Through Glass, Brightly

Inelegant metaphors 

strained at the bit

From inside

an insect gnawing


when the mandibles broke the skin


that disgruntled earth

a machine that 

mouthfuls spat

Curled to a walnut shape

heat escapes 

through scalp and anus

as if we were

some alien


obtuse kind of planet

The sites

of old injuries buckle first

bicycle crash, careless menagerie

a slight body weight 

elastic in collision

where once you flew

cleats and laurels

over the minotaur

a monster gnawing

at your thumb and wrist 

the crabbing slew

gravity’s sidelong spill

an arced trajectory

the stoic, downturned face

a theatre of cheap betrayals

enmeshed, the jackboot heart

where the andiron slipped

an upstart fire lick

the doorway guillotining

in the inadvertent pneumatic hiss

dull magnetic eye

through the safety glass

as if the web and constellation 

of all things, in the enfilade of your dismay

so easily fell apart

Pulled at the thread


A red crochet like love around your wrists


The red earth graze

on your chin

makes your tilted face

round like the world

An iceberg tooth

incites my lip

as if I were set adrift

colliding, capsized, lost

(tethered nevertheless)

in your unforgiving latitudes 

Brow cool

and fever dry

as any 

brazen templed sunset

 I suppose I must be the yellow dog moon

with my lopsided grin

bridled on a half-mouthed horizon

changing my mind

(and back again)

a creep closer and dark

with each circumnavigation 


when you gently

bite my face

I start to die again

When I Was A Dog

For the reassurance of your face
Jaw thrust forward, a monstering
Marionetted palsy
Of strings and pinions
Inexpertly manipulated
I met you once
In another world
Ate a stale biscuit
Threw it up again
The sky in soot and butter
Curlicues and approbations
When I was a dog, for a while
Glass house, all lies, no windows
Barked at the moon
At her silver mockery 
Barked again, in the dark 
When she was gone
Stars like tears 
The poet said
But I was just a dog
Alone and
Not done howling

From the isthmus of my eye

The wound is sunset
      volcanic glass

           the sea

       between the cradle

      in the lee
    a swell
stretched in a glimpsed hiatus

The cigarette burn you left
                 still brightly watching

         from the harbour
of my chest

A ship with nowhere
but this destination 

You said sorry, how you slumped
burnt copper dreaming slept
the way old lighthouses do

The fabric holing
with that mesmer’s grace

Spilling ash and flickered thoughts
the glare clenched in the spasm of your fist
gone wave break lax

     for salve a sting, the glassy shine
        of long past knotted healing

 The grain of sand
    in the isthmus of your eye
  all that remains

    in a different glass
(still wide awake)

Of the beach I dreamed


I thought I saw 
In the dulled cement
Of your sink
The reflected ire
Of death’s autumn moon
The fading red
Of haloed leaves, and last summer’s fires
As if the light
Had slowed to a dirge
But, your windows were opaque
Rippled glass, an upraised sea
The spilled chalk of erosion’s residues
Just me, and a hand-sized moth
Tenaciously still, against a drunken tide
Knowing, I am almost dead
While you disdain
Our silent worshipping 

Your cicada heart

You are the silk
Of the daybreak sky

The night’s bruise fading

Summer is skintight 

The ceded shape
See-through and splitting

Watchful with
The shells of yesterday’s eyes

The husk of armoured life
No longer needed

Stretched autumn loose 

You ask, looking up
To see what I see
What is there left in the empty blue?

I feel the breath of wings

We drift far apart

As fast approaching winter afternoons

Quite mad, Kate

Have thoughts like a dog
Pat and scold them
Until they behave
With that desperate, Pavlovian drool

There is no news today
Just stray cats and poetry
And the crisp meringue
Of clouds

If I wilt in the disdain
Of your withering heights
Perhaps you will forgive
My awful pun, bleak and mad
As it is, with thwarted love

A bird will steal your voice
If you let it

Nevertheless, a hand full of crumbs