No 1 - February 2001
1. Toronto Airport, Smokers’ Lounge
It’s eleven o’ clock and half past five,
I’m boxed in perspex, shamed - exhibited
In hanging smoke, playwright - half alive.
I drink a Molson, read the news
Unsure which day it belongs to
I fail to complete the crossword clues.
You are too big, you place of tornados
Ripped from their moorings by rocky mountain lakes
In Sask - atch - e - wan
The signs that say ‘Sortie’ and ‘Porte’
Please me too much
I feel at home with cultures of the dying sort.
This big South African’s making calls
He’s an agent, ex-apartheid killer
On his way to Dallas or is it Dulles.
The man I talk too, bald and kind
Says he works in software, out in Calgary
I say ‘Calgary Stampede’, he doesn’t mind.
I don’t want to fall in love with another continent
This wonderful drug synthesised by the Swiss
Tested on Californians
This glimpse of happiness
That tells me I will never live long enough
The Swiss banned it - they had to.
In clubs in the Balearics, there those in the know
Who get it.
Acadie, Canada I could drink a case of you
Inhale a line from Nova Scotia to Vancouver
And feel just once so vast and empty and new.
It’s half past five and seven and eleven
And my babies are in bed
Or maybe dead
It’s eight and seven thirty
A woman walks an aeroplane wing
Three Spanish teenagers make me flirty
Columbus, Ohio, a girl I met was from there
I was so ugly, so European
And she had such soft american hair.
We waited together for our luggage to fall down the metalled carousel,
I wondered if I could kiss her
I wondered if I could fuck her as well.
I have no secrets on this continent
Not yet, but those I do not find
I will invent
2. Flight To San Diego
It’s half past six and twelve and four
My mind a disconnected cock roams the floor
Of Gate C
A happy, rebellious, playwright’s ego
Chatting to the women
On their way to San Diego.
Painted on an aircraft hangar wall
A greylag goose
A jet lagged gooser hears the call.
Like the baby geese who hatched to find
Where their mother should be
I flew where the pilot took me
My high excitement as I went west
A stirring of the genes.
The Inuit don’t have forty words for snow
I met an inuit, we talked, across the aisle,
He told me, and he should know
But as he talked I saw his face in high latitudes
As all about us fell the powder, slush, dandruff, feathers, melters,
hardpack, bluesheen, greyhair, bite, hurlstones, deadpan, cut-cheek,
Nothing beautiful is ever true
Not even you.
My aeroplane, America, my flight
My imprinted behaviour
My desire, my right.
To run away from cramped, crabbed narrows
Muddy riverbeds exposed for half a mile
Of racing tide, and swirling shallows.
It’s eighteen forty and twenty to one
I’ll live five more borrowed hours.
And one more time I’ll outrace the sun
- 10th Muse
- Angel Exhaust
- Blithe Spirit
- Brando's hat
- Brittle Star
- Cannon's Mouth, The
- Coffee House, The
- Dream Catcher
- Floating Bear, The
- French Literary Review, The
- Frogmore Papers, The
- Global Tapestry
- Grosseteste Review
- Homeless Diamonds
- Interpreter's House, The
- Journal, The
- Lamport Court
- London Magazine, The
- Modern Poetry in Translation
- Monkey Kettle
- Neon Highway
- New Welsh Review
- North, The
- Obsessed with pipework
- Oxford Poetry
- Painted, spoken
- Paper, The
- Pen Pusher Magazine
- Poetry Cornwall
- Poetry London
- Poetry London (1951)
- Poetry Nation
- Poetry Review, The
- Poetry Salzburg Review
- Poetry Scotland
- Poetry Wales
- Private Tutor
- Purple Patch
- Rain Dog
- Reach Poetry
- Review, The
- Rialto, The
- Second Aeon
- Seventh Quarry, The
- Smiths Knoll
- Strange Faeces
- Tabla Book of New Verse, The
- Tolling Elves
- Ugly Tree, The
- Wolf, The
- Yellow Crane, The