Friday, 28 December 2018

Cardboard Dashboard

They get
A blasting
By the car wash
A kicking
By the wig shop
Set
One hundred metres
On the cardboard dashboard
Tunnel beating black
Yet
People still vote blue
Yet
Outside laced down
Wet
It’s a low-level anti-drug lit
Constant case now
Of
We’re alright
Pet

Saturday, 22 December 2018

The Long Lost Buzzcockian Tanka


Oi!
Ever fallen 
In love with autonomy -

Orgasm addict?

    Just lust, Lipstick.
    Something’s
    Gone.

Wrong again!
   
    Oh...
    Shit.


That’s it!

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Christina Sestina

I wrote a Sestina
I called it Christina
She works in a chain store
A specialist dreamer
She is superior
On the exterior
Her nails her attitude
Make me inferior
The man from the label
Need acts for the stable
With tip-off in place he
Gets her round the table
Knocks opportunity
Plucks from obscurity
Promises fame and
Financial security
He rents drum kits guitars
Buys her pink neon bras
With 10 percent money
Keeps her plastered in bars
He gropes in the toilet
He writes out tonight’s set
He powders her nose while
She asks “what do I get?”
He presses record as
He barks out the orders
A 3 minute single
With pin badge disorder
Her face on the front page
With free flexi-disc rage
She’s waved about wholesale
The queen of the new wave
The journos all clamber
For snippets of anger
They act all much worse when
They put down their cameras
She’s not being funny
But “where’s all the money?”
She’s the animal tester
A punk playboy bunny
The toll takes its firm grip
Each motorway night sick
She’s cooking up backstage
As long as he sees fit
Equality vacuum
Sucks out in the green room
Where pin ups are pinned up
And torn down with “fuck yous”
Economy as art
Was there from the start
Will stay for the encore
And till death do us part

Rest in Power
Pete Shelley

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Bored Meeting

For all the homogeneous
Boards and executives
Need the bottle
Shaken up
For the needle
The cultural injectionist
Presents
The mash butty
Covered in
Catsup

Friday, 23 November 2018

Pieku

Fake mince season nears
Santa baby’s treason is

Not at all gravy

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Sleep Shopping aged 13

Here’s an often visited
Town bus station
A teenage
Brain combobulation

It’s 12:15
There’s too much noise
It’s Toys ‘R’ Us
Without the toys
It’s BoyzIIMen
CD cellophane
It’s 12:15
Have a lie-in again

And your eyelids
Are darts
From JJB Sports
Your engine’s
Stolen from Ivor
You saw a dream
In a magazine
And it only cost a fiver

The ever rain
Plays havoc on your trainers
The market smells of bacon
Hair’s a disgrace
But grows a shaver setting
By the time
That you awaken

Kicking burgers
Round the cold town centre
When the
Smell of lurkers
Entertainment that’s
A bus day tripper
Where’s the punks
Outside Boots
You saw as a nipper?

You wonder what
The time is for
And why the scallies spit
Staring at the football tops
Wishing you w’ good at it

You know the names of skateboard tricks
But no clue how try them
You know the names of girls at school
Fuck-all about them either

Taste in music awful
Sense of direction shit
A Saturday lone ranger
The poll tax what is it?

With a sports bag full of questions
A pocket devoid of answers
When pubs were as much use
As libraries
Before you learnt to dance
Son

Monday, 19 November 2018

Quilted for Ashley


Is your jacket quilted?
Your bog roll,
The same pattern?
While your Sports Direct derrière
Does prepare,
On the golden throne
You’re sat on?

Pants by ankles, hoping
The golden retriever,
Doesn’t leave you,
Jilted on the John.
After you wipe your arse
With our season tickets,
Just remember who
You’ve shat on.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Time is tight

Time is one up before 5 minutes of extra
Time is five down after 5 minutes of closing
Time is TIGHT

Monday, 5 November 2018

Bonfire Night Tanka

Remember it’s that
Time of year to remember
This’ll show ’em what
Remember to set fire to
How much money that you’ve got

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Getting Pasty

The rain comes down
At London pace
Where they stare down traffic
Where faces replace the realisation
That I’m listening in
With moving feet
Where Roman Goddesses
Have etched their names
In manhole cover concrete
Past the pub that plays
Dada darts
I read restricted
Smoke extracts
Of headlines of the kind
‘Within the ‘25
The hate preacher must reside’
Where
Geezers in sandals
Real pigeon kickers are
Number 1 chains
In the knob head supply
Opposite
The quiet of
The American jogger’s
Whispered thanks
The cleaners make
Sweeping statements
And return them
To their banks
The Mini heads up
The parking display
Of inflated ego wars
And emasculated car lovers
Are planet killing bores
There are
Pretty girls in parkas
There’re lines
There’re lines for starters
There’re
Calling cards for
The few and the far
Between each leaf kicked
Each day
Is another dream tripped
Because science
Made it that way
The psychosomatic
Non-smoking coughers
Praise swelling bellies
And swelling coffers
Not realising
They spend it
On summat else anyway
A gig goer
Asks for a smoke says
Everyone says go
To Manchester
He asks
MDMA Ecstasy
I say go
You’ll love it
You can find that easily
Where they’re
Japanese adaptors
There’re not lenses
As the early seventies
Hangover alleges
I look like David Essex
But he’s not
A hand washer
He’s a hand washer’s son
And the eves drop
The stopped clock
Will call time on this fun
Where my glass is loaded
The doors lock
Cos they’re smashing
The pub up
Down the road
As these boots were made
For talking over
I look for words to borrow
I say manjana
To this drama
Doctor
I can see myself tomorrow




Masters of the Universal - Tanka

The Masters of the
Universal recognise
Men-at-Arms they don’t
Recognise you your struggle
Or give credit where it’s due

Monday, 29 October 2018

Seven Sides

There’s seven sides
To every story
There’s seven sides
To this
The coining it in
Coin a new one
And this one
Takes the piss

Monday, 22 October 2018

Here Come The Nice

Here come the nice
Young Sunday folk
Promenading from
Yorkshire pudding posts
To nut roast locations
The occasion
Any given Sunday
Hipster nods are subtle ones
As any edge
Is lost in the cost
Of that wax jacket
Elbow patching out
The time served drinkers
With identikit kids
And preposterous dogs
They homogenise
This square mile of
It’s all so very
Clean now

As they fennel
Their way indoors
To get jaws round
Yawnsome holiday catch-ups
Beneath saffron
Catch-of-the-day adverts
Scores of these
With armfuls of screamers
And bunting beards
With winking vintage ladies
Climbing tables
To get their paws on
The Crown

I pause and curse
This place
This time of day
Is far from wise
As over my drink
I extortionise
And leave these cats
To butterfly mice
I exit a swift one
A swift one’ll suffice
And by the door
I gift my advice
Watch the price of pints lads
‘Cos here come the nice

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Oldham Outskirts Literary Review Tanka

The Oldham outskirts
Literary review brackets
Autumn edition
Closed brackets ends and starts wi’
Nah not for us bit arty

Pigeon Tanka

On politics shows
It goes the excuse holes picked
Like Sunday pigeons
Flawed and floored pecking peppers
From some Saturday night sick

Rocker Tanka

Another rocker
In my ear like your clobber
Rubbing wishes it’s
Hadda wardrobe less boring
Get some proper music prick

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Blakey Lately

Casually
Grief
On the buses
Is a word
Set to Freud
On smartphone
Is writing as
Such
It’s not much
Of a leap
Between the grief
I intended
Lately
And the
I’m gonna get you
Blakey

Tin

In the dinning room
We presume
Three monkeys
There is fear
Over hands
Over ears
The god of tin
Puts it in us
It’s clear
Not vaguely
Sincere
As the soldiering
Iron uniforms stiff
The grenades’ left
Ringing in our ears

Heated Private Igloos

Heated private igloos
Keyed in coded mind brews
For sitting comfortablissue
Square and folded
Up scolded
And wet
Waiting for the warm storm
By counting
The drips
The size
Of a trip advisor
Despised by
The flip disguiser
As miserly
Two star reviews
Read by
Whogivesashit
And you

Monday, 15 October 2018

Springs Things - A Tanka

There are things there are
Things that swing there are rusting
Sixties springs where at
Worn out positions there are
Sat poking where you’re busting

