first poem in brighton

love is a dog and it’s my turn to walk it


i dream wreaths

of thundering english flowers

your beard on my cheek

and it rains every day

when i would sleep scattered on your chest

falling from the cloudspinata

the ocean’s every lying mist

chaining the dogsea

to the brutalist flats to the south

(and they’re driving as fast as they can

however many ponies they can hitch

whatever number steps on a black road)

why do i not remember

one thousand men but you, only you

only have me by the throat of my

love like murder without you right where

it hurts without you

your lightning hidden from me

in bolt-holes and oubliettes

where I sniff

from your pockets

a treat when

i sit, rollover, fetchaball.

so new a city

is a tame animal

for your plenty of kindnesses

i thunder on beaches like a kite

i roll in everyberry this autumn

all through my coat,

the end of the fruit

the pulp and the stain

the dog came running from the distant sea

you hold my leash and keep me

you hold my hand and keep me from flying away

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Oh the terrible delay

Hello beloveds,

Well, life is hard work at the moment. M in the New Forest, me here in Brighton, people having heart attacks and people getting depression and me mail-ordering orchids to them all.

The course at the Brighton Journalist Works is going well, despite me, as usual, overegging my own pudding, so to speak. I have taken on a bit too much, but luckily my course leader has let me wriggle a bit and I’ve got a week off because as well as the journalism I have been rehearsing with Mr Danny Green in order to go on the Laish tour in two weeks! As you see, Laish are good’uns, and they’re just crying out for a bit of banjo:

Choochoo! J x

(P.S. Melville our dog arrived, finally, from Spain, eight months after M did!)

Herman Melville, the white whale, and the Pequod