Walking Home (Earlier)

Wednesday August 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

Staking out across open ground
blinking worldly through the several stations
of the familiar respite,
                          the serial connotations of
another day spent facing down shadows
& thinning through the descent, now
            dip to the underpass
            a portrait, without the
            inward/outward glance of pity &
            a sudden waft of perfume
            the slow conglomeration of scents
            & such gravitas, such good sense,
            & so proud of the distinction
            what with
            the honourable declension
            rather neatly put &
            like the clatter of carriage wheels breaking overhead
            longing is deferred,
            and uncategorized.

            Then picking up the thread
            the other side
            the necklace of street lamps
            brandishing the horizon is
            being trapped inside
            the same as finding no outside?

            There is no such thing, such light is all memory
            artificial, illuminating
            and forever snaking out into longer spaces.



Monday August 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

Her most erotic characteristic was the sense in which, she appeared to him, to be inexhaustible, and unquenchable, just in general. She carried herself with a tangible hunger attached, and what is more, it was a discerning hunger. Not picky necessarily (her impeccable democracy in all emotional and physical matters was another source for her erotic charge), but demonstrating nevertheless, with an openness and a lack of false modesty that was electrifying to Kevin, a willingness to assert her own preferences, to exercise her own sexual judgement.
     Not that it was about sex entirely.
     It was present in that way she had of chewing a length of her own hair when she was bored. And it was there too during those occasions on which she managed to remain resolutely unoccupied, unused-up, waiting perhaps for a screen to refresh on her work console, somehow outside of her own experience. And it was definitely there sitting in the bath, content in the lukewarm water, running a razor along the inside line of her calf, raised up out of the water at a grotesque angle, with a disinterest and familiarity with her own body that Kevin could only envy (and ogle – leaning in the doorframe, resting a cheek against a mug of warm tea).
     On all these occasions she contrived – although there was no discernible effort that Kevin could see – to remain abundant, and unfinished, to inhabit without a shred of self-consciousness her own lack of fixity, and to possess because of it that most tantalising of qualities: appetite. She was all appetite.
     If Kevin had possessed the inclination, and the vocabulary (the fault is not one of intelligence, but of interest – Kevin had no interest in thinking of things in this way, is all) he might have said, that such was her state of unwavering, and unrelieved potential, that she was more like a medium than anything else, a form through which he was able to experience his own character.
     (He might also have concluded that such a feeling was not untypical for man, and that it conveniently elided her character, but it didn’t mean it wasn’t true.)
     She was twenty, and he was thirty-six, and that helped. Because after all, this was about sex as well. And with her milky blonde hair –
suggestively taut, and darkened at the roots – and her darkened, painted lashes, and that slightly defiant way she had of jutting forward her chin in repose – a chin that was a little full in truth, and not helped by her habit of folding up her mouth into an upside-down smile when she was thinking (which was all the time – she was always thinking), she was to Kevin’s eye at least, as sexy as hell.
     She was also shorter than him. He was on the short side, but she was shorter, and she walked with the crooked brilliance of corrupt ballerina – plenty of deliberate actions, and all on the front-foot.
     As he approached from the garage shop, taking the longest short-strides you will have seen in a long time, the toes of his shoes never being allowed to come into contact with the ground, she winds down the window, and shouts over to him:
     “Kevin – did you get me my mints?”

Kevin Howells

Monday August 6, 2012 § Leave a comment


As the numbers on the pump ticked around, Kevin Howells surveyed himself in his reflection in the offside rear-passenger door of the muddied Nissan parked at the pump opposite. Its driver – a portly old hippy, ponytail and three days worth of stubble – was out of sight behind the pillar, and so Kevin felt comfortable motioning forward, resting a tired heel against the concrete step skirting the bottom of the pump, and striking what his dear old ma (as he always referred to her – it possessing that right blend of distance and affection for a man of his emotional means, and lack of ostentation) might refer to as, a pose.
     It was not altogether discouraging. What with the gentle whisper of a breeze picking up off the open spaces of the forecourt brushing against his shirt, and the dimmed glare of the morning sun on the concrete, it was possible to believe that he was eminently plausible as the man he had set out to be today. Which was especially lucky for him, as the man he had set out to be today was a plausible one. He was plausibly plausible.
     Sure, his whitest white work-shirt was a little bunched up around his midriff, where his body thickened, and the stubborn line of his middle-aged spread determinedly refused to budge; and ok, his plain black trousers, were a little plain. He’d had a pair like these during sixth-form (he dropped out of his Biology A-level – his only A-level – after two terms), and there was an unmistakable odour of schoolboyish conformity pervading  his look. But this did not discourage him overly. He felt plausible.
     There was a sharp click in the throat of the pump, and a judder as the tank registered full.
     No, what bothered him most was his hair. As the breeze tickled his fringe – his receding fringe – and he replaced the pump in its holster, he was compelled with his free hand to stroke it back into position (again) – a position he would concede was chosen to minimise the effect of its encroaching disappearance. For although he could tell himself with some justification that what was at stake was not vanity, but rather, practicality – his hair, to him, genuinely was not an image, but a predicament – there remained the problem that it retained the potential to make him look, well, a little old, and when its lank lengths rode up over the wide parabola of his puckered scalp, only emphasising in their thinness, and their scarcity the white expanses beneath, a little ragged.
     Inside the arctic hush of the petrol station proper, he pondered this as he perused the chocolate snacks, finally picking out a Boost, and a packet of Extra Strong Mints, periodically catching further refracted reflections of himself along the competing glass surfaces of the window.
     “Number Five,” he said levelly.

Slow Train Coming (007)

Saturday August 4, 2012 § Leave a comment


sharing a Coke between pursed lips    cap low    you talk like a barman gruff and
vernacular      a pretty walk tottering on bibliophile’s legs      ideas thick as nettles
verging the path, gathering cicada      piquant and conversant       slow hum of leisure drowning out revellers
                      we find our isolation                   your jailbait smile   my rococo
dependencies            a mixed bag      where we clarified our opposition

                       & the most tender handjob I ever had

Slow Train Coming (006)

Saturday August 4, 2012 § Leave a comment


a mirror is the wrong metaphor craving as with a poem the problem is surfaces of unlimited enticements is like walking in the sea                        sun catches the shingle



Slow Train Coming (001)

Saturday August 4, 2012 § Leave a comment


early-warning system he had dirty fingernails we’re talking about a crime bill pure
and simple I wish dawn cannot replicate brandishing complaints lilt of our early
rendezvous set the agreed currency of return our understanding waiting tick tock of
the hurricane blasé if you can manage it bill I think I love you like a slow train
coming         morning          piercing           distant     verdict       measured by

Slow Train Coming (000)

Saturday August 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

‘what whiteness will you add to this whiteness/what candour?’
– Ezra Pound, The Pisan Cantos


worse than that she moves restlessly through her targets that means anything look dull man sitting in a taxi behind a length of manifold ticker running heart packed like bait leaning against a Cadillac or a newsstand the slender pinned-back ears of expectation shivering in shirt sleeves forget the evening you probably would anyway everything = something (not that with all the sang-froid of a banana republic jilt me at the altar spell it out for me for Christ’s sake, unfolding my book on a park bench and


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