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Tim Allen

4 poems from Mattered by Tangents




in that direction autumn

although distance desires outlandish spaces

in that direction spring

extended family’s hair lash and nail extensions reach the street


deluge head-over-heeled towards the busker

his experimental movie a downbeat experience

in that direction winter with knobs on

road surface peeled back like a can of explorer’s Spam


film director directs the summer sidelong

traditional symbols undulate in flight simulator

i took Bachelard’s Poetic Space to the Air Show

public execution now replaced by public birth





the debt of birds to gravity

empty clock face in constant astonishment

boomeranging heart transplanting instant debt

cranky I Ching


revolt embellished baroque maelstrom rim

cynical continuum

what we thought of as a problem turned out to be Anselm’s elbow

and you could get a grant for your insurrection


daybook clasp mistakes laparoscopy for clinical cliché

fashion show birdbath

(that is there’s a birdbath in the background at a fashion shoot)

the thermodynamic death of an old tyrant






shrill trinket is in the wrong sort of danger

boss bastes her secretary’s goose

unbearably rare but not unbelievable

self-contained bathos fears an undead spouse


typing pool cough-up for supermarket homebrew

a river of Ribena about to drip off the desk

objects get concussion too

philosophical debris


waterfall rings the doorbell (in its dress)

well placed fake replaces modernist displacement

eyelash tinder replication of sparked douse

but it’s Roubaud who answers the door (in his pyjamas)






reciprocity licked a collection plate

analysand licked the paper off the collection box

received wisdom desperate for alternative mission

dining with blood donor the day after tomorrow


elusive busker

who are you buster?

when nobody’s listening you can sing what you like

you can sing what you like anyway


auburn tamper damp probe tatter retch  

psychoanalyst’s tongue singes the corners in the box

an uninhabitable bagatelle

one writer has no gender while another has too many

Tim Allen lives in Lancashire and helps run the Peter Barlow's Cigarette reading series in Manchester. Most recent book is Under The Cliff Like (if p then q).

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