19 December 2017

Running Away


Had to bounce

Had no alternative

That place was my grave

The end of the road

You may think me a coward

Be that as it may

But I was running towards

Not running away


18 December 2017



Malky turned scatological

after a faulty mind meld

with Martin Luther

he’s all toilet bowl

and knob jokes now

Malky’s the chief

yodeller at the local

satanic lodge

they haven’t noticed

the difference in him

filth pours from their gobs

with a fervour borne of pigs

that shite fits some ears

better than others

it’s music to some

but ugly to me

it’s hard and hateful

and past its time

it lingers on still

because their reformation

is something tribal


15 December 2017

Owsley’s Bunker


I swapped the charismatic

For the lead - lined Kafkaesque

If I’m turning over a new leaf

I want my papers in order

Before heading south

Latest developments suggest

There may be trouble

At the border

But my disguise is perfect

I wear reason like a crown

And I’m so very high

I may never lay it down


This is coyote weather

The season of the cow

The days are drawing in

The nights grow more profound

Anything could happen here

And very often does

So I’m barricaded in

In case push comes to shove

They say a little orange juice

Will help to bring you down

But someone cut my strings

I no longer see the ground


10 December 2017



she was in worse shape

than anyone I ever seen

life had ground her down

until she signified nil

on the grand totem

one sorry night

just for the hee haw

we jacked her into the sing song

and we heard her howl

just like the dying

we seen then

that here was a woman

who’d sojourned so far

having lost so much

her’s were the ghosts

of dead infants

the transcripts

of coroner’s inquests

and the tattered fragments

of suicide letters unposted

the question was not

how she’d endured

for so long

but why


8 December 2017



the best part of me

is too often obscured

by the daily grind

of an ordinary life

only to be


in the unexpected hour

as a strange and familiar


beyond the reach

of the human eye


24 November 2017



Banish those tensions

With the smoke

That blossoms

In the mind

Check your coat

And your hat

And make this place

Your home

Flower assisted dreaming

Could be the catalyst

That sparks

Your re-evolution


9 November 2017



Fuck your games

And fuck you too

You have no shape

No solid connection

Nothing to guide you

You don’t know

What happens next

But I do, yes I do

There are lifeboats available

Why don’t you get on one?

Your ship won’t be coming in

For years you held me hostage

Just in case you were discovered

I was your ace in the hole

Your prisoner of fortune

But I won’t go down with you

Now that your ship is sinking

While the band plays on

The melody is familiar

But it’s just not your song


8 November 2017



When the music stopped

So did the world


Echoing on for a glimmer

Like the final words

Of some old book

‘Surely I come quickly. Amen.’

And how will the dead dance

But in silence?

Not one tear will bring us solace

In the turning of a million years

This was our soul, our empathy

When we raised our voices

To sing along together

Not as a choir, but as a race

Now mute and alone

Who now will sing our song?


27 October 2017

A Prayer


Our sponsors

Who are relentless

Anonymous are thy names

But thine kingdom come

Thine will be done

At home

As it is in commerce

Forgive us our debts

As we forgive those

Who foreclose against us

Give us this day our daily fix

Of sex and soap and politics

And lead us not into temptation

For temptations sake

But deliver us from sequels

For thou art the kingpins

With the power of transmission

Now and forever



26 October 2017

A Farewell


I felt the weight of it in my chest

The heft of it on my heart

I dared not remember

Nor did I care to forget

The little death

You left in your wake

You were wrenched from my life

In the cruellest of ways

And I yearned for your laughter

As I drowned in your tears

And I mourned for your love

For a thousand years


18 October 2017

Milk & Honey


3 am again

same old

same old

pavlovian routine

the incessant splatter

of bloody raindrops

on my window panes

the drip, drip, drip

of memories predisposed

to the anachronism

of my wicked, but splendid


if they could only feel me now

what would they say?

they think I’m teflon

and that nothing sticks to me

the facade is faultless

but the interior corrupt

I’m faded and jaded

since those days

of infidelity and loss

my nights are fainter

and spent figuring

memorial alphabets

into novel expressions

that pierce my ears

to fill my head

with poisoned splinters

a little milk and honey

is all I’m asking

a little milk and honey

to nourish and sustain me

through the bitter hours

before the coming dawn


4 October 2017

The Seventh Sacrament


Somebody put soul food

in my midday fodder,

spiked me with holy water,

and pulled my knickers down.

