Friday, 3 April 2015


The following poem unfurled as I wrote it and headed in a different direction to what I expected, not an uncommon occurrence. The germ of the poem had been an image of discovery. The idea of, by chance, seeing a person in a totally unexpected setting and the conclusions that we draw from this sighting. The end came unexpected as I wrote the first draft.
The difficulty was to get the language of the observer just right. The person talking to the narrator had to be speaking colloquially, there is something about that relaxed speech pattern which type casts the person. I wanted to imply that they were untrustworthy, omitting as many facts as they were saying the narrator.
As usual the title is to follow, when I can think of one.
He tells me that I have to understand the circumstances.
It was the quickest route to get from his new flat
to the cheap plumbers merchants, the one by the railway,
the most obvious, the logical way, economical.
He was not spying on his estranged wife,
I am asked if he looks like a stalker?
Anyway, there he was, driving down her street, slow like,
because of the traffic, and it's near a 20 zone,
when he clocks that bloke from the garage, Wayne,
walking down his wife's side of the street,
two doors away as if he's just left her.
Wayne must have at least recognised the car,
he's serviced that for the last three years,
but he was blanked, and Wayne kept on walking.
Mind you he confides,
Wayne's face told the story, guilt written all over it.
I am asked if I know what this means.
I nod, dry mouthed,
grateful he had not cruised by a minute before
and seen me putting my key into her front door.
Does it work? I am not sure. I do not want to give the impression that Wayne has been to see the estranged wife. How he happens to be on the street at that particular time is a mystery. It doesn't matter. I want the ex-husband to miss the point. 
Anyway here is a brief poem.

Dubai Blues

this is a city in need of sleep
you can see it in the eyes of the service people
who are forced to feed the furnace of the machine
all their waking hours

you can walk the glittery malls
buy stuff for weeks
and miss this simple truth
The photographs continue to bear no relation to the text.
Here's a track from the new Sufjan Stevens lp. I've only heard it once but it sounded up to his usual excellent standard.

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