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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.

.

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

.