‘The Ice Hotel’: an adaptation of one of my poems by James Starkie

•January 30, 2013 • 1 Comment

Created as part of a collaboration between Bokeh Yeah! and Comma Press, based on a poem by Gaia Holmes

This house was once full of music

•April 3, 2012 • 1 Comment

but now it’s a place
where dead melodies pepper
the dirty bone-white sills
like dried out bluebottles.

No one creaks down its corridors
to boil up milk in the middle of the night.
No one opens the shutters in the morning
to feed it light.
The floorboards no longer gossip.

Desiccated moths and spiders
powder its lintels.
Its cupboards are pockets for rot.

It longs for ghosts or stray cats,
an implant of pulse,
some breath to lift its dust,
a string of bats to bead its rafters.
It longs for the old tunes
to crawl back home,
to drag themselves
over its crusty threshold
like tired toads.

The Garden Goddess, By David Harsent

•March 21, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Out by the woodpile at three a.m., knock-kneed and shitfaced,
lost in your own backyard,
you pour a libation that comes straight from the dregs and she drinks it.

Or you stand at a sinkful of broken this and that
wide-eyed and with nary a hint of what’s next,
as she goes by with her Tesco bags and a fifth of gin in her pocket.

She keeps unholy hours. There’s a chance you’ll see her naked
at noon among roses; a fair chance, too,
that in bending to cup a bloom, she’ll show you the little widget

of her arsehole, damson-sweet and, some say, the very fount
of knowledge, though certain dream-
images, featuring sweats and the shakes, somehow cause me to doubt it.

Capricious? Of course. She’ll as likely spit in your eye as lay
a calming hand on your cheek, although
it’s known that she once gave up a bindweed and bottletop bracelet

that carried a certain charge, a link of some kind, a portal,
that could rush you all the way
to the back of the garden and open the gate and set your foot on the snicket

that leads to the ever-notorious ‘place beyond’, and the way
thorny and the light gone bad and the wind rising,
which is why you’d most likely decide to take her advice and forget it.

As she turns to favour you with that self-same rose, you might notice
how her shoulder-blades jut and curve
like the folded wings of an angel, how she smells very slightly of civet,

how her nose is off-true, as if she had once been the victim
of a random attack, how the dark of her eye
can bring you on, or the wet of her lip, how the dab of cuckoo-spit

that fell to her thigh from some dead-head or seed-pod
has left a trickle of glisten,
some time later described in your journal as ‘slick, like a scar in velvet’.

As for why rain works round her, or how things green
when she moves among them, or what
music it is she brings with her, these things must remain, as always, her secret,

as must the true tale of the love of her life, who saw her
exactly as you see her now, and took
her kiss and changed, so we’re told, in a moment from mortal to misfit.

Gorecki, symphony of sorrowfull songs

•September 6, 2011 • Leave a Comment

When I hear Gorecki’s symphony of sorrowfull songs I think of this: Because I was the youngest, the skinniest, the meekest, I got the smallest room in the house- the room with the flimsy fake wall, the room without windows. I tried to bring in light with tattered newspaper sunsets Blu-tacked to the wall. My fingers knew your face before my eyes did….

there is more but I can’t write it now

‘Snow’-Chemical Brothers…

I am hammering tacs into the attic stair carpet and thinking that soon, your bare feet will be walking on them. She says “Please get those carpets sorted. I have nightmares of you slipping and breaking your neck.”

CHALLENGE!

Please send me prose/poems inspired by specific songs/tunes

Camomile tea

•September 1, 2011 • 2 Comments

Your cottage always smelled
of wood smoke, turps
and old baked beans.
Washing up was a rare event
and the cabaret was mould.
Your good intensions
grew furzy blooms.
Things in pans developed skins.

You cooked but hardly ate,
lived on the wonky G note
you scratched and bowed
on your battered violin,
sucked fat from the colours
of the same raw-eyed siren
you painted every day.

Back then
I was doped up on camomile tea
and the idea of love,
thinking I’d saved a man
from drowning,
unable to see the mess
behind your eyes.

Themes for Dreamers, on Phoenix FM

•November 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I’m the co-presenter of ‘Themes For Dreamers’, a show on Phoenix FM, Calderdale’s local community radio station.

‘Themes for dreamers’ features a diverse blend of music and poetry all united by a particular theme. To listen to a podcast of the show click HERE

The show is presented by either me or Dave Higginson every fortnight on a sunday from 4-6pm.

If you’re outside the broadcast area you can listen to the show via the internet.Go to PHOENIX FM and click on the LISTEN LIVE icon.

I often have guests on the show so if you’re interested in being a guest on ‘Themes for Dreamers’, please get in touch.

James Nash, Podcast 036

•November 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

James Nash interviews me on his latest literary podcast.

Click here to listen to the podcast.