Jazz since nineteen-fifty-nine


Penned in and rounded off

By the careless chattering

Of lesser city royalty

And aspiring champagne socialists


The five steps of composition


The evening staggers on

On in broken movements

As convoluted as it needs to be

Teasing arrangements

Simple as sweat on walls

Sixty solid years of cigar smoke

Precipitate in a glass

On a lung, under tongue

Inside an ear canal


If I died now

It would be as a big, bald man of sixty

Face down in a bowl of lukewarm linguine

French ‘seventy-five in my stiffened claw

Disinterested mistress by my side

My face a mask of contentment

Her menu masking embarrassment




A threatened baby rabbit will push his face into a corner

Between two walls, ears folded back

Brown 9mm round fired into linoleum

Though exposed, stubbornly hard

Against all pronged voices

Fat, pinching insults


The corners

The underarm nook

The upturned mouth

The eye and its pink slime


I have always sought the corners

Of mouths, Of rooms,

Of hot, hollow thoughts, Mercuries

Poison planet,

Boundless, round

Foreign bodies

Distant messengers


Not for comfort

Not in the bookdog’s ears

(Folded and forgotten)

Nor in the sleeve peeking

Out of a coat cuff

Asking to be tugged

To be trimmed with teeth


I have never seen the centre

Middle of you, Man

In a silver hollow-point hole

I bury my face and wait

For anything to happen

Photography, Poetry




My eyes fix upon monument for a giant

And in that state I covet —

Were I that tall. Were that body mine.

In my auspicious youth

I had hoped to master manhood

Only to masterfully refuse it.

As I hold myself to the highest standard,

That which only the √úbermensch could meet,

I am distraught at every petty failing,

My unterwäsche drop around my feet.


The Iron Horse


A ravine widens between the great iron horse

And I, fumbling for my camera

Cars curve around my desperation

They must understand

I sense the quietening sky

Purple nightshade dyes nimbus clouds

Stuck by a poison arrow

My vision dims with the day

Impulse commands

The great statue all but disappears

I caught it too late