In search of lost time

I’m sitting on Bute street
In my head the French bookshop
And French bakery Bonne Bouche
Are still here, smelling of books and
Bread, livres et pain

I’m still sitting on Bute street
I open my eyes, I can smell Mama
Pho and it doesn’t go with my
£pp3.50 flat white

I’m looking at a shop called Blanc
With towels and a sign ‘Fashion doesnt
Have to Cost the Earth’ instead of
Books in French

Now I know how old women feel
The ones who talked about the
Old days as if they were better
Now they’re gone

I will not come here again to
Look for the past, I will not
Find it, I will go somewhere
Else to remember.

Ageing

You avoid the sun
Etching lines on
Your skin. You are
The artist, not the sun.

Carl Fabergé – a god of small things



Did God know, when he made
The world that he would make you
And you would make mini
World’s out of his shiny
Offcuts?

Of course, God knows everything
God is everything, God’s work
Is intricate, the diamond
The cut, the carve, the egg
Hatches

It reminds us of the surprise
Of birth, of Spring, every
Year, reborn, but totally
Unexpected in its
Dazzling

Hunger Cycle

I can buy so I eat, whenever
I like, whatever I buy

And it becomes all food, it’s
My day up and my day down

The stomach has my throat
Against the wall, wherever I

Go, the cave, the hunger,
Grips up the time and so

I buy something else to eat
So that I can buy more something

Else to eat.

Postcard from Hoxton

These money people float
Their money makes them
So light

Their soles are not touching
Anything, they live like
Angels

No memories staring back
From the streets they pass,
The ex-

Council blocks they buy
When they come down from
Heaven.

But they never land, they
Glide an inch above real
Living

You can still hear the mortals
From time to time, they
Break out

With feet that know the old
Streets, feet that can’t float like
Angels.

(Written somewhere between Shoreditch and Hoxton)

Poem from the archive: ‘Pain’s Sweet Tooth’ (May 2008)

Back in this place again

This place of doom and gloom

Bloated stomach passing for womb

Once I was well and pain

Was something felt from a

Prick of thorn or cut of steel

Not as now when it grows

From a live seed

Planted deep, sown down

In furrows, virulent its saplings writhe

For supremacy, squealing for

Sugar and coffee and tea

Cake and wine and syrup and cream,

Drops will not do, bring

Buckets for bowls, Life must

Be strained and stretched to

Feed Pain’s sweet tooth.

Notes on the poem

I wrote this 14 years ago, when I was struggling with a pituitary tumour and acromegaly.

I’m starting to include poems from this period of my life, from my first site : creativecoping.wordpress.com.

I think the past, in all its forms, memory, history, monument, is useful to the present.

By resurfacing these poems, I hope to remember the lessons life gave me then.

Birthing


Create multiple lines. Blood lines, tear lines, love lines. Multiple directions that multiply upon the world more blood, tears and love.

As a child grows, lines unfurl in borrowed darkness until they reach their own light which grows and grows until the time of their own

darkness, when new lines multiply over theirs and then grow away, as they did, towards light, towards darkness.

Sidelines


We are loping in the margins, waiting For time to become ours again.
The margins get smaller as Larger type fills the page.

Father P.C.M. (Precious Childhood Memories)

So many, I should be able to shuffle
Them like cards and arrange them
Into different hands, full house, two pair
Et cetera Et cetera. So many hands, so

Alive the days, the hours growing under
Your gaze, facts great and small tumbling
Out of your hard working teeth, so much
Enjoyed the taste of living, the joys great

And small, coursing along the network
Through the high voltage bangs “Christ”
“******” And back again, looking for the next
Buzz, lighting the way, the room, the earth.

Motherhood

My mother said she could see me with little
Boys, like little suns, tiny stars, their own

Planets rolling about the sky, their sky, with
Me a moon, but a moon, smaller now, but

Gripped by them, in their orbit circling them
For the rest of my life and out beyond it

Into the blankness of their lives unlived yet,
To outlive my light, to bounce off my rock

When it is dead, when it is simply a reflection
Of theirs.