I Am We Are Animal

We are animal
Spent and intense
Breathing heavy
The orgasm still in your eyes
Beginning to shrink, now.

And did you know
I cried
While looking at the wall
As you held me
It seemed so carnal, you know
As meat-eaters We are
And I felt like a fraud
Because I wanted to write
And, I know
You didn't come here for that.

But Animal,
I am obsessed with words, NOW
Only because we are dying
And soon
These words will be
All that will remain.

April 12, 2012

I was animal today

Life Pact

When they come to get us My Love
We'll batten down the hatches
and take up the spoons
It's the only way
We'll make it out

The Mill

After a long day at work.There's nothing better.
To Kill Yourself

I Scared a Muslim Today

I scared a muslim today
I didn't mean to
But I did

She asked how to get to the other side of the metro
I explained
But she wasn't french
and mine wasn't any better
So I escorted her
Out of kindness
And a tinge of Western guilt

Then the lift doors closed
And we were alone
Me towering over her
Maybe ready to give her a terrible beating;
or worse!
Even I felt it
How she cowered under her chador
Shrunk down into black cloth
Just a pair of wide eyes
Staring up in terror
At what looked like
The End

And it's a sad day
For everyone
When common racial hatred
Seems like the good old days

I scared a muslim today
I didn't mean to
But I did.

Fuck it... I DO!

Fuck it... I Do!

Those were the words I said
When we got married
After the hesitation
And eyeing you with terror
Knowing that you wasn't for me
That I certainly wasn't for you
And this would never last

Fuck it... I DO!

We married at 12pm on a vile day
In the registry office in Fulham Broadway
Me finally drug free
Did you really think I'd marry you straight?
Half an hour later
Waking up face down in a chicken madras curry
Confetti in my hair and Rice stuck to my eyelashes
“So this is what married life is like!”

Fuck it... I DO!

I think you divorced me right there
And two days later you shot the country
I escorted you to the airport
Through the boarding gates
To make sure you was gone
And you did go
We never saw one another again.

Fuck it.. I DO!

And we're still married
Quelle surprise!
Living apart with no contact
Planning each others murder
Was the only way this thing could have worked
And it didn't work out too bad
Only one argument in 12 years
The only time we spoke

Fuck it... I DO!

Those were the words I said.

The Unknown Poets of Crazy Town

And in the Black House of Youth
I sat down with unknown poets
And not one said “I am a poet!”
For not one knew he was so
As no-one could write
Never a single word was ever written

And one was the illegitimate black bastard
  child of Margaret Thatcher
And another had Royal Blue blood
And one had ground his teeth away
And another had stabbed tribal scars into his face
And one had a wooden leg
And another a glass eye
And one lived in the roof
And another sniffed crusty soiled panties
And one walked with a limp
And another was pushed around
And one was a murderer
And another raped women on the heath
And one flashed his cock at little schoolgirls
And another sat teenage boys on his knee
And one wore mismatched shoes
And another had no shoes at all
And one had his name tattooed on his forehead
And another inserted hacksaw blades into his urethra
And one dressed as a woman
And another gave blowjobs on the Green
And one was obsessed with tabloid Bingo
And another ripped his money up and threw it
   in the fire
And one put a mans chest in with a mallet
And another said “You can call me NIGGER
   but no-man call me BLACK CUNT!”
And one ran through the streets on fire
And another gritted his teeth on liver cancer
And one rotted away in a chair
And another had a pet stone
And one indecently exposed himself outside
   Buckingham Palace
And another took a shit in the cereal aisle in
And one pulled his fingernails out with pliers
And another sliced his eyelids off
And one drew a Hitler moustache over his lip
And another wrote 'smile' where her eyebrows
   used to be
And one rode a bike with no wheels
And another talked of what the grass was like
    on the moon
And another watched and laughed at a broken TV
And one begged to be beaten black and blue
And another said “On a clear day I can see Hell”
And one thought he was a dog
And another barked; and they all barked back

So while you, My Dear Illiterati Friends, took in medieval literature; literature of the 17th, 18th and 19th century; pre-colonial literature; post-colonial literature: linguistics and that bore of bores: gender studies
I took in only The Poets of Crazy Town

And I didn't read the Poets of Crazy Town
For there was nothing to read
I listened and I watched and I smelled and I breathed
And as one told me of child ghosts with no faces and their feet twisted back-to-front
Another swallowed strong beer
And with eyes jaundiced from liver disease and candle light
He told me about Guppies and throwing rice over the kitchen floor
And instead of reading Joyce
I sat and watched Bridget
As she lay in her bed
Wrapped up like a disease
Smoking and retching and bringing up lumps of black lung
And inbetween her dying
I closed my eyes and imagined
As she told me of her cross country walk
From Cork to Dublin
Of how she finally ended up in Donegal
Sucking back-alley cocks for shots
Saying: “Pray for us sinners
              now and at the hour of our death”
Pouring another one down the hatch

And it was a House of Poets
For poetry was in the house
But this poetry wasn't of ink
Nor made for the page:
It was vomited up the walls
Pissed into beer cans
Shit into plastic sacks
Carved into faces
Raped into the unconscious
Exposed through open trousers
Born out of wedlock
The Black bastard child of Margaret Thatcher
The Verse of the Dead and Dying
A Degenerate Stanza of living
And I was there
Protruding from the mucous membrane
A polyp of youth
With Royal Blue Blood
A cheap BiC pen
Heir to the rotting throne.

