my week

Monday started out not too bad
like a teacup ride, to be fair
gigantic, plastic, embarrassingly slow
me with an expression like a hook-a-duck
gliding around with badly painted eyes
in a haze of burned sugar and bad language
Tuesday I hung for a while
a cheap, flammable lemur with velcro paws
waiting for a darted card in the freezing rain
whilst the pandas and the purple elephants
swung smug, happily asphyxiating in bags
Wednesday was like a ghost train
woohs & oh gods and waaah-ha-haaas
bent mirrors, skeletons in rocking chairs
and then, at a jarring tuck of the rail
someone bored in a claw
leaning out to scraggle my hair
Thursday was horrifying, a pendulum cage
a scream, a grimace, a scattering of vomit
like floss flavoured incense flung from a censer
Friday was classic. Friday was the waltzers
hurled into the trough of a wave
by a bandit prince with a fag in his grin
vaulting pole to pole, making it worse
whilst the waltzer king watched with doomed approvalBumper Cars
from his hub of bulbs and mirrors
Saturday was bumper cars
fucking pointless if you ask me
Sunday I stayed in
yep shit all in all
an emotional rollercoaster

my first book of revelations

1.
it’s a buckling of stanchions / a veto / a vox / it’s a germ in a jumpsuit / a jack-in-a-box / it’s a plague on all your horses / your trusted sources / strategic forces / five star courses / your messy European divorces / the cutie with the spruce cuticles in the suit / so super sweet he toots / in permanent cahoots / with the truth benders not defenders / think Christopher Waltz as the Great Pretender / Mueller v the Russians / and other tactical discussions / Destiny on Ice / Don’t Look Now, Don’t Think Twice …

2.
it’s the Cat in the Hazmat / the gun in the bag / it’s Last Night of the Proles / it’s Achilles in drag / it’s Heavenly Burgers from Sacred Cows / it’s Bert and Ernie in Apocalypse Now / it’s the bulls-eyed windshield / the inoperative vent / it’s the urgent message that never got sent / about the shield that got bent / in the scorching descent / from Tashkent to the Levant / it’s fear of the other / the black sheep brother / who moved to the country way too late / hung a red painted sign on a five barred gate …

3.
it’s a fox on fentanyl / a pumpkin patch / a can of kerosene and a strike-anywhere match / it’s Buttons, the Twenty, Putin Boots / a riot shield mounted GoPro shoot / it’s a seance for fleance / nuanced but nice / a basket of crayons / sugar paper to play on / and so on / a cautionary tale for the non-compliant / it’s batman rolling a robin reliant / or a hole in the wi-fi leaking bitcoins / the dream that shrivels the chancellor’s loins / that, and a more particular fright / forgetting to close the bank at night …

4.
it’s a pig in a baby-gro / the lady in the lake / the unreasonable treason / the calculated mistake / it’s the colonel’s journal / the annotated truth / the flaming cross on the motel roof / it’s the business of certainty / the handshake of success / it’s the jackdaw cawing on a glittering nest / it’s the wall at the border / the warden in his garden / preaching lawn order / and other horticultural disorders / it’s a furtive levering of locks / moonlight on a drop / of Novichok / dabbed on the bird in the cuckoo clock / it’s the glad handing / of the operative on the landing / the back-slapping laughter / the sweet hereafter …

5.
it’s the legend of the leaving / the creature / the crux / it’s Donald T. Rump in a wipe-clean tux / it’s a zombie walk-through / a Ts and Cs putsch / it’s the awkward questions you don’t ask much / the Ps and Qs, the FAQs / the political lobbyists’ luxury cruise / with a special incentive for early adopters / cashback, swans & helicopters / a diamante sippy cup / the PM as Elvis All Shook Up / and for the rest of the demographic sediment / if any person present / knows of any lawful impediment / keep it to yourself / look after your health / before something comes along and wrecks it / then make your way to the nearest exit …

when do i get to vote

I’m down and out /  crawling about / okay? / c’est vrai / at the end of the day / I’m just a schleich sheepdog in a margarine manger of hay / I should be better than this / I’m l’artiste sans piss / I’m all like gimme this / I’m the polar opposite of stoked / I’m croaked & choked / licence revoked / I’m the loser geezer in the blazer / with the dodgy tazer / I’m a look-a-like martin sheen / in a manky martin sheen machine / I’m lady debrett and her avatar annette / I’m bernard the barbarian / haggling with some scurfy antiquarian / over a dodgy old sword / we both know I can’t afford / I’m a fag flick / at the no-go promo pic / I’m ten good reasons to get out quick / I’m pete the dragon’s younger brother dave / who never made it out the cave / but hid safely out back / living on chilli cheetos & other fiery snacks / but hey / anyway / who’s to say what success is? / I’ve seen way bigger messes / and since when did they put you in charge of facts? / just relax / max / the clams of contentment are down in the ooze / filter feeding on fake news / and other random effluvia / I’ve got nothin to prove ta ya / just take a ticket and get in line / I’ll make it over when I got the time

