Walker Evans Coca Cola

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
rail, vibrato
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)
attempts gold
in a sky that’s forgetting.

Beyond Horrified

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.

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
with transcendence.

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.