City of Joy

I walked in the city of joy today
and broke down at the carousel
then kicked a man
who had no legs
who made small money playing chess
or more to say
he played some chess
and to his left
a sign that read:
Hepatitis B and C
an amputee
with HIV
two dogs and a canary.

I walked in the city of joy today
and broke down at the carousel.


Where you know what lurks between the paving stones
Where you know what dribbles out the drainpipes
Where you know what rushes through the gutter
Where you know the slime in the brew'ry alleys

Where you know the graffiti tags on the street signs
Where you know the stickers on the lamp posts
Where you know the lead on the roofs
Where you know the locks on the windows

Where you know what is in the bin
Where you know what blocks up the public toilets
Where you know the algae on the boat moorings along the river
Where you know the black which clings to the underside of Belisha Beacons

Where you know the taste of the traffic
Where you know the rotten fruit in the market
Where you know the pigeon-shit daubed wall beneath the iron railway bridge
Where you know the acrid taste of the money

Where you know the smell of the telephone booths
Where you know what the seats on public transport feel like
Where you know the grease on the hand rails
Where you know what the the bus window tastes like

Where you know what shoes walked up the steps of the Public Library
Where you know the clip of heels on the marble floor
Where you know the smell of the furniture polish
Where you know what cloth shone the brass door knobs

Where you know what filth trickles out from doorways
Where you know what words will come from certain mouths
Where you get what the crazy man screams at the bus-stop
Where you know what's on the underside of your shoes

Where you know the smell of the post office
Where you know the complaints in the Doctor's waiting room
Where the sound of morning TV makes you suicidal
Where you know the blow of the school yard whistle

Where you know what will be left in the bakers at 4pm
Where you know in what shop milk is a penny cheaper
Where you always walk in the opposite direction to the postman
Where you know how to get what and from who

Where you know the dust in the air vent
Where you know the dampness on the walls
Where you know the rubbery seal around the kitchen sink
Where you know the larvae in the cupboard

Where your dead skin twirls in the sun beams
Where your footsteps lead back to old shoes
Where heartache is paid with the rent
Where your genes are the rubble of demolished streets

Where the Argos catalogue is Bible
Where you buy a bed for a comfortable death
Where you “bagsy” your cemetery plot
Where you write your own epitaph

Where you know the sounds in the roof
And the screams in the night
Where the tears you can let cry
Where love and hope was lost
Where you learn how to die

that's your home.

Little Minor Indiscretions

my girlfirend gave
5 little minor blowjobs
2 her X
b4 me
but says she neva suckd
jus lick'd
shud i 4give her 4 her past
or wat?

The Dawning

The lamp fell
Darkness collapsed down
Light spilled out
Like liquid gold
Across the Shag-pile carpet

I turned my head
Looking over my hunched back
which had been my shield
As I played Solitaire
On the floor alone

Little John was sitting
On the edge of the bed
Lolling off to his left
In just his socks
Trying to roll a cigarette

Queer shadows altered his face
And disclosed the truth
I saw things in him
Which I'd never seen before
Vile things
Evil things
The real reason as to why
He'd asked my nine year old sister
What colour knickers
She was wearing
A shapeshifter!

I think he was looking at me
Tho it was hard to know for sure
As shadows were thrown upwards
So his eyes could have been closed
Or even large black holes

I must have looked pretty dark myself
An eight year old kid
Hunched over down on the floor
Cards laid out
Head turned
Eyes scrunched up
Staring over a naked drunk
Regarding his shriveled cock
Almost retracted into his ballbag
A comma of cum
Hanging a drip off the foreskin
Making a semi-colon
A pause in time

When Little John leaned forward
Stretching for the lamp
The liquid light on the floor
Mother was revealed
Out cold to the wall
Her hair a week of tangle
Her knickers ripped off
Her pale arse exposed
Angular buttocks scooped out by anorexia
Leading onto orphans thighs
A perfect figure
For jutting out a mass grave

And then the room was half in light again
Mother disappeared
Little John climbed into bed
I turned back around
Hunched over low
Hiding in my own shadow
I laid a black card down on a red
But it was useless
There had been a pause
And I had turned around
Seen the world behind
A comma of cum
A semi-colon
And from then on
I never saw life
Nor man or woman
in quite the same light again

Nineteen Something Something

It was a vile hopeless winter
Some year before The Millenium
And all the windows were out

We lay in a narrow single bed
Rubbing legs for heat
Ithy thick blankets pulled right up past our noses
Talking of what we'd do once the cold was done
Our poems scrawled upon the walls

And I smelled of many things
But she smelled only of sweat and olives
With hair as lank and greasy as the depressed
Grace to weeks of animal sex at minus five
And sometimes when I'd speak
Through post-ejaculation cigarettes
Talking of my hopes and plans
She would cry
But I don't think because they were so beautiful

