Saturday, 31 August 2013

Goodnight Indigo is moving!


Tuesday, 27 August 2013


The burial was easy.
I took it in my hands to thrust the shovel,
turned the earth outside itself—
lime-sticky breeze,
gold-roaring sun.
You asked me, softly,
would the dirt simply crack like a bone
or rise, a dusty mirage?
I shrugged and patted the ruddy soil
dust-sucking the waters away.
Summer burned X on the spot.

It started deep in a pickle-jar,
Frankenstein limb
driving keen from a humbug shell.
it shoved its rude way
through the wormy soil,
a thousand toes
spread in a net of white eels.
Taking root in her belly of glass.

We carried her out to the garden.
This is where we re-buried;
tied her to the stake
like a bad witch,
letting her burn in the sun.
Still, the green bone lengthened,
turning the gutted earth,
wind raging back, the wounded sky
bloated with lavender storms.

It was then, along the xylem spine,
wrists opened their chlorophyll palms
where lastly,
grinning with sticky bees,
her huge head rose in a halo of gold—
her face in the sunflower dark.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

School Lane

Smokers’ Lane goes back like a throat
between tonsil-trees and the church.
Branches, slick-black, prod my shadow;
lead them to me like jackals.
In corridors, they press me like bruises.
Still, they do not know me,
even after four slow years
where my silence and my clever pen
has rocked them senseless with laughter.
They see me and glitter with sovereigns
tight on their nicotine fingers.

Skirt-tugging, creamy thighs
spread on cracking walls—
Look at us!
collars skewed like dead birds,
cigarettes dripping, chapstick lips,
drunk at nine in the morning.
Uniformed, neat as an angel,
I pass their mucused laughter
and blush at the fall of my name.
Piercings clink on bad teeth.

Counting down—
three o’clock death knell,
the long walk home through the gate.
It's like wading knee-deep in dogshit,
those scathing names—fucking swot—
stinking my clothes out for days.
I carry my words like secret friends
they would trample and burn in the lane. 

Sunday, 11 August 2013


We have grown out of wanting each other
the way children grow out of stories.
A palimpsest—
my over-keen hands
smear the crease of your spine,
seeking those traces of fiction
that bore us for hours at night
and leave us turning the lights off
to hide in the colour of ink.

Dust-jackets. Blanks.
We have sewn ourselves shut,
hidden the fiction of bodies—
our leaning, secret undressing
a half-hearted attempt
at dedication.
Flat on the rug, you speak volumes
in a lost language.
To fiction.
You bunch my wrists like bouquets.

Quietly, with a sleepy mouth
I blow the dust from your ribcage;
unbearable glittering motes
sailing the Monday sunshine,
your breath drifting out on a breeze.
I watch them rise in dust-clouds,
the fairies who stubbed out the stars.

Monday, 5 August 2013


Her questions reek like the bottom
of a stale coffee jar.
Is this for yourself?
She meets my eye, yawning,
hair bright as a bowlful of lemons
and tells me to take a seat
with the others, faces blank as planets
and waiting like hungry children,
soothed by candy-bright capsules
that will heal us quicker than Christ.

A handful to settle her nervous tic
and her husband, wrapped at home
in a makeshift deathbed
gorges on daytime TV—
not water to wine
but veins plump with numbing miracles,
big words, serotonin—
his grey and mushroomed brain.
A tear pearls on his nose.
He rattles his pills like a baby,
wails for something to drink.

Rain blisters and bursts on the door.
A name is tossed like a sandwich-crust
as I wait my turn, eye the cool blink
of glass bottles, elixirs,
bored pharmacists
diamond-mining the shelves
for the perfect cure
to rock me to sleep at long blue last
on the train slipping down through my spine.

Friday, 26 July 2013


I stand in the bedroom, sweatless,
admit to the dagger,
the rage and the kids
who looked like you; had the eye
of the cool Aegean
with Argonaut bravado and your sticky blood
boiling their little black hearts.
My wriggling babies.
I taught them to gnaw on the blade
til their little throats roared
like mad devils, howling, my lullabied young.
Your sins nailed clean through their tongue.

But I was once young,
a charming girl, head over claws
in love with you—
protective, faithful
as any good angel, my Colchis light
bleaching a brother’s bones,
you could say I became obsessed.
I had you possessed
but Corinth tore us apart.

