What It’s Like

It’s like an ambush when you’re drifting off to sleep

a kookaburra in yr throat

an earth tremor in yr lungs

an opponent in yr bed

a double rainbow popping up in yr thoracic sky

lit up with pain

like that late train to Bedfordshire forging thru the Valley of Rumbles

a cock-eyed gift from the gods when you’ve run out of things to write about

it;s gentler than Golden Staph and comes with a puckish name


but all you’d like to do is clobber it over the head

And a sudden thought occurred to me: if you wanted to overcome an opposing army

all you’d have to do is infect them with the hiccup virus and they’d lose the will

to fight !

Mystery Ships

Mystery Ships.

When he gets up to go to the toilet in the middle of the night,

she’d be there

or on the way back to his room after pausing in the kitchen

for a glass of milk,

she’d be in the hallway,

with her axolotl stare.

Time after time.

Passing ships in the night.

He’d look at her, and she at him,

sometimes a twitch of understanding, affection,

then they’d both look away.

After eight years, off and on,

they were still a mystery to each other.

Her cat. Not his.

They’d never bonded.

Aisle Man

Aisle Man.

I like to sit at the end.

The aisle seat.

At the cinema



That’s where action heroes would sit,

I imagine.

Not in the middle of Row 22, for instance,

cramped on either side

like cattle in a truck.

No, Vin Diesel, John Wick , for instance,

would sit on the aisle,

close to the exit,

primed for action,

its sudden summons

like me

if only to take a phone call

or toilet break.

The Billy Collins Cookbook

The Billy Collins Cookbook.

Billy Collins taught me

how to write


the same way Alison Roman

taught her disciples

to cook :

don’t be fussy.

have fun in the kitchen:

a small room doesn’t mean

small ideas;


with different flavours, textures,

be funny, entertain.

I thought I could do that

Above all,

Billy Collins taught me:

be light.

You don’t have to stomp

to be heard.

  • pic courtesy of pinterest

Rip off

Rip Off.

I want to rip off your clothing,

want to get at yr cranberry and oat cookies,

dunk them in my coffee,

orgasm in my mouth,

like I want to unzip bananas,

tear off the cellophane cover my New Yorker

comes in each week;

why do I always want to unpack things?

I would like to unpack your heart,

see where it went wrong between us,

why it went downhill so doggedly

after the lightness of those early years;

I want to crack open the kernel of existence.

I don’t want to die like Grant Beaumont yesterday

57 years after his three kids disappeared from

a busy suburban beach in Adelaide on Australia Day

not knowing.

All I Want to Do

There’s an engine running in my head.

A Chevy Silverado.

It’s revving up.

I fasten the seat-belt.

Grab the wheel.

Don’t know where I’m going.

All I want to do

is rest on this mattress,

have pudgy dreams.

But it’s grown wheels

zooming along the highway

and all the road songs come on the radio

‘It’s a Wide Open Road’

‘On the Road Again’,

‘The Long and Winding Road’,

all my favorites,

how can a poor boy rest?

and I’m belting the songs out,

the wind winnowing my hair

twirling my kiss curl

like a lover’s finger

*pic courtesy of pinterest

Bottle Tops

Like Bottle-tops in a Bucket.

…or maybe contemplate

my silvery thoughts

like bottle-tops in a bucket:

the days of wine and roses,

the thinning days of desperation,

the elegiac whistling of the wind,

then that text from Pentecostal Peter :

He is Risen,

Time to enter the fairground of Life


Poems I Have Not Written: Archive

The Poems I Have Not Written.

I am outside late at night

writing poems

about the poems

I have not written

the ones I’ve shied away from

because of embarrassment

or timidity

or , worst of all, for fear

that I might offend

and find

somewhat alarmingly

that the poems I have not written

Far outnumber those I have

Little Orphan Poems

  1. Zing.

What do you want? she asks.

A zing of apricot.

A zing of apricot?

Yes, a zing of apricot and lavender jam

to set me off.

2. Frustration.

Fuss, fiddle,

turn, twiddle,

push, prod,

nup, o god !

3. The Possibility of a Poem.

No sooner does the head hit the pillow

than the possibility of a poem

taps you on the head.

4. My Mother, the Drama Queen.

I feel like the wreck of the Hesperus,

the Lusitania and the Titanic

rolled into one

  • pic courtesy of Wiki Commons