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10 January 1983
... A pierrepoint stretch, mid-afternoon; the last two go facing back down the walled street below the chestnuts this still claggy Sabbath. They hold their rifles lightly, like dipped rods, and in a blurt of sunshine the aluminium paint on the customs shed has a dead shine like a text brushed onto basalt. It’s not that anything will happen next in this hour that is as constant as sin, and as original ...
21 February 1985
... For me the crown is the symbol of the unity of the tribe.’ Ted Hughes St nissan mishan biskit bingo hut an skwidbone strand win me sunday fraym fotograf av momma kween. But me not want dis woolworting no lang no mor. Giv to Iron Man. He coom up dis rainrain day fram gravul pit pleec frogmen liv – wit mistultoes astrologee an beeds av glass dis kweenwite fotograf he giv to Iron Gull. He sing ...

The Revenant

Tom Paulin

3 January 2019
... after Baudelaire Like those angels with rough – rough or roughened eyes I’ll come back to the little alcove where you try to fall asleep. I’ll slip in between the sheets without a sound from the dark, no the darksome night, and I’ll give you, burnt woman the coldest of kisses and the hugs of a snake in a smelly grave. When the dawn comes without a sound you’ll find no one in my place ...
7 August 1980
... A lantern-ceiling and quiet. I climb here often and stare At the scoured desk by the window, The journal’s conscience And its driven pages. It is a room without song That believes in flint, salt, And new bread rising Like a people who share A dream of grace and reason. A bit starchy perhaps. A shade chill, like a draper’s shop. But choosing the free way, Not the formal, And warming the walls with ...
2 September 1982
... Under a stony sun, a slabbed fate, there is a paved land called nothing-original which is the home – the near-buried home – of scholarship and humility; there the god of Notes & Queries takes up our references and a silver priest called Maxwell sings everything in the catalogues. This is karma, acceptance; a bent harijan brushing dung and shards in a walled courtyard. But who can tell the puritan ...
20 February 2003
... On the second day of the second month 2003 we were walking through Beeston – it looked that Sunday more like a wet Northern than a wet Midland town with big strange pollarded trees on both sides of its not wide not grand Imperial Road – every single limbless hacked cutback trunk was taller than the Victorian houses and each a kind of écorché displaced almost tarry with a blind scorched halfconscious ...
24 August 2000
... On the other hand 10/1/40 was a good day at least by January standards – a crisp cold clear day When Majors Reinberger and Hoenmanns allowed their Me109 a virtual fighter – no light transport plane made of cloth and string – allowed their sturdy all-weather plane to get blown across the Rhine and a chunk of Holland by an eastnortheast wind – not a wind a mere breeze of 9 to I2 knots before ...

I am nature

Tom Paulin

24 July 1986
... Homage to Jackson Pollock, 1912-1956 I might be the real                 Leroy McCoy                 landsurveyor                 way out west                 of Gila River you know I pushed my                 soft bap                 out her funky vulva                 her black thighs                 and ...


Tom Paulin

25 January 2001
... Koba is in a country no a wilderness province the size of Scotland – nine months of ice and snow they live in caves where his fellow exiles fear the hard glints in his eyes his yellow smoky eyes that hex his comrades and will them toward the shades summer’s hot – they move to shacks and tents – the tents sailcloth the shacks tarred always aloof and solitary he imagines becoming the metal Shah ...

Two Poems

Tom Paulin

30 September 1999
... From that state of chassis to those two poets – both theorists of chaos at Princeton – a name that goes with Einstein – from that apparently random state almost void almost without form though it doesn’t know it we might just start to draw drip or pour a kind of crooked trickled line – its grease or toil of grace could be glimpsed out on the Net strong wide deep long cunt and womb a tough ...


Tom Paulin

20 February 1986
... The release of putting off who and where we’ve come from, then meeting in this room with no clothes on – to believe in nothing, to be nothing. Before you could reach out to touch my hand I went to the end of that first empty motorway in a transit van packed with gauze sacks of onions. I waited in groundmist by a hedge that was webbed with little frost nets; pointlessly early and on edge, it was ...

Two Poems

Tom Paulin

6 September 1984
... Waftage: An Irregular Ode All my mates were out of town that lunk July and though we shared a bed still it was over – she’d paid the rent till August first so each bum hour those rooms threw back at me this boxed-up, gummy warmth like a pollack’s head and eye wedged in an ironstone wall. Most every day she’d paint in the loft above the stables while I wandered right through le Carré –Murder ...

Three Poems

Tom Paulin

11 January 1990
... History of the Tin Tent During the first push on the Somme a temporary captain in the Royal Engineers – Peter Nissen a Canadian designed an experimental steel tent that could be erected from stacked materials by an NCO and eight men in 110 minutes so the Nissen hut is the descendant and enriched relation of the Elephant and other similar steel structures that were adopted and then adapted for trench ...
9 April 2009
... The Chorus draws nearer to Oedipus. CHORUS Those evil men that have slept since long ago. It is not proper to awaken them. But yet I must be told – OEDIPUS Told what? CHORUS Told of that great heartbreak for which there was no help. I mean the pain that you have had to suffer. OEDIPUS I ask that you be kind. I ask you not to open my ancient wound and all my shame too. CHORUS Everywhere your shame ...

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