Still, I can’t resist revenge,
death knell shaking the house
to its dead foundations,
the children’s gasping surprise;
oh, the look in your eyes
when you found them, coiled
like little white worms;
a gorgon’s pale coiffure perhaps.
She may be princess
but I am a queen,
monster maternal,
with blood in my breasts
and a glint in my milkwhite eye.
Revenge is a kick in the womb.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013


A smile costs nothing, so they say,
so I grin til she gets self-conscious;
                                       like a hot coal
dropping her gaze to a forest floor
mottled with moss and birdshit,
     none of that
sugar and spice malarkey
where even the flowers smell like flesh,
                              strung by their pretty red heads
like pigs on a butcher’s hook.

One hundred watts of dentistry
shatter the pinetree dark, stripes sliding
                                like oil off a duck's back--
slim as ribbons,
tangled varicose veins—
          please stand and behold
the great vanishing act,
this incredible cat
                              in your candy-sucking dozens
wheezing on smoky narcotics,
my odd and neurotic
            spectator is a thousand wriggling legs
too high to do anything else but question
every fucking detail—
                              who are you?—
blaming the fumes
from those dull and knock-kneed bastards
            painting the roses red
for her menopausal majesty.

We’re all mad here. I growl when I’m happy,
wag my tail when I’m pleased;
                                   therefore I’m mad
but still—
I have stopped attending tea parties
          in tasteless hats,
but grinning at everything,
           and nothing at all
I will get by on a Hollywood smile
and card games,
                     cosmetic dentistry
and those crazy catnip nights
                                   in Wonderland.

Thursday, 16 May 2013


The guilt-lilacs were a present at the door.
I put them in a Roman vase on the window
where everyone could see what you did
or at least think I’ve lived with a gentleman.
Perhaps you’d propose on the patio, they said,
through a mouthful of crackling champagne.
Pop questions like a cork. The clocks swelter,
wipe their glass eye with flowerless hands.
I ask them: why lilacs?
They smell of her.
Now they die in a wastepaper basket
as I go about my business, pack our belongings
in trunks already too full, write my name
on the labels. A bee zips in through the window
like an awkward word, 
clings to carnation skeletons.

But the lilacs are terribly calm. They go so well
on the reeking bedside
with the poison-lilies, barbed roses—
awkward honeysuckle clambering
the walls as though heaving away
on flowery limbs. The botanic man—
petalled head tied to a stake.
Guilt-lilacs bruise in the sun.

Sunday, 28 April 2013


He lay face-up, on his back, like a corpse.
He wouldn’t speak so I bit him, trying
after five thousand years to wake him up,
pressed to his side like a cat.
He thought himself a dying dog
so I pawed him, suffered his wet black jaws,
kitten-hunched, bent to his huge skull
and cut him with my claws.
He once said all women were animals;
wore each tail like a bandage—
my sleeping, jewelled Anubis.
Made me his snow-soft Persian
to warm his buried bones
but still he wouldn’t speak
as I tore him, my whimpering king,
underworld and underdog
who holds his dripping tongue.
We could fight in hieroglyphics,
lie flat in the freezing crypts.

But I could match his silence—
sanded claws etching his belly,
writing my rattling name.
Bastet pearled red from his skin.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Ar Lan Y Môr

Ar lan y môr mae rhosys cochion.
In the front seat, his hand a bloodless glove
pressed to the passenger window,
grazing a bard’s palaver of birds with the point
of a stubbed little nail—
charcoal mornings, the bleary light
crumbling art-canvas, open-eyed
seatown galleries spitting oil-skins,
mother-of-pearl tides roll themselves out
like wounded dogs, limping the shores
of all we know
as the crowblack, fishboat-bobbing sea
foaming the ale-coloured glass.
White rose spray on the drowning bar;
the salt-nut crunching crowds.

Some days in a Celtic mood
he will sing the shimmering rain,
roll out his tongue in a London sky
but tasting only ash
remember a hymn in a Swansea voice—
blow every word til the flowering smoke
sheds itself like a rose
in an evening starless and bible-black-- 
suffer the wheeze of city haze
to find the old sea in its lights.

Sunday, 21 April 2013


In the week the War was over
she leaned over the hedgerow,
cracking gum in the rain.
Dad would be home any minute, she said—
loping through iron gates, drops
spitting on his brow like wet bullets, propped
on a bad leg, arms wide open.
Poppies licking his fingers.
Fields of red, so she said, as though
she were speaking of fairies—
whole meadows, masses
splashed in the wild, curtseying
in their little red skirts ‘til the grasses
spat out the crouching-men, smoked,
found peace in flowers.
Later, wood crosses
pushed from the earth like bones,
calcium gifts, the rise of an old friend's rib.
From a crying gate, she frowned
at the thought of him sailing to Britain—
the apple-bobbing hills of gold;
roar of a slaughterhouse gun.

The late sky cramped with thunder
and Mother died making tea.
A letter, curled white on the milk-jug.
Telegrams told of the rain.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


The sudden shock of the dark
turns us both into strangers.
I feel its weight upon me
in the hand unwrapping my thigh
like a soft gift. Somewhere
the clouds have howled shut,
trapped a whole moon between them
like these smoke-haloes, wax rings
bound to my body from memory.
Ghost-candles burn you to verse.
It is like this, remembering
blank inches of cigarette trapped
between laughter, blowing blue words
on wet pavements,  rain-mizzle;
a drunk chandelier of stars
where later the sick-swinging glow
of a lightbulb shatters,
melting our shapes. It is like this,
the sweltering wax of two candles
tipping, our glittering stalactite limbs
a knot of Pompeian stone.
The flickering breath of monoxides.

When the dark staggers in I will kill it—
remember with struck little matches.
Smoke-stalks and shadows like inkwells.
The candles crack open like blooms.

Monday, 8 April 2013

In Time

My lovers jut out of photographs
like broken bones. In time, I will shrug them off
coolly, pack them off like bad children
running away from home. In time
they will not hurt me.

My twenty-year old lover on a keyring
has a smile like a shattered plate.
I liked his crooked ways, his broken lips
were a masterpiece put back together.
I feel his mouth out of photographs
blowing my perfumed neck,
sucking my petalled ear;
my ivory skin was a china doll’s
his grandmother kept by the bed.
I pressed to his light like a flower.
He hardened to pockets of rubies.

My boy from the glittering seashore
gleams like mother-of-pearl,
the water forever rolling
over his hairless chest, smooth
and brown as an almond. His feet grow
upwards from sand-dunes, his body
a spreading tree. I pluck at the dangling fruit;
remember the taste of sin
as it clung to my mouth like lemons.
I wore the same china doll dress,
only this time he called me a siren.
Thrilled with my dangerous legs.

Stupid girl—
in years I will find them in sepia,
discover an old dress
like pulled seaweed, drained of the girl
who has outgrown the full-length mirrors
but waltzes forever in frames.
In time I will haunt his old body,
find it stooped like a reed.
Despite myself, count all my fingers
searching the tomb of his mouth.

My watch ticks on, medicinal.
In time I will slip on old ballgowns,
pick at a pearly old wound.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Dialling Tone

After the tone, there is only a gap
I can try to pack with words.
It is like singing a serenade into the eye
of an utterly useless skull,
its dusty smile locked in the bones.
I press my nose to the mouthpiece,
draw out the foul odours
of small talk. We were always shouting
down telephones from separate rooms,
coughing goodbyes in hotel beds.
Room service charged us the earth.
The white walls shrank to a telephone box
so I always kept change on the bedside.
Those were the best times to call—
3am. I could shock you into greeting,
listen to you wake and turn furious.
Now I must leave you a message,
a small skeleton of words
you will shoulder to your ear whilst you dress.
I hesitate, hold the phone like a breadknife.
Make the first terrible cut. Hello.
My heart jumps like a punched number.
On and on it flatlines—
dialling tone.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

The Conqueror

You wore your new accent
like a souvenir. You returned to bed
in your hometown one last evening
with an emperor’s walk
and laurels in your hair, picking out
my olive face
from a photograph on the stairs
as though you were walking the groves.
Under a graphite sky
Venus spat on your shadow
as you passed. Your mouth found me out
before I could speak—
persistent as ever, there was something
Roman now in the boldness of your hands,
heavy with your tongue;
a marble god, unearthing me
like a Phoenican.
You believed in women too,
claimed to have fistfuls of goddess hair
on classical evenings,
tasted ambrosial blood, the dull whirr
and hum of electric lights,
the cheap hostel nights with Artemis
and the wars you lost
in her stockinged summer nights.

Home now, the hero,
my knight in shining pinstripe
while somewhere in a whitewashed house
your cigarettes smoke to a ceiling of stars
in her conquering, iron lips.

Thursday, 14 March 2013


You believed in ghosts no more than love’s
laughing stars on the ceiling, your whole arm
a glittering chandelier, miles of spine
snaking the twisting girls, bare-legged
and asking you to dance.
Outside, a haggard god sucks on a cigarette,
sobering, returning to earth
on his naked foot like the Arabian dervish—
longs for their heat like a baby
under mizzling clouds. The moon is nowhere
to be seen, my pale-faced friend;
the polished pearl
of her swinging eye unable to bear
the hinged door crying them into a lock
of skin and breath, the damp meeting of flesh
that undresses itself
in the perfumed hours.

Alone I will think of your floating hands
and the dancing-girls, your ghost possessive,
skull obsessive
until even my hip is a monument
raised in the memory
of your dirty hardening stone.

Monday, 4 February 2013

The Black Dog

“I am in that temper that if I were under water I would scarcely kick to come to the top.” 

I heard Churchill had called it canine.
It woke me just this morning, soft nose pushed
to my sleepy cheek, breath shuttling down
my cool neck: my faithful black dog.
His tail clubbed me all shades of violet.
The sun disc-sawed me in half.

He follows me to the kitchen.
Here he comes, his wolfish shape
gleaming like polished jet. I stoop over
my coffee, hiss at him to shoo.
My voice is thick as seafoam
and the silly dog is deaf;
his dumb tongue a huge slab of mauve,
searching my hand like a rodent.
When milk won’t do, he loves the salt of rivers.
His rough tongue batters my eye.

Wherever I go, he follows.
At office desks, restaurant booths,
hunched in the seat of a taxi,
my faithful dog sniffs out my bones.
When lovers come, he turns possessive.
I wriggle free from their fingers,
stop them kissing the sides of my jaw.
They leave when I talk to the papered wall
and tell them the guard dog is snarling.
I grieve when their footsteps have died.

I go to bed at odd hours
to watch the small pulse of blue time.
When sleep stands me up for the zero moon,
the dog strikes me down with his paw. 

Sunday, 3 February 2013

The Female Nude

I have done it. I have done it in this room
in broad daylight: unravelled myself to the human shape,
shown them the flush of my cheek. I shoulder away
my silk scarf, seize a whole breast in my hand.
The lamp gawps. Under the glass eye
my boot tips, a leather confession.

The guitar cools beneath my rib.
Your camera swallows the music—
the muted flats; greyscales its shocking blues.
This is the shape of the female nude,
her bald toes ten revelations.
I have scattered my wallflower fetters.
They crumple in heaps of blue silk, gold rings,
the virginal white cotton blouse.
Shutters whir and snap, the black eyelid.
This is the hand I raise to my hair,
the palm that has cut me from mirrors.
Skin cells, not pixels. Resolution of flesh.
This is the body of woman.

Monday, 14 January 2013


Every room felt like a crime scene.
Our outlined shapes in chalk on the bed
from those nights when we half-bothered
to arrange ourselves like lovers
and not two friends with over-familiar bodies.
Some nights the crease of your hip was unbearable,
the warm nut of your nipple tedious.
Some nights we cheated with sleep.

After years, the attic opened and you pushed your head up
like some rude violet, tipping boxes, searching for proof
that we had been living in love for years. You called me
as soon as you found it: a shabby album. On page number one
there we were,  wild-eyed and young,
our brown limbs tangled on British sands in the years
when summer still burned, shuddering
over Cornish cream teas, towelled and matted with salt.
I remembered your kiss: the spark of a cold wet flint.

Sepia haze, me swollen like some female god
with my hair streaming over your lap. There you are closed around me:
wrapping me like a small bee. Your warm fingers
teased my huge belly. We rolled names in our mouths
like sweet berries, guessed the sex over bites of crisp apple.
We would sing to the baban in Welsh.

Further back, our crackled smiles from when we were drunk
and still young, pale and freize-faced
through a film-reel of teenage parties.
Grinning in wood-panelled restaurants, glutting ourselves
on feasts we couldn’t afford. I was hot and restless
with my hands, dropping my knife, stroking bottles
with painted nails. I had to show you my bloodied nails
and later set them clawing all along your spine
into the small naked hours.

