Colon : Press published this book in 2004. It's done not bad (it got a 4 star review in an arts magazine), but I've still got copies in boxes under the bed, and I'd like to shift them. You can buy it from Colon : Press directly.

It was published in the summer, just as the Edinburgh Festival was about to start. I used to busk material from it. I got a spot standing on a 18 inch stone domed bollard. I had to balance on it, and it was really difficult. I collected money in a bobble hat I placed on the pavement. Either side of me were loud drummers and people juggling chainsaws. It was really noisy, and I used to shout my poems out so that people could here them. I was nervous and used to shake. Balancing on the bollard made it worse. After a couple of minutes I was vibrating. No one came near me. I'm not surprised. I must have looked alarming. It made me sad. I didn't want to shout. Some of what I was saying was really gentle.

These days, when I perform, I go to venues where I don't have to compete with simultaneous percussionists and machine operatives. I even have a microphone. I don't need to shout.





I could surprise you today.

I could wear something

That you didn't know was in my wardrobe.

I could let you know something

That would colour everything a different shade

From this day on.

I could vex you

By erasing from you an emotion or two

And leave sockets in your soul

Like an Egyptian Mummy's eyes

And you wont be able to feel what you feel.

I could surprise you

By pinning back your ears

And speaking in tongues

Until you become familiar with the rhythms and beats

And learn my language.

I could conjure a pterodactyl

Out of a flapping black bin liner

That batters through the sky like a jellyfish.

I could bid it to screech at you

And give you something to hide in doorways from,

Something to startle you,

Something unprecedented

That you have to be fresh in the face of.

I could surprise you like that.

I could even surprise myself. 

© Graeme Hawley 2004


I wanted to brand your image on my retina.

I wanted to mint you in my eye.

I wanted to save you like prehistory in a rock.

I tried to map every contour

Of your every feature and motion

As reference points for perfection.

And later, when I wanted to remind myself of you

I replayed your image.

But each time, it lost its form a little more,

Tormenting me with just enough detail

On the verso of my eyelid

To make me think that I could decipher

Your magnificence again

From that single encounter,

If I could just concentrate hard enough.

It was like trying to craft smoke,

Until all that was left

Was a stilled blur,

A worn florin,

An atomic shadow,

A Hiroshima outline,

A snowman after rainfall,



And the fear that I would never see

Anything beautiful again.

© Graeme Hawley 2004