Visitation rites



Father outsider, a throaty caller, skin

feathered by claw and mange, squats

in his fur tuxedo, shrieks upon the fence.

“We’re not letting him in,” I tell my daughter

who thrilled by the furore hopes to see blood,

her for whom liquid is instinctual,

her for whom ire is a sweet delirium.

I usher her away from the window to

the whelps from the milk-glow wet teats.

The trilling of the brood is our succour,

is a sister sound to the silent telephone,

is as hope hollowed out with words,

“I promise I won’t be late to pick her up this time.”


Picture featured in this post is Major Tom. Author – Lauren Mitchell. Source - Flickr License –Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

Perception is the first act


of the imagination.
Whitman said and out

of Brooklyn Kaye broke
to see beyond the ocean

and into showbusiness,
sailing for Africa in 1934.

Typhoons hurled cornices
and men on bikes at him,

standing by his window
breathing in the Osaka air.

Come interval there was
no power so as to calm

the audience, Kaye faced
them flashlight on and

sang show tunes
to harness the god

of misrule, or when
he ordered a chicken in

China flapping his arms
and clucking. The waiter

nodded, and brought two
eggs. What he saw he took

and he took from jazz, Scat,
and from temple dances in

Siam, the snaking of the wrist.
New set and back in the states,

new suit, he sang himself into
50 Russian composers in 40

seconds. Goldwyn ordered
screen tests, said Kaye was

“all angles” then broke him
into the movie mould but

Kaye never could repeat.
Young man

you don’t need make-up.
said GBS. You’ve got it all

in your face. This curtain falls
on a lean type, scotch bottle

on a table for journalists
he called by name offering

them a drink readying himself,
the new ambassador.


Picture featured in this post is Danny Kaye. Author – John Irving, Source - Flickr, License – Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Dawn of the little man


It’s watermelon time and you are our astronaut,
once seed-like in size but to us an inner planet
ever expanding.

Weeks later and in the clinic, we heard this second
life in your mother, settling down like women in
pre-natal classes

leant into backs of chairs to counterbalance life 
like an asteroid. We heard the vagina was a virtual
space, how pushing

could rip the hull apart. I gasped. We cast lots and
latecomer mothers got beds for lack of chairs, men
left the vacuum to smoke.

One yoga papa sat emperor-like in tie-dye on a spare
bed to stretch wide his legs, too male for his pants
and the mission.

You were the first the womb knew, the first traveller,
a wriggle tapped with a bung. Your mother inflates
with readiness to love you.

Soon the dance of the medics in blue gowns will begin,
and we will lose mass and float, waiting the becoming
of the watermelon.

Picture featured in this post is See you Space Cow-boys. Author – Stormtroopers 365, Source - Flickr, License – Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Pig on a stick



on a stick,
spit-roasted beast, butchered for coins
in the village square,
a blessing

the summer god
come the bloom of a lover’s face,
cameras and plastic guns
all shooting

Main Street
in festivity, the crowds fleeting,
heaving the Maypole up
drink sun in,

it sucks
to be a pig, this ritual of being,
and bloodletting, this hacking up
of life.

Picture featured in this post is Über pig. Author – Boudewijn Berends, Source – Flickr License – Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0)

This poem wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the marvellous poem, The Fish by Marianne Moore.


Fairy Tale


In the chasm straight to
spruces where the bears
deceive the hostess, sits
a girl with braids of horses
scrawled with ball-point pen
of yearning.

Reading Ira Levin’s journal
is a constant source of horror.
Was your playground that
December? Splinters in
the frozen brambles, and
the berries

stuck in thick ice, text of
stodgy memoir faulting,
words like treacle in a barrel,
cracked by passage from
a fragment harking back to
clotting blood drops.

Picture featured in this post is DSC_4421.JPG. Author – Ya-ko. Source - Flickr License –Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

Parents, live at the living room, 26th may, 2013



She peels the spuds, he puts the kids to bed.
She holds him close, he opens up the fridge,
and winking at her, he pulls out two beers.

The whisper of the ring pull, and the hiss
are like a balm to them of cool dock leaves,
or suntan lotion in between the toes.

She walks to the piano, grabs the stool,
and rolls it round. It squeaks as she sings off,
and laughs the weight of worry from her face.

He strikes a pose and makes a pelvic thrust,
and growling low, he pats his sweaty brow,
and just before they pull into a clinch,

their daughter’s face appears before the door.
She says she cannot sleep, the monster’s back,
and it is bigger than it ever was.

“Come here my love, we’ll soon put stop to that.”
“Don’t worry, pet, your dad will heat your milk,
and when he’s done he’ll tuck you up in bed.”

and with these words do ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ become
a harbor from which she will have to drift
and list to port to load her ships with dreams.


Picture featured in this post is Untitled. Author – Chris Wild. Source - Flickr License – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic