Envelope Love Poem


Write this in the address window of the envelope:

(For added authenticity it should be typed)

Your Lover’s Name

   Your House Number & Street

      Your Town/City

        Your Postcode

           Your Country


Next to the address window write the following message:

(This should be handwritten,

and  as untidily and disjointedly as possible,

to indicate the writer’s inner turmoil)


“No longer at this address

        Disappeared out of my life

                Please return (crossed out)

                        Return to Sender


Poem 3 (On Poetics)

On  Poetics



the whole

Playing Field

of it, (personally,

I’d prefer a Forest,

but  I think it is a Playing Field,

although I’m not sure that it’s level)

can’t be mown, fertilised and marked out


in Poetry,

what use is it?

(Poetry, I mean.)

Poem 2 (F I V E Words)



roof with

reach for,


into another storey

word onto word,

The process continues


which is building itself)

(so resembles an edifice

-there’s no stopping it

The process has started


(Joey Kosuth did it, too.)

by (now, for) Gertie Stein.

Five words in a line

What the hell’s the attraction?

What’s with always five words?

F      I      V      E      WORDS


F      I      V      E      WORDS


Poem 1

Ideology – a poem


One unfunny thing about ideology

is that it’s invisi


Another, that no one is immune.

It contexts, contages, con-cages everyone.

None has sufficient weaponry to defend against it.

Forcefields already infected from within go about their un-

conscious duties. And the principle of attack as best defence is

futile, the intellectual equivalent of a stealth bomber losing itself on the

screen, never finding the target it was supposed to be searching, searching,


And there are no bastions of sanctuary. Nowhere

where non-players can run, shouting pax or some other

outdated subsumed talismanic utterance or utterances. To be

neutral is itself part of a fair-play ideology, whose existence or status

as ideology is challenged/disputed/contested, to the death in some cases.

Yes, no one on the inside is immune.


Looking through the dark tinted glass from the outside, you see it all.


So, let’s suspend hostilities, you and I.

Let’s make a deal.

If I tell you what your ideology is,

Will you tell me mine?

Poem 16

Love Poem in Grafton’s Bookstore, BC


It’s good for you –

to read me love poems

(in any language),

she says.

I wait.


It’s good for you –

she goes on,

to read poems out loud;

good for your voice.

I wait.


And it also makes me crazy,

she says.

I can’t



And it’s good for me –

to make you crazy,

I say,

give me the book.

Two more poems (14 & 15)

Two Unselfish Poems


the coolecting I


(of course, this should be ‘collecting’, but ‘coolecting’ is more fortuitous

& therefore preferable …)


I (‘my’ self) am a coolection of selves which coolect selves which coolect selves …


these are some of them that have identified themselves in different ways:

art-breathing; coolecting (of course) ; defiantly respectful;  didactic;

foreign; green; invisible; island; liberating; & mapping; (anti)-pc;

raging poet; recycling-&-recycled; secret; & why not self-searching;

(un)sleeping; and seamless but that one’s unravelling as we speak …


this could be an index of selves, past, present & future, or even a map;

but Map is not what world does; in, & in defiance of,  Map eyes finger

escapes over frontiers; soothe contours onto the mind that cannot look

remotely like rock, like a thing cast in stone for a lifetime of mapping.




the invis  & 


secret self, selfing. Are,

                            is that, you?

But whether this is/you are the


cannot be divulged by, or to, the self,

                                                           can it?

Poem 13

The recycling & recycled self


It’s a windy day.

The front of my

house is a wind-

trap. At the end

of the day I will


                            a small     

                             pile of


                         to dispose of:


packaging from sweets,

  crisps and drinks, mostly.


                                        Probably jetsam from school

-kids, though I’ve never seen them drop anything there.


Sure enough, when I get home there’s what I’d call a small pile.

Which I collect.


I could put it straight in the wheelie-bin,

& go inside, close the door, wash my hands.         I don’t, though.


I must’ve let something out of the bag

that I’ve gone and put the rubbish into.     Or is it my imagination?


I go indoors with the bag;        


imagining the bits of rubbish are found objects to make art out of. Like Dubuffet.




The words  are also found objects   just as material   as the wrappers

                                                                                                      I touch &

                                                                                                      see. That

                                                                                                      anyone can.


I am amazed at the materiality of words;

how they can be so here and now, also.


Even if the words are only wrappers

and what they contain, or what I once

thought they contained, has been consumed.


Has disappeared, anyway.

But they stay found. As if they want to.

They have been found, after all. No reason

for them to be unfound just now. Examples of

foundness, they have their place in the world. Deprived

of context, but not bereft, they live on as proudly as icons.


So I take both sets of wrappers, visual and verbal, and arrange them,

in accordance with a curious aesthetic of my own. And stick them down here.


And find myself fleetingly thinking

what it would be like

to be a found object.


