Poem #89

Clean strides up Fulham Rd,

Landing on the heel,



From the feet.

Ahead: a cigarette, pinched between

Fingers, propped up by a thumb.

Hold breath for the overtake…

Relax too soon–

Ashy cloud inhaled,

COs wound


Round haemoglobes–

Cast loathing shoulderwise

Like salt,

Or a child sent early to bed.

Odious habit.

Shake it off.

Continue into the smog

Of a thousand rush-hour cars

Up Fulham Rd.


Poem #85

The Management Consultant


Could you open the door for me, please?

No, no, no, you’ll never advance like that:

Tailing with a “please”, like a servile rat.

And that ambiguous opener, the tip-toeing “Could”;

Let them know its non-optional, a must, more even than a “should”.

To do this, we bolt the imperative to the verb:

“Open the door”, at volume, so as to ensure that they’ve heard.

And for godsakes dispense with that awful “for me”;

Allow the cretin to retain some sense of their autonomy–

In fact, let them trust that they’re worth something to you:

A fronted adverbial– “kindly”– will do.

But why are we turning door knobs at all?

I’ll make a conservative sum to rile your gall:

Three seconds to open, a hundred times a day,

Thirty minutes a week, two hours per pay;

In a calendar year you’ve lost a whole day’s labour–

Ergonomically speaking, it leaves a grim flavour.

I’d direct you to this electric model– how its glass does so glisten–

And this way, you won’t ever even need a colleague’s assistance.