Those bare arse cheeks

were of little consequence;

provided that the heavy hit,

distilled from heavy shit,

concealed my embarrassment;

along with a litany of grievous sins

hitherto unrecorded.


The testament euphoric

melted my studied indifference

with billion dollar words;

laying on a smooth line in piety,

nauseatingly hypocritical

under any circumstances,

but doubly so in mine.


I never seen it coming,

but brother I was stoned

and guilty of those pleasures

far too long deferred

on receipt of holy orders.

Those creature comforts keep

most men in stolid sleep

and sleeping is a sin

akin to blissful ignorance.


So don’t never tell no one

what has passed between,

cause no-one needs to know,

and you know what I mean.

The fruit of all my labours,

the seeds that I have sown,

could go excommunicado

with bitter denunciations

and the casting of first stones.



27 September 2017

Poor Cow


In the languorous haze

Of the afternoon sun

I stared at her breasts

Heaving as she drew

Each labouring breath

Beneath me

As I drove home my seed

Amidst the tall grass

And I hated her then

I loathed her

As I wanted her

The flies surrounded

Her corpulent flesh

And I saw her dead

In her rictus gaping

And the fecund

Detritus of her lust

And I knew it was over

Before it had ever begun


The Blood In My Eyes


I brought the bad news

judiciously carved

into reasonable chunks

that were easy to swallow

but hard to digest

there was the momentum

of some terrible gravity

behind my every word

each was weighed

and then dispensed

on tablets of stone

saying; if you cast the first

then I shall cast the last

it was a diabolical pact

but I just couldn’t see

for the blood in my eyes

had so blinded me




Fear is the prime motivator,

Fear is the organ of our reflex,

Fear makes the world go round,

Binds our colony of fragile exiles,

Legions of patient coffin fillers,

Worm fodder for potter’s field,

Golgotha’s funerary whores,

Suspicious of all that is other,

Macabre in tonal fascinations,

Nauseated by the difference of flesh,

Hungry for the blood of innocents,

Fearful of the shock of discovery,

And the blinding light of reason,

The meek shall play the long game,

Await instructions from above,

Everything is permitted,

Nothing is forbidden,

Unless it is forbidden,

If you are not with us,

Then you are against us,

You must choose sides,

There are no alternatives,

There is only one rule,

Obey all the rules.


22 September 2017



That’s me there – face to face with the back of the crowd and fetching awkward angles between my toes. It’s always seemed that symmetry eluded me and I was dissolving fractions in a decimal world. A feline soul in a canine cosmos; I told a big stripey lie that painted me a permanent crimson and soaked my banner with piss. That was thirty years or so ago and there’s been plenty of action under the bridge since then, it sometimes feels real late, but that’ll be the times. I developed humour as a mechanism to lubricate those rapidly diminishing hours. Burdens borne with a smile sometimes feel like blessings in disguise.

Those hooks and punchlines are mine to own, but they aren’t all jokes, half of them are true. I hawk them anyway because there is little else to say – people expect lies in these days of photoshopped selfies and fictitious biographies, so I get away with the odd deprecating truth – so long as I sugar coat them. No one accepts the sour any more – their palettes are acclimatised to saccharine and the soft candy floss of mediocrity.

I stood in a long line to receive short shrift and a parcel of unwelcome platitudes. I’m not complaining mind you; I got to where I am by the circuitous route, but I got here just the same. I’m quite comfy in my hollow and if things are now slower than they once were it’s only because I was speeding in the first place. I was always all post haste and frantic stratagems. I was hungry – the way only poor boys are hungry and I’m still hungry – the way only old men are hungry.


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?


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


4 September 2017

God’s Own Gun


The work is never ending

The work goes on and on

The means of salvation?

The route to damnation?

