Friday, 20 September 2013

Interest Only

all square within the confines
of the cask conditioned discothèque
from without my fitful anti-sleep
came the wasps 
and creeping hands 
that spidered across the ceiling and floor
unsure of the etiquette for trembling
yet, for three pages, I was
in the clear, gone, beyond the provincial
boots of leaden grit, though by the fourth
the interest had waned even while that 
was all that remained


friends of friends and an orgy of mutuality
every one ripe for the fucking until we greedily
eat our own tails 
I find myself running low on chemistry 
with so little reaction left inside of me
the water around the plug hole no longer spins, 
it only falls

Thursday, 5 September 2013

written in the dirt

this autumn morning
winter’s aperitif
is served on the rocks
shaken and stirring

come downpour now
unleash your jotting scribe and
cast the showery runes of fables untried
forge scripts along our droughty lanes
of songs for all that yet remain
or wash away those pages brown,
whelm witness to our temporal sway

we’ll listen to the eager earth
as she swallows every dripping word
of this crisp & chilled September cleansing,
for she has such a slumberous summer thirst

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

shelter ’76 (redux)

the rain drums his fingers impatiently
along the length of a blue dusting lung busting puckered roof
and fingers the gaps where once there was glass
wire veined, designed to resist
a boot, a fist a flick of the wristy bone
trebuchet yet now carpeting this concrete nest
of surly youth in a crystal expression of boys
when they are bored
nowhere better then than this Park Drive smokeasy
for the bad ones who will always try their best,
after mocking words and a quart of cider,
to cop a feel of the big bird’s breasts

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Special Delivery

will your choices
look so appealing
once the ripped rattle of surgical hit or miss
draws the sweet stench of bloody failure?

you shouting the case of expectancy
and justice for all, along and behind
the pipeline, convinces none but the fool

all the things you know
all the hydra sown

don't let the facts stand in the way
of a good campaign
we’ll all smile for the camera sat at 15,000 feet
and take our death to go

Thursday, 29 August 2013

shelter '81

every evening

without fail

I would watch
from my third floor
neon, Freon, digital eyrie

as he scraped his arse along the street
shuffling, scuffing the rags that passed for raiment
ripping the empty legs further each night
as the chorus of inebriate fighters,
noses swollen veined plums,
caroused and cajoled his every
gravelled slide
while throwing punches, and each other, can in hand
at passing cars

his limbs, of wood and plastic,
would arrive later
under police escort

old world problems under the new world’s
hardened, refrigerated glaze

every evening

without fail

until the day he didn’t

Saturday, 24 August 2013

buddy can you spare?

you’re cold, button up,
batten down the hatched glass
these mean talking ghosts offer
little anonymity to the  marrowfat
of shoulder high memories

sister in all but time
an “a star” in the morning

yet the many delights,
ours but for the cleansed eyes
and thighs, came as you sounded
memory in your truth’s thunder

blackened through evidence
guilty by my whence exchanged
I command the devil’s songs but
am I just faded delight?

“swing more” she demands, washed
guilty thrice through her heels
and laced heart and slumber now standing
in strength washed on a once
cracked spit drawn open mouthed
and verdict free

poured closer to the two hole cluster
the depth of a friendship must fight back

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Scratch - Sample

The first poem from my newest collection scratch, which can be purchased from lulu for just £5.99

no philosophy

I am no philosopher
I am Paul from The Meadows
pulled skinny poor from the shadows
to put a deal of fat on his bones

so how did I end up here?
what penalty did I accrue?

taking the ten point deduction
for conduct unbecoming
I place my attention deficit on re-order
that I don’t yet forget

smothered in the scrim of this Hogarthian hood
every chip toothed blue scriptured face
proffers passage to a poisonous but
tantalising hook

to write the junk must I taste the junk?

peddled or paddled for a sweeter flight
this avenue never taken,
hedonic ingress unwalked, unwanted
yet still wondered
could such deep surrender be so sweet
to allow the most intimate of plunder?

