Saturday, 29 March 2014

Let It Be

One day,
he might be driving you
down some country road,
the kids in the back
joking and screaming,
and you
sitting silently
by his side.

But what if you looked
in the overhead mirror
at their two faces
and saw my eyes
in their skulls,
my hair on their heads,
my smile on their lips?

What if
you were living an illusion,
quite happy in it,
forcibly restrained in
some false self-belief
in an entirely negative

And what if I
were long gone,
with only the memory
of a slip of a girl,
such spritely wit,
writ with such self-defeat;
such a turn of phrase,
such a jagged grace?

I would not put you in a paddock
or bind you in the dock:
I’d only remember the girl
with the flame in her heart,
the fierce flame of life –
not just the fierce flame of art.

If you were to turn to me
and smile, put your hand in mine,
the breeze would guide us,
the sun would shine a path;
our hearts would be the rhythm
to which our lives played out.

So let me festoon you
with the merits you deserve;
let me be the man
moulded by the woman,
at your side; let me be
the one to let the horses out,
free, never to corral them again,

but see them dance at sundown
atop a meadowed hill,
as the sun carves their silhouettes
in the dust-excited air,
knowing they’ll find their way back home;
knowing they never had a choice.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Fast Food Poetry

To you,
poetry is nothing 
but fast food.

First of all, you have the sesame bun:
a soft cushioning for a way in
to something of little consequence:
something not to shake the shabbily glued
illusion of that brittle world of yours.

Next, the salad:
the crunch of fresh, moist lettuce;
a burst of tomato juice,
the crisp tartness of a pickle
as your teeth turn the bun
into sogent carbohydrate gum.

Most importantly, here comes
the meat of the matter: thick
and juicy, but really thin;
thin as the veneer of your smile;
smoked as a done cigarette.

A squirt of sauce:
the sweet and sour of ketchup,
the watery heat of mustard,
combined into a sickly treat, to sit upon

a thin ooze of cheese

that in turn graces the toasted bottom
of the other half of bun, which closes
this micro meal, this little nutritious nugget,
into an easily digestible commodity:
something you can start at one train station
and have done with by the next,
as the world passes you by
and you in turn pass by it.

But to break this artifice for a second,
dispose of what has come before, like
paper wrapping, as it were,
what am I in all of this? Am I the cow?
Have I made myself succulent with words
just so that you can devour me,
and take my rich flesh for granted?

Would you like the real thing now, perhaps?
A porterhouse steak with a baked potato,
a fried tomato and gravy?

Well fuck you: eat this instead.


Some people call me crazy:
I'm not a stony-faced misery.
Just because I'm happy.

I tried joy on for size;
it fit too big. I thought,
Why not wear it?

It's because I feel the music.
I know my blood is ephemeral.
So I start a riot
in the middle of a funeral.

When I laugh
my lips don't just move.
And when I dance
I am the groove.

I'm climbing up the walls,
but I'm tethered by a rope:
hope. Only hope.

That meagrest of threads
tied on to a life. Like a wedding band,
knotted to a wife.

Some people call me crazy,
but can you blame me? I see;
O! I see! Up here it's not hazy.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

On the Foundation of a Relation-House

I do not want a relationship:
one that floats on ocean waves.
I would not want to give the slip, and sink
to some deep-blue watery grave.

I'd rather have a relation-house:
one to move on a flatbed truck,
and take it with me north or south,
to wherever love inclined its luck.

I'm not abashed at making words:
I'll peg them down with my heart's hammer.
And if that says to you 'absurd'
then maybe I speak a different grammar.

I rove the land in my celestial ship,
I soar the sky in my love-spun orb.
And I do not want a relationship:
I want the land, and I want the core.

Monday, 10 March 2014


Stiff upper lip,
Stiff dancing,
Stiff rigor mortis;

There's more to being English
Than looking grim as a tortoise.

Country day-tripper,
Pub-goer - forever chancing.
Being loose in the bedroom,
Loose on the floor.

Those who came before us
Stiffened in love, left the rising
To the pudding - put the coldness
In the glove.

Stiff dreams,
Stiff politics;
All damage and coyness;

There's more to being English
Than living thoughtless and joyless.

There's more than fusty living rooms
Full of long-dead conversation,
And sterile-white lounges
Full of the TV's static vibration.

Whatever happened to the Eccentric,
The Romantic - the Madman?
Sod all your mores and ideals:
I'll be myself; I'll be a glad man.

Loose lipped, silver-tongued,
Loose moved and free;
Only stiffened in death's cast.

There's more to life than worry,
for what will be will be.

There's more to being English
Than resignation to the past;
There's so much more to being English:
Hands, and lips, and hearts.