Spoetify #7 Here Come the Girls (Ernie-K-Doe, written very early this morning with a dreamy dog)

Taut and brisk

As I was shown

I pull the sheet under

Dream for a


Will they notice


My hospital corner

And wonder who created it?

All the beds

Are out

Like Orphans

I could tuck

Them in

Switch out

The light

Listen to the whispers

Till they ….

But they are

Not orphans

And I am

No governess

Kindly or


I push the

Bed against

The wall

With my knee

And feel again

My efficiency.

The room is as they requested it

But executed by me.

So-me. So me.

Sharp lines

Crease fold




‘Leave a space for us to fill’

Was their only request

With what?


Oiled wrestlers



A vomitarium

I look at the carpet

And express my sympathies.

It is not for me

To consider

Until tomorrow.

I go to the

Middle bed

Run my hands

Over the nylon sash

Laying in wait

For the incoming queen

The Bride-to-Be

And tuck a condom beneath its folds.

Spoetify #6 Here (Christine and the Queens, written very early this morning in a kind of blank mood with a sympathetic dog)

Feel your feet on the floor

Hear the sounds around you

Of traffic, elliptical bubbles of breath

That is your here, the moment you’re in

And everything is fine if you’re here

But what if

What if even as I’m writing this I feel

Dark thundering violins

And a sci-fi indifference about what

I’m being told

To do.

I like to live in a different here

Hold a here in two hands

Cupped like a marble

Blow discretely

Let it unfold

A different here to floorboards and lorries

One where I own

A fashion house! In Paris!

Wear a crisp white shirt!

Eat the nub of a baguette for lunch,

Make decisions!

Or here is a beach at dawn

And in my here moment

I’m alone

And finally can, really can

Find my quiet

So we breathe together.

But then a truck farts past outside

I see a smear on the window

And it guides me back

To my now here.

Spoetify #5 Dancing In the Dark (sung by Ella Fitzgerald, written very early this morning with an indifferent dog)

Cut down, I swim up

Each limb rising

Till I know the separateness of me

Each part, a butcher’s cow

Labelled, distinct

Wholly beautiful

Each limb rises

Smoke, ether, ash

Climb the stairs through nightime

And if you shift your head to the left

You change from Florence Nightingale to Faerie Ball

Only I push through the velvet.

How often does no-one see?

It’s a waste to slide between electrified sheets

And join the others farting –

Become the unit once more of milk and toothbrush

Each limb rises, caressing its own circle

And I grimace

Not to be interesting

Or ironic

Or cool

Or ‘yeah I think I’ve got that one. On vinyl somewhere.’

If I could scrub myself of expectations

I would – clean. To the bone of each limb rising.

Till then I’ll dance in the dark.

Spoetify #4 Jump Around (House Of Pain, 1992, written very early this morning with a recalcitrant dog)

Today my pen is not where it should be

Not chasing over pages of insecurity

The notebook

Has removed itself

From the situation

Of my hands

I laid it down somewhere

While thinking of potato peels, Jane Russell, the plague

It seized its chance,

Soaked into the scenery

So here we are. In a spare unwritten notebook

Leaves left, from 2003

If I believe the page that came before me.

So I triple salchow back to then

When I spent £233 in rent

(a month? a week? In London?)

This punches my brain off-cortex

Sends it spinning down chats recollected.

With older people

The Do You Remembers?, who talk only of when

Fags were two quid

Milk was 10p

A car was shilling

And happiness was free

I look at 2003, at the patterns of words

That came from a woman


Trying to find her place in a scene

A woman who I’m very proud to have been.

Spoetify #3 What a Fool Believes (The Doobie Brothers, 1978. Written very early this morning with a smelly dog)

‘It’s still not real to me’ his mouth said.

His thin shoulders agreed

‘But I know what I saw’.

‘I was out early with the dog –

The sky though felt different today –

Vermillion and toasty

A hushed forest floor.’

He gazed at the fuzzy microphone,

spinning bewilderment.

‘I almost took a photo

But then I thought – forget it

How often do we think that

and then genuinely regret it?’

He mops his brow with the dog.

‘Listen, I”m not a hocus pocus kind of guy

But I trust what I see what I know with my eye

There it was – not a leprechaun or lights in the sky

Over there, twixt the glade and the sty

Was a smart little man in navy suit and tie

Handing out money and saying he’d try

To the poor little folks who were standing by

He listened to a woman, shook his head with a sigh

Said he didn’t know, was sorry, it was wrong, wouldn’t fly

He took out a pen, drew up a plan

The woman beamed, already a fan

He made one call – then it was done

Waved off the woman’s thanks, said he had to run

He liked to go where the press wouldn’t see

And that was when he spotted me

And he vanished – like that – just plain disappeared

Just me, dog and little folk – no one affeared.’

He squinted hard at the lady-with-the-mic.

‘I can see that you’re looking at me with suspicion

But there’s no reward for this – I’m not on commission

And I’ll be met in the pub with a ton of derision

But I’m sure – what I saw – was – an honest politician!’

Spoetify #2 Ladies of the Canyon (written very early in the morning beside a creaky dog)

Gloria said to dig below

So she does, for the millionth time, as she’s told to

The sand there is hot red blood of course but powder

Her mother’s blood perhaps? Old blood? Dried blood?

Thoughts swarm and meander up over, behind the horizon

There is nothing but mother’s blood

She squints towards the sun

and thinks of the crows feet far too late to stop them

The dogs trots off


With a dead thing?


Just green fronds

The last living thing in this godforsaken etcetera

But Gloria said dig down below.

The Delivery Man (sort of after the Elvis Costello song and written very early this morning)

Your seams stretch tight like crocodile’s teeth as you supplicate.

Khaki khaki moves apart. You bend.

White T-shirt. Roll up those sleeves, baby,

Make me your queen of the drop off

Hard-curved calves, biceps, steel-tipped boots

Show me yourself

I didn’t catch your tattoo’s story

Too busy delving into the musk sweat of a thousand porches and side gates.

I like the sweet smell of a brown bin.

I could talk about your hands, but I bet

they all

write about your hands in their red books.

In the window like flies

waiting for anyone to arrive.