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Tottenham Hales

It’s all yeah yeah
Industrial estates
Where gathered lads
Say not that way mate
And yawning cats
Wide as the mark
As the distance
Of any welcome front door
Below a license plate
And you’re only
4 stops from where you started
From pebbled dashed
Long wheel transit
Parking places
And suburban
Broken rails
You can CCTV
For yourself
It never rains
But it always
Tottenham Hales

Ikeas Above Your Station - A Tanka

The sky’s Ikea
The D.I.Y.Bus stop’s not
The look’s pensive the
Idea’s cheap but not the
Sand timer that’s expensive

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Plastic Smile - A Tanka

Extreme cold weather
Parka it seems that blanket
That wraps that’s been on
Each every dirty dance floor
Is falling apart at’ seams

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Cooper for Sayle

Salford John’s
Got a new motor
For sale
‘Ello!
“A Mini Cooper”
Says he’s nowhere to park
Says he’ll
Swap it for a copy of Arthur C.
Says he
If it starts

Le Pen - A Tanka

Le Pen Le Pen Shit
Le Pen Le Pen Le Pen Fuck
Le Pen Le Pen Shit
Thank fuck that Le Pen Le Pen
Ain’t mightier than I swored

Hotel International

Later
At the infamous
Hotel International
Where the freaks
Gather beneath
The floor to ceiling
Marilyn Munroe mirrors
And kitsch portraits
I agony-uncle
A lad from Saudi
He’s gay
He fled
‘Cos that’s not allowed
He said
He pours his heart
My mates take the piss
But it’s no joke
In his young abyss
How easy
I’ve got it
I thinks
Straight and white and
Full of drinks
While Sharia looks on
And Marilyn winks

Pre-match haiku

Winter morning train
Small girl sat hair was twirly
Drinking then wasn’t

For E & M Leydicke

The class
Is on draught
Von fass
As the hushed
And crafty conversations
Still waft
From the dusty
Sun cracked windows
Beaming on
Your glass
Of schnapps
Made from
Indiscernible fruit

Listen close
Above the
Bistro chair creak
In this perfectly
Noir bar
In the haze of
The over-proof
And you’ll hear
The root of 80s
East Berlin plots
As the rotunda
Polishes thick glasses
In his thick glasses
‘Bove a ruddy smile
In the eye-line
Tobacco haze
Do not make plans
You’ve been here a while
You’ll be here for days

Clobbered Up in A Barnsbury Beer Garden

The dough they have
But choose to wear
Autumnal
Olive
Beigey
Their hues are that of
Royal blues
And something
Close to Gravy


Thursday, 4 October 2018

Shake!

(A Sam Cooke cover)

Shake!
Attack dogs round yer ankles
Shake!
They snarl and bite and nip
Shake!
They’re after the good folks and
Shake!
Folks who need their tips
Shake!
The top dogs are circling
Shake!
The squeeze is coming on
Shake!
They’re fixing up the figures
Shake!
They’re selling us for songs
Shake!
It’s about the cost of living
Shake!
So we came when you called
Shake!
To make the coins they stole
Shake!
Into your pockets fall
Shake!
Early in the morning
Shake!
We won’t go away
Shake!
Later in the evening
Shake!
‘Till It’s fair what they pay
Shake!
Early in the morning
Shake!
We won’t go away
Shake!
Later in the evening
Shake!
Till It’s fair what they pay

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Anchovies - A Tanka

Out pop those willing
Joeys from the prep school purse
White anchovies who
Eyeball each other bet on
Number 10 and who’ll go first

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Gear

Guilt n’ fear
Is the new gear
Spot this
Addictive
Don’t sniff
At the school speed with which
We didn’t care
In replication
The glue of this afterlife
Sometimes
Is the same
I swear

Haiku for conference season

It’s conference season
Blue blue blue blue bottle you
Got some but glottal

Saturday, 29 September 2018

The Butcher’s Son

As the butcher’s son
Is held high
I look to the skies
Where Bacon rolls
Gravely under
Parameters squashed
Of science applied
This life’s eclipsed
Humanity’s lost

Some welcome
Generations of generated
Neutral networks
With arms
Open
Another tool up the sleeve
Of the creative sorcerer
But paint me soul
Paint me passion
Over matters grey
And the truth of beauty
We will take to our grave
Closed

Friday, 28 September 2018

British Wrestling

Eee y’ bugger!
Tek that!
Cries Sybil, 52
Darlington Dolphin Centre 1982
This is British wrestling
As not his real name
Takes another oversized handbag
To the brain
Claret pours from
His ugly head
Me gran weren’t one
For that type of language
But things that were needed
Were bloody said

Up and down the country
Civic halls
Placed the lycra’d
Local big lads in the
Blue rinse coliseum
It’s baby face v
Out of towner
Let’s guess who plays the villain

The industrial language rains
The blood flows
The masks fall
The nudges wink
The sherry loving sports reporters
Give their critiques with a clink
It’s a fix!
It’s bloody not!
See you at’ next one
On the dot!

Before the starry night
Bleeds into day
Backstage
The 3rd division
Fat lads undo their boots
Shake hands
Spit their fees on
Bitter pints
Tabs and buses
To take the
Pain away
Before the inevitable
Clothesline
From the missus

Ticks in Burning Boxes

They walk without shoes
Through the Mississippi mud
Of national pride

The bullet headed
Put ticks
In burning boxes
On ballot forms
They’re burning crosses
Tell me it’s brave
When this sweatshop pyre
Smokes
With the ghosts
Of the enslaved

In the red zone
These ineligible
Information receivers
Cut off
Their own jock-straps
To spite their faces
And when they
Talk about
Fought and died
They should
Look to the other side

To the other side
Where those
With heads held high
Where those
Not under stars or stripes
Where those just trying to qualify
Equally
Have fought
Have died

Look to the other side
You’ll see me
You'll see many
Taking a stand
Taking a knee
Creating a more powerful
Display of loyalty
To our fellow
Than their
Ad man's wet dream
Of patriotism
Will ever be

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Nudge Nudge

Thumpin’ buttons down t’
Supposed piss hole
Is never over
But the
Pokey Pints are
That cheap
And the not so
Cheap pints are
Not so cheap
But
Could you
Hold
And nudge
In the thumping bright lights?
Could you
Hold
And nudge in the bright lights?
Could you
Hold and thumping
Never judge?

Monday, 24 September 2018

Harsh Book Fair

Even the willowy exceptional face
With the unavoidable glazed gaze
Has an expression
That stays behind in the stalls
Stalls that make mouths into
Wobbly lines
Bored
While out front egos
Press the flesh
The extroverted
Stroke their folk
Like their pricks
With wishes dealt
As back slapped back stabbed jokes
As three card tricks

As we go through the day
The sun has no rays
In this casino
The females especially
On tables field
Questions inappropriate and weird
As the literati do the
Business card shuffle
Most of which
That worst of words
‘Nice’
Is the monosyllabic soundtrack
To the most of a day
Living in
A wanker’s paradise

It All Smells of Scotch

‘And you know why it rains all the time?
2nd worst in the country’
Says the late night
Youth hostel fella
Over his botched job
Of court holding
With his beer and
His beard in his socks

As you don’t get why the long legs
Love the light so much
There’s nothing in it for them
There is not
And it all smells of scotch
The grass the damp tab ends
The blisters
Smell of scotch
The foot ointment
The beard you never wanted
The socks
The bag
The flap
All smell
Of scotch
The rain
Is single malt

The morning turnout we realise
The queuing rudeness in his eye
Looks like scotch
And the breakfast
YHA know it alls with their
High-tech routes
And cock-sure non-stops
Couldn’t even spell the word
And while you ask a simple
Over eggs
They pour a double knowledge
Down your neck
Without even fucking
Asking
Lycra cyclists
At least they smile
So you repair to them
Their loneliness
With a raised glass
And the shower pubicles
In toenails
Spell out scotch
And the boot squelch
Steps to the ooze of it
And the corners of your outdoor mouth
Feel like scotch
And then you climb
Over
And up
And over
And you see that
Eversmooth body
Of Viking water
And you add
A drop or two of
To your scotch
And it smells of sense

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Scotch Tanka

Scotch is a blend of
The stuff you can’t always get
With the stuff you want
With the stuff you think you are
But cheaper a bit rougher

Helvellyn Back

She punches fear
Above her weight
And she’s pretty fucking heavy
She’s going nowhere mate

You can dance with her little sisters
If you like
But there’s gils of tears
For the reservoir of who we are
From those who think they like it rough

It’s here aghast
The vast mist topped declares
Come and have a go
If you think you’re hard enough

