Thursday, 17 March 2016

Gav's Irish Uncle Enis

A poem commissioned.

“Semantics is about the relation of words to thoughts, but it is also about the relation of words to other human concerns. Semantics is about the relation of words to reality—the way that speakers commit themselves to a shared understanding of the truth, and the way their thoughts are anchored to things and situations in the world.” 

Gav's Irish Uncle Enis.

We all, us men,
Have something to hide,
Something private,
Some memory sighed
under tired breath,
When we remember
the knot we tied
in the littlest school,
Or the day we cried
when we first broke the rule.

Gav has Grouse Armstrong
His hideously deformed penis.

Which reminds me of what Danny Cheers once said,
"We can say what we like in here,
We're dead."

Friday, 9 May 2014

The Room Elsie Visited Every Day of Her Life

There was a room,
Elsie visited,
Every day of her life.

As adult, as child,
As widow, as wife.

It contained a shell,
With a jagged hole,
Which contained soap,
Upon a hair,
Upon a yellow,
Porcelain bowl.

This room she visited,
Every day of her life,
Sometimes twice,
Sometimes thrice.

There once she confessed,
To herself,
All of her sin.

There once she wept,
And there,
More than once,
She locked herself in.

In this very room,
T'was that Elsie left,
This world, this spark,
This life bereft.

That very room,
With toilet bowl,
She flitted consciousness,
And traded,
Her soul.

Every day,
For seventy two years,
Elsie visited this room,
With all her fears,
Laughter, tears,
All her love,
And all her wonder,
All her precision,
And all her blunder.

Twenty six thousand
And three hundred days,
Elsie visited that room,
That room,
This room,
That room,
Where we all,
Expel waste.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Pits of Joy

these little pits of joy exist
in an otherwise dark existence
these little pits of joy persist
with no cause for their persistence

this photo
two smiling children
tears of joy
porridge smells
and the biting cold set in

these little moments
these scratched toys
from the bagintheloft
two little boys
these amnesic snow drifts
elated escapes
T...tiny, T...tiny
t'tiny detailed shapes

then here comes the grief
but wouldn't you know
not wholly irrevocable
as the
two smiling children
we miss you always
smile, smile
through all the days

because they won't rub out
those sketches of joys
carved in the road
when we were boys
yes again
and again
these little pits
lower me in
beyond my wits

oh joy
these little pits of joy
to keep me here
and not to be missed

Thursday, 26 December 2013

blink and you'll miss it

The poets were free, they broke out of their cages,         à   In meh real life Eh micht be a man born in Scottish,
With files made from words, in political rages,              à           Wi' nae pride when ithers hae nae waater and clottish
The rhyme it went “clunk” at the end of their line,        à   Am I, clottish, clottish and glaickit -
Predictably violent for its place in time.                        à   A crazy, clottish, garrulous fake-it.

The poets were free with knives made of ink,                 à   In meh still life meh mither and faither are dyin',
Drunk, half-crazy and alive on the brink,                      à   As ah meh children leh in pain.
With barbed half-pipe and chain in hand,                     à   Meh daughter, meh son and meh wife are cryin',
To draw a ragged line in sand.                                       à   While a paper mirror whispers insane.

The poets broke free, they said watch your back,          à   From meh cortex Eh like to call bad ideas names   
Your front, your side and your gunny sack,                  à   And ill-thocht-oot theories driven beh pride,
But then suddenly they changed their roles,                  à           Or fame-hungry greed and self-involved gemmes,
Lost their hearts and sold their souls.                           à   The religion beh which Eh abide.

The poets were free, but now choose to be chained,      à   In meh hypocrite's life Eh extoll the virtues o' ambivalence,
The poets were wild, but now choose to be tamed,        à   But extend nae such hand tae the poorest o' neighbour.
The inglorious poets, from a distance,                           à   In meh pare life Eh see, the virtue o' charity,
All died and rotted away in this instance.                      à   While ah meh excuses Eh favour.

