Tag Archives: return to DEFAULT


i would mimic i was obsessed with yellow

your gestures spanish rose

memory and time rose and roared

out of step full bodied 

voices trapped as a descriptor

in magnetic tape too hot to sleep

reinstate the shades i would like to

pulled from a ceiling along the way

living on a hill avoid the trials

nothing is a surprise sit quietly

the future rolls in watching burnt things burn


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we draw the long birds

to scale across multi volumes


tracing the vivid bachelor button

through cornfields and the history of horticulture


my namesake by the ditch

supplanted in winter 


align the jack

and wade to the edge


a flush and a spring



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fashions for forgetting  

lonely is not a state of being

but being without

planted among the crises

which continuously bloom

born out of winter

the crawling wind takes love

turns of a two-pence

and ‘hey’ he said 

walking swiftly along the equilibrium

sequin bellasandrian 

we call our mothers

mother and trail lights

red and blue and the sudden drop

and green and blue and blue

and red wither 

to      step     out

amongst the asphalt and afternoon drinkies

seized by the longing for guilt and other histories

the stinging sweetness casts into the ebb

we fall apart 

smacking our lips to the sound of snares and hi-hats 

losing the breeched vocal irregularities

it is unavoidable

it is the undeniable that makes us believe

in the turning point crackle

tear up

poor ponder

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Cities (working titles) #2

The day, the sun, the silver-tongued gargoyle of the world eats and laughs and doubles down as he coughs up his void and we pray for death. Where there is a flame there are mirrored rooms glistening in the sun and where there is hope there is none. The song continues in a different key but the words never change – a tirade of histories unknown. The city has never been this loud. Birds sit on the roof tops before casting their imaginations high and wide. The game continues. The sea changes. Surely, we saw it coming, placed as we are. I can’t put this sentence right or wrong, all I can do is draw a line under the word fact and pray to god I remember where I left my keys. I live tweet my search and find not one but two descriptions of hell were peace and rest can never dwell.

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My S(h)elf: Lee Harwood

I was sad to hear the news of Lee Harwood’s passing a few days ago (July 26th). He was an excellent poet and a central figure in British poetry (60s – present – and onward).  There are and will be many tributes written by those who knew him and his work. These people will have a better understanding of his work and  his lasting influence. here are a few those. 





I am lucky enough to have a number of Harwood’s early collections on my shelf and one that stands out for me is ‘The Man with Blue Eyes’ which was published in 1966 by Angel Hair.



The cover is by Joe Brainard which, along with the poems inside, shows how Harwood was writing out of and with certain aspects of American poetry most notably New York School and Beat.

the poem ‘journal. 20 may 65 london’ which was written a couple of week prior to The International Poetry Incarnation which saw the likes of Allen Ginsberg read to an audience of seven thousand people in the Royal Albert Hall. The poem itself clearly takes Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ as a starting point and reads “the new angels ……. / oh fuck these angels / an eye closed half vision / of black smoke clouds” and goes on “angel body twisted like rope / old homestead photos of fishermen / plaiting rope with creaking / papuan wood machinery”.

Another poem in the collection worth mentioning is the first one which is untitled but opens “as your eyes are blue / you move me – & the thought of you – / I imitate you”. There is also a short preface by Peter Scheldahl which states “Harwood writes about memories that refuse to fade and dreams that are never nearly enough” and goes on to describe the poems as “elegant and full of grace, which makes their human intensities bearable and their existence such a cause for awe and celebration”.

this book is now long out of print but for those wishing to read more you can buy his ‘Collected Poems’ from Shearsman here

or a shorter (cheaper) ‘Selected Poems’ also from Shearsman here

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Giant Tiger Land Snail by Ellen Dillon

Giant Tiger Land Snail

I say the earth is porous

and we fall constantly”

                        Peter Gizzi


Achatina achatina

men adore you,

your muscular

meaty foot,

fibonacci-spiralled shell,

caravan of dreams for

a mollusc on the move.

Who wouldn’t

want to be you?


Aeroplanes to America

trace snail-trails

in the sky, curved

nematodes of cloud

that crawl inside if

we’re not careful,

crossing blood-brain

barrier, inflaming matter,

partly paralyzing.


Airing is no prophylactic,

we must be vigilant in tracking

vectors of parasitic brain-disease

lurking in the cumulonimbus.

All membranes are permeable

(some porous, even) offering

scant protection from that

which is tiny, furtive, protein-

sheathed and quietly out to get us.



[April ‘13/ July ’15]

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Iain Morrison

[Poetry For] A new ing

Iain Morrison can be seen reading this poem here

and he blogs here

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Polis Is This: Charles Olson and the Persistence of Place

I watched this decent enough documentary on the American poet Charles Olson today.


I am always surprised by the amount of poets I meet who have never heard of Olson. This documentary is a very good, and relatively short, introduction into his life and poetry. It is entitled Polis Is This: Charles Olson and the Persistence of Place and was made in 2007 by the film maker Henry Ferrini. For $30 plus P+P you can buy the DVD.

or, thanks to the director, you can see it in six parts on YouTube


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from Fantasias in Counting (Buffalo, NY: BlazeVOX, 2014)

Walk—four Passi , then petty Seguito Scorsi, always one Trango to follow, to pull back then
Shuffle—then Man takes Lady’s ordinary hand for possible particular

All still movement is grave , Riverenza to the thigh or driven right or left that they be removed
since this going beyond making beautiful and charming view moves routinely

Now Riprese , Spezzato , trot left edge inwards , raise heels , enabling higher-frown glances ,
the hop is always for Settle

Of the various possibilities that are , as you hold it in then remove ,
that they should be vague and [  ] and any possibility within frames moves

So that—what is involved—first in one of those amounts to the fine and honourable ,
the foot held the principality , and respect before

Perfectly ordinary beats are all manners clumsy reverence but fine and honourable
the constancy and stability of that favourable toe be careful now finding yourself with feet

I will all the objects that do relate to him I will say                  none of them praised
the extended arm , and the lower surface on the side the front or the back

I will all the faces and edges and twists
even all that is reprehensible

‘Winner’ holds back that said arm , and the foot with the bottom-up shot ,
seems one of those who beg

When it contains extensive , and I of those with the sound of it face the opposite ,
or that the back , which swoons , it is the people , show in front , show in faces

Past the sweat , which , at the edge of a little twist, sings, it could not again ,
and in each of these possibilities comes somewhat indecent or culpable that which is relative
So for the head , hold grace , between good Pleasing and ornate Boredom,
take the foot for the turn , just

Hold it to the lower part towards this
you        associated with ordinary hands , partly with a view to


then take ordinary hands back.

(All of this takes place in two counts.)

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