Thursday, 2 October 2014

NPD not-blues-but-confused

So, today is National Poetry Day and the theme is rememb...
hang on, what was I doing?
Stewing strong tea or Englishly queueing,
chewing on mischievous thoughts that are brewing,
eschewing Westminster edicts, pooh-poohing
them blue in the face, or crewing
the Good Ship 'Amnesia', post-it notes for renewing
library books, and that firewood needs hewing,
maybe scrapbook gluing for future reviewing
with synapses ruing the passage of time
and losing my m... when's national Poetry Day?

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Chrome poles and foxholes

With the West now bombing Isis, whatever good that will do, I couldn't help noticing that Southampton has a lap-dancing club of the same name, and so a little satire was born - currently a work-in-progress...

The day the West dropped bombs on Isis

Cash in the wasitband’s medieval,
objectifying, shallow – yes, but not evil,
seedy, that’s true, thoughts unclean,
small uprisings, some scenes are obscene,
barbaric acts need reprisals it seems
but such punishment’s too harsh, in extremis,
high explosives used on unarmed ecdysists,
the day the West dropped bombs on Isis.

Some general somewhere, deep in the Pentagon,
bullet-headed, a limited lexicon,
lost by long words, confused the terms
Terpsichore and terrorists,
gyrators and jihadists,
shaking their fundaments
doesn’t make them fundamentalists.

Military Intelligence didn’t check their facts,
planned the attack using Google Maps,
managed to mix up bunkers in Iraq
with a slightly cheesy city-centre strip-shack,
as dancers wiggled on laps and tables,
missiles were launched from a secret Naval
base, seconds later, dumb target’s struck,
one interrupted a private booth-fuck,
shenanigans costly, rude, uncouth,
the other hit the dancefloor via the roof
and exploded, scattering sequins and G-strings,
middle-aged men who seek releasings,
ripped by lip-gloss shrapnel, no more sleazing
at the go-go girls blown through the ceiling,

peeling off layers of lurex and rubber,
shredded epidermal cover,
no teasing rhythm to this stripping,
as club-beats are cut,
lust lies bleeding,
all gone Pete Tong, gold thongs
hang limp from rubble,
lager and worse dripping
from stag-night posses caught, gaping in fishnets
and rags of High Street smart-casual,
congealing as the dust settles, dead confetti,
flakes of foundation, orange as amaretti
no longer concealing crisped skin,
smoke black as Kate Moss’ caked mascara,
Rimmel’s London Blitz look,
billows from kitsch curtains
and pink satin pillows as they shrivel,
shrink like recreational dental-floss knickers

and the emergency light’s first tentative flicker
illuminates a lone perspex platform stiletto
lying on its side, still clasping something varnished,
chipped but glitter-sparkling,
part of a daughter of Isis,
goddess of slaves and sinners,
mother of Horus,
who could not be protected by doormen
or hands-by-your-sides no-touching rules,
all just damaged collateral,
another day in the death
of the War of Error,
mongered by fools.

Monday, 1 September 2014

And so my first poetry book is born

As pregnancies go, I don't think this one was too bad. A few false alarms but eventually I got it down to the themes I really wanted to put together. So, rather than the political material I'm probably best known for performing, I've chosen some more personal (occasionally very) autobiographical pieces; little vignettes of life if you like, plus some humour and a bit of experimental word-play. The process of selection has been a valuable one in itself. It felt like making a 1980s mix-tape but on paper.

I've re-evaluated the quality of many of my poems and then rewritten a few, discarded a few others, and in some pleasing cases, decided 'actually I'm pretty happy with that' and left those well alone. Some were written as page poems, others are performance pieces edited for the page. I hope you feel the urge to buy a copy (it's only £5, from here) and that you give in to that urge freely. I also hope you think it was worthwhile when Subduction Zone arrives on your doormat - after all, this is my first poetry collection, but it won't be my last...'s, sob... so.... beautiful...

Friday, 22 August 2014

Inside edge

A short piece about something I occasionally do for a living.

Prison tutor

I sign in,
pass through a security-minded airlock
and am rendered phoneless,
as barred gates clang shut.

I have no need to judge my charges –
others already have,
but I know what some have done,
and from the papers,
how often and who to.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Choice is everything, and mine alone

I don't have a 'living will' but my nearest and dearest know what to do if I'm ever unfortunate enough to be rendered incapable. Not a cheery topic at first glance, but still room for a little gallows-humour, and no, I'm not looking for a debate on the ethics of choosing when to check out... others feel differently and that's fine for them.

My dignified choice

I’m a cerebral being, live by cogitation,
won’t become burdensome vegetation,
or killed by creeping senility
eating away at my mental agility,
I’d rather die than lose my wits,
dribbling in the corner, sitting in my own shit,
not remembering who the fuck I am,
brain turned to jelly and strawberry jam,
so take me away and euthanase me,
I don’t care how as long as you slay me,
catapult or trebuchet me
at the House of Commons, load me up and aim me,
roll me in a carpet and underlay me
beneath the patio, when I’ve gone a bit gamey,
put me in the compost and decay me,
one day I’ll be back as potatoes in gravy,
if you think souls are sacred, feel free to blame me,
I’ll risk there’s a God who’ll judge and weigh me,
the laws that say I can’t are cockamamie,
nuttier than a packet of KP
just don’t get caught when you terminate me.