Staircase to nowhere, Pismo Beach, California

An odd labyrinth filled with doors and stairs that go nowhere.
Move beyond utilitarian architectural features.
A variation on a concept called Penrose Stairs,
terraces and white rooms.
I call it The Hammer of Folly,
you call it The Escalator to Nowhere and tell me it is an escalator leading to nowhere.
Whenever you practice climbing stairs or any walking activity,
make sure you’re working towards some goal and not just making a child go up and down.
I spotted a spiral staircase that seemed to have no purpose whatsoever.
It was signed by President Lyndon Johnson.
Grab the link.
Change the floor plan of the home.
Her family first came upon the set of unattached concrete stairs partially buried,
we got a tip in the Untapped Mailbag about a ‘staircase that leads to nowhere’
in Riverside Park so we went to check it out.
I believe I saw this coming
Getting nowhere in a dream of staircases may be challenging
but you have to take steps.
Originally this was a single family house
so the stairs at one time led to a hallway with doors to the bedroom
and a Necropolis of the Mughal Dynasty.
We’re assuming that this staircase once led to a magnificent temple or mansion
and we’re astonished by the size and splendour and magnificence.
See where this is going, Zeppelin fans?
There is nothing more that I enjoy than discovering amazing places around the world.
Next in common feed, next selected by editors, next artist image.
Except, maybe for the ghost which appeared twice,
ascending the stairs, even though I wiped the viewfinder off for possible smudges.
I say a priest offering bread.
You say a door without a handle.
I say a child beneath a veil.
You say a boatman ready to row.
I say a corkscrew without the promise of drink.
You say if there’s nothing at the top how can there be nothing at the bottom?
I say the sun has been setting for years.


Jet Star Rollercoaster, Seaside Heights, New Jersey

If below us there were only clouds we would keep breathing,
sitting beneath the Atlantic Ocean’s roiling surf, lost to history
and apprehended by police.
Clinging on as if someone might still reach out to save us.
Superstorm Sandy won’t remain a tourist attraction,
sections of the blue-collar town resemble the aftermath
but plans changed after some tests were done.
Won’t remain as a tourist attraction or wound,
partially submerged in the ocean.
Striving to live life on life’s terms,
a man who surreptitiously climbed Seaside Heights.
There are ladders no soul can climb.
Disorderly conduct for hanging a flag on the submerged rollercoaster.
Cute, what the fuck, geeky, cosplay photos.
If you’ve ever gazed in amazement at how birds dive down
into water and then gracefully emerge,
half-submerged icons of damage,
then you’ll understand how there can be scaffolding without regeneration.
You may find yourself cursing the winter weather.
You may find yourself a tourist attraction, wounded, abandoned.
Surf rolls past and rolls past again.
Let me tell you about a woman found in her submerged vehicle.
She is a sign of taking challenges head on and being in the excitement and submerging yourself.
Pushed out to sea like a girl vacationing on the Jersey shore.
Halliday said the last few days have been ‘an emotional roller-coaster.’
Maybe they could turn it into a log flume,
ogled by onlookers and looked upon by gods,
visualized by considering a cantilevered beam submerged in a viscous moment.
Its frame reflects off the water
and was ‘heaved up’ above sea level and re-submerged again several times.
Only the wash of icy-white and a lonely flag.
Into lung-crushing depths, never to rise again.
This isn’t Christ for Christ’s sake, this is a rollercoaster.
And the sun has been setting for years.


But we fear.
But we are dossiers
or the decisions made by others.

Or allow terrorists the safe spaces to talk to each other?

In the crypt with his eyes shut, tight,
and darkness.
But listening.

Spies spy, monitors monitor.
All seeing eye and I cannot see until I have forced all eyes open and mouths shut.

Minimizing the required wires.
Don’t commit to anything that you’d feel uncomfortable having your grandmother read.

Banning communication channels.

She was swimming the Channel in her night dress,
in phosphorescent waters,
a selfie.

Allowing you to ninja your way through Gmail
or every doubt and suspicion
or restriction.

Select the cities you want to build and build them.
Even the most primitive animals react to odours given off by their own.

