#poem #poetry #amwriting #beehive #bradford #beehivepoets #digest #compilation

Don't mind me...

 I'm just putting some poems together for my trip to the Beehive tonight....


 please don't say

it's the constant edginess that wears you down
that tight band around the ribs
a sickness that never wretches
but stretches
all muscles to tautness
until the only escape is trapped in the head

it's those thoughts that cannot be expressed
that leak out inconvenient
they terrify in their calmness
not raving
just the simple stating of tabboo

it's the urges to end it
to prove yourself correct
whilst trapped in your head

and if you really let yourself go
it's back to that moment when you met death
it need not be your own
it might be the image of a glue sniffer
head bumping at the top of the esculator
hair being dragged through the teeth
matted with evo
each cough pouring blood

talk about it
talk about it
but don't say you like it
don't be honest and say
how you really feel
and on no account point out
that you are sane
and the expert with a septic toe
poking out of his sandal
is crazy


 spitting in the street

let's go on a march for the mentally ill
up at the front are those of good will
and them with a badge and minor symptoms- but still -
waving their banners and demanding of pills

while back in the tenements behind the sofas
are the frightened neurotics the papers call loafers
'pity them pity them' the crowd call in slur
reinforcing the stigma - that is for sure

we're winning the war for community care
starving them out - and any who dare
challenge compassion will be made well aware
to keep their mouth shut and not cause a stir

the acceptable faces reveal their symptoms
reeling them off like flippant old hymn tunes
- melt well meaning hearts - making them swoon -
then secretly bolt their doors twice at full moon

yes we're off on a march for the mentally ill
those union jobs reliant on pills
need protecting by the people who will
perpetually - pity - the mentally ill


 art day

it's art day up on the ward
some are bored most are ignored
but look at the work of david lord
doesn't he capture it well

the way he tugs at emotion frayed
exposing the frailties of which we are made
of course it helps he trained at the slade
but doesn't he capture it well

never mind ahmed who drools in the paint
the pinhead so backward he thinks he's a saint
a jin to his family of which he's a taint
he doesn't capture it well

or poor old jim with his terrible life
a moral imbecilic who never took wife
who carves up his arms when he gets hold of a knife
he doesn't capture it well

but look at the work of david lord
the man is adored for daubing on board
yes yes salons cry as they stand to applaud
doesn't he capture it well


elliott poems


we meet for coffee on wednesdays
and discuss his problems with ts elliott
his legs are thin and he does want to eat peaches
but more than that he cannot find the energy
to switch from long stanzas
to short

I'm tired of writing about myself
he says without quotation marks

clearly we have a barista
a law school drop out
for our coffee is patterned in honour
of something or another
of which we have no knowledge
and do not care

he stabs the design with his spoon
and unquotably sighs

for the clean air act
that deprives him of yellow fog
and the english degree of a certain age
that stops him writing rythmicaly
in long sweeping sentences that break out of the implied concrete structure
and then short ones

it's the bloody full stops he continues
if I leave them in they get in the way
and if I take them out I want to put them back in

and all this bloody spring everywhere
bloody daffodils I paint them red
and then shiela says that I am stealing her coffee spoons
that's her trick you see
blood everywhere
why she can't enjoy the relief of the menopause
oh don't quote me

we sip coffee and watch the world pass
wishing a black and white photographer
could catch us atmospherically not smoking

I'm just pleased he has dropped the silver cane
and the caution


 I am a little alarmed by the two shots of hazelnut syrup
   he has a jaunty spring today

'how's elliott' I ask, lifting chocolate powder
   from the froth of my cappuccino
   with the back of my spoon
alls well with elliott I hear
   and with shiela
he points and states that the world is as sunny
   as the day is overcast
   pleased with the double negative
     he sucks sugared coffee from the biscotti
     testing his denture against the hardness

elliott is great he adds
he has no issue with elliott


     what do I think of americans
         and more specifically strumbert and weiss
nine peacocks fly past burtons
         the grammarians
fifteen peacocks float on silk cushions
              you know who I mean
one lone butterfly scimitars an ant by the drain
               the language police which dislike star trek and passivity
                   I refuse to name them
don't give them house room
    coldly grate them

'have you tried just writing'

but the english degree of a certain age has him by the throat

muffled in is black woolen coat
    with his red brick scarf
I watch his eyes whirl with syrup
    and maybe a touch of shiela


 it seems shiela has really gone and done it this time
    not only has she decided that sex is the best thing since sliced onions
       he laughs at this reference to shakespeare
    and produces a hand written draft
    he has written in response to something or another
    in this or that
    literary magazine

