Friday, 20 November 2009

What Happened When I Ran Away

When I got to the edge of the desert, I saw the distended belly of the sun flopping huge over the landscape, chasing the shadows out of their holes to squat behind the stones.

You told me, "You know, if I throw one of these stones, I can hit the sun and it'll pop and fart away like a balloon."

It was as if the desert heard you, and hushed, and the insects stopped mating to see what would happen.

When I got to the edge of the desert, I saw a carpet of beetles, as black and shiny as the inside of a bucket. I threw water on them to get them away from my shoes.

You told me, "I did it. I did it! I killed the sun with my sling."

It was as if you didn't realise that night had come and the moon was laughing.

Monday, 2 November 2009


The men on horseback lift their spears so that the points are those of a compass.

The lion, which is North, watches them sardonically. Its coat is burnt golden by the rock and sand, but its eyes are the green of the sea: deep and wise, calm and violent.

The men on their horses rush towards the heaped gold.

The lion does not make a sound. That moaning you hear is the people.

The lion opens its jaws that are redder than the sun at night, and breathes on the men on horseback. Like the sand they are scattered, and when at last they come to rest they find that they are changed. Their feet are burnt brown and orange by the rock and sand, and their eyes are the white of bleached skulls, and blind.

Why I Crash Cars

Killing a man is like crashing a car.
Pick one with a sleek body;
hood not too low;
strutting like a deer;
out for a spin.

Acceleration = exhilaration.
No-one sees you break the law
speed limit

and the wreck leaks viscous fluid.

When you walk away
your feet won't touch the ground.

Explain Yourself

Was it easy to close the door?
Was it easy to hang up your hero hat,
to let the portcullis fall on your life, fly away?
Your stranger’s face laughing
at jokes we’ve forgotten,
in dozens of photos -
but just passing through
like a shadow on all of our faces?

Just a stop-off
on your way to something
clearly more important
than us.

Was it easy to seal off the door
of the car?
Stab your key in the silent ignition
and drive? To a street, to a wood, I don’t know –
to a park where you once loaned a ring to a girl,
I don’t know –

Was it easy to pipe – or to waft – or to
Only you know – and you planned – from exhaust into window to mouth and to heart –
Did it hurt?
Tell me –
Was it more easy than making a life?