am I Dante?
corralled  around the streets
of a society that shows no compromise
amongst the dying embers of fallen enterprise

eternal damnable gyres
around a fucked shit pyre
of concrete, glass and broken humanity
with each uttered breath a cold cocktail of profanity

the bouncing soles of the air I wear may ease me
over the gummed archipelagos 
flag spij-speckle guaran islands
slab secure and fast
against the counselled wash
an eternal fossilised chaw
that resists the fiercest chemical blast

lost in this sea  I cannot be but shaken by
the waxy man with his head of startled hemp
and coterie of cracked carbon
as he breaches the domestic brink

turning a key, his
shoulders hunched in
protective shawl against
the spittled spate
he stares back through me
for sightless miles insides out, front to rear,
then scuffles, rattling, townwardly

cannot resist the insecticidal compulsion
of the green and white purgatory
where the neatly stacked wash of fluorescence
makes oven ready your heaven
amid the threnodial thrum of
a hundred syncopated Siemens

following that shuffling cortege of the bussed in dead and dying
I am dutiful, altar bound, avowed and accursed
the host with the ghosts in this haunted mall

lost and lonely within England’s mountain green
it is no longer the god bothering needles and blunts
that  draw the crowds
as flat screened pharmacological rapture,
that trinity of distilled, medicated caffeination
lead a once pious nation through a precocious dream

maybe Allah yet sees here his
Jerusalem and leads his children
upon England’s land of crescent green

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Good Morning, Good Morning

this house is awakening
It yawns and stretches its
aged bones, as last night’s ghosts scurry
home, with the copper blood running
warm through worm pricked floors
I lie,like you, while you lie,
like me, under the nights warm stink
and the claw and the purr
of the cat’s half lidded lazy gaze
as the foundations shake with each
passingrace of 18 wheel freight
the breakfast chorus is missing,
presumed drowned,
so this morning demands a virtuoso performance
“how do you want your eggs my dearest,
square or round?” too early for her
to answer a question quite so profound
“still inside a bird please” whispers the cat

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Quietly, I

quietly, quietly sat a lie
arms outstretched
palms staked to the fierce eye
observing within
as, first, flesh mottles
closer still to see without
while blister
vermilion doubts
one apiece of each
seized mortal engine
dripped of framed wax
placed in a filleted whole
gas pored
for a hungry earth
this is all I wish today
let each word die in a dusty throat
a melt that no tears will slake
I want away

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Joanne Elizabeth

published in Forward Poetry Near & Far anthology October 2012

Joanne Elizabeth waits.

Beneath a powder blasted
cornflower welkin,
washed by a summer zephyr’s
saline kiss,
she waits.

Atop her rubber footed
iron bed,
on the sand and pebbles
amidst the tidal spume
and detritus
she watches.

A brusque, oily breathed
airborne flotilla,
the sky's very own
flotsam and jetsam,
gyre and gripe
and tarry.

The ocean
is ready now
as garrulous salvos wuther
up peaks and troughs,
and churn the beryl
into muddy soup.

And now there are men,
in a flurry
of flavous oilskins,
who rough house
Joanne Elizabeth
stolidly asea.

Edged mindfully into
the grubby moil
she bucks atop
each tumbling crest
and turns her back
on Neptunes cache

Those brine zested swabs
set fair to the wind
and pitch her alee
once more through the surge
but Joanne Elizabeth
testily abjures

Rebuffed , repulsed
and firmly aground
the mariners surrender
their petulant mount
and humbly drudge

They stand
forbearingly in the face of
a caustic mizzle
steadfast  gaze
a  good league distant

No fish today

Friday, 19 April 2013


god said “there’s a bone in my soup”
and spat it out

and for many years it crawled
before it learned to stand

and it said “I will make you now a fresh bowl,
from my family’s blood”

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


seen through the columns of rising smoke
the intention couldn't be clearer

while the tattooed roads wear the organic stains
as footholds for a memory of fallen phosphor rain

yet more caustic the harvest we reap
from the drone grown crone wept bones
even as the stone groves grow over the dead hope of
the pebble eyed children in their dreamless sleep

suffer the children our selfish gains
our bloody games

always the children


each night I sleep
entwined in the comfortable branches
of a mossy oak
by day I play
among the lissom saplings
and wonder
how far I might still bend

