18 July 2018



Snowball had the loathing something chronic. She’d smashed all her mirrors in iconoclast and said she’d pan my windows too if I didn’t lick her wounds. Those stigmata can be tricky. The self inflicted are often the last wounds to heal. Least said, soonest mended, so they said back then.

She came on like a breath of sunshine, but she had dark roots. I’d been keeping a beady on her peroxide explosion; altruistically fucking her from time to time. I knew it was a mistake, but we are only granted a finite number of mistakes. There’s no point turning away a gift horse. It’s not every day someone gifts you a horse.

I was pretty liberal with the advice, but more frugal with my affections. I like to think of myself as a coward. That’s the best spin I can weave from my actions. I couldn’t dive in, because I can’t fucking swim. So, I turned away. At the crucial moment I closed my eyes, but I still heard her cries. I still hear them now.

I guess that in her story I was yet another disappointment in a series of disappointments. Was I a user, an abuser, or just a man of straw? I’m not the judge of that. For my part, her voice is one of many asking the same question. Do you now, or did you ever, possess an ounce of soul?


12 July 2018



It was easy, if that’s an excuse. We were just two horny urchins with heads full of high. To our way of thinking we were only passing time, but somewhere embroidered in that soft and fleshy memory we shared the perfect lullaby.

No one else ever heard our song and no one ever will. We swore ourselves to secrecy and concocted alibis. It was perhaps a sin of omission, this pact of harmless lies, but I plead innocent to any ill intent. There’s no crime here, no guilt to exorcise. We made our bed and laid in it; accessories in pleasure, lovers in disguise.

Your name is safe on my lips. I stashed our stolen hours among my fondest memories. Where there’s ink there’s confusion and I lack the words to weave the contours of your smile, but it still plays upon my mind like a sigh. I wish I was a cosy man; I’m too ragged at the edges to make a constant companion, but every now and then I wonder and you’re the reason why.


27 June 2018



I’ll meet you in the darkness

Where the nightshade flowers unfurl

A thousand tiny banners

Emblazoned with intent

We’ll feast on poisoned berries

Like hungry little worms

And sip deadly belladonna wine

From the forbidden orient


23 June 2018



He’d once been a pariah, an untouchable. He had a definite shape, but it was asymmetrical. He was composed of acute and awkward angles, ragged contours and sharp edges. Cutting edges. He had always felt at odds with nature, a square peg in a universe of round holes.

He felt powerless in his predicament. There was no panacea, no prescription, no discipline, or philosophy to ease his discomfort. There was not even a name for what ailed him, no diagnosis for his wayward geometry.

His was the difficult path and he stumbled often, and sometimes he fell. But over the years his angles were chipped away and his edges were made smooth through collision and erosion. So that one day he awakened to discover that he was practically formless.


22 June 2018

The Temple of a Thousand Buddhas


On the first day of summer,

In the Temple of a Thousand Buddhas,

You turned and said to me;

“Your smile is a blessing to my heart”

That was long ago, but I’m smiling still.


27 May 2018



she was a regular flamingo

pretty pink on the outside

but with darker hues within

that girl went all softly softly

to catch this monkey

she’d taken down my particulars

and made an inventory

of all my shortcomings

she said she’d fix my shit good

that didn’t wash well with me

she was going to burn me down

regulate my casual symmetry

and shear off my bollocks

for her silver service

that’s how it was

she had a scripture

carved in fucking stone

but I don’t give a rat’s arse

about any other numbers

I have my own recipe

and it clearly stipulates

only one occupant per cage


16 May 2018



Do you see those ferals over there? They are my murder squad and that’s my blood on their sandals. They must have gotten my number from some old directory, because I’m unlisted now.

They came to chasten me for some mythic infraction in the by gone, but it’s never too late to deliver bad news. Apparently I had robbed some whore to feed some bitch. I can’t recall the details; they were pretty inchoate with their charges.

I was all negotiable, but they were not. We reached an accommodation where I shut the fuck up in exchange for a kicking. However, I take succour from the knowledge that they will one day turn on the hand that now feeds them.


15 May 2018



The sickly hours draw near. I’ve been out on the prowl; feasting with panthers and laying with the low. Life bleeds out from the clenched promiscuous regions. This seed, the gift of our benefactor, was spilled on vulgar ground. A menagerie of brightly polished fossils perch four and twenty deep on a blackened bow. Each is perfectly honed to provide keen edges a man could shred his soul on.