And on Saturday afternoons we'd go to the market
Collect squashed fruit to keep our bad skin healthy
Or to make hot lemon tea
And both of us prayed for better times
Even warmer times
So we could dress up
And dance through the streets
And show England what youth was for
Or lose ourselves in antique bookstores
Between P.B Shelley and Richard Lovelace
Reading Milton upside down
In the shadowy shade
Of docked summer days
Smelling the dusty bound books
Which were the history
Of all our rotten dreams
Of writing and being someone
Lovers And makers
Of poesie-shit-scum

Three Years of Zero

In the first Year of Zero
I walked with no direction
I kept my head down and listened to the sounds
And all the sounds were sad
I wanted to knock at a door
Any door
Give my vandalised wrists up to strangers
Break down
And beg for help
To Cry
Out of pure self-pity
And tell of all the plans
And dreams
Which would never be

In the second Year of Zero
I wanted to run
I don't know why
I just wanted to run and scream
Have something hit me at great speed
But I didn't run
I kept walking
With my head down
And because tears dry
I soon found
There was no route back

In the third Year of Zero
I finally started running
I had something to run to
And I've never really stopped

The Underclass

Burned Out Flat
Newspapers for Carpet
Blankets for Curtains
Urine Impregnated Cushions
Tenants Super Aromatherapy Canisters
Mouldy Plates
Burnt Spoons
Jamaican Patois
English Patois
Drunken patois
Gold St Christophers
Sovereign Rings
Hand Tattoos
Neck Tattoos
Broken Noses
Missing Teeth
Chib Marks
Lost Minds
Lost Gamblers
Losing Betting Slips
Losing Scratch Cards
Losing Lottery Tickets
Saver Food Brands
Garlic Powder Sandwiches
Bone Stew
Chinese Take-Away
Pork Balls
Sweet & Sour sauce
Cats Licking Tampons
Fucked Fridges
Milk in Water
Rancid Butter
Potatoes with Sprouts
Larder Maggots
Flour Beetles
Clothes Moths
Car Boot Sales
Bike Parts
Beer Bellies
Shrivelled Dicks
Exposed Ballbags
Unkempt Arseholes
Cock Cheese
Pussy Slime
Foot Fungi
Sex with Dossers
Ringing Tramps
Kiddie Fiddlers
Chewing Gum
Milk of Magnesia
Blue Eye Shadow
Black Mascara
Lard for Brylcreem
Pink Leggings
Adidas Two Stripe, and
Pitbull Terriers.

An Interview With Bill

"And so Bill, after 25 years of low-living, finally off the drugs, do you have any regrets?"

Bill paused,
like this:


He positioned himself straight in his chair
He removed his false teeth
Then his left leg
He detached his colostamy sack
Checked it for goldfish
And Laid it on the table
Then from his pocket
He took out a packet of pills
Then more
And more
Pills for diabetes, emphysema, DVT, inflammation, immunity boosters, water retention, antibiotics, sleep medication, waking medication, kidney filters, betablockers, pills to stop the shakes, pills to stop the diarrhea, pills for constipation, anti-depressants, psycho-suppresants, calmants, pills for anxiety, pills for hard-ons, pills to stand, pills to fall down the stairs, pills to be happy, pills to cry, pills to allow him to go to the doctors, pills to stay at home
Bill laid them all out on the table
Then he laid back in his chair
And said:
"Yep, finally drug free! And no, no regrets... I'd do the same all over again."
Then Bill cried
He took a sip of water
Lit a cigarette
And died.

Love Lost Again

You told me you was always late
So I arrived early just in case
I waited in the rain
Outside Camden Town Underground Station
For one hour and thirty seven minutes
Then just as I was kidding myself that I was leaving
You arrived
And I was shocked
Because in the dark of the night
You was so beautiful
And now
Love was lost again

Retards at the Bus-Stop

At first they were laughing
So violently that they shook with delight
They made animal noises
And smelled of curdled milk and wet hay
And then
Without so much as a change of wind
She was crying
Froze to the spot in some personal hell
Her face hung like a curtain of grief
"I've done it again," she bawled
I didn't mean to, it just came out!"
Her friend stopped laughing too
Put his arms around her
And hugged with superhuman force
He lowered a hand
And playfully patted the warm squishy dump of shit in the sag of her pants
"Id'll be fine," he said "It's OK. Idda be fine!"
He cradled her head in a clumsy way
Kissing parts of her that normally
only the rain would touch
"It's Ok," she repeated, "Idda be fine! Idda be fine!"
She sucked in her sadness
And with two clenched baby fists
Wiped her tears away
Then She smiled
Then She laughed
Then He laughed
They were animals again
Galloping around and making strange sounds.

After 20 minutes the bus arrived
Everyone got on
The two retards walked.

A Great Excuse When Late For Work

"Too much drugs; not enough trains."

A Letter Home to Mum (From Exile)

Dear Mum

It's almost seven years I'm in exile now, scared to return for fear of what they'll do to me if caught. But God, what I'd do to share just one last crack-pipe with you, or to wait at the window with the jitters, watching for a car to pull up and a small hooded black boy to get out and stroll over our way, through the front gate and ring the buzzer: 21b

My great fear is that we'll never see one another in life again. It's an unbearable thought and one which plagues my dreams, and without warning can make the world seem like a cruel and insufferable place. And maybe it is? Like when we speak on the telephone and say "Buh Bye!" and your voice makes me hurt and cry like I have growing pains. It's been a hard life and it blew us apart.

