My love for you is a stampede of oranges

My love for you is a stampede of oranges.

Cracked walnuts, sugared cranberries

sounds from my guts and bones

a pile of pared comestibles

soft tissues, scoops and hollows

a rigged nest vestibule. Harpers and TV.

A young man ventures deep into the forest with a

mysterious companion

in 17th-century New England.

Paired combustibles.

their audacity marks a short story,

the high wire act the orchestra

reaching a comic diminuendo but

ending – oh!

-with a bang!!!

Two Parisian friends on a fishing expedition

are captured by the enemy

during the Franco-Prussian War.

A genial murderer

is shaken out of his boredom when,

on holiday in Yalta,

he meets a young woman.

A married Moscow banker steps

outside his asylum for a day and finds

rudimentary drawings scratched on the walls of caves.

A young schoolteacher finds

that she enjoys a ruthless killing

in the oral tradition.

Oh beloved america

your paperbacks, your song of the south!

the simpsons on repeat// on repeat!!

Your mock survival lore

compels us – red in tooth and claw – to

acts of tremendous skulduggery

Pontiac, Buick and Chevrolet

– oh frabjous day! calloo! callay!)

A bullying father suddenly starts to doubt himself

as he drives his son to 19th century Wyoming.

Or a wizard. Or a whirlwind.

Love propels us into the house of dangerous enemies

all under drift and over the pack

foxfeet and birdfeet drift

folly slots and outlawed himmel

on repeat//no repeat

snow battles hardest

moon cancelled and stars postponed

the coming up and goingdown of the sun.

in a lotch or a bollow

how many times in your life

will you get married?

knit bootees?

ply a cradle?

pigs and fishes dream of it,

and close bonds among thieves

come to nothing.

a child in a bedroom in holland, in spain

drawing long pictures. a bird’s foot

over a fledgling. And the child is scolded for brooding.

As though all eggs are hollow.

We haven’t given out advice

since the 1950s, but like a new bicycle,

it’s not too late to learn.

Be content to be thought foolish and stupid

& your six little helping elves will trail after.

& dedicate your books to the people that read them,

& name your daughters for the ones we lost in the storms

& name your sons for the heros of afghan epics

& if you adopt orphans, do it noiselessly,

only carve two names on the bole of a tree

if you’re to stand any chance of return.

on repeat//on repeat.

the petits ouiseaux in their lime green caps

and chalk yellow trousers

and the lapins suisses, and the tart chocolatiers

unroll their tights around the festivities

and tiny automata mimic a funfare

where two first meet eyes and he helps her


perhaps she dropped something

so that their hands could touch,

perhaps she drank rum enough to be

tough enough for love,

perhaps she lay down earlier than bedtimes.

And meanwhile the ones with red cheeks

and plaited hair

played kiss-chase and bulldog

and were lost in the storm.

true stories are longer, we had better hope.

if they are to drag out we must burst

into the house of dangerous enemies

in a stampede of oranges. carve our names

on repeat// on repeat

raise up the hands of the waiting women

let loose balloons in fallen cities

with you on runways of laughter

This morning’s doings:

Woke up early, unexpectedly rested, to bright blue sky. Chilly in England. Scarves and mittens, ladies and gentlemen.

Remembered odd dream – I was making pomegranates out of clay.

Postponed: packing everything into boxes, shorthand practice, getting out of bed.

Looked at wedding rings on etsy. Got all excited.

Watched half of nature documentary with headphones on, secretly, cocooned in duvet. Sardines fucked by global warming. <not happy about this>

M brought me coffee. He got up early to finish this big job he’s working on. He looks exhausted, but darlings, someone’s got to pay for the wedding rings.

Found an old poem to share with you. It’s a bit long, but I wouldn’t dream of patronising you, dear reader, with assumptions as to your concentration span.

Palimpsest (11).

when i want parties i seem to get

corpulent lenten russian novels

instead of sluts in latex.

everyone dances on my

shattered sleep architecture.

you have to come back, and symphony me.

and let the meadows come back.

Find me a slatted pattern

take a hoopla, corral the patience of horses

a small molten north laptop choir and i

go south go south. go south.

(i said, i said took only one tiny unhappy bee

the meadows are full of metal)


when i wanted dreamings

i went whenever i had to

fell off cliffs and drank berliner

i went out to warehouses

and bite and bite and bite.

i slithered in deserts and didn’t know, i’m dreaming.

(and there are girls without voices in mali and thailand

there are girls without minds in shoreditch and gazi)

and i am doing this killing degree because

what else do girls like me know?


when i want parties

i get out of here

with you on runways of laughter.

fill up my oldest house with jamjars of candy

put so many lights on the appletrees

she’ll blow. follow me in soldier

bare all my buttons

explode all my beehives.


cy twombly, in my dream,

told me to look harder,

at your face!

and showed me a mirror. and

between the atoms very close he

licked the foam from his spoon he said

harder than that!, between the follicles

is carbon. coal. diamonds. your matter.

he said take off your clothes if you have to.

do not forget to get paint on your body,

he said, one love, bigger than thine.


so we were eating pancakes

and there was ocean all over the windows

and we battered down in ruby bear bed jackets

and he took the maple syrup,

brown sugar, cream to the white linen tablecloth

and started to bellow

“i am Thyrsis of Etna, blessed with a tuneful voice.”

while the waitress was nowhere to be seen

he thundered like god among the teacups.


when we want porno,

we listen to the bodies, saying “aw yeah”

like there’s something they just remembered.

there isn’t any dust in their cages. they

sharpen their nails on iron files, they practice sweating

on innocent cupcakes. They wear

fuck-me shoes. While the saami

castrate their reindeer with a nip of the teeth.

Sex has never been fair.


cy twombly told me, let it go.

let out the birdcaged. though i wanted

rivers of blood to sink the whole scene under.

even the dead will dance, when an egyptian

taxi stops in the road. a mandolin beating

impossibly high will bring us from out of our eggshells

from bloom to bloom. better

the borrowed days of february than the unseen icebergs.

better great cry then little wool. a choir

pitched impossibly high moves iron hearts

like slow machinery. these are facts,

and not to be disputed. whatever i can promise.