That orange sky; that’s bridges burning. The ties that bind are long since severed. The lunacy board have seen me reconstructed, but you can follow my backward spiral to the place we were born. Life seemed a game then and it seemed worth playing. You danced for me while I designed the livery to match our majesty in nuts and bolts and unicorn antlers, but those were costumes in another play.

They say that time is a great healer – I don’t know about that – some wounds fester as he marches on by. The love that was then seems distant now, but love means little in some strange quarters. The heart that once beat with a passion is now buried in the corner of some place forever frozen.


13 May 2018



lay some of that lotion on me

the therapeutic shit

with the greasy action

crack one of those phony smiles

and lie to me one more time

about a love that awaits me

some place I’ve never seen

flip me once over easy

between the slippery shore

and the deep blue sea

I’m shedding old skin

it’s a change in the weather

truth is I’m naked

beneath these clothes

so don’t fill me up

just to pour me out

I sicken for something

and I’m tired of the tears


3 May 2018



I may exaggerate

from time to time

stretch the truth a little

for the sake of the narrative

but there’s no soup here

and no side story

what you see

you might not get

just ask Yo Yo and Psycho Sue

everybody knows my name

even if they can’t place the face

you dummied up nice

but you don’t listen so good

I don’t hold any papers

and I never did

back in the once upon a time

I gave the world a little distance

just enough space to think straight

I have demons to contend with

but I can stand their scrutiny

if they can stand mine

everyone is tyrannised by something

fear is the prime motivator

name that fear

and you name the man


28 April 2018

Modern Romance


no-one gets their jollies on the night shift

unless they’re sniffing boot polish

or drinking the windolene

there’s a lot of it about

some like to spank monkeys

while others drag the low end

trawling for the mantovani

but it’s sometimes hard to tell

cats from dogs in the virtual

and often a suspect package

is mistaken for exotic booty

in some sort of synthetic romance

only the lonely care to understand


24 April 2018



did you insure your arse

for the greasy pole

your medical discharge

and your life on the dole?


were you taken unawares

by the changing season

the rise of the greedy

and the death of reason?


or were you simply

hung out to dry

with no explanation

and no reason why?


welcome to the big society

where you fight for your share

and the odds are so stacked

that you don’t have a prayer


19 April 2018

Cockroach God


Skid row junkies shuffle dance like broken bears. They smile spoiled milk and stink of stale sweat and rotted flesh. The zombie nation has risen. Semi stiff cardboard men – flaccid humanity face down in the gutter. Hostile corners teem with cockroach people - knives half shut with disgraceful wings. Blood is brown clotted on the lips of scarecrow men with hair on fire. Three overcoats wrapped around breathless bodies. Dull drunk and frenzied sober faces searching for significance - thirsty souls on a death mission. Every bindle stiff who can lift his lids eyes you up for the short prize

“Can you spare some change… “

And why are you here?

Morbid curiosity?


Did you get lost?

Are you passing through, or have you joined the congregation of the cockroach god?


13 April 2018

Higher Ground


I telt ye - I seen him with my own good eye. Scarecrow was down the knacker’s yard with his Doberman pincher and his King James. He was preaching fae Revelations and he says; “Take a butchers…” and I seen it was all maggots inside. I widnae listen after that. No tae nae maggot book I widnae.

I left his company with his maggots crawling through ma brain. He cursed mankind in his many tongues, pure psychiatric it was.

"But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderous and the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – they will be consigned to the fire. This is the final death - from which there’s nae return"

They tell me that fear is our first and last teacher. Scarecrow puts the fear of God in me. No the God of Jesus – love an’ forgiveness an’ that, but the God o’ Moses in the auld book. He’s a wicked bastard that one – the God of retribution and judgements. Scarecrow has a bead oan him – that blind and cruel God of auld. Repent or perish he says – I will see tae that. Hate thy neighbour and loathe thy self – for you are unclean in the eyes of God. Aye, I walked away, but my eyes were full of maggots and my ears were full of stones.

That night I dreamed that I did battle wi some lesser angels for possession of my soul, but they said they had me bang tae rights, so I bargained for clemency. I heard a man proclaim that he fed the poor and cured the lame and I could do it too, but only in his name. Then I heard the same dude say “In the presence of the infinite there is only ever now”. That sounded right to me. I wish he’d come around an’ give me a leg up tae place my feet oan that higher ground.