And that £20 note which you sent me for Christmas - that which you didn't really have to send, and that which I have no need of - I've put it between dog-chewed books of dead poets, the greatest tragedy I have. Oh it's cruel to keep it, I know, but I can't send it back as that'd be too sad, and it's worth far too much to spend. And we both know what twenty pounds signifies, how at times we didn't have that between three of us, and we laid on our backs in our house of sickness, dying. Do you remember? How you cried, said your body couldn't take it, and could I do nothing to help? But I was in pain too and could hardly walk, and my illness was a day older than yours. Do you remember? I do. It seems like a good memory now.

Oh Mum, I'm being punished. My punishment is exile. It's already been seven years, can you believe that? It's a huge price to pay, to not be there in the last years of your health and beauty and probably mine too. Oh Mum, how expensive life is when you fuck up, and it's worse, and it's hopeless, and it hurts even more, because we both know, and we've always known, I'm as guilty as all sin in hell.

In Loving Memory to a Mother Without Fault, Your adoring Son, Shane. XxX

A Brief History of Work

One day I will tell you of the time
I worked as the school's milkboy
Delivering the fresh crates
To the classrooms each morning
Then in the afternoon
Collecting the vile, curdled, stinking empties
For 25p a week
– which is slave labour now
and was slave labour then –
And how after a couple of weeks
I got bored
And lay on the stage
In the assembly hall
Chucking the bottles across the room
Laughing and banging my feet
As each one exploded and shattered
The teachers congregating at the entrance
Waiting for the arrival of the school nurse
As they thought I was having
An epileptic fit
When really
All I was having
Was a whole lotta fun

One day I will tell you of that
And the time I had a paper round with John Menzies
How I rose at 5am each morning
To deliver yesterdays news
In the brittle cold
Pitch black mornings
With all of Central London's paedophiles
In hot pursuit
And how that comforted me
As at least then
I thought
My sister
Would be safe
I'll tell you of that
And of how I hid my job from my school friends
As only poor children had to deliver papers
To earn money
To save up to buy
Their own clothes
And new school uniform
One day I'll write all about it:
John Menzies
Of how I pissed on the priest's Daily Telegraph
Tramped it in dog shit
Then posted it through the vicarage letterbox
And how the following day
I was refused entry to the newsagents
And my paper round
Was then the burden
Of some other poor unfortunate soul

And one day I will tell you
Of the time I worked in the Five Star Car Wash
On Shepherds Bush Green
And how we dusted and polished dashboards
Shook out and hoovered floor mats
Then drove the cars through the wash
Hand buffing them the other side
And I'll tell of how the tight-fisted owner
A big fat cigar smoking Turk
In fur and gold
With a fleet of second hand Mercedes
Would send family members through the wash
With a twenty pound note
Placed under the passenger seat
To see which workers would pocket their goodluck
Rather than put the find into a common kitty
which no one ever saw shared out

I'll tell of that
And of how when I was 15
I passed myself of for 18
And landed a labouring job with Kone Lifts
And of how one afternoon
While having lunch with Joe
And smoking thai weed
On top of the elevator
I fell down the back
My spine bent to snapping point
Joe clutching a hold of my legs
Thus preventing me from falling
100ft down
To certain death
Into the concrete pit below
And I'll tell of how
When I told my mother
She completely freaked out
Before asking me
For the next week's rent in advance
“Just in case!”

One day I will tell you of that
And of the Video Rental Shop
Where I was taken on for work experience
From a YTS scheme
And how I worked 12 hour shifts
For not a penny of pay
And how one Friday evening
I stole a copy of
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Before ringing the till open
And walking out
Leaving three hundred plus pounds
For some lucky soul to find

And I'll tell you of the time
Working for Blenheim Electrics
As an apprentice electrician
At Hyde Park Police Station
Of being treated like a piece of shit
By everybody except a man called Ray
Of how I hit the head bully
Across the kneecaps with a scaffolding pole
When he tried to strip me naked
As part of an initiation ritual
Where I'd be tied to the roof
And laughed at for hours
Before being ordered to make the tea

I'll tell of that
And of how I worked for just about every Soho nightclub
Handing out flyers
While dressed up as an alien
With a plastic spaceship sellotaped to my head
All that
For free entry
Two free drinks
And a whole lot of trouble from rival club promoters
I'll tell all about it
And off how
When Ewan died
(their main leafleter;
my best friend)
They disowned me
Blamed me for his death
For introducing him to heroin
After that I was no longer welcome in the clubs
And what's more
They grouped together
And barred me from the funeral
Said that if I attended
There'd be another death
All those people Ewan hated so much
Putting him in the ground
Fake tears behind blacked out rock sunglasses
As now they'd have to find another great guitarist
who'd be prepared to work and record for nothing
and hand out leaflets to boot