If the unseen becomes seen what can exist beneath?
Beneath the line,
in a liberal democracy.

Say goodbye, I’ll see you on the other side.

In the wake of atrocities
there is no privacy and I am naked again,
flailing at random.

Abdicate you swine.

In Eton eating hope.

Every missed payment, every failed section,
every transaction, every inaction,
every submission, every ascension.
I’ll be reading you.

Nothing, no technology.
Just strings cut and unblemished hands holding scissors.

Wyrd bið ful aræd.

But I am safe in the supermarket.
But I am safe to enact privilege
like the privilege of satire.

I see.

That racy photo of you in the kitchen.
That effort to kill
or plan of destruction.
That note of disdain.

But I am safe on the train
not hiding in a toilet from bullets.

But we fear, we always do.
Or become blind.
Dossiers of self-destruction
or the mirage of choice.

Liverpool Camarade

I’m doing a reading in the Fly in the Loaf on Feb 18th. It’s for an event James Byrne has organised connected to Steven Fowler’s Camarade readings. It’s also for the launch of Steven Fowler’s and Tom Jenk’s 1000 Proverbs.

I’ve always wanted to get to one of the Camarades but never quite made it so it’ll be really good to both attend one and read at one. It’s also another fantastic poetry night happening in Liverpool at the moment and shows that when you have poets who are active in the city things happen and get done.

I’m reading with Steve van Hagen. We’ve been working on the idea of abandoned places like the ones on this twitter account

It’s a really interesting way of writing poems, looking at those lost and forgotten places and trying to connect/reconnect with them through language. I’ve taken a found poetry route to my writing (a sort of reverse of the lost) and tried to write loose and abstract pieces using google and certain google searches connected to the images.

Here’s one of my poems based on Mirny Diamond Mine in Eastern Siberia, Russia. I’ll be reading it on the night.
Locate us on the outskirts of Mirny, a small town in eastern Siberia.
Larissa in the snow beside the hollow
and the echo of impact, the scar of the fall.
She abandoned me in Mirny, in Eastern Siberia, in Russia.
She had a crucial hand in making Russia what it is today,
sucked in by downward air flow.
We become a Landsat 8 image of a diamond mining city, frozen, forgotten, unloved.
As my world turns I meet a young Russian geologist named Larissa for the second time.
We drink ice and snow, she is cold.
She whispers ‘and the Anabar, Mirny, Mirna, Jubilee, Arctic circle’.
All of this was constructed by Stalin to satisfy lust or Larissa.
Don Julian thought he had become haunted by her spirit. He began to collect dolls.
Hell gave its name to the area, known as East Raynham, reported to be haunted.
Hell gave its name to Larissa.
She whispers ‘and Yakutsk, Neryungri, Mirny, Jubilee, Aldan’.
The airspace above the mine is closed now.
The airspace above her eyes is closed because she sees too much.
It takes one hour to reach her and two hours to leave her.
I wrote earlier about a diamond mine located in Mirny,
a city in the Sakha beyond the main rivers, leading from inland eastern Siberia.
I write now about industrial diamonds and whispers.
Tramping through the taiga along a trail of volcanic bread crumbs,
she is ice like to be dead is to be as cold as ice.
She whispers ‘and Alrosa, River Lena, Mirny, Jubilee, Lake Baikal’.
Larissa believes if we misplace something valuable
that momentary lapse will come back to haunt us.
Sometimes I find myself wondering if I have the courage to visit her.
Sometimes I find myself wondering how long the sun has been setting.

Here are the details for the event. You can get tickets at eventbrite here –

LIVERPOOL CAMARADE 7.30pm, Wednesday 18th February

Upstairs at the Fly in the Loaf

13 Hardman Street, Liverpool, Merseyside L1 9AS

Free Entry

Pairings include…

Tom Jenks & SJ Fowler (launching their KFS Proverbs)

Robert Sheppard & The European Union of Imaginary Authors

Scott Thurston & Steve Boyland

James Byrne & Sandeep Parmar

Patricia Farrell & Joanne Ashcroft

Steve Van Hagen & Michael Egan

Lindsey Holland & Andrew Oldham

Elio Lomas & Luke Thurogood