Cages, rages, violent, barbed,                                        à   Mither, faither, bairns, daughter, son, wife,
Violent, knives, drunk, half-crazy,                                 à   Virtue, charity... other fowk
Barbed half-pipe, chain, rotted,                                     à   Hae done it, so how cannae Eh... 
Chained, tamed, inglorious, died.                                  à   ...jist smile politely and leh.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Night Shift Epiphany

I am on the night shift,
 With a pleasant fellow called GaRy,
Who can't really hear me.

 GaRy can't hear me,
 But is so much more than deaf -
 As I am so much more,
Than the man told to tap him on the shoulder,
 If the fire alarm goes off,
While sorting letters.

 I'm not sure,
 How to communicate,
 As I don't sign
 And he does,
 Little lip-reading,
 So I tap him, 
Smile and mouth;
 "YOU OK?"
 Of course.

 He smiles,
A light in his,
Then rolls,
 And nods.

 I'm not sure,
 If he's rolling his eyes at me,
 Or as a gesture,
 Of shared contempt,
 Perhaps for the task,
 In which we are currently,

 I resolve,
To write a letter,
 Explaining what,
 A Freak,
 He stands next to,
At 4 am,
 In the factory morning,
In the parallel queue,
Explaining about me,
The one tapping him,
 On the elbow,
 And grinning,
While sorting mail,
At 4 am,
To the absolute eighties,
And telling him,
I am a writer.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

You Stupid Bitch

There's not another rhythm,
Like you stupid fucking bitch,
Nothing else in language,
Nearly quite as rich.

You stupid fucking this,
And you stupid fucking that,
I was not brought up to swear,
But you stupid fucking twat,
Can't you hear the rhythm?
The scansion just as rare,
As anyone who judges,
Judges fair and square.

You stupid fucking bitch,
You stupid fucking bitch,
Nothing else in language,
Nearly half as rich.

Not hypocrite, not stupid cunt,
Has nearly half the rancor,
Not lying prick, or fucking runt,
Or dick, or two-faced wanker.

Stupid bitch, you stupid bitch,
No, nothing else in language,
Has half the class or scansion,
Than you stupid fucking bitch,
You stupid fucking bitch,
There you are,
Living alone,
In your stupid fucking mansion.

Monday, 16 December 2013

awareness enhancer

Oh Cancer,
Satan are you,
Worst of the worst
Debt which is due.

While Blake wrote of Heaven,
And Milton of Hell,
Both were aware,
Of the sickening smell,
And the site of,
That grips our vision,
Shares to see,
That foul cancer,
Which grips,
And kills,
He and she.

if I had never loved you
i might never feel this way
clouded by doubt
covered in clay
immersed in…
and now I curse love
and never again
will allow myself
to slowly bend
to affection
or familiarity
to selection
or familiarity

Oh Cancer,
Assistant of Death,
Oh cruellest brother,
Cometh, cometh,
And stoop so low,
To the lowest depths,
Of reality,
And below,
The fury,
Of immediate,
To eternal lands,
Raped and pillaged,
And left in strands.

Oh Cancer,
Awareness enhancer,
You eat away at my soul,
For the indiscriminate,
Unholy hole,
You left in the world,
For those we knew,
We loved and cared for,
Young and old,
But never spared for,
All the beauty of this earth,
The trees and mountains,
Paths and streams,
And all the divine,
Hopes and dreams,
Of children, parents,
Friends and lovers,
Artists, doctors,
Fathers, mothers,
And all the things,
Laid in between…

No Cancer,
You make your way through,
No matter what,
Satan are you,
For taking away,
In the fashion you did.

if I had never loved you
i might never feel this way
immersed, immersed

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

My Balls and the String in my Pocket

I see you both every day,
Morning, noon and night,
And seven-something,
Linked by a strap
At the end of my sight,
Alsatian and Caucasian,
Slow and passive,

I see you both at night,
You two,
One dog and his man,
I first nodded,
Long ago,
Walking while I ran.

