The Forest in the Spare Room

She lead me by my hand
into the spare room
to share an intimate view
to watch the gathering dew
crystalline collections
confounded recollections
of a forest which flourished
under fluorescent tubes.

Haze hung lazy and thick
among the flowering boughs
she hushed her own words
as we coughed and laughed
exploring that shrouded grove
below a blinding artificial sun
inhaling the effervescence
of the forest’s very essence.

At last we tired and returned
awakened to our concrete world
surrounded by rude banality
submerged by stifling reality
with her smile and secret eyes
codes subtle and clandestine
words chosen or left unspoken
her forest beneath electric light.


The Wayfarer’s Prayer

Two hundred and fifty kilometres
time flies when you’re having none
burger grease on the steering wheel
skirting the edge of waking vacancy
stay in your lane
be on your way
the hypnosis of blank midnight roads
singing sweetly of peace and warmth
slow orange glow spreading over you
fog lights burning like lonely campfires
stay in your lane
be on your way
as navigation leans toward negation
dead ends hide around every bend
when the suddenly thundering semi
rattles you back to shaken vigilance
stay in your lane
be on your way
and bring yourself back home again.

Starfish Prime with a Slice of Lime

From nineteen-eighty-five to twenty-fucking-twenty
he drowned many sorrows painting a single memory
he focused double-vision to etch with earnest precision
he spurned the world only to preserve her existence
he listened to her voicemail and he couldn’t delete her
he read the old letters and said he never felt better
he heard a door slam down the hollow brick hall
he peeked through curtains and he lay on the floor
he rocked and he rolled and he wailed and he flailed
he ate his own word salad with bittersweet dressing
he held a staring contest with his own mirror image
and he won.

Thirty five still alive despite his lack of course or remorse
he downed every glass placed within reach and more
he regretted every decision made by internal schism
he pulled it together and he built an edifice to contrition
he piled it higher until his confusion covered the sun
he wrote about her until his hands were cramping numb
he ripped the page as he tried to convey a profound depth
he overplayed his hand and he understated his intent
he overstayed his welcome and he assimilated his regret
he listened for secret messages and he crafted his lament
he deciphered her words and he found a hidden string
he considered himself mundane and despised anything
he had created.

From nineteen-eighty-five to twenty-fucking-twenty
he knows almost nothing and yet he considers it plenty
he may do a dance for the rain and yet rave at the hail
he might ask to be raised only to flinch from the nails
he may search for miracles yet be met with damnation
he might aim for significance yet be content with salvation
he may resolve to survive, to rise, to praise, and to write
he might resign to expire, to sink, to curse, and to ignite
he may be nothing more and he may be something less
he might become someone somewhere and be no-one else
he may arrive before his time and leave before he is done
he might embark past his prime and amount to a zero-sum
or maybe
he will do none of the above.

And Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

So I’m back, if you can call it that. I didn’t really go anywhere, unless you consider imploding into a psychic wormhole created by the crushing gravitational grip of my own fears and insecurities to be a form of travel? If so, I’ve racked up some serious mileage on this baby.

I did manage a few lame attempts at piling up words and hacking them into shapes with the plastic spatula of my limited intellect during my self-imposed exile, and I’ll be pushing them out over the next few evenings for everyone to pick over. Big steaming piles of words with the occasional kernel of insight embedded in there. Which is strange, because I don’t remember consuming anything insightful lately. But that’s Reddit for you. Anyhow, I gotta clear these decks to make room for more inept puns and jokes about IBS, you know? Some poems too I guess.

So brace yourselves for impact and say a tearful good-bye to your sanity, because like a barbeque balanced on top of a broken septic tank, shit’s about to get lit.

November Golf

You are the product of your unique situation
that long succession of genetic regression
you are the product of a by-gone generation
who not only brought you to this place
but created everything
which now surrounds you
everything
which now compounds you
everything
which now compels you
everything
which now becomes you
and yet of course they left you bereft of choice
replaced your voice with sore-throat white-noise
you are the product of nature and nurture
you are the product of naivety and neglect
you are the product
you are the product
you are the product
you are the factory, the package, the robot
you are the creature of die-hard habit
you are the continuation of a familiar pattern
you are inevitable
you are inescapable
but do you hear me?
do you read me?
do you see me?

There is nowhere else except yourself
and wherever you go
you will still be there.

You don’t hate the prayer, you hate the pain
your inveterate desire to desecrate
your momentum and your
passing momentary clarity
your inertia and your affected gravity
the path less traveled and the stories untold
now is not the time
to speculate on futures unsold
now is not the time
to cling onto your bundled regrets
now is not the time
to shake up your unmade mind
now is not the time
to turn over a new flat screen
now is not the time
to wonder who you could have been
you are inevitable
you are inescapable
but do you hear me?
do you read me?
do you see me?

There is nowhere else except yourself
and wherever you go
you will still be there.

Mubble Fubbles

Afterwards
after the words
at half-past dark
my second thoughts
later than at-last
further than so-far
my sorrowful wallow
cancelling tomorrow
my calendar of clarity
spare-change charity
my dubious timing
weakly unwinding
our corkscrew dive
blue tumbling skies
yet after all
it feels so small
nothing matters
morning staggers
dragging me along
with a familiar song
the only one I like
the only one I know
afterwards.

A Snowflake’s Chance

“To those who can hear me, I say do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish…”

-Charlie Chaplin, The Great Dictator

Clucky Bastard

I wake up in the dense darkness between early and late
to turn the lever to pull it together and count my chickens
weeks before you’re due to hatch.

