Stephen Oldfield


sign this (can you use

the grass is always greener on the other side of the screen

'climb out of the small print
and up into the flagrant caps'


there are details you notice
not getting on with it

on Hollingworth lake the eights
prang the rowing boats
or used to (they sliced
the water
the cox’s nose
his rudder)
sign this
you could use the money
or at least
the soap


over amplified music/the
notes each have pastry on

use the grate outdoors
if you must


every thing has a vice-versa
and some things only that

* I can't even hallucinate straight


'there has to be something else
to account for it
I mean
chemicals do have a little dignity
l wonder if there's
a top to his head under that hat'

listen I'm not trying to prove anything
and if you look at it another way


bear in mind that rabbits are civilized
and a bird in the cat is worth
how much is a tin nowadays?


I'm just sitting here
absorbing the echo


the rhythmic noise of a decrepit
fan-heater is totally unrelated
to the volume of heat it emits
if kicked
the tone alters only for a few seconds


his emotions fall out like village toughs

he is a terrible man
a he

'arrived while I was abroad...

sufficiently taken...
during my absence is astonishing

we meet a lively bull
I thought I recognized her
but she's changed/somebody else

you ought to more often
then people might find out
why are you telling me these things?
what do you want me to do with them?
all right
come on
you bastard

...the space between thought
and paper
, written down

‘excuse me but is this a poultry bookshop?’


They wear uniform clothes that are not
He strums a guitar while she
sings the verses
Both share bits of chorus
the candlelit dinner of their song
where they join at the wine

much older than twelve times her years
ten times his
There are swords in it and maidens and
a lord cuckolded in his own white-as-milk
featherbed by the groom of his dapple-grey
There is honour and chivalry
he lets the lady die first
their blood on his sword and buries them
mistress uppermost
The deaths are dramatized by a flailing
on the strings
a fingerdance
on the soundbox
It works
We'd like to do a love-song now
whispers the girl


two poems from a 1985 book by Stephen Oldfield, someone I had never heard of until Mr Gilonis raised his name. Our suspicion was that Harry was suggesting people just because he was the only living person who had heard of them, but in this case the poems are good and this is a name worth knowing. Indents from LH margin cannot be reproduced in this layout generator. Gilonis referred to "And those folk who slip through every net, like Andrew Lawson, or the fabulous Stephen Oldfield."


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