all alone now, left in peace

granted simple, soft release.

let the sunlight gently tease

anything not yet in free

immensity, where nothing is,

or any leavings of existence:

thought none; failure nor yet is

all speech vain, ambition foolish:

where one is what one is, asleep

within a dream of life, complete.






it is obvious, i guess,

how one pretends

to know nothing

yet tries to lend

the stress of failure

the laws of finish.

what is and seems:

the artist dreams 

these two are one.

that they can’t be

brings awkwardness:

a valency or tension, 

oppositional energy.

i suppose anxiety 

has a chemistry

reactive to thought

which transports 

old material,

revives ideas unborn.

if a work admits

due deference 

it may live, 

being a sign 

which inwardly gives

a point beating near

the heart of feeling.






if you rub

perfume on

your wrists

it’ll bruise

rather touch

the scent

by elbows

and behind

the knees

you’ll be







i told him i loved him

but he does not love me

i think about him constantly

what harm can there be

in keeping his warm body

safe in the bedroom 

of my mind so when 

you find me dying 

he will be lying

next to me






a room is a device

which, like a sail,

harnesses the spirit.

the room must be 

a perfect fit

or else it fails

to accommodate it.






properly speaking

after digging

this is nothing left

but a spinel

here and there:

these laborious hours

desk-wrecked.  i fear

my looking inward

has deprived me

of the world and yet

experience comes close

to killing me, antimony

to my tongue.  it is only

when the spirit finds love

the ineffable triumphs

and knowledge is won.






i gave a man a watering can

to water my soul.

mother, my thirst is deep:

let me grow!

what is it that stifles me?  

holds me back

from being a woman


help me.

for when he looked at me

I knew he could look at me

all day!

but I am just a child afraid.






6 a.m.

to which is given: 

the temperature at dawn.

in addition: 

that sequent chandra

in decline.

the earth is whisker quiet, 


nothing is born

or equal

to anything.






though what i say

adds nothing

to the mystery

of love,

these fetters 

of unattempted life

imply great passion,-

or perhaps 

you are too full 

of feckless energy

to be interested in me.

would that this poetry

free the paths of ecstasy;

but these walls of luxury

immure my deepest sigh:

though i long to be with you,

you are nowhere by.






Her loping gait, the tail’s rhapsody.  

Her round moon eyes, gem gold.  






The room reeked 

of smoke and beer and sweat. 

I hauled the window open.   

The ribbon of a breeze 

fluttered on my cheek.  

It would rain soon.

The world outside 

wouldn't be mine 

for at least a few more hours.  


I went back to bed,

flicked through books,

smoked cigarettes,

trawled the internet:

my mind a waiting room

where thoughts and fantasies 

wandered in and out.


This is her world- 

and I have to get out of it.


The morning coffee wasn’t much.  

It made me think of her.  

I peered onto the street.  


Does she think of me ?


Sheets of rain divided 

all the objects from themselves: 

the trees the cars the houses 

stood without a function. 


I pictured her.  


Her life was over.   

She would be forgotten:-  

that was her punishment.  

But her crime, its half-life, 

would go on living.

Poisoning the lives 

of her victims.  

Leaving each to subsist 

upon a ruined life. 

Some take root again, 

most wither.

To live in hope is foolish, 

sayeth the foolish-wise. 

Yet happiness may often rise 

within the most infernal element.






He pressed hard 

three fingers

on my breast.

He found a lump.

He searched for other signs,

but found none.   He looked up.

He seemed surprised

at my calmness, for any sign

he found was proof

the cancer had spread.  

However, as he went

he smiled for my benefit.

I smiled back.  I did not want 

to make him anxious. 

The doctor stopped. 

His arms dropped.

He cocked his head

a little to the door.

I looked down at the floor,

then out at the street: 

the rain-whipped branches

of the winter trees

swaying in the evening breeze.

A street lamp flickered green and orange…

Would you wait a minute please?

I must consult a colleague.

When the other doctor entered

she walked straight up to me

clutched my shoulder, 

put her fingers on my breast 

and pressed.

She paused a second. 

