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

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Penalties

Imagine going on holiday
Imagine coming back to find
Someone else living in your house
Where locks have been changed
To affect the innocent
Imagine that you didn’t want to go on holiday
In the first place
Imagine the worst holiday
You’ve ever had
Imagine that
Times by 92
Then imagine
The 7 year old you
Imagining that
Imagine
The greatest football team
That never was

Our exile looks up from
His Panini sticker book’s
Empty pages
Intrinsically indebted
To the fact
He’d got out alive
Not grateful for the
Playground orphan jibes
That they see as
The awful definition of him
But they are 7
And that’s
Not
Cruelty

His eyes describe
The forgotten
Uncles
Mothers
That projected him sky wise
With blanket support
Soft landings
With a one year ‘guarantee’
The first English word of length he
Showed off about
Maternally she was impressed
He’d come on
Leaps and bounds
Like the team’s
The best there’s never been
Where there’s a bit of
Donkey Kong at play
Collecting
“What’s Donkey Kong?”
He’d say
Reflecting on
What Uncle Selver said
“You never put two
Donkeys in the same field
As they’ll eat all the grass
We have plenty of donkeys
But we’re running out of grass”

Bosnia
The bridge over the Drina
Eyes like black marbles
In empty pockets
The cold cut water
Painted midnight oil
Those of coal and potential
Set to burn bright
Shovelled like horse muck
River wise
To dissolve in bloody waste
To float with open mouths
On trophy heads
Like goldfish prizes
Blood orange Rothko red
The exhibition catalogue
Barely describes
In fine print style
Two houses on fire
Brackets genocide
A single molten face escapes to
Tell of brutal scrapes
Of rag-doll flesh on
Taramac
A red motorised
Napoleon Pig
As this butcher burns
The animals turn
In Goya’s Monet garden
The bridge that cuts
The painting in two
Cuts neighbours bonds
Along lines of religious assonance
Along throats of unavoidable credence
The water lilies
Turn pork meat pink
The Višegrad jade
Turns rape camp coffee colour
The lilies that float
Are violated sisters
As the power plant manager
Complains that the bodies
Are causing clogs
This is the
Machinery of idealogs’ as
From western banks
To the British Diplomats
To the snivelling autocrats
They stand
And watch this human
Processing plant
Silently belch death smoke
Nightly
This is Europe
This is the nineties

Where pineapples
Are LCD
Where truth is BBC
Apparently
Where white helmets are
White blood cells after
The haemorrhage
Anaemically responding to
Waves of blood letting
Imagine that scoreline
Imagine them win
Imagine disqualification
From life
Before the chance to
Show your skill begins

He sits on the grass
With the blank pages
While the smell wafts
The sun barbecues
This England midfield turf
He colours faces
Of football stars
He wonders what Sweden’s like
He ponders the pressure of
The twelve yard strike
The crowd caged
Screaming for the save
In nefarious nets
He would always play
The ‘keeper
But sometimes shots
Can’t be saved
From the boots
Of what biology calls men
Of what history will think
Of what to names to call them

His memory savage
This suspension harsh
But if he can get out this
Unfamiliar group stage
Who knows?
The statistics show
This to be an unlikely result
But cliché’s are there
To be proven wrong
Right?
He spits on his hands
Rubs them vigorously
Stares the striker
With terror eyes
That see
This match will
Always go
To penalties

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!”