A Life in Dreams

There have been teeth
falling loose from their sockets
like a shower of petals or bones.

There has been treacle;
attempts to run against a gravity wound so tight
that single steps were futile,
a travelling nowhere,
a running on the spot,
a fanged leer and a gnarled hand
inching ever closer.

There have been glorious revolutions in unnamed countries,
wars against tyrants,
troops like legions of swarming beetles.
There have been blades, flashing at the sun.

Once or twice, a fluency in kung-fu.

Up has mostly been up,
though has been convincingly turned
on its head.

There have been drives down unfamiliar streets,
the front of a car crumpled
like denim pulled fresh from the wash.
Once, a mobile home.

There have been more than a few kisses. School
classrooms and corridors.
A hiding place in a primary attic.

There have been clothes, forgotten
and remembered too late.
A numbness of gums.

Unassisted flight.
Falling but never hitting the ground.
as solid and real
as table tops or bed-frames.

There has been silence,

the power of sound cleft from the mouth,
the jaw gummed with quiet, the throat
emptied of ammunition.

There has been love.

There have been messages
passed back and forth between hemispheres, metaphors
like acres of fortune cookies.

All this, behind shuttered and fluttering eyes
and, I'd wager, some of the best,
where everything moved like snowfall
and time itself was as delicate as a snowflake,
melting on the tongue.

‘A Life In Dreams‘, © Jacob Sam-La Rose 2010, first published in Identity Parade: New British and Irish Poetry, edited by Roddy Lumsden (Bloodaxe, 2010), used by permission of the author.

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1My Mother’s Guitar


3After Lazerdrome: McDonalds, Peckham Rye


5A Spell for Forgetting a Father

6The Hours




10Blacktop Universe


12How to be a Basketball


14Driving Home in Reverse

15How to be Gravity

16How to be Urban

17The Star


19An Ordinary Prayer



22Speechless 1950

23The Wolves

24A Portrait of Love as Gravity



27How They Arrive

28The Edits



32Song for a Spent 100W Bulb

33The Difficulty and the Beauty

34A Life in Dreams


Books by Jacob Sam-La Rose