Sunday, 14 April 2013

mild frenzy

they lined up
in their smart suits and executive hair
outside the foundation stone
of a nations ruin ready to eulogise
to heap praise upon a legacy
of division

the traffic slowed
and the tempers frayed in a burg
where there is never enough
most had left by 8PM
save one expecting maybe
a ghost?

returning at the earliest light
most had moved into town
I popped my head inside a truck and said
"she's still dead you know"
one yet remains
awaiting the stone to roll back

my wife, the daughter of a miner,
council bread and margarine raised,
nods, obligingly, at the checkout
as she scans the customers cloying praise
"its nice about the flowers isn’t it"
yes” she replies “they look great on my fireplace

she reads people writing
the miners were greedy and she spits
"tell that to those with emphysema,
white knuckle and crippled joints
go stand by the graves of the hundreds that died
better still come here and say it to my face"

revolution runs better on stolen gasoline

every curtain will be stolen from
each grain of dirt will raise
it’s raucous voice above
and over manners

while atoms bond
air will ignite for
blood is fuel enough
as gravity exists
believable in it’s force

secure each ideal
under fire from
truthful lies repeated
within freedom’s
monopoly of slaves

these days shall soon decay
and time shall re-cast
the farce of history
lest we stand...

light-up and run

© Paul Sands 2013

i’m working dammit

on the promise of a viscous promiscuity
I would normally shoot first, clean the mess later, ensure no witness survives
in the middleweek each slatternly evening should be bedded early

recently, though, the inclination of a night is to drink
right! right! right!
read and write and write and ride a hundred of your dirty looks
in an all night steaming just to thumb fuck the irresistible where
god granted good sense is disavowed

christ my mind tonight where hasn’t it been
a  rattling mess
from the petty penury of the millennium’s silent bells
through a razored grift of oyster shells
via  packet steamed voyage that will never be

and I’m screaming
“why can’t you be my Yoko, passionista,
intravenous burned brown celluloid injector
crowning, howling, screaming blood-letter
leech wife barfly spittle shined philosopher

instead there waits a world to be shared
by just her and me
wings clipped by vows and golden bands
buried under the demands of continence

the peripatetic spur sundered
marrow spoon hollowed and forsaken in the soured grass
where lost co-ordinates of days of grace and grand escapes
offer no cue for slagged ambulant dreams
laid to rest in choked and over worked seams

disappointment is spread so thickly over the sailcloth of expectations
while deep within these tubes lies a germ of posterity
and its beetle glinting crawlspace
spits an imagined this


change the frequency, your smoke is staining my ears


remain though the matter of my subject
you and your forced finger self-inflicted wounds
if my words don't flow the knives come out
my hands may form a loving fist for the needful dough

I could carve a new you and I have just the tool

but she, already dead, chides
“count your breaths, count your blessings”

which begs me to ask is there too much on the page?
while the dead are still singing the wind must always
beg caution

how much attention does this whore seek?
fracked and sluiced to the point of release
where every kind of juice spills
from pores palm greased
with the patina of slovenly verse
paupered by the diminished returns
of a creased core

what is the call?

I stay, a frog in a pan, of course
warning  shy of every hopeful morning
and in a' very short space of wine'
it will be love again

a visit

I went to visit my mother this morning
and ask her if she had any ideas
at first I couldn’t find her amidst the rows of pheasants calling
the timber testaments swayed & shivered bare
each quondam cortex as crisp as the next

so there I sat awaiting a warmer air

once found though she had nothing to offer
and I gave nothing back
save anger
at the appearance of a mis-dated plaque

far better then to merely watch

four spot shadows along the foundations of the stream
mimic skaters spinning a springtime dream
and a passing frog paused with a question in his throat
so I took out my pen and paper that I might write notes

his words weren’t for me either

Sunday, 7 April 2013

what crisis?

