#poem #poetry #amwriting may compilation

joy division

fuck I used t'....

well fuck isn't the right word
for the fifteen wanks I could get through

potentially fuck is better
imaginatively fuck is more precise
though actually fuck doesn't come into it
                              when you are thirteen
                                              and wanking

                                            it's more a case
of seeing if you can hit the wall above the headboard
                                  and after six or seven
                                     seeing if your balls have anything left

but when all of that is out of the way
you would scan the transistor

we were more open in those days
                                      before t'internet
you might find yourself drifting off to sleep
                                             with radio berlin
                                                      or moscow
                               or some whacky dutch dj

and it wasn't until the signal changed
or the announcer started talking
that you realized you were a cold-war traitor
                                                                     a degenerate
a self radicalized lover of bavarian oompah music



all evening I have been googling google
for some proof that today happened
but I find no mention of our discussion of god
surely some passerby recorded the incident
- recalled the passion - caught the brilliance -
but no - nothing - nil -
pictures or it never happened -
the local paper has the seasonal picture
   of fun at the lido
   someone complaining about something
   a drunk driver fined
but nothing about us
it doesn't even mention my dream last night
or what I had for breakfast
or you
or any validation of existence
beyond my faith in this poem


 school field

in a world of false opposites
where very little has meaning
I pick at the word angst

first in the german
- then in translation
and back to the root cause

the necrotic neurons of neurosis
and dally in denial
at the prettiness of daisy chains

bitten lipped slit and threaded
and threaded by girls in summer dresses
cross legged
   they show the V of their knickers



it's just another of those nights
when you've dodged around the fights
and carried jostled beer
to a dark corner of the pub

it's just another of those nights
when your mate has copped off
and you have the hostile company
of her mate that hates you on principle
but you smile
and half try to chat her up

it's just another of those nights
when your budget for the week
gets swallowed up
by the unfunny josh in accounts
who takes advantage of your round

it's just another of those nights
when you fall asleep on the night bus
and wake up in the bus garage
to slope unseen
past the canteen
and the drivers eating breakfast

it's just another of those nights
when you wished you'd stayed in
with a pot noodle
or at least had a life
that didn't drive you out
in search of 'fun'


meeting a nazi

he was like any other nasty old man
- smug - his waistline at his breasts -
a wife skittering at his pleasure

but there was something nastier -
a certain glint in his eye - an arrogance -
glistening like the whiskers briskly shaven

'they made me build roads' he laments -
chewing on a kaiser roll - tongue lapping-
moist bread churning on his gums

'ten years they worked me like a slave -
murderers get less' - the wife interrupts him
with attempted good humour

'oh don't mind him' she says
   - offering me a glass of cola -
'leave the boy alone - it's not his fault'

the half chewed bread slides down his dry throat -
before the adam's-apple has come to rest
the other half of the soup dipped roll goes into his mouth

'they were different times' continues his wife
prizing the lid from a decorated biscuit tin -
- I take gingerbread - lay it on my knee

'do you have grandparents' he asks
I sip my drink and nod at the absurd question
   - how else would I be here -

for some reason this pleases him


 sonnet of the separated dad

you knew I was taking charlie fishing
so it's your fault I spent the night drinking
- sixteen lagers since you ask -
not that you care for me or the kids
I could drink myself to death for all you care
- the way you treat them is a farce -
call yourself a mother - we'd be better off rid
of you - god knows how I let you snare
me - oh don't worry charlie we just talking -
go play with your sister - that's my lad -
that boys a bag of nerves - that's your doing -
he needs a man's touch -you've made him soft -
you never were much use - too bad
you took it out on them - right I'll be off


you have to be fair

you forget - in those stories in which you were the hero -
how much of childhood is spent following and not leading -
how often it was you standing by the drinking fountain
watching others run laughing - in a time out

or the wasted time spent trying to be friends
with your friends - and the compromises -
that as an adult are unacceptable - because -
well just because you've got better things to do

than worry about the opinions of people who don't matter -
and you want to say - because it's the reality -
it doesn't matter - you did 127 sums on friday
and nobody has ever done more - and I'm so proud of you

but you see the sadness - and try and cuddle it out -
and remember those times when socially awkward
you ran in the perfect direction that would win the game
but tasted the unfairness of those who would not be tigged



when I was young - well I'm still young -
but what's in a name -
a rose would smell as sweet
and wash twice as a often -
but when I was young in years
I was quite the iconoclast -
I'd take my hammer and chisel
to michaelangelo's david
if I thought his penis was bigger than mine -

