1. The most expensive thing on the menu
2. More than I’ll ever see
3. Two folding tentacles
4. Small cat
5. New Street
6. His life
9. Folding Girl
10. Art Piece
11. Crucified man
12. The child untold
13. I am not
14. Pieces of You
It seemed strange as we looked at the sea,
from our checked table with just him and me.
I sipped my beer and smiled at his blurred face,
why is fish so expensive right next to the sea?
I asked, as another mosquito bit me,
he looked at the sea and then looked at me,
don’t you realize he said, nothing lives in the sea
we emptied it out and ate it for tea,
we fed it to cats, and chickens, and rats
and when they were full,
we made face cream, and margarine.
Nothing lives in the sea, are you on red or white tonight.
We can’t have things living in the sea,
we made a decision, it’s better empty.
Where have you been, have you not seen?
We make fish, in a large fish machine,
but the scales a quite tricky and the bones are quite fine
so it makes them expensive as it takes a long time.
But how can there be no fish in the sea,
surely we couldn’t make it empty
we would loose them forever,
where would we be,
to never see dolphins or whales or crabs
wouldn’t that make us all rather sad.
We have films and photos we can see, and all that reality TV,
I don’t know why you keep asking me.
But I don’t see how we could empty the sea
and what is the point most fish are quite pretty.
You really have been quite out of touch
you must try harder to keep up to date
the news isn’t on really that late,
and as I adjusted my hearing aid, he said, I’ll tell you.
The scientists when we emptied the sea,
made a bank in a place called Alderny
where in a fridge the size of a small country
we keep fishes DNA, from all they could find
so we could grow any fish we wish.
I don’t see how we could empty the sea
what harm could fish do it seems crazy.
But they bumped into boats and clog up the pipes,
swimming around unpredictably squeaking and splashing
and making a mess and never listening to our requests.
Getting stuck on the beaches and stinging the guests
once in 2023 a man was eaten just off the Ionian sea.
But how did we catch all the fish in the sea,
from the deeps and the shallows it would take to long
I don’t understand it seems quite wrong.
Well we’d already made quite a good start,
we’d emptied the med and the pacific was dead.
We’d caught all the cod and killed all the coral,
and the two whales were stuck in a tank in Balmoral
but it took hard work and dedication
and from our fishermen great vocation.
In their boats they caught all they could,
with radars and sonar’s night and day
and when they found the last few that were left
and we declared the sea, finally empty.
I don’t know why you keep asking me
maybe you don’t watch enough T.V.
Tomorrow we can swim and then you can see
so what will you eat the cods is quite sweet?
No I think I’ll have the pork thank you dear.
Redder than an artery sever
Sweet as a fruit that is rotten
Thick as the mud on the plans
Smelling of all history
She is never forgotten
With the rustle of ten thousand trees
She sighs and turns over to rest in the breeze
Drink her with us her people plead
and smile with all they own.
Sharp eyes on my pale skin
fulfill my fearful English grin
still afraid that without order comes decay
I fold my eyes and line up my jaw
I press my toes and put my palms to the wall
then sip the smallest taste of her
and with the single buzz of a single bee
she is all about me and I begin to see.
A boy becomes a man in a train window,
a bicycle you cannot see for colours,
twenty women making a rainbow,
an armless child, a purple tree
a painted cow, a dead donkey.
I buy flowers like food,
watch a pile of bees move like the sea,
a tiger lives here amongst these trees,
there are colours here I will never see,
her rags are my silk.
Now she will run in my veins,
I know that all will be compared eventually,
and the eyes upon me see wealthy
so do I need some social conscience in my tea.
Two folding tentacles
took ten years to trace
only to travel out into space.
Two folding tentacles
traveled in space
trying to understand their disgrace.
One folding tentacle
was feeling rather sick,
all this drafting was
getting on his wick.
The other folding tentacle
had fallen asleep,
and was dreaming of past times
when she felt less weak.
Nothing had passed them
and nothing ever will
until the two tentacles
take the bitter pill.
Two folding tentacles
traveled in space,
looking for someone
to explain their disgrace.
Still nothing had passed them
so they stayed quite still,
and wondered if everyone else
had taken the pitter pill.
Small cat caught a rat
small cat got fat
small cat fell in a crack
small cat broke his back
small cat got put in a sack
small cat came back to give the dog the rats flies.
Under the quick snack bar
by the passenger lounge
on New Street station.
The wandered eyes across the concrete floor
feet flipping in and out of the black edges.
I look up way out
or is it
dusk is here and I am not sure why I am
lines in the concrete running after cables
drag my thoughts to lighter states
of fishing lines, hanging fishing in the sun,
the sun lights up the old oak tree,
and the song comes back to me,
I wish I was me again at 30.
The hot wash of his life
was to much for her
and she slowly got smaller
and tighter as her threads shrunk
and her colour faded
until she was so small
she was sent to school.
When you scratched the paint of me
I hoped for a golden shine
but there was no reflection in your face
just the cold sense of an English day.
Don’t do that she said
giggling through her
He laughed again
and felt that normal feeling
sick, he looked
at her and decided
this was the
Stubbornly she sat
the girl with the folding skin,
all grounded and unnatural
with an unusual hew
in her special grin.
I thought of her last Thursday,
wondering if she washed in the folds
and was it hard to iron her clothes.
Green and blue shines
the cat drums his flies
and I, all over the wine
sit uncaring looking
at the timber declining
where I’d love to lie.
All you need folding girl
is confidence to be,
and like the pigeons you’ll believe.
Then the pigeon begins to grind its feet
against the shop window
as it need to watch a video.
So I told him you’ll love that,
and he said I love you
instead of its your fault,
and the I do I do I do I dos
are all yours folding girl.
His head will swell to large sizes and proportions,
he is a conceptual art piece now.
He has meaning,
a driven idea to fulfill,
a destiny in the book that combine
fragments to make history.
His head like water flows to his feet,
he is water on the floor, melted to become
an environmental issue.
to black to care
you shuffle having another of those
sensations in your troubled feet.
another hard chair,
as your old girlfriend
washing her underwear.
Why are you still here
you should be dead
or was your crucifixion
a continuous affair.
Somewhere in the 80’s
you knew who you were,
now a distant memory
on a beach in a masculine sea.
Swallowing a sausage
waiting for the inevitable,
as she gets to the bit
where you met at the conscription.
A drifting thought
keeps whispering past your
am I Jesus, or was
I just crucified and survived.
The house looked at me confused,
a new identity had fooled no one.
A purple orange lay behind the fridge,
gently rocking with the opening and closing of beers.
She came round unexpectedly again,
I said nothing, till the cat scratched her dog
and she left so I fed the cat.
A purple orange lay behind the fridge
waiting for the white goods to break.
She came round and cried a lot
the dog looked worried but the cat was out.
I said nothing till she stood up and screamed, ‘you bastard’.
Then left without the dog
I looked at the dog and the dog look at me,
so I opened the door and fed the cat.
I am not a bird held in this place,
my feathers are only drawn.
I am not a bird held in his place,
yet my cage seems fully formed.
I am not a bird
I cannot fly
I do not easily die
I am not good to eat
I have quite normal feet.
I am not a bird held in this place,
so why can’t I open the door.
Pieces of you,
so when you are dead,
I can rely on them in my bed.
When you are dead I could reuse you head,
sown onto another they would become like a brother.
If I reuse your hands to, it may become quite like you.
If I choose carefully a person of similar atrophy,
I could describe them as you.
Then you would never be dead,
Then you would always be you.