Hipsters on Hills - A Tanka

Apply some android
Application to contoured
Graduations with
Avocado bravado
But on green tops bottle it

Quickanoia Tanka

It comes goes quickly
Paranoia as quick as
Fingers two you flick
And we do too cigarette
But I saw you my prick

Monday, 10 September 2018

Bathroom Tanka

Depressive bathroom
Where porcelain thoughts prevail
Imagine white tiles
Where blood on scratchplates are what
Guitar heroes might have been

Saturday, 8 September 2018

American Hands Free

American suit
Hands free
Minus Jacket’s
At it -
“I think I’m losing my mind”
I say -
Stop having a word with us
And have a word with yourself
Instead

Thursday, 6 September 2018

We are our handwriting

Handwriting is life
Enjoy it
Some important things are written badly
In books that are never read
Too much time doodling
Often it looks like a mess
Though doodling is important
Not enough time practicing critical bits
Sometimes it gets better
Sometimes it gets shit
Put all together
It doesn’t flow as it should
Sometimes the ink runs out
There are blots
Mistakes
Bits to be discarded
Re-read
Sometimes it’s perfect
And brilliant
But when it’s handed in
And all done and said
It’ll look up at
From the
Basketball bin
With a
Try harder
In bold
In red

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Gerda Taro Rolls

Gerda Taro

She stole a march
With the arch of an eyebrow
As starched collars
Some air craft carrier pigeons flirted
Round the dependablity of her desk
For crumbs of imagery
With notes written
Between front lines
And human humour applied
To bears with sore heads
The rolls pause time
And capture full glasses
And dregs

While the beret of history
Prevails
And claws on last legs
Once the patronisation is stripped
With it’s schisms
And attritions
And finally
She holds
Recognition
So we
Capture this

And hold on

Monday, 3 September 2018

The Tax Collectors

I sometimes avoid
The tax collectors
It’s not that I don’t want to
Pay the tax
I just don’t always
Have the cash
I know where they sit
I know where they stand
Where they wonder
I feel relief when they aren’t there
Then I ponder
I worry
What if they haven’t
Collected enough tax
And for weeks they haven’t
Collected enough tax
And now they can’t
Collect tax anymore

I assume
To make myself feel better
That they’ve collected
Enough tax and
Everything’s ok
They can sleep maybe
They’ve found work lines maybe
That doesn’t
Involve being on the street
Collecting tax
Everyday
Let’s say

Don’t get me wrong
I’m happy to pay my tax
I wish I could pay it all
I wish the best
For those who collect -
Some of the most positive people
I’ve met
They just have to collect tax
So have a bad rep
But like most taxpayers
I do what I can
With the only resentment
That those who
Can the most
Don’t the most

Some are violent
Towards tax collectors
Get a job
They say
But if real tax was organised
In the right way
There’d be no need
For more
Tax collectors
Down every street
Down everyday

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Damaged Goods and Braised Cabbage

Damaged Goods
And braised cabbage
It’s queasy cane taps
And ale flasks
It’s easily Jesus the
Nauseating impact
Of years on these
Cobbled streets
His tired eyes
Drew spectacle rings
Round what’s
Been going on round here
And with that going on daily
He began to hate his ears

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Reach Out

There’s enough reaching out
To make the Four Tops proud
In these hipster Coffee shops
Trouble is there’s
Too much reaching out
Not enough Four Tops

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

The Beauty of Portraits

The beauty of portraits
Is you can make enemies of them
For looks y’ can mark then out 10
Fall in love in the 18th century
Get divorced in ‘37
Raise a toast eyeball to eyeball
With men who killed men
Then fall in love
All over again
With bar room girls
Flower sellers
Refugees
President’s wives
Survivors
Cellar dwellers
From places
With faces quixotic
And of anytime exotic
And like time
Only we will judge
And oh!
We will judge
While the galleries remain free
We will judge

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Self Importrait

His neck a snapped drill bit
This interwar bore
This preposterous slick
On his opiate arse
For you he sits

His poison poise
Inoculates
The good space
Between your ears
A chalice of finery
He raises to you
And your common beers

But he’s been framed
By his own glasses
Caught by his own regard
Backed into a corner
By his own visage
And spread thin
As thin as his lips
On the canvas
By several accurate licks
This Count is out
You’re free to go now
So on you goes

Monday, 13 August 2018

Anni (Girl with a fan)

It’s naïve to think
The man
In Beckmann’s
“Anni
(Girl with a fan)”
Doesn’t have a plan
Her expressionist
Expression isn’t
Letting on that she knows
But she knows

Two large saucers
Thin line nose
Hooks bodice bones
Laid by butlers
On her pristine
White tablecloth
Of a face

Silver tongue and
Scarlet nails
Scratch cocktail tales
The ruby kisser whispers:
‘I know why I’m here
Do you really know why you’re here?’

It’s naïve to think
That Anni
The girl
With a fan
Could only have
One fan

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Pots Pans DVDs - a Tanka

Pots pans DVDs
On the pavement
On the street say take me
Do with me what you want but this
Does not apply to people

Sea Spray

The blood supply
To his left arm
Was cut off by the
Weight he had to carry
His numb fingers
Still rolled one
With instinct
His eyes were bottle tops
His teeth razor blades
His whistle shrill
His face a gorse
Cut across the road
With one sturdy boot
His journey habit
The cat ran
The Jaguar sounded it’s heavy horn
From the North Sea of his beginning
The cold sweat up his back
Like riggers
He figures
It was written in the dog spray
There were doors for him
To knock that day

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Education - A Bosnian Tanka

Lesson One: “if one
Man does evil we should not
Blame a whole nation”
. National identity class
. Survivors’ Education

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Revisited - A Bosnian Tanka

Behind enemy
Lines that lie revisited 
The man remembers 
Those bitten by the snake are
Also wary of lizards 

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

A God’s Dinner

It’s not the lack of
Belief in God
That’s the problem
It’s the arseholes
Turn up the tin hat
Make it bowl
Add brandy
UHT
And what the
Americans call frosting
Over the top
Of hand torn cubes
Of God’s book
Then kick over your TV

And Justice For All

She tips
Old lady justice
A right arm of lead
A left of left behind
The odds are
The top brass
Make that
The inbalance
But it’s us brass necked
I bet
Who’ll level it up

Grab your gamblers’ pen
With tips of steel 
With ink of blood
Write words
Emboldened
Underlined
Draw a ladder on the wall
Detail the supposed
Bottom rung 
For without it
There’ll be no
Justice 
At all

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

You Can Paint Me Red and White and Green but it’s All Yellow

Sometimes nice guys
Do finish first
For good reason
The push on stages comes with ages
Not dressed in limelight
But yellow
And now
The world all knows 
Llongyfarchiadau G
It just goes to show

Monday, 30 July 2018

Art. Work

Look at the artwork
There is skill
There is discipline
On display
There’s a show
That must go on
Come what may
There’s funding
There’s advertising
The pop
Of a champagne party
There’s power
There’s privilege
There’s a crowd that’s arty

But think on this
When ‘You are obliged
To look at this
Painting
For at least
Ten minutes
So that you
Can appear
Intellectual’
While you’re hanging on someone’s every word
Think on this
It’s the unsung
Who cleaned
Who secured
Who properly ensured
That this and thousands like it
Happened at all

It’s not an abstract thought
To express some gratitude
To display some praise
To pay humanly
To treat with grace
Those who allow us
The impression
That it’s just the ‘genius’
That’s clapped and papped
And lauded revered
And reviewed and consumed
And hung on the wall
Let me make this clear
It’s the unsung
Who really put it there
It’s the unsung
Who deserve the applause
It’s the unsung
Who we fight for
Or there’d be no
Art at all

Sunday, 29 July 2018

The Absinthe Minded at a Quarter Past Fifty

He was famously absinthe minded enough
To want to paint his own legacy
He’d already glossed over the doormat of self-awareness
With his own perception
Pulled self-tapping screws from the barrel belly of his past
Swapped his intake valve for a rustier much larger one

On the way back from getting
A spare set of keys for his heart
He bought a two pound tin of creosote from the floor outside the shop
It smelled like the essence of his being
It was the colour of his complexion
The ‘landscape of his body’
It was a bloody mess
Any natural beauty had long been ditched and
Smashed for six at a 65 over Limited country car crash
He vaguely remembers the 5-oh
He vaguely remembers the 5-oh at his door

By day he was a practising horizontalist
Satin finished sat indoors
Whining away the hours
His third eyed view from five foot two
Decorated the interior of his dwelling
Trees dropped wonky shells in
The war zone of his expression as
His money always ran after the wrong horse
And his empty life was in the feeding stage of its own third course

He waited until the hottest day of the year
To paint the frame of the window to his soul
Magnolia hair and artex skin and sponged guts
He laid the carpet out for himself
Painted it red
With his temper on eggshells
He stubbed his cigarette
Before kicking the can up the road
Which bounced like the baby he fought not to be
As serotonin alarm bells went off in this melt
He sat and felt his brain drip
On the bread of his own doorstep

The undercoater would take him back some day
That shook him to his very bones
He’d seen the red raw core of his very self
And seen that someone had already been round
To paint it black
Who had paid for that?

