I wish I had been painted by Millais. Maybe not as Ophelia in a tepid bath.
Perhaps as Lady Macbeth. Or Titania. Or Portia. Not Brutus’s Portia. Portia from
The Merchant of Venice. I used to make you sit on a little wooden stool and pretend
you were painting me. Stroke after stroke rasping against the canvas. I would
B, brave brown, C, icicle
pendant, D, dun though pale,
F for faint mauve, fish and bicycle,
G, gothic paint in a green pail
Twelve noon Monday, 38 degrees and rising.
The phone’s rung twice
and someone else has fallen off
the twig while military files of micro-
Emboldened by sharing, briefly, the same
publisher as Frieda Hughes, I looked up
an article on her latest collection, found
a photo of her living room, which seemed
Camperdown’s for dogs,
Friday evening in the park off Church Street
a barefoot man
carries a plank:
If I were well again, I’d walk for miles,
My name a synonym for tirelessness.
On Friday nights I’d go out on the tiles: ... (read more)
A flash like silver cufflinks
ribbons off into river grass:
a fluid lick of nickel,
the sidle and slather of eel.
The house is up for tender and will be sold.
Houses always sell – in the end. Even if it is
for the land. Smoking out or treading down
the haunts takes three days, or even longer.
The octopus is dead
who lived in Wylies Baths
below the circus balustrade
and the chocked sea tiles.