30 June 2012



High as a kite

Lower than a dirty dog

Fast as light

Slower than a methadone jockey

Clean as a whistle

And common as muck

My sticky shirt

Has outworn its usefulness

I’m tight as a drum

As loose as a clown’s pocket

I don’t belong in civilized circles

If I don’t sleep soon

I’ll slip into a coma

And crack my head open

On cold bathroom tile

Hard as stone

White as a junkie

My brain will spill open

That’ll be funny

My random thoughts

Will all take flight

The fastest

The fittest

And the also rans

Will empty out

And leave me vacant


27 June 2012

More Like Cain


Thou shalt not this

Thou shalt not that

But thou will anyway

Call it free will

I know that I will

There are lies

You want to believe

There are lies

You just can’t

I apologise now

I never loved my neighbour

I repent of eating

Sacred cows

I’ve taken names in vain

And borne false witness

I’m less like Jesus

And more like Cain


illustration by Robert Crumb


26 June 2012

Bloody Imposter


They never sicken of taking my blood

They must have gallons by now

Enough to reconstruct the man

To make a blood monster

To take my place

To kiss my wife with his bloody lips

To sleep beside her in my bloody bed

Perhaps I am that bloody man

How would I ever know?

Maybe I’m the bloody doppelganger

What if the real me is locked away

In some asylum somewhere

And I’m his crazy counterpart

The bloody imposter in his life


25 June 2012

Missing Piece


It’s a familiar sensation; the sticky charge before a thunder storm; the nagging feeling that something is missing. Some third arm or leg has been amputated. Some secret portion has been stolen, perhaps it’s my soul. I’m like a three legged dog, or a cart without wheels. I’m going nowhere; nowhere is where I am. I’m bleached out, fading away like an old photo left out in the sun. Something crawls inside my skin – electric crank bugs, dirty great cockroaches. I’m turning inside out; I’m pouring out onto barren ground, puddled on the floor like a pool of vomit. That missing piece must be my lynchpin because I’m losing my bearings and sliding off my axle. There is no steering this juggernaut, no turning back to safer ground. Blind on the inside; I’m a collision waiting. I’m a wrecking ball on course for destruction; I’m a derelict building awaiting its fall. I don’t believe in this, I don’t want it, but it’s too late – my pieces have scattered and I am undone again.


21 June 2012

Star Caster

I cut the sky down to my size and wrap it round my head so that I can circumnavigate the stratosphere in under a minute. All I have to do is turn around like a goldfish in a bowl.
At night the stars come out and I can just about reach them with a shaky hand. Someday I’ll pocket them and sew them into my coat – my galaxy of a coat. I’ll shine like the Milky Way and I’ll sprinkle stars along my path so that I don’t have to step on the ground. You will see where I’ve been written in the heavens. I’ll make an ocean of stars to ebb and flow; its waves will collapse with exquisite elegance on mankind’s shores and the beauty of it will take their breaths away. Yes, I will cast the stars in patterns never seen and they will shine for me through all eternity.

19 June 2012

Death is…


Things you never knew

When you were young

The mysteries of life

The vagaries of death

Sitting on the cold floor

A cold that chills your bones

You know nothing of death

Death is a wax effigy in a coffin

A fallen grandfather in a casket

Death is a baby in a crib

Staring at the ceiling with empty eyes

Death is wading deep into eternity

All the things you will ever feel

Distilled into liquid night

Brought home to you all at once

The sudden realization of nothingness

Down in the pit of tangled darkness

From the valley of no return

Something whispers your name

But it does not understand

It does not even care


17 June 2012

My Kind


My kind never forget

Where we come from

Who, or what, we are

We know the story

Of how hard it can be

Just to get by

In this cruel old world

What it takes to survive

And still have a little faith

To spare on those rainy days

When your soul feels heavy

And you’re going nowhere


16 June 2012

Doc Marten Boots


Doc Marten boots

Doc Marten boots

Got me pair of Doc Marten boots

They fit me real good

Just like they should

They remind me of my youth

My Doc Marten Boots

I’m only sixteen years old

In my Doc Marten boots


12 June 2012

Poppy Tears


The ancient Vedas

Describe the poppy as ‘heart pleasing’

