My new book out today: TWELVE NUDES

A teacher once told me that poetry aspires
to the simplicity of the nude.

To be naked, he said, was to speak without footnotes.
Though, in my opinion, a naked person
usually has more explaining to do than anyone.

(’Twelve Nudes’)

My new collection, Twelve Nudes is released today, courtesy of Penned in the Margins. This book is a limited edition run of 200 copies, all signed by my fair hand. It comes in a very fetching gold foil jacket with a SPECIAL ORIGAMI GIFT. Oh my goodness!

The entire book is conceived as a single sequence of poems. Poem by poem, the book tries to reinterpret the idea of the nude, leaving the body behind to examine other forms of exposure. Buildings are pulled apart, telepaths ruin birthday parties, insides become outsides, and yet every layer that is removed reveals an even more complicated surface beneath. We’ve all been there.

If you fancy buying a copy, the fastest way to get it is to buy it direct from my publisher.

If you fancy getting one even quicker, then come along to the Free Word Centre in Farringdon on Tuesday 5th October. Tim Clare, Joe Dunthorne and myself will be doing our OULIPO-inspired show, Found in Translation. It’s free, although you have to book in advance. Penned in the Margins will have a stall set up, with a bunch of nudes to hustle.

Nude XI

Dear Telepath, here at my makeshift bureau,
I’m trying my hand at a picturebook

about clouds that hang above airports.
The book is set in June 2004.

You can’t hear the polyphonic ringtones,
but they’re there all right.

Things are pretty samey round here. The lake is a bit greener,
the antique shops have closed. We get the hunting channel now.

I just wanted to thank you for the box of broken joysticks.
It’s the kind of thing only you would think of.

No one has seen you since Jim’s party, where you took
apart the swimming pool to see how it worked.

You looked so beautiful thrashing about in the water.
The sky full of Welsh thunder. Some of those clouds have won awards.

Whenever I think of you at night, I know you’re tuning in,
sitting there in your house with its see-through walls,

glass hedgerows, all of suburbia cut through into cross-sections.
The lusts of the upper sixth, humming like an electrical storm,

mixed with the fluorescent dreams of spiders,
the boy next door, checking the smell on his fingers

after lifting weights. I try to imagine the shape of my thoughts
in the hope that the feedback loop boosts the signal.

Your police reports are inadmissible. You burn toast.
You sold your best painting to a knob and you know it.

I hope that makes you feel a little less special.
This town is full of kids from unaired pilots who sandbag their personality tests and
I’m sorry

I think you were the only person who knew
what I was trying to do

opposed to what I actually did.

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