Series Editor - Jim Bennett for The Poetry Kit - www.poetrykit.org

You can join the CITN mailing list at -
http://www.poetrykit.org/pkl/index.htm and following the links for Caught in the Net.

Submissions for this series of Featured poets is open, please see instruction in afterword at the foot of this mail.



I should remember more about returning to our home

For the first time without you Ė I was with Bri, but alone.

And yet, I donít, and imprecision slices through my recall,

And Iím sure I should remember more than the blue van we went in.


                 from; Bear by T. L. Burns









A Most Amatory Affair

The Bends

Spider, Woman

At Work

At Work II



Lawn Furniture



1 Ė BIOGRAPHY:  T. L. Burns


T.L. Burns is a 23 year old writer from Birmingham, England, currently residing in Oxford. When not writing poetry he is a film journalist for Screen Robot, amongst other publications.









I was used to white: white corridors,

White waiting rooms, white tablets.

I grew fond of it, appreciated its immaculate appearance.

With white you could always see the edges, where something

Started, ended.

White: that colour of concord, of clouds, of pre-trodden snow.

I felt safe with it; with stacking your white hospital papers

Or fetching your bloodless bandages and holding the gauze.

White was right.

Even your newly-bald head sparkled white.

It was my colour. It was our colour.

Then I began to see too much of it.

Those corridors became endless, alabaster burrows throughout

The Q.E., and the tablets multiplied, joined by companions of purple and pink in their

Pallid pot. White was no longer white,

It had curdled into a yellow, a sickly shade of the unwell.

The clouds turned buttery and melted like giant, dripping egg yolks from the sky.

Snow ceased to fall that Christmas.

White became the dye of death, not that I knew it then.

But soon I found you, ashen on your bed, lying still, like an unpainted statue,

A frozen father, ice-like and ice-white, awaiting the white van that

Would take you away.

Now I hate white, shun it and picture it painted, painted from the palette of which

I pulled it years ago.






Another day gone, wasted, tossed into

The doldrums next to yesterday and the

Day before it. Itís piling up, weeks of it, of nothingness,

Of hours spent mulling, musing, moping,

Walking around my room and looking for answers or

Antidotes or anything.


Anything to tear me away from this lethargy,

This lamented life Iím leading back home,

This antithesis to my expectance of existence post-grad.

Iím disconcerted at my indecipherable days,

The Fridays I canít tell from Thursdays,

The Thursdays I canít tell from Wednesdays.


My days donít grow any more, they decompose,

Filter away into vapour, sieved by the stars as they vanish

Into space. 

I can almost see them floating away,

Irrelevant and immaterial, days of dire dirge,

Superfluous in the grand scheme of it all.


Iím supposed to be a man now,

One ready for real life, one

Bearded, educated and equipped to earn.

Yet still I sit in my shorts all day, still I spend my dwindling

Dough on beer or books or bhunas and

Still I play video-games with mates Ďtil Mom comes home.


Then thereís the nights, where I write and write,

Write in the hope that someone will watch these words,

Distinguish them and haul me from my hell

As Iím doused in hyacinth and my name is hollered

From the house-tops.

I want my days back. I want something to do with them;


Theyíve coagulated into one long stretch of insignificance,

One street with only one bedroom in one town.

Light becomes night without notice as Iím left at this laptop,

With these thoughts on this day;

Itís Thursday,

Same as yesterday.



A Most Amatory Affair



Iím at a crossroads. A split like that

At the tip of a serpentís tongue.

Youíre back on the scene.


Back. Like a blonde bullet;

A toxic tease; a beautiful black-widow-

Bitch whose body I again beat to,


Whose sex I need to suffer. Youíre bad.

Bad for me. But the badder the better, it seems,

And again Iím addicted,


Addicted to you. Youíre like liquor. I

Could down a bottle of you, pour you onto my

Tongue and numb it like cocaine.


But youíre far from anodyne, and Iím not sure

I can do it again. I was an alcoholic, drunk off

Your drug Ďtil I decided to sober up


And get myself a good-girl.

Now Iím at the fork in the road Ė thereís no

Promise of you,


So why Iím there I do not know Ė

And your scent is pulling me away from safety,

Tempting me left, away from whatís right.


I can see your shadow on the highway,

Slinking sultry, rushing blood to my penis

Like someone has turned on a tap.


You are reforming, regressing from the melted

Mass of woman I thought my mind had made you.

The Sun is sucking you up


And reshaping you, moulding you again as

Aphrodite, as an amorous seraph whose aureole

I again pine to penetrate.


If I canít resist then Iíll die with my mistake.

Iíll commit suicide, jump from the cliff of your chest

Or throw myself head-first


Into the gap between the crossroads, that small hole

Where the moss has grown, the mire where no

Mind can fuck me.



The Bends



Sitting here surrounded by their books and their

Literature makes me feel uneasy, yellow

Like these old pages.


I can see them, staring out at me from the safety

Of their legend, judging me and

Questioning my worth,


I can hear them, breathing fast on my loose neck,

Stepping slow around my desk, creeping

And rubbing their chins.


They are circling like sharks, can smell the blood

Of an unsure newborn in the distance,

Are eager to taste his work.


Itís an ocean in here, all high seas and food chain,

Iím at the bottom, coming up slow and still

Getting the bends.


The ascent is arduous, a wet-war on gravity. But I will

Emerge ultimately, like a great crowning whale,

Ready to rise, ready to take my leap.



