Oh happy day of laundry and scrubbing,
dusting the grit of the week to the floor,
as the TV murmurs through the walls,
Sunday lingers in the hall, and is all of a leaning.

Oh mellow hour of kitchen cutlery,
Sunday light, switches on the landing
between midday, dusk, then darkening evening,
we organise the chairs, like hotel stationary.

And the wind is rustling in the tall bamboo.
Boxes of your life are sat in the lounge.
I take a call as the night ticks down.
There’s no time now to watch cartoons.

Sunflowers grow longer than a month of Sundays.
The week gathers, with all of our beloveds
and all our misdemeanours.

There’s a woman in a nightie going out of her head
C’ mon baby, do the Loco-Motion
A woman on a sidewalk, who’s revealing flesh
C’mon baby, do the Loco-Motion.
I know you’re gonna like it, if you give it a chance
Just look at Lady Gaga, she’s got loads of cash
So come on, come on, do the Loco-Motion with me

You’ve got to swing your hips now
Sex Traff – cking
You’ve got to dress to kill, yeah, yeah

There’s a women on a plane, and she’s sitting by me
C’mon on baby, do the Loco-Motion
She doesn’t speak the language, but she’s wearing heels
C’mon baby, do the chugga-motion
We communicate with signals, she is being met
She only knows the gesture for an S.O.S, oh
Come on, come on, do the Loco-Motion with me

You’ve got to swing your hips now
Sex Traff – cking
you’ve got to lose the will, yeah, yeah

Now that you can do it, let’s make a chain now
C’mon baby, do the Loco-Motion
Chug-a chug-a motion like a railway train now
C’mon baby, do the Loco-Motion
The legal system’s failing the majority
The women get deported and their keepers go free
So come on, come on, do the Loco-Motion with me

You’ve got to swing your hips now
Sex Traff – cking
because you’re w-orth it, yeah, yeah

Everybody’s doing a brand new dance now
C’mon baby, do the Loco-Motion
Average victim’s raped per day by 30-40
C’mon baby do the chugga-motion
It’s easy if you look away, the government do
Like the minister for law once said, rape’s not all equal
So come on, come on, do the Loco-Motion with me.

You’ve got to swing your hips now
Sex Traff – cking
You’ve got to lose control, yeah, yeah

There’s a woman in a nightie calling for help
C’ mon baby, do the Loco-Motion
A woman on a sidewalk, who’s been left for dead
C’mon baby, do the Loco-Motion
I know you’re gonna like it, if you give it a chance
Just look at Lady Gaga, she’s got loads of cash
So come on, come on, do the Loco-motion with me

Come on, come on, do the Loco-Motion with

Come on, come on, do the Loco-Motion with me.

Her Dark Materials

August 8, 2012

Ceramic kittens and vases of sweetpeas,
pink begonias and drawings of Barbie.

Shadowy moon and polar explorers,
blaming my brother for breaking the light bulb.

Bouffant tulle of princess prom dress,
white silk taffeta with bright red cherries.

Canine teeth and born with claws,
stealing the shadow, blue from the store.

Strawberry lip gloss and Tamsin Braithwaite
Candy cotton ribboned aprons.

Plotting the death of the woman next door
with her loud music at a quarter to four.

Miniature dogs and rainbow angels,
Snow White shoes and a hundred cupcakes.

Mannequin hand in the manner of Cindy,
hallucinating zombies unleashed upon Wendy.

Peter Pan is running Apple.
Tink is working in a Brothel.

Accidentally murdering snails in the garden
stumbling drunk and treading on eggshells.

Black eyes, red grimace.

The sensation of falling from out of an aeroplane.
The absence of light. Candied peel.

Like a suitcase opened, a rapid applause.
Lazerus walking in my mother’s heels.

There’s Peroxide bleach,
and potential for blindness
and the smell,
and the itching,
poisoned dress,
Medea’s shower-cap.

Then the complementary tea
and the forced entertainment;
holidays, relationships,
hair care maintenance

and the actual burning
the sensation of depilation
the ready supply of Vanity Fair
New Woman, Cosmopolitan.

