The television’s neon slips up and down

the stem of the wineglass

like a painter’s moon.


But I toss, steroid-fuelled,

in autobiographical surges.





It’s as if, in my sleep, I were composing,

but dream after dream comes to the point

where I, of all people, should arise,

awake and take responsibility for my bladder.


In the torus the wheeze looks like pneumonia

but treatments have no effect

and there is little discomfort.


So there remains the question

the doctors cannot answer:

When can I resume my status as an immortal?


The light under the door at 5 am tells my wife

that the ship sails on through the night

but now with happiness as a positive force,

Velcade health, not from my volition.





This is my little cubicle of light

in which books unfold intimate consecutive stories.

In the end, one night, they wave

in heart-breaking departures.





Since four, when I was put to bed after lunch

with ‘Listen with Mother’ and, excited by the music, never slept,

energy was always my natural state.


I’ve never rested in my life

and now am sixty not seventy-five.

But weakness and tiring are a new matter.


Only two things stop me from living ―

one, living: we forge through our routines.

The other must be sin, the magnet behind me


of awkwardised obsessions.

Only these keep me from the constant contemplation of God

― what otherwise would one ever want to do?





I wake to an orange sky.

A fox has died in our neighbour’s garden,

lying across a steel ladder.


I could choke on a crumb,

drown in a speck of phlegm.

The clock could stop at any moment.

A puff of wind could bury

this gossamer in the sky.

And what is one death more or less

on this small planet?





The trees are tossing in the mirror’s sail

through glass and rain of a floating bedroom.

God is love, it says here,

his very being is love.