These are the terms of the contract, they get:
  • the money
  • the adoration, power, glory, stalker
  • the celebrity lifestyle, drugs, divorce
  • more money
  • the early, tragic death
and we get:
  • the new series, roughly once a year
  • the box set
  • the posters, action figures, spin-off novels
  • t-shirts
  • to pay for all of the above
...and pretty much the same thing applies to pop and film stars.  Who's to say who's getting the better deal?


What then, of folk like me, a touch
aloof in uncool sweaters.  If you knew me better
or us, as I should say, I'm not aloneperhaps you'd like
the way we stir our coffee, too intent;
or fail to clearly speak and consequent
from that...  we give ourselves away.

What then, of how we misplace all our lives
to long-run TV drama shows?  What time
are you on?  Why are you out-of-sequence
this episode's from Season One, when Joe
was not yet dead, and Lisa not yet gay.
You seemed happier then, so you also

have given yourself away?  Oh let me take
you hand in mitten, and let me buy you coffee,
from the van beneath the CCTV.  I watch
your eyes behind the steam?  Sometimes I dream
of one like you, tight-sweater ghost from a past
your writers don't provide.  And you dream too,

perhaps, of lives like mine, or ours
as really I should say.  Ambiguous, we are;
not telegraphed with what to feel; not healing,
albeit imperfectly, between one story
and the next; not sent the text by courier
before each scene begins; we arebeyond all else

not the one half-dressed upon the poster
whom wenot so aloof nowreturn to
through moments in our desperate night. We treat
it as our right, and maybe that is fair
you are repaid so many ways, and I'm always
your loyal customer, when you give yourself away.


Dark skies

A poem inspired by a prompt from a Facebook poetry group.

This is a pantoum.  I like pantoums, but they are a very particular thing and I can understand if not everybody gets them.  They repeat a lot, rather like the villanelle, which is another form I'm fond of... I mean of which I'm fond.

In the case of a pantoum the repetition generates an intense feelings of stasis, claustrophobia, and/or nostalgia.  So they are ideally suited for emotive, introspective or contemplative subjects.

The Western pantoum is a hijacking of a Malay verse form, but I do not speak Malayan, so  I really cannot comment on whether we do them justice...

Dark skies

The gaps between the stars will draw her eyes.
She's lying on the back lawn in the dark.
The voids are better than more clouded skies.
She isn't waiting for the dog to bark.

She's lying on the back lawn in the dark
without the thought that anyone will come.
She isn't waiting for the dog to bark.
Such expectations leave her feeling dumb.

Without the thought that anyone will come,
she's none-the-less put on her special top.
Expecting too much leaves her feeling dumb
but clothing is an easy thing to swap.

She's none-the-less put on her special top.
Beneath her shoulders dew begins to soak.
Her clothing is an easy thing so swap
there's always extra cleaning with a bloke.

Beneath her shoulders dew begins to soak,
this sort of thing is starting to get old.
There's always extra effort for a bloke
increasingly it leaves her feeling cold.

This sort of thing is starting to get old.
The dark is better than a clouded sky.
Increasingly they leave her feeling cold.
The voids between the stars pull at her eye.