Category Archives: Monday Poem

Monday Poem: “Swarm under, death!”

A silly and bad-taste poem from July 2008…

Swarm Under, Death!

hairless cats prowl the streets
snails desert their shells
black shoots pierce the concrete –
death from below!

swarm under, death!

you will trip up one day
and fall into the underworld
stalagtites and stalagmites
glistening like gristle

you will trip up one day
on your untied laces
and the souls of the damned
will yodel in triumph

the souls of the damned
will pause in their rotation
and sing like schoolchildren
from their microwave ovens

the facts are compelling
they yodel in unison
the souls of schoolchildren
are 90% gristle

in the fatal urinal
where you trail your laces
they sing out from the plugholes
in minatory gurgles

join us! join us!

you will stumble one day
and then we will have you
straight down the piss-chutes
and into the ovens

black vines grasp your ankles
snails schlupp up your trouser-leg
waving their tentacles
sniffing for gristle

down with the stalagtites
up with the stalagmites
in the ghastly quarter-light
of the eternal Reich

the facts are compelling
they swill down the plughole
the souls of the damned
are ineffably lovable

Monday Poem


Charity, you asked for that: tact
never a strong point. Consider yourself snubbed
by moral imbeciles, lesser imaginations,
the scale of valuation going right up
to its asymptote. Nobody knows /
everyone knows. Pivot on the bar.


You’re going to be living with yourself,
albeit in separate apartments, the makeshift
partition rattling in wartime Morse.
Steptoe is crushing. Covetousness makes
covenant with itself, renews its vows
each episode. There’s comedy in that.


Tactless but not artless. Some would say
demonic, aggrandizing a minor imp,
mascot of common turpitude. So tell me,
nameless self-accuser, who made you
chief of sinners? Rather a graceless bounder,
hopscotching to perdition across the coals.


Say you have lost, Perdita, a fat pearl;
lost or dissolved in vinegar. Say we
are the dead, as some of us might well be,
no longer credit-worthy; iris scans
to confirm ongoing probate of remainder.
Remind me: where exactly did we leave things?

Monday Poem: Oh Graving Faces


a black swan he says
give us a black swan
easy now
no need to stir up the agon

over what very well might
be nothing
a white
swan on black water

through late evening
as the light
and shadows lie down across
the way you came


soundtracked with low strings
with tremelo
or bearing portent
sinister modulation

of the air
enclosing stillness
the clouds’ high striated
rippling in convection

as the white neck bows
and horses in the next
grey field
start and trample
shaking themselves loose

(Late, again) Monday Poem: After Slumber xi

UNDERSTAND LESS almost a Dadaist
slogan, anarchist oppugnancy
voicing the truth of power. Some are left
as ghosts in their own lives, materialising
under assumed names, ventriloquised by grief.
Destruction is safer to contemplate than healing,
I find, although my appetites are strange
even to me: I cling to gallows-humour
as others cleave to the cross. Cast CRUCIATUS
and see vengeance realised, bowels frothing
with boiling lead. You understand / condemn
and either way are caught in an imposture,
scrying closed-circuit footage, hearsay’s undead
certainties; the imagined reek of blood.

(late) Monday Poem: The Spirit Zone #11

For amusement, re-run the delectable nude scene:
if you pause at the right moment, amplify
the brightness and contrast together, you can draw
the body parts out of their native shadows,
the shielding crux or crotch – mere faces blur,
farcically, in that saturating glare.
Troubles march in long lines, as it says
somewhere around the outset of A. D.’s
Pornography: here they form an unseemly rabble,
an indecent rout. Does clutter in itself make up
a system? Oppression is contingent, a low
defilement; noise to emancipation’s signal
which at this far remove is overheard –
as ever – as a trailing shriek of feedback.

Monday Poem: “Notes like rain outpouring”

This Monday’s poem is one of the fifty-word poems in my collection of fifty fifty-word poems, “Half Cocks“.

NOTES LIKE RAIN outpouring from overwhelmed
guttering during a deluge – “transcendental
technique”, now taught in magazines.

Numberless books on lepidoptery
an evening’s study. The mind’s uncageable
papillon, fluttering through the fingers.

“Some kind of spirit” as convected warmth,
as sonic youth, as torrents remotely
seeded, propagating to the last breath.

This one comes ready-glossed to some degree – see “Neovores and Educators“.

Monday Poem: Homage to Douglas Clark

A landslide of hooves – first distant
and then up-close. The ear strains
after reminiscence or is punctured
by voices, snatches of uncouth song.

The inner life belongs to Genghis Khan.
Manners and love are things of circumstance –
not substance. The women melt away,
grow solid elsewhere, leave behind their names.
Cats come and go, frisking their way through poems.

Monday Poem: Arthuriana


The mythos is as you find it: chauvinistic
heralds, their spurs snagging in damp bracken,
yomping from chapel to tourney; roaring
metal-heads clashing amid pennants. Perfidy
reversed through jeopardy. Names that are supposed
to mean something: Bewmaynes, Belvedere.
An order not sustained and not brought down
by unruly interventions – Merlin, le Fay –
so much as by its own propensity
for needless questing; as if each hard-won
consolidation were the pretext for another
narrative fling: a voiding of premises
as of horses, so scrambling to its feet
to meet upright the panting enemy.


Ripples spreading from the blade-tip.
The king’s breath ragged
among the reeds.

Ruin on the field,
incontinent armour spewing
stout blood into the soil.

The barge drifts
with its burden: the helmet
lifted and set aside;

the raw hands
in smeared gauntlets
folded over the wound.