#NewYear

What dya expect
from drunken kisses?
I touchd er black nylons
er sweatshop stitches –
Er ringd fingas fumbld
as er wet lips partd –
I gropped er net-arse
my rub o stiff chances –
but er give were short
in my piss-poor grip –
she paintd me shirt
as she threw up er drink

The Christmas Call

..We know nothing of man .. far too little..’ CG Jung

It is over two decades since we last spoke –
you offered no responses – not when I ‘phoned
or when I cheerily arrived at the family home

with – or without – a disquieted companion –
then I’d try to engage you in light conversation –
but that was your silent-met cue to exit the room

And our mother never gave me a full explanation –
except that – He goes upstairs and paints ..
pictures .. from his imagination .. It’s his escape ..

He doesn’t get out much .. nearly an old man – You –
a temporary loss in her thinning line of sons –
each boy sets her wondering – What went wrong?

I watched her fight her eldest – a patio-battering –
from behind the Crittall windows of my bedroom –
I saw her ill-faste fists set upon her eldest child

That is what she made – Us in her ugly likeness
of turned cheeks and of emotional tightness –
that son she striked – he died too early for her liking

And now – on the ‘phone – She is too ill to talk to you
your first line in this garrulous time of your remove –
then a snapped order – not to try again – It upsets her!

You don’t speak to me for years then bark commands –
Do they count – along with your hardened demands
against my ragged ripostes at your loss of voice?

No – do not speak to me –
Please leave it twenty more

Turn

She turns to let the bird go –
as if it would leave
such half-robed beauty –
as if it would be robbed
of a close indulgence
like us cocksure things

and I can pick up the scent
from her underarm sweat
as she rotates – so as to let
the creature lift from her –
as she turns away
on her bare bone heels


Inspired by Michaela Ridgeway’s art @michaelasian

Not Right

You lymphatic racists rupture
bursting forth a noxious poison
as you brandish your creased flags –

whilst you unfurl your ragged stupidity –
you slurred men – you such ungifted pigs –
you too-loud opinion-screamers

Reduce the yellow-vested sectarians –
and throw back their shite –
by pointing out politely that they are not right


E080119

The Lungs of God

I stand under this vault
of our common church –
off-centre on this sea-girt isle

Our stone tradition of roofing
is more to do with fools’ fires
than Heaven’s weight

Here the light is insipid –
no tang of incense
only the blue miasma
off flume emissions

My legs tire – but find no pew –
no tuffet to take me
to the path’s cathartic
kneel-down call

Gift Wrapping

There – done – ripped apart
then left on a slunked chair
or hung on the fat bannister –

then the glee-torn wrappings
are bagged – either ‘re’ –
or ‘not-re’ – ‘cyclable

I sit in my Christmas jumper
and hear the thankless mumbles
from others for their useless gifts –

We never know how to lie
on Christmas Day

And tomorrow there will be bags
of this year’s unwanted stuff
heading to the cancer shop

or to fill the unlocked industrial bins –
to become lumpen beds
for the badly-wrapped tenants

This Extra

It was not a full day of reduced daylight
but the briefest of natural moments
on that calendar date – which passed
half recognised – like the waning film star

who I stood in for – another nacreous man
on a never-ending day of falsified hours –
My value fixed by his cast shadow
whilst I wore identical clothes –

I was being paid to be his tincture
on yet another identical film set –
My tired looks – which matched the actor –
put me under a long spot of sodium –

My winter solstice was over-shuttered
by age and disgrace under shorter days
of cuts and no light left to take again –
My ways of finding extra time are over


E140119

Not Dead Yet

(For Clive James)

Old Chiacking Larrikin
dropped eight foot –
his fall rope-halted –
then he jiggery-choked

They hang the committed –
but won’t kill the watching –
who steal from the swung
at the public hanging

Clive laughs with death –
as he eyes the loose noose –
his readers misled
by his maple-red truth

Old Larrikin waits
for the swing of the bard –
He’s stood Mr. James
a beer at God’s bar

This Builder

I am a too-quick builder –
one without the weight
of an elbowing canvas bag
of inherited tools –

Mine are not recognisable
as such – no textured grips
of moulded plastic
over cold-formed steel –

My way with these agencies
is by an ill-lightness
of slightest finger touches
on the tablet’s screen –