In years, the meetings took over.
The other girls glowed out of pictures.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Mr Writer

Mr Writer, I have watched you with your blank inch of cigarette
blowing blue air at the moon, one fluttering streetlamp
lighting you in your crowd of smoking-girls, their slim legs
bending like lilies. You shrug in your coat, suck in nicotine,
tender veins quiet with chemicals.
Streetlamps hum between laughter.
The girls light their umpteenth cigarette, dying for a rhyme
and a kiss, thinking you a wordsmith, the unbitten man, uninterested.
I drain my glass and cradle it like a small skull.
Drunk enough, I could ask it a question
about you or the meaning of Life.
How the alcohol reds cling on and on 
like the night wrapped around a blue rooftop,
the girls open-mouthed with laughter, or you being lyrical,
breathing smoke to a huddle of stars.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Craig Y Nos

You were eight when you got the infection.
All day long, that terrible racket hacked
through the bleached sanatorium
where day after day
mucus slapped the roof of your mouth,
sliding salt-green down the ridge
where your furred tongue was huge
and parched for weeks, barely able
to hiss the word dwr.
Your native language sucked away
through a hypodermic needle.

The last time you saw Aileen Morgan,
she was all sore angles beside her bed.
Stripped from the sheets with the fever,
shuddering in her nightdress,
you remarked softly on her pretty red scarf
twisting like blood through the bars.
It was years before you got over the sight
of her drug-shattered face on the pillow,
torso shapeless and white.
The nurses let loose her cold fingers
and tucked the scarf into a box.

You were wheeled on your beds to the balcony.
In hushed voices, they said
the cool Welsh winds worked miracles
if they did not kill you off. One morning Hywel
raised a sick arm of chicken-flesh, tinder-bone:
please Nurse, I’m cold in a  little voice.
She slapped his face with a gloveless hand.
Every morning before sunrise, she proofed herself
against tuberculosis in folds of starch and cotton,
scrubbed her hands by candlelight.
Scissors in their conical sheath grinned
from her breast-pocket.
Every day some child folded himself into a nautilus,
hacking his rags of lung softly into a pillow.
Turning your face to see children
rise up the wall through the ether,
your sternum became a birdcage; your glockenspiel
ribs drummed by mute little fingers.

It troubled you all those years later,
silver-haired in your bedroom. The shock
of a blotchy photograph slid out of a drawer.
The involuntary memory of accordion-lungs,
balcony talk. Aileen’s skeleton wrapped in a scarf.
Like a cough, the children of Craig-Y-Nos,
a thought you cannot shake.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Short story website...

Gonna be working on this over summer. There's a couple on here to start:

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Morning Coffee

Reflected upon it, our story plays out
like a tale thrown across a curled page.
Its smooth curves of china transform our shapes
into wild-armed ravings of ghosts;
me, slippered and absurd with my hair left loose
and bright as a bowl of lemons,
and you, neck grizzled and eyes flat moons,
clamping your palms to your ears.
The caffeine fumes rise from our heads.

It sits there each morning, your white china cup,
as you throw back my words through curling smoke,
your pink thumbs tense little prawns.
Your cigarette glows in its saucer.
Another coffee if you would please,
You leave before taking a sip.

I watch after the swinging back door,
blood turning cold as your coffee.
I have taken your cup to the sink
where I wash its old throat like religion,
hook my finger through handled bone;
clean bubbles erupting like pearls.
Your fingerprints smear to nothing.

Gleaming and tiny, placed back on the wood,
I carry it close--
my polished whole heart on a saucer.
Twice now you have squeezed it tight
and thumped it down hard on the wood,
yet no chips cut through its bone-skin,
more stubborn, more real than a tooth.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


I carry it like a fat child in my arms:
my bright pumpkin. The stars swing
their strange eyes upon us,
my own turned against grey rain.
Under the knotted light of streetlamps,
I feel I have stolen
somebody’s head.

A great bright moon upon the table,
I lift my knife with marvellous calm
and carve, steady-handed, the damp hiss
of letters all slid out like mud, the one
rude syllable of your name. I have no time
for cartoon faces, my smooth blade sucking
clean letters. Fiction.
No lunatic smile, no soft teeth, only one
webbed line of alphabet ghosts.
Sweet earthy breath. Deadly orange.
Seeds on my hands like follicles.
Here is the skull of a make-believe man;
head tumbled clean from his shoulders.

This is the part where my tiny flame
sweats hollowed flesh, this huge
warm crown my trophy.
I set it at the window:
a bloodless heart, faceless name.
I am the lipsticked Dorothy,
cheek white-flattened on glass,
my hand on a good friend’s skull.

In the mizzling streets, bag-swinging
children craft brick roads
between mouthfuls of toffee.
They do not notice my flowering shadow,
this pumpkin-moon blooming on walls.
Not one of them shocked by the devilish light
of your name burning white in the mirror.