Cancer in Atlas

It is snowing.

I am swimming in the sun:
A nuclear atrium, sweating
White Hydrogen.

I stand up on the sun and I run
Like a clown balancing upon a waterwheel
I am trundling no-ocean.

I can’t feel it
But I am operating the sun
With my funny feet.

A man rolling
A radiant ball of Helium.

The moon is giving chase beneath.
It is snowing chunks into the sun-churn.
Where is it coming from – Heaven?

Everyplace appears like vertigo
And the snow wants to replace the stars.

I swing a heavy limb like an anchor
Dragging a Martian head through a Venusian bed.
And then it appears in the blackness:

Jupiter, imperial
And all the spiders fall
Through the enormous hole

In his side,
And you are safe

But benign to begin with.


all our pretty songs

I caught you

leaving my bedroom.

I thought you

whispered a withdrawal

something like

‘I love you In Bloom’:
as if it were my full name


I smell you
in silhouettes going cold
my pillow: inhale two three


I try to guess
what it is: your scent,
it is a happy accident
breathing crisp

I caught you



you said
in that A-team accent –

‘remake it real.’

And I believe in every word.
Because you steel my name

and say it
without knowing
you make me




A decadent triumph
A neat and tidy orchard
Relieved of their deaths-head badges
The women strutted with certain arrogance
An orgy of washing ensued
But the lice carried typhus
As the enhanced apples
softly stewed.

making weight

This stinky dummy,
so down.

The red amateur headgear, provided by the nurse,
does not fit their pin heads. Like a cabbage patch
I am as thin as index. Deprived of fluids, fat thumbs nudge
at empty breasts.

The red head gear slips,
protects their conjunctive crust-eyes
from misty hairsprays and other unspecified insecticides:
don’t bite it, suck it,
she says.

This polytunnel,
so sleek, contains weak kids
on their knees, premature and praying
to stunted strawberries.

Sharp little knuckles chip
at refrigerated udder-units.

Punch bag mother, each teat
brittle and hook-hung in every corner
of the boxing ring –

bar one.

Such a stumblebum-son, tooth-
picking offcuts because of a morbid commitment
to the endurance of perpetual punishments
and meat locker uppercuts.

Telepathic spaces creek between feeds.

In your absence
I nest

beneath a washing line of pegged-out
nippleless gowns and one apron, flapping alone:
it appears to be panicking with the wind.

Blouse buttons begin to ping,
flinging gum shield blood into the stadia.
Sports fields come undone and linen baskets
become brimming buckets filled with testicular cancer.

I look through her half of the bullet hole, then back into my own face-
book profile: digital trenches lined with the dead good
looking for an answer facedown.

She made a long stretch of isolation
scatter, an excruciating online affection
activated heaven, without touching
matter, or inspecting her hands for
imperceptible germs: I accept
the fact that it is only Earth
with the worms.

We took standing counts
and turns
like human beings
suckling on

this stinky dummy,
so down.

Then nothing

between me and the sun

but my southpaw crossing
an indoor garden, unable to unload
His shotgun because of these beautiful
boxing gloves; these restrictive mittens,
your images, they hurt me

so good: bridal, my idol
my hanging horseshoe heavy weight champion of the dirt –

on wood.