Spider, Woman



Thereís this spider in my bathroom,

Iíve seen it twice.

Her beauty strikes me hard,

Like a sledgehammer to the gut.

It floors me.


I see in it Ė this spider Ė the same beauty

I see in the eyes of a woman

Who doesnít know sheís loved.

No pretence, no conceit,

Ignorant to her own wonder.


This spider has a metallic stomach,

Silver with blots of blue,

Psychedelic, almost.

Looking up at it, I canít help but hope

That she never knows,


Is never told of her brilliance.

I find them better that way,

Purer even,

Endearing in the doubt of the

Strength of their web.



At Work



Iíve got a job

For the first time

In a long time


And Iím standing here

And Iím pulling pints

And Iím serving pints

That Iíd rather be drinking


And they are talking to me

About cars and tools and

Other things, things, things

That I donít care about or for


And all the while Iím thinking

Of her;

What sheís doing

What sheís wearing

Who sheís seeing


If sheís in psycho-bitch mode

Or if sheís settled into some sort

Of sanity for the evening


And all the while Iím pouring

And the people keep talking

And the drink keeps flowing

And my mind keeps numbing


I find a little spot, my sanctum stool.


But my time is going

And my mind is going

And my money is going

And the world is going

And she is going


And Iím wanted at the bar

But she doesnít want me again;

Not here

Not in France

Not anywhere



At Work II



All day I hear about

Asphalt and

Roofing and

The way the sewers work.

I hear it from the boys whoíve come down from

Leeds and

Middlesbrough and


It bores me,

Their natter,

Drives me to the brink of walking out,


And going to bed.


Itís not that I donít like them, I do (usually).

I even respect them, admire their dignity

In doing what needs to be done.

Itís a background Iím from.

One I knew, know and grew up around.

So, I should care more,

Should feel more guilt in my boredom,

Should usher in their advice with urgency.


But I just donít.


These things, their world,

It doesnít give me that gut-punch,

Doesnít stoke my fire or flick my

Ticker online.

Their rubble-smeared hands are not like mine;

I craft poems and think Iím better than them,

They build homes and kingdoms and prove

That Iím not.






I remember The Bear the most. That crappy figurine

You bought for the hallway, with him Ė The Bear Ė

Sitting on a log and foraging the artificial branches

That hung above.  Beside, at his paw, was a plastic puddle.


I should remember more about returning to our home

For the first time without you Ė I was with Bri, but alone.

And yet, I donít, and imprecision slices through my recall,

And Iím sure I should remember more than the blue van we went in.


But still, I donít. Why is it just that van? It doesnít hurt trying to

Remember, so why only the van? What was hidden in its hind, what

Lurked in its coffin-rear, what drives it to the forefront of my memory-procession?

It seems that, in my remembrance, I am left with only the van and The Bear, but why?


Was there no last look over the bed you died on, no closing

Of the door that housed it, no final seconds in your sanctum?

Maybe there was, and maybe these skeletons just donít

Yearn for their flesh yet, maybe they are old but not old enough.


As it stands, I am left with The Bear. The one whose head I thumbed before leaving him

Be on the side. I left him to his wilderness as I was left to mine. We were

Both alone, left to fend for ourselves, cold and hard like the glacial plastic

Puddle at his paw.






I realise youíre a leftie

And instantly think of your hand in mine.

I look at your hair, blonde and free,

And long for it draped over my chest as you pant.


I stare at your lips,

And imagine what they can do.

I gaze at your eyes, alluring wells that water must never encompass,

But how many lovers have drowned in their presence?


I examine your ears,

To what sweet music do they listen?

What about your hands, delicate and soft,

Do they caress and touch as I imagine?


Your breasts, would they react if I brushed lips against them,

Would your behind clench if we thrust?

And what about your heart, hidden to the eye but open to the mind;

Does it beat and pump and love like mine?



Lawn Furniture



There is no lawn furniture in the gardens of my future,

No small plastic chairs for my kids to play tea,

No swing-set to provide a perfect picture or wife inside

To take it.


I just canít see it, canít see myself being settled in,

Swept in to the tedium of it all like a feeble

Child called in for dinner when all he wants to do is

Play outside.


Except, I donít want to play anymore either, too long Iíve

Done that, it, too, is tedious in its inevitability, stinging

In its outcome. Man can only chase for so long before Time

Catches up and bites him on the ankle.


The wheel of our days spins complete before we know it,

The brakes are put on quicker than we pronounce love, swifter than

We reject death. 


O what wife of mine would listen to these mad ramblings?


See, I feel preconditioned to hunt but never catch, as if God were

Staving off my kill for the sheer fun of it, laughing at the

Correlation between each hound, admiring his clout and

Commanding his women to continue;


There is no lawn furniture in the gardens of my future.

It has melted away under a blonde sun, reduced to a steaming pile of

Molten plastic, a stinking mess upon a once-green vision, burning

Black holes in the baron grounds of our prospect.


Departed, it has become. Contaminated now is my future,

No new love can grow; the soil is polluted and poisoned, deadened by

The decomposing dreams of a life.


















4 - Afterword

Email Poetry Kit - info@poetrykit.org    - if you would like to tell us what you think. 

We are looking for other poets to feature in this series, and are open to submissions.  Please send one poem and a short bio to - info@poetrykit.org

Thank you for taking the time to read Caught in the Net.  Our other magazine s are Transparent Words ands Poetry Kit Magazine, which are webzines on the Poetry Kit site and this can be found at -