BASTARD sped clergymen

Sums collected,

Express traveled,

Strangely fantasied,

Possessed of idle dreams,

Not knowing, but full of fear.

Prophet me streets,

Sing in rude rhymes

To hundreds treading:

Highness up your crown.


(Remix poem based on excerpt from Shakespeare’s King John: Act 4, Scene 2)

Knight of Pentacles

A rather dull Friday

Look forward

To more drudgery


Change is possible

Step out of the rut

Choose different

Choose life

Take a risk

Even if it terrifies you.

Great advice

But I am no knight.


The cicada laughs

Wings like clouds

Mount the wind

Shoulder the blue sky

Beat a whirlwind

Setting off a six month gale

When the bird looks down

All he sees is blue too

Water piled up

Deep enough to

Bear up the big boat.

Looking up

The cicada laughs.


(Cut-up poem based on Chuang Tzu)


Every time I butter toast

I think of you

And that morning

In the college canteen

When you taught me

Your secret method

To soften the fridge-cold

Foil wrapped butter tabs

By leaving them under those

Cheap leaky-spout teapots

For a few seconds.

I melted too but

Never told you.


Why I live eidetic


Lift-off here 

is very simple. 

I start my daze 

with coffin and frump on 

the beano in the mortal, and 

then either work on the beano talking 

to Pepper about the divorce courses, or take

a growler out and guide them through the cordon

bleu. In the everywhere the whole working company gathers to

play popery, have a simple dip, maybe of falderal or eidetic

placebo and watch the simulacrum at 6 p.m.– some things are the same all ovio!


(Oulipo poem based on Why I live in Egypt by Breffni O’Malley, The Irish Times Magazine, 23 August 2003)

We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World’s Getting Worse

He was a realist? That’s hilarious!
Read in extenso and
See a coke-addled fantasist
We’ve Had a Hundred Years of
Psychotherapy and the World’s Getting Worse.
Ignoring the pernicious political
Destroying lives
Misrepresenting personal problems
In the echo chamber of destructive mantras
“Follow your dreams”
“Reach for the stars”
Iterations of the American Dream
AKA capitalism.

Boy, straighten up and fly right, life is not a piece of cake.
I’m OK and you’re OK if the cheque’s OK.’

It’s too much noise
Unholy urge
Open up every
Tittle tattle
Sorry, but I’m not interested
Breakdowns and break ups
Medical misadventures
Mission creep for endless therapy.
Pathologizing what does not match their credo
The better to burrow into income streams
Victimhood incentivised inventing the problems
They claim qualified to fix
Producing plenty of anomic narcissists who lap it
He was a realist? That’s hilarious!
We’ve Had a Hundred Years of
Psychotherapy and the World’s Getting Worse.


(Found poem cut up from comments found on message boards)

Day Dreams

When I was young I played with brutality 

And was passionately devoted to reality, to reason

And my dresses were hurried to compliance. 

But then the bullets began singing

Arsenals began cracking the frost. 

And a winged sun came flying to the city.

I was already annihilated.

Although armchairs were not my profile, 

When my taunt was done,

When my tattoo was done,

I made tautology my stanza. 

A scholar’s strength cuts best in imagination.

And drinkers retire to their compound of plastic. 

And the glitter in the glass. 


(Oulipo poem based on an ancient Chinese poem: DAY DREAMS

By Tso Ssŭ)-

Black and White Photograph

Black and white people in a 

Black and white photo

Sitting by the street on a hot day in L.A. 1962

Colourless trees, grass, flowers 

And fountain spray decorate 

the busy park behind their bench

Sitting by the street on a hot day in L.A. 1962

Those real people sit there, 

At one with their place 

Smoking cigarettes,

sleeping, yawning, chatting, 

reading the newspaper, 

Sitting by the street on a hot day in L.A. 1962

Six young white women, 

In colourless dresses

Sit in the middle of the bench

One young black man

In a white shirt

At one end

Talking to a white woman,

And an old white man

In a black suit

At the other

Reading the newspaper

Perhaps they are waiting for a bus

Or maybe they are just being there?

Everything seems fine

Sitting by the street on a hot day in L.A. 1962. 


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