I’m running low on twee profundities
to feed to the iambic metronome.
I wait for searing lines to come to me

while shacked up in the warm strictures of home.
In many ways, these are my greatest days,
yet all that you get is this lousy poem.

Stick with the dead ones, Plath or Hemingway,
they’re tried and tested, death has guaranteed
that their life’s pains will console you today

far more than aimless, happy types like me.



One time while on a beach in Penzance,
throwing stones into the Atlantic,
my friend told me that if I ever chance

upon a stone that fits within my grip
to such an extent that the need to throw
it out towards the buoys and distant ships

is outweighed by need to keep it close
within my clutch, to press my clumsy thumb
against its cold, ancient indifference—

then that’s the stone I need to bring back home
to place onto my cluttered writing desk,
something to grip when the words fail to come,

to reassess my approach to the task,
to contemplate that no thown stone will ever
hit hard enough to put the wave at risk.

The stone itself is formed by the endeavour
of countless breakers crashing to the shore.
I clutch mine tightly, trying to remember

the sound of stones and mountains being born.

Canto LXX

I can’t remember the last occasion `
I wrote a poem with a pen and paper.
Back in the day I took out my frustration

on my trusty electronic typer,
a school nativity version of Bukowski,
thinking the sloppy, budget red wine stupor

was inspiration, though the constant, noisy
crash of each key peppered the insipid
exposition of the classics DJ.

The drive time Mozart ditties never lifted
my limpid free verse confessions beyond
the pissed up young man, quasi-Ginsberg standard.

I relapsed though as the millennium turned,
the Moleskine marketing suckered me in,
quality leather covers, perfect bound,

unsuitable for the recycle bin
and so they clog up bedroom drawers instead
with all the scribbled bollocks held within.

So now I ply my noble, bardic trade
by thumbing iambics on a touch screen
while on the top deck of the 68.

Espresso sets the tempo now, not wine,
all soundtracked by patois and rude ring tones,
with one eye on the spirit of the times

I try to keep a grip on the old forms.

Canto XLV

I’m back to telling strangers I’m a “writer”
whenever they ask after my career—
The P word seems to make my jaw grow tighter,

I’m not ashamed, its more for the veneer
of Jack the Laddish, man about town charm,
that keeps things chipper, there’s no need to share

the shifting strata in the mind that turn
the smouldering compost of slow burning thoughts—
a seething mass of knotted roots and worms

from which the greens of wit and and bluster sprout.
To speak of poetry is to slow down
the language til it complements the beats

of that which endures, germinates, sustains
beyond the case of what is being said.
Behind the words, the movements are not seen,

the inner life of speech is never heard.
The poem’s truth may come at the expense
of explanation, but can be inferred

beyond the dull injunction to make sense.

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