl:
buttons, grain, safety pins.

A violin, the new polished neck marked while
her fingers found their place. And those finger tips
wound up in tape as she played,
preventing the blisters.
she always made a terrible sound.

You marked the floorboards with the parameters of your dance,
perforated black lines.
She attended to the stereo wires
as the music started to crack. Affixed, twisted back in
on themselves; wringing out another year of sound.

It kept her in place
where it held that skin indented
like marzipan –
Your wrist bone pressed into hers, tape looped
in a figure of eight. An infinite.

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Doctor Harold Majolica and the Student

September 4, 2012 at 7:31 pm (Doctor Majolica, Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

My hands can reach a range of 17 semitones on a standard piano keyboard. This makes me an awful teacher, especially for children. Mrs Susumu had hired me to teach her daughter mostly as a charitable favour. We’d known each other for a few years now; I’d nursed the family cat more times than I could remember and her gratitude, along with her respect, somehow remained untarnished after the incident which threatened to revoke my licence.

Mrs Susumu had two children. Jeri the rebel, a bright boy given up long ago to a world of mud, k-nex and plastic pistols; then there was Mimi, a reserved, thoughtful child who was dull even for an eight year old. The pay was generous, and our first lesson a success. Mimi had a reasonable ear for a girl her age and already had some idea how to read treble clef. That opening lesson I reserved totally for gauging the girl’s confidence and understanding of the instrument. She knew a few scales and nursery rhymes. I’d guess that she would have done a little better in that initial lesson had she not been so nervous about me, such a large, bedraggled crow, perched next to her. But Mrs Susumu seemed pleased; she rang the next evening and assured me that Mimi was already excited about next week’s lesson.

Six days later Miss Mimi was running from the study bawling, face covered in hot tears and bubbling snot. She didn’t say what was wrong, she didn’t scream for her mother; she just ran wailing, utterly horrified. I stood in the doorway awkwardly. I wanted to comfort her but this shaggy mass of hands and feathers is the last thing she wants near her right now.

I had been taking her through the F major scale. She knew the notes, but kept trying to play it too fast and stumbled every single time. Half way through a particularly broken attempt I reached out for her wrist, indicating that she should pause. As my bony blue fingers touched her skin for the first time I felt an involuntary twitch. Her fingers left the keys and she looked at me. Blank, brown little eyes. So I showed her the scale once more, being sure to demonstrate how the slower rhythm helps the fingers find the correct keys. Mimi doesn’t listen. Mimi looks down at my spindly hands, dislocating and contracting alarmingly as they find every key in the two octave scale. As her face cracked from lip-nibbling discomfort to open, weeping horror I looked down at my own hands; they were almost translucent, and hideously contorted. Like the mutilated hands of a corpse which, with a sigh, I realised was just what they were. I knotted my fingers as I watched Mimi waddle from the room in tears.

I could hardly believe it, but Mrs Susumu wants me to come back. She suggests that we leave a week or two for her daughter to recover, but she wants to keep me in her employ. I’m flattered, but deeply embarrassed. I tell her no. I don’t think Mimi’s going to want to be in the same room as me again. More than ever I long for my own study in Furrington Wood, but plenty of the animals there would be more scared of me than Mimi was. With good reason too, for the most part – but that’s a story for another time.

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Obsolete Love Object (A Lesbian Ode to a Socket)

March 14, 2012 at 1:10 pm (Female, Halves, Observations, Rooms, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

For every tune

your partner is better,

and when you buzz

we’ll sing together.

Your sister orifice

is ignorant.

I’ll wet my finger

and electrocute myself –

you bitch, you complicated

rejecter and bleeder.

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Doctor Harold Majolica and the Gloves

November 22, 2011 at 10:32 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Did you know that women’s tights are often modelled by men? Women think that their legs are slender and appealing. Any transvestite could tell you that. Next time you pick up a pair of 40 denier from M&S, check the box. If the photograph of the model is cut below the hips, chances are that’s a bloke in your stockings. And next time you pick up a pair of silk gloves with a pink taffeta trimming, take a look at the label. If the picture of the hands is cut sharply at the wrists, there’s a small chance that a crow modelling your gloves. That crow is almost certainly me.
They tell me that ladies would love my hands because the fingers and long and delicate and the wrist bone juts appealingly. It embarrasses me, they only became that way because I preserved them in the wrong solution. The jar I put my hands-to-be into was filled with a pickling fluid which gradually ate away at the fat and muscle beneath the skin of the hands I had so painstakingly prepared. By the time I was ready to operate the skin was stretched taught over little more the bones, the webs between the fingers almost an inch lower than they should have been, making them seem long and cumbersome. But they tell me that the ladies would love that.
The photographer’s assistant hands me a pair of silk gloves with a pink taffeta trimming. I pull the gloves on, taking care to cover the scars from the skin graft. Below the wrist I’ve been careful to pluck at least an inch of feathers. The skin beneath is so pale, almost blue; the assistant covers it with powder. And she calls me Doctor, just like they all used to. Of course I still have my doctorate, but since my licence has been revoked the title has become sour. It’s amazing what you can do with good wing dexterity and patience, but I wanted to turn pages and pinch scalpels. No one wants to visit a doctor without hands, not even the snails. Business boomed after I had them grafted, but they were so clumsy and almost numb. I could hardly pick up my stethoscope, but they still came. Most of the woodland creatures had never seen hands before, so they watched me fumble and bungle my way through everything in awe. My days were numbered, but that is a story for another time.

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