I chisel and cut without blows
until I slip – step back –
to see – and read – some
over-engineered words –

The curtain rail in our bedroom
dips unattended –
It no longer serves
any purpose

Pain Gardening

I closed my raw eyes
to suck upon this –
but drew too much
to hold my breath –

the spin off his wrist
of an over-spun stone –
pitched at my forehead –
he took me down –

of the shrill sharp slice
of a buried wheat chaff –
which burnt to screams
making me blind

And then I exhaled
to kill each instance –
a brief mis-direction
of my complaint

An East London Dancer

So she tipped – like a slipped-off creature
under the water – tilting back – to arc
below – to birth a falsified richness
of twisted mist – of dry-cold-on-wet-heat

and I held no appall at her staged nudity
which I stood over – there her magnified skin
of yet-kissed white – of yet-sucked circles –
and that interruption above her turned legs

She let my eyes dry her raised limbs
with an idiot’s roughness – back then
such was her kick – in and out of the water –
she lifted a leg and I was ineffective

Before the gig I had been couch-anchored
as she stood just-wrapped in her towel –
with unfitted – with flirts – with a glimpse –
and me on the guest list for her show

At Our Gate

Old lust – our ragged plot
of strangling weeds –
of poisonous shrubs
turn to interleave

I no longer prune hard –
here they still grow –
even tool-turned beds
take foul seeds
as true

You employ a man –
whom you poorly pay –
who digs in hard
with hands-on-spade

He labours for hours –
the rough cover he tears –
as he clears the unloved –
you taste his turned air

No Room

Through this sludge-week
before your lit Yuletide –
this path of slopped rain
sucks hard on my boots

as I traipse in my circles
of the dog-dug conditions –
through which I’m set fast
by your barked-out orders –

Only return home
with a well-cut one –
which will not then tip –
not ’til the twelfth day –

Such held superstitions –
erected by lost Popes –
were claims on short nights
over our pagan ways –

I’d rather keep cold gods
from the warm living room –
I hold no love
for your desiccated tree

The Captured

Her story will be lost
by this time tomorrow –
Jakelin Ameí
Rosmery Caal Maquin –
even one so sweet –
many names for one
so small

And no memorial –
except a wall –
will ever be raised
by any state
to the first life lost
in Trump’s own war

A child – just seven –
in his custody – gone –
whilst his ugly patrols
pour water and scorn –
their cruel acts posted –
‘phone-boasted captures

#Guinness is God For Yer

I am – now – that Old Boy in the bar –
he who nurses an anchored pint –
who has time itself as a luxury
of sips every fifteen minutes –

those slow draws of his lifted Guinness
that drinking match of dark mass
and white-topped hair-on-head –
‘Youngsters take this tipple ironically’

Then the in-house mumbling alcoholic
stirs me from my reveries by my name
to ask about my illness – and Christmas –
both are twisting inside me – like candida

The quickened swill in my gut then blooms
to a weighty obligee to her seasonal beliefs –
and those of my degenerative stuff –
each then rinsed down by my cold stout

Being Eighteen

Being eighteen in 1982
was easier than in 2018 –
we had less stuff to plug in –
sniping critics were blocked
by the turn of a front door key
and loud parents muted by
the stereo being set to ten

Our whole past was aligned
spine out – but not in public –
on the overhead shelves –
bound in worn LP sleeves
to which we returned on those
solemn dead-end Sundays –
before it was switched on

#Nebulous

As if crashed in the mist
of nebulous complaints –
far-too easily caught –
to vibrate like an angry fly
in a web – not breaking –
until worn to a submissive
woven bundle – set aside –
and that woman in grey –
in her binding cocoon –
in it they will then spin her
into repeated crises –
no one will cut her loose

The Pilot

Stunned by an off-keel tip –
but that was part of the deal
of any such heaved pull
under the pilot’s minimal steer
of his salt-pressed gig crew –

then the high wave-slams of
the clinker-laid hardwood boat
upon the vast ship’s tarred hull –
as if beating upon the pregnant
belly of a dark leviathan

Those men had won the right
to pull alongside – to profit –
to earn their paid return to the
dark harbour’s pints of succour –
but only with the turn of the tide

by half a dozen oars in that boat
timed by a hundred – or more –
counted out from the hefted launch
to that last profitable throw of rope
onto the huge ship of strangers

