Wednesday, 31 December 2008

New Year's Eve Assart


Sorry about that this poem
is my apology for poetry
which like a doctor who
goes wild in the country
of love o doctor doctor
I am sick of the banks of england
& the novel
which like a doctor who
I fucked.
Then I changes in time for poetry.
To put it right by money counts
who bring with them supertrees
so I will count too
count to myself to two.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Assarts 37


They flee from me that love me
& even if they do,
the wongs,
after ploughing roll in,
bong, bong,
their allotments, they could also
with their curved faces
& invisible spades,
thats buckets & spades,
& some of the wongs on horseback
now the sea is far away,
look at my dead end
& stop line or almost double chin

& because the wongs were made for loving
& then withdraw,
it was no dream the wongs of may
usually die in this stanza
as the sea tilts & bends
like a badly made hurdle
or horse,
look at my dead misspelt horse
in the sea,
they have so many words for allotment
& will not withdraw
they are so beautiful
in & out of the water
digging the worst deer.

Monday, 27 October 2008

tweet tweet

Some of my birds have just appeared on Adam Fieled's blog P.F.S. Post. Go to

if interested. The rest of them should be out soon from Landfill Press in Norwich. Of course there's still time to have a look onedit way ( at a load of the others.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

and another...


So I considered the environment
not being on fire or anything
either way I absorbed a photon
its not the fucking 1360s
I'm just mad about
the field of the cloth of gold
& my other yellow hands
in which they lie.
O grammar rules
like the terrible terrible rings
on my photon belt.
O gamma rays
that light itself like
the terrible terrible assarts.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Assart the 35th


Who I love is donovan
all I said is
& when I am fighting
& when english guitarists were exhausted
& when I am penetrated by the sound of music
my first double album
& now I am a parent I love
double albums more than
double penetration
because I am always fighting
donovan I said
donovan phillips leitch
I love you either way instead of
o anne Boleyn its not the fucking 1360s

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

slates / war lyrics

Some of these had an airing in quic_lude, a (very) fugitive anti-war publication put out by me & Sean Bonney back in 2003. They are as relevant now as they were then & I want to post them here before the weasel in question is 'gone'. Originally called "war lyrics" I preferred the title "slates" for obvious reasons but either will do really. I might do some more...

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Assart 34


When I was sir thomas wyatt
& I dreamt I shot arrows in my
anne Boleyn bra. She was just
being herself by my slow-grown
yew self-bow I am sir thomas
wyatt I said (we were both
idiots) & I live in a tent
on the field of the cloth of gold.
I shot arrows in a minute.
She died on a shiny turret.
O anne Boleyn I made your head
into an italian sonnet.
Tremendous on the face is you
(she loves to wear a lame bra too)

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Friday, 5 September 2008

In the Assarts no. 33


I loved you o anne Boleyn
instead of thomas wyatt I
wrote your falling name on my
mistake. You in very small
trunks. You in dark green.
You in tough smooth tops.
Since I went to pieces
alas my american tats were this bad
when I got off with your head
then I was sir thomas wyatt
yes no don't know why
I spent my life in wood.
These hands made the best french boots.
These hands make the best english bats.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Three snaps of Blickling Hall in Norfolk, a Jacobean pile built in the 1620s on the site of a house possibly lived in by Anne Boleyn. Possibly, because it depends apparently whether you think Anne Boleyn was born in 1501 or 1507. If the former she probably did live here, if the latter then not as she was living somewhere else (Hever Castle in Kent). Anyway it's a splendid place later owned by Sir John Fastolfe that some folks believe might have been the model for Shakespeare's Falstaff (except Fastolfe was completely unlike Shakespeare's Falstaff in every respect). Highlights were the library, the orangery, the brickwork (a wonderful example of English bond - see below where each layer of brick alternates between a side-on brick (a 'stretcher' - yes indeed) and a head-on brick (a 'header')) and the secondhand bookshop.

Here among other things I found a copy of a critical study of the American poet and psychiatrist Merrill Moore. Moore wrote nothing but sonnets, thousands of them (see One Thousand Autobiographical Sonnets, 1938) mostly pretty terrible, but he was admired by William Carlos Williams who famously dismissed the sonnet as a contemporary irrelevance. "Merrill Moore's sonnets are magnificent. Never in this world did I expect to praise a living writer because of his sonnets, but these have been a revelation to me" writes Williams in an afterword to the above. Here is an example:


Clothilda in the park was weeping, weeping,
Where the sunlight on the grass was sleeping.
I was thinking then of Troy's woe,
How Trojan women wept when forced to go
Back to the plains beyond the city wall
After the triumph and the city's fall;
So I approached and was prepared to hear
A tragic tale misapprehend my ear.