Is not for me to judge

Nor am I in the position to

Even if I could

I was told the road of excess

Lead to the Palace of Wisdom

Or indeed to Pentonville Prison

From where I’ve just come

I’ve been testing the veracity

Of either assertion, most of my life

I’ve come the conclusion

That any conclusion reached

Would be a little premature

I continue my research

While I pour another excuse

The decanter is always

Half full, or half empty

Depending on your predilections

And the entire universe

Is held in balance

By a single thought

The way that so many angels

Balance on the head of a pin

In the laboratory of my mind

I have tested and rejected

Oceans of hypotheses

Whole empires of thought

Have crumbled at my command

It hasn’t been easy

But the work has been fun

I’m Occam’s sharpest razor boy

I am God’s own gun


31 August 2017

Any Burden


I’m in chemical confinement

l a s t ..o f f.. t h e.. b l o c k s

held in a generous solution

replete with aspic crown

maybe something I said

crossed that invisible line

I offered them contrition

but they just tied me down

I’ve got no padded cell

just a padded mind

this way’s more humane

and so it would seem

to the casual observer

but if he scratched the surface

the observer just might find

there’s more to skinning cats

than first meets the eye

I want more human rights

and far less human wrongs

I waited up all night

by the telephone

when finally you called

I said I wasn’t home

I didn’t feel no better

and I was still alone

but I’d bear any burden

and I very often do

I’d even commit a murder

if I could only get to you

*Image: portrait of the author as a young man


30 August 2017

Dirty Feet


me and my dirty feet do well enough

our stony egress from domestic strife

was sanctioned by our physician

and relayed by express riders

across the kitchen table

in a flourish of insult and injury

but we made good with smiles

and the enduring trace elements

of lithium and freshly squeezed irony

this was a bitter lunch, a scant repast

that cost too much


29 August 2017



I’m coming clean

cause it’s good for my soul

I stole them words from a cracker box

I’m leaving town on a bus later on

a circuitous route through the badlands

throw any blood hounds off my trail

I never liked it here anyway, it’s a shithole

the folk round here never took to me

some people say that I’m vain

but I never claimed to be perfect

I like myself if that’s what they mean

when it comes to me I’m biased

some distrust me cause I have no soul

but when push comes to shove I’m honest

don’t you go thinking I’m running away

it’s just that I’m allergic to lynch mobs

and when they find out just what I did

they’ll come to an early consensus

that I am no longer meant for this world

but loving someone was never a crime

whatever the difference in status

just to be sure that you understand

it wasn’t the act, but the feelings

I left her in tears, but its better this way

a life on the lam is no life at all

when you’re young and receiving a baby


27 August 2017

The Power Of Speech


where do you get your sharps?

I need to know they’re clean

I’m allergic to dirty things

so don’t touch my pistol

unless you wash your hands

I get more trouble that way

than opposable thumbs allow

your voice sounds kinda thin

hold it up to the light for me

because I know about these things

I know what you were on the inside

you were a lavatory superintendent

and a bona fide shit herder

there’s no shame in that my friend

many a named player shovelled shit

I’m the prescient son of a prescient son

And I’d have had the readies handy

if I had only foreseen their coming

so spill me that trick you do

when you’re bombed out

down under the bleachers

it’s cheap seats for me and you

until we can fashion key holes

and the necessary certificates

to get us from here to there

wherever here or there is

I know you think you know me

but that’s unlikely to be the case

somethings are unknowable

and others have matching luggage

but irregular identities carved in haste

presumably out of dubious necessity

those spectators who crowd us out

at the soup kitchen

I pay them to stare at me

it forces me to remain spectacle

in a world that rains disappointment

but I’m over all that for the time being

except for the embarrassment

and the sudden deep coil reflex

when someone mentions her name

I know you don’t mean nothing by it

so don’t give it a second thought

I only called to reassure you

that I still have the power of speech


25 August 2017



deep inside your psycho tenement

where I have eaten sacred roots

you store up secret treasures

of dirty lies and bitter truths

I did not return for your disclosure

I have long since ceased to care

I wanted nothing more from you

than the paper that sets me loose

why did I settle for an inventory

of sorry tales and damaged goods?

