Sunday, 21 October 2012

A Year In Morse

(Sometimes you find yourself in the weird position where a poetry magazine says they're going to publish your work in their forthcoming issue... then there's a great long silence as you wait for the issue to emerge... Then it becomes apparent that what originally seemed to be abnormally long gap between publication dates was actually a literary journal's equivalent of a hospice stay rather than a pleasant holiday in southern Spain.

Er... the magazine died a death, ceased publication and never ran the poem, that's what I'm trying to say in plain English.  And by the time I became aware of the situation and had the opportunity to do something else with it, I felt that I'd moved on slightly and I couldn't be bothered anymore.  That's no reason for you all not to see it, though).

There were no barriers anymore.
I’d reached the point of
“no looking back”, and the
future was also unclear.
The beach was a
pebble-dashed wall
pushed on its side.
The sun caught the
wings of an aircraft,
full of oblivious,
invisible extras in our scene.
Flash.  Flash.  Flash.  Stop.

You stood there
with a strawberry and cream
sunburn, a barcode on a
trash youth novel with a
luminous pink jacket.
There was some
hiccupping laughter
over by an arcade
machine with a
spinning metallic
sphere inside.
Click, click, click.  Drone.

There wasn’t much to do.
We were there holding hands
for the sake of it,
staying at home
with the curtains drawn,
starting sentences with the
phrases “do you think”,
“what about” and “so what if”,
then saying goodbye without
grudges when we hit on “the solution”.
The tongue of the door
kissed the latch
delicately as I left,
tripping its way over the
top lip sensitively but
without passion.
Click.  Click.   Goodbye.


  1. I enjoyed this. The last six lines are very effective in evoking the terms of this relationship and its ending - "the tongue of the latch / kissed ..." and the repetition of sounds at the end of each verse are a great way to mark the different episodes and locations.

  2. Thanks Jan! I quite like it, but not enough that I'd actually be bothered to push it to any poetry magazines at the moment (hence its appearance here - by putting your poems on a blog, you're effectively publishing them yourself and therefore damning them from consideration).