Every day and everywhere,
There you both are,
Six am at the bus stop bench,
Half-past midnight,
Pacing past the Spar.

You two are always out,
I know your beanie more than you,
And your lustrous coat,
Which once I drew.

You two,
Beanieman and mutley,
Are everywhere I am,
Where do you get the time?
What else have you got?
Except each other and the stroll?
What burning passion?
What secret goal?

Suddenly it strikes me,
I am everywhere you are,
I am out every bit as much,
Everywhere as far,
Every bit of it,
The same great escape,
From the same locked hutch,
The same screwed jar.

Where do I get the time?
And what else have I got?
Other than the stroll?
What burning passion?
What glorious goal?

Last month,
You disappeared,
From the end of my road,
From the end of my life,
From the end of the south wing,
Of my metaphysical abode.

I pray to God that one day soon,
(please come back)
You shall both re-appear,
Ambling down the road,
A little worse for wear,
I shall be relieved,
Rub the string in my pocket,
And nod on my way past,
Describing my balls,
As peeled lychees,
Gnonggling round,
Within the deflated pink balloon,
Which, pasted with Pritt Stick,
Was dragged hither and thither,
On the unswept floor.

My balls and the string in my pocket -
Always giving something more,
Than our shadows,
Stretching out behind us,
In the morning,
Or at dusk,
Or on the stony shore.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Open Invitation to Abuse

Scrawled along the deck,
My number,
O seven five O,
Four six three,
O four two O,
Scratched in,
Sprayed on,
Burnt out.

Obscene graffiti,
Hollers from the hull,
Shadows the shed,
Dyes on the desk,
Pissed in the snow,

Scrawled along brick,
Stained into carpet,
Carved from the skin,
O seven five O,
Four six three,
O four two O,
A non-deletable,
Of freedom,
Of regret,
A goading dare,

O seven five O,
Four six three,
O four two O,
Connects real,
With fiction,
But still,
No-one calls,
And still,
No-one calls,
Because if they do,
I might answer.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

The Outsider

       Here it is,
       My epitaph,
      And here I stand,
       Thrown out,
       Or walked out,
       Of every job
       I ever had,
       Every ground
       I've ever known.
       Thrown out,
       Or walked out,
       Of every
       Or company...
       Thrown out,
       Or walked out,
       Of every
       The misfortune
       To be
       A part of.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

On the Back of a Crumpled Receipt in the Car

He got to hang out with the big boys for a while,
Until he realised how little they were,
And went back to being alone.

Camouflaged twig under a forest stile,
Sheltered from the weather,
Carbon matter on loan.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Suicide Note

(Confessional Poem III - The Goodbye Note)

Thank-you and I’m sorry lie hand-in-hand
On the grubby towel damp from the land
And if heaven’s a pawn shop in the sky
Then Hell’s an apology by and by
For grabbing the things I could never afford
And pawning the rest for little reward

Thank-you and I’m sorry sit hand-in-hand
With no towel now, alone in the sand
And if heaven is open, then Hell should be shut
If only that feeling were not in our gut
That it’s likely to be the other way round
With heaven up there - Hell here on the ground

Thank-you and I’m sorry will never suffice
To pay you back the extortionate price
I bled from you, year on year
By trading my faulty, emotional gear

Thank-you, I’m sorry, is all I've got left
I’m sorry that now I leave you bereft
To pay back my debts from your own account
For the nothing, we knew, to which I’d amount
Thank-you and I'm sorry, for letting you down.


Tuesday, 3 September 2013

nosey bob

I like to stroll down wood lane towards neston
Where I’m sure to run into old bob
Who’s not a knock in the arse off ninety now
Who could knock you on your arse with a terrible frown

He could tell you about trapping wild birds there
And the country before there was town
He could tell you about tides in the middle of June
He was born in ’25

When I leave old bob I turn around
And he raises his stick from the ground
From the ground
Keep going son he breathes to me
And my heart races
And I never have felt so proud

Keep going yourself old bob I think
Keep swearing to me and
Keep walking the lane
Talk to me on Sunday
When I’ll be there alone
And we’ll cut that new stick
Two men on a lane

Sunday, 18 August 2013

The White Clover Flower

(Poem II – The Confessional Trilogy)

Would it help to admit,
My devotion to the white clover flower,
All awe, all respect,
In the dewey green grass,
With its epigram leaf,
Peppering over near-cultivated braes.