Half way through undercoating the gateway to his mind
He threw his tar brush over the wall
And put a stop to that start
He went for a quick one over the road
In hope that drinks till pay day
Could be on the missing slate of his mind
And he could chalk up a couple of coppers
And nail them to the dart board
And then decide

So when you hear the news
Any day now oh boy
Look north
Raise one to the solitary
Pull another from the fridge
To the ones whistling their unfinished symphony
On life’s back and Forth Road Bridge

Sundi’all This Will Be Yours

There’s a spare key
Under the pedant tree
There’s a hedgehog
At the border
There’s a sun dance complimentary
When the weather’s out of order
There’s a willow patterned welcome
Where hive minds protect their bees
At Sundial you can
Check out any time but
You can never leave

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

The Restaurant Signage Advisor

The Restaurant Signage Advisor
Cries into her apostrophe bin
There’s something eating up inside her
She’s suffering for our sins

As a girl she’d climb the pedant tree
She would string and pickle commas
In the airing cupboard they would be
‘Till they were 101ers

She cut the hyphens from her Barbies
Poured full stops on the slugs
Her old man was a grocer see
And a punctuating thug

Later she worked happily
In the employment of semantics
Her spaghetti was alphabetti
Her thesaurus love romantic

She was never a ladder climber
Though spent her time up ladders
A real job-for-life typer
Work was making her mad her

Despair would get the better
In this age of under spelling
She’d curse the written patter
Her demons needed quelling

She clocked it planned it properly
Her suicidal sign
Above her old man’s property
She’d hang herself in time

So light for her four candles
Give your grammar a cremation
Flay yourself with Twitter handles
With Fahrenheit 451 sensation

She write the sign to become a shrine
To proper spelling grammar
As she hung by the neck above the deck
The sign said “s’not S’pelt like that you wanker!”

Monday, 23 July 2018

Mic Airtime

Inadvertently
Don’t hype The Right
Do concertedly about it
Don’t fuel their fire and smoke without
Don’t mic airtime tick
Don’t auto cue the news
The dichotomy goes like this
A full belief in the good of people
That people hold the power
And a full belief the world
Is only ever full of pricks

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Kicking Cans

He was a polystyrene tray of a man
Ticking his way to closing time
Past remnants of the morning famine
Picking the last of the salt of the earth
His dustbin mind with its
Dustbin minders and lock-up lodgers
With their lock-up logic kicking cans down
Sticking the plaster now
Back on Forwhatitsworth Street

Refuge - A Tanka

It was grey it was
Eight miles he walked over the
Grey desert to find
That there are only bad men
At the edge of the desert

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Waiting On

While I’m
Waiting on you
I realise no one is
Waiting on you
I’ve got someone
Waiting on me
But I’ve paid them a shitloadery
And all that’s left in me pockets
Is a screwed up I.O.U.
A reminder
That I should be
Waiting on you

Friday, 13 July 2018

Complicity - A Bosnian Tanka

On complicity
We learn from Bosnian sense:
“We’ll remember not
The words of our enemies
But the silence of our friends”

Buzzword Post-mortem

Buzzword Post-Mortem

On the mortuary slab
This time
There’ll be no
Club v country
Pride v ego
Wherever he goes
So does me go
Ticky tacky jealousies
From tabloid bottom feeders
Why can’t we practice penalties?
Where were all the leaders?
Paid too much
Cared too little
Daft haircuts and
Stupid cards
Not this time
Just
Unlucky lads

Sunday, 8 July 2018

It Must Be Summer

The plain trees
Are witness to
Carnies that 
Harmonise to the
Dodgem’s Agadoo
Lad gets his collar felt
‘Cos how it smelled
Ice creams at right angles
Dogs chase
Folks baste
Limbs smelt
Kids get strangled
It’s the 3rd degree
Over 22
It must be summer
What a bummer

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Staring Down Roman Way

Staring down
Roman Way
At the shrines
And the spitting
At the quarrellers
And their prison
Through a pint glass
Of a prism
And their road
Is a decision
At the national flags and
Flip flop dressed in
Harry Rags
Where it’s great
To be straight
As speeds bumps yeah
And the grass grows there
And burdens hump
Where betting slips
Past baby lumps
Who’s days trip
And prospects faint
In words mis-spelled in
Anti-Climb paint



Friday, 6 July 2018

The Salt On Your Shoulder Is For The Chips

It’s the northerners done good
That knack me off
More than they should
It’s the dauphinois on the shoulder
That should’ve told
You should

But hes are also shes
VAT receipt
The bleach blonde
Prosecco quaffers
Queuing for the
Unknown soldier
Monuments
To the ‘aw bless ‘im’ bleat

It’s all gone a bit
Predictable yes
It’s all gone a bit
4 Yorkshiremen sketch
Hamming it up in plays
That plays out as sure
As cured pork is gammon
With lashings of
Lashing it up in the beck
And the call of brow beaten bar staff
In central chain pubs
Director of nowt
Grow up

Because the wheels
Your forefathers greased
Machinery rooms
Makes you not
The flash bastard
Better man than me
Or her
Cold shoulder
Makes you predictably
Lacking the points
In that department
Makes you stick out
That bottom
Service lip squire so
Wind yer neck in
And give us a chip

Varna

It’s the same every week you’d think
Every time it’s the same you’d think

But just the divisive privilege
To write this on a journey home
Becomes quickly a thing less known

Crows have obvious
Poetic symbolism
And everyone can slip
As every Eric knows
(Ask Bananaman)
The Lithuanian man
Neighbouring the cash machine
Takes care of baby crows

He says the day tomorrow
Could be the best day yet
The park he says is very beautiful
He carries in his inside pocket
Round council jurisdictions
To find aid for lost embodiments

I have the privilege of this knowledge
Because I pop change
In coffee-shaped takeaway pots
Because now and then I listen

The most positive people I find
Are those who are greeted
With the most negative
Sentiments on the street

So pull on at least a
Sullen ‘Alright mate?’ next time
‘Cos they care like us
Be sharp be near
They hold crows
That paint premature feet
Round tired eyes that yearn for peace

So take care of your fellow
And listen to the wings’ beat



Thursday, 5 July 2018

Les Gris Gris Mud

If in your coffee cup
There’s mud
Good
You can see the
Dead hands what made it
Waving back atcha
Knowing they picked you
Understood

Switch

The night throws out
The souped up pub and
Backs up the riff
That you didn’t want to be
Keith Moon
But Mitchell
Mitch
Your bread gets dipped
The wind cries Mary
And at the crossroads
Two zero hours
Twin Toyota taxis
Silently kiss

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

On the Outside Courts

On the outside courts,
Corner cutters come first.
As back handers hit lines,
Catch the chalk,
The crowds gawp,
At what they’ve just seen.
The passing shots are at
Those stuck on an
Economic baseline.
As negligence nails
Another opponent;
We ask the umpire,
If this weighted game
Is going to plan.
The first service
Rule of responsibility
Is the ability to respond
React ably, quickly.
To defend with
Some balls.
To serve with some spare
In your pockets,
As rockets will
Whistle past ears.

The officials must show
That they know
What responsibility means,
If they want the pay and prestige
Of the umpire’s chair.
There’s no time for inaction,
It’s time to show
They actually care.
They see, but don't speak,
As smashes flash past
Flailing rackets
And settle in the cheap seats.
But despite this criminally weak
Officiation,
For the supposed good of the nation,
The game goes on.

On the outside courts,
The yellow-napped attacks
Thud into advertising hoardings.
According to the law of averages,
It's meant to be
Back and forth,
But for each game forward,
There’s more broken back.
As the means tested
Are denied a safety net.
Justice unravels,
Like a councillors expense receipt.
Deceit is the disease,
That brings to the knees,
Those who feel the squeeze,
Who play gruelling
Five-setters every day,
Against the top seeds
Come what may.
Though there is
"No way" they are told
Again and again that
They can conceive
Anything but defeat.

