Monday, 30 April 2018

Sunday, 29 April 2018


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
All sewn up like ‘66

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
All on the bank holiday bound
Half past to Hastings

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

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

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)

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

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
Makes her sick
Her jet black fringe is
Finished with a flick
Mirror perfect
On the surface
Sea bobbing gulls whispering

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,
"Be nice when it's finished"
Shardy monument,
Stand stock still
And think:
You great,

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
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


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
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

Monday, 16 April 2018

Misty Fire

Sometimes the people
Let the train doors slam
Just because they can
She’s standing there and
Everyone’s just fucking gawping
She’s the one left
Holding Misty’s collar
No one moves
No one lends a helping
They stand like burnt bangers
In school mash
They leave like
Blown trees in drama class
And now on platform 3
There is nothing
But she

As the fear wind whips
She sees the collected carriaged
Noses pressed against
Breath misted glass
A hundred faces
The cover of
We Are The Pigs
Silent screaming at
The one left bench like
Her mousey hair covering red ears
Over blue anorak slouched
Now they all know
Now they all see

Her red suede shoes darkened
By thick north rain
You know
The one the gets you
She kicks
In bored to feared rhythm
The cold steel bench posts
Like a goalkeeper
For luck
Before the penalties

A square of dead empty
Sits on platform 3
Brightened by
A sulphur strike
Between the fingers
Struck with the flair
Of a military drummer
On their 92nd hour of duty
Crackles the stolen cig
Stares out the
Grey void behind
Gritty yellow stripe
‘Cept for the inquisition
That won’t leave her alone now
It’s frozen
This barren abstract photograph
That however many pieces
In which she tears

A barren abstract photograph
From the bottom drawer
The one with glitter stickers
Of what feels like schools ago
Reveals Mam’s cigs
Under magazines
Under crap cds
Pink pen letters
Never sent
A diary hidden by varnish
A gloss on this
Improper mess
A sheen on this trauma that
Ties person with
Like pins
In a Juliette Bravo
Map of the north
Where the cocks of the north
Fight like lightning
Behind doors bolted

The police station interview room cigarette
Tastes as strong as her
Whydon'tyoualljustfuckrightoff glazed gaze
Her mouth sewn with trauma stitches
Her mind burgled
By angular music which
Soars to migraine levels
Her hands over ears
Like muffs knitted
From wool
Once the colour of affection
Played with like kittens
Draws blood like kittens
As hushed voices whirr
The cassette tape clicks
Throws to the ceiling
These puzzle bits
As the heavy gravity
Always wins

On the interogated canvas
Devil kicks of Cantonistic
Proportions colour
Violence in
Psycho-automatist style
Her thoughts hang
Her museum mind
Holds in vaults
More of these works
Than her gallery eyes
Could ever show

Back on the platform
Of stage 3
The hurricane red
Pickup interrupts
Her exhausted
Self inquisition
The 4 star exit
Enters her nose
It’s reverse lights
War-like in mist
Scans skies for fighters and
The shakes begin
As on 10 fingers
4 are crossed
She wishes
Josie’s dad was here
She wishes
Drips off her nose
She wishes
They all didn't see
They all didn't know

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

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Cleave Land

It’s a lad who’s dropped
By his Dad
Sort of day
The lad sees the factory
Distanced between
Warm grey #9
And cool grey #2
Feels the breeze in his bowl cut
Feels the time to climb
This swing top observation point
Is the same it takes
To throw the towel in
E’s Checkpoint Charlie over 'ere
But he’s no want for this war
That’s the only certainty

He feels the melt of chocolate on enamel
Imagines lasses from school
Called in for tea
Imagines lads in nearby streets
Kicking a casey
Down the ginnel of his guts
As a truce is made with weather
Legs dangle in the smog lined
Silk Cut light
And for now
The pain is playing away
As the crow flies
At the age of 9
He’s learnt the word

He sees train tracks and
School videos
Of kids who catch
Electric lines with fishing gear
Tastes knee scrapes and teeth grit
And walking into doors
And honest miss
And for now
The last toffee ‘e
Saves for ‘is mam
As on his cracked Casio
The Saturday
Kick-off is near

The red mini pickup
Smokes over the hill
Field mice scatter as it
Struts near
Pronounces clearly
The impending words
He’ll shield from ears
With a favourite
Argos catalogue page
Pronounces clearly
The impending words
That at school
He can only stutter

He puts a local hotel match
In the gap in his teeth
Like Lee Van Cleef
Observes the long shadow
Of his magpie salute
How tall and mighty he looks
Makes shoulders square
Wipes an eye drip
That’s not soft like
It’s the wind up there

As time gets off
At Intercity 125
He climbs down
For his teatime taxi
Maybe tha owd bastard
Be in a better mood
Maybe tha owd bastard
Bin to see that tart in the village
Maybe tha owd bastard of
Brut and sweat
Moustache and vest and
Maybe a ruffle of hair
Maybe a thick black
Look of gerrinyalittlebastard
Maybe summat from the paper shop

His young mind a
Football sticker book
But instead of favourite players
Contorted silvers
Northern Echo missing pictures
A three of that contempt of court
A three of that murderer
No-one up for swaps
‘Cept his Mam
She’d swap
Always a white-knuckle brew grip black-eyed smile for him
Soon be Monday
Soon be School

Maybe Sundee
Tekking you to yer Nan’s yerlittlebastard
All Bovril crisps
Biscuits the size of yer face
Daft dog the size of Mam’s shoe
Tea cosy page 3 football pools
Don’t be shy lad 'ows school?
Sort of day
Uncles of various heights and
Joke violence
Measure his shy biceps
With spark plug fingers
Sort of day
‘E learnt to speak yet?
Aunties come go fuss
Smoke like wet outhouse coal
Half caught kitchenette conversations
‘Bout our this our that
How she purrup
Wi’ ‘I’m the twat?
Sort of day
That rat of a dog
Navigates the bagatelle floor
Round soft shoes
Work boots
No work boots
And chair legs
Before the inevitable tail trod yelp
Sort of day

Before he’s bartered home
With cheeks the colour
Of the lipstick what did it
He cheeks a sneak into the
Sacred front room
Straight to the shrine of the
Navy hero’s sun bleached
Photo face
At bairn’s height
Their eyes meet
So they stand and salute
In symmetry
Before a sherry nip
A deaf ear clip
To the army truck
Back to count the wounded
Back to count the dead
Back to what the other
Lads and lasses call
Sort of day