The Infinite Town

What happens when the news gets into your dreams and unravels the work of the day? When you feel homesick, especially when you are at home? What happens when the future tracks you down and corners you? Who blinks first? The Infinite Town is a painful – and playful – mapping of public spaces and private places under assault. Exploring history, home, hurt, and hope in four interconnected sequences, Robinson’s search for the infinite possibilities of the everyday, of empathy and solidarity, leads to his most intricately structured and musical collection yet.

Cover image: Buffalo

Sample Poems

Full Title Guarantee

These poems are now private property.
They may be accessed only with permission
of the Infinite Corporation,
who have full title guarantee until
Universal Darkness buries all.

These lines have been remediated
for contaminant-free development
with the use of public investment.
The costs of such enabling works
shall be considered immaterial to
future sales of these poems or derivatives,
and to any rent charged thereupon.

The Infinite Corporation have acquired
these poems for a proportionate fee,
a share of future uncapitalised revenues
and unlimited future investment.
As policy, the Corporation denies
all Freedom of Information requests.

Access to this book may be withdrawn
if it is copied or used inappropriately.
Access to the white space between stanzas
and to all punctuation is offered freely
as per the pertinent Section 106 agreement.

The transfer of these lines is now absolute and complete.
The Infinite Corporation covenant to cover
costs of upkeep, improvement and repair,
subject to proportionate and infinite charges.

The Infinite Corporation reserves the right to
dispose of these lines as it sees fit.

The Infinite Town

A slice of future
Has tracked us down
The river’s freshness
The afterflash of fireworked skies

These stones listen
To the infinite town
In the rasp of morning
The slow breath of dusk

A hope
That now and here
May be somewhere to settle
And train ourselves to dream

The disappearing men

are folding themselves into
the corners of their silences.
They gaze from clifftops
while no one watches them,
contemplate the sea’s due care.
They hold their breath.

They are in the middle of
the flyover, seemingly stuck,
but not really, not really, they just
bide their time, do not look into
the lorries, want the driver’s
catastrophe to be random.

In the shadow of the questions
that never came, the broken branches
the dog walkers will find, they lay
down their burdens, they weigh
down those things that must
be weighed down before they are lost.

They head gracefully towards
the shush of the splash, somewhere
quiet, where the moment is whole.
They dream their way onto the tracks,
walk the parallel lines which meet
only at the vanishing point.

You could easily miss them,
not suppose they were ever there,
be unsure what it was you saw,
not believe the size of the crowds
that welcome them as they arrive,
as they disappear.


Known only to the crane, the drone
and the pilot hunting a soft landing
right by its furthest reach,
a place never touched or left alone,
further and dustier than a star,
every rainbow is secretly a circle,
were we far enough away to see.

The bow from which the arrow flies,
that joins the dots and worlds
and bridges night and day,
ourselves and those we’ve yet to join,
is one step from perfect, always
bending towards something better,
were we far enough away to see.

The long arc is slow but makes rain stop.
We cannot touch the possibilities,
each star already cracked to let life in,
its blues and golds and greens
dimmed to orange then red to cool
colour into tonight, and tomorrow,
were we far enough away to see.

Where the rainbow ends the land forms.
Villages, towns, cities, worlds grow,
families, gangs, bands and fellowships,
all the polyphonic shapes of identity
assume their place in the dance,
to shift from flat earth’s rhythm,
were we far enough away to see.

Your night’s colours overlap mine,
even as we stand side by side.
They shift with the angle of our tears,
the way the moonlight bounces
off the ghosts in the curves of our faces,
and their gestures, their waves,
were we far enough away to see.

This year the rainbows twinned in glory
triplet branches into every corner,
set muted hues to hunt in shadows
till we can bear to look no longer.
And then the moon comes out, fresh
as milk, as snow on a bin-lid,
were we far enough away to see.
And all the colours are a little harder
to pin down as they stream towards us,
a rainbow caught only with luck,
bright, bold, playful, nameless and full
of what the naked eye knows only as love,
falling at the right angle, to a backdrop of rain,
when we are far enough away to see.


Early, Near the Courts

Cities in their waking slant sunshine into doorways,
bridge breakfast over morning into work.
Heartbreak finds its level, then silence.

Shadows on shop-fronts spill coffee into mortar.
Harsh-vowelled moments tie bows into brows,
co-accused and their mams smoking straight stories bent.

Clouds make a little dance above it all.


Mandalas of dead crabs bloom on the sands
to sign off unspoken deals, the grift and graft
of two hundred years burning to an end.

What was found in the earth dissolved,
settled to sludge, slept unseen, waited.
We cut it, dredged what was, when all’s said, ours.

The eels came first, a dead shine
we knew was not natural, inevitable or whole.
The auger pushed us into tomorrow.

Footsteps on the beach we must all approach:
a Crusoe’s trail hidden in fret and fear,
lawyers’ threats and official silence.

Flags warn you off the darkening water.
The breakers fill with stolen wealth, stones
glittering now but dull as clay at home.

The turbines wave and watch and are not heeded.
We live by the comings and goings of
such long-term contracts as the sea will hold.


‘One of the astonishing things Robinson continually does is make music out of political and social concerns and observation.’

Rupert Loydell, Stride

‘His poems speak of the best of England, its industrious past, its still untapped potential, and the dreams of its people, with clear-eyed honesty, compassion, and wonder.’

Greg Freeman, Write Out Loud

‘Clear-eyed and rooted in reality and with a finely honed sense of social justice and sparky wit.’

The Crack