But believe, that one day,
On the outside courts,
Someone in a fifteenth floor
Summer window,
Who's not the colour of cream,
Will let in a cooling breeze,
To go with sweet sweet strawberries,
See a fair match,
And life could be a dream.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Apples Are Not The Only Fruit

Apples are not the only fruit

Two trees
Apple tree
Orange tree
Pick a tree
There are
Bad apples
Always
There are bad oranges too
Granted

But it’s not
Democracy
When the popular choice
Is apple juice
And any subsequent
Promotion of any
Orange juice produced
Is deemed
To be
Undemocratic

You’d be a fruit cake
To rate
The full Del Monte
With its
Snakes in the grass
That lay in shadows
That need to give
Their neck a wind
That advertise their
Busboy
Juicy goods
Intertwined

With the fact that
Other trees
Bear fruit too
A wee dram
A little nip
Or spoonful of tropical juice
Does not
Make the world
Go flat
When you split the pith
From the supposed
predisposed path
And you think you can fruit bowl
Up Union Street
Stroll on
Peel yourself a
New one
‘Cos
Collecting low hanging fruit
Does not constitute work
Picking the fruit left rotting
From the floor
Could be of use
Could be necessarily
Brewed
Could be
The only work left

The shear pruning
And uprooting of
Root and branch reform
Is squeezed out when
Quotas apparently ain’t so juicy
Says the farmer
That never
Turns up for work
Foraging for apples
Bears not the only fruit

So
Keep it cordial
Sugar it when you need t’
And remember
Orange or
Apple juice
Goes best by far
With a little
Continental vodka

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Mr. Tarkowski

In the thirties and in his seventies
Mr. Tarkowski was a bear of a man
He had the same routine
Every morning
Two eggs he’d behead
With his commemorative cut-throat
With the decorative clasp
Salt butter caraway bread
At a time too late to be
Considered breakfast

Blank would be
His ancient milky mariner’s eyes
As he’d unload
In the unlit bathroom
With door open wide
Then trudge two worn out shoes
On the worn out stair
Down flights of two
To the street where
An odd sight he’d be
Resignedly burling up
To do his daily duty

Pin-striped legs
Would skirt round his given toil
Everyday he’d bend his back
Like a Prussian King Arthur
And extract
A cast iron safe
Weighing six stone eight
Embedded in the tarmac
Just yesterday
Same time
Same safe
Every day

Not even a grunt
Of effort he let
As he’d carry this dead weight
Up four sets
Of twelve sepia stairs
To the dark room he let
The well built treads gave no creak
Under the step of this man
His burden
And his cast iron will

In the summer months
A small bead may drop
From his heavy brow
Hit the floor by the window
Where the safe would be back
In its dust marked place
On the open ledge
And out of sight
He’d wait
For the rumble of boots
To catch the breeze from
Left to right

The imagined handkerchief
Would drop
And without fuss
Without noise
With death weight poised
He’d heave this
Damaclesiastical lump
To plummet over sooty glass
And peeling frame 'till it
Would stop
With the baroque thud
Of a long dead organist

He’d thickly curse
The absent crash
Of crushed skull
Or broken bone
As the black shirts
Marched past below

He’d arch his back
Light a smoke
And spit the fact
It would begin again
Tomorrow

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Danny Nails It

For clarity on Britain’s exit
Here’s Walford’s philosophy supplier
To cut through all the Eartha Kitt
And prove that Brexit’s really Dyer

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

On t’ Moor

When spring brings wildfire
Where wildlife is words
How they fail when the library’s ablaze

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

A Philosophical Tanka - From Omarska, Bosnia

When facing a wolf
There is only one option
And that is to work
And never stop working with

Until it becomes a pet

Into yer actual haiku

Into spring where you
Sit under a book and read
A proper old tree

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

“Your Body isn’t a Temple, It’s an Amusement Park” - Anthony Bourdain

Food like music
Is a matter of taste

Before Jamie bored us
(Though he knew all the chords)
With his bland Britpop brand
Before Nigella’s Shania Twain cosy cleavage
Popped the eyes out of Middle Ingerland

Before Ramsey’s parental advisory
Repetitive rap
And Carluccio (RIP)
Plated up that simple opera
We all could grasp

Tony showed us that food was
The Stooges The MC5 Los Explosivos
Where oysters are MDMA
And the Ramones are alive on that plate

Where the kitchen cast
Were Goodfellas
The Three Amigos
And Scarface
Stepping in
As the culinarily crew
Of Battleship Potemkin

Where the kitchen was the spotlight
Where the cooks were the stage show
Where the roadies were as important as the band
Where the collective experience
Could make you cry
Grown man

And the food was the tune
That punched your throat and
Kicked your balls
Made you sit on your arse for hours
Pouring wine and breaking bread

Messed with your mind
Pogue-d your head
Made you fall in love
Again
With something you shouldn’t have
‘Cos you’ll always remember the times you fell
And you’ll never forget love
When it’s cooked that well

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Back in the Hollandaise

It’s the
Pensioners’ special
2 for a fiver
Rag pudding trade
It’s as slow
As their speech

As low as the zip
On the gammon faced
Brickie
Who’s up for a corner bit
With the underage waitress

It’s a safe
A bet
As the barmaids
Ignoring
The lad’s pint orders
As they gawp at Corrie
Later

For now
It’s dead as the mate
Who dares call
Into question
The sexuality of
The landlord’s
Son who snorts
A bit of 5 o’clock heroism
From my
Wiped down kitchen top
When I go for a smoke
Now and then

It’s dead
As I said
At this time
Before my favourite
Hour 5 till 6
When the lads
I knew from school
Turned plumbers sparkies
And pricks
Would swap steak butties
For pints and I’d get
Nicely early evening pissed
Before all of that
This

Sweetly
Toothless owd lad
With blazer
And unimportant badge
Alone
Missing his 50p
Off for two
Asking me
On serving his fish n chips
(As unlike the nail filing
Barmaids
Has fuck all else to do)

(So fuck me
The joy of joys
Of all days
When the challenge came)
‘Ave you got any Hollandaise?
Fuck me yes
I said
(Sort of)
Be a couple of minutes
Whipped into action
Small pan
Bits
Vinegar
Pieces
Mace
Any lemon?
Ace
Separate the egg yolks
Whisk like fuck
For a 5 minute reduction of that
With the butter like this
Was miraculous shit
And the golden sauce presented
While the fella
Fumbled with his peas
Was so ramekin glorious
I nearly
Got down on my knees
(Though I say so myself)

So in Bourdain spirit
With the scrubbed pans
And accoutrements
Back on the shelf
The empty plate
Came back
And the tip was fuck all
I said
Go fuck youself

Saturday, 9 June 2018

One of Our Outsourcers is Missing

One of our outsourcers is missing,
Call inspector Clueso
Nab ‘em if you see ‘em,
Cos the in-house,
Has gone outhouse,
Down the Great British Museum.

The caper has gone wrong.
It’s carry on up the Khyber,
Without a paddle, we are sinking.
Is this protest necessary?
Some tourists maybe thinking.

But we’re sinking, like the small beer round ‘ere,
Says the annual reporter.
Like making love in a Carillion canoe,
We’re fucking close to water.

