Monday, 14 April 2014

Three little letters

The BNP still exist, just. They need to be opposed, trounced and mocked wherever they try to go. In this case, via an oulipo-ish poem working on their own abbreviation...


Bullies never prosper,
bankrupt Nick - perhaps
bigotry’s not paying,
breeding no profits,
bad-news peddlers
bringing nothing, pathetic
bloody Nazis parading,
barely nineteen participants,
bullies not ‘patriots’,
bull-necked plonkers
blaming non-whites, Poles;
blokes needing Playtex,
bloated numpties pulling
burqas, needling people,
browning nylon pants
because nearby person’s
black; now pitiful
boneheads nervously piss
britches, noticing plenty
Britons not pleased
by negro-phobes
belching neurotic policies,
beyond ‘not particularly
bright’, nearer Protozoa,
banjo notes playing –
best no platform,
block nationalist prats
barricaded, no – pigpenned,
broken noses perhaps.

Friday, 4 April 2014

I knew that First Aid course was worth it

A little bit of autobiography. It was a strange moment as I thought cars only slipped their handbrakes and rolled out-of-control downhill in vintage comedies...

The St. David’s kerbside incident

I turn at the sound of a crash –
a hatchback has slipped the leash
of its handbrake,
allowed gravity carte blanche
and mounted the pavement,
tumbling somebody’s granny
into a shop doorway
sprawled among a scattering of holiday tat
and ‘Welcome to Wales’ postcards.

Passers-by have gathered round
and begin helping her to her feet –
hurriedly I intervene
to check for concussion,
imagining hip fractures
worsened by well-meaning help.
Though bleeding from superficial wounds,
she is more worried about her lost shoe,
torn tights,
undignified re-arrangement.

As I hold up the requisite number of fingers
and ask quiet questions,
a voice from the small crowd
blocked off from proceedings
by my turned back
proclaims tersely –
‘we know her’.

Although I’m sure that later,
they will provide more comfort
than I,
as a stranger,
could ever hope to achieve,
I’m equally certain that familiarity
does not breed
medical expertise.

As the ambulance arrives,
disgorging paramedics and a stretcher,
I slope off
to rejoin my holiday.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Even on April 1st you couldn't make it up

Yes, it's April Fool's Day, but our current crop of politicians are almost beyond parody (only 'almost') - the things they do and say ought to be jokes, but sadly are real. One such is Education Secretary Michael Gove whose idiocy and refusal to acknowledge viewpoints other than his own are becoming legendary. Here's a little of what I think of him in only-slightly sweary poem/song form.

Mr Facepalm

Education ruined by Michael Gove,
ministerial stupidity, no brain, no soul,
turning schools into high-street chainstore academies,
teaching how not to question, tarmacadaming
over kids’ minds to make them compliant
drones, consumers, never defiant,
this is Newthink as Orwell would’ve said,
erasing troublesome concepts from children’s heads,
you believe you know best don’t you, by Jove,
though your policies mean teachers leaving in droves,
visiting classes you get Wham! Rappable,
but that doesn’t make your face any less slappable.

So get another job, get out of the House,
you’re incompetent, no sense, no nous.

An over-elevated knob promoting ideology,
you know nowt about nowt, let alone the ‘ologies,
with gormless reforms that’ll kill off the Arts
and creativity, leaving just the three Rs,
but you’re barely literate, can’t do the maths,
to ‘improve year on year’ is impossible you twat.
If you get your way, there’ll be nothing but reciting
‘two fours are eight’ but learning should be exciting,
knowledge for its own sake, not a business proposition,
so sit the fuck down, pin your ears back and listen,
there’s more to life than birth-work-spend-death,
the world is vibrant, not a giant Dragon’s Den.

So, Gove, it’s time to resign,
let ideas fly and youngsters shine.

You’re in the wrong post, mis-promoted,
spreading evil for a government that nobody voted
for, and you want us more like the Chinese
in the Tiananmen Square of your opinions, on our knees,
planning future generations who’ve never been taught
how to disobey, have original thoughts,
brave new epsilons, forelock-tuggers,
who roll over when approached by Etonian muggers,
you blame Blackadder for the way we see
World War One ‘glories’ as hypocrisy,
while in Westminster’s security officer ranks,
guarding you’s referred to as ‘walking the plank’.

Monday, 31 March 2014

I Mae, I will, I did

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a Woman Scream poetry event and was frankly inspired. I wanted to write something appropriate, but feminist poetry from a male perspective... would it go horribly wrong? Hopefully not. Am I a feminist? Well, I'm a humanist pissed off at injustice and exploitation, so that's a yes I guess. Anyhow, some fellow poets who were there on the night are fans of silver screen goddesses, and that's something I can relate to, so having passed through a brief and informal editing period (thanks Angela and Carrie), here's what I produced. Hope you like it.

Diamond Lil

In sepia days,
Kardashians were still
Armenian migrants, workers,
not orange and shrill,
silver gelatin and celluloid reigned supreme,
Photoshop, silicone and carotene
were just bad dreams
and Mae West was Queen.
All satin hourglass,
mink and bat-wings,
she could cause a commotion,
a trouser-motion
in any fellow’s slacks
with regal quips about chaps
and bad girls teasing,
life being pleasing,
coming up and seeing,
being a sex-symbol
where anything went,
but those weapons were aimed
at freeing sisters from bit-part dead-ends
as baby-machines and housework slaves
to get their own space on screen,
not just vehicles for romantic leads.
Pushing boundaries, she’s
jailed for penning a play
deemed corrupting to youth,
banned for supporting
the rights of gay men,
spreading truth in a wicked age,
and buys a whole building
just so she could let her
black lover through the door,
up-front and centre-stage
while the US wallowed in its racist ways,
stampeding towards censorship
of supposed obscenity.
But real women don’t need to be good,
and Mary Jane had more colour
in her monochrome domain
than any modern Z-list mayfly,
Towie clones gasping their last
in ranks of talent-vacuum
spray-tan vans –
way back then,
She had class.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Stupid George

It's National Poetry Day, so two posts today. This one is a brief response to the T*ry budget and its corporate friendly, let's-suck-up-every-last-drop-of-oil message, delivered with maybe just a whiff of E J Thribb and 'bad poetry' stylings...

Stupid George

Greasy gormless Osborne,
fossil-fuellers’ budget friend,
trying to get us out of the red
by soaking everything in black –
if you want to drill
for gas and oil,
let the North Sea be,
just tap Eric Pickles like a rubber tree –
not only save the poor pork pie,
but get your latex
from a man who needs Playtex,
take his empty pelt and reinflate
to create
a lifeboat for the rising tide.
You can stay outside.

Photo: Greenpeace