dying on stage

I used to be a vampire but I lost the cloak
now I’m just an ordinary bloke
doomed to wander the supermarket aisles
in motorhead t-shirt and denim disguise
flashing the cashiers pointy smiles

it’s so frustrating
my undead heart is breaking
dying was my living
and real life’s just too grave and unforgiving

but it’s like my dear old mother said
when I disinterred her from the shed
if you’ve got an advantage, son – work it
so now I make a killing on the chicken-in-a-coffin circuit


lord’s prayer (annotated)

Our Father / forever in a lather / good god, bad god – in & out of favour / however you’d rather / but either way you’d have to say a brilliant balcony waver / eternity off for good behaviour / special deal on the super saviour / holy love’s like holy weather /  keep your heads down and stick together

who art in heaven / everything in his glorious possession / no question / sitting in line with his male succession / Mathew, Mark, Luke & Kevin / all with a faintly saintly sour expression / yawning through your dumb confession

hallowed be thy name / hollowed be thy game / borrowed be thy blessing & bellowed be thy blame

thy kingdom come / clap the lightning & bang the drum / raise the oceans & quench the sun / then you’ll see he’s number one / the feared & bearded, transcendent one / keeper of keys to the holy fun

thy will be done / or he’ll tear a new hole for everyone

on earth as it is in heaven / overseen by Peter, IT backup from Kevin / office hours seven through eleven / database running from Albuquerque NM / to Woolacombe, Devon

give us this day our daily bread / a car for the drive and a gun for the bed / you wish on a star and get this shit instead

and forgive us our trespasses / our bedbugs, butt plugs & alton towers passes / a bin bag for our disposable asses / particularly the working classes / who’ll definitely need those Poundland sunglasses / when they buckle up for Beezelbub’s barbeque gasses

as we forgive those who trespass against us / but not if it leaves us in any way defenceless / war, famine or plagueless / angel-less / hopeless / wave the bible more & turn the page less

and lead us not into temptation / moral equivocation / ethical consideration / alternative explanation / trust us – the train don’t stop at that particular station / we put a stained glass sign outside the dungeon / sorry for any interruption / major hypocrisy under construction

but deliver us from evil / civil unrest & social upheaval / the wrong kinda sin & the right kinda people / or anything heretical / socio-political / better play safe and go full medieval / kneel in the cathedral / run to the trumpet like a well-trained beagle

for thine is the kingdom / the unutterable thingdom

IMG_3293the power and the glory / the usual story

for ever and ever

and ever

and ever



economics for dummies

It’s a long-standing problem / the Tory party Gollum / squatting bottom of an Excel column / my precious austerity / because apparently / prosperity / isn’t something that’s universally obtainable / the social order unassailable / the economics inescapable / basically your bony arse is grass and everything else saleable / representation is no longer available / so take your lame brain labour / be a good neighbour / and learn to love that particular flavour / I don’t want excuses / I just want a worker that produces and reproduces / so shut up / suck it up don’t fuck it up / you’ll get used to it / there’s really nothing to it / you do the work, you take the hit / and the suits siphon off the best of it / rolling around in coins and notes / on private jets and fancy boats / bending the rules and buying the votes / but even though I can see you’re opposed to it / you’ll never get close to it / hey! I don’t make the rules – I just follow ‘em / I don’t cook the books I just swallow ‘em / allow it / bow to it / I’m not proud of it / I’m sure one day your prince will come / and the two of you make a fairytale income

Anyway! here’s our brave leader / the super spreader & pedigree breeder / smiling & waving from a zip wire over the valley of death / all manicured nails and minty breath / head protected / securely connected / fair and squarely elected / by the people who always suspected / he was hopeless / but nevertheless / sick of the rest / gave him a chance and wished him the best / and then pretty soon realised their terrible mistake / when he got busted for passing fake custard and counterfeit cakes

but ssh now:

the cattle are lowing the baby awakes
(a rental by the abattoir was always a mistake)


learning to write underwater

yes – yes – I’m swamped with stress
a bad blogger in a waterlogged mess
you’d have to say I’m drifting at best
Ophelia in the drink in her wedding dress

I just can’t make the right words stick
I’m falling down on the job, calling in sick
I’m Peter Piper without his pick
a deadbeat poet sharpening his dick

it’s like I can see something weird nearing
and I can’t believe what I’m hearing
the concert crowd is actually cheering
as the blind conductor’s disappearing

you’d think I’d be bored of all the hurting
the witless schtick, the tragic rehearsing
the carry on shithead, carry on nursing
caution – dreadful old diva reversing

I don’t know how to work the game
dig the foundations again & again
cut my losses, bury my name
my brown eyes wide and my beard aflame

but d’you hear that? is it thunder?
or a thousand poems sliding under?
quick – weigh my eyes with coins of silver
kiss me once, set me on the river


urban codex

Quetzalcoatl / digging in the fine soil beneath his feathery coils for a tequila bottle / snatches it up and drinks / sinks to the steps of the pyramid and thinks / in a daze / as the burning sun settles and fades / beyond the ruined shopping arcades

and the more he drinks the more he sees / ghosts of shredded white plastic snagged in trees / long and ragged queues / for water and food / blazing cars in abandoned lots / flashing lights and pistol shots / ringing on the blade of the equinox

