Iain Britton- “blue on black”

they live in walls

announce their intentions

set themselves up as domestic servants

movie-star       rejects

sickness beneficiaries

they infiltrate my loosely-veined philosophy

hands       hang from the ceiling

smooth /          calloused



an oiliness

softens the touch

to protect the archival value

of two people moving in unison


seagulls shit            dump froth

bamboozle onlookers  with their frolicking

they pull back  heads               your head

to a sky       rotating

blue on black


variety is in a conurbation

pouring concrete /       solidifying us in motion

and from it

small voices have their say

guess?     I ask / I stammer

someone is hammering /          breaking us up

we have our uses

we cooperate for one session only

and hands wipe hands

and then comes the signal for me to speak


Iain Britton- “pidgin peace meal”

                the man


in feathers


shuts his eyes          squats


amongst jacaranda fallout


         drinks cold tea /


               forgets to speak up /        as if his beginning


had its faults in a syllabic nod


in the screwed-up mechanism of a missing tomorrow




he spills daylight


                 steps on bones


                       washes his feet / my feet


          blackens my shoes / whitens my face


for the photographer

at the gate




I tick all the right boxes


check names              tickets           


                the red and blue ribbons

the winners of categories   


                I cross out others          with heads tucked into chests


convinced every fast-food supper is their last /     every scrap of blue sky /    

field of lupins /     every girl washed by the sea /            




the man


             paints a tree


                  a hot pool of mud


                      a gap where  molecules breed



he pushes me into blurred possibilities


where cargo-cult customers line up


             to dismember old myths



flying nuns grab at wasted prayers


               the city




                   on the edge of a steaming oven



                          I read a book


    see for myself how characters are hung out to dry


               and how they live



the heat

                  is in the language

                                   in the breathing fragments 




my favourite pastime


    is watching my neighbour


                through a hole in the fence


                         dance       birdlike


                                     into a thanksgiving heap



                       he offers cold tea


                            to whoever he thinks is thirsty


                                 whoever’s hungry



he speaks to a snapshot


a face in a face


                      he’s cracked and marred


                              by three score years


                                    of  sucking


                                     on the smell


                                     of an oily rag



he lives in a drought-stricken room


shifts occasionally


a collage of grafted hybrids


                   sends out mixed signals


               of what branch


            what fruit


       what tugs the belly



why wait for this flawed human product


to track amongst last year’s residue



    I bypass today’s callers


            meeting outside


 staring in