It’s workers versus dinosaurs,
It’s a stationary position.
It’s a public good v privatised farce
When one of our outsourcers
Is missing.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Funereal Cake - Not a Haiku

Freshly baked English
Language funereal cake
Isn’t woke it’s wake

The Last Sandwich

The future’s female
Deal with it kids
The party game’s
Come to it’s
Conclusion

As music stops
Stand statuesque
With bags of soldiers
Round our necks
After us
Little boys left it
In a right state
So
Off you go
You’ve had your fun
Round here
She’ll say

And her lip will curl
Like the last
Out of date
Dinosaur shaped
Sandwich
On the plate

So
Off you go
You’ve had your fun
Round here
She’ll say
Before
It will end
In tears

Thursday, 31 May 2018

The Wrong View of Deliveroo

Look at ‘em
They swarm like
Cyan flies like
Horny hornets round
Our way
Like nectar point
Nickers round
Church facades
And parking bays

Catching up
Catching flies
Before the bleeping
Scran based scooter ride
You should see ‘em
It’s quite a sight

Saturday night he
Pours tins
With right arms
Of apathy
And fuck it
He says
Comes the phone
App takeaway
Click
Delivered
Under these
Conditions
Fuck it
He says
Is still the tip

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Cosby Curtis

Years ago
Our favourite dance
Was the Cosby Curtis
A cross between
Bill and Ian’s show
Thee adored it
Can’t dance like that
No mo’

Monday, 28 May 2018

Shoutdown

I’ve great records
I can play badly with a
John Peel sense of timing

I’ve some poems
I can spout with variable
Conviction and contrivance

But for me being
Not as me
You’d want me to
Just try and
Shout me down
Because intolerance
To intolerance
Is the only game
In town

Damage

As eagles dot
The eye o’ t’ cross
It’s damage

As Mr Pat tests
Mr Riot
It’s damage

At up rail
Make ways
At tuck shop
Take’ways
It’s damage

Wi’ out
Adult sense
That if you
Steal from
‘Them’
You take
From us
It’s damage

As off they toss
And it’s forgot
As under t’ clock
Is where they flock
It’s damage

For I
It’s mild
Inconvenience while
It’s damage

No shock
That there’s no
Triage plot for
It’s damage

So
Float by
Drop
What you’ve got
It’s damage

Limitation

Friday, 18 May 2018

Fixed Odds

She’d always worked in mental health
But because the cuts and pressure felt
Now work’s in the betting shop
When industry cries “It’ll cost us jobs!”
She waits for the penny to drop

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

The Roadmenders

“Alright lads?
“Wanna go bashin’?”
(Left a out a missing
Prefix still chucked about in ‘92
Stuck before
Shop cab bastard)
Comes the question from
The two foot above
It CCTV seems
Above the rifting keen
Co-conspirator Kid 1
And the pint-sized
Shoe-gazing Kid 2

Schools out for the summer
At the uptown bus station
Minus an hour before
Shopping centre closing
The one the colour
Of strewn nugget boxes
Keeps shtum
But the question’s sniped
At the other one
Seen by this Kwik Save Kaiser
As an ally
In his civil war
Of them and us

The red plastic seated answer
Is spoken on behalf of the brigade
By eyes raised past
Combat 18 and
Fine young casuals
Window tattoos
Spells Oi
With the answer
“Oh aye”

Two yards behind
With tail between
Kid 2 sums the square root
Of what ‘bashing’ might mean
Kid 1 copies the
Shoulder roll
That’s default in the city
But these 2 wear small town epaulets
They spit their epithets at
Innocent targets
And at the back
Kid 2 drags black trainers
Of just the right make
To pass muster by peers and school
And hopes this will all be over soon

Schools out for the summer
As the cajoled patrol
The last half hour
Lads from the other side of town’s
Balconied groups get dispersed
By this adolescent justice squadron’s
Long division
It’s shopping centre cleansing
With pats on backs
As kid 1’s copied slurs
And racist turns and
“Fuck off back to”s and
Intimidation tactics are
Plastered mouth wise
By the steely eagle eyed
And the tin pot soldier in the making
Past sweater shops
Smith’s and HMVs
In a superfluous
Shopping mall sweep

The peer-pressured mission
Is over
As General Disorder gets the bus back
To the ‘pure’ part of town
Kid 1 is all elation
And half-arsed victory
Kid 2 just wants home
Away from the sick subjugated shame
This witless witness with a
Lily-livered deafness
To his mate’s bus stop boasts
He waits

Another lad from school
Respected for his quiet
‘Don’t fuck wi’ me’ demeanour
Gets off the bus
At the same of height and
Bone head hair cut
As the recently exited
Ethnic cleanser
This kid 3’s glasses and freckled face
Takes it’s place in the shelter
With nods from
Especially the one
Who fingernails for an excuse
For distraction
The surly “Alright”s
Drop from spotty gobs
The ask of “What y’up to”
Is stopped sharp
By the hunted
Gathering circles
To avenge shout
“There’s the bastard!”
And as two and two
Are added in
Brutal revenge is taken out
On the mistaken identity
Of the new lad on the scene
Broken glasses and bust nose
Paint the dimpled floor
Kid 1 offers a McSorry napkin
Kid 2 cannot speak
Kid 2 cannot

The buses separate
The good the bad and unlucky
Kid 2 on the bone-shaker back home
Guilts past
The Castle Pub’s backroom
Past meetings and action formulations
Past the bricked-in Chinese chippy
Past the lamppost flowers
And the faded family photo
Past the un-phobic un-prefixed shops
Feels the blow to the back of his head
Feels the shift of the empathetic cortex
To his front seat of learning
Feels the lesson life redress
Adding up to
Not only
That he’ll never
Take this road again
But from now on in
Dig it up
Council style every time
Dig it up
When it’s fit to division drive
Dig it up
When the bus does a detour right
Dig it up
With all his determined pint-sized might
Dig it up again

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Black Sheep

In the Black Sheep
She catches the thick end of
A thick set conversation
Between two old bits of furniture
One leans muck on the bar
While his mucker
Sausage finger rolls his cap flat
Flat as the ale in his mitt

      “Jus’ dunno what to do…
       What would you do?”

(A quarter quart of ale signature pause)

     “A’d tek a shovel to ‘im”

She drops the glass to which
The fat of the land takes as
Perfect punctuation
To his exclamation point
Fuchsia faced
She shovels the pointless contents
Chins the bollocking and
Goes for a quiet smoke
To offer more fumes to this
Piss down driven lane
Next to the plaque that
Commemorates the day
Three years ago in ‘89
When it didn’t rain

As the sheep couldn’t give a flying
Our mute and sturdy
Leans on the Cumbrian scene
A week after the tragedy
Where Medieval logic
Bounces like the black dot
The B&B walkers watch
Chasing the white dots as
The penned in
Get penned in
By the wily and conditional
By the sly and traditional
The country caste system
By hook and by crook to which
He bows with broken back

The barn violence
Of a dozen farm hands
Bleeds behind a door bolted
As they kicked him hoarse
Dipped him sheep like
Sheared his identity
Battered him bed bound
For a week
The conceit
The fact that nowt happened
Is now part of him
From now on in

Shin splints
Stop runners
The view up there
Holds freedom no more
The rain on his face
Is a waste as
In human years
At age sixteen
He’s finished in this race

The assertion is rammed home
Hard
The objection
Has no jury
The black sheep
Has no flock
The bar girl
Toasts with a tear
His no longer secret
That runs like tabloid news
Through valleys
Runs like blood
Through crags
Clogs in tarns
Fills in buckets
Fertilises the need
To keep things as they are
As they wore
As they always wore
And drown the bastards
What mek it diff’rent
‘Cos It’s ‘ard enough
As it is right?

A stone walled morning
Looks average to the grazers
The whistle is flat today
The dog seems to know
To just carry on
Carry out the duties masterfully
As it’s master’s soon to see that
Inside provides
No solace
Outside provides
No solace
The drudge to the pub
Aches
But his only other supporter
Remains canine loyal
To bring mild relief
To his bitter life

She has a valley smile to warm
The weakest limbs
But her ambition limps
Like he limps
She exists
To have the farmers
Complain
To listen to the tourists
How quaint
But she now has a
Restoration project
To apply some TLC most nightly
Apply some free ale most nightly
Pocket the tips and dream big
Because this life
This summer
Stagnant stands

96 days before 18
96 tears of
Sick to death of
90 year old thinking and
6 year old behaviour
These two cahoots
Plot like the sustenance
It’s too wet to grow
Hatch like the young ‘uns
They were supposed to be
Scheme like the maps
The tourists need
But never understand
There are quick ways up
And quick ways down
So it’s into the city
Or into the lake

In the quiet bar tonight
They toss a coin
Best of 3
Best of 5
Best of lucky 7
Best lock up or there’ll be war on
Best of
Tomorrow
The cow slips
The cuckoo spits
The rain drips
And the same bloody day
Again
In it kicks

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Kickabout

Picture the scene:
Early fifties,
Lancastrian rows,
All cobbled neat.
Anna-Frid, Bennie,
Agnetha, et al
In a two up, two down
Formation,
‘Avin’ a kick-about
In the street.

Then, from t’ kitchen window
A rollered head pops out
Spreading lavender and fear:

“Where’s Bjorn?!
Yer little bugger!
Time for yer tea!!”

“‘Ere mam! I’m ‘ere!
Mam I’m ‘ere!”