She was eight, Clothilda was; I feared
A deeper wounding than the one she shared
With time that day - "See the squirrel, see!
He always keeps on the other side of the tree"
She pointed, "from me. I cannot come near.
It hurts me that the squirrel bears me fear."

Hmm. Williams' regard for Moore puzzled me for some time until I discovered that Moore treated Williams on the occasions that the good Doctor suffered near mental breakdown (see Paul Mariani's exhaustive biography of Williams for more on this). This professional help is the only reason I can think of for Williams' wrongheadedness.

Anyway, Blickling Hall was great. Typically however there's no mention of social relations in any of the literature and it was annoying to see a scullery maid in costume in the Hall's kitchens showing a group of children a bunch of obscure kitchen implements and how they were used 'in the past' without any mention of how this might all need further analysis. Education. Hmm.

Hall, front view.

The moat

English bond

Thursday, 28 August 2008

In the Assarts no. 32


When I grow up I want to be
I thomas wyatt & hang around
the stately homes of england.
Alas I am not in this dance
the little necks of england
slipped & crowned
so long anne Boleyn you spoiled
my holiday theory of value.
How to explain the flowers to
I thomas wyatt when I was rescued by
her falling
head on my moustache.
O anne Boleyn was there room in
the room that you roomed in?

Monday, 18 August 2008

F & V

There are two highlights in the otherwise dull Bond film The World Is Not Enough which was shown on ITV a few nights ago. First is the appearance of British poet Jeff Nuttall as Dr Arkov, a nuclear scientist who is bumped off in his one and only scene for not going along with the dastardly plans of evil terrorist Robert Carlyle. Second is Robbie Coltrane who plays a Russian capitalist (and Casino owner) called Zukovsky (first name irrelevant). I'd like to think that Jeff Nuttall had something to do with suggesting the name to the producers. Who knows?

It was wildly and weirdly incongruous to hear the name Zukovsky in this context though of course it's spelt with a 'v' rather than an 'f'. I say of course because the 'real' Zukofsky's name was spelt with an 'f' though over the years countless critics have opted for the more angular letter which if you don't know Zukofsky might seem the more likely given all the other letters in his name. There is however clearly a form of racism at work here - the 'v' ensures that Zukofsky is kept more Russian than American, a move which is in the interest of the more conservative critics who refused (and continue to refuse) to acknowledge his poetry which is seen as alien and unassimilable.

In one of his notebooks Zukofsky himself relates a telling anecdote in this vein. A German immigrant arriving at Ellis Island at the end of the C19th was asked his name by a US official. He replied sardonically in German, "Schon Vergessen" ("already forgotten") only to be given the name Sean Ferguson. At a stroke he became Irish. Note the 'f' for 'v' substitution again.

Of course the use of British actors to ham up foreign villains in Bond films is no less despicable.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

another assart


Repeat I am not a crossbowman
not with these arms
I blunder on
o poesy I couldn't put it together
better as well as I
thomas wyatt
now the spy who loved me
is masturbating with the ruler
o anne boleyn
I'm straight &
half as good as you &
quite the way you do

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Two new assarts


Noli me tangere for nancys I am
this is not a book of nancy
but if nancy was a forest
I woke up half way through
her & began on my obscure self.
If I was a forest I'd have
all the kings men in me,
all the queens.
If I was a crossbowman.
If nancy was a crossbowman.
If nancy was a sonnet firing n-rays
at the battle of nancy.
If I was a repeating crossbowman.
Si j'├ętais un cranequinier.


I lost my way in a new
york school way
& did simply anything
by phone. Hi
jimmy do something you
great charming girl on great
neck I said sorry I
up all your horse jimmy
died to say
& john kiss'd jimmy &
jim kiss'd johnny &
if I was a crossbowman
I'd say to everyone just bye.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Significant lead...

It turns out that the birdie who told me about the identity of the a**e in my recent post might himself have been the perpetrator after all. Imagine. Can you see the similarity? He's not such a little birdie either!

