‘This is the night e-mail’

Night E-mail (and other communications)

A quick riffing, loosely on Auden’s immemorial ‘Night Mail’. What poet can bear to be badly mimicked for an age of digital communications that disembodies virtually everything?


Apotheosized in obituary
One line long-
Enter is pressed
and from the wane of hays and hovels
Heath’s white Cliffs to Hitchin High Street and
It is readable

Even at the train station-
where no mile after mile
of actual letters

Neutralised from Norwich
to Northumberland
Quotes of thanks, foreclosure threats
from banks

All traditions survive, swallowed whole by the edifice
The gradient’s fine, though it’ll be carved up
and contoured in time.

Tweets for the rich and for the poor
Novelty and the file-sharing police
are splintering away at
the door.
Statuses circumstantial, (comments tangential)
Like, emails with holiday snaps attached in
Trackpads to enlarge and vulgarly scrawl the margins

Slinging the laptop over your shoulder
Snorting nosily over the tablet holder
Browser theme-
of every hue
the pink, the violet and the one about myth-ed Wu Tao-tzu
That nobody gets.

Thousands are still asleep
Millions more are awake

Out you go
Out the door.

Who can bare to feel herself untagged and unmentioned?


The White-Trash Experience/Never Let Me Go

The White-Trash Experience/Never Let Me Go

Foxes nose needles
As Squirrels run back to trees
I gaze
Out of the window
Averting emotional blackmail from within
The inability to escape the urban
-13th floor
-Will the squirrel come back?
The urban landscape’s irreverisble change
But an immutable smile remains-
Sandy hair and Verelstian flowered bag
Bottled in memory in the shutroom of psyche-
Never let me go-
Pacing up and down the cell-
Waiting to be released! Crying-
Never let me go-
Without language or education I crawl back
(I can only stand alongside)
Back to the estate-
Never let me go.

Lost myself on the New Brighton Peninsula
Lost you and I’ve lost everything
The Mersey waves wash over my head
Will squirrels come back-
Failed with fear-
I mumbled without language-
-Lost all sense-
Lost everything-
Never let me go.
Language and peninsula erode-
Empires rise and fall-
Dazed and dissociated
Stumbling without word or smile-
Grey vistas save street parties-
To cuddly oppressors-
Within or without-
Never let me go.

All day and night
Save Winter
Every Weather
Never let me go.

‘That’ Estate

“I am somehow less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.”
— Stephen Jay Gould


That Social activist 

(The one that lives in Hampstead)

The echoes of the chattering classes in gentrified neighbourhoods

Sprawls away

Sink Housing and Working-class Youth

Seduced by Heroin

Unremittingly bleak paired with the unsophisticatedly nihilistic  

Shooting up over the limescaled kitchen sink

The disparity between the felt and the observed

Grows glaringly and unsettlingly obvious 


And the thrill of the chase

And the thrill of the chase


And the Sociopaths

Confronting the crack house on the corner

30 seconds away from the Library

Where the cokeheads congregate 

Evidently vacant 

Intestines destroyed

Cancer works slowly

And dealing adds a modicum of order 

To purposelessness 

With anabolic steroids

Grows the gross economic inequality

I want out.


The New Totalitarianism (A Neo-Samizdat poem)

“(…) I myself create it,

edit it,

censor it,

publish it,

distribute it, and… 

get imprisoned for it. (…)” 

Vladimir Bukovsky

The New Totalitarianism (A Neo-Samizdat Poem)


Working on themes handed down from above

We don’t know what they’re for-


As inhuman-

The frenetic race of fingers

That seems to speak the mumbling cacophony of

‘Don’t pick me!’

The Party is over.


The stiffness of the Worker’s fingers

There’s nothing but mist outside the window

Illuminated by a hovering helicopter spotlights

As black-clad entities drop through the roof of terraced homes

And 1930’s Hackney flats.


Everyone dreams,

When thought is terrorism ‘distempering worst calamity’


Ignorance is strength,

When Kitten photos maintain hegemony.


Streets and back alleys

Become Black light theatres

When Black light-

All light-

Is contraband.

Decreed by a Corona of Control

From the virtuous leaders.


To be mentally purged and purged

And purged again by a carbon copy of corruption.

The enemy of the People.