Monday, 30 April 2018

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Revival-on-Sea

He
Took a train down
To a 30s town
His mind in strides
As sharp as
Creases in flesh
On track to apply
The suffering in his
Teenage jeans
To his suffering girl
Of dreams

May Day
Sardine train
With tins for props
Tin hats in case
Kid gloves in case
With a London tube of oil
He paints
Six shades of sun
Seven shades of shitting
Himself
All sewn up like ‘66
1066

Kids piss him off
Owd gits play like owd gits
Plastic spades poke pike like
Holdalls kick shins and
Bollockings hold families that shouldn’t be
Together
All on the bank holiday bound
Half past to Hastings

She
Shakes
The eyeliner that once drew
Perfect almonds
Round iris fruits
Now mascara drips
In pear shaped drops
May this still life be hung
On someone else’s wall today
Her hair band’s polka dots
Could be winners
In his Spot-the-ball competition
They could also stop
Her lid blowing off
The coast road stretches
Left to right
A sixth floor drop
From her vantage
Is tempting daily
But today
There’s a little candy floss
In her rollercoaster heart
A little thrill on this sickening
ride

He
Took a train down
To a 60s town
Where records promise what souls want
But can’t deliver
Where blousy pubs full of
Brown ale bastards
Where Friday fills his glass
With answer’s on a postcard please

She
Shifts her shift dress
Over white tights
Over red marked thighs
Into dolly shoes
She allows the thought that
This distractive lad all flash
Could be the tonic
For her sta-prest heart
As peace breaks
Her step skips
Will it be bingo
Will it be risk
It’s all the same to me
She ‘opes it’s chips it’s chips
She ‘opes it’s
A sandy walk
A leg dangled cigarette
Getting more lipstick pink
With every share
A vodka and lime
A melt in the eye
A flyer for the dance
But no touching
Not yet like
A teddy bear prize
A waltzer ride
A seltzer for the sickness
A caring hand
A whiff of monkey grease
She bets
He smells a bit French
She bets
He wants to kiss a bit French
She’s read
The back paper pages
Oh sorry
You lost to Coventry
(She knows
All about Coventry)

He
Took a train down
To a 90s town
Fair pints in guts
But he’s football used to it
He’s garage work used to it
As time lets
A 10 deck strut to the corner shop
The scare of scar faced work bully football fuckers
Do not compare
He’s met girls before
Without much to brag
His swagger was always
Reserved for the lads

She
Lives the haunted hotel nightmare
Where room service knocks
Cardiac arrest
Where lift music cripples
With sharp notes
That penetrate her flesh
Where anguish hangs
And circles the bay
Of her bruised lips
And clotted clouds
Spell dead
The word ‘abuse’

The sea breeze
Net curtain twitches
Revealing peeling paint
Old couples pointing
Sharing glint wrapped
sandwiches
Makes her sick
Her jet black fringe is
Finished with a flick
Mirror perfect
On the surface
Sea bobbing gulls whispering
Uglyfuckingdirtywhore
Beneath

He
Nips next door for relief
As the zip zips up
His mirrored eyes bloodshot
As a shock scream
Spikes the air
Like a frozen jumbo jet ejection
A shock scream
Like an ice pick to his ear
A screech of tires
As he gets outside
The already crowd
Pulls a coat
Over the lump
In the street
As the sirens wail
The sirens’ wail
For the last time
Blows in from the sea

Half a Morning Round Our Way

(If litter be the stuff of life,
Then this bin overfloweth...)

Just round the corner from
The French nursery,
The kids ask questions political,
As they board their
Oversized German chariot,
They can't have ponies,
But I'm on Shanks’s
Via the corner shop.
A 57-year-old natty dread
Freestyles to a young mum;
All perfume, Snapchat and trinkets,
The handsome Sri Lankan beams
My change back,
And I'm late for work again.
Phone reappropriators,
On chicken chasers,
In baggy grey,
Fly past their dead mate's shrine.
A battery-powered
Pharmacy trip, convoy past
Eric’s shock of white hair,
His four-score-eye for the ladies,
Like the two
Who never stop their
School-yard patter
Through king-sized wheezes.
A Push-biking Scotsman
Tells the breeze:
“They’re all up
Their Bohemian bars,
Worship and bow,
Worship and bow"
As we pass the
Hooligan’s pub,
Today, not hosting
Their bi-monthly
Irish funeral.

The scaffolding Poles
Out-swear the cockneys,
To the rhythm of used
Knuckles and discarded clips.
Between swigs
A girl gives a
“Fack you staring at”
To one in a hundred local cats.
The gathering outside
The prison, wait in hope
For a job-bound pick-up,
While the Police
Only seem to pick up
The over-sized German chariots
Down leafy lane,
And The Kiwi tree butchers
Get stuck into the
Not-so-leafy one.
The dog,
Doing it's bit on the grass,
Mimics the fear and guilt,
In the eyes
Of the two lads,
Spotting their first
Pub drag queen, last night,
As the cyclists fight
For the right
To take an arty approach
To the Highway Code,
The displaced seagulls
Squark on and
I follow the paint drips down the road.
I drop a quid, outside the tube, to the geezer.
Another geezer out of luck, he
Unsuccessfully tries
The door of the bookies.
I kick a silvery one in the gutter
And think,
After the bombs have dropped,
Shiny little gas canisters
And shite-y plastic doggie bags
Will be all that's left.
(That'll confuse the Martians).

The road ends.
I glance up
At the
Distanced capitalist column,
The
"Be nice when it's finished"
Shardy monument,
Stand stock still
And think:
"London,
You great,
Big
Bastard"

Saturday, 28 April 2018

The Maverick Always Gets a Kick

There’s a spoilt plastic bag
At Manchester Victoria
Neo-baroque station
There’s a child that kicks
The carrier of the carrier is
A black imp on the tongue
There to Faust the cerebral
Cost of thinking
Upon the blinking cock suckers
Of the sinking music scene
But before all of that
There is drinking
To be done see
Taken down the sideline
On the record plugger’s pitch
The maverick always gets a kick

Side step the side part in the
Play of the one man show
As Janet forgets her cosmetic panic
The lip sticks the vowed spits
And bastes with a deft brush
The chicken thought that
Life is like a shiny bar
Set to high where
Pints are underdone
The vapours are indoors
Crime Watch on the box
Extractor buzz in your head
They are keeping this pub alive
They are keeping this pub dead
For what fascistic purpose is it
The maverick always gets a kick

Straight out the bath
He soaked up Fridays
Past street signs you never saw
Peeled to reveal bingo Jesus
A comparison formed
On the daytime night shift
Manchester City Centre
Bus back this
Chimneyed nastic narcissist town
Piss poor councillors
With thumbs disappointing down
Hard on his heels
Watches worms that question mark
Waltzes Piccadilly
With beer in each mitty proves
The maverick always gets a kick

Meanwhile in the brick house
Irish sisters compete in the
Under table tournament
It’s a half appreciated half won
He’s hip to it if you are
And they love too
And he could dance
And he didn’t read the book list insist
Or pass the cosy right to left wrist
But put the rum in his tea
Pulled a flea from his ear
‘Cos the pervy servers
Didn’t serve him right
‘Cos it’s a stomach song
What makes him tick
The maverick always gets a kick

Better flock down
Better flock down
To the Bierkeller where
There’s a fella on fire and
White as lighting in a
Black lit brown ale basement
With a delivery that chins you
Don’t know the records
But I’m fucked if I’m arsed ‘cos
It’s electric town hall crap tonight
It's tight it's shite
It's one-man highlight
It’s amped up 12 round beat carousel
Not for him though he's not well
As he exits stage right out of it
The maverick always gets a kick

To the third class post carriage
Where cowboys’ letter are
Read with spurs out the door
Over ravines of sycophants
It’s the rift that keeps on living
As he loco takes the green motive
Drinks the long game
Plays the wrong draught
In the nailed on industrial tryst
On the scoot run M62
It’s lay jam on this
Stockpot pyramid scheme
Chipping miles away
Chipping sodding miles away
At a cheap speed they tick
The maverick always gets a kick

To the unfair hotel morning
He Ray Stubbs his cigarette
Steps over the enemy lamenters
Into the bright Brighton daylight
Plastic bagged to the bikers bar
Chuck darts at the bassist
Poisoned peanuts out of order
Complementary fags
Machine mannequin man-o-war
Insert to continue
Invading the space expensive
In there it’s rubbish
And flair is punished
Rid us the unflummoxed
Pox artists
The maverick always gets a kick

