The Truth Within:

When the Fifty-Five knocked me down on Oxford Street

(and after I’d left my wallet at home)

security picked up my black executive

and weighed it in at seven kilos.

It didn’t detonate in the dank, dim quarry

but was scanned smoothly in a dark, deep bunker

and they lost the next months re-assembling

the carnage of my alter man.


I was a spy, this collection my life.

Silica gel as light emetic

and a clip of pastels to dope and fell –

I’d lunge and gouge with a sprung umbrella

and the download cable could throttle or bind:

all enveloped in a must of rot which

locked them down to isolation

and left bespectacled technicians gasping up for light.

I’d ticketed down from Newcastle under a dozen different

business cards, and hidden my tracks in a

stack of faded, overwritten receipts.

My camera held no lasting trace of eliminations

now encrypted on memory stick which was stuck to the fingers of latex gloves;

the tin a rattling of random coin, and my face is blown

from Orestad to London; I live in the photo of a

whitewashed chateau and know I’ll weaken if they

crack my scale, now out and named by the Institution

and licensed to kill with a blank risk assessment,

a disturbing fascination with gothic transition, a toolkit

of poisoned paperclip scratches,

a tourniquet of sisal string, invisible writing from

inkless pens, combustible fluff and a helix of hair

and, deep undercover, the cellophane wrap from a long-written card,

at last, there’s a woman somewhere in there.