'response is never useful' I casually observe
    sipping a raspberry milkshake with a hint of coffee
    among the ice

oh know I am wrong
and we get it both barrels
with all the smoothness of imitated early elliott

as he reads a bus drools by time drips people do what people do
    pass unobserved on the most part
        certainly in art
        unless it is a low budget film
        when the same faces circling a window
        draws attention to the hair lip
        or the third extra in search of stardom

what do you think he asks
     is it not ts elliott
does it not stand alongside the literary greats
     will it be banned
I do so hope so

blood drips from the toes of the elegant woman at the next table
    her shoes are perfect for her style
       she leans over and thanks him for reading
       'poets must bleed or their words mean nothing' she says
            dangling her shoe
            adding to the puddle on the floor

            they exchange cards
            in the style of kindred spirits
            with an english degree of a certain age

while he is not looking
     I take his poem
          and eat it

his reputation must be protected


 he's not speaking today
a pad of post-its and a fountain pen with itallic nib
is his preferred medium of communication
despite everything
he has standards

I don't apologise
my explanation gets a little rambled

rambles a little further

a four by four rams into the window of the jewellers
machete wielding attackers fill their boots
a police helicopter hovers
shoppers wrestle with the police
and the gang
an elephant fires tear gas from it's trunk
aliens fire hail stones
the world explodes into strawberry bonbons
all matter breaks down into soap bubbles
the price of gas reflects the retail price
tesco give me £6.21 off my next shop if I spent forty pounds

he pushes a post-it at me
'nothing inspires me' it reads
a second follows
'the world is too dull'

a small boy starstruck asks for his autograph
it seems in the alternate future
his poem in this and that magazine
was world changing
a splash
the drop in the bucket

I feel worse now than ever

if only I'd get my mouth shut
swallowed my words
and not his

what do I really know
he is the man with an english degree of a certain age
not me
he is the man with shiela and elliott
not me
not me

but he


    today no abstraction from me
just what is - in this alternate reality
   we both drink expresso
and I listen as he opens the creaking calfskin reporters notepad
curate the velum pages
until he finds the poem he has been working on

    the english degree of certain age
shimmers in the corporate decoupage of studied design

    gone is the elliott
   gone is the influence of shiela

    now there is only transversive theory
where the words are redundant
and the poem is a series of gifs
that jukebox

as we must consider all possibility

   but where is the concept
I want to say
were is the juxtaposition
in a world of only genius there can be no illumination
just as
in a poem of the infinite
only toe-tapping nothingness pervades - an endless lift ride to the basement

   'but don't you see' he declares - pointing the mont blanc pen
       which his drop in a bucket
           which his new wave
               which his triumphant alternate future delivered
in the shape of a mugged small boy wanting his autograph
    'only when poetry means nothing can it mean anything'

this is beyond bad and good

though I check my absurdity
for no small boy was mugged

    and we continue
to jukebox
the possibilites
of the same tedium for eternity


 today I gulp latte
and try not to look at his accolytes

college types like himself
though the red brick of their yet unattained
   english degree of a certain era
     is more cut glass than his

    he has them on leads
though in the world of his new found freedoms
   they are not referred to by the common tongue
in jest - only half joking - the yellow leather straps are called freeds

for his work has gone beyond

where once he sought the simple joy of ts elliott
   that ease
   that expression of the infinite

where once he balanced shiela's bloody

where once he longed publication

and found fulfillment in possibility

now he has gone beyond infinity
   into a definite article
   of constricted rules
in which the freed is the perfect symbol
for only he knows
                   only he sees
                   and his acolytes - disciplesque -
                   provide the loop of his greatness

his poem - for we no longer share
everything is him - is entitled
it's theme is perfection personified in the pixels of a full stop
    on his phone
    only on his phone
    charged in his kitchen

oh how I long for the angst to return
   that we might discuss again

a single rain drop runs down the pane
   catches a rail of spent water
   and commits suicide on the putty
in the hope that the sun will lift it back to the sky
so as it will again enjoy the giddyness of falling


 only now

yes - we could do no other
and to those others against whom
our wrinkled brow increase - lines laughing -
or pulled sour as over-briny gammon -
there was only the word - or reflex

around our eyen - caught in thought -
a perplexity of wronged reply

for caged within the accidentalities of life
- with our frailties and falseness
those petty fears and fear of success -
we all know st peter - and
none can forgive but oneself



pink morning rises laced with tongues of birds
   calling 'eli eli why do you so awake me' -
as it is now - so shall it be and always it was
- the trees know this - and so I say love -

and so in ripe summer will I lick the flesh
   of the peach you offer - for love - for love
is that passive moment of first tasting
   when only now is and is always or ever will -

   and all is new and known - the daisy knows this -



The Blue Book

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