Matthew Caley

Matthew Caley’s debut collection Thirst (Slow Dancer, 1999) was nominated for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. This was followed by The Scene of My Former Triumph (Wrecking Ball, 2005), Apparently (Bloodaxe, 2010) and Caley’s ‘lost collection’ Professor Glass (Donut, 2011). He's read in venues from the National Portrait Gallery to Wayne-Holloway Smith's salon, from the Novi Sad International Poetry Festival to Prague's Alchemy, from the Globe Theatre to the Morden Tower in Newcastle, as well as at many festivals and on BBC Radio 3's The Verb. His fifth collection Rake was published by Bloodaxe in February 2016.

Photo: Pavla Alchin


Breakfast at the Poetry Café: On the Road »

With Michelle Cahill, Matthew Caley, R.A. Villanueva and David Evans

Sat 4 March | 10:00 - 11:00 | £4.50/£3.50 | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Studio Theatre

Border Crossings »

Reading: Matthew Caley, R.A. Villanueva

Sat 4 March | 14:15 - 15:15 | £4.00/£3.00 | The Undercroft, St John's House, South Street


Foregone Conclusion

Half-inching, then dropping down
the turquoise-pale, dolphin-studded drainpipes of the Hotel Pimodan
escaping Baudelaire’s crazy demimondaine
who is pelting me with gemstones
I unaccountably land at the back of Beehive Place, Brixton, 1987,
two dealers stepping forth from their wall-niche to intone:
how’s about something beautiful to help you stay the same? – on command
I trade a gemstone and the deal is done.

Later will find me prone
on a South London kerbstone
a lachrymose, nose-ringed Fly-girl battering on my breast-bone
                             with little fists ahead of the foregone conclusion –

my rare heart bursting like the sun,
mind half-inching up the dolphin-pale, turquoise-studded drainpipes
                             of the Hotal Pimodan
tapping at the cracked window, hoping to get back in.


Matthew Caley

from Rake (Bloodaxe Books, 2016)