My poetry has been widely published and anthologised and has won prizes in many different competitions. My collection House of water, published in May 2019, features 25 pairings of my poems and images.
from behind your book of shapes
If a fire got in
that would be it whoosh
and I nodded abstractedly
not thinking it through
the patient touch paper
the incendiary itch
the virgin tongue that licks
along the heartlines on each palm
through an undefended edge
the blood orange bristle of indoor fire
my fingers burning holes in everything
the bone dry roses of that bouquet
that bunch of old pursed mouths
in a tangerine flash
the tendons in their carping throats
turned sparks that fountain up
to singe the cooling skin of last night’s moon
rain down to feed a fire that eats
the parquet floor for breakfast
blows open doors with a BOOMBOOMBOOM
makes every window sing a cracked tune
houses without chimneys
should not huff and puff
fetches us out of our little cold stoves
to fill us with a roman candle rush
that boils my blood like jubilee jam
and I am
in love with the act of making fire
my cape of smoke
this newborn burn
Published in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual 2018
A taste of you slipped into me
like moonlight in a locked church.
The flesh at first left me cold:
respectful fingers, diffident lips
spilling awkward mumbles in
The Angel’s fug. We hunted down
politeness with iced vodka
and flew outside, where the night
took your tongue and gave it to mine,
igniting a flame that swallowed
Soho’s oxygen whole to shape
the way I kissed you back:
adoration of seventeen again,
ablaze with the lost conviction
that this can be a state of grace,
this immaculate need to fuck in the street.
Published in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual 2017
Micro found poem, 'Dirt Sprite', exhibited at the world's first ever Instragram poetry exhibition
Mapping Hi-Zex Island
On the first day
we viewed the island from above:
a lightning flower flung across the skin of the sea
under the burning eye of the sun.
On the second day, we approached it from the water,
observing aspects of permanence –
three years and four months an island now,
its shape shifting between evening and morning.
On the third day we walked it, measured its synthetic
drumlins, its rope beaches, its tightly woven coves,
weighed the miles of clouded water beneath our feet.
Earth of a kind. Sea of a kind.
On the fourth day we went down to meet
this land mass in its own twilight. Ghost nets reached out
to finger our hair, calling us to the mausoleum
of the island’s rusted underbelly.
On the fifth day, we saw the ocean swarm –
angelfish and rainbow runners twisting through drifts
of polymer confetti that playact as food,
feeding the very body of our island.
The sixth day we spent logging life.
A shore crab. Clams. An albatross in flight
off the western peninsular. We collected old eel traps,
scraps like pastel coloured sharks’ teeth
with which to make a necklace for the children.
We bowed our heads under the weight of that night’s stars.
And when the seventh dawn came,
we saw our work was done.
Discovered by Charles Moore, Hi-Zex Island is made up of fishing debris, plastics and other trash
Third prize winner, Bristol International Poetry Prize 2016
‘And do you think people are talking
about you on the TV?’ I croak ‘No’,
throat stripped by the grey snake they sent
down to suck the deathwish out of me.
He could be a newsreader, this ironic doctor
shielded by a desk; frost moustache aligned
with postbox mouth. Red when shut,
black when open. Reflecting my spectrum.
A gnarled part of me wants to ram
something too big in that black hole
and watch it fill with red. But more of me
is carried on Valium contrails, ghosted out
against a veil of dead stars that still shine.
‘And do you think the washing machine
is a spaceship?’ I wish I did think that.
I think I could be one myself –
a metal vessel spun across the universe,
burning up on this re-entry.
Published in the 2015 Templar anthology
Last night we were undressed by the wind
It took our shoes first;
we watched them rise like odd dense birds
into the indigo sky.
It undid buttons, habits, words;
twirled away the shadows on your face,
the lines engraved on mine.
It freed the magpie in your ribcage,
unzipped each one of my muttering scars,
opened our heads to the blazing dark.
And then there was only
bright skin. And then
we were just air
Last night we were undressed
by the wind. This morning
we woke fully clothed.
Published in the Milestones Anthology, selected by Brian Patten