Short Order Cook

November 25, 2008

The Vaults is advertising
for a Short Order Cook.
I do not know,
what a Short Order Cook is,
but later that day,
at about 1.30 in the morning,
a Short Order Cook is mentioned
on a 1950’s detective show.

The detective is wearing a tweed hat
and a matching coat. Upstairs –
(in the large mansion,
where he is talking to a bereaved widow)
there is jagged music
and a shadowed man in silhouette
climbing through a French window.

Later, there’s a bar and a duke box
and words like nickel and partial
and people called Errol and Buddy
and women who work in typing pools

There are scenes that change
like windscreen wipers,
and small mustaches and red carnations
and phone receivers like plastic bones

there are characters
addressing the viewer directly,
up close and screen personal –
and solved deaths like glued china,
of men killed, standing in libraries
and a big end scene
with a large glass bowl

But there is no further mention
of the Short Order Cook
not even once, not even

Quatrain, done for the M.A

November 22, 2008


Court game; old fame – for thanes and lovers,
Thomas Gray’s, Elegy Written in a Country Graveyard.
Quatrain: Heroic – Rustavelian. Quatrain: Venus covers
Adonis follows, hymns and ballads – stanza vineyard –

Quatrain. Stairwell to a cellar, garden robed in yellow –
woman dancing, shadowed cello – path to an ocean,
room to a view, horizon line morello
hued, like thinking a space or drinking a potion,

falling in love, or opening a window –
a door, a shell, a lid, a ghost up – and taking
a journey or throwing a line out, traveling to Oslo
or Cyprus, or Moscow, leaving nothing, taking

something – a quatrain, like a new beginning,
a quatrain, like a place to live in, a quatrain
all that’s needed: vowels and stones and fresh linen,
a suitcase – legacy from Africa – a quatrain – four rivers

Long lost blog

November 22, 2008

I haven’t posted for ages. There are reasons. I think I miss my blog though. I miss the way it holds the stuff I write and makes it feel a little less alone. So much has been happening too, so I reckon getting back into my blog will help me process some of it. Celebrate the good stuff, talk in riddles about the rest! With this in mind, let me tell you about my MA.

I’ve started one. It’s at Nottingham Trent University, a half hour train trip and 15 minute bus from where I live. It’s in Creative Writing. First year poetry, second prose. I’m kind of up and down about it. The ups tend to coincide with writing poetry, and attending poetry sessions. The downs tend to coincide with essay due dates. I’ll obsess uselessly about the latter in a later post. Probably one written while it’s writer should be writing said essay. In the meantime, quatrains…

Every fortnight, my poetry supervisor, Mahendra Solanki sets us a poetry exercise. So far it has been to write a poem in a given form. Last fortnight it was to write a quatrain. A quatrain is a 4 stanza poem. Each stanza has four lines. It should have some kind of repeated rhyming structure running through it. I wrote one for the group which I’ll post in a moment. I didn’t particularly enjoy writing it, so it’s strange I should have chosen to write another to give to my friend Jean, who’s leaving for Jamaica in a week.

She’ll be going till February and I’ll be seeing her later this evening for a send off. So, the plan is to give her it then. Not sure it entirely works, but hey, the sentiment is there, and here it is…


While you’re gone, I’ll think about your Caribbean soup
everything fit inside a bowl, warm dish, dense dumplings –
ochre stew like a scene from a painting, some things
are made to give safety – gold eggs, inside of dirty coop.

I’ll remember your camel coat and your glamourous trilby
you and Linton, dressed for movies, scarfed from cold.
I’ll think of your bare feet, sinking into velvet gold –
while you are gone will know your safe, your trilby –

hung inside a wardrobe, instead a turban –
holding hair like twisted silk. Jean – I’ll miss you.
Will think of you outside of Bossa, that late summer, you
there drinking beer. Jean I’ll miss you, chic and urban

like a version of a priestess – oracle for spinning words with:
Woman never got a man – by going down on bended knee.
These days will never come again – were meant to seize,

Jean, when you come home, we’ll find some more to gently live.

We’ll sit inside my towered flat and shoot the past
and talk the breeze. I’ll cook for you. And then, we’ll eat.

Protected: Flat 2

November 11, 2008

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November 11, 2008

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Protected: Sunday Evening

November 9, 2008

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