I was always smashing things up
and having opinions -
most of which were bollocks - smaller than mine -
I'd never been to rome - except on a postcard -
or sailed down the niger river
or listened to whatever long faded band
supposedly defined us - in that moment -
                  when it seemed so important

but then when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up
I always said train driver -
and there hasn't been steam engines for years

it's twiddling the knobs you see -
letting of steam -
whetting your whistle -
and being chuffed with your shiny boiler
as you soot up the towns
and dirty the faces of the workers
for whom you supposedly have opinions
                                 when you are young


 father forgive me

it's in that bedtime kiss
we miss out - at our peril -
that our worth as a parent lies

or listening when we cannot
   to the whirl of chatter -
and from it picking strands
of past conduct to chastise

and finding words beyond
the three simple words of love
to express that deep - deep -
expression of our hope

but none of this makes any sense
to our children grinning in our face -
waiting for the closing door
and the monsters beneath the bed

time has to pass -
for them to understand
why it is we fear the road
- hold tightly to their hand


 thirty years

I am reminded of why I take pictures of flowers
with each intrusive click of the camera

the sky has a hungry air - ribbed white clouds -
above an unusual stillness in centenary square

there are professionals circling
looking for the money shot of a woman crying

and one man consciously edges out of my pictures
despite my consciously not edging him in

what looks exchange are thin as the upper atmosphere
equilibrium rushing to fill a vacuum



the other day I noticed this woman -
chin cocked - hip handed - hair swept -
tits up and out - and this bloke
with a camera held like burning paper -

in the time it took me to walk from
                           oxfam to wh-smith
    they still hadn't taken the bloody photograph

but then there was no point
   she had her clothes on -
and posed as she was
there nothing about her to see -
   it would have been a vag shot
   in some poor internet collection
in the which the woman goes from three piece suit
                                                    to lens up her legs
- cos supposedly that's her best side

she might as well of drawn her eyebrows on in blue pencil
   and died her hair peroxide hay -
at least the picture would have had some interest -
    - working out if she was a tranny -

                                                but -

she was thrilled with result
threw her arms around him

- I felt sorry - 
    for all the fake orgasms
    and the holidays on the costa bravo
    and the drive to lakes with his hand on her knee

that she wouldn't even let him record her true self
                                       in a bloody phoneygraph


exit poll

there's something rather pleasing
to watch the labour squeezing
and know people've cottoned on - at last

but there's something rather sad
which makes one feel quite bad
that there are those still clinging to the past

they perhaps have not abased themselves
with ATOS forms that demonise
or counted up the buttons and bus tickets

of blair's war upon the poor
of the which they cheered and ignored
until that beastly government was ejected

dog whistles blew in aga'd kitchens
to condemn continuation - to the tories disgrace -
of the policies the labour sheep pushed through at a pace

and now they bleat and whine and shout
that all is so unfair -  oh pity them who dare not think -
who think they think for us -


missed me

may rain is strangely unpoetic
especially when one is rushing to an appointment
all those fat raindrops
in puddles
splashing up white orchids

it's not even as if it gets you wet
barely does the run-off from an open winter raincoat
reach your trouser leg
than it dries
leaving nothing to fret

come on may try a little harder
I know people are saving for their holidays
and wish you would slip by
but you don't have to give in



the room lay up three flights of stairs
the telephone three flights down again
and those below never climbed
   when it rang
- which suited me just fine -

for in my simple life of luxury
- of foldout bed - I sipped my tea
from the finest china tea cup I have owned -

when the door closed behind me I was alone -
free to view from chimney height
   the backs of houses opposite
and the higher clouds that drifted
above horizons out of view -

and there was no you -
to interrupt this life of what could be boiled
on a single ring -
and there was no you to interrupt
the blissful silence of reading


 english carnival

there's something splendidly naff about an english carnival
those smiling children in costumes plucked from the dressing up trunk
and the town crier ringing his bell - crying 'god save the queen'

boxes with holes cut for the head and for the arms
   on which are sketched big ben or books or playing cards

the brass band - marching to the beat of the big bass drum -
playing colonel bogey and dambusters always a little off key

cake stalls and the ubiquitous tombola
with yellow tickets for sweets and pink for adults
   the star prize always a bottle of whiskey

yes there is something marvelously naff about an english carnival
                                                          which makes them so special


after an early supper

 grey night shrinking without sunset settles
in like a moth on paper - as rainclouds
swaying full gutted and black scut tittle
the moon in malicious jest - for night
knows best - knows the hidden corners
of our shadow - collects our shrouded
self in sleep and pours in those things
often misforgotten - often slight -
but grey as this shrinking into night

when we look again through the window
the clouds have dimmed and night pulls in
and that which was shrinking darkens
quicker than the spill of electric light
can fill - from the garden comes a child's
voice - of an injured cat limping
from a fight whose ear torn price
it has paid - and we close the curtain -
cover the still soapy dishes with a teatowel
and turn our backs - though some still pray


on the royal birth

I shan't buy a mug nor wave a flag
or run excited naked through the streets
my life won't change - rearrange -
in fact nothing about it will have the slightest effect
                                                                         on me

but I am glad that a child has been born
and I'll not succumb to the fascist wittering
of those dullards who hate the royals
and complain
oh how they complain
that this child will not want when others do

yes that's true

but neither will the thousands
dragged up in the gutter
be helped in the slightest by wantons
who mutter and carp and bleat
and express their sad lives in jealousy

and so congratulations to kate and princess will
and their son - what-his-name -
who will no doubt have his nose put out of joint
                                                            by a sister



the rain so light is
so light it hardly noticed be
tickles the ransom
   and the bluebell
to fill this world of wood
   budding leaf pale green
with all the powers of the earth

no birds sing today
clustering within themself
taking shelter where they may

and in this silence footsteps
   against this thickening
   wall of summer
coming drown from the hills
    in the drying draining streams
of unreflected luminescent sky
the water may be of itself
   clean and clear as tears we cry



The Blue Book

No comments:

Post a Comment