Then there’s the taking of
blow dried brilliance
for blow job-tastic:

“Hey Pinky, Hey Pinky”
called from a car
“I’ve seen you on the internet”

and the promiscuous,
child like,
drug addicted

the beaureaucratic noting
of communistic tendencies,
at the quarterly review
woven in hairpins.

From my Uncle in Dachau
to my white haired Barbie.
From Hungary to Switziland.
Auschwitz to Acid.

Platinum Bomb shells
to Great Aunt Barishka.

From Russia with love
to Ursula Andres.

From toner to silver.
From cracked to Cat-Women

Through my hair
I am exploring my roots.

It’s taken me hours
to paint them sienna.

And I’m not splitting ends but

Delilah, Madonna,
Marilyn Monroe,
Mother Teresa.

Frieda Carlo
meets Lady Gaga,
Simone de Beauvoir,
women are not born 
they are made.

I’m sending letters
to Uncle Zoltan

from icy tips
down darkened paths.

I’m sending postcards
to Grandma Ily,
Hepburn, Piaf,
I’m posting reports from the other side.

Peroxide Bleach and X men Heroines,
Polar Bears and razing follicles.

First wave, second wave
Perm mutation,
Feminist, Post Feminist,
Lap dance, Prom Queen,

I’m so confused
I’ve turned into snow
in a vain attempt
to exit the show.

First wave, second wave
Perm mutation
Post, Post Feminist
Lap dance Prom Queen.

I’m dying my hair
while I still have the leisure.

One day soon
I’ll be old and grey.

I’ll die my hair purple.


June 9, 2012

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It’s something about the way
you rightmove.com,
something about the way
two clicks to the one –

something about the way you do…
multiple searches for mid terrace properties,

I might as well face it
I’m addicted to viewings.

It’s Saturday night
and I’m on the computer,
tapping in miles
and punching in postcodes.

I’m looking for a match
forget about the com,
a spacious town house,
a place in a loft.

I’d like a garage
and a garden
and a room with a view,
an aga in the kitchen
and a cellar
and a pool.

Forget about the fact
I’ve got the budget for a terrace.
Forget about the morgage,
forget about the credit.

Forget about the houses,
forget about the moving

I might as well face it
I’m addicted to viewings.

And here is the hallway.
Here is the kitchen.
This is the master.
Here is the boxroom.

Here is the box room
with all it’s potential,
you could fit a double bed
in any direction.

Ah you’ve noticed the flooring –
yes sorry about that..
the yard’s overlooked
by 15 flats.

It’s a south facing lounge,
with the view of a wall.
It’s an investment property
so best not stall.

And I’m writing down numbers.
I’ve got a hobby like a habit.
I’ve got property porn.
I’m addicted to adverts.

‘Conveniently placed’,
means near somewhere better.

‘Attractively presented’
means recently painted.

It’s a ‘popular suburb’
so expect overcrowding.

‘A comfortable home’
so adjust expectations.

‘Ideal for first time buyers’:
you couldn’t swing a poodle.

‘Original flooring’:
will need renovation.

But it’s something about the way
you can peruse the unfamiliar,
something about the way
you meet so many people –

something about the way…
a Victorian fireplace looks so lovely in Spring –

I might as well face it
I’m addicted to viewings.

I’ve been bitten by the bug.
I’m a mainlined search.
I’m browsing all night.
I can barely go to work.

I’m glued to the glass of
estate agent windows,
I’m clicking and ringing
I’m doing the limbo.

I’m visiting lounges
vacated of sofas,
I’m walking through walls
of a strangers photos.

If I ever bought a place
I’d just have to move –

I might as well face it
I’m addicted to viewings.

Yes I might as well face it
I’m addicted to viewings.

Yes I might as well face it

I’m addicted, to viewings.

All of the secretaries in the admin office are women
And most of the nurses on the ward are wearing bras,
But most of ministers in the cabinet are David,
Or Andrew, or William, or Liam.

Most of the social workers, have experienced periods,
Most of the therapists, have worn rouge,
But most of the Bankers are in the boys club
And the Hedge Fund managers are wearing suits.

And most of the mothers will be staying at home
After the Government’s programme of hems.
It will be mostly women. Sitting in lounges. In 2011.
Mostly women, will collect their papers
And remember their mothers
And think of their children
And remember how
To sing the blues.