you turned me out a disappointment

and you served me dog’s abuse

you thought of me as an appendage

to your sycophantic retinue

those were days that I’ll remember

though they’ve ceased to be of use

they left a trace of disappointment

that would linger on for years

but I don’t hold all that against you

I know you couldn’t help yourself

So please don’t furnish an excuse

besides, I left that shit behind me

and I do not miss the stench

so strike me from your book of names

where you list the details and address

of easy marks and diverse suckers

those indolent backsiders

and the hysterically obtruse

who pay your fares

and pay them gladly

for the promise of a fondle

or a surreptitious kiss

don’t confuse me with those losers

cause you ceased to be of interest

when I first realised the truth

I’m not the fool you made me

back when I was just a youth

I don’t associate with wankers

nor do I hang around with thieves

I no longer want inside your knickers

you’ve long since lost your mystique


23 August 2017

Your Favourite Lover


Three’s crowd darlin’

Did no one tell you that?

Three caused more murders

Than greed ever done

And baby that’s a fact

There’s a man odour in here

Like the smell of dying dogs

You better burn those sheets

Cause they’ve been spoiled for me

There’s only room for one man here

So who’s it going to be?


When I first met you baby

Five or six years ago

You didn’t have a clue

But my how you have grown

Have you gone all femme fatale?

Is this a game you’ve been playing?

Well the fun and games end now

Don’t waste your time explaining

You better make your mind up

Or I’ll have to set you free

Who’s your favourite lover

Is it him or is it me?


21 August 2017



There was a crock of shit at the end of my rainbow. That’s the very first time I was gifted anything for nothing. There’s irony in that statement cause brothers and sisters – nothing, not even shit, ever comes for free. I was once an archdeacon for the diocese of no hopers, now I’m a bagman for the combine. I collect what’s due them from the people of the parish. They shell out a little corn to those who’re in need and I gather the proceeds. I just come from stoving Fat Eddie’s face in. I get a little vexed when people don’t pay. For one thing I’m supposed to – it’s the nature of my job and for another I’m on a slice of the trim. It’s in my own interests that the punters cough up; so if they don’t then things can get rough.

Fat Eddie’s wife asked who gave me the right. I told her I was free to do as I pleased. She told me my freedom was an obscenity while I helped keep my neighbours in chains. That was something to contemplate; however briefly, I’m no philosopher so I wouldn’t know. I just do my job and don’t think about it, because in my line of work thinking doesn’t pay. If it was up to me there’d be no collections and we’d all live in peace like the good Lord says. But it isn’t up to me, so I do what I have to. Whatever it takes to keep my head above water. Times are tough and they’re getting tougher. I just play the game. I don’t make the rules.

Some local loser followed me from Eddie’s. My tracks were still warm and revealed my bloody feet. This joker tried to tap me right there on the corner. I said I don’t do loans, I only collect them, but I gave him a sawbuck for temporary relief. My good deed done, I was soon on my way. I had places to go and people to meet. Business is booming on account of the recession. People are hard pressed, but they still have to eat.

They said I was a sociopath and a menace to society when they locked me up and lost the key. I just do my job to the best of my ability and hope that it’s enough to keep my people off the street. We all do what we think we have to. That’s the nature of the game we all play. We are all of us slaves to the system and no matter what they say none of us are free.


19 August 2017

4:15 am


a good night’s rest, so they say

is the next best thing to sleep

but I can’t stay still long enough

to get me some relief

I close my eyes on the world

to reveal a world within

I can’t divert my mind

from the thoughts

that are keeping me awake

I try my best every night

you don’t know how hard I try

there’s just no ease in the dark

but that’s the nature of the beast

the quirt cuts deep, yes it does

and won’t grant me no release

it’s a long slow death, so it is

when all I need’s a little peace




I wish you’d take your can of worms and collect your dirty sheets. I don’t care where you go, or if you pound the streets. Why don’t you gather your scant belongings, it really shouldn’t take you long. Just stick them in a plastic bag and leave me the fuck alone. I hate to show such indifference, but I’ve really had my fill. You only come here anyway when you have time to kill.