nowadays they have to pinch the ends
of their cigarettes before they cross the threshold
no longer allowed to herd the crumbling swarms
of ash across the gingham veldt

outside the window, on the pavement,  lies a bible
and the radio declares their readiness is high
seems like a good night to let the smokers
in and warm around a last embered light

on the table I browse the “priest“ they called him
in the centrefold, deep in the heart, a flyer,
man’s journey into christ,
I guess we’ll find out soon enough the veracity of the divine

but until the young-un and the white horse riders
have decided who can piss the highest
leave us to the daily diary and its tales of
days of fucking each other’s husbands and wives

I bought a Dylan Thomas book one the way home,
from the junk shop,
when I got it back I saw blood on the back cover
I licked my finger to wipe it off but she said “no! you fool“
sure it carried the plague of some cursed lover
I plagiarise myself

a drink is most definitely in order
the tawny coolness tock tick toxic keen as the
sharpest dissection
and then you can find me not just like everybody else but just like
everybody else lying hemi-hydrate below the bridled tension
of life’s meniscus

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Cleansing The Orphanage With Fire & Prayer

i. (the entrance lobby)
take five, not to tradition, yet die to keep poor, poor kitty strimming
fragmented , as perhaps are, rosebuds that fall in the manner which
sweat tracks roll, dammed, oiled but not waived, by a picture without words

I would be yourself, centred, and shoes should share my nylon net
musk mined, imaginary time and black yellow black deep, I think,
incredibly deep, the dead and their way of dealing with me last night

but that wife thumbed impulsion, as I searched from my emerging host, kept her hands, my head, in the sand, truth forever buried
is that five? thine pen? your hands, your hands
right and left take, another restless candied hit , burred and buried
of desperation in a needful fill

did a fuzzy baby mention white?
you still have my 50 life painted fears to tell
but do follow, rent fuck my hand selected for your shapely bellowed patient
to send this, the right cunt, such dirty remains
I care that by part chance, part hazardous fool, this soft doubt allows further flow

a song, so briefly, tears our happy years
kills what little sweet talk, so toxic to flesh, and lays down
my timeless dreaming that your attention becomes brutality
we worshipped a five patent wood but thumbed, yes thumbed, a low heat solution, crawled somatic within a terrible oblivion until,YELP! your shoes, so?

not the mortal rolling between attention, or “let me in” paint,
you’re the cracks and they could burn while I'm subprime
words that bridge become reality in my other decreasing trend, baby I can be a popular solution? as your heart would like to die by a thousand
paper friends
dissemination, broken of long suspension, should be held in silken cuts
an occupation bathed and lubricated for my attention

performed behaviour sports sorry shoes  on the stairs where
painted hands explored, freshly bathed, this wee-kitty outrage yesterday, where you sent all my divining, allowing a pestal deep happy of a sort to sleep on your own ass and eat of  such a complicated rigid bearing
it did not hurt and found me taking to hidden legs

still brittle though, my troubled friend, that the sum of all this access
scales six kitten to every five easily vociferate rosebuds and  further
junk that I don't share while my last step flays shocked, flawed and meat beware we could never waggle dance a 2.35 to 1
let corals wrinkle around my nagging less equally rolled shins
on a gentle bridge of what next for those quiet arches?
divine what I want or all I freshly have
yes me ,really, a final me in my hands to repent, liquid

ii. (climbing the stairs)

sensing the disappointment in this trembling
my fingers composted and corpsed possibilities
though resolved not my burning, when, desire to share your butterfly
lit the damn coffee, and shaped a quick ardour to
guile your quiet wakefulness with years of hips

it cannot be told how, once full tainted and tortured
into the happened wraith stain, your avenued rhythm lost
my final blackened ash or caught my rain removed, sweet demand, to unleash no story but shitty animal settlement
that remains the hard thing
about forbidden company and dense predatory sin
best grown while telling of serious wealth
shine each night and play write delicate lace sometimes with explosive, attacks while ever pious the lips moan warm
in forcing the rightness of my active promise before we young, guardians of symphony, rain away all truth
my what have we formed; nailed one sometime fallen thought in the one hundred stripes that every heart may bite

it’s hard, hard, so no longer explanation could drenched my today after that someone revered beyond proximity to this body played the tough game
two beats gone with nothing fertile smooth
then I'm exploding as chickens bring loops but with 40 words that my heart
can’t tell my arms, torn from now and best to write,
grown in this barren greed they played in a suit, my love, in there all day

I fall so far, warm and playground happy, to roost words
silver in the airless rash full of planted company, moist between, with only something small for you… but I'm a delicate brush
could that this be better placed in an oft kissed bloodline once over?

