what day was I born on?

You were born on a Saturday
Your star sign is Capricorn
Your birthstone is Blue Topaz
Your birth flower is Narcissus
The season was Winter
Your mother put 4 drops of her old, red blood into a copper pot, and danced around it with a bladed weapon
The time of day was midnight
Your guardian angel is Steve (Bella at the weekend & public holidays)
You like pistachios
You don’t like the idea of Baba Yaga’s cottage standing on – what would appear to be from the rough drawings you’ve seen, at any rate – nothing more substantial than chicken legs
*Print a free gift certificate of these results*


I’ve never been one for eating
Charlie was though
he had big appetites
we went out for the day
Charlie had a disgusting hunk of huss
I had fish cake
couldn’t finish it
Charlie cleaned up
as per usual
I lost an earring
eighteen carat, beautiful
nobody seen it
not what they said anyways
went to the jewellers
I didn’t like it
I could see guns
Charlie said it was okay
treat myself to some danglies
a hundred and twenty pound the pair
and that was then
we’ll claim the tax back at the border
Charlie said
we never did
don’t know why

ants in my head

Frankly? I was distractedThem
looking up Them!
a 1950s sci-fi film about gigantic irradiated ants
One thing that bugged me
the exclamation mark doesn’t appear on the poster
Imdb’s pretty quiet about that
although it has plenty of other stuff,
Plot Holes for example:
If food is scarce in the desert, then why did an ant merely kill Gramps Johnson and leave his body in the store, instead of taking it back to the colony to be eaten as had been the other three killed up to that point?
During the first ant encounter, Dr Harold Medford tells the policemen to aim for its antennae, saying, “He’s helpless without them!” Later, he (correctly) explains that most ants are female, the rare males dying shortly after fertilizing the queen when a new nest is established.


I went from that to googling
some amazing facts about ants
here are 10 of the headlines:

  1. ANTS – An Underground Movement originating from Ibiza
  2. Ants: Fun Facts about Ants
  3. OMG! My Fire Ants Are Planning an Escape
  4. 10 Interesting Facts About Ants You Need To Know
  5. 10 cool facts about ants!
  6. Amazing Ant Facts for kids and adults to learn about ants
  7. 25 Awesome Facts About Ants You Probably Didn’t Know
  8. Really Gripping Facts about Ants
  9. Top Interesting And Exceptional Facts About Ants
  10. How to get rid of ants

Where was I?



(with thanks to IMDb!)


what am I doing
scrabbling around the old bottle dump?
why is it so compelling
to spike at the ashen ground with a rusted bolt
disinterring face cream pots
brandy bottles, pan yan pickle jars
a proprietary mix for the bloody lung
half a china cat; a valve
and how am I to stop
now the ash blood is up
there’s a cemetery nearby
will I drag my bolt over there
start tearing at the ground
tossing out femurs, metatarsals, elder roots
what’s this? and this?
who were they?
who the hell were they?

making contact

I wheeled grandma out onto the patio
so she could smoke a cigarette
(Peter Stuyvesant,
palm-up, Countess-style)
we sat together, side by side
staring at the blue hydrangeas
like solemn judges at a retro
swimming hat competition
‘And have you left the navy, Alfred?’ she said
even though my name’s Jim
and I’ve only ever been on the ferry
‘Good lad,’ she said, and took another puff
releasing the smoke so slowly
it drifted up around her face

it reminded me
of some old photographs
I saw in a book once –
mediums in trances, ectoplasm
streaming from their mouths
even though you could tell
it was just cheesecloth
it was properly spooky

elegy to a cemetery crow

walking with Lola out to the woods
we cut through the cemetery straight
find a plastic rose from one of the graves
blown over by the churchyard gate

I guess they used a plastic bloom
so they didn’t have to come so often
even though they look quite cheap round a tomb
and tacky as hell on a coffin

but these are the dodges you use around death
to keep the whole thing more tractable
it makes the dead seem closer to home
and not quite so non-contactable

oh – what would they say if these bones could talk?
would they tell of their loves and caprices?
would they fling back the stones and struggle to walk
or immediately fall into pieces?

No. They are dead. The End is the End.IMG_8605
(I’m sorry to burst your bubble
but better you hear it now, from a friend,
and save yourself decades of trouble)

because death is neither a sleep nor a bourn
– the euphemisms I could mention –
and this plastic flower you brought to mourn
marks a truly natural dimension

It’s a part of life, I’m happy to say
as real as that cemetery crow
everyone has to go through it some day
– so that’s reassuring to know


ohio jack

let me tell you a thing or two about ohio jack
jack was a guy who knew the way to market and back

and if it were true he couldn’t tell ya exactly what a cow’s worth
he knew full well what a bean could do if you stamped it in the earth

so when his ma finally lost it & tossed it in the garden
Jack didn’t waste time with a sorry ma’am, beggin yer parden

he jes’ lay a’bed all day, tuggin’ on a bottle o’bourbon
making spooky goosey shapes with his hands upon the curtain

and when the moon had finally risen, nice n’ full n’ round
he staggered out onto the porch n’seen a beanstalk in the ground

about where them ol’ beans’d got chucked, so high there weren’t no end to it
straight n’wide as a turnpike ride, without a single bend to it

so he took a sack, a coil a’rope, n’ wha’ d’he say? A axe?
put the rope in the sack, the axe in his belt, and slung the sack on his back

& he started there a’climbin’ – and he climbed & climbed all night
a thousand feet or more, till he climbed clean outta sight

up into this fairyland, with a cloudy kinda spring to it
an a castle with a goose, an a harp that plucked itself when he sing’d to it

well – Jack bein’ Jack, a man o’renown, he didn’t need no second telling
he stuffed the goose n’ the harp in his sack, the harp a’bitchin’ and a’yellin’

enough to wake the giant buckeye what owned that piece o’real estate
and he chased young Jack with the bulging sack clean out the castle gate

an’ they ran like that, Jack swearin’ and a sweatin’, the giant mean as a hawk
till Jack saw a leaf poking up thru’ the cloud and he knew he’d reached the stalk

Jack hurried down, hand over boots, the giant close behind
with nothing but a fire of hate to his face and a twist of revenge to his mind

but Jack landed first, he turned with his axe
and he cut through that plant in a coupla whacks

and the giant crashed down in one trailin’, pitchin’ ladder of plant
and lay there dead as anything, deader than Ulysses S. Grant

turned out the goose Jack took was worth considerable more than a parrot
lay medium sized eggs of pretty fine gold, if not twenty-four carat

so Jack and his mum were fixed for life, of that there weren’t no question
and the giant was left to rot where he fell, quite the tourist attraction

so let this be a lesson to ya – quite what, I ain’t too sure
even yer’ cloud-based buckeye needs a decent lock for the door