the innumerable years
full of nobbers
& the transitory habits of merkin
are forming the roaring Bosporous
Syrtes’ self-made minge of spinach
& Upton-on-Severn

Edgar & Johnny
clink to the raiders' spunk
more splendid than the Starkeys'   
thin pamphlets & halitosis
on the neck of

you know how no cincture of ropes
worry about you now I long to regurgitate
Bern stars and the sailor's
KY, the seeps of whingers wax
shall worm to no other women, I -
more runched against than runching



My good formica is late & slow in coming

& my desalination mounts & grows

so that both my formalism and my waistband are painful to me

and then they are swifter than thyroids to depart

Alas!  Snooker will be warm & bittern

and the scrotum without waves    and all the firemen in the motherland

and the sumo will lie down beyond where

the ethyl alcohol and the tie-dye have their one soundbite

before I find in this either peach-melba or trousseau

or lounge bar    or my ladder learn another fascism

who have plotted wrongfully against me

and if I experience any swashbuckling   it is after so much bisexuality

that for centurions the taste is lost

Nothing else ever comes to me from their goulash


When my mind turns to pirates     & the days on the main

The sunburn seems almost tolerable now    & the vocabulary   & the stains

A librarian’s life is not without dudgeon

Despite the inability to get hold of real books

The experience of the mass IS behind the single voice

These days a black and white striped shirt and an eye-patch is best behind a big desk

A bottle of sparkling water    Ah-ha me hearties!   for a bohemian    and skin-brush

Wandering & Domed         Bored & Yet       Quasi-Communist

Lying on the side of the commuter     Slipping over the sides of it      Laughing

But not always   Lisping

The Big Book Of Pirate Talk

Walking the plank of translation

For lack of  dental hygiene    Doomed yet still

Enraptured By Booty



Dante   You have no values. Your whole life: it's nihilism, it's cynicism, it's sarcasm, and orgasm.

Petrarch   You know, in France, I shall run on that slogan and win

My method is thus    

Recordings of birds  on vinyl  the starling and the black one

With a white throat on a pink bed  it was impossible to make love

To a man with a hungry look    the kind you get from not eating for a while     

Dressed in the style of a birdcatcher    & beaten thus  

In the legs & the hind

In supermarkets or on commons        I confess

My love is as lame as a duck     not the metaphorical lame duck    either   but a

Real duck that was actually lame    

Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something

Like two hummingbirds who had also never met

Falling from a branch

I hit the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup

As shots are wont to do                                   Shots rang out

timatkins is the author of Folklore (Heart Hammer Press/Paris, 1996 ), To Repel Ghosts (Like Books/NYC, 1998 ), Sonnets (The Figures/Great Barrington, 2000) and Last Poems (Tolling Elves/London, 2003). His work has appeared in the anthologies: The Thunder Mutters (Faber 2005), FOIL: An Anthology of New British Writing (Etruscan Press, 2000), and Resolute (Platform Gallery Publications, 2000). Work has also appeared in poetry journals including Arras , Tongue-to-Boot , Open Letter , Boo , Ecopoetics and Zyzzyva . He is designer and editor of online poetics journal: onedit.net and he organised and ran the Platform Gallery reading series (with Miles Champion) in London from 1995-2000. A former member of Carla Harryman's Poets Theatre, San Francisco , he is currently working on translations/versions of Horace, four of which have just been published by Tolling Elves.
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