One day I will tell you of it all
And of the years I worked at Vaughans Ltd
Employed as the Head Baizer
Cutting out and gluing green felt
Onto the bottom of reproduction antique lamps
Of how I wired 24 armed chandeliers
And shot smack in the toilets
Of how I went to war with the managing director
After he illegally made three workers redundant
How I brought the place to daily standstills
Until they'd had just about enough
And tried to blackmail me
After finding used syringes in my bag
And when I wouldn't surrender my position
How they offered me £15,000
To accept and sign a dismissal for gross misconduct
Which I did willingly
But not before trying
To get the work van thrown into the deal
And on how
When being reminded that I couldn't drive
I conceded it was a fair point
And took the cheque
And a whole lot of drugs
And that was the start of the good times

One day I'll tell you about them
And of my next job
Working for BPP
Employed to pack boxes
Yet somehow
Two years later
Finding myself in the manager's chair
With a three quarter million pound annual budget
Which mostly went on luxury chauffeur driven cars
And crack cocaine
And that was the start of the even better times
Until I was dismissed a year later
Due to “horrendous expenditure abnormalities”
And I agreed to go
As long as they paid me up until the end of the month
As I was leaving the country anyway

One day I'll write about that
And of my first year in France
When I faked enthusiasm
And went grape picking in the countryside
And how after two days
I was a broken man
Cursing at how inhumane the work was
Then phoning my father-in-law
And having him drive 300km
Into the thick of the Beaujolais hills
To rescue me

And one day I'll tell you about my 18 months with Arctic Spas
Travelling an hour and a half each morning
Out into the middle of nowhere
Then walking for 25 minutes
Through fields of cows and horses
To repair, modify and test luxury jacuzzis
And how one day
On a maintenance call in the Grenoble mountains
Ten below zero
I slipped with a screwdriver
And pushed the thing three inches down into my hand
And how the firebrigade
Had to come and rescue me
And take me to the nearest hospital
Of which I fled
As soon as I was stitched up
As I was getting ill from opiate withdrawals
And was more than 4hrs from home
With no methadone
No medical insurance
And no passport

I'll tell you of that
And about the time I worked for Envie Rhone
A 'Program of Insertion'
For social misfits
The insane
And those on pre-release from prison
I'll tell of how we fixed-up washing machines
Fridge freezers
And ovens
And how the conditions in that place
Were like stepping back 100 years
With every law and safety regulation ever fought for
The workers
On short 3 month contracts
As if they said anything
Their contracts would not be renewed
And then it'd either be back to prison
Or the mental hospital
And when I complained
Having no place to be sent back to
The entire company
And every social institution of the region
Closed ranks
And tried to force me out
And when I wouldn't leave
Or shut up
They contacted an old success
An ex-prison tough
And had him threaten me
To stop my action

One day I will tell you of that
And of the weeks I spent working in the Beaux Art Museum
How I stood there from 11am to 6pm
With my hands behind my back
Surveying the public
And giving them directions
When I was lost myself
I'll tell you of how
We were allowed to play phone games to pass the time
Of how I pretended I was playing Zombie Shootout
Or Clubroom Billiards
When really I was writing
Something they wouldn't have permitted
Just in case
I was writing about them
Which of course
I was

I'll tell you all about it
And also of the time I worked in the Town Hall
Of how I was paid to follow behind the Mayor
Fanning his wind to either side as he went
Making sure that his councillors
Riding in his slipstream
Didn't die of intoxication
While trying to lay a successful knife in his back
Before sailing on by
One day I will tell of all that
And of how
On Saturdays
I had to dress up like a low class waiter
And lead soon-to-be unhappy couples
Into the marriage room
With a low sweeping bow
And walk them down the aisle
The Bride to my right
The Groom to my left
Inviting them to take seat
on the ornate
King and Queen
Wood and velvet chairs

One day I'll tell you all about these things
Only not now
And not here
As time's ticking on
And I'm just not paid to write.

It Goes So Fast

It goes so fast, My Love
Life goes so fast

And this drunken bed 
That we chuck ourselves around on
Will all too soon
Smell of dust
And lavender
And we'll both be invalids upon it

And those days that we spent
In the caf├ęs along the river
Or just walking around
Will be
the most beautiful memories ever
We'll cry
Staring at blank walls
All beauty lived
All time gone
With death
Hammering at the door
And rattling the windows

And Oh God
Your plane takes off at 8
And it was only nine yesterdays ago you arrived
How we've squandered time
But it was ours to squander
And life
If lived at all
Can only be squandered
To try to conserve it
Is a waste
Like no other waste
There is

But now
Never one to follow
My own wisdom
My warm 6am Love
Eyes like saucers
In this tragic morning dark
Lets fight this fucking thing 
With a  Baseball Bat
Your Rape Spray
And my Left Jab
Let's attack the clocks
And stop this 
Before it goes too far 
And separates us
Pulls us apart
551 kilometers
Limb from limb

The clocks are fucked
But time moves on
And you really must be leaving
But we tried
We tried so goddamn hard

Goodbye, My Darling, GOODBYE!!!

It Goes so fast
My Love
Life goes so fast.