I’m sick and tired of you and the dramas you enact. I simply want you gone and now; please don’t ever come back. Whatever thrills tomorrow brings you won’t involve me. In any case your idea of fun is very rarely free. I’m tired of your misadventures and the hassle they entail. So I’ll no longer be there to bail you out of jail.

You’d best delete my number; I won’t be answering your calls. I’ve got other folk to talk to and they won’t roast my balls. I see you smashed the bathroom mirror. Did your reflection cause offence? Or was it just another case of psychotic self defence? I cut my feet on the shards you left, but it’s the last I’ll bleed for you. Your next donor stands in line for the abuse he’s no doubt due.

You can raise a glass in fond remembrance for all the shit that we have done. You know it really makes no difference, cause in a moment you’ll be gone. Last night was the last time you’ll sleep beneath my roof. I can’t say I’m going to miss you. It wouldn’t be the truth.


18 August 2017

Tread Softly


I just dummy up these days. No one cares to hear what I have to say. But I have seen what I have seen and I know what I know. I have witnessed our faint progress beneath remote uncaring stars and I know that we are bound to them by forces beyond our comprehension. The life of man, a single man, is of little significance in the great tide of events. Epochs have come and gone to leave no trace but fossilised remains in The Museum Of Natural History.

What shall I bequeath I wonder to those who come after me? Will some trace of my love linger still in the hearts of my progeny? I have no wisdom to impart them, no great insights to share. I doubt if I’ve had a single original thought in my entire life. If I could leave them anything it would be this advice; tread softly through this world, but don’t take the same route twice.


17 August 2017



it’s the stony silence

the morning after

a savage beating

the night before

it’s that fragile feeling

of quake and tremble

and those crimson stains

on the killing floor

the dawn reveals

the shameful secret

of blackened eyes

and fractured jaw

the sacrificial lamb

was led to slaughter

under dismal skies

by a man of straw

it’s a mouthful of ashes

and a handful of nothing

but the familiar lies

from his bloody maw


13 August 2017

Shadow Dogs

Black Dog

for those we are about to deceive

may the profits make us truly grateful

and though we have been known

to fold our cards too early

we still catch them worms

cause there ain’t no flies on us

we was gifted twice in this life

as exponents of those killer graces

that grant us immunity from persecution

and with the promise of our chosen names

sanctified through industrial language

to never reveal our source code

or the identities of our sponsors

we was once foreign to the combine

and now we are its masters

long may we continue thus

in the pursuit of power

through knowledge

and to orchestrate the game

from the safety of the shadows


11 August 2017

God’s Own Medicine


send for a physician

one who can prescribe

god’s own medicine

a scripture green and gold

a liturgy soft and splendid

the only prescription

that’s good for the soul

I’m just an old fart

trading in words

just six feet away

from the bone yard

and a long way from home

some temporary relief

is all I can hope for

god’s own medicine

does that for me


7 August 2017



There was arsenic in his voice, boozy and bitter with recrimination, dark and foreboding as a winter storm. He was hostage to his fate; tied down by a wife and mewling brats and locked into the mundane drama of domestic life. His only succour was the drink that made him mean and the memories that only fuelled his dissatisfaction.

He was something of a philosopher when drunk – but his homilies smelled of meat and murder, and his declarations were as brutal as his hands. His facts were plain as his daily bread – his fictions as transparent as his liquor. He seemed to sup from that poisoned cup that twists at a man’s insides. He spewed forth a venomous mixture of sarcasm and bile that burned the ears and shamed the listener. I can honestly say I never knew him. I never saw beyond the disguise. He was an enigma to me and a puzzle to my heart was my old man.


