Pregnant Witness

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There are two guys fighting on the street.
One is in a car
mouthing off,
revving,
head twisted back,
one hand on the wheel —
the other, I assume, is on the hand break.
The second man pursues the creeping vehicle up the hill,
speaking in tongues.
The first talks in spits and swerves his wheels.
I can’t hear what they are saying;
I’m sure it’s very important
but I am watching the pregnant witness
who looks out the window opposite.
Glasses on, she can see their very animated picture,
but she opens the window to better hear the drama
because her life is empty of it.
There is no darkness in her
refurbished house in leafy suburbia.
I would like a life like that
but I’ve too many shades on me, it would seem,
a spinning prism is my diadem.
So I’ll watch the pregnant witness
watching the two men screaming on the streets;
she’ll get some junk mail later
and that’ll be as bad as it gets.

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Photo: Martin Parr

Fancy A Little Guerilla Poetry Warfare In The Morning?

Back in the old days, when things weren’t immediate — when news didn’t travel at lightspeed and creations were nurtured in a bubble of time — things were said to happen in ‘the space of Pater Noster’, the space of God.

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Over the next 10 days (I started at 5am yesterday) I will be gracing my favourite streets in London — mostly ones I have lived on over the years — with a little surprise through the letterbox. The aim of the surprise is to serve as a bubble, a space in time between the bills and bank statements, where nothing is asked of you. At worst it makes excellent recycling material; at best it might add a little magic to your day — if you receieve one, whether you like or dislike, please get in touch (contact details on its reverse). x x x

Spoilt Rotten

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My soul has buckled under the weight of all the strange gifts you have given me,
Crumpled like the silver linings I crushed with the beer cans in the recycling.
But still you keep giving, donating twisted things to a
Cabinet of curiosities that’s already bursting at the seams.
You –
If that is your real name.
Me,
And my essence depleted to the compact crystals of flint.
But still you bleed me like a maple tree,
Leech from me
I walk through the streets like a zombie.
Not hungry.
Dim mist is me.
You
Who kicks stones at the legs that keep marching,
Keeps laughing at the ghost with no life-lines.
“She’s so persistent; but aren’t they all
Drowning in my dream whirlpool.”
Can you see us in the water?
Can you see us in the bright blue-green?
Can’t you see that I’m your daughter?
Can’t you see I’m in the waving trees?
It’s
Such
A
Long
Fall
For
You,
You who speaks in sunlight
But giggles in blackness.
Yeah you,
Who I forgive for the heavy treasures I did not wish for,
That I will not list here –
Did not put on my Christmas List either –
Because there is warmth in the wind, there are grebes in the pools and there is
A man who speaks softly to his dog. Who speaks like the earth.
Press this still-wet summer grass against my flesh.
In the seconds of this particular forever
All is well, and all that is wraps me in its bubble
And rolls me down the hill. To the lake
Where the bathers go to chill their brittle bones.
So cold.
Where did you go?
There are whispers when it’s hardest that
You
Do not exist.
But there is drama in your silence
Like the bottom of the sea.
See me: I am the echo of the waves.
Living proof of
Nothing
But a siren call called
You.

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Painting: Milky Way by Peter Doig

The High Parks of London

 

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At sunset we walk to the highest points:
Promise Hill and Hampstead Heath
To watch the end of our day.
We are coming home from work
We are going for a jog
We are on a date
We are tourists searching for Tower Bridge
In the bay of buildings.
We are old and young and in turn
Young and old,
But all humans love the sun
And the highest parks of London
Are where we watch it burn.
At twilight when the mist settles in
Birds whistle more than men.
Men don’t whistle so much these days
But I
I am wolf whistling this big city to bed
This city of red eyes at night.

 

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Uccello su un Filo

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Adriana,
donna, donna,
how did it get so bad?
Your man’s making eyes
at your dirty-talking friend,
who fiddles with the books
and drinks Appletinis in mink.

What I don’t understand
as I watch you on the
courts, is where
it all went wrong —
from
leopardskin and
bin bags of Louboutins
to
croissants with detectives
who say that they’ll protect you
as you walk the line, and
trip over the curb.

White wine drink-driving,
claws like dragons
and crying
on cream leather;
no one knows you better
than yourself
any more. The ulcerations
on your colon, your body’s way
of keeping score;
your blue-black eyes
so deer-like you’ll end up getting shot.

Still,
you have the hair of a goddess —
those cigarettes won’t kill you,
your tresses are immortal.
Diamonds from
pawn shops may slowly
weigh you down; but the
white lines and push-up bras
will keep you on a high;
Adriana walks on stars.

Adriana struts the skies,
popping clouds like lonely hearts.
‘Sionara Arty,
your restaurant’s not enough.’
‘Bon giorno Tony,
and your great big arms.
Take me in your
four-wheel drive, and per favore
over-turn me. Make me upside down.’

Adriana La Cerva,
How will you get out?
You love your man with all you have
but it’s that love that’s
got you trapped – take two
steps back, look at those abs.
You’re a 10, he is a 7 –
and there’s no amount
of ecstasy can change
the mould of heaven.

Adriana,
bella donna, I’d give
seven pairs
of Manolo Blahniks, if you’d
just walk away.
All the glamour in the world
to hear,
‘click,
clack,
click,
clack,’
Adriana’s highest heels
walking down the stairs.

 

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Capo Mio

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I’ll
Take a killing for a man called Tony
Buy a machete for a man called Tony
Rub my titties on a man called Tony
Oh Tony, Tony. Tony owns me.

Forty four, six foot fuck knows what.
When he breaths there’s the whistle of congestion
in his breath —
his clogged sinuses are manly to me.
So are his chinos, bowling shirts
and polyester Fila jackets
concealing baseball bats.
He’s got a big round belly and all over he’s hairy,
all over he is big
all over he is sweet.

All the dollar bills for a man called Tony
All my runny honey for a bear called Tony
Sitting in the chair is a man called Tony
Tony owns you.
Tony blows you
away with the fishes in a pretty body bag
tied with a ribbon
he snarls as he laughs.

He comes for my dishes of ovenbaked ziti
He carries old men like a big foot soldier.
He’ll fuckin knock you out
feel your body hit the water.
A flick of his wrists and I’m doing the cobra.
A gold necklace slicks his chest,
On his head he’s balding.
He’ll interrupt you while you’re talking
and blow out your brains
then he’ll look you in the eyes and
say something nice:
‘Sono cosí felice che potrei piangere,’
Not what he said, that’s how I feel
when I’m with

Tony.
All my loving for a man called Tony
I’ll pull the trigger for a man called Tony
Grind the poles for a man called Tony
Axe in the back of the head for Tony
Raise a glass of Amaro for Tony
Cold meat from the fridge in his mouth for Tony
He hit me round the head with a
bunch full of roses.
Oh Tony, Tony. Tony owns me.

 

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