16 September 2017

Soulless Episode III


She robbed me with apparently no sense of irony. She was enraged and barely coherent. I had been rumbled again. She went through my pockets looking for anything she might have missed. She found a couple of condoms in my jacket. She held them up and laughed.

“Just in case Johnny? Or do you always go prepared?”

She tossed them at me with a gesture that suggested both amusement and contempt. She loved a grand gesture did Jane and she had the dramatic flair tae pull them off. She was a bonny lassie, but she would insist oan talking.

“Yer easy tae get along wi Johnny. Yer a good laugh and yer no bad in the sack, but yer lacking something.”

Here we go, I thought, the commitment lecture – it had to come one day. It always does. Still, I couldn’t help gazing at her near naked body and thinking that a man could lose himself in a woman like that, so why can’t I?

“Yer a coward Johnny. Yer afraid of commitment and yer afraid of love because yer afraid of rejection. Ye take nae risks ‘cause yer a cowardly fucker.”

I was smiling now. I didn’t mean to and it could only wind her up, but the whole scene had a familiar pattern to it. I had recognised the symptoms and I knew it was coming, but like a fool I had to turn up for the final scene. I was almost glad I did though, she was magnificent in her rage. She was a very beautiful woman of strong character. If I were ever to fall in love it would be with a someone like her. I wish I could tell her these things, but tae what purpose? I just lay there on the bed smiling like a muppet.

“You’re pointless Johnny. You’re a record wi nae groove, a fuckin’ bike wi nae wheels. You have a’ the charm and grace in the world Johnny, but ye huv nae soul.”

I groaned in psychic pain. Not that old chestnut. There’s no such thing as a soul. Even Buddha had tae admit that, sort of. The soul is a concept – an abstract – a fuckin’ falsehood. Why do they always pull that soul shite on me? If she meant I had no conscience – that I could bear. It wiznae true, but I could bear it. This soul malarkey though just got oan ma tits. I had soul – even Buddha said I had soul – whatever that means.

“There’s nae need for this Janie, we’re friends after all.”

“I dinnae want tae be one o’ your ‘friends’ Johnny. I’m no some wee whore fi the scheme who’ll let you pick her up or let her doon as ye fuckin’ well please. I deserve mair than that!”

“What’s the money for Jane?”

“I’ve been yer whore and now I want paid!”

“Did I make ye feel that?”

“Aye Johnny – ye did.”

There was so much anger and anguish in her face that it silenced me dead. She loved me. She really did love me, and in that moment, I knew I loved her. It was too late though. Too much had already been said and too much had already been done. How could she ever trust me again? How could I? She would be better off without me, who needs a man with no fuckin’ soul anyway?


14 September 2017

East Of Leven


I could dae this of my own accord you know. I dinnae need the spike, the earmuffs and the diamond collar. I do awright oan ma ane. I kin write awright if ah kin just get some sleep! Men of a certain age, especially those of the manic-depressive persuasion, often find it difficult tae sleep. Loads of pent up emotion an’ barely supressed anger keeps them awake at night. You’ll find that many men of a certain age carry luggage heavy wi pent up emotion an’ barely supressed anger; it’s the lack of fuckin’ sleep that does it.

I’m in an awfy fix. I’m in Scoonie, East of Leven; Scotland’s ane Anus Mundie. I came here tae get away from it all. Fuckin’ well succeeded tae – I’m miles away from anything. This place was designated as pointless back in 1962 and filed under forgotten; not to be revived in the foreseeable future. Some part of me has died here. There is some portion of Scoonie, East of Leven, that shall forever remain Buddha in an unmarked grave.

Brought Johnny. Fat lotta use he is. All he talks about are burds; burds he’s shagged and burds he wants tae shag. He’s goat it bad that yin. He was gifted wi a beautiful intellect which resides in the glans of his penis. I love the guy tae death, but one day that cock o’ his will lead him into mair than temptation. I told him tae be meagre wi his wants, but on that score he’s the greediest bastard a’ ever met.

