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21 August 2017

Bagman

Brass-Knuckles

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.

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19 August 2017

4:15 am

Eye_blk


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

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La Folie a Deux (The Madness Of Two)

Lovers_01







we were once

as shooting stars

and counted

ourselves blessed

for we loved

each other so dearly

that people said

we were obsessed

but we strayed too

close to Earth

and gravitation

put us to the test

we fell for

an eternity

before we

came to rest

but we’d devoured

each others souls

while on our

celestial quest

we parted ways

so painfully

but it was probably

for the best

.

Gone

Bag_Blk

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.

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18 August 2017

Tread Softly

Foot-Falls_blk

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.

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17 August 2017

Sacrificial

Sacrificial_Lamb

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


.

16 August 2017

I felt the worm in my head offer me new directions in cynicism

WingedSun_Blk

I got to learn to pace myself – too many hours spent hammering the keyboard has left me weary. I need a good read to fuel my head. I’m sick of ekphrastic gesticulations. I’m sick of the rinse cycle. I should see a doctor, but he’d only kill my high. I dance around the fact totem; it never steered me wrong on the impulse, that’s what I like. I don’t have anybody looking after me. That’s pretty clean, if you get my drift. Everything is equal in the balanced mind.

I was never under sold on the flyagaric punch bowl. Everywhere I’ve been someone’s been there first on the dragnet – whosoever dips first – dips deepest. The rest are like swallows and dip, swoop and tumble while they drown at the end of the ice age. I never knew that I could freeze in the sunshine, but here we are at the dawn of a new slave – excreting waste through our trouser tubes. Grab the sun phone and dial me a new star, the one on my horizon is faulty.

Never trust the candy man; he thrusts your school gate charmer into the waiting fever pit with a flourish of savoury sputum wash. These rhythm jockeys got no function but functionality; there’s no art to their palaver. Talking through the back passage only rends the fashionista mute in the lexicon of poisoned pyjama linings.

It was once said by a person who once said it; that everything has been said and we merely repeat the shadow windings of unscrupulous fakers who cohabit in the vomit spectrum with come lately psychotropic droppings. I never adhered to that theory on account that it makes no sense – I prefer my nonsense to be writ large of the Buford scale. I like it to blow me away into the philistine groove that wailing monkeys retort to in the heat of passion.

That being said, it was once said that this has already been said, and by someone who said it better than me. I can only guess at the veracity of that particular article on account of my veracity meter is completely out of juice and I have no nose jam worth mentioning – except that I mentioned it in the passing because it was in the vicinity.

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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

11252508_518713268276812_1842695814_n

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

Arsenic

Arsenic

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

INRI[5]

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

.

5 August 2017

Cockroach God

Roaches_Blk

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 mix on hostile corners teaming with cockroach people. They are 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 with dull drunk or 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? Spectacle? Perversion? Did you get lost? Are you just passing through? Or have you joined the congregation of the cockroach god?

.

1 August 2017

Bicycle Thieves

bicycle

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

Mojo_01










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

Snowflakes

Snowflake

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

the-man-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

stop

stop

stop

.

23 July 2017

Sugar

Hand










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

Hedonist

milos-burkhardt-04

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

lights-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

Spots

spots


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

Footprints

Naked

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

Ornithology

Ornithology

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.

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13 June 2017

Parasite

flea


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.

9 June 2017

The Revellers

Blistered_01 

they frolicked in the warmth of the sun

until they shone like children

then they struck out for the summit

and beckoned me to join them

but I simply could not follow

no, not with my feet

.

3 June 2017

Alien

Bus-Stop-_01

I’ve got my tourist face on

all curious confusion

and hopeful mistrust

the world is tilting south

so I strike a jaunty angle

by way of compensation

I must look like a drunk

not too far from the truth

I’m fairly close to home

but my surroundings are foreign

I’m a prospective alien

in my own home town

the carbon sky bleeds grey

the deluge tumbles down

and ink is now streaming

from my dubious credentials

my identity is in doubt

and confidence is waning

the bus is two hours late

and my welcome’s running out

.

30 May 2017

Stricken

Solar-Eclipse

I met my morning with a lithium flush

the crew preferred the traditional libations

we stood unfurled in our own skins

before an unscheduled eclipse

and stumbled blindly in the dark

our confusion fuelled by hard liquor

and assorted oriental confections

I tried for the great indoors

but my inside was out

as my doors had been confiscated

during the last epic iconoclast

doors are bourgeois affectations

and privacy has been banished

here in the electric society

we are mere avatars for the combine

we do our shit and eat our bread

then watch the highlights on TV

that’s where we’re at now

nothing is real unless it’s been on TV

the tube has seared our minds

so we turn to moonshine and jimson weed

to enhance our perverse new benedictions

consequently many have been struck down

with the dread psycho reflux

but no-one cares for the stricken

no-one feeds their beasts or tills their soil

while they are lost to the great no no

for a man must make his own meat

to earn his fraction from the combine

.

29 May 2017

Richard

Rat-Face

That rat faced fucker is slicker than deer guts on a door knob. They say he’s making decent money pimping refugees and extorting pennies from the homeless. From what I know of him he’d steal his grandma’s teeth if she had any. I’m told he has a sentimental side and is good to his dear old mum, but so was Harold Shipman and that turned out well.

I knew Richard back when he was steaming a living from other people’s envelopes. Being a congenital idiot he was soon caught and they sentenced him to hard knocks for fucking with the mail. They tried to rehabilitate him, but he came out of jail even more devious than when he went in. The new Richard had no moral boundaries and an avaricious hunger that would never be satisfied.

Looking back it’s hard to see how anybody could be taken in by his patter, but he seemed a plausible cunt and many were. I used to lay him on deals which we’d settle on a weekly basis. Everything went swimmingly until he ticked a weight from me and did not return. I had to go fishing for him and he was a slippery fucker to catch. We settled up eventually, but then we parted company. I have no time for thieves – they see everyone else as chumps and you’d be a fool to trust one twice.

Richard formed a habit that’s hard to beat. They say he has a jones that costs him a grand a week. That’s a lot of corn to filch and one fuck off greedy monkey to be feeding. He’ll never dig himself out from under that; that’s a life sentence with no chance of parole.

I saw him the other day there and he dingied me. Maybe he thinks he still owes me money. He was a hundred years old and his rodent features were even more pronounced. It seems form follows function and you become what you do through time. The vagaries of intent are both capricious and complex and we seldom get what we want; but sometimes we get what we deserve. Everything has its price and those dues will be paid. So while greed might fill your wallet one day, it could cost you dear the next.

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3 May 2017

Alky

Whiskey
I know the stuff is poison, but I neck it anyway. It’s a psychic shield against the vicissitudes of strife. What a happy delusion to carry around in my head. A soft and fuzzy lie I like to bathe in. Get me to my bed where I can adopt my cloak of dreams. I don’t care what shape the world is in – I don’t want it banging on my door 24/7. There’s a place I lay my head where I get the peace that grants me immunity from the combine.

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27 March 2017

Dust to Dust

Shadow-man

For what it’s worth

Not one hair's breadth

Separates any of us

The worst and best

We are all of us cast

In the imperfect image

Of a mythic God

With our feet of clay

And star filled eyes

Flawed, but glorious

Doomed or redeemed

By indifferent circumstance

Each awaits the same fate

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