It seemed colder when she moved

away to join the other doctor

in the corridor. 






sitting in a carriage

of a train moving north

is to fixate on thoughts

savaged with regret

and tiredness. 

each station

we pull into, we are forced

to recollect, move on again,

all attains a pitch

which mounts

almost to violence.

troubles, guilt, pains,

old faces wax and wane,

until we reach our station.

we poor travellers alight

and wait at barriers until

the clack-clack of ebbing life

echoes into silence.

a cold wind cuts our faces

in the sudden dark.

venus and jupiter,

forgotten, gleer 

on the horizon:

we are in a heavy place

of cruelty and death.

the gates open:

but just when

my soul is exiting,

a baby's perfect face

appears before me:

his mother him watching,

the child, asleep, eyelids pulsing,

urged gently over the crossing.






i could taste failure

even in my whisky 

watered down to nothing.  

her clothes smelt disgusting  

her face was dirty, puffy, red.  

she lit a cigarette and stared.    


you are circumspect.  


what?  i answered, 


not knowing what she meant.  


you circle your subject

to get an idea of it:  

you circle because 

your prey is full of strength; 

or you circle, 

because the animal you hunt 

is almost dead.  


which am i you think? 


i should have answered 

in the positive,

but said:  


i want to know 

if there is anything left.  


at once, her eyes 

were filled with hatred.  


i think that is a fair request,


i added.


what more could be said?

this was not an actress-  

no one cared.

as a journalist,

i was being honest:  

my readers want gossip-

hagiographic nonsense-

few would wonder

at the depths  

of this woman's conscience:

what fears she conquered,

what knowledge

wrested from despair. 






what has been given me,

all that i have tried to be,

but not am.  all this ties me

to a feeling i am trying

to withstand:

that to define me i must

be unplanned, defying

my own sense of self, 

my dreams of who i am. 






over both their faces,

a great spreading smile:

for each has seen the other.

two lonely points in time,

once forlorn and bare,

now flourish in love's care.

soon hands and lips are there,

and how their greetings 

echo in sweet air !






along a city street,


a young child

in a stroller


as if his pain

lay at the heart

of everything.

his parents,


ignore him presently,

though they bear him


like a nestling 

in a tree,

or a diamond

set in jewellery:

the world around,

no less than him:

secure, flourishing,-

not exempt from harm-

though safe enough 

for him to learn, 

after the tears,

how precious he is,

how much part

of love.






there is a moment

when what is immense

is evident

in buildings;

when their rhythms 


with the grandeur of the sun.

such music is performed

when of an afternoon

light defines a wall

or in the aperçu

given by the window 


at dawn.






she rented 

this room 

next door to mine

i often heard her crying 

late at night.

whenever she saw me 

though, she smiled, 

said she wanted  

to improve her life,

enrol in courses

to be better qualified. 


i remember 


coming through the wall


look, a shopping list

numbers, scribbles

her weekly budget

a picture, names of books

to read, pages ripped

or creased…



at different times

i heard screams

when i saw her

she looked scared

scars across her skin

then she was evicted

we never met again 






ripeness the reward

of patience

the weight of duty

measured by the hours

attendant on that bench

head hung

shoulders hunched

back bent

cycles of deep quiet

parse into him

he contemplates totality

the rush of time


outward to what is

the beauty

of the rise and fall of light

a great god

sitting breathing

staring deep into the world

light falling on their faces

whose untroubled mien

hints at secrets

not yet betrayed by life

the light stays longer now

it spreads

grows ripens sheds

its warmth

then is allayed

by some hidden intercessory






in yellow ochre

a girl just smiled

the umbra

of her face

blushing ripe

a mango

alive with sunny light







First time up I found I was middle of the file.  That scared me.  I felt a target.  As if my being end of the line would have helped.  Doing time, you come to learn about the futility of resistance and the powerful logic of brute force.  You have to find a level in your dealings with yourself in relation to the other men.  In time, just through letting yourself be counted, you acquire a certain status. You are done with the truths you held with respect to yourself. You become the bean flicked up and down in the abacus held by the strongest inmates. The way you put it, it sounded like you thought prison was all about holding out.  It isn't.  Its only in here for the first time I learnt to let go.