Friday, 1 August 2008


Following my previous post, click on the link below for some pics of the last Xing the Line reading (though it seems to have included the previous one too. When I've worked out how to use flickr properly I'll let you know. Until then please put up with my incompetence...

Thursday, 31 July 2008

cul de qui?

Some of you might rememebr a magazine published earlier in the decade of the same name. Inspired by Yoko Ono's bottom film the editors thought seriously about asking contributors to photograph their hind quarters which would then be posted (appropriately) on its back cover. Alas time and a less than enthusiastic response from a number of the poets put paid to our little scheme. Imagine my delight therefore on discovering in my camera this picture taken anonymously at some point during Sophie Robinson and Peter Philpott's reading earlier this month at Crossing the Line. Cul de qui indeed! A little birdie informed me last night whose arse it might be. Can you guess?

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Ox @ Lamb

Holly Pester, Abi Oborne, James Wilkes


In his account of last night's Blue Bus reading at The Lamb (see his blog, Graveney Marsh), Laurie Duggan mentioned that he had to leave before the finale where poet and chef Abi Oborne was to prepare a whole ox tongue for audience consumption. In the photo above Abi has just finished skinning and slicing the muscle - the tongue is not, as we were reminded, an organ - and mounted it on pieces of melba toast topped with horseradish and beetroot. Delicious it was too!

Sonnets 'r' Us

As mentioned on some other blogs, The Reality Street Book of Sonnets is now out! And a handsome tome it is too if I may say so. The image on the front is taken from an old monotype keyboard and the material inside from the work of many fine poets. You can purchase it at or from Amazon where it was, the last time I looked, no. 23,390 in popularity, making it 10 times more popular than the 'new' Norton sonnet anthology. Ha!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

2 Lawrence Upton Visuals

From "delta point", June 2008.

3 poems by Johan de Wit

These read at the last Writers Forum, Saturday June 29, 2008...

either is home to streetwise or
more is to come like one
pair one and two contracted
out to cut three leaves
no trace but to run with
the sun makes minus tea
the best steak when it was
cooked it was healthier
than assistants who part why
from how like stockbrokers
mortgage lenders ideas
include entries from overleaf
as ugly as awful as slug as
tug begins a stint of theory
to meet is to be you at times
as to why bank failures
are immediately present
to when I say why
I may also say why is Belfast now
more lateral than literal
even if no-one should really be
ashamed to ask for tailor
trash unless served as introduction
to drill sink or give way to
ground a cigarette together
eighty per cent used for
greyhound racing global chants


pop corn one — home front nil
make shift two — eye patch one
rock hard one — more so two
blu tack three — cue ball four
home town one — door stop two
cut back nil — long day nil
top spin one — tram line two
up front three — help desk three
grass court two — foot fault one
price tag one — hard back one
odd ball nil — all so four
Putney two — Balham two
high street five — back yard one
bus stop two — pass port nil
sex change nil — head start two
touch stone one — mob rule three
see through two — half pint five
rock drill one — no more four
ex ray nil — brain scan one
foot note three — print out two
ab sence one — pres ence nil
blind ness one — in sight two
Stockport two — Portsmouth two
Andrews four — Bernstein four
guest ale one — pump clip one
call me one — good bye two
half time nil — full time ill


Arguments when settled out of court are
usually placed under guarantee.
Treating a headache with impunity is similar
to opening a brown envelope at source.
To line up fading memories with a call for
overheads sets tongues wagging.
It’s good to talk, said the heron; just be
yourself, replied the stork.
Never has always found it easier to stake its
claim for time than for money that belongs
to the state.
When the telephone lines up with sound it
no longer wants to listen.
Grammar says that whoever is caught on
camera becomes a chameleon forthwith.
If the sense of a poem can be summed up in
the formula sxp+t then the reader may as
well sign on in reverse.
Tuned in to sound a discussion about poetry
takes time out.
Scoring an own goal is a sheer delight for
any chief of staff joined at the hips, like
masterminds and other delicate features of
the pack.
Commercially it would be a disaster if
language had a breakdown and no-one sued f
or compensation.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

unpublished stretcher

I left this one out of the Reality Street book by mistake.

