Thursday, 29 April 2010

I'm drunk and full of dinner, nom

Broil me scallops, toast me
brioche and tamper it down my throat
in bed. You offered me candy,
a striped cane to lick upon.

I concurred.

We feasted, knew the meaning of
blanch and shock, we gorged like
emperors at the last-chance saloon.

The hog roast tipped his hat at the
assembled gentry and the pea and
parmesan promised us immortality
if we could make it
to the dessert. We could.

It was glorious. We binged
until our bellies ached, until
we were taut and unbuttoned.

It was glorious. We thrashed like
epileptics at the apple-bob and
we made sure the call for doggy bags
went unheard.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010


My head is crinkled, is a
sopped sponge that oozes
dishwasher liquid, grey and
sudsy. Don't pull the
curtains, stay clear of
curiosities, drink a coffee
which is fearless and black.

You are not cobbled together
for the mornings. You taste fetid
and old, and your corners are turning
rancid. Remain horizontal
for the time being. Wait for evening,
and start again.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010


They come in threes, so triplicate
your holy spirit and hope for better
luck this time. Place a wager on

liberty, equality, fraternity, place a stripe
of red-white-and-blue. If third time's the
charm you're a charmer, you're the

debutante fresh from finishing school.
You've got three monkeys on your back
and on the count, you'll take off, you

will run. Pythagoras whispers in your ear,
you are noble. Three is also the number
of golf balls on the moon.

the same old question

So, what do you do?
- and my answer is cropped, troubled:
I pour drinks in a bar, Guinness
for the curmudgeons. This is what I do

for money. What I do is other things, also,
I tinker away at words, smooth the edges
until the square peg slips

into the round hole. I lacquer my lashes
and bat them like the master marksman, I scream
expletives at the moon

when it's full. I keep small, polished secrets in
my bottom drawer, I ride a
circus pony in frocked lingerie, and

I top up the Guinness, slowly,
so that the head is smooth.

Monday, 26 April 2010

pick me up

Real life has never been so good, I swear,
an ice pick embedded in my skull like a flag
on the moon. Raped, beaten, and
wanted by the mafia, a psychic camel said

sister, he's no good for you, go get-em,
lose the twenty pounds of flab clinging to your
handles. Your mother's reincarnated
as a Vespa and voodoo is cancer's next cure.

Remember, snagged nails can be filed on a matchbox
if you have no emery to hand. Just like
real life, hangnails are a bitch.

panda smut

They showed Chuang Chuang and
Lin Hui a randy video, a depiction
of the business to get down to. Said,

wipe your smeared mascara eyes, that bamboo
spear can be kept for caning. But there's more to the
hump than insemination
and not every bearcat's willing for the public show.

It's tough enough at the munch to find
the kink and the click, so spare a thought
for the pandas
who can't get it up.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

I've been busy and I'm behind

I like the cut of her
jib. She's got sequins
on the underside, she's been
tiddlywinks at the emporium,
waiting for her date. Something
in her ruche and ramble gets me graceless,
when she twists a figure-skate
on the schnapps-sodden corner
of the dancefloor. I wait
to take her hand in the fluorescence
of the toilet queue. Tamper down,
unfortified, and wait for the twirl.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

been hanging out in the locksmith too long

I lost my keys and Alex has been getting a new piano lock, so I have been spending a lot of time in the key-cutters. They smell so good, like burnt metal and antique bookspines and the soles of people's shoes.


Tattoo a mortice to her wrist
so she will ever have her keys to
hand. She's been locked outside

three days this week, banished
to the kerb until the boys
came home. Bind her to the

fob or just seize her up the stairs
like Rapunzel, pull the dead bolt
close. She's been running around

on fleeted feet, round this small
town, and you're mortified. You'd
better padlock your baby down.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

VULVA original

This morning I have been enjoying this video, and the FAQs which follow...

The Germans wanted to bottle her,
formulate a technique to ransack her musk
and pin it to a vial.

First, sop her fluids with animal fats and
absorb the heady blend of
chypre and ambergris and labdanum.

Once saturated, take the pomage
and distil with alcohol. Repeat until
you are left with something pure.

This is not a perfume. This is
a complement to an erotic fantasy, a tool
to crank the axles of desire.

Apply the essence in tiny droplets
to the back of your hand. Inhale anywhere,
cross your thighs, and beware the pheromones.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

taxidermy! oh!