I wake up in the blank blackness on the cusp of day
to observe the steady glow of your loving Iron Mother
resting my hand above her heat-lamp.

I wake up in the close coldness and the crisp quietude
to shine a light into all the corners of your little world
observing tiny miracles in holy solitude.

I wake up in the solid silence before another day
to listen for your calls through warm eggshell walls
singing reply in rough whispered song.

I wake up again
although I’ve hardly slept
your voices now too strong
your worlds now too small
I watch as you gradually emerge
while you chip away at your walls
I watch as you break on through
and you stumble onto this earth
then with trembling care
I gather you near
a handful of life so newly arrived
while somewhere a rooster crows.

Craven

Hidden within those crumpled sheets
scribbled over congealed frozen meals
concealed cleverly under by-gone revelry
nearer to nothing and entombed in memory
the finality!
the banality!
exit stage left to muted applause
unseen hands draw the curtain closed
familiar thoughts
dissonant chords
buried now in a brown cardboard box
close beside that patiently vacant plot
the futility!
the stupidity!
beneath us and forever between us
your final words I never heard
because I am a coward
and you knew me too well.

Regicide

Regicide is the noblest of crimes
remove the head, the serpent dies
mix me a cocktail give me a light
igniting passion with Molotov fire
buy your ticket, now enjoy the ride
‘Long live the king!’ the viper writhes
protect your secrets, I’ll bury mine
our revolution begins tonight.

Shock Doctrine

Craving recognition
seeking confirmation
staring back at the eyes in the sky
a constellation of zooming lenses
an orbital array of baby monitors
old Brother’s unflagging vigil
nothing to hide?
nothing to fear!
now move along –
there’s nothing to see here.

 

Casino (The Hungry Mile)

“In the race of life, always back self interest. At least you know it’s trying.”
– Paul Keating

Your edifice glares into my kitchen
like a second sun setting in the East
your sparkling mountain of glass
your lofty peak of polished steel
your palace of ponderous vanity
and our collective loss of sanity
those orgulous proportions dominating the horizon
like a gleaming lance thrust into the heart of heaven
penetrating the clouds
flipping off the world
this crass corpulent cock of corruption
mirror bright and without self-reflection
this temple raised to launder your dollars
and empty the pockets of lucky sky-rollers
towering over the land and above the law
your cathedral of highest perfidy
your colossus of venal perversity
your altar of absolute depravity
your monument of base debauchery
this lofty trough for high-class swine
bugger the world and fuck the sky.

 

Inspired by a True Story

Supplements for Supper on the Last Day of Summer

Seven o’clock sharp as a razor
two capsules with tepid water
I’ve taken my tablets, dirty ochre
wake me up when it’s all over.

High noon climbs humid and dull
two more with my lunchtime swill
I’ve taken my tablets, sullen blue
what am I going to do with you?

Evening crawls in shadow’s wake
two more again to mask the pain
I’ve taken my tablets, restive red
steamed greens with sour bread.

My antihistamines are off the leash
plus melatonin for sweeter dreams
I’ve taken my tablets, lily white
no more medicine for tonight.

The Midnight Clowder

I talk to your cat
when you’re not home
I talk to your cat
when he’s out to roam
we talk about you
oh yes we do
we gossip and we dish
we bitch and we moan
“They never feed me!”
“I know, I know!”
“Nobody pats me!”
“I know, I know!”
I talk to your cat
we meet up at the pub
I talk to your cat
over our Sunday lunch
we discuss politics
we shoot the breeze
“But I can’t take you home,
I have allergies!”
I talk to your cat
and we make our plans
because people confound me
but your cat understands.

 

Just to be clear, this poem is just ‘for the lulz’ as the kids would say. I’m not going to abduct anyone’s cat. But I will talk with him or her when we run into each other on the street, and if that makes you ‘totes jelly’, I can’t help you.

Percussive Maintenance

When your door creaks upon its hinge
when your magic box is on the fritz
when your engine begins to choke and spit
when your square pegs refuse to fit
slap that recalcitrant sonofabitch
whack that reluctant piece of shit
you’re just performing
percussive maintenance.

Technicians and eldritch magicians
clutching their textbook superstitions
full of protocol and official positions
but they all concede to ancient wisdom
smack that flickering screen
let the copier hear you scream
you’re just performing
percussive maintenance.

When your documents are lost forever
when your waffles get stuck together
when your router finally goes to heaven
when your smart phone gets too clever
tap it rap it clap it snap it crack it
shake it a bit and maybe break it a bit
you’re just performing
percussive maintenance.

Pax Atomica

Beneath the earth where giants sleep
wrapped in cocoons of tempered steel
beneath our thoughts and in between
prophecy slumbers below our feet
and in the oceans’ trackless deep
atrocity submerged by silent seas
wars once frozen can be re-heated
just don’t think what dwells beneath
we can light a pyre and call it peace
while giants groan in restless dreams
while power trembles beyond our reach
prophecy demands a promise to keep
we signed the deal but we never read
now giants are entombed down beneath
now we are bound to ensure they sleep
now we are part of their awful dreams
now we rejoice in our Atomic Peace.

 

 

I’d like to dedicate this one to all my regular readers… because you truly are the bomb.

Serenity

Your table manners were atrocious
staring me down with jaw agape
not interested in your own fare
and only concerned with my plate-
how I miss your gormless face
hot breath dripping spittle shake
stiff-legged stretches at sunrise
forever ready to run your race
purloining food to swiftly escape
you were almost famous
and yet so rarely awake.