First Draft

September 25, 2011

It was after the Tottenham Riots
and after the trouble at work , after the cuts
and Syria, Ethiopia,
the island massacre,
the death of the singer,
the dancing,
at the carnival.

The day after she came back home
we drank tea in her kitchen
poured from a saucepan
boiled on a stove.

We walked down her quiet street.
Small leaves, heaped into crevises.
A ladybird settled on her shoulder.

It was the day after they discovered
that time travel
might be possible.

We ate lunch, lemonade and cups of tea.
Light pressed in against the windows,

after the deaths and the riots,
as we sat in her kitchen;
the day after particles
broke every rule.


January 23, 2011

I’ve got an old photo
in a camera
that has since deceased:
Police galloping
on white stallions
their tails tied up
in plastic bands
like the wiry necks
of old geese.
I’ve got an old photo
it only exists in my head
it’s the rainbow slide of a retina
like the oil on a puddle
or the afterglow
of a sunset.
They came on a Saturday
the council closed the city centre down
I remember the way the glass shattered
in the window of a pub
I remember the lines of fluorescent gowns.
I’ve got an old photo
of everyone running
and something thrown like a firework
I’ve got an old photo
of them fastening their helmets
and lowering their visors
and the clouds bunching
armouring the sun.
Were you the woman congratulating
the man with the skinhead.
Were you the skinhead trying to walk away
Were you the bald man
not a fascist, just a bald man
Were you one of us
or one of them
Were you the family
confined to the suburbs.
Were you walking in the centre
carved up with the cordons.
scared to watch
but couldn’t look away
The next day there were ribbons
yawning in the morning
gleaming in the rays.
I’ve got an old photo:
a window shattering
horses and visors
and green ribbons
running through the city
running in stitches
rivers of green
no scarlet
no carman
no ruby
There was a peace festival
in the square, just up from Sainsburys
I’ve got an old photo in a camera
that has since deceased
I left it in a taxi
somewhere off of Narborough Road
or Fosse Way
or somewhere further
out of the city.

My Uncle

January 16, 2011

My uncle is not a four wheel drive

with leather seats and brand new chase.

My uncle is not the glossy cover of

Hello, Time Out or Heat.
My uncle is not
a metrosexual pair of skinny jeans

and not, most definitely

a potential applicant for Dancing on Ice

even though
he is more limber

than a big cat

that has become adept

at roller skating. My uncle

built his own bike so he could cycle

23 miles to work,
there and back, every day –
up at 6, back at 7.30

My uncle got himself a law degree

and handled his own divorce

My uncle got himself a history degree

so he could understand

the way our relatives were moved

eating grass on trains in Germany.
My uncle has a degree in philosophy

and is philosophical about the state of

class structure and what can you do

about the selfish gene. My uncle

is the kindest man I’ve ever met

but despite his warmth

has also in the past

been colder than a bailiff’s greeting

My uncle is not an empty hand or

turned away body

My uncle is half Hungarian

and speaks it fluently

My uncle has a lover from Nigeria 

who he has seen clandestinely

for more than 15 years

and my uncle meditates

quietly in conservatories

cross legged on floors

his own in Kilburn

my parents’, in their bungalow

I watched him at Christmas

when he wasn’t looking
slippers by the camp bed
glasses by the window.

My uncle, lends money

to friends and relatives

and never makes a fuss

My uncle was raised by Carmelite nuns

and to this day is scathing

about their kind of Catholicism. Listen

you’ve got to understand

that 2 plus 2 is 4

and 36 x 110 is 3960
but this does not equal

all of the books in my uncle’s library

in which he works, quietly

diligently, as head librarian

and he has probably read

every single one

My uncle is not a copy of the

Times Literary Supplement

but he digests it, carefully

every month

My uncle can make an intelligent remark

about the state of British Art

or neo-liberalism

or anything -
I’ve got to tell you:

my uncle fed his dying dog chicken

that he boiled each day

on the stove in his kitchen

even though he was and is a vegetarian

but once, when my cousin was 12

didn’t talk to her or her mum for 2 weeks

just because they’d had an argument

even though my cousin cried

and her mother begged him


My uncle is not unscathed

or perfected in the art

of always doing the right thing

My uncle is the kindest man I’ve ever met

but if you saw him in the street

you wouldn’t know him.