July 1987 – July 1988 missing:

August 1988 - July 1989 

In this period I decided to write up my dreams as if they were poems, as an experiment.

DREAM POEMS                   August 1988 – July 1989

Dedicated to the memory of our pet kitten, Nogbad, the purest being I ever knew (until I met Marina), who was too good-natured to stand much of a chance in this world and was killed on the road on the weekend of 15th-16th June, 1989, his brother Odin being similarly rubbed out of existence by the 20th century’s favourite killer only a few months later.



After many things I can’t remember

I find myself on the front seat of a bus

Travelling down a road

A girl with large breasts is cycling towards us

The lorry in front of us stops and the driver motions her towards him

But the traffic forces him to move on

Just a little further up the road, our black and white cat, Thor,

Is trying to escape a man with a javelin who tries to spear him

He runs in and out of the traffic

The slow-moving traffic

At least three times the man tries to stab my pet, but misses



This time I’m on my bike,

Following Kev in the Princess,

He shoots the lights

At the King’s Arms,

The junction with Holywell Street

So I shoot the lights to keep up with him

And out of nowhere comes a cop-car

Which pulls me up


Out gets a hard-looking middle-aged copper

He takes me to a temporary Incident Room

Behind white boards, where Blackwell’s is

I stay there for ages, just chatting,

Being friendly, drinking tea

Eventually I walk out free

He doesn’t charge me

I think he just forgot



I know this feeling

I can’t drive, but I’m on my own behind the wheel of a car

Outside my old house in Bolton

It sets off rolling slowly but I manage to steer it

All along the road to town and into a car park

Just this side of Turner Bridge, where I’m thinking

‘I’d better get off the road now’

I’ve only had one near scrape,

Trying to overtake a car just as it pulls out

To overtake the one in front. Both cars stop

And the incident comes to nothing

What kind of a car was I in? I’m

Trying to remember, I think

It was pink




In Manacle Forest, they say, you will find the secret of all life


In India I am watching as a girl is being burned

Her crime is adultery. She shakes herself free of her bonds

And runs headlong for the train station platform

She runs and the whole village runs after her

Chasing her, with herds of bulls eager for sex

Into the edge of Manacle Forest


There they all stop, remembering the legend

I am among them. On the forest floor I find

Tattered pieces of paper, fragments of words

Among the dead leaves. I put them together

The girl is back on the platform

The platform is burning

The girl is burning



At last I think I am a musician

Because Frank Zappa has invited me to a warehouse

Where I play guitar with his band and sing very well

After the session he buys all the band new gear

Except me. I am disappointed.

When I get home to my house in Bolton

I find a friendly copper in glasses

Where have I been?

What do I know?

Do I know Lefanu?

I don’t, but it turns out

The warehouse and all that was a cover-up

For a huge cocaine heist

Later the bobby calls again

Outside it is still Bolton

Inside it is 43, Herschel crescent

He asks me about Peabody, this time

Who is he?

As we talk, another copper pulls up outside

On a motorbike. This one is not so friendly and I feel

Things are about to take a serious turn



My job is to stand guard over two criminals in a room

My helper leaves with one of them and in his absence

I shoot the other with a gun

When the others return I shrug my shoulders

‘It’s all right, isn’t it? After all

he did steal lots of money’ I continue in this way

trying to justify myself dispassionately


then I dream that Nogbad is in my bedroom

I bend down to stroke him

And his stripey coat turns to grey,

He turns into Odin who is

All we have left now

I wake up sad, sorry for the death of my kitten


(and sorrier for us for having lost him forever)



I’m about to set off for my holidays in Scotland

To return to Birmingham, where I’m living

In the queue at the bus station I meet Janette

As I talk to her I remember I’ve forgotten a kitten

That I wanted to take home with me

I’ve spent my holidays in a house

Up a track near a small town

So I don’t know the centre well

Though it’s too small to get lost in

So I ask the driver to just wait for five minutes

(‘no, not even that’)

and leave the station, being careful to memorise the way back

looking at shop fronts and thinking hard,

then I realise I’ve set off in the wrong direction

so I make for the bus station to start again

I’ve only gone a couple of hundred yards but

everything has changed and I’m already lost



I’m at a football match in Burnden Park

And the match stops as players argue and brawl

In front of one of the goalmouths

The posts and nets are at right angles to

Where they should be

The referee gets so pissed off with them

He pulls the nets down over the lot of them

And they are caught like birds in a trap

I am sitting in the stands watching all this

I chance to look down at my feet

I find coins; English, American and

Weird African ones shaped like elongated ovals

With holes in the middle

Whoever is sitting next to me leans over and tells me

‘they’re worth nothing unless they’re in a pair,

siting together one on top of the other

making a squashed figure-of-eight,

the universal symbol for the infinite’



In Vietnam, on the edge of a jungle,

I find myself in a house with many friends,

But sensing danger I decide to leave

Outside there are people surrounding the house,

Serious-minded and military,

Heavy and inflammatory

I move through the rifle butts

The soul of subservience

Negotiating the minefield with politeness

As they begin to set fire to the houses

I hope all my Vietnamese friends inside

Have a tunnel to go through to safety,

An underground escape passage

I suspect is there

At the airport as I try to leave

I expect trouble but

They search my luggage sketchily

And let me board my plane



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