There is no more apt description

The thin white latex

Leaks in milky droplets

From the poppy’s skin

Hardens into a sticky brown resin

That tastes of bitter lettuce

And burns with an acrid smoke

That lays soporific charms

On the minds of savage beasts

And a little death on the heart

The touch of night

The recreational suicide

Bleached divers on that fatal arc

Drink the poppy’s tears


11 June 2012

Mirror, Mirror


There are certain kinds of dust monkey

Who’ll eat your fucking face off

And vampires who’ll suck up your will to live

When I look in the mirror I see your face

Could be the cause of self loathing

Wearing the devil’s face

But I don’t care no more

I learned to live with that

And any number of bad trips you laid on me

So I’m the Antichrist and the bad Buddha

I abide in the knowledge

That no man can touch my piece of mind

And I’ll be laughing my socks off

Come your judgment day

9 June 2012

Clean Slate


my warped mind

follows an elliptical orbit

around thoughts burned

into my conscience

with the heat of shame

from which I can’t escape

I cannot yo yo

beyond the self

or draw upon a clean slate

to write myself anew


8 June 2012

Cockroach God


Skid row junkies shuffle dance like broken bears

They smile spoiled milk and stink of stale sweat and rotted cloth

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

Dance the tremens for a sawbuck blow

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?



Did you get lost?

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


7 June 2012



the weight    the rhythm     the cadence of the word as it hits the page     a cymbal’s clash     the rap of the snare     the thud of a bass drum    all qualitative judgment in the eye of the beholder    in the mind of the reader    is this some kind of sandwich?    is there sustenance in words?   can they fill me up?       I’m fit to burst with the teeming   spilling    explosion of it    out there in the world there are tiny silences    little gaps begging to be filled      in here there’s a cacophony of sound and colour screaming to get out      my head is a rain forest     a train station     an ocean     a tsunami    waiting to burst onto the snow white page


image “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” by Hokusai.

6 June 2012



I want it sharp and clear

I want it to ring true like a bell

Cast me a rumour and call it science

That men once fell from the sky

And we descend from butterflies

Gimme a facsimile of the truth

Something that I can swallow

Not too bitter on the palate

But not so sweet it makes me gag

Don’t coddle me with magic stories

Of higher love and Gods above

I don’t accept creation stories

Or other worlds up in the sky

There is one world only

And we’re in it and of it

We’re all strictly human

That can’t be denied

And no-one leaves this world alive


5 June 2012

Heathen Soul


This heathen soul

Resisted temptation

Just long enough

To add some spice

To the profligate act

Gratification postponed

Is satisfaction doubled

This heathen soul

Takes his time

To savour the moment

And I have tasted all

That my conscience

Will allow


4 June 2012



you best watch out

cause you’re in my way

and mister I’m bad

bad like Jesse James

I’m a natural killer

a killer on the run

and I never miss

when use my gun

I’ll kill you dead

soon as look at you

and I’m looking at you now

down the barrel of a gun

I don’t believe in heaven

I don’t believe in hell

I believe I’ll fix you

I’ll kill you just for fun


3 June 2012



There was fun to be had

There was damage done

Just wreckless boys

On balmy summer nights

Drowning our senses

With liquor and dope

Living for the moment

As only the young can

Scaring off girls

With our careless approach

Stealing moments

Of childish bliss

No fear for tomorrow

No thoughts of discovery

We were princes of oblivion

We were sovereigns of the dark

Those mushroom excursions

And reefer debaucheries

When we dared to dream

Of lives of adventure

I miss you so much

Now that you’ve gone

I’ll always remember

That you were my friend


2 June 2012

The Drums


It was the fucking stone age man. It was a fucking jungle where survival of the meanest was the only natural law. The tribal drums carried only bad news and they beat both night and day. I had it easy, compared to some. I could hide behind a facsimile of something like tough, but more like crazy - crazy enough to sow confusion among my enemies.

I had no voice to call my own. Just borrowed fragments beaten into my hide by a thousand ignorant teachers. My words held no kudos. They were young words - easily dismissed as naïve, but I knew there had to be a better way.

I never really changed. I’m as naive as ever. Nothing ever changes. The jungle drums keep beating. Everything is broken. Everything is stolen. Nothing is new under the sun. That innocent ideal - the dream of peace – some notion of justice - exists only in the mind. The reality is just meat and gristle and the sound of the drums.


1 June 2012



Colour me crimson

Paint my eyes

Drag me down

Bang my drum

Strike me out

Fake me

Shake me

Just don’t take me

To the gallows pole

The merciless quake

An oceanic regret

The giant mistake

Cannot be undone

Innocent blood

Slickens my trail

Stains my hands guilty

The memory ingrained

Will always find me

In this jail