Would it make any difference,
If I apologised,
For backie-jumpin’ all through,
That cold December.
For invading your garden,
And tearing through the privet.

For stacking up your paving stones,
And placing a park bench,
On top of your Mercedes Benz.
For knocking off your wing mirror,
For the reckless run,
And the damage to your hedge,
And the filling of,
Your empty milk bottles,
The pissing on your plants,
The discarded, sordid, soiled pants.

Would it help if I confessed,
To the white clover flower,
Stretching so civilised,
Over half-cultivated land,
Hyper-aware of its size,
Exploding miniature sublime beauty universe of petals,
All-encompassing symbolism,
Mystery of life,
Of youth,
Of life not death.

Would it matter if I said sorry,
For all those drunken nights,
Unmanageable,  unreasonable,
Shouting in black-out,
For wasting emergency service time,
For the blood on the car-seat,
And you being woken in the night.

Would it change things if I offered,
My sincerest regrets,
For the drug-induced apathy,
The drunk-driven car,
The high-wire fall,
Disregarding of duty,
And bent,
And bending so quickly,
For lack of moral fibre.

Would they help,
My great bitter tears for the flower,
Its fleeting moment,
And glorious progeny,
Resurrection in action,
The white clover flower.

Would it make a difference,
If I said sorry,
I’m sorry for tearing,
Through your plants,
You so lovingly cultivated,
And worked so hard,
To keep alive,
It’s only now,
I can imagine,
That I was you,

The greatest leveller,
Of have and have nots,
Making sure the bill’s halved,
By the haves,
And the pain of the balance,
Is transferred.

Powerless I am,
Over my love for the white clover flower,
I weep for it,
As powerless I was,
Horsing it through the backies,
Me and the B-dogs,
That cold December night,
Through the backs of Muirfield Crescent.

I escaped, I escaped,
On that cold December night.
Does it help that I admit,
That I escaped that night,
Into the white clover flower,
The glorious,
Wonderful fields
Of white clover flower,
Beyond your privet hedge.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Voyeur Me.

Porno Jim is an amiable man,
An average Jock who does what he can,
He bides in a flat, deep in the estate,
He never did marry, he never was late.
He goes for a pint on a Saturday night,
Standing alone by the bar out of sight,
He gets up on Mondays and goes to his job,
Where he waits to go home to feel like a slob.

But Porno Jim is comfortable most,
Alone, where only he can play host,
Assisted by image pretending to care,
To imagine a passionate love affair.

So it may well be for the mother Lesley,
Who only likes to watch the telly,
And all the dying babies,
She cries for,
And all the poor animals,
Her heart throbs for,
The feeling of the pain of sympathy,
For these poor souls,
Her neurons spark off,
The electrical impulse,
Which squeezes her soul.
Princess Lesley is so attractive,
With faultless manners and interactive,
And she, too, likes to be alone,
But her largely unheard escstatic moan,
Is only found in the pain she perceives,
And the tortured face it's believed she receives.

Or it just may at last be JT Gow,
Who keeps it together, all together now,
The hero for holding back crisis meltdown.
But when he is alone...
...he tortures the cat,
And congratulates himself,
For not using the bat.

He likes to watch,
People getting hurt.

But nevertheless there’s still today,
And Para Gav has joined AA,
After pissing half his life away,
After pissing half his life away,
Which came to a head just yesterday.

He used to be happy and then he had strife,
But now AA will sort out his life.

Porno Jim is an amiable man,
An average Joe, who does what he can,
But Para Gav has changed his ways,
And paid his dues in latter days.