6 August 2017

Jesus Is Waiting


3 am again

and my mechanism

is stretched to breaking

tore a line from scripture

blessed are the poor in spirit

for they are on their tod

they haunt the early hours

searching for their God

but you know what they say

you’re never really alone

when you have a good book

solace comes in many forms

so I read the testaments

in search of consolation

and have been informed

that Jesus is waiting

but he can’t come

to the phone right now


1 August 2017

Bicycle Thieves


you were famous

for the snatch and flight

the derailleur gears

and the headlights bright

those diamond drapes

with shiny stud collars

sharp as razor bills

in assorted colours

you always knew the score

where to be

and not to be seen

where to chore

and get away clean

you knew just how to come and go

those blanket ropes

and midnight runs

that only we would know

we captains of the road

were bicycle thieves

catch as catch can

the vagabond heroes

of numerous misdemeanours

and villains to a man

authors of a petty crime wave

diminutive in scale

but we had a grander plan

for staying out of jail

we all had our allegiances

we swore not to betray 

but as form follows function

just as all things must decay

we were merely chocolate outlaws

who would one day melt away


31 July 2017

Yer Mojo


you either got it

or you don’t got it

some folk

don’t have the ears

for it

some folk

don’t have the eyes

they’d be missing out

on something special

for most of the time

so let there be no doubt

as to the bottom line

if you can’t make it

then simply take it

just as long

as you don’t fake it

coz that would be a crime


28 July 2017



the calendar of memories

measures out the hours

in balmy summer afternoons

and sudden April showers

and I remember her

as snowflakes lost in play

I was a damp November morn

and she was Christmas day


26 July 2017

Beauty On The Bus


blow me a kiss

single return

returning home

a hard earned day

of daydreams

and negotiated silence

inner peace

for pieces of sky

the heavens shout out

with special relevance

blue and vast cavernous

swallows me whole

and then spits me out

this is not enough

but it’s all too much

coughing up

spewing out

piss and puke

where beauty stops

so does the bus





23 July 2017



he’s got a little sugar

in his tank

I don’t mind that

but he just crossed the line

with an unfamiliar touch

I wasn’t really offended

but this guy is my friend

I don’t know how I’ll feel

if he pulls that shit again


24 June 2017



here’s to those louche lounge lizards

and licentious feline derelicts

who propped me up to dip my pockets

and barfly angels who furnished me with flesh

but were blameless in my corruption

nothing appealed to me like everything

and having everything I wanted more

because every pleasure seems attainable

when you’re a drunkard and a whore


Before The Lights Went Out


was that real enough for you?

I can still taste the blood

is there anything better than that?

I should fuckin’ well hope so

so you think you’ve had enough?

who was that cat on the cross?

I make a point of never knowing

that cunt had some moves

he was immaculate, so he was

I’m glad I got to see him

before the lights went out


20 June 2017



I turned a new leaf

shed my skin

sloughed of my previous

and wiped the slate clean

the new and shiny

appeals to my ego

worldly still, but clean

sleek and natural

in mint condition

without form

over distance

without the reproach

of my erstwhile peers

I discarded the things

that brought me only sorrow

but I just can’t forget

what’s foremost in my thoughts

that I’m still a fuckin’ leopard

even though I changed my spots


18 June 2017



I don’t fancy yours

that’s not the worst of it

no one twisted my arm

I was hostage to opportunity

awakening in a strangers lair

there’s a sense of shudder

in these awkward instances

nonetheless departing

with guilty steps

and a vague feeling of failure

I left shallow footprints

in yet another world


14 June 2017



In my youth blood tainted carrion birds stole my grub stake and poisoned my prized ambitions with unrefined cynicism. I would have turned the other cheek given the opportunity, but they had forestalled that option through brute ignorance. So I weighed in with my best restricted codec and they took flight before my grievous demeanour. I gave those fucking vultures a piece of my mind, something I could ill afford at the time. Those cut price scavengers thought I was crazy, but that diagnosis had been revised years before. I’m not crazy – I just have alternative thoughts. There is only one degree of separation between you and I. That’s the depth of a mirror and the exact angle of its reflection. That’s why I know that you’ll recognise the truth behind what I’m about to tell you – because every word of it is true if you only put a little imagination into its discovery.

I recall a man I met in China many years ago. I was immediately suspicious of his energy, he was radiating some awkward vibrations and his eyes lit up all Confucius when he first spied me. He told me I’d travelled far – a less than inspired guess as far as I was concerned – after all I’m not Chinese and I had to come from somewhere. I told him not to worry because I had a return ticket.

“That’s what you think” he replied.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked.

