29 June 2017



they say that pain subsides

the way old buildings do

to sink slowly from the memory

and disappear from view

they say that time’s a healer

but that isn’t always true

and I wanted you to know

that I’ve not forgotten you


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


Panacea Number One


I’m not running from anything

I’ve outdistanced my regrets

and there are no dark secrets

that I’m trying to forget

I don’t drink to remember

I drink for the effect

but this shit ain’t for everyone

it should say so on the bottle

it might not heal your yesterdays

but erase all your tomorrows


22 June 2017

Ego Sum…


the convenient fictions

that constitute the truth

can carve intractable issues

that remain unresolved

during a lifetime

of kitchen sink dramas

for everyone you meet

will take a bite of you

but the world

will swallow you whole


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



It is perhaps a measure

of my perversity

that I share no faith

nor take comfort in

the great hereafter

because facts are so very rare

and immutable in nature

whereas books are all fictitious

whatever their intentions

would the author

please come forward

to defend his words of stone

and provide just one eye witness

to confirm we’re not alone?

I confess I prayed at times

of quiet desperation

but held low expectations

of divine intervention

the tales of baby Jesus

the promise of resurrection

were made so long ago

and have suffered much revision

it’s always been this way

through revision and division

since men first conceived of gods

and devised the first religion




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


16 June 2017



The narrow bandwidth channels acting as conduits for the data colloquially referred to as knowledge have become irrelevant. However, it is deemed to be in the national interest to close down these channels permanently. Therefore steps will be taken to sanction service providers who facilitate the dissemination of this obsolete data. Cooperation in this matter is mandatory.

The proliferation of infotainment channels and customised news sites has saturated the market and provided unforeseen opportunities in social stratification. Engineers now estimate that by 2030 they will have devised programmes that could demonstrate a compliance ratio of ninety percent or over.

In recent times those devices approved by government block the frequencies preferred by the deviant and the curious in their research activities. They divert unhealthy enquiry to focus on approved messages known to assist in the development of balanced and contented personal schemas.

Operating under the understanding that knowledge is power and ignorance is bliss the authorities plan to erase one trillion bytes of information from the public sphere in an effort to spread happiness and contentment globally during the next decade. Through the selective erasure of dangerous and erroneous data government will engineer a new universal hegemony which will enhance social cohesion while reinforcing traditional patriotic ideals.

The war on terror was once conceived of as a battle for hearts and minds, but today we realise that it is in fact a question of data storage and retrieval. The synergy of imagination and commerce has fuelled a technological revolution that will see the entire population digitised by the year 2020 – when hindsight is scheduled to replace nostalgia. There is a clear distinction between the two – the first is salutary and the latter is merely a form of romanticism. Under the new system the past will be fixed in time and substance which will require the adjustment of millions of citizens to a synchronised collective experience. This revolutionary innovation will make us all safer because it entails the regulation of history through scientific management. For example, under the new system everyone will remember and share exactly where they were on 9/11 - establishing alibis for millions of people while exposing divergent memories in potential conspirators.

Law enforcement will be revolutionised when memories are shared in data clouds. This will necessitate the introduction of legislation making the intention to commit crime an offence – an innovation currently being tested in anti terror legislation across the globe. It’s projected that actual crime will be obsolete by 2030 and so will the police. Information sharing means that we shall in effect police ourselves. Concerned citizens will present themselves voluntarily to the department of corrections to have their data adjusted according to the degree of their deviance. After all no one wants to deviate as normative values are set by government to keep us happy and safe.

There will of course be a built in degree of permissible variance which will simulate individuality because the synthesis of individuality has always been a significant component in the generation of distinctive and unique identities. Of course even these parameters can be adjusted to benefit the integration of the individual into society, or in the interests of society as a whole.

It is projected that the greatest gain to be made from digitisation will come in industrial relations. The introduction of general collective bargaining will mean that deals are made at the national level and will apply to all. Data manipulation will ensure the greatest possible satisfaction with the outcomes of these negotiations. Issues such as pay and working conditions can be dealt with in a way which fosters mutual respect and good will while maintaining the highest possible profit margins.

A national agreement shall be drafted and the agreement committee will arbitrate in all disputes and negotiations. This solution is only made possible through large scale data manipulation. The Data Manipulation Act provides agencies with the widest possible remit to alter facts in the national interest. In this way the spectre of industrial action shall be consigned to a place in history where strikes and workplace disputes have never existed in the first place.

The thorny issue of intellectual property rights shall be resolved by digitisation. Intellectual activity will no longer be the province of the individual, but shall belong to the collective under the guardianship of the service provider. These and other measures will facilitate the efficient management of individuality, weeding out deviance and encouraging the collective mindset. Social engineers predict that by the middle of the century excessive individuality will be repugnant to most right thinking people. By that time, however, medical science will have developed more effective treatments for egocentric and eccentric deviance making such instances increasingly rare.

As with the introduction of any new technology the science of data manipulation shall throw up challenges and opportunities as yet unforeseen. There may be novel and innovative applications in the military, for example, which will protect our fledgling utopia from foreign powers, or terrorist organisations hostile to our way of life. We know that other nations are researching the possibilities of data manipulation for nefarious purposes of their own. That is why we must forge ahead with our plans – adjusting the data of misinformed objectors – in order to protect the interests of all our citizens and the welfare of the nation for generations to come.


15 June 2017



Perhaps I was reckless, but it was one of those fight or flight situations and I don’t run too well these days. I smelled trouble; he filled the room with its stench. Men like that don’t take prisoners – they measure their worth by the power of their fists and treat violence as a sport. Yes, I struck the first blow and I struck the last one too. There is no Christian in me – I don’t turn my cheek just to get it hit and I don’t wait to see what will happen when I sense danger.

You say I’m a savage and maybe you are right, but there is a time and place for savagery and it’s self preservation that motivates mine. I’ve heard self defence described as a noble art, but my concerns are more practical. I’ve seen what men like that can do to defenceless chumps and long ago decided that it would not happen to me. I’ve never hit a chump, but I’ve never been one either. I’ll run from a fight if that is the safest option; only a fool fights for pride. But I’ll stand my ground when cornered and there is no other way out. I did not invent violence and I do not condone it, but I won’t have it inflicted on me if I can prevent it. This world is full of savages and that is just a fact. I’d rather you considered me one of them than become one of their victims.


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.

10 June 2017

Bottoms Up


Down the hatch

Great draughts of liquid corruption

Have burned my gullet

And scourged my brain pan

It’s a lethal anaesthetic

And a poor substitute for euphoria

Bottoms up

I should be so lucky

I doubt that I’d manage

With my degree of spin


My companion crashed out

a couple of hours ago

I think she drinks too much

but that’s no business of mine

No oblivion for me tonight

I’ll see this one out alone

The bottle in front of me

Will soon join the one behind

And I will greet the dawn

With four sheets to the wind

And more drink on my mind


9 June 2017

The Revellers


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



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