We’re no exactly oan holiday here. This is no gentleman’s junket. We’re on the lam. No fi the law or that, but fi our friends. Our pals want a pound of our flesh. Some depressing tale involving supposed MDMA tablets and an alleged horse tranquiliser. A very ugly story, but all too common in today’s marketplace. We were merely intermediaries in this carfuffle, but since the primary agents had absconded wi the loot, we were held by many tae be responsible. Stupid bastards. To a man they are all stupid bastards and the stupid like to weigh in mob handed. The mob that’s after us is comprises of some unsavoury characters who’d just as soon knife you as kick ye in the head when yer down. We’re running from a lynching – there’s nothing the stupid love more than a good lynching.

They’ll never find us in Scoonie though. The sun cannae find us in Scoonie. Which is a huge problem. I brought my stash, of course, but what use is it? How the fuck does an honest dealer make a living during the winter in a caravan site in some Godforsaken corner of Scotland naebody has ever heard of? Give Johnny his due he’s been out in Leven every day hustling the few remaining angles, but maybe he’s just hunting fur burds. It’s been three weeks since he got laid last and he’s getting kinda antsy. That testosterone banks up and swamps the mind ye know. Many are the wondrous feats of stupidity perpetrated by horny men.

“You know trying to find a trick on the street is too much like hard work. You want to open an oaffice.”

“Why an office?”

“If you had an oaffice the tricks would come tae you.”


“Tae buy your services of course”

“And what are my services?”

“You’ll be relieving them of their cash.”

“Just like that?”

“Just a little mind you, no enough tae send naebody tae the polis.”

“Ye’ll have tae be specific Bood – what would I be selling?”

“Dreams Johnny Boy – dreams.”

“Fan fuckin tastic Buddha – wid you get tae the point?”

“A raffle – a lottery, anything that cost you nowt to organise and the punter only a few coppers tae play. We can use the laptop tae design the necessary and print them off in the site office.”

“Won’t they be suspicious at the office?”

“We’ll wait till they’ve gone hame – I have the key right here.”

“That’s a screwdriver.”

“It’s a key in the right hands.”

“So we are going to run a fake lottery no one will ever win. Won’t people be pissed when they find out?”

“They never will. Millions of people dae the lottery every day and not one of them realises that they were ripped off. I’ve done the maths Johnny and statistically speaking yer odds of winnin’ are about the same if ye buy a ticket or not. No-one seriously expects tae win the lottery anyway. They dae it just in case; people are playing ‘cause it fuels the old pipedreams for a wee while. They get to imagine what they would spend it on if they did win; an entirely vicarious thrill costing a mere pound. Of course our lottery will cost a fiver ‘cause you get five lines wi every ticket. It’s a special international lottery which gives out billions in prizes every day and it’s all tax free because they are based in The Cayman Islands.”

“Looking at it that way people are pretty stupid., eh?”

“The stupid ones are, but the rest are just greedy. Never make the mistake of thinking yer trick is stupid Johnny, never underestimate anybody. If you find a trick who is genuinely stupid – walk away. Have nae dealings wi the stupid whatsoever.”

“Surely they are the easiest tricks?”

“Too easy, but unpredictable. You ever know how the stupid will react to being made a cunt of Johnny. The prisons are full of stupid fuckers who killed for nae apparent reason. Nothing is more dangerous that brute ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Have no dealings whatsoever with the stupid Johnny. If you huv a stupid friend – boot him intae touch. If ye huv stupid customers – get rid of them before they get ye busted; I guarantee ye that they tell every cunt they meet everything they know about you. No drug, not even booze, causes some much strife. If we're looking for the source of our fuckin’ woes, we shouldnae be testin’ folk for drugs, we should be testin’ them for stupidity. There’s nae fuckin’ rehab fur the stupid – they’re always fuckin’ stupid and that’s a fact. What was it Oscar Wilde said? ‘There is no sin but stupidity’ I reckon he was spot on; stupidity is the route of all evil.”

“We can all be stupid at times Buddha – people make mistakes.”

“I agree, but that’s no whit am talking about. I’m talking about the terminally stupid – the ones who cannae learn fi their mistakes; because they were right to make them and would do it again tomorrow for the same inane, stupid reasons they did it today. I’m serious Johnny – you let the stupid into your life and chaos ensues. That’s enough philosophy fur one day – fire up the laptop an’ let’s get tae work.”