Dad, Happy, Summer, July 1973

It was one of those family photographs
You know the kind
With a white border
The edges Tattered and yellowing
Framing your father
Caught between moves
In mid-expression
In perfect focus
Not a single hair blurred
The time around him
Captured too
In the long
Patterned collar
Of his shirt

It was one of  those family photo's
You know the kind
Infinitely intriguing
For capturing that
Which cannot be seen
And revealing everything
Which isn't there
Your father
In crystal clear focus
And to his side
Nine tenths out of shot
Your mother
Her left arm
And a strip of hair
And nothing more

It was one of those family photographs
You know the kind
Taken in colours
Which look older than black and white
Your father
(and a streak of your mother)
As young as you are now
Caught forming a smile
Wearing an itchy suit jacket
Over an open necked shirt
With era defining collars
A mystery
The sharpness confusing
As at that time
You didn't yet exist
And that's hard to comprehend
Especially in such high definition

It was one of those family photo's
You know the kind
A defining photo
On a special occasion
Your father
Maybe graduating
From a government run course
Or being released
From prison
Or winning
A court case
And it makes you peer in
Searching for clues
Of yourself
When you was dead
And on the back
There's antique handwriting
In blue
A little run
You know the type
Your mother's writing
Those same slanted letters
That got you out of PE
Not so long ago:

Dad looking happy
Labour Day
Kentish Town
Mum shying behind
Bad hair day
4 months pregnant with Sue
Wondering what the future holds
If 'Dad' will make '74
The year he promised
And stop drinking
And lying
And gambling
And cheating
And lashing out
Whenever things don't go his way –
Which is always
Wearing that cheap 'Italian Shirt'
The one his sister bought him
Blood still on the cuff
From where he'd belted me
Earlier that day
Two weeks before the miscarriage
That kick in the stomach
Which broke my heart
And left me feeling 
Like a murderer
Blaming myself
Him blaming me too
You know what I'm like after a drink
You shouldn't have pushed me
Why did you push me?
Look what you went and done!
Being rammed into the bathroom door
Cracking my head
And falling unconscious
Because I couldn't stop crying
Because something had died inside me
Before I put on weight
Became “Fat and lazy”
“An embarrassment!”
No longer changing my clothes
A kick here and a punch there
Spit in my face
For wearing the same underwear
Two days in succession
Or accidentally
Falling asleep
With my legs open
“Sex between cellulite”
That's what he said
Couldn't “stand the sight of it”
Which made the rapes
Even more incomprehensible
And the forthcoming pregnancy
A permanent and bitter reminder
Of domestic hell
And HE
Your Dad
Who could no longer
Fit into his suit
Or much else
A dirty belly
that hung over soiled y-fronts
And that's how I saw him
Until he died
A dirty, foul, disgusting beast of a man
Woman's real enemy
You know the type:

The edges tattered
A yellowing white border
Your Father
Not a hair out of focus
In colours older than black and white
Caught between acts
Revealing all that is hidden
With ink on the back
Your mothers words
Dad looking happy
Kentish Town
Labour Day
July 1973
You know the type.

Brotherly Love

I hated my younger brother
That's what everyone said
And by the age of seven
I was convinced of it
Convinced that I was something called 'jealous'
Jealous that I was no longer Mum's no.1

 I didn't like his teeth
Now that was the truth
Especially those large milky front ones
Teeth I'd have gladly relieved him of
If I'd not learnt from experience:
They grow back

That's what everyone said
Said that was why I wouldn't eat anything he'd touched
or even looked at
Now that's hatred for ya
Everyone agreed on that

 And that time I laughed
When a pointed stick
Went through the underside of his chin
And Left him gasping from fear
They said that I was “wicked”
And I believed I was
And kept my nightmares to myself

I hated my younger brother
That's what everyone said
And I knew it was true
Because in the dead of night
As I stood at the window
Hoping a taxi
Would deliver Mum home
I'd go over to his bed
And place my hand on his chest
Or under his nose
To check he was still

That's how much I hated
 My Younger Brother Dan

02:44 AM

It's 02.44 am
The world is hush hush
quiet quiet
the no sound sound
of black black silence
echoes all around
in the howl howl howl
of the windy winds' growl
All over town

Things You Can't Find in a Book

I've read the best
I've read the worst
I've heard drunken poets
and poets drunk
On ugly men
and beautiful women
but none
has moved me more
as that one armed tramp
who couldn't write
yet spoke the greatest words

How The Germans Found Me

"swallow the shit" the dog cum cock knot

(Google Search term that led to Waiting For John)

High Striker

It was a lazy distilled summer afternoon
And boy were we hungry

Dad was deep down broke
All borrowed out
His gold in the pawn
So poor that he wasn't even able to offload 
 any of his bad luck on a horse

He sat on the floor
Up against the mouldy sofa
His legs stretched out in momentary surrender
And his shoes kicked off
Smoking already smoked tobacco
rolled up
in his old 
betting slips

I sat there too
way off to his right
Over in the cool patch by the door
Watching him
Emulating him
My feet in shoes
Three sizes too big

We sat there like that
The way poor people do
The way poor people do
The way poor people do
Waiting for a change
An opening
An opportunity to pass
Or something to further heighten 
The desperation stakes
And force things to a head

