Unordered Tales

31 Songs by Nick Hornby

I once very briefly met the writer Nick Hornby and I mean briefly in every sense of the word. Our eyed exchange lasted seven seconds exactly and all...

A Bed Unmade (for Ruth)

A bed unmade as if robbed of order. We stand in the hallway jacketed and keyed itching to scratch once more. Out in the street we take hands and...

A Flaked Frame

A flaked, muddy window a view of aerial wired rooftops that I cannot afford to frame anymore. Sheet lightning phrases the sky and thunder applauses...

A Question Corcerning Daphne

Hour by the hour, she’d work. Front garden to back, kerb to drain. Again then again.

A Southside Serenade

And so, it's all gone Southside, after all these years. The place where I strained crystal tears. In truth, I've despised these barrios, they froze...

A Zoo Season

The little films now are the most haunting insignificant routines taken for granted over the years through the seasons we blew hot and cold...

Addiction Diary Number 1

Great meeting tonight. Feel like I'm getting back on track. In truth I have let my guard slip big time of late. Taking my recovery for granted, thought that I was the man, thought that I was whiter than white.

Advice For When You Go

The horn is for mercy, that receiver’s for the news. A mattress for all your Rosie’s, and the dough for those ‘die for’ shoes.

After Hutton

A folded one shot Romeo as they throw him on the slab all buffed up with brilliantine combed tightly before the dance and no one really knew his name...


So it's just the pills and me. Guy Clarke, Prefab Sprout. Silk Cut. The rain scratching windows, of a Saturday night. I could pick up the phone. Talk to a friend. In LA. Basildon. Wakefield.


We are lost satellites. Orbiting cul de sacs. No stars here. Black holes. We are bad maths. Dylexic algebra. Not adding up. Lost love letters. We are broken radios. We are scratched records.

Ballad of the Broken Strings

Jackie and Jane dug Joni Mitchell at the Coffee Cup Cafe in New York they promised each other they'd write songs together in the days before before...


Room scattered with the things that every days are made of rotting food from days ago stale curls of crisps her body is a centrepiece its skin iced, diced, puffed the blood needles high five her sleep

Blue Afternoon In Bethnal Green

He loped around Bethnal Green. The fragrance of Scorsese's New York, still clinging to his overcoat. A fading comfort like Frank Sinatra. The gangsters here had no style. Just ill fitting Nike and bad teeth.

Bournemouth. Two Weeks Before Christmas

The wind wraps me. Into you. And I can stand this now. For I am swept again. This isn't melancholy's jetsam, crashing a wave, hunting a riptide. I will not drown again. Am I clear on that?


The little films now, are the most monochrome. Significant routines. taken for granted. Over two years, and through the seasons. We blew hot and cold. Underpinned by reassurance. The goodnight kisses,


You have toyed with me, like an insect. Pulled off my arms, and my legs. A sick and ill boy. Has been let down. Crushed! A bug to your ground. How does it feel? To make me want to die. Does it cross your view?


On reflection I shouldn’t have mentioned that tattoo, on your neck.

Clacton Beach Memoir

'I'll slice your face so that they can play noughts and crosses on it.'

Co-Op Live Art Fiasco

Stick the empty bottle up my bum.

Coffee and Eggs

Hey baby, Lets meet for breakfast. In the sunshine. Put it all to bed. For this last time. I'll buy you coffee and eggs. You can smoke my fags. For the first time. Bring my bags. I have a joke to tell.


I find you in the library scribbling on rough paper your sad map of the world I snatch your pen draw a heart on your shirt you recoil a loaded biro...

Day Fade

Brains of a rocking horse leads you to a petrol tank drinking in the bad day with a trash can horizon hue You can murmur your life for a dollar quart...


Brains of a dray horse

In San Francisco

As I walk the bridge the sun setting turning Alcatraz orange this city is a beehive buzzed up stinging itself crawling through the Mission finding...

Life in Rosy Hues

You start to sing ‘La Vie en rose’.

Lithium Rose

sometimes i lose patience drink a bit too much sniff cocaine and fall asleep with her memory

Middle England

A town like Billericay, in Essex. A March Saturday night. A little bistro that serves pasta dishes to Gladys and Brian. She is twin set nostalgia; he is slacks and Argyle fantasies.

Night on Shaw Road

The little girl. She's telling me jokes, from her new, shiny book. Some we get, and some we don't. We laugh on the sofa. Demolish a packet of crisps. You are in the kitchen. On the phone,


London’s curtains twitch. Mondays itch.



The Fan with the License: Growing Up Competition Entry

We argued so much that one of us had to be punched. I wish I could call him now and laugh about it all. I can’t do that because Andy Otley is dead.
Poem of the week

The Only Way Is Essex

Outside a lighted house, in a road, in a town she should never be in. A Bacardi breezed girl with Winehouse hair, lifts her skirt for a line of coke.

Waterloo Sunset. Part Two

A police car and a screaming siren. The music for the last couple.


In 1976, as a twelve-year-old boy, I went on a school trip to see the Olympic Trials at Crystal Palace, London.

Poem for John Hegley

'John. John! I drum the Cajon. Sometimes it’s in rhythm. Other times it isn’t…’