I met a real taxidermist last week. Wow. Priscilla and I had a chat about this today and we agreed taxidermy is somewhat awesome. Then I wrote a poem.

He skinned the cat's carcass, set it to
soak in acid compote for a week
and a half. A magician with tinctures
and vials, he will cure the fur
like bacon, like tuberculosis.

Our pocketbooks will be the finest
in the city and we shall stitch ruffs
to the collars of our gloves. We will make
small soft lions of the palms of our hands.

A polyurethane trickster, his threads
evoke the missing myths, the skvader,
and the chimera. Limbs cobbled and
glass eyes, they exist in stitches
and inclinations.

When I'm done, donate my body to his
tricks, wrap my heart in his pelts
and sew it to the moon. Stuff me in a
corner of curiosities, in a dime museum
for ogling. Tuck me careful for display
so that the seams do not show.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

bruises in a bed of glitter

There is glitter on the carpet
three days later, three days of
inhalants, huffing hairspray, and
the glitter is like constellations and
shooting stars, the glitter is the
dying will of an ageing supernova.

We haven't been to bed
or left the bed, we have bruises
like the lakes of Canada shaded
on our thighs. The record played out
long ago, it keeps on scratching and
missing the itch.

My retch is the colour of
mutant-turtle trading cards and
we all ache like muscles that forgot
how it felt to be used. Tenderised, like
meat, we pull the curtains
close and carry on.

Friday, 16 April 2010

it's hard to be serious when the sun keeps on like this

The next day, the daylight came. The Craggs burned
ochre until your retinas ached, the sky
took a blue and infinite revenge. Day was

bigger than usual, day was stretched out,
taut and pigmented and unforgiving. And the night
seemed ridiculous, your pulse
too close to your skin.

If you dwelled in Icelandic winter,
woke in darkness, black shadows
on the parts which provoke - then you could
skulk sordid and carry on.

But your city's volcano has
no time for ash clouds and
the day is bigger than usual, and
in the glee of the afternoon, in the sun,
you blush.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

keep at it, ok?

Keep at it princess, when it's all as
saturated as Atari spectrums, when it's
stretched out and quivering as a bubble's
liquid skin. When inside the exhaled smoke
curdles and the mice play kiss-chase
on your bathroom floor, and you're
faster than an earthquake, you're a faultline,
but you're not to blame.

Keep at it, princess. This hour is too
late for reneging, your footfalls cannot
be traded. The hurdy-gurdy man
waits at the corner and the tin cup
aint filled yet, so thread the silken straps
through your eyelets and wind up those
dancing shoes. You've got a way to go,
girl. You've got a satchel's worth to prove.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

a wistful love haiku

The morning after:
Lee Hazlewood, rope burns, oh!
My heart feels tipsy.

portobello, for ben&alex

The children came, a drabble of
rabid brats to the photoshoot. They took the
drumsticks, the discount cava, they called us
alcohlic-abuser-greaseballs, gays. We said
yep. They kicked sand like
comic-book bullies, outraged.

The children were mangy dogs seeking
soft spots, furious with that vile
beach. They could smell it on us, the
reek of coconut contentment and
our boys had long hair
they hadn't washed in weeks.

We weren't supposed to be
laughing. We should act our age, not our shoe size
but we were on the beach
and our feet were bare.

dinner at new love

We wait for the onions to caramelise, to turn
from sharp white corners, translucent,
to turn to something else.

The heat is low. In time they will melt
like wax figurines pirouetting a final ballet,
white to clear to butter to brown.
We will make soup.

We will melt gruyere and toast brioche and feast
till we are belly-full and sated. We will lay on our backs and sigh.

I think about tarragon, flakes of black pepper
and his hand is in my hair. The kitchen linoleum is
sticky and the brown paper shells crinkle
beneath me. I sigh.

We wake to the wail of the smoke detector and
our onions are charred pyres. Dinner is toast, the
dregs of brandy and the new maps
we have left to explore.

I know you've missed me

Chez montague has been without internet this week, so although the writing of poetry continues unabated within the confines of this mac, I haven't been posting them. That means the excitement of FOUR (count-em!) poems today. Hell yes! Starting with something thoroughly miserable about love.

When he told me he didn't love me
(I can't do this, I don't love you) anymore
he asked if I had something more comfortable to wear,
if I could swaddle my heart in worn terrycloth
and feel fine. I couldn't

because my heart was the pricked shards of a wineglass stem
in his palm and because I am polyester hemlines, always
and the creak of satin. I turned

and I tucked my corners and hooked my
eyelets and folded my heels inside. I was
the coin-operated jerk at the end of the parade.

