I have hallucinations about roofs falling on whole families, a car running over a child, a stray bullet hitting right into a heart… Those events show glaringly that we are mere objects. Nature has its unavoidable laws.

Light is blinding, is the enemy. Desiring desire: that’s when a body disintegrates, and contaminates every river it has ever known.

Lines of trees lining a dry land form a line of pilgrimage. There’s a beyond-ness to words.

Nothing matters besides the little town’s yearning to go to sea, to never return.

A cool summer’s breeze is different from a winter’s same temperature.

Night is a subtle rain, wetting body and soul.


[Read in Night, published by Nightboat Books]


Another poem from Alasdair Paterson’s Brumaire and Later – see ‘Watercress’ and ‘Goose’ below for the context. Paterson’s writing in this pamphlet – for all the anguish of its subject, and often ripe-to-rotten richness of its imagery – has such clarity, like cool mountain water held in a wooden tub.


The first of the month,
the day named Apple,
pigs were fattening
as usual on the windfalls,
the sauce was thickening nicely,
when fog came down like white mourning,
like a mountebank’s trick hankie.

Then it was a morning
to spin you around;
so by the time you looked again
how strange and sharp
the landscape’s edges had turned,
how many stumbled into them.

But for others it was sweet,
sweeter than orchards to bite
into our time, our element at last.
To hear like a new-delivered pulse
the calendar’s muffled drum.
To walk sure-footed in the dim russet.
To unwrap the weapons.


[Read in Brumaire and Later, published by Flarestack Poets.]



My route 66 was to drive
towards an endless sky.
as a highway woman
who sings no anglo-sino ballad.

I ran my scrawls in C++
Chaucer to Kerouac,
Panthurst to Woolf,
Eve to Mother,
cells and bytes

I cut my finger
slicing fish
on a chopping board
and pulled my back
bringing in laundry –
they are reality bites
to tell me
my ego has gone too huge.

Properly protected,
I did no drugs,
smoked no cigarettes,
hardly drank
and kissed none
till well over twenty-one,
does this make me an everywoman?

How unreal was my rainbow sky.

[Read in Contouring by Heng Siok Tian, Landmark Books, which is in part a dialogue with Emily Dickinson. A piece of a C++ screenshot ripped from http://www.hanselman.com/blog/CKilledMyGrandpappyIsCHardAndWhereAreTheCCodersHiding.aspx – something I know nothing about.]