The Famennian Age Extinction Last night I saw the Famennian Age Extinction in an off-licence in Camberwell Green. It was dressed in hospital sandals and soiled hospital slacks. Holding a leather ho… Read article


I am happy staying put; not joining in. But your sun-stroked face keeps peeping around the corner of the day room: eyes locked, that fierce smile, your whole heaving body beckoning me to better w… Read article

Camera Obscura

A pinhole camera is a simple device: light passes through an aperture into a box, and an inverted image of the outside is projected on to the opposite wall. Build-your-own kits are sold as novelties, … Read article

Once Upon A Tide

‘Once upon a Tide’ is a variable, restless, shifting narrative. Turns of phrase, stage directions, and lines of dialogue from Shakespeare’s The Tempest (1610-11) are randomly, repeatedly, and so… Read article

Völuspá: The Seeress’s Prophecy

A Preface to the Poem 'Völuspá' compresses the whole of the Norse vision of the universe’s history and future into its 60-odd short stanzas. It is narrated by a seeress, or Völva, who is request… Read article

The Militarists

My friend the artist once told me an anecdote – an illustrative story – about a captain of the emergency forces, in the days of our relative youth. He, the artist, had come to show me some proofs … Read article

My Grained Ash

My grained Ash an hundred times hath broke,And scarr'd the moon with splinters.   There’s a storm coming in over New York. Hurricane Sandy. I’m up late, thousands of miles away on the south coa… Read article

Cemeteries by the Sea

A few days ago I finished translating Paul Valéry’s Le Cimetière Marin. I was pleased to finish, considering that it must have taken me a little over two years. It’s easy enough to lose track of… Read article


‘radiant with bovine life’ (E.M. Forster) ‘It’s raining but I don’t believe it’s raining’ (G.E. Moore)                        i Docks, nettles, self-sown   sycamo… Read article

Albion Street, Lewes

Packs of men, women, and children are rounding the corner of Albion Street with their hands full of fire. The blazing torches they clutch look like matchsticks made for a giant and their flames burn i… Read article

Four Poems

Afterings The world turned turtle on me. After the footnotes and the remedies, After the mental embassies, The missed alarms and deadline days, The world turned turtle. (more…)… Read article

Assange in the Eighteenth Century

In a Virginia court room, away from the press, the US government is embarking on a grand jury investigation into the affaire WikiLeaks. Having learned from its mistake — storing classified data in… Read article

On Orford Ness

Late September on the coast of Suffolk, with the sky curdling into low cloud. From the mainland pier, Orford Ness is a low flat slate-grey spit, tapering to a wire of horizon at each end. Between he… Read article

The Whole Package

I’m writing this 30 yards from the Red Sea, sat on a sun lounger in Sharm el-Sheikh. It’s the first week of 2011, and I’m surrounded by British people, bar one young Egyptian man who sells massa… Read article