scratches in the sunlight/…cassettes/lyrics

witches garden

jackdaws & witches.

jackdaws & witches tapping

watches, stripping you to the bone.

some still can’t say your name

without stretching all the wrong vowels.

i hear your voice.

I’m ankle-deep in bluebells.

my red penknife unfolds.

I’m scratching your initials.

trapdoors on monday morning.

cornflowers, my boots are soiled.

the grey birds, they are clapping

the peartree in the orchard.

there is no noise

beyond the kitchen window.

the water boils

my shadow on this table.

ghost ships in the bay, like playthings.

i’m on a hill in a faux-greek temple.

you’re in the cold clouds close to heaven.

and on this beach, the waves keep falling

down, so slowly.


postcard from kreuzberg.

someone’s teasing out a tune

from a borrowed horn

in a rented room

in kreuzberg.

i breathe in the perfume

of the afternoon

i taste bottled beer

& oranges.

the shadows rise

as the sunlight falls.

the sparrows in the scaffold sing.

in 10962.

two punks sitting on a painted wall:

barutherstrasse cemetery.

they’re reading out the names on the gravestones

& the passages, they sound like poetry to me.

the bikes slide by

like silent film.

the ghosts are dancing in the trees

on johanniterstrasse.

i spent an hour in a bookshop in east berlin.

i just browsed through the boxes.

i bought a postcard & a novel that i couldn’t read.

and i wrote upon it.

i wrote

the shadows rise

as the sunlight falls.

i wrote

the sparrows in the scaffold sing.

i wrote

the bikes slide by like silent film.

i wrote

the ghosts are dancing in the trees.

and i sent it to you.


sloe gin.

she sends sloe gin

bottled berries from stonebarrow.

it arrives in the mail.

she dresses, she blesses

christmas trees with handmade presents.

they arrive in the mail.

i’ve taken to wearing

my wedding ring on a finger on my right hand.

i guess we all have a tale to tell.

she ain’t asking twenty questions.

but if there are answers needed

then i know she will listen.

they arrive in the mail.

let’s sit outside on the doorstep tonight.

i’ll pour sloe gin & we can watch the satellites.

christmas lights, cool constellations.

draw a moon in the condensation

& fly away.


piccolo knives.

when i saw you last

talking too fast

with your gaulois

& your cola –

well, it just made you

look older to me.

it was dark in there,

yes, i know.

but i swear it said

bay city rollers

on that scarf

wrapped round

your neck & shoulders.

were you feeling colder?

when bowie had the english teeth

he’d grin, he’d sing, he’d laugh, he’d bark.

diamanté dogs every night of the week.

and on these streets our boots spark.

no one’s as cool as you think they are

& i’ve yet to meet a lady

who i couldn’t send half crazy.

i’d give her all my greenshield stamps,

both my lava lamps,

lovehearts & spangles for her piccolo knives.

we all have habits

– hard to break them.

my soul to shake them.

but don’t mistake them

they’re just piccolo knives.

don’t mean to bore you

but i have to ask you, dollface,

have you heard the latest?

it’s by the piccolo knives.

and she said,

if corduroy is the cloth of kings,

throw away dirty denim jeans

& walk away.

cut up your favourite cheesecloth dress,

your silly ché guevara vest,

let’s call this a day.



i won’t be meeting you

this coming sunday afternoon.

i won’t be holding hands

with strangers, friends or parents, families.

i don’t have no work arrangenments,

prior engagements, unforeseen circumstances.

it’s just,

i’ve seen the future.

the bruises will not suit you.

stop wrapping rocks in paper

& living in your shades.

stop bouncing off the lampshades.

i don’t want to read about

your sad departure

in the paper.

i just want to hear you laughing,

take you dancing

every evening.

i don’t have no work arrangements,

prior engagements, unforseen circumstances,

it’s just,

i’ve seen the future.

the bruises will not suture.

stop wrapping rocks in paper.

living in those shades.

stop bouncing off the ashtrays.

you tell me not to worry.

you ask me what’s my hurry.

