Photos Of A Chronophobe

(i)                 Selfsame has been in a photograph

for a second               pixelating

like a moon peeling away at a sea,

time reconciling with a brass clock

reads like the shadow of the photographer

in a photograph.


Selfsame has been in a photograph

for a few weeks        pixelated

like cotton gravity on a buckled breath,

time arches back into the good light,

humming a forgotten lyric, bottled

like a photograph in a painting.


Selfsame has been in a photograph

for a month or so      having pixelated

like four fingers squeezing into one eye,

Mum says she walked through a rainbow,

No, we say, though time refracts through the wet,

it still needs your distance.  




(ii)              No two moments are the same

but it is still odd to think of myself


in the white shirt, in the dimpsie light[1]

veering upward like willow branches,


weeping into themselves to fold light

in fragments and withhold parts


of the neck that look sad and large

from that angle,


when nearby voices inflect like creases

on ageing bodies, posturing


as though their torsos and legs

are newspapers they’ve finished reading,


paper backbones, drooping in-

to themselves in the moisture


of conversations that loom sad and large

as a visitor whips out his camera,


explains how similitude is becoming

so exciting and that you can have a go.



(iii)            The clock is silent

as the collarbone

beneath the neck


unmanning the body

like a sun patch in the lake


a ray of bereft voice

on the family nose

requites the loose window


unmanning unseen bodies

of wind flutes in a washing line


Lucretius hung up

in the garden like

a clock in a photograph.


[1] Dimpsie light is a Somerset term for twilight.

Selfsame Lifetime In Photographs

Arms about the waist so as to divest any photograph of the frame and to self-contain like an amniotic painting. The body is a vowel sound voicing time-fears. It bows softly as the sun makes through a cloud.

Dad walks in with strong hands from planting Ash trees in the garden, he calls over to say they are dying out in Norfolk.

Later he joins the photograph and pats the head affectionately, flapping its petals like older men waving as they go, only leaving the photograph when they are remembered in a different way.