Dad sucked hard on his flat smoke
Scrunching his face up
The way he did
When they got towards the end
Burning his fingers
And lips

He sucked in 
And held
I held with him

(And the day was lazy
as was said
real real cat nap lazy
like bees giving up
and dying
in mid flight

Our half starved dog
Lay curled up in the shade,
Its chin on its hind back legs
its breathing subdued
Now and again
dreaming of food
and growling
a low down lazy growl
as the day was lazy
as was said)

And then we exhaled
I followed plumes of blue silky smoke
Rolling into each other
And spreading out
The billowing dance caught
In a dusty beam of light
That sparkled like magic
And threatened to send us
All to sleep

And in the distance
The jingle of the ice-cream van sounded
And drew louder and nearer
Until it stopped
Right outside the house
A diesel powered music box
It's peculiar engine smell
Pouring out it's whirring back grate
Finding it's way into the room
And teasing us
Something rotten

Dad closed his eyes
He had learnt not to look at such things
But even with his eyes closed
His smile gave him away
He saw just as well as I:
Mothers and fathers 
And grubby kids 
Leave the van
With FIVE ice-creams a piece
Young pink tongues
Licking at whirled quiffs
Cider-apple and Cola lollies
Melting in hot mouths
Our stomachs rumbling
'O silky Ice-cream'
And boy were we hungry then.

Dad got up
I could tell by the way he raised
With a proud stiffness
That he had some fix in the works
He looked serious
Full of fate
And walked
Like a man who knew the answer

I followed him
Out of the heat of the living room
Down the shady corridor
Into the dark back room
My young mind curious
As to how
A short handled demolition mallet
Could possibly help
Us animals

Dad didn't say a word
Neither did I
I Just follewed him more
To the door under the stairs
Which led to the cellar
From where the slugs
Slithered up by night
And where we'd once 
Stored daffodil bulbs
And other magic seeds

For just a brief moments moment
Dad looked pensive
Then he straightened straight up
Tensed the muscles in his jaw
Hardening himself hard against
Any weakness
Of thinking thought

Dad opened the cellar door
2000 years of cool mossy damp
Swept over me
I peered in
The rotting wooden steps
Leading somewhere
Into total blackness
Which had invaded
So many
Of my dreams

"Stand back, Son" Dad said
His hand against my chest
Pushing me away
Then he raised the mallet
In both hands
High above his head
Rocked back once
Three times
And brought the mallet
Crashing down
The coin operated
Electricity meter

The wrought iron casing
Cracked open
And a waterfall of silver
Poured out
Her Majesty The Queen
Crashing and rolling away
In all directions

I scrambled for the Queens' heads
But Dad said “Stop!”
And then 
“Stand back, Son”
Before playing High Striker
On the gas meter

After that we harvested the readies
I don't know how much there was
But it was a full T-shirt full
And more.

Dad didn't hang about counting either
He was in a rush 
To offload some of his bad luck
(that which I told you about earlier)
In the 3.30 at Chepstow
He promised it'd only take five minutes 
For his horse to lose 
And then he'd be back
With dog food for the dog
And something special for us

And true to his word
Dad was back 
In under five
Wearing a bright red loser's face
And carrying
A tin of Super-saver dog food
And a huge tub of Neapolitan ice-cream

It was somewhere between the second and third bowl
When the doorbell rang
And the paranoia began.

A Prophecy of Love to Come

The first time I heard the words "I Love You"
And they didn't smell of vodka
I was 21 years old

I think they made me cry
But I'm not sure -
It was dark
And I was being very quiet

They came from the mouth of a someone
Who up until then
Hadn't told me anything worthwhile
And had only sucked my cock

From my reaction to those words
In the dark of that bare place
On a mattress on the floor
I knew:

 whatever it was
   would one day
     tear my soul
       to shreds

I smoked one last cigarette
And on the happiest, saddest night of my life
I slept without dreaming.

As To Why I'll Never Go Sea Fishing Again

We were two hours off the Newhaven coast
Twelve of us
On a small boat we'd hired for the day
In choppy water

The Captain was a squat man
Of about sixty
With his arms bowed out
he was almost as wide as he was tall
He dressed only in shorts and flip-flops –
Not even a beard.
His skin was sandblast red
And there was crystallised salt in the wrinkles
He kept our position
Taught us how to fish
And untangled our lines
He said sea-fishing was best on choppy days

After a good hour
Without a single fish between us
Chris's line stretched taut
He had hooked something,
He pulled back
Dug his feet into the deck
And began reeling his line in

For over half an hour he worked this thing
Cursing its stubborn fight for survival
Inbetween saying:
“It's a whoppa! Get the cameras ready, Boys!”
Then laughing
Laughing because we'd all thrown twenty quid in the kitty

Finally Chris's catch gave up the fight
Chris now reeled his line in freely
No longer having to give the fish some slack
He wound that thing in furiously
Like he was having a weird wank
All of us hanging over the boat to see what monster he'd bring up
“Here it comes!” he said
And sure enough the sea surface broke
With a pathetic 'PLOP'
And we all peered in at what was swinging in the air
Chris's free hand out to rip it off the hook
A hideous bright red thing
Which resembled a pair of bollocks:
Chris had hooked a sea sponge