I wish Johnny had listened to me. Perhaps I should have placed more emphasis on the stupid, but Johnny found he was willing tae indulge stupidity if it came wi a pretty face. That peccadillo was to cost him dearly one day, but that’s another story and I’m no the man tae tell it. Creativity being the cessation of stupidity our lottery scheme worked out well. We only sold two hundred or so tickets, but that raised over five grand and meant we were able to pay off our ‘creditors’ and still have some change for beer. All’s well that ends well they say – except this is no the end, but the beginning.


11 September 2017


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back end of the coal scuttle

lived a boy who’s story

read like the entrails

of a fucked-up Philip Larkin

his was time well spent

he was the model good boy

at his best, he was a gold star

at his worst, a misdemeanour

nowhere ever happened

within his sterile orbit

while outside a revolution

mashed up on the streets

inside it was TV Times

and Top of the Pops

with custard creams and tea

he dreamed of some

San Francisco somewhere

where he could start out anew

but back in the corporeal

it was a Thursday night

and mum was making stew


Rental Dogs

C26b13f9aa88310aa4d30f134ba2cffaDo me a favour would you? Lift the lid and let it breathe. Let some of the heat out, we don’t want it boiling over do we? We just want gentle simmer to bring out all the goodness. Cooking is an art form, it takes patience to prepare a masterpiece. This is what it’s all about boy – meat on the table. A man must provide for his own and no one else is gonna do that for him. A man must provide even if he has to steal. No too much like – only what he needs. Leave some for the next guy. You nibble the hand that feeds you Johnny. You leave teeth marks and you’ll find a posse of rental dogs oan yer tail.

Those rental dogs are meaner than the average mutt and just love the taste of blood. They smell your fear and so you must keep that shit well hid. Never look ‘em in the eye. It aggravates ‘em if you look ‘em in the eye. The eyes are the windows to the soul and those mongrels have no souls, see? Most rentals are bereft of souls. Whether they were stolen by pimps, or dealers – notorious soul thieves – or worn away from the inside by worry, hatred, or avarice; the rented have a legendary soul deficit.

Poor boy went insane and sold his soul to complete strangers. He got a sawbuck for one weighed ounce of solid soul. He bought a wrap with the proceeds and smoked it, but it never filled the hole left by his soul. No amount of gear ye smoke, or booze ye drink, will ever relieve ye of a missing soul. Take all those rental buddies and barflies who congregate in the temples of oblivion, or the crack heads and junkies they look down on. They got no souls.

Half the world haven’t got no souls and mostly that’s avoidable. It’s a question of intent; of how much you want something and how much you are willing to pay. My advice, Johnny Boy, is to never want anything too much. Beside you’ll see that prices come down if the seller knows you can walk away. Some have no means of paying for whatever it is their hearts desire, so they go rental. But you’re only rental so long before you realise that your soul is part of the deal.

It’s a nightmare to live without a soul buddy. The soul is that vital spark that kickstarts the emotional and intellectual energy that makes ye unique. The soul is yer passion, yer intensity, yer mojo and without it yer an empty husk. Take it from Buddha you never want tae go rental. No for fortune, fame, for women, or drugs. Because nothing is more valuable than yer soul.


7 September 2017

To Dream As Gods Do


your suicide warden

garnished in chains

inspects your arsehole

where morning has fled

your pot hole eyes peering

through a lysergic purge

witness only the contents

of your dingy abode

which encapsulates the wearying

trinkets of monstrous dalliances

and licentious attacks

of falsified intentions

these are the things you’ll remember

during those lonely repasts

of quaaludes and hard liquor

green tea and ground glass


you learned to sleep in shallow latrines

on egyptian cotton and busted bed springs

gazing up at refracted reflections

in cracked ceiling mirrors

where decades of hope

disappeared in a murmur

to dissolve and fade like baby aspirin


your aged gigolos and militant dandies

dopes on the ropes fighting losing battles

are smudged entries in last year’s diary

so your electric wire and phony smile

seemed like your last best defence

in a life grown cold

from hustling for change

and god knows you need a change

there’s one more hit left in the locker

so lay back and relax to dream as gods do