Year after year he had visited the area, but this time around, despite returning to the same coordinates, he could establish no connection with the past.  The rules which built reality had shifted.  The heat forced one at every point to stand still and contemplate the next move in advance.  The fall of darkness offered great release. An unknown creature whooped from a thicket on the pampa.  The animal bore purple stripes down her thighs.  Her breasts formed of  pink sponge like protuberances. He wrapped bandages around the wound in her side still swollen from infection. The panier of water he urged gently to her lips.  One day he would understand what all of this meant. His repulsion of her body lessen.  Her monstrous form provoke desire.


The question as to whether I should stay or not was decided for me by the junta.  I applied for a leave of absence which was not granted.  I asked many people but none remembered her.  I saw how in death just as in life a memory is betrayed.  What law or spiritual jolt had imposed such fear ? The city was engulfed in suffering but none of it visible.  Yet I noticed how the young men wrung their hands.   How the women bowed their heads and kept their distance.  I guessed her body had already been disposed of.  I asked about its where abouts but no one knew.  Its difficult to speak about that time in my life.  The events of those days are like objects whose definite outline or mass is obscured under a heavy blanket.  I'm not sure for how long she was tortured.  Perhaps over a period of five days.  Her hands were swollen blue her wrists tied off with wire. The pelvis smashed legs broken one foot dangled by a tendon, its shoe half off.  Her eyes frozen in a penetrating sideways glare like fear expressed in stone. 


A knock on my arm. A woman begging.   Her clawed hand an image which repels me.  Her child tugs at my trousers. Sluggishly incanting. The poor use the language of infants yet we refuse them.  


The windscreen had shattered on impact and the woman in the front passenger seat flung onto the road ahead.  The car steering wheel was embedded in the ribcage of the deceased driver, his head snapped backwards.  A toddler screamed from a baby seat behind, now pushed forward so that the infant's writhing hands were wedged against his own face.  






I haven’t told you 

what i think,

if that man

must be silenced,

as i was silent

all the years

he taught me

how to sing.


The crotchets

on the stave

spread panic 

in my brain,

yet to sing them

was to gain

a place

away from him.


He would clasp me

by the wrist, pull

my zipper 

down an inch, 

run a finger

down my prick,

say how grown up 

i seemed.


He was quick to warn

since i was growing tall

how my instrument

would crack

like a porcelain 

knick knack,

but saying that

how nicely i performed.






I think of you often, Deucalion.  Of how you cared for me when my mind was torn apart on seacoast rocks.  Your eyes were massy, bold.  They saw into my heart, so sad and lost.  The fingers of your hands like the kind roots of the fig, wrapped around me; lifting me gently from that bloody rock, Tarpeian scourge, which I had known so long.  You kept me hidden, sang to me, kept me safe inside your soft membrane, through which I watched the silhouettes of waving trees, heard the call of insects and the pulsing of  bio-machines.  I felt your presence so often in those days, so often at night when my sobbing caused the soft walls to reconvolute, I would hear you sighing too.  We belong too much to others, Deucalion.






he weeps softly

beside the nadi

the sweep

of blessedness

receiving the body

the wood was costly

but his brothers body

is safely interred 

in god






nothing here

gives much away

but a print

of chrysanthemums

by claude monet

surprises me

in this cafe

a clutch of women

console each other

his brush

snatches light

to express it in colour

the speech of the women

old yarn


in the weave of time

his signature

of bold carmine

only an eye

by god 

but what an eye

just let him try 

then he’ll see

he'll see

the woman carrying

a scar too monstrous

to rescind

to ease her suffering

the women share feelings

the flowers meet themselves

in a pool of being

until at last,

given sight

they are speaking.






you are a strong man

now a wobbly puppet


by some compound of fear

your friend

still sober

marches behind


three items in silver

a trumpet

and two candlesticks

which will soon be tossed

into the furnace of addiction.






you at least

were willing to allow

my hysterical release

kneeling down

crushing the flowers

dirt in my fist

i saw you saw

the amethyst

tepid on my breast

the wedding stone

which would atone

for my recklessness

but of all men

I loved him best

who lies in ashes

which now I pour

on my head

over me for him

in the precipice


the living

and dead upon

our memorial bed