Monthly Archives: August 2012




through skin

blistering scrape
of wintered limbs
across sky


tight twist
of wet tongues
between fingers


tide-clattered barnacles
against craggy bones


crawl in-
uterine serene

taste it
from the rubbery floor

smell it hear it feel it fuck it

metal barbs
through the membrane

on unstaunched walls

lilting crimson script
still glistening
across the beam



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free verse of the unfettered


Not all things can be contained:
casketed in rhyme, scanned into
a neat line, strait-jacket-strapped,
iambic packet-wrapped –

the way
summer butter
++++++++s l i d e s
into beachfire toasted muffins,

the hush of a shared
alpaca blanket as it
against salt-naked skin,

or you, in the morning;
charcoal lashes
through a sweat-glistened fringe.

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Eggs Benediction


In the absence of slotted spoons,
my hands grift you from the roiling
pan, cradle you in china.

Soldiers muster to guard you
while blistered, untended fingers
seek salve in itinerant silence.

Dermis destroyed; third degree
nerve death, while you, coddled
in your sibling sentinel, grow cold.

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The bandleader
vice-clamps her
sycophant baton.

We stand, meringue stiff,
as full dance cards
applaud discordant bows.

Cacophony fades,
the glitter-globe
grinds to a fault;

contorted shadows
of our last dance
cast in graceless silhouette.

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I dislike funerals,
but the Celt in me
loves a decent wake.

Not the
curly white
cucumber sandwiches
and cups of tea
you could stand
a corpse up in

type of wake

or the sort
that forces those
with a harrowed,
rawbone ache
to shake hands
with an averted gaze
and sympathetic shoes,

but a proper ‘do’,
a celebration
of a full-span life,
mottled with its share
of strife and scrape,
peppered with purpose
and lively liver spots,

where the skeletons
are more interesting
than the closets
and the china is chinked
like battle-scarred armour.

So, let’s skip the cemetery,
the shallow grave speech
from the unfamiliar preacher
while we pick worm-mulched mud
from beneath our nails.

Let’s save on the heating,
cut the cremation,
the lip-synching of hymns,
the scattering of ashes beneath
the sapling limbs
of a strategically placed yew.

The phoenix is a fallacy;
nothing ever rose,
scented from the pyre
but the stink of crisp skin,
the wraith of desire
as it whimpered unnoticed.

Let’s lay this body
down in the meadow,
on a table cloth
of butternut sunshine,
squashed between cordials,
bathed in a changeling breeze.

Open that bottle of Merlot
we were saving,
let it breathe the scent
of campions and daisies
that thrive
beyond the dried bouquet.

Allow the sun
to slip smoothly
down the neck of the sky,
instead of wrangling
with darkness
as it steals the day.

Unwrap our picnic of
cherished remnants
while Bacchus
opens our throats
and we lace our memories
with melodies and verse.

Let’s sleep,
arms wrapped around it
in the dewy night air,
beneath a blinking coverlet
of unknown mischief,
until it’s time to wake.

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Taylor on Burton


He came;
swaggering incendiary,
Celtic virility dripping
from his rim,
gravelly timbre
raking each glassy breath.

Vows lost
amid wedded shards,
freefall shapes blown
of our own viscous chaos,
twisted stem highballs
amid unstable natron flux.

We poured ourselves
into a decade, oblivious,
in hot, sticky carnality,
sluiced scotch
on cut-glass rocks
scooped from cold crystal
to tranquilise engorged
fuck-heat fingers.

fire-cut and ruined,
we retreated
to misshapen solid
states, mixing virulent
cracked lacquer cock tales
of medicated misery
and miscast lovers

until blistered and bloated,
clasped in the cold grip
of the parison,
he bled into the Céligny night,

leaving me to languish,
ribboned red,
marbling centuries of loss
on blue-glaze Portland,
clutching his script
in death-wax hands.

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Burton on Taylor


She came;
violet eyes brazing,
hair liquid black,
from Morfa’s glutted seam.

She blessed and burnt
my summer daze,
a crucible of white heat,
her gleaming teeth
cursed, dispersed
the icy hellions
of my bleak winters.

We raged with it,
the horn-ridden beast,
hollered as we let it claw
our clothes, rip ecstasy
from our throats, gouge
our eyes with the taloned
beauty of idolised youth.

Ten years we burned
between the sun and its
mutant reflection,
amid lust
and sallow loathing,
quaffing piss-amber
liquor between
fighting and fucking

until molten and wet,
she snaked from my
volcanic mouth,
left me spent and spewing,
to roam the sodden streets;
livid, raw, weeping whisky
into soot-filled gutters,
scuttling the gulf
of snot-drowned grief,

an ashen shadow of a man
bearing the red welt
of a life half-lived,
without her.

~ Bit of a departure for me. I’m fascinated by the relationship between Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. They had a passionate, tempestuous marriage between 1964 and 1974, remarrying 16 months after their divorce, the second marriage lasted less than a year. He likened their marriage to rubbing two sticks of dynamite together.

Burton died of a brain haemorrhage in August 1984. He was buried in a red suit, a tribute to his Welsh roots, and with a copy of Dylan Thomas’s poems, many of which he had recorded to great acclaim. Burton wrote Taylor countless love letters over the years, even when they were apart. His last was delivered to her home three days after his death. She died 27 years later in March 2011 and was buried with the letter.

I’ve tried to write this from Burton’s point of view after they divorced in 1974. You kinda have to imagine his deep, rich Welsh voice to get the full effect. If you don’t know what he sounded like check out the link – hands down the best reading of Thomas’ Do Not Go Gentle.

Richard Burton reads Dylan Thomas



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We sit
for hours,
neither rigid
nor relaxed,
someplace new
between the two.

The Pinot and their
adolescent nonsense
planes knotty pine;
curled shavings of
splintered months
wisping the floor.

You summon me
above a warm grain
and vanilla flickers;
a mute voice held
in a familiar gaze –

We did this

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in denim sifted dunes,
dawn’s canvas light
cedar-scented skin,

fingers flex;
weaving last night’s
woodsmoke mementos
through the soft folds
of morning’s pink craving.

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I could
lob bowl,

keep my nimble fingers
below waist,
to your batting prowess,

watch helpless
as white willow
stitched oxblood leather

and you cross
yet another boundary

but that just wouldn’t be
cricket –

would it?

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