Says the damp record
Damp damp record
Incarcerated thoughts
Are behind the bar with
Lids that lift to reveal bills
That are unpaid eyelids as the
Man hole heavy covers band
Plays the ache of lonely trips
For a cup of cold escapist sick
Rabid for the vapid
Bruise coloured dreams
In unarmed pits
Raised by megaphone
Dipl-o-matics
Greco Roman myth-o-logists
The maverick always gets a kick

When all the jobs are done
The toothy bawd
And barrel smiled have
Shot to the corner
To form a cartoon jazz band
To tot up scores
To compare legacy
To examine cause as
The telly screen shouts
The staccato oddball
Vidiprinter slurs
Late kick off
Late late kick off
The result about the loved
The admonished fits
The maverick always gets a kick



King’s Cross Rail

Track work lads
Not caring about their
Oil faced polystyrene tray
Takeaway environmental impact
As couples surprise cuddles
And ah that’s sweet soundtrack
The movement of 10,000 feet
And it’s shop bought butties outside
As they both come to realise
That she can’t abide with him
The carousel pestering  becomes
‘Ave a quid mate
As the overgrown kid finally nails
A 180
At his 29th appempt

Just

There are just bits
There are badged bits
The are those
With badges having
Truncated conversations
With the bits unjust
There are those with
Truncheons having
Badge covered up
Conversations
With the just bits
There are blue lines
To be read between
It just moves on

Friday, 27 April 2018

Relagation - A Tanka

If you ain’t dancin’
On someone else’s grave you’re
Worried come what May
About the hungry worms that
Live in embarrassing soil

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

A Spring Haiku & A Spring Tanka


Spring springs more poems ‘bout
Body yearning landscapes comes
Quick fucks off quicker

—-

Sprung up jacked up you
Can’t go without podcasts and
Playlists no joke it
Goes without that you can’t and
Won’t hear the folk on the street

Friday, 30 March 2018

Why Stand in the Rain

Why stand in the rain
Daft as it seems
But graft goes in
To put on
This entertainment
This community connects
Like aqueducts
It’s handshakes
It’s tear ducts
It’s survival
It’s nice weather for ducks

- For Mishi, R. I. P.
- Dulwich Hamlet F. C.

Hollywood

Hollywood (An in-joke for Poetry Unplugged)

If you don’t listen
You don’t learn
If no-one learns
No-one listens
If no-listens
We all get poor
We all may need the back scratch mutual bank
Hollywood is a sack waxed mutual wank
Hollywood loves stupid
Hollywood is man whore

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Caught

The red whine sits
Like cricket slips in
It’s amateur hour
At the end of its wick
You’ll always get caught
In the Black River
These days
When the sign in
Away day ledger
Reads Mr. Smith
When the baggy mind
Makes green choices
The flabby heart
Will sink
When the lily-livered
Gets the
Sorcerer’s
Apprentice to
To do the dirty
In the public launderette
It goes without that
However steely
The 45th Dan
On this
Will be pressed
Will be finished

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Men in Pubs - A Tanka

Men in pubs pig farm
Spring eighty four defence all
Proper full of shit
Reason jumps around as ticks
In self-obsessed boxes this

Saturday, 24 March 2018

10,000 ‘Spoons when all you need is a knife

In a room
Largely full of men
Who couldn’t
Largely give a flying
Principally
Each sip of the cheapest
Kicks like
Dad’s army arrows
At that border
It’s a tv game show prize fight
For a pup
It’s not their price driven down
It’s the others driven up
It’s an Art Deco takeover
Students luxuriate and
Love the costing clearly
The badly wedded
Love their phones so dearly
And tolerate table space 
Nearly
The old boys 
Habitualise
The bar staff
Navigate
Deftly slowly they’re 
Used to it
And the pay
When thirst
Overcomes morality
It’s not a snob’s trick
It’s the atmospheric
So I occasionalise
And out meself
Take the mick

Friday, 23 March 2018

Pentonville

Shes been caught
In the orders
The bricks shout
More nowadays
Than the locked up
Not with standing
On the the short brick wall
With a 2 for 1 bottle
And a shout stuck on flexi-disc
Jimmy I love you repeat
Since the banging riots
It’s all gone quiet
No more
Top lift breast bare
For the window-rattlers
Fervent p’raps
The rats
Finally got ‘em
They
Like football grounds
JCB-ed
Out of town
If she still loves Jimmy
We guess
The spirit bounces
Off walls through bars
Round corners as
The litter wind’s
Flock paper
Dawn chorus
Flower’s gone
Some of them
Have moved on

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Thirsting More

I properly
Sneer at those
With coffee cup
Takeaway prose
Positions
With charcoal
In reusable bottles
With semi sparkling
Watter on the bus
I ponder this
A bottle while
Dragon stout
Down the street

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Electronic Assistance

The phone-in went
Little Johnny
In Whocareslike
Who cannot sleep
There was a cackle
From the
Electronic assistant
In the household
Mother distraught
He’s now traumatised
There was a cackle
For 15 minutes
The phone-in went
They had a psychologist
They had a tooth sucking
I mean, sssss
It’s difficult, isn’t it?
For 15 minutes
It’s difficult for
Little Jihan
In Hudaydah
Who cannot sleep
The electronic device
Blew up their household
Mother distraught
He’s now traumatised
It took 15 seconds
There was a cackle
There was no phone-in

Saturday, 17 March 2018

We Want Our People Back

There’s more light
And reflection
Under this London bridge
Semi-accommodation
More blue light
More self-reflection
More abuse-lite
Than the church pamphlet
From down the road
In north London
There are smaller
Villages in the north
Back home
I pay my
Homeless tax
Every month
Sometimes daily
Which I will till they
Be given more
Than light
And reflection
Till the powers
Use their powers
Till the powers
Pay their homeless tax
Tell the powers
We want our people back

Frying Time

It’s frying time,
Down the learning
Business takeaway.
Chips are laid down
The only hand
Shakes are of the bottle
Just a lot of old sauce,
An’ plenty on…
‘Cos let’s face it,
it’s just a
Salt-rubbed gravy chase.

The sausage thought is:
There’s no
Currying of favour
Terms are
Pulled out the freezer.
Watch ‘em crackle, they say
Batter the worth
While they
Let the over-paid
And over-paying
Dominate the flavour
Of this puddin’

Let ‘em get chippy,
They say.
Let ‘em tackle
Little packets
Of hire purchase ketchup,
‘Tween their teeth,
Then feel the squeeze.
Microwave the reduction in
Portion size,
Watch ‘em eat it,
With this wooden,
Two pronged attack.
Let pride be mushed, again
Again, but Bigga!

They’re pickling the
Human learning institution
Again today.
The counter jar may scold,
But again today,
It’s served up, cold,
It’s served up late
In yesterday’s paper,
Or reconstituted
Plastic plate.


Thursday, 8 March 2018

Jaikas!


As white west man
It’s important
To ‘ave
Really learned a lot
An’ I’ve
Really learned a lot
As a species
These are the least bits
We can do
As the rest
Grope around
For meaning of existence
Others are existing
Only just existing
Polish slang
For nuts
For bollocks
Is 'Jajka'
Meaning 'eggs'
One egg
Two eggs
Hard boiled
Wi’ fellow soldiers
Hard boiled
We toast our might
Hard boiled
After all
Eggs is eggs right?
Maybe
This an apology
Maybe
There’s an anthology
Maybe
A massive book
Maybe
With a massive cock n’ balls on it
Maybe
When
There’s an important
Question ‘bout our
World’s behaviour
It’s fine
For you to think
We duck it
Because we’re in charge
White west man
‘Cos we want to stay in charge
White west man
All we say is
“Fuck it”

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Peas

There’s a politeness around
In which I arrange
These peas
It’s not all gravy
No
She’s the one
Who hasn’t
Got it plate-wise
So I dare arrange
For she
Dare me to chip away
It’s not
On a plate this crack
It’s not
All gravy
But it is
Peas

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Wise as, Mr Ożek

I know what wine
In what glasses
I speak a few of
The languages
I know history of art
I’m not a communist
And in the meantime
I teach the young to dance

Kin

The boots may be waxed
Stiff as the eye
Dear’s very
Old as that tree there
Yer chopping
It’s not about flair for words
It’s the kindness
Us wood
Pigeons dropping

Friday, 2 March 2018

Who Knew It

It’s 2018
(Who knew it)
And it’s still Oh
Kay they say
Be seen
Wi’ men who gob off
Quips in pubs
(Who knew it)
Such as
Spunk
Is
Gender fluid