Bonfire

We cannot ignore
what we see //
We have to recognise
the slow creep
of ired white men
and equal women
who will re-stoke
their noisome hate
by piling their lies
in ideological pyres//
They will then torch
the shredded truth
lit with cupped
safety matches –
putting a slow flame
to stacked ‘papers –
those dried ink lines
of their justified vice –
set in monotype – far-right
under Jack-high cries//
We cannot be seen
to not see this
and to not raise
a more graceful mob

#BlackFriday

I crumpled – again – this morning –
with the endless news – which I cradled –
still warm – in my left hand –
then this unplugged device dimmed
to save on power usage

I stroked the sempiternal story
with a stiff finger – re-lighting it –
the act of scrolling – like teasing skin
with love’s lightest of touches
to bring a waking company to life

My roll-over nights of trickled
sweat-streams will be re-stoked –
Reuters reports of more kinds
of fucks – of over-heated ice
washing from those off-white poles

They now count the last of a species
on one hand – measuring the missing
in thin percentages – filling media inches –
which shift plastic – that advertised crap –
I crumple with such endless news

Marlow’s Complaint

My shins are singing out loud
like Potter’s skinned detective –
him – joyless in being bed-bound

I then picture the flowershop man
worth now – for now – half of his body
until his whenever-recovery

from a stroke – which found him flat –
He was able to stand so proudly
before that inside weakness outed

and laid the old queen on her back
in Eastbourne’s Sovereign Ward –
I hope he laughs at that word –

whilst I do not suffer such rounds
of writer’s block – no aneurysms –
nothing as vile as being bed-bound

 

Bar Work

For P.

//Grown men bear-hug
in the cinema bar –
this town’s tough men –
they stand held-hard
//with doffed back pats –
almost softly-kissed –
after sunken fizzed beers
after curried fears –
//and the curled-hair girl
quick-checks her sly glance
in the double door glass
of the flung entrance
//That beautiful woman
on the other sunk sofa
before heading out
sinks a sobering soda
//and I’d walk her home
above staggered kerbs –
struggling – still holding –
her wine-tipped words

The Dew Pond

I have woken to
that occasional weight
of the chain mail
of another night sweat

but now it is winter –
my cycle-kicking
of the layered sheets
has no drying effect

I lie in wait for a miracle
but revert to dancing
blindly to the bathroom
to dab my dew ponds

This uneasiness
in my places of aches –
of Song-writing Disease –
could be helped

by flicking the switch
but such light –
such selfish luxury –
would wake you

As I towel myself down
I remember in waking
that you are not here
and will not be woken


E140119

Under the Sun

Come and watch us pick at
our scabs of bloody ignorance –
they will – one day – partly heal

to a red roughness of scarring
set to itch – a hint of melanoma’s
blasting shadow across our skin

We will not seek relief from shade
to offset such canker or cancer –
instead – we will strip and microwave

on those platters of plastic sunbeds
to a ready meal heat – whilst being oiled
and rubbed into a slept submission –

then into that unimaginable cul-de-sac
of pottering and beige waiting rooms –
where we will find mirrors far too honest –

set with our reflections of bare errors –
then to count the rings of under-eye skin
and we will know our burnt old age

Dear Nanny

Dear Nanny,

rees mogg dear nannyYou taught me so
very much – like
the fact that the plebs
are far too rough –
‘..Only to be touched
during buggery ..

and then wear a rubber
to avoid disease..’

My dark heart is decorated
like our attic room –
where you taught me love –
Oh! I miss your bosom
Now I have buggered
all of the prols –
with eloquent speeches
off my fountain pen’s furl –
I have time enough left –
and plenty of spunk –
to replenish our love
and become as one

Your loving ‘son’
Jac-Jac x

The Wanted Ad

Some things are more important
than ability..

that line a would-be band leader penned
when pinned in by the curtain-drswn

suburbs of – perhaps – outer London –
or from behind striped drapes of Oldham?

Such calls followed the loss of real music
to MTV’s cathode-fixing rays

and her pure love of riffable looks –
so much so that artists succumbed

to that two quid call in WANTED –
in the NME – and more for

‘Smiths, Commotions ..
and or Pet Shop Boys ..’

yet unfound by any other bands –
They needed a bassist – smiling

whilst the drummer they required
would not be seen – just sitting