I Want a Poem

I want a poem with the texture of a colander on the pastry. A verse of pastry so rich it leaves gleam on your fingertips. A poem that stings like the splash of boiling oil as you drop the pastry in. A poem that sits on a silver plate with nuts and chocolates, served up […]


A brick-sized block of grey stone washed ashore on which was carved the word SAY. My dad picked it up at low tide and two months later found another, and another saying LES. We worked out that rather than a command – like Rilke’s flow – it was the name of an old firm, SAYLES, […]

The Republic of Motherhood

I crossed the border into the Republic of Motherhood and found it a queendom, a wild queendom. I handed over my clothes and took its uniform, its dressing gown and undergarments, a cardigan soft as a creature, smelling of birth and milk, and I lay down in Motherhood’s bed, the bed I had made but […]


Here’s my body in the bath, all the skin’s inflamed trenches and lost dominions, my belly’s fallen keystone its slackened tilt – for all the Aztec gold I’d not give up this room where you slept, your spine to my right, your head stoppered in my pelvis like a good amen – amen I say to my […]

And death demands a labor

When it rains in Boston, from each street rises the smell of sea. So do the faces of the dead. For my father, I will someday write: On this day endeth this man, who did all he could to craft the most intricate fears, this man whose waking dreams were of breaking the small bones […]

Girl to Snake

We’re not supposed to parley, Ropey Joe. I’m meant to close my eyes and shut the door. But you’re a slender fellow, Ropey Joe, ____________________  thin enough to slip beneath the door and spill your wicked do-si-do _________ in curlicues and hoops across the floor. I’ll be here. And I’m all ears – there are […]


My grandmother’s name was Chris. ach ja – Christl. a chrism, christ with a lemon tongue. turquoise water inside a glass wörthersee water a crystal you take in your pocket or carry touching your neck a pair of blue and glass eyes from a black and white portrait a ring of yellow hair Chris in your […]

Yeki Bood Yeki Nabood

every day someone finds what they need in someone else _______________ you tear into a body and come out with a fistful of the exact feathers you were looking for wondering why anyone would want to swallow so many perfect feathers _______________________ everyone looks uglier naked or at least I do my pillar of fuzz […]

Dancing Bear

Children bring me coins to watch him balançoire, tombé – they imagine he has a forest inside, they close their eyes to see him foraging on a high cliff above a burnished lake – belly to the wet earth but inside is just a savage who loves only his claws, his wild mouth, tears at […]

I See That Lilith Hath Been with Thee Again

Love, I saw our daughter in the grocery store again. This time, she’d discarded the old shoes, because finally, her hooves are coming through. She was using her talons to tear through meat packets. Oh, honey, I frowned. Your mum is a vegan. Our daughter followed me to the produce aisle, and she chewed one […]

Day, with Hawk

for K.M. Grant Here among witch-hazels I miss the peregrine we met just once. Like the fire from bare twigs that twists a floral kiss on winter’s neck, He stunned me so I’m hanging on to language by its clichés, pushed to singer-songwrite fingernails down a tumbling slate precipice. I would call Him chestnut-stippled, light […]


I feel ashamed, finally, Of our magnificent paved roads, Our bridges slung with steel, Our vivid glass, our tantalizing lights, Everything enhanced, rehearsed, A trick. I’ve turned old. I ache most To be confronted by the real, By the cold, the pitiless, the bleak. By the red fox crossing a field After snow, by the […]

[Born from the need to counteract the threat.]

During the early years of the Cold War my father, in his capacity as an R.A.F. officer, was involved in that aspect of bomber-command which dealt with maintaining the Airborne Nuclear Deterrent, as it was then. The following takes what I’ve gleaned of his role over those years and represents it here as a work […]

At Lullington Church/To My Daughter

In my kingdom it is winter forever. The snow falls & there is no time nor day – no distinction between things, no compare, no flaw to taint our rudimentary clay. The falcon has flown away with history, the bullfinch sheathed in ice & snow, the bare branch shall never know its May, nor husband teach […]

dinosaurs in the hood

let’s make a movie called Dinosaurs in the Hood. Jurassic Park meets Friday meets The Pursuit of Happyness. there should be a scene where a little black boy is playing with a toy dinosaur on the bus, then looks out the window & sees the T. rex, because there has to be a T. rex. […]

Sketch 19

A woman in high heels walks slowly along the broken avenue. The boys tangle their leashes trying to get ahead, turn and look back at her, then veer up the hill towards the open field. The park can’t contain their desire. It pours into the atmosphere in particles that speed and collide, cause small children […]


Listen to me                               little water I called you up            believing something would arise                         in me believing I could make         […]

Angel Hill

Someone must be looking after the headstones. It might be you with your easel and brushes And your big sheets and charcoal for drawing Snowdrop cumulus and lichen lettering. Someone must be looking after the railings And closing the rusty gate behind her.

My Life According to You

So I was born and was small for ages and then suddenly a cardboard box appeared with two furry black ears sticking out of it it made me nervous but I was brave and gave it a bell to play with and then out it jumped and loved me it was my cat I called […]

Ghazal of Guyana

Do you see? The bones of stars are falling, crashing to the earth like trees, like greyed spears again I find myself amidst a frieze of bodies lost in our commune of ritual sweat a hurricane is spinning Saharan winds through the constellation of islands they whisper my name from the muddy rows of cane, […]