Poem 12

The sleeping I  (or the I that only wakes when asleep – how is one to know, I mean, really to know?); the same I that makes my mouth utter words I do not recognize as such, let alone will ever understand; early this morning I’m sure my mouth opened and said ‘Ba’; the word resonated in the empty spaces of mind and cavities and craters and quarters and body pits, inside and out; the distinction is meaningless; the I word bounded, bounced off its walls, coming eventually to rest in misplaced silence; (I’d do well to call it ‘the mouth’ in the face of the growing hard-biting evidence in favour of the theory that I am, after all, not in control of the mouth. This evidence is beginning to overwhelm with solidity more solid even than words, though I do not exactly understand why.)

Ba? As in the Black Sheep, or Ali with two? Or dialectal form of ‘Boo’ to frighten me away from sleep? (The I is perplexed; when it wants the mouth to say something, anything, and not necessarily in its own defence, the mouth stays obdurate and shut; it is time to admit that I is actually we, sharing one mouth; so there is ownership after all; ‘our mouth’; it sounds good ; redounds to our credit; asleep or awake;  has a democratic feel that appeals to the I in ZeItgeist, which is too pc for me, but then it takes all sorts, as we know, don’t we?

So let’s have a cup of tea, lean back comfortably and learn to use the mouth equitably.

Poem 11


If we can speak of A Poetics, why not also of A Truths?






Truth’s much closer to hard feet than to head


Please keep balance if standing looking down


If there’s a fall there could also be bloodying


Please clean dirt off at once from all wounds





Truth’s closer to hands, to heart, too, than to head


Ground level is ten feet higher than for medievals


Is dirty, archeology work for hard-as-stone hands


Always below its stranger dances in the torchlight





Truth is much closer to head than to heaven


It is mole through and through never merlin


Tunnel not too-strong tower soil not the soul


In the dark takes head and all leaves nothing

Poem 10

d I   r e c t I o n s


A directionless map  Is that what this is?

& can there ever be a directionless person?

An I without  /direction /without I

My self will retrieve I from that …idea

A kind of freedom  Cut I loose from direction,

leaving drection behind (which in british

english is how it’s often pronounced anyway)

& a kind of honesty  Common honesty (not

common decency which is culturally-loaded

& hierarchically-burdened) I hereby cut

my self loose from all pre-ordained, pre-

determined, (pre-)programmed dI  rections,

ambitions, ideologies, destinies This is a

definitive parting of ways & of waters

This is my freedom  To be  A leaner I,

hungry, spare to diaphanous, gaunt

as writer in winter, and free  I hereby

poem 9



Alight here/Bring on tomorrow/

Climb the corporate ladder/Dig out your soul/

Exceed your vision/Fly emirates/

Give the gift of joy this xmas/Hunt it down/

Imagine this/Just add sun/

Keep calm & carry on/Live unbuttoned/

Mix business with pleasure/No smoking

Open your mind – now/Plan your future career/

Quake with fear/Report any suspicious behaviour/

Stand to the right/Trust your senses/

Unbox your music/Volunteer with vso/

Watch your back/X-ray yourself now/


Can’t  stand them/ Could say don’t command me/

But I’m too respectful/Don’t want to command/

Tell people do this/& do that/

Dig holes/Fill them in/

I have respect/So I’ll say/

Y don’t you f…/Zoom off?



poem 8

The Foreign I (in french script)


The poet was born as an accident. Refuses to say more.

The poet was educated. Refuses to say where.

The poet also refuses to say where * currently lives, but would like it to be known, as widely as possible   

           and well beyond current levels of acceptability, that * has lived abroad, that is, in a foreign,

           even non-english-speaking country.

The poet categorically refuses to give any past career details. Writing is always A New Start. 

           Publishing history is irrelevant here. Read the poems!

The poet likes a drink and good company like the rest and the best of us, but won’t any say more. If

           * has an alcohol-dependency, it is none of anyone’s business.

The poet refuses to get into the Interests-Box, but is ready to concede a fascination with language,

           especially those not * own, more desire to travel, and an almost pathological need to talk, as  

           being suitably anodine (and obvious) for a text such as this.

The poet may well be married, with two children, a dog and ten cats, but will not admit, nor deny it.   

           Nor deny alternative sexualities and lifestyles, even those which will sell poems.

The poet, at the risk of appearing tedious, would like to stress the importance, to *self if no one else, of

           Reading The Poems.

poem 7



                                   perimental I


                      I find myself

                                             wondering …

(find myself!

                        -that’s rich

                                             coming from me!)


            the experiment

                                          will end,  and


             will I

                      find myself, and


                 there’s any


poem 6

Pandora’s Dream

(Poem in 4 State-Stanzas)


            Dream 1


                    Pandora is a cocoon.

   Encased within It for her own safety and security,

      she realises It is not part of her.

         She emerges. She flies.


            Dream 2


                    Pandora is a costume

   (‘complete’ with headdress or haircovering).

      Enrobed beneath It for her protection and joy,

         she realises It is not part of her.

     She emerges. She walks, starts to run.


            Dream 3

         Pandora is an ideology

   (‘complete’ with ready-thought positions and attitudes).

      Enmeshed inside It for her own ‘liberation’ & ‘emancipation’,

         she realises, (it’s hard but she does), It is not part of her.

            She emerges. She is herself, needs no one.



       Pandora has moved.

She is not known at this address.

Please return all mail to sender.

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