The Station Before

The Station Before, Illustration

Selected poems: Fire, Disturbance and Adagio


It was because I dreamt it twice it stayed with me:
first the lion roaring at the fire, inside it, yet surviving;
then me, in some lonely place, with fire blazing across a
and a forest cutting off the ways I could escape.
My father dreamt of fire before he died. I remember
him waking up, not quite in the world, speaking of how he
plunge into the flames of his own vision. Fire blinds us;
we can’t see what feeds the blaze from underneath:
this is Lacan. He was writing about another dream
and another father, roused by his child’s voice and a warning
of a death already past. Always it’s hard to know
what’s real. One script contains allusions to another;
reverberations, voices, carry between dreams;
sense flickers across what divides us from completion.


The light was that blue glow of a summer night. Too hot.
The windows were open and the noises didn’t stop. A
of shouting and then someone hammering on a door, kicking
it down.
She wanted a spliff someone told me, after the police had
and she’d been taken away. These sultry nights
when the inside spills out onto the street.
Through the dark hours I read from the book of
What then? What if history touches the skin
like an intimate act and there’s nowhere to go that isn’t it.
Is it the same anger that clothes us that undoes us too?
In the morning carrion crows are flying in circles overhead.
There’s a slight breeze, the drawing of breath, the ghost of
We sit at the kitchen table, our hands almost touching.


Where the lapwings had been was
empty and the valley sunk beneath
the light shifting of sun. You clung on
inside the notes as they swayed
between horn and oboe.
This avulsion was the body’s argument.
You were somewhere between a field
and a memory. The score was still playing
as you ventured towards where the words
would fuse into you: integument, heart.