The beautiful people at Ambit have published one of my poems in the latest issue of their magazine. It’s called ‘Epiphany at the Polski Sklep’ and is one of the few contributions to contemplate (amongst other things) the ambivalent legacy of Bognor Regis. I’d like to say it’s the only contribution to do so but Ambit’s been going for 60 years – I can’t provide that assurance. In any case I’m very thankful to the editors. It’s full of wonderful art, fiction and poetry. You can purchase it here.
My poem ‘Clichés from the Avant-Garde’ has been published on For Every Year, a project by the writer Crispin Best whose poems I very much urge you to read. Each contributor provides a piece of creative work in honour of a year since 1400. My year is 1892 and you can read the poem here.
City of stags and spires, diurnally blissed with mist. We wake
to ornate, high-ceilinged rooms, bleed in with the damp
The sad racket of the morning tram (rattling
of building) is as much
as the day can really bear
of thuds, of God’s idiotic
Lo-Fi for the river, Clarendon
for the cars – who’s to blame
for what we try to avoid feeling?
The sun (today an ashen disc)
in a sky that’s forgetting.
I came of age in the 60s and 70s and I honestly
do not remember the encounter. Trust me, this isn’t an
overnight Bar Mitzvah. I’ve had to reconcile
the therapists with my behaviour. I have loved the
scope of hurt and deeply regret the feelings I owe
to the culture and The Cops. “It may
have seemed okay” and I continue to channel
that anger. I plan to do right by my dick.
We went out for dinner, completely consensual,
and afterwards brought pain, a retirement
party long overdue. The movement that is happening
has been in the works throughout my life, all
women, for over thirty years. I have been so
protective of these stories and I was widely
admired in my demons. Exchanged numbers.
Sexual activity. My position. I want to deal
with this negative attention honestly and
openly. I took her words and put together
a team of people.
(All of the above is taken from the statements of public figures responding to allegations of sexual misconduct. They appear here in a radically altered form, cut-up and rearranged into something very different. The above passage reflects neither their views nor my own. It is merely a poetic experiment.)
A Miscreant’s Impression of the Metropolis
I want nothing from today but the most rudimentary
colours, as in Hockney, as in the canine
sense of living –
to feel the abject twinge of a
familiar quickening lust. Some errant
frisbee, a violent run-in
I won’t accept this city
(its downcast cars, its plaintive rain)
its tedium and inconsequence are
just fatal. I’m in the careful business of
demolishing its presumptions, hurling lattes,
cracking craniums wide open.