Mr Minotaur

Hey Mr Minotaur,

so red, so neatly hunchbacked

on account of your thick neck,

ready to headbutt victims to their deaths.


You wait at the end of a corridor

with almost-human eyes,

with an inhumanly-built back,

O incinerator.


Who knows where the bull ends

and the man begins? It is a mystery,

the way that I am going,

where you are waiting, O Minotaur.




I’ve seen your face before

Mr Mirror-Minotaur,

with your ant-eater’s

tapered snout.


You’re a total nightmare

metamorphosis, Minotaur.

Hey that’s my face

with a version of my body,


that’s my torso

you’ve painted with blood

from green Greek Loebs,

with ink tattoos


from school exercise books.

I like what you’ve done

with the place: my face, my torso

draped in the black sail of a shipwreck.




I feel sorry for you,

your long-horned head

resting in the arms

of a sympathetic hottie


who nurses the thorn

in your hoof — I hope

you find some peace with her

while your mind rages:


a cage of furious constellations

gasping for space, for oxygen,

for the memory of your conception,

for the Elephant Man within.




If you see me, if I catch your attention,

even from a distance,

even if the door creaks

in your stately home,


you would clatter over my body

should I trespass

on the wrong side

of your electric fence.


No lightswitch in your labyrinth

but the walls are bleeding.

No GPS in your maze

but sometimes I see myself breathing.


No cups of tea in your formal garden

but on the floor

a cattleprod

out of batteries, forgotten.




You were watching from the beginning

weren’t you, dissected on the table,

making the school laboratory

smell like a butcher shop?


With your innocent animal eye

how calm you look,

how reasonable in your quiet

wildness, as if you only strike


a granite-bouldered fist

when provoked – BOOM

then comes your rage, black as oil-spill

spreading through the ocean.


You always liked to wait

in quiet thoughts, looking

for doubts, worst fears:

you fed off fear.


But if I see you

on the corner, say,

of some dark street,

I won’t hesitate: you’re dead meat.




I’m out here on the frontline,

Signor Minotaur,

keeping out of sight, out

of darkness, drinking at dawn


in white light, white heat,

sinking my third Negroni

with bitterness, coming down again

from an all-nighter


in a bar of beautiful bodies

all dressed in white, with white

Rivieras on my feet.

The champagne sea


is mute coffee

through the lens of my Persols

bought from two Mamas in Venice

the day the Twin Towers fell.


I’m thinking of coke, thinking of you

while the soundtrack plays:

Summer and Venice

by Christian Fennesz.


Dear Minotaur,

I’m at the bar

toasting your absence,




’s pamphlet The Stream was published in 2010 by tall-lighthouse. His poetry has appeared in publications including TLSPoetry LondonP.N. Review, and Tower Poetry. He is currently working on a study of freedom in twentieth century poetries.


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