Manchester, Oxford Station junction, on a sunday afternoon


“why ya drawing these?”
broad smile, neon-yellow worker’s coat

he piles road blocks
to a tower/clock, big ben_ an orange sea,
taller than

the terrorist attacks in germany
that a 12 year old schoolboy asks me about
before entering the bus on Oxford Road
“are you afraid?”

am an island, standing on a diving block
‘bout to jump into a chewing gum&stubble coated galaxy
is something holy
deeply intimate, the homeless’ breath
gets swallowed by the crazy traffic,
face a ragged map i have no right to read

“this city is not pushing you away” i say
but neither woes you

she puts on her stockings, worn, ladder fixed with deep black va(r)nish/ing,
her bricks that (if you dare to draw on)
tell you about history with pink&swollen lips

“so why you’re sketching these?”

“i— causeSheletsyou—”
& that seems honest

“can i have a look?”

he bows low, iN   h a Le  s

with a crumpled five pound note,
rolled into a tube, resoNating
with the hum of trains&stagecoachs, mad pedestrians,
the metal clANk of  cranes
whose wings are cliPped though stand–tall


clinging to his nose
He sigHs, gruNts
as if losing&winning all game of darts at once

i stuff my lines, wiggling, win_
Ding, black& back into my sketchbook,
about the big-enough-to–kind of love she needs
to sMile deliriously satisfied_singing her songs_the smiths
_over the eXhausts,
goThics, redBriCkConcRete



just back from the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Manchester & kinda fell in love with this city

sevenling– to the choirmaster. for the flutes

six countries north of the equator
coffee black as owl wings
arTificial light

“i cannot see his face” is dressed in rags
wrapped in bridge shades, unaware
of how i cRasH,

all–traffic lights are ghosts as i bike by


…a musical sevenling for day 2 of dVerse poets pub’s 5th anniversary celebration – see you there at 3pm EST?

the world is moving– into a 50 miles per hour flat

the room’s an elephant,
scratching its grey&leathery skin along my chest,
sQuishiNg me
into a corner

my mom places words against the walls,
in smalltalk& the slit-eyed tigercat
snores old sophisticated melodies
as if she was a diva on an opera stage


–and sileNce

“i still bake my own cake”

“oh, i–“

a small bed against the wall
“she cannot take her wardrobe” i think
every quarter minute

some weird lines cross
and they both talk, wrapped
in different worlds

“i’m moving in this january” my mom says,
she couldn’t sleep last nite
too excited/sad/unnerved

all the steep stairs
in the old house
into a madman’s dance,
a catch-me-if-you-can,
a french cancan
stripping their shaved and sun-tanned legs
gath’ring uP blueredwhite skirts
a flag,
a detoNation

i start breathing
after 7 hours
after worlds did fall apart
after i held the car door open
for my mom
“you’ll be fine” i smile
and count the headlights

of a million stars


i’m guest-hosting at dVerse tomorrow and we’re writing about emotions – just your emotions – not anyone else’s – using specific images and metaphors, avoiding generalization – and so on… smiles
3pm EST tomorrow…

how much sap fits in a mountain, pocket book, a tree, a piece of autumn or–


my daughter texts that they collect
yellow boletus and chestnuts
&eat until their stomach hurts, full
with fall and forest

“heck, be careful cause–“
“we know which ones to take”

i’m in love    with every tree

“thank you for not leaving me” hubs says
and takes my hand
as we walk up the vineyards,
the old castle is a toy, slipped from a giant’s pocket
in a magic landscape

&behind each bend i look for Gandalf’s flying coat, long beard,
his smile, a firework tucked neatly in his horsecart
&a sense of strength

in every leaf that stretches
red and yellow limbs towards the sky

like me
as the wind plays with the trees, their laughter
sinking deep
into my chest, resonating
along the ribcage// skeleton
a harp, a xylophone, a brass band
that responds by improvising chords
on ragged blues scales

“i can’t brEAthe //deep enough” i say
“i want–“

i wanna lie in autumn’s hands, make love
without fearing the fall
to bring forth fresh growth
&send a message to each worm that wiggles by my ear

that it was worth it.

all the things we carry on a lanyard round the neck

the day is bubblewrap
around a corner of the moon
i think she’s dead first
wings spread smoothly on the windowsill, a sea
of orange bedded into earth shades

“how long have you been here?” i ask
opening the window slightly
for the sun to touch her face

i’ve two mobiles, countless mountains,
usb sticks and a heavy colored schedule
in my pocket, three cows, snow-capped fir trees
pen, a tissue, churchtowerclock, access codes
to the brains of–

“can you print this for me?”
some flip charts turn their pock-marked faces
as i pass, carrying their weight with dignity

the distance from the far edge of a heart
to the greyish mirror of a pavement, watching
to the soft pull of an old funicular that takes you up a mountain
can be more than you can bear
“we’ll drive you there” i say
“i think i can make it”

her wings move slightly in the breeze
i guide her with a folded papership into the wind’s wide waiting arms
&wave til she’s a reddish dot against the hills

“butterflies don’t talk to everyone so easily”
“we shift the pause to 10”

i nod
grab my headset and walk to the front
to give the day’s announcements


just back from a business trip to davos… will take me a bit to catch up with everyone





“it’s a different way of thinking” my colleague nods
when i talk about dividing excel cells
into something more processable
“it’s logical”
“solution focussed”

at this point
i’m already 12 hours in the office,
when i look up from my work,
everyone has left
the first dark shades of night creep loudless
‘cross the parking lot outside my window

i drive home
pack a parcel
clean my painting space
get a hammer from the basement,
pull some rusty nails
and forget to sign the greeting card
for my best friend

i paint a head
overpaint it with a chicken,
with a flower/cow
a shade of black
then scratch the surface with a trowel and some sand

but everything that was there from the start
mysteriously stays,
adding -though unseen-

this night i dream of Steve
leaving a comment for me on fb
in his charming way
to play with UPPER case,
the violin man–&
i smile in my sleep

the last tunes of Vivaldi fragile in the room
as i get up
for breakfast.

smart garbage systems/gondolas &the waiters smile just if they want to(which i frankly liked a lot)



the last warm sunrays hiss
playful from the day’s fat yellow spraypaint can

it’s Yom Kippur
&we’re in the jewish quarter of Venezia
a tiny restaurant
bustling with waves of voices

“if you want a friendly waiter
Don’t go to italy” my bro in law said
i smile, try to catch the sea with one long gaze
decoding snippets of the convo

the menu is italian only
“so what is cavallo?”
“horse” i say
“i don’t know– let’s just order something and—surprise”

we sit tight against the wall,
the housewine served in waterglasses
“rosso per favore”

“can i get some pepper?”
“there’s already pepper on it” snaps the waiter
i laugh tears

“see that channel?” i say to my husband
it is filled with guests that dare complain about the food
or ask for extra pepper”

later we walk home
through deserted alleys
hardly lit
the sirens
of an ambulance boat cut the night in even splints

garbage bags hang on thin threads
softly swaying in the alleys
so the dustman can collect them in the morn

the clothes line just above our head is empty
&i feel the city streT c  h iNg
into me

around the bend///
i rub my eyes&

later we make love
the soccer field next to our flat lays dark
and lightly breathing, dreaming,
sighing in his sleep

“i saw you” i say “in the alley”
as the moon climbs his last steps
a lone cat’s shape in search for prey

&the whisper of the waterways
swallows his answer