Your promise has been extracted like the cow-horned remains of molars long-soused in a Diet Coke marinade.

You may not have felt it but, whilst you loitered or stopped to ponder some frozen splinter of the Danube playing host to blue lipped skaters slinking on a waning gibbous moon,

we pulled the bastard out.

It’s always possible, of course, that if you retake that path – if you find your own footsteps still frozen on Wagramer Straße and push yourself foot by foot into the once snug groove of snow-sheen – you’ll find your way back

to a little blood, the odd gyzym of promissory pulp.

Though, more likely, you’ll find yourself here, just off the Aldwych, where blue-lipped skaters slink against the fizz and blink of Our Lady of Employment Law, this year’s sponsor, her animated billboard,


totally wrecked on Bow Street, retching your way past opera-goers, corporate hôtes, potentates of capital whose quaint tuxedos wear them as appendages, as hosts, as hernial substantia, on which their frayed existence holds.

Go home.

Go to your study and contemplate the scarf hung behind the study door and what a sturdy noose it would make.

Ape the scowl and twitch, the muttering to no-one, those hallmarks of the only genius you’ve known.

Give yourself fully to each cerebral spasm: a raffle of pickled parts, the mother feeding on the flesh that she herself has bred, les parfums frais comme des chairs denfants.










Remember the dark. In Vienna, Sekt
your sour
the stink of smoked
käse. A pan, girolles burned, butter turned
from brown
to black. Bats
swooned in the yard.










What if you’re neither spume nor froth and not, no, certainly not, the wave of history itself, but rather simple, reeking scum?

Imagine, please, the delightful and often desolate Iberian coast and, more particularly, that Northern stretch where slate cliffs and eucalyptus meet the grey Cantabrian Sea.

A small boy is stood on a black rock in an inlet near a village with no shops and one café run by a woman called Maria, as are all the women of this village and, indeed, the next.

Maria’s husband snares lobsters for a living. Hence, the lobster scuttling on the bar, the same lobster – also called Maria – that Maria will one day bid you to caress.

It is unlikely that Maria has ever read Nerval. It is unlikely she is interested in the story you like to tell of him with a lobster on a gossamer thread. Very few people are.

A small boy is stood on a black rock with his small, tight pants around his ankles and his knob buffeted by the same Atlantic wind that spreads his piss into the air that overhangs the sea.

He is smiling. I repeat: what if you’re neither spume nor froth and not, no, certainly not, the wave of history itself?

Some of the small boy’s waz hangs in the perennial mist that threads its way between the high spindles of eucalyptus trees.

Some of it is carried out to sea. A little of it will wash up in a quaint cove at the foot of an escarpment on which a town sits stinking of the industrial production of milk.

It is possible, is it not, that you are not the wave of history, nor the ocean swell – dear Hegel’s negativity – but a single piss-tainted bubble brought in on a sea-surge of others?

It is possible, is it not, that you are about to pop and leave nothing but the faint whiff of ammonia baking on a sea-mottled rock?

The rock, of course, will go on. As will the sea.












Images courtesy of the author


Two Poems
Black Country