Poetry and the people

A new meme of

(Destabilisation; Decentralisation)

Planetary Bureaucracy.

(Dissemination; Dissent)


‘One twenty, three-quarters empty’

As the dissenting dwarf dwarfed

By Canary Wharf

Read Larkin

Where the real Refuseniks

Read The Financial Times


-Glassy facades of towers

They came to take him away almost immediately

Nobody saw anything.

But paradoxically they all did.

Fear is a prison.


Popping bubblewrap ‘til Doomsday

Will I ever take a plane-

A train-

Your way?

Black listed.

I never heard to which centre they were sent-

Where did they go?


Popping bubblewrap ‘till Doomsday

Has become the new apathetic motif.

In an empty West London studio-

Hotel linen piled high-

Coloured with fleshy oil smears that belonged to an artist

London is empty-

Desolate except-

For flies feasting on faeces.


Popping bubblewrap ‘til Doomsday

Don’t want to say

Curl into a default foetus on the floor

And stay


As they break down the door

Deluded to envisaged a better day. 

Popping bubblewrap until Doomsday.


Nowhere, nobody.

No neutrinos, nothing.


Clumsy Doubling: A European History

A pretty poor attempt by myself. Perhaps I’ll rewrite and remould sometime (if Europe still exists). I just wanted to express some fleeting feelings.

Beyond bluer moods and satirical interludes
Of Icelandic amnesiacs in banks interrogate
That sank under geysers
Larger than Pfizer
No time to advise her

Mist and Spray
It’s getting late

Seas of green tear gas pay
For cultural debts and coke on the cabinet floor
Powdered opulence and empty line graphs
Clumsy doubling inflammatory to politicians and philosophers.

Two Troikas
Twos and threes
Dissidents down on your knees
The Stasi said to me

Spotlight shines stalemate

Generic platitudes and forms
Infested dorms
Adhere to the framework

The writers of the greatest fiction
Found in not-so prosaic zero-zero-slash-slash-b

Clumsy doubling
Clumsy doubling
And History repeats

My dear
It’s a Greek Tragedy

(How hackneyed)

Then you’re sorting peas
Clumsy doubling

On grubby knees
And History repeats.

Four Quartets and we’re courting

Disaster in the Dardenelles

Slowly smouldering
Existential crisis grills
The precipice behind the Parisian Townhouses
The humidity of Belleville in Summer
Beyond recognition crumbles concrete
The precipice behind the cul-de-sac
Out of view

Awkwardly devoted to the derailed gravy train
I grow not hot with eternal winter
Clumsy doubling and grand narrative
Clumsy doubling and grand narrative
Grand and derailed.
Strasbourg smiles.

The cascade down the mountain 

Dreaming, perhaps, of a night of fear.
And thoughtless technocrats.
‘Credit rating ‘U’

There’s no you!’
Clumsy doubling
Reduce, reduce

And silence eclipses sanity.

Unreal city

Soup queues stretch in Surrey

Salzburg, Seville, Southwards down the Seine

Tanks, repression ensue

Clumsy doubling

Clumsy doubling

And History repeats.


The London Verses No.5

 Quickly written today… hugely flawed etc. I’m not fishing for compliments, honest. Just enjoy.


The M25

A 20-mile grey necklace-

or noose-


Enclosing the metropolis 

A quiet belt that can’t be cut loose?


Blandly anonymous suburbs scream

(Consuming as a vacuum for dreams) 

Stanmore on a Sunday-

Middle-class mercs-

And the bleak coda of Collingwood

or forgotten Finchley 


Hard shoulders- 

And cold shoulders-

Cadaver washed upon the South Bank

Kisses of thanks-

And hugs of grace

Draconian measures

Pepper spray-

and mace-

Empty office space –

on the Euston Road

and one Bedroom abodes –

in Wapping.


Sighs of the City

jrWrinkles of the City - Robert Upside Down

Air Raid Sirens harmonise
Diaphanous sighs
Whispers of Secrets I once knew
And Streets that once blew.

Secrets in Streets that finally flew.


Sublime disorientation

A weekend of detached vacation

Glide like steadicam

Over the wrinkles and the cracks

Will Politicians

And Philosophers know?

Fastidiously documenting everything

That’ll crumble

And won’t come back.