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.

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.

 

Procrastination, Thy Name is Scrunch

Throwing a self-pity party
My place! Today!
Dress code: utterly ridiculous
b.y.o. tiny violin.

Watch this space as they say
restart the infernal machine
when the tide turns and returns
lay my burden aside
in the blessings of another rainy day
remember that I’m alive
and it’s back to work in cleaner shirts
knuckle to keyboard
bumper to bumper
from warehouse to the front-of-store killing floor
shift it all and sell it all and shift it back again
my vacation in my self-centered stagnation is done
(for now)
back to work we go.

Scratched

Boundless
enthusiasm
you nearly pulled me over
again.

Every morning you woke up happy
stretching and dancing around me
eyes bright with the familiar question
“Where are we going today?”.

Later
the walk home seemed longer
with your empty collar
heavy in my hand.

There Is No Hell Like an Old Hell

Molten yellow wax held me entranced
suspended within a glowing lamp
my little room, my comfortable gloom
walls papered with faces and thought
so safe, even in the aftermath
violation against volition
tearfully contrived contrition
memories wrapped in cotton mist
and the brittle fragility of my youthful simplicity
as I tapped out tales of stupendous stupidity.

Where my heroes would hold me close
roiling cramps from an incorrect dose
among tumbling words from the gods I heard
the deep resonance of the renaissance man
where I would lay for hours in silent howls
scissors bleeding and clarity receding
mosquitoes eager to commence their feasting
humming in my head told me and scolded me
“It’s not over and you’re not done yet,”
where the world came to a violent end
over and over and forever again
where the door bore scars from my impotent fist
where I cracked my toe in a raging fit
where tantrums broke when I awoke
while my nightmares lay down and slept.

Where a single song could contain me
when nothing else could save me
and for every moment that I spent
I could recall another unique torment
that Pandora’s box filled with dirty socks
where my life was as cheap as the rent.

Happy Spew Year

I’m staying in tonight, taking care of my old man’s greyhound. No drinks, no smoke, just a quiet night without stress and craziness. I’d like to thank my readers for sticking by me through 2019, and I want to wish you all a safe and happy new year with your friends and family. May 2020 bring everything that’s good your way.

Music Lessons

She drew music in the sand with her toes
laughing as she tried to explain again
how the universe could be rearranged
while the key might not change at all
and the rise and fall of her merciful voice
guided my eyes along those rivulet lines
until the tide began to sluggishly turn
and the waves rose up to erase her work.

“It’s all just crows sitting on telephone wires!”
I said with half a heart and a stubborn head
“Scales and intervals and diminished chords
it’s a load of nonsense with a pleasant form.”

She laughed, smiling perhaps
for the last time in that decade’s span
we were ignorant and blissful for an afternoon
until the ferry returned to take us home.

Stoned Crows & Starving Lizards

A hunter moves in sudden bursts
furtive track across a vertical desert
minute black eyes and yellow scales
he is forever ready to drop his tail
lest another predator should appear
to turn the hunter into his meal.

While out in the garden a lazy buzz
as a fattened gatherer wanders about
bumbling drunk within a sugar rush
blue belly shining in the orange sun
a life of flight from orchid to rose
collecting flowers for the family home.

Ignoring both the gecko and the little bee
a noble thief scrambles among the leaves
for secrets to discover under netting cover
forbidden fruits are purloined with ease
“Hidden treasures are the greatest of pleasures!”
said the clever crow with his blueberry feast.

Operation Highjump

“If you only climb a mountain once a year
you can’t really call yourself a mountaineer…”

Deleting myself
gives me a sense of what control must be like
a taste of power with sweet and sour
while hanging on for happy hour.

Noodle arms and stir-fried brain
this place doesn’t feel the same
I’m always too cooked or under-done
embittered by what I’ve not become
how am I supposed to find composure
in the tedium of raw sobriety?

Smoke and mirrors
whats for dinner?
I would eat my own head
if it allowed me to forget
that I am the culmination
of those hapless generations
lost to time and creeping death
I am where the story ends.

Hot Shingles in Your Area

pindimar.jpg

Where the estuary opened her arms wide
enticing embrace from the vaulted sky
in the shade of tangled mangrove boughs
we lightly explored the depths of love
with salt and vinegar for reckless beginners
a taste of elation with a lemon slice
seagulls descended to eat our lunch
and it never mattered in the slightest
that the evening tides were against us
sands receding with the sun’s retreating
we fumbled, unsure and stubbornly insecure
our hands weaving an impossible knot
our hearts were bound and beat as one.

Thirty Rusted Lawnmowers, Forty Busted Boat Motors, & One Caravan Full of Nightmares

Mowing the lawn?
You’re doing it
wrong
but I care just enough
to provide for you son
my life’s
only lesson.

Don’t break your back
staggering around your stack
with a thrashing howling living machine
rock shard and cut grass spraying
sweat cooking on your back…
No! you take that mower
and you rip it apart
scatter its guts all over the yard
let the blades rust in the Summer sun
then you go buy another one
and repeat this every weekend
until every inch of earth on your land
is home to some ruined piece of machinery
and the lawn will be
the least of your worries.

Take it from me, I’m a puzzling man
that is,
I’ve framed all the jigsaws I’ve ever done
and when I’m gone that’s all I’ll leave behind
puzzles and garbage
pornography and dreams
and my shack with views of the ocean deep.

 

Author’s note – Long story short, I went a bit crazy the last few weeks and nearly bought an alleged ‘house’ (in reality a run down rubbish-strewn shack in the middle of nowhere about four hours away from where I, or anyone else lives). In between dealing with all the loan sharks and real estate double agents, I spent a long time inspecting the place with the caretaker. It was a deceased estate, and the family hadn’t made even the barest effort to clean. And as I stood there in among the busted asbestos panels, tangled fishing rods, faded filth magazines, and all the accumulated detritus of another human’s life, I had a bit of a moment…

The Latitude of Gratitude

All lined up in my sights
my little duckies in a row
a dozen windows open all at once
and then at last I’m home
fading red wine melancholy
paired with your sacred text
my evening hums with electricity
as I bathe in your eccentricities
discovering and recovering
aspects long lost, now resurfacing
or carefully concealed, re-emerging
fragments I once discarded
re-birthed in wanton laughter
your songs are a lullaby to my soul.

Greedy as a starving dog
I consume your musical words
graceless in my unrestrained gluttony
your glorious expression surpassing me
your clever deceptions delighting me
you lead me along the garden path
you get me higher than heaven itself
and for all the hours I should have slept
I would make your poetry my gentle bed
comforting myself within your essence
your thoughts become my convalescence
and with your loving holy hands
and your blessed, messy, crazy heads
you wrote me out of hell.

Chicken Pickin’

Fumbling picking with prickly fingers
chords that jangle when they should chime
callous growth and my forlorn hopes
I’ll make these cliches dance in time
a worn-out phrase born from naivete
climbing chaos like a jungle-gym
can’t persuade myself to save myself
wandering hands play a lonely hymn
reveal yourself to me
with your melodic screed
crows strung along a telephone wire
reaching heights I couldn’t aspire
summoning crumbs
twiddling thumbs
someone’s gotta feed these chickens.

Empathy & Emptiness

“You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity. At some time, every creature which lives must do so. It is the ultimate shadow, the defeat of creation; this is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life. Everywhere in the universe.”

-Philip K. Dick