Like a Republican at Marble Arch

After Nic Fiddian-Green

illuminate poles are talking

to themselves

at equidistant ends of

the same line of sight

say: whatever you like about them

they brightly pierce the blue angle-poise

of evening’s honeymoon,

surrounds and

making chat

among the stars

in the daytime

of lightness –

whether we like it or whether

the pigeon shits its lot –

patina yolks of statuettes

run quietly amok

with that keen

baroque turquoise

the postcard white

of liberty’s

first and only sky

is left to play

upon that

slight unsaddled equine

of the mortal

Writing “In the Liverpool Public Library” (2014)

the royal library in Liverpool

is hollowed out to look like

a bright

glass tunnelled inside

where nobody sits, but for

the terminals and skulls

and the diminishing pages on

the shallow plastic shelves

until the reading room, where

in my position, the perfect listener

might’ve heard

the domed whispers nightly issued

with words from the straight

withered, brown-backed friends

of the Peloponnesian War

of words from Tolstoy

to Checkhov’s Cherry Tree

to copies of Match and today’s

Observer, interrupted only by

the track-suited leg shake of

an aggressive vista outside myself

beside myself, inside

the library

where the glass tunnel



the interminable

plastic awaits

As we all expected

the experience today was clouded and only

somewhat active

the silence symbol of the television

stood rigid, like a perfect light-green soldier

there on the battlefield of blacks and whites

the ballroom dancing blacks and whites

the interminable electrified chessboard of

its own frame of boredom

until a phone call [didn’t] c[o]me, about

“what is your current meditation on John Keats?”

or: “what should we do about China?”

it was the happening of a null hour

packed upon another, like empty cardboard

little playhouses, for

unwarranted homelessness in beards

and I was supposed – by the others on

the train that morning, in the boardrooms –

to do some more field-work, but

that is a lie as well, I

haven’t been expected

by anybody

to do anything, really

not for a while now,

not ever

Some of the things I

thought about in a café


the café is a nice place to start

again, and to sit where the stimulants of the cloud-air

chatter, like bellowed dreams of milk

disperse into fresh (mostly) white faces –

in Paris, the seats sit blankly outside, staring at the traffic

a waxen scene:

un théâtre de la rue de la folie –

and ah the minutes that my mind forgets to linger with its

circling: sample it and gently sniff

i dream in pain of milk from breasts, dripping

into mouth

but also dream of broken glass in ceilings

with chandeliers that will swear that i do

where coffee beans and croissants

rain on us all equally

and the espresso is a process of foetal becoming

the benign cradle of the portafilter

dangling the mobile of its gleam onto

the brown, burnt out millions

as yet unborn beneath it

in the grate