I walked home with
ratchet feet on ratchet legs,
worse than all the mornings after,
in the glare of the day.

Friday, 9 April 2010


No fucking way, svengali, with your
tartan-top shred-leg pantyhose and
two-fingers-up-ma'am chords. Conniver,
swindler, orchestrator of outrage, you tried
to twiddle the strings of the marionettes
but they fought back, like Pinocchio,
and bit off your nose.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

assignment 51

If it's me, first, I would like you to
blanch and shock my kidneys
and feed them to the cats.

Take a flamenco fan and glue
Myna-bird feathers inlaid with my
lashes to the crest. Dance.

Save my clippings, keep a ballerina
box for the parts that keep growing.

And kiss me. And the other thing.
This chance won't come again.

Fire my teeth from a BB-gun aimed
at the spire of the Empire State and
fling my hacked up limbs in the water
and mix the ashes with fireworks and
hold a parade. Then

braid my hair into a Persian magic carpet
and take it to the cliff and
teach yourself to fly.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

I dreamt about you last night

I dreamt I seduced his girl like a trick,
three aces overturned, jack of diamonds.
He discovered by the soft of our hands, by the glance
and giggle. He lunged.

The slap was the surface parting
in the winter pool, the wallop of bass,
the reverb. Suddenly we were faster than
the speed of sound. But past the boom
it was quiet. My heart and I were racing.

I looked at him with my chin upturned.
The promises of my pout were not
apologetic. I intended.

Halfway between dreams and waking, his punch
was a promise too.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

pretend this was posted yesterday

That was the first weekend we turned
the thermostat down. And the world
was Battenburg cake and fat roadside

That weekend he washed my hair, after work.
He sank into my scalp with bergamot and
ylang ylang and a whisper of jackdaws
skydiving over the crisp clifftop bay.

He worked like a seamstress and unravelled
the hems of the day, teased and picked at
my heart's tangles. He left me rewound,
long threads and bobbins.

The days were getting longer but
it was ok. We were fit for handling the extra hours.

We were fortified, like sherry, and we had
the palms of each other's hands.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

jazz bar, for beavis

The painting was a jazz band
with fishfinger heads and we wore
black like Guinness, we

drank. They listened to her voice,
like candied orange peels and
blue satin shoes. And
the drunks were quiet.

Six pm and already we were
skinned knees and slipshod,
scravenging on the floor.

Already we were rancid and
caked in coloured pastes to hide
behind. Already loud and spilled,
like secrets.

They forgave us, though, because
of the voice, the peep of lace, and the
pecan. Because we were pretty then,
it was early, and the night spread on.

Saturday, 3 April 2010


Scorpio, he said, in a voice
like a Mariachi band hired
to woo. We laughed

because it was festival and
because everything that month was
fuse-lit fireworks, spaghetti-straps,
and the scent of shoulders,
hot and sticky and coconut.

That cobbled street was thick with people,
harsh-voiced macaws adjusting their plumage,
handing tickets to another show.

We didn't need theirs.

We had hearts like the
trombone unicyclist, like the
seven-colour lazer, like the glitter-copter
that rained Christmas in our hair. We had
kisses. We had thirty-one days and
we were electroluminescent Scorpios,
feet bound for dancing.

We were our freakshow and
we wooed ourselves.

Friday, 2 April 2010

the burryman (for dan gorman)

Moist and scratchy, he slurred,
when I asked him how it felt to
be paraded in a velcro of green
to that Tesco they hung the witch outside.

In the cul-de-sac he was lost
and addled and done
for. Summer had erupted.
I wanted to bring him home.

I thought of his heart swaddled
like a ticking clock beneath
his burrs, bells wadded in gauze.

We would ride him to town
on a penny farthing. Ride him and we would
roll around, like a tumbleweed.
Moist and scratchy.

Thursday, 1 April 2010


April is National Poetry Writing Month on

Here is a poem about owls;

That winter, we saw owls
everywhere, wrought iron owls, owls
stitched on jumpers and ceramic teapots
crafted in the shape of owls.

I did not feel wise like Minerva. I was
trampled glass and cassette tape
unraveling like guts as
we stood, our hearts tawny, before the altar.

I said yes and then the
next thing began.