I lied and lies here grip of the sky, embrace it fool, open it all you terrified blight, I am not so much to stroke, though reach, while drinking from memory, the curvature of a spine which never brings entitlement herein
shadows give what was dreamed, not to my energy, whilst
slides and dissolute verse are eager ground for the good, honourable ghost

content into those hips, leaning one hundred to the left, each poor year opened as pulses in a lonely garden
my collapsing horror, once disguised to allow such a need to stay
is the delicate tissue, should you want her to she will but tell
nothing of pecked sweet souls in the reduced quickness
of the locker made story, lithium by passion
with still no easier way to mature this, I move, is vital, as neither buds, summered by your ass or impatience are the last to write,
the finely met works where we know verses so cupped that guarantee
were they drunk, somehow, the pain would shed fair hearts
wearing tales for walking truths around generations which, once recanted,  seem poetic enough for wendy to throw her lips at
lit cold with virtue in a hellish chill

iii. (the fire is lit)
seeping hair moves, the aegis stops and, when dug, the summons combined to remind old I of disembodied slices with gnashings of friendly
distant & icy the now troubled coronet opens an embrace
believers are often in thrall of ephemeral reality
! ask, who are history in modern, not fooling, lo-fi games
something simple of raven wife will saw their deep gate to the free titans

this should be cause enough for part in the race
gateway to the no tears chequered hole, a charming glade that,
through distance, prohibits a balefire lisp loosed on lips
repent fools from brier and dusk of my heart , if this dirty hole can be that
the real attention is more than my uncertain grace was
you cried as I, dynamic in the stone drawn forget, would always earth the enemy

but we, daisy-chained via despoiled hasty lapped meal, freshened the affiliation of the wind and guarded kisses replaced the words, that
were never quite there, with leaves that never met each human soul
cast away from fresh forgetfulness
I the node to a tended sexuality, licentious with a glass silver jaw,
wish to write on somewhere else, the you that it thinks I mean we are

in teeth and wines the moon forbids entry
who then amongst the high suffered should
be so deeply rooted to the song of our stairs distinction?
note each countered open argument caught by tragedy, placed calls and
offered increased, powdered, abandon honestly from heaven’s keep
where, in spite of the uniquely despised sail, the solution of beauty sits careless in your fog

bag this resolute heart, forever turned of the bottle, it laughed
I can pop her wife they have a while located something looking real
but averse to  touch, an entry smooth and venerable sometimes welcomes into their shady house a windy now gathered awake quartered
into resting spirit roots
I disagree with life on the openness of an awful kiss

when loyalty must it should station in the cerebral
but a kiss? so you wind-up
once although cold and easy the quiet agents ship’s have little of my garlanded nerve
with never relics to the sink of thought or sleep of shine
blow good people, lay weeds, but not a in loyalty of decline
discard the rock-docking of questionable thinks

iv. (each bed is burning)
face it, any place that I can has gone
glass threatens hair and love damages the offer of this spring
hazard, now, to keep as gang this cheese with no fingers
and shrug in the midst of all that girl’s little grown confidence
where you are me should be
bears those shackles even as september hares

consumerist spit, no new world perdition in your picture, brings
solid state truth crashing through like the  pollywog racket of human existence
you, corrosive whisper, further this truth we twisted so she and I of
rooted fears dig me a word and why? here are our thorned dilemma
are you the mote feeler? a truth written exuberance
filled of head hope too far? liar

all our yours broke, they of the kernel
that show my garden breath, in timbered weight floating
how bronzed to broach the nettled truth in the show of my garden breath
gone to dust every true word, and oh to a solitude, while I answer
question the measured fact,  who abhors to lie beside brittled, wonders
why do I feel? tracking the sighs I have my shadow to show the done deal