…this is a 27 sparrow
pick up (grow up you)
camp torremolinos was
mostly birds in a small
fire singing o to o to be
o to be old mans organs
in a bowl o to be legally
whitebait in aluminum lakes
of d & c (gling gling their
new job as a rabies dish
delayed by six centuries
of shopping at fuck london
(take that final cindy (the
bird cries I wear a bird
(take that fat kidney &
put it in the peepers the
waiter which I reach put
me in the peepers sir
yr bedford jacket make
you a queerboy he say I
say sir I am janice kenneths
wife we who are so hairy
are lips are & are arms are
& I dump her fresh she
& her new airs & let her
go the keep-out girl (she
a going-down non-stop
battery who so go round
the mulberry bush you
will (later) see her gling
gling she who will not
no sir fall in with any other

old stretcher

Before Bob Cobbing put out the first vol of stretchers in 2000 I showed him this version I'd done using notepad or paintshop (whatever, it still took hours to do). I wanted to publish the whole sequence like this but Bob disagreed insisting it had to be legible.

Friday, 27 June 2008

filler to keep the hellhounds off my trail...

poodle play

nigeria's finest

england's dreaming

nancy's dreaming

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Xing the Line May Day Reading May 1 2008

This blog is not to be confused with other references on the web to Canary Woof. The 'real' Canary Woof began as a short-lived small press in the early years of the decade publishing a broadsheet by David Miller, Sean Bonney's The Rose, my own The 'A's and Johan de Wit's folded A3 sheet, Extragalacticfitsofterrestrialpits (some copies still remaining). I will endeavour to upload The 'A's in the near future.

Initial post - pics of Xing the Line's first (only?) May Day special. Appearing were Sean Bonney, Tim Atkins, Laurie Duggan, John Gibbens, Johan de Wit, Pete McNamara, Gavin Selerie, Peter Philpott, Karlien Van Den Beukel & Paul (sorry insert name here), Frances Presley, Rob Holloway, Harry Gilonis and Malcolm Phillips. Someone took a picture of my ear which I may include at a later date. Readers read from their own and others' work the remit being to explore a May Day theme such as the seaside, dark neo-paganism or stern Leninism. Peter McNamara finished off the evening very suitably with a folk tune from The Wicker Man.

I read four recent sonnets (see also below) from an ongoing sequence called In the Assarts. They all have the word "may" in them and are necessarily reproduced in courier. I might have more to say about sonnets soon...

from In the Assarts


About the line about the origins of plant –
no don’t be careful
when in the thirteenth century
when they ran out of continuous duchesses.
Baby through traction I am 4 feet wide.
Photos may be difficult.
I’ll show you my mushrooming award.
Baby the countrysides changed too
all the walls
in the countryside are to stand on.
Its full of rain & thwait.
Their new.
Its harrowing.
Their in the 1970s too.


Hazel is twenty-one to thirty years.
I may reveal she stood,
her poor balls descended,
when in threaden fillet
she met ordinary clubbing M.
They would attempt to keep a horse.
Lonely M,
he doesn’t like the horses upstairs.
There like the clappers
goes her poor lovely balls &
curvy voicebox.
You sound nice
& we sometimes
or else put on her surviving slender pole.


Meanwhile gardens call out for big trees
of their own nobody notices
not anyway in the mens.
Does not, does so.
"Conifers" I therefore leave off & boys.
My lord here & there she mings
but I am not like this I am all
my lord from kisses & broke down
his helmet
now he sings with a luxury dove
in May.
Myself. Myself with the ruler.

Let me dream of your felicity.


I fucking love you months
january & february happily
together march & april
on their own & the smaller ones
may, june & obvious july.
August is very rare
we have to ask what happened
to august in september &
delicately. October there is
nothing to be said for
which like all fashions changes.
Months can be used to remember
like november november I

fucking love you sonnets

Not The Leather Exchange...

Malcolm Phillips reading John Wieners'
"Children of the Working Class"

Harry Gilonis reading from Louis Zukofsky's
'First Half of "A"-9'

Steve Willey, partially obscured

Rob Holloway reading from Pierre Reverdy's
Haunted House

Frances Presley, very upright

Karlien Van den Beukel and Paul (sorry insert
name here) reading from Lucebert's "The
Defence of the Provos"

Peter Philpott, movement of jah people

Gavin Selerie and small torch

Peter McNamara, magnificent

Johan de Wit, three little birds

John Gibbens and half of Paul Sutton

Laurie Duggan and a confused Sharon

Tim Atkins in new strides reading
Rod Smith
Sean Bonney, lindworm