High Friar Lane

High Friar Lane



overcast cut through

being gutter & stars

passed by & passing

as dragged clamour

of bricked-in bins

thunder & glass

tipped on glass

heaps bottling noise

to snarl a trapped

bite of angles

in echo down

the alley

heckled blind

by a vocational drunk

who barks

staggering to piss

one hand to steady

flat against the wall

& the lane dreams


like an aqueduct

for caught-short


or now

where the memory

of Dixon Scott

ghosts Tyneside

to greet Ken Loach

& agrees the stains,

wired luminous

canopy, all the rain

& how it runs —

it has its place

a film that might be

stepped into

as the dazed & blinking

leave the cinema



David Spittle completed a PhD on the poetry of John Ashbery in relation to Surrealism at Newcastle University. David’s poetry has been published in Blackbox Manifold, 3am, Shadowtrain, Zone, Datableed, Zarf, and has been translated into French courtesy of Black Herald Press. Twice shortlisted for the Melita Hume Prize (2015/2016) and included in the Best New British and Irish Poets 2016 Anthology. In addition to poetry, he has written the libretti to three operas, performed around Cardiff and at Hammersmith Studios in London. David was commissioned to write a song cycle for the Bergen National Opera, since performed internationally. He blogs at http://themidnightmollusc.blogspot.co.uk