The boat rocked with laughter
Even The captain joined in
Chris seethed with anger
Stepped on the Deep-Sea-Gonads
And tugged the hook out of it
And then rain hit the deck
And the sea began swelling
And sometimes there'd be a wall of water shadowing us
And other times we'd be lifted up
on the peak of a huge balloon of liquid mass

The captain told us to fix our rods in the holders on the gunwhale
To get inside the cabin
And seal the door
So that's what we did
Cramped in
Against The Captain and machines
Which looked like they'd come
from an emergency ward

As the boat was lashed and tossed about
The Captain laughed
Though nervously, I thought
He pointed to the scanner
To hazy clusters of dots
“All boat wrecks,” he said, proudly
“A lot of 'em in these here waters!
That's why it's so good for cod.”

By now, the window looking out on the bow was under permanent wave
The stern was flooded
And sometimes the starboardside window was almost flat to the sea
If we'd have remained out on deck
we'd all have been swept overboard
We was lucky –
Lucky as not all boats have a sealed cabin

Still, The Captain told us not to worry
Said he'd been out in far worse...
Said little boats like these were almost impossible to capsize
That the biggest danger was his heart giving out
Said he suffered from “severe angina”
And if that happened
Then we really would be fucked
He said we'd just drift
And if we drifted too far North
We'd be at first smashed to bits
Then swallowed whole!
We all shuddered
And stared at The Captains taut red chest

The captain turned a knob
There was a crackle
Then a voice
The Captain spoke into his radio
To a friend on another boat
A mile to our left
His friend said that the storm had passed his end
The Captain hung the radio back up
He stared forward at the crashing frothy sea
Then he said:
“It'll soon pass
two or three minutes
then, with the waters all shook up
we'll hook ourselves some nice fat cod!”

And it did soon pass
But Ash had turned the colour of translucent seaweed
He was heaving and puking away long after the sea had calmed
And so we told The Captain to return us to shore
He did
And the moment we hit shore
Like a miracle
Ash was better
“Sea sickness is strange” everyone agreed
And then Chris was laughing
His sea-sponge-bollocks turned out to be
the only catch of the day
He scooped the kitty
And bought us all a drink

And as we drank
We talked of 100 foot walls of water
And how we were all lucky to be alive
That the sea was angry at someone
And The Captain swallowed vile brown bitter
And called us “City poofters!”
He said:
“Lucky to be alive my arse! We was never in any trouble at all!”
And I don't know if we was or if we wasn't
But I do know this:
I'll never go sea-fishing again.

The Murder of Daniel

Child Killer no.1 –
Brian, age 13:

We were all out walking
The three of us:
Me, Zak and Daniel
I had sold a motorcycle sidecar
And Zak had some money
We bought lots of beer
And we drank them at Zak's house

A few days before
Daniel had stolen some gas cannisters
from an old man
When questioned by the police
He said that it was me and Zak
The police gave us a right good beating for that
So we decided to get even.

We got drunk
And beat Daniel up.
He was sitting on the floor
With his back to Zak.
When I turned to light my cigarette
Zak picked up a brick.
He smashed it down on Daniel's head.
We buried him there.
Left no trace.
They couldn't find him for ages - 
A whole month.
Then they worked Zak over in the police station.
He cracked
And admitted we both killed Daniel.

Child Killer no.2 –
Zak, age 15:

Daniel was howling
Swearing that it wasn't him who told the police
I hit him over the head with a brick
Then Brian picked up the brick
He also threw it on Daniel's head
Daniel either went dizzy
Or lost consciousness
We hit him with the brick again.

Brian got 2 years
At the time he was only thirteen
I was fifteen
I got 6 years
I don't think that's fair
It wasn't only me
He did more than me
And I got the longer sentence
I don't know why.

Mother of murdered child:

Daniel's lower jaw was broken in half
I never did find the rest of it.
The coroner told me:
"You won't find it now
Probably the crows grabbed it."

Daniel's nose was also broken
Witnesses say that when the murderers buried him
That his eye was laying on his right cheek
That's all.
I can't say anything else.
They're animals
Not children.

Brian The Animal, age 14:

I remember it all.
I play it over in my head
Not in the daytime –
we have lessons then
and teachers telling us stuff
But in the evening
At night
In the dark
When I'm laying in bed
I remember it all.

Letters Home from a Children's Prison

Letter #1

Hi Dad!
How are you feeling?
I'm fine
I'm trying to study
and do some sport.

Letter #2

Hi Mum!
I hope you aren't ill?
I've been here six months
And you've not visited
Have you found any work,
or not?

Letter #3

Hello Grandma
How are you?
How's your health?
I remember when you came to see me
It made me very happy
I'll never forget that day
I've kept in mind what your hands are like:
They are wrinkly and rough
I often remember
How you used to fry potatoes for me
And the smell of your meatballs
And fried eggs
When you came to see me
You brought lots of sweets.
Thank you!

Non-Letter #4

I don't want to write to Mum
I'm upset that she killed Grandma
Though when I get out
I think I will forgive her
And start to write letters
After all
No matter what
She's still my Mum.