“Everything changes and we never return to the same place we left behind” he explained.

“Leave me alone” I said, as I tried to squeeze past him.

“You are alone.” he replied smiling.

“Who are you?” I demanded.

“My name is of no consequence” he answered.

“That’s a strange name” I quipped all smug like.

“These are strange times” he answered.

He explained that he was a holy man and that despite appearances he was very, very old. He had, he claimed, travelled the world for many years in his quest for enlightenment. However, on his return to China he discovered that everyone he had ever known was dead. It was only then, when he was utterly alone that he had his great epiphany and the true nature of the universe was revealed to him.

“And what is the true nature of the universe?” I reluctantly enquired.

“The universe is indifferent” he answered.

“No shit” I responded.

“No shit” he confirmed – still smiling.

I gave him twenty bucks and bid him good afternoon before making my exit, but not before he told me that one day I would truly fly – just as the birds fly.

“But first you must find your wings my friend – first you must find your wings”

I paid little heed to what he had said. He was obviously just another vulture out to fleece unwitting tourists. So I simply carried on with the mundane and the inconsequential giving no thought to such flights of fancy. But as the years went on I grew ever more dissatisfied with my lot in life. I longed for adventure and new experiences. I remembered what the ‘holy man’ had said about flying and I started to wonder where I might find my wings.

I began by observing birds and trying to assess what size and shape of wing a man might require for flight. I made a few drawings, but did most of the work in my head. I built a workshop in my mind where I would go in private moments to labour on my secret project. Like Daedalus before me I would build models of my designs and test them against the wind. I would assess which wings gave better lift, or greater manoeuvrability, or allowed me to glide for longer. I simulated test flights and trials through which I devised instruments and control surfaces to help keep me in the air. By this time I was flying regularly, but only for short periods of time. I discovered that the flying is surprisingly easy – it’s the landings you have to worry about.

Eventually, through much trial and error, I found the ideal wings for me. The moment I put them on I knew that at last I had the apparatus which would see me conquer gravity to fly like a bird. The beauty of flight is indescribable and the freedom it affords immeasurable. I am a great Albatross combing the oceans – I’m a Swallow dancing acrobatically through the air – I’m a Falcon racing towards the ground in a killing stoop – I’m a Condor soaring high above the Andes.

Some might say that I’m running away from the realities of life on the surface of the Earth – and they would be right. Existence on terra firma seems tedious and uninteresting compared to a life lived on the wing. Now more bird than man I’ve thrown off the shackles of gravity for the euphoria of flight and the freedom of the sky. I urge the reader to ditch the humdrum and the banal to find their own wings and join me there.


13 June 2017



Back in the day punters flocked to sample our merchandise; such was the purity of the kit we were peddling. Much money was made, but many lives were lost in the game of dragons. Those were exciting and desperate days and while it was a swell time for some, it was less so for others. They say that nature is magnificent and beautiful, but it’s also ugly and cruel. We were predators and parasites who killed for profit and felt no shame; for we were tainted with death and steeped in our own ignorance. Our mantra was ‘buyer beware’ and we disavowed the consequences of our actions, blaming the victims for our crimes. What else could we do? For us self knowledge demanded a coin too sharp to bear.

They say that every action is the cause of an equal and opposite reaction, and that this is a law of nature which is fixed and immutable. Some call it karma and assert that what goes around eventually returns to bite us on the arse. This could explain why so many players find themselves hoisted by their own petards. Those who pursue the dragon often find themselves devoured in its flames. I’ve seen so many wise guys reduced to beggars by the crystalline or through liquid fire. No one is impervious – we each carry the seeds of our own destruction.

I myself am not immune to the edicts of causation. My own pathological indolence seems to stem from an apathy born of failure. It appears that everything I have set my hand to had some unforeseen consequence and consequently turned to shit. I have turned over new leafs only to find corruption concealed within; familiar themes expressed in novel patterns, mistakes written large on the pages of my life. I know the story and I know it well. I can’t erase the past any more than I can ignore it and I don’t know that I’d want to. The final word – the most damning indictment – is that given the opportunity I know full well that I’d do it all again.