girl, you’ve thrown him on the fire now.

so let’s pass the lighter round

& get this fire started.


magic sam.

he started pulling these paperbacks

from a pocket at the back of his knapsack.

he started filling up the evening sky

with his magic.

we started pushing to the front of the crowd

to get a better look at him.

sammy came to woo this town.

he came home with some cuts to his dome

scratched & swollen in his stolen clothes.

he wipes his sleeve across his nose.

sammy says it’s so confusing now,

if no one’s listening how

do they expect to get back home?

your world is full of stories

old vinyl & ufo kids.

i heard him on the radio.

tiny little shiny sparks

explode into the dark

when he walks in a room.

there’s rows of exclamation marks

& lots of questions asked

& soon

the air is filled with tunes.

hollow legs.

i felt alone at home

so i took off for the summer.

these hollow legs will carry me.

don’t worry, ma

i’ll write a letter later.

sitting on some beach

wearing cheap sunglasses.

i watch the waves unfolding

wish it was you i was holding.

i’m wondering when

will this summer end?

here is a joke.

i hope you like it second time around.

i’m licking stamps

to stick on postcards

homeward bound.

here is where i stand

pissing milk into the sand.

i’ll float awhile

but then i’ll drown.


loose lips.

with his heart the size & shade of tangerine.

pale blue comb all caked in him,

in vaseline.

he’s on a field in agincourt

beneath the wooden rain.

sad to see the old man crying.

we went to a party late last night.

lots of faces there.

all my old girlfriends decay.

they decay.

we shake hands & everything.

hey, it’ll be alright.

we shake hands & everything

everything will be ok.

we failed in & out of love.

we found strength in things

we never even dreamed off.

i’m soaking up the morning sun.

i know your name

but your face i have forgotten.

she said to me

loose lips sink ships.

we sail through highs & lows

depise & discuss all we know.

avoid daily confrontations.

keep it easy, read the text.



local lo-fi scene

on the road, on the same old circuit.

there’s no drum riser,

or backstage rider.

playing for a fiver

to a bunch of local boozers!

oh, she cried.

she went outside.

in the snow,

‘i’ve got your demo on my stereo.’

from bristol uni to bath ‘moles’.

from plymouth rock to westward ho!

is this the camden falcon?

i don’t think so.

oh, she cried,

as you signed

the sleeve of your limited first e.p.

‘don’t you know, you’re the kings of the local lo-fi scene!’

have you heard?

‘the top ten recording stars of the earth have just died

in their studio, in their studio.’

i just heard!


don’t you know

you’re the kings of the local lo-fi scene.

don’t you know

you’re the queens of the local lo-fi scene.


the directors cut.

do that thing that directors do

with their thumbs and fingers

oh, please do.

set me a scene,

feed me a line

cos i need direction.

on the southbank show this evening

(by the way, this is melvyn speaking)

i’m in conversation with

two of the best directors of their generation.

we’ve got sir david lean

in the studio,

you know,

this happy breed.

and, in a moment or two,

up there, on the screen,

that weirdo

david lynch.

we’ve got a satellite link

via l.a.

(david lynch appears on the screen)

it’s like some dream scene from twin peaks.

he opens his mouth and he speaks.

but i can’t understand.

what’s he saying?

there’s issue with what he’s relaying.

it’s delaying

it’s delaying

it delays!

now, melvyn’s nothing if not professional.

i heard somewhere

that he’s an intellectual.

the kind of guy who  knows his elbow from his arts.

so he swivels round in his chair

and he glances at both directors

and he cups his chin in his hand

and he asks…

‘now, tell me, you two,

what’s with the haircut?

side-parting, 1950s fringe.

what do you ask for when you’re in the barber’s chair,

when you go for a trim.

and, tell me, you two,

what’s with the white shirts?

are they ironic?

buttoned up to the chin.

do you go to the same dry cleaner?

and discuss your latest scene or film?

but i can’t


what they’re saying.

there’s some issue

with what they’re relaying.

it’s delaying.

it’s delaying.

it delays!