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He chewed the word
like week old gum
its mountainous peaks and troughs

a wiped clean credit card
poked a plastic shark fin
from the crocodile bubbled wallet
gaping in his palm

he was just confused
but he needed
a long word
to picture the beach

one that drew out the blade
from his dead friend
spilling red
through the pebbles

one to navigate th...

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Built a cliché house

on overheard sand


opened                                    windows                                 wide


life blew whistles in

took my breath

for granted

sent a shiver down my

jelly walls

percussive cutlery

spooned                       forked                         carved

thin air


home sweet



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All night gas station

On CCTV all night

I’m a moving freeze-frame

from a 1980’s rom-com

somewhere in those pixels

someone who hasn’t seen

marriage running on empty

give me the remote

I’ll dig you out

these nights I don’t stop thinking

everything else

Pump 4


gum pack at the night hatch

a red taxi

woman driver

she stares video

me and her


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The Glitterball Eunuchs


Window shopping Aphrodite
Leblon’s premier rubber-wear
sandwich and photocopy shop
entranced by Croque Monsieur
done three ways
I could never have known

a Rio slum kid
sticky hare-lip              half cured
grubbed a not wet      not dry card
into my palm


fairylight cobwebbed walls
real linoleum floor
showcases, greets
male/female/other ...

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Flossing with Carlos the Jackal


The Interpol dentist


three o’clock Wednesday,

walls galleried

with enamel amphitheatre x-rays -

detached mouths keeping incognito.


Toilet Duck


cerise mouthwash,

a rippled plastic cup,

and a half full



Next doors drill pitch hits

a thin Marathon Man crescendo,

pushes higher, needle point high –


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It started in the jungle


I didn’t catch his face,

just the machete slash glint

inches away,

pendulum cuts spurting sap, polka dotting,

my mattress,

cold sweat thawing through bolt upright

nape hairs,

shards of bamboo splinter in my hair,

eyes streaming,

as fathomless whoops, wails and buzzes recede behind

feather memories, flapping through the bars in my head.



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After Doris Salcedo ‘Untitled’

In the piece 'Atrabiliarios', meaning defiant, old shoes, in pairs and singles, are encased in a row of wall alcoves, behind sheets of translucent animal skin which are crudely stitched to the wall. Below on the floor are small boxes, like living caskets, made from the same animal membrane. The shoes which bear the marks of wear, all belonged to women who wer...

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The shortest route to you (was via Cusco)

Thirty six bus bound hours
through the Andes
felt like a mere day and a half
pressed next to you

my hands
fighting fidgets
restrained on the arm rest
or policing my lap

when all I wanted was to stretch out
and touch you
to cure my cramp
then fall in love

the shout
of a word weaving finger

my lens flicked
an instant blur t...

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Water resistant to a depth of 1000 tears


clinical fact

not word

you and the white coated girl said

on my birthday

when you gave me the watch

that marked my madhouse minutes


surgical silver surrounded

a nervous wrist tick

covering cuts, not wounds

my mental giblets bulging

at each twenty five hour

tock throb of a locked ward day

punctuated only by the medicine cart


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The wisdom to know indifference


‘We’re in this


chortled the bloated sweater

in his buttonless cardy,

spurting twenty sober years

into my twenty dry minutes

A moistening newbie, 

taking one small step for


manipulative addicts

one giant leap

to a slipper print

in the quick drying cement

of the AA’s garden path,

just eleven more to the

promised land


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big weekendhebden bridgealcohol

My Nan sleeps with Brian Jones

‘Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep
He hath awakened from the dream of life’

Jagger tugs weeds, rakes a bed
of graveyard shale,
drags a copper wire brush
through moss lumps
gathered by the guest book 
and its dew dribbled plastic bag -
there to keep the water out.
He pulls cart-wheeling cellophane
from his shin,
paints a black shadow across the ultimate ...

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CheltenhamRolling StonesMemory

El Dorado

Someone said Denmark,
in a royal palace,
I found it at Patel's Food & Booze,
four grails
of sunshine
next to the gram flour, below the lime pickle,
the trove tip
that melted me down
each pull pushing
me further away
Patel's Food & Booze

Just to be sure
I hacked my way deep into the Peruvian jungle
and didn't find it there.


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