the skeleton things, the defied, offer some comfort now acting
into eternity their eyes relentless in the canopied rhizome
this is why I pitch penitence over the cliff it was difficult
she was ginger, by singular admission, more than every eye full
in a gazebo find headed zeal and behind the strips are two ruinous piles
the dogma of every single hair on your altered truth

on, on, if the hands below truth deny attention
does all their research feel like mourning? why sunrise?
I'm looking men, no cause ever pushed forward washed of it’s why
I did the high delicate armor me, I would, I’m told in jumps if
you cant find fatal weakness for age to choose, then die
shot clean while asking for conversation, learning

my precious side revealed truth deep stitched
above clear stares and lover’s slides now
kill count through a chill of would be stars and world shame
I can say “free sacrifice! roll-up! take space in autumn me!”
in disregard of any swallowed openness unfathomable
when worn with the touch removed form a good girl
born to be hit

the sky fears the universal house mistakenly responsible for trauma

sends bat eared children sleep thrown with an empty lodger
I need to prove appreciative bonds of th physically repaired, ready to story,
to guard against this sweet daughter double ignored and burned
find in one unasked purchase much truth once noticed in fire
but the girl just said “with blood people should I need to prick the distorted?”

could we ever feel what was yours masked within their wealth?
the unequal loping of a mis-addressed or buried world
who would time the wire which breathing revealed twisted in
a decaying sorry smile where innocence is warned by rigid links
that all truth is abstract upon inspection of the many outputs
with a tendency to leave the gloves firmly on, not dropped as consequence

but girl even now you could love me, not guiltily, not as beaten doll
even a broken bird weighs as much as it’s shrouded taste and a
tender sweet cover reads a story long filtered from dirt to remain
just as a quiet year collapses its apricot ears and my night
half warmed to my head steals the treasure of all it’s lost contours

v. (every child is dead)
“bring me the head of a radio wife” screams an obligation to breathe out
my foolish issue as a man, pamper proof in 49 states, self steering
until june 22 trials today to kill me with the pearl dropped on open used breasts
in hot withdrawl  you could be drawn as woman from the guilty pleasure of my secret of bosom
and anger burns within our keep, blue/red,  I was penetration?
this doubt cuts pastures clean where three before betrayed the dark assembly’s way

wait but never befriend the spring twisted rest in the port of this dog
a glut agape which looks to be my difference between the lumps of stars
draw skyline from below alone I guess in me and in dragon
envy the unfortunate insect drawn deep to the capital of our assumption
bend the rubble, august 31, and ,in sleep ,surrogate brother
good luck so close to the rain of such mighty a burden

there is forever in the end,  dirt sits less lonely than rock yet
each litters the sublime peaks welding a writhed relief before the sunrise
glows on and cheers america so coupled with love in any quirky clutch
she knows which way every light runs the blood all men would die to bring her
while we remain under contract she is right but built around
the dream don’t deny the powerful slip that holds the cinnamon ropes

so happy as a man who among cold hands can represent when
even the lost sense feels warming to the wash of your body at valleys trove
such with the dun ban girl carnal large as the blood went viral
jacked those flaming curls into a fool set formation on a bed ready made
to evade the jurisdiction of how to guides and angry wives
but her delicacy laid stripped of more than hope had accepted.

keep it long or short man but after the head the one day lie grows
ready prepared in the thought preventive, diseased in decline
this explains the black tide man and the foaming hood that fills your lung
so, drowning, drink the deep tyranny of a lonely breath at a bar raised
feed the recital of each hardened glowering girl alike
july was my certainty of a sweat in summer

guilty wines cast for you me in a gordian ice lain putrid cradle
your awakening crackles the always wrinkles, rockets the plunder
of bespattered hearts that despise the sweetest fans
mouth your sun against the sky and scale each salmon opportunity
delicious in the rarity of knowing today I wish dead my treasured stole
as idle claret drives a quivered shard flint and candle scarred
while knowing the secret of a delicious deliquescence