Love in a time of virus

Oh Iris! I’m desirous
of your heaving pert bozoom!
I’ll swab your nether twemlow
with Dettol and a broom.

No more self-isolation!
I’m starting to go blind!
Come to me, my Iris,
let’s try it from behind.

Those dimpled cheeks beneath your mask,
bestir my heart to race!
though if I’m not mistaken,
you should wear it on your face.


An examined life

I gave my love a sublethal dose
— that was my first mistake.
My second was using tributinol
past its sell-by date.

But I do enjoy a challenge
and I’ve learned from all my loves.
Next time I will be more prepared
(memo: rubber gloves).

I’ve always been too timid,
especially in romance,
so yes,  my love, I’m grateful
for this second, final chance.

Love songs

‘Love is all around us,
it’s all you’ll ever need.’
If anyone believes that,
I think I’m gonna heave.

Tell that to the preacher
who’s been peddling it for years;
he shouts it from the pulpit
to drown out children’s tears.

Tell that to the beldam
who’s been battered and abused.
Yes, love is all around us
— it’s a heartless, cruel excuse.


I used to dream that we would walk together
hand in hand — just once —
around the streets of my home town,
where people who knew me could see us together
and say: ‘Look who’s back! He used to be so quiet!’

I’d just carry on walking, holding your hand,
showing you the places that meant a lot to me:
my old school, the single pine tree on Cullen’s Hill,
the abandoned mill where I used to hide, to read.
It never happened, of course,
and maybe it was selfish of me.

Hackney prick

I’ve loved you from afar,
for your sub-cutaneous scars,
and the pustules that adorn your

Dermatology is my game,
clear complexions is my aim.
My love for you will always be

I’d love to prick your acne
on a late-night bus to Hackney;
we’d stay on board until we reach the

Then we’d get off the bus
— just the two of us —
and guzzle down a skinful
at the Olde Pig and Pimple.

Love in a damp climate

Let me be the sandbag
that protects you from the flood,
let me be the raincoat
that shields you from the mud.

Let me be the plastic wrap
that clings to your melonia,
let me be the parapluie
that guards against pneumonia.

Let me be the sealant
that keeps out rot and fungus:
oh if you let me love you,
that would really be tremungus.

Let me be the bitumen
that works in any weather:
once I’ve dried you out, my love,
we’ll always be together.