power station

dark thames side throbbing

power generating fear

dark imaginings in dark corridors

of looming dockside

danger in the darkness danger in the light

misted glow frosted pub windows

sudden violence

soft-voiced whores

my great uncle (maybe, Jim?)

kicked a man to death (maybe)

so drunk he did not recollect and

never was found underneath

the bridge arch where he slept


the throb of power in the dark

all around

to live in the throb

in the dark and on the surrey


fear of the river smell

fear of the flood then

fear of the dark

fear of the violent men

fear of the throbbing power


the air alive with electro-

magnetic throb

air bending light distorting


even the pea green fogged lamp light

vibrates wraith fog shapes


throbbing through time only now

light, crowds, jollity in those once dread dark

corners, alleyways

no fear, no

knives in the dark

no kickings

no beatings

throb of tourist voices babble only

The Clay Sea

Clay seas roll beneath grey sky

shell fish rolling in the wave

sand, deposited and removed

Clay sea rolls in, wave cresting brown

detritus of life deposited

brick, beer bottle and old bone

Clay sea rolls in, roll in, roll in,

elsewhere seas are blue

devouring there, vomiting here.

[Three poems composed while staggering home drunk]

Time passes

Time passes but I walk

St Martin’s Lane

Charing Cross

downhill to the Thames

Time passes but I walk

pavement vignettes

tourists standing statuesque

As I dance past

Time passes and I walk

rain grey sleet


at odds with the world

I Can Pass By

I can pass by

the grief sodden streets

the wet and grey

the hopelessness of day

the dread of night

Seven O’Clock

The sun burns red

and I float

passing conversations

I laugh unaccountably

the drink roars in my ears

the clock strikes seven


The raven stands blue black in the rain

head cocked; listening

for the tell-tale heartbeat of the snail

The Man Who Set Himself Alight…

The Man Who Set Himself Alight

outside the Pyrotechnist’s Arms

had a lighter,

a shell suit

and a well developed sense of irony

Ornette (fragment)

Ornette at 11

At sixes and sevens

Bald pate light reflecting

Dark penumbra surrounding

Ornette alone

Crisis tone

Always questioning

Mournful crying

Ornette at 60 (odd)

Grey napped, thin

Always resisting

The expected impulse

Ornette tonight

Reflected spot light

Laquered alto

Black anti-halo

The Shirt from my Back

I said to him:

Do you want

To shift metal

Or what?

He said to me:

You’ve taken

The shirt

Off my back.

I said to him:

Chuck that in

As well.

I’ll use it

To wipe my arse.

Bob Glass

Stained Marks and Spencer trousers

A button missing (burst?) from his shirt

(A Ralph Lauren fake bought,

unlikely this, in Turkish Rich)

The salt tidemark you could exploit commercially

We used to jest

Once jowly.

Liver distended.

Penknife sharp.

A later rake.

Holding court at the Angel bar

King of the new St. Giles stews

Pint provoked

Bitter bright


(Eating the Tyburn-bound last breakfast, unknowing)



A singular formality.

Arm-twisting charm.

Have another one, go on, one more for the road.


Fore-finger pointing emphasis

Glint-eyed mockery;



Then, sudden, teeth bared

Cunt, cunt, cunt

The jeans-ripped v-sign to decency retreats just as quick into a calmer avuncularity


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