Tezcatlipoca / creeping low as a jaguar over the baking steps to get closer /
whispers Hey Big Mister Clever Snake Feather / let’s drop all the moody shit about the weather / whatever / come take a look in my smoking mirror / let’s royally fuck this place together

Quetzalcoatl / tormented by restless dreams of battle / the hollows of his eyes reflected in the mirror / draws his ancient tormentor nearer / you n’me babe he says / I guess you know best / but first we have to find Cortes


status update II

like the poor performer in court
dressed like a charity shop pantomime horse
wiggling my raggy, baggy arse
tap dancing through the routine I rehearsed
desperate to get my sentence reversed

like the sweaty shopper who scurries
across the supermarket car park pursued by Furies
who flap around me like monstrous canaries
and drop to do me unspeakable injuries
then thank me sweetly for shopping at Sainsbury’s

like the maudlin mafioso mobster
struggling to finish his plate of lobster
out in the alleyway back of the dumpster
where he just took the seafood cook and tossed her
for failing to pay his dyspeptic sponsor

IMG_3247like the slimline actor peddling goop
eggs for the mange and herbs for the droop
and a chakra cleanser like a neon hoop
that’s great for cancer, crabs and croup
if you sign up now for her exclusive group


half man half biscuit

You know you’re REALLY in the shit
when the guy tasked with getting us out of it
holds a press conference with a packet of biscuits
and the biscuits win

Seriously. What’s WRONG with him?

Is this the future of UK business?
If this is charisma
then I’m Father Charismas

What IS this?

Maybe he’s smarter than that
Maybe there’s half a plan under that hair-like hat
Maybe he’s tying the media in knots
playing them with multiple money making plots
ready to dump shares in Vegemite and Arnott’s

Or not.

Is this what passes for a serious trade representation?
Taking a press briefing dressed as Sir Les Patterson?

IMG_3233What other Australian things does he know?
I’m surprised he doesn’t mention Russell Crowe
What about Skippy, or Kylie Minogue?
Or stand there dressed as Ned Kelly instead
with a dented tin bucket on his head
a sign round his neck that says G’Day! I’m Boris!
We’re up shit creek, mate – please don’t ignoris

Boris vs. Winston

Boris shares the pouchiness
the shoulders & the grouchiness
lacks the hat
but makes up for that
with his hands thrust resolutely deep in his pockets
hair like Warhol stuck a fork in a socket

he’s very fond of speeches
but often overreaches
and goes splashing around in the classics

Boris went to Eton then Oxford
which is a little bit awkward
given his ‘common touch’ schtick
he’s no idea how normal people tick
but then again, Winston went to Harrow & Sandhurst
so I’m not sure really who comes off worst
in that regard
it’s hard
and anyway, the working classes love a toff
as long as it’s not clear who’s ripping them off

IMG_3200so – in conclusion
it’s true they both had a bit of a power delusion
but whilst Winston was famed for his persuasive pugnacity
Boris is known for his evasive mendacity
I’m afraid his gravitas is more gravitasn’t
he says he’ll do something but dasn’t
his main talent is for being absent
and whilst Churchill led us in World War II
Boris hasn’t got quite as much to do
just driving wedges in the United Kingdom
tipping us out of the European Thingdom
making us world beaters in screwing up a pandemic
– so I suppose in that way you could say he’s been epic


statue PR

my stiff neck became brass neck
accompanied by
what I can only describe
as pose yearning
and a gritty kinda burning
way back of the eye
where my brains started to shrink & solidify
with a numbness like concrete
that dropped like a sheet
thumbs to feet
I started to feel – I don’t know
all plinthy, I suppose
tethered by my toes
in one weird, wired position
until I realised I’d transitioned
from person to public exhibition
a fancy perch for pigeons
it was a giddy proposition

but even I could see the benefits
of this super-stationary genesis
my slate had been swept
my darkest sins side-stepped
I’d been morally cleansed
through the weighty marble lens
of public sculpture
chiselled into the culture
hoisted onto a podium
left there ad nauseam

IMG_3182so if you’re standing there wondering
about all the heroic rendering
considering, consulting your phone
asking who the creep is, set in stone
why he deserves to be so well known
honestly – don’t trouble yourself what the truth behind this is
just take another selfie and go about your business


monster movie

Godzilla squares up against Trump
top of a North Korean nuclear dump
Godzilla roars
wiggles his ears & claws
flashes his incisors
Trump gives out a little scream and turns to his military advisors
but they’re all miles away, smiling & waving in oven gloves & safety visors
Trump straightens his tie, raises a finger
Now just a minute
This is not the picture
I swiped right on Tinder
You’re nothing but a big, mean, nasty lizard…
Godzilla stuffs him wig first straight down his gizzard