1200 kilometres and one bottle of all-night-long scotch later, a 10-man reggae band called The Human Rights comes to my house and after partying euphoric until almost daylight, drapes its multi-limbs over every available surface and falls asleep, still humming.

Sometimes you just need a good shock to the system.  This makes it possible to change, says the Russian Martial Arts Master.

Thanks Scott.  You were right - this is better.

It’s working.  (Thanks Scott. You were right – this is better)

Old and dear friends carry pieces of you and keep them safe.  There have been two such in my life recently, for whom I have done the same.  We exchanged old letters, things kept now returned.  They returned to me many of my adult selves who’d been misrepresented in my memory- all of those selves are here in my studio now, chatting, getting acquainted.  They are interesting, these new-old bits of me.  But it has been a shock, to welcome them in.

So- a poem about shock.

open your heart

indeed it has been laid bare

all veils lifted even the final bullet

proof glass pulled aside

which cannot happen ever

without the key

From "The Lost Language of Symbolism" by Harold Bayley (Citadel Press- a reprint from early 20th century work by the Scots scholar of language and symbolism)

From “The Lost Language of Symbolism” by Harold Bayley (Citadel Press- a reprint from early 20th century work by the Scots scholar of language and symbolism)

The key of E minor hidden inside G major

the one-note key, long and blue

the uncomfortable incendiary note buried

but still glowing in the back of the closed

the forgotten closet, decades dark.

Damn it, you found me.  You Bastard.

After all that work of building callous

practising the fine art of dismissal

my bespoke suit made from

the most expensive nonchalance,

so that I, I ‘present’ well.

inside a steel-ribbed corset

that keeps me standing upright

in my self-respect.

Oh yes:  I own and appreciate my rigid.

 Bridge to Waterloo

Now, so now

Now there is a chorus of my wide open

hearts all singing discord

in the room, all tone-clustered

each note waiting for the next

private interview with bespoke me.

I have the gift you brought and left,

the small thing I know now

the incidental thing you returned to me

– that I have always had beauty.


It is a comfort, amid the ghostly caterwaul.

Open-hearted, I listen to the large issues

while the newly returned senses of my Beauty hear

the whispered question:

did you keep the key?

For both K and F, who recently reappeared out of thirty years ago, and M, who will at the end of the month.