a cool blue laminated lanyard

swipe right on a mountain of skulls / picked over by gulls / and rats / and souvenir hunters armed with sticks and bats / the whole thing as efficiently organised / as any of the best, most highly-rated genocides / all the wages promptly paid / promotional posters displayed / boots & buttons neatly polished / international banking norms acknowledged / shining lines of communication / cutlery, pots & ammunition / and twirling happily at your chest / the thing that marks you out from the rest / that bulletproof badge of the beautiful vanguard

a cool blue laminated lanyard

or this

a nondescript detention centre / smeared with blood & dried placenta / loose & lazy lines of police outside / arms-folded on armour-plated rides / bagels & babyccinos on the side / and the only thing YOU have to decide / is how in hell you’ll make it out alive / now the King of the Cocks / has cancelled your passport and changed the locks / and doctored clips of you and a fox / and cleared your flat and DNA’d your socks / and cleaned from your numerous offshore accounts / all those improbably sized amounts / you thought would see you safely through / to that country pile in that country purlieu / but the cruelest blow of all / the thing you absolutely cannot deal with at all / the thing that leaves you scared & scarred

the taking of your cool blue laminated lanyard

because

there was nothing you could not do / with your laminated lanyard swinging in full view / no queue you could not jump / no deal trump / or waste dump / no vote you could not turn or policy gazump / it was your Get Out of Moral Responsibility Free card / your Access All Areas for the Die-Hard / your personal, interplanetary-limit platinum card / your Golden Pass to the stars and tsars sipping cocktails in the coolest bars at the sharpest, tippiest top of the London Shard – the loss of which you now lament so VERY hard

your cool blue laminated lanyard

the proposition

when you’re dead, you’re dead / with one definitive snip of the thread / away you float / head first down eternity’s capacious throat / or / maybe death is just a door / maybe you die and you go somewhere else / your consciousness melts / and you get sucked into another realm / Valhalla, maybe, with Odin posing at the helm / or Nirvana / Jannah, Trāyastriṃśa / Aukumea / variations on the idea of the holy layer / domes & levels / supervised by countless angels & devils / where finally you might get rewarded / for all those good deeds you meticulously hoarded / or punished for those you forgot / and pitched headfirst to somewhere hot / where all the tormented entities / gargle lava & prod each other with horrible utilities / like long-handled toasting forks / (according to the most reliable reports)

fact is / no-one understands it / as Shakespeare rightly pointed out in Hamlet / death is an undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns / or blogs about their concerns / no pics on Flickr / Instagram or Twitter / or anything that might shed light on the guff / behind all that Life Ever After stuff / which is probably why these myths are so persistent / with so many contradictory versions co-existent

anyway / at the end of the day / it’ll probably just be like before I was born / people shopping and mowing the lawn / or things a little more obnoxious / with me, happily unconscious / circling the earth in a random atomic cook-up / just waiting for my mum & dad to hook-up

Dracula: Doomed forever to keep on auditioning

Okay – so – er-hem: Dracula
Don’t you think it’s all a bit too creepy & crepuscular?
And this obsession with all things cardiovascular
To be honest it’s just weirdly irregular
and won’t make you popular
We’re struggling with the medieval vernacular
And although we think your musculature
Is really quite spectacular
for someone of your – how shall I say? – vintage stature
this ancient blood vengeance rapture
just comes across as a chip on the dusty old scapula

So we’d like to thank you for auditioning here
and wish you all the best with your future career
We hope you’re not too upset; it’s what show business is all about
and don’t forget to close the window on your way out

little red hen inc.

let me tell you ‘bout the little red hen / she knew her way round the farm and back again / when to run & when to relax / the sharp rain & the sharper axe / the narrow margins on milk & eggs / the tractor monsters beyond the hedge / anyway / one day / she scratched up some grains of wheat / and instead of just laying on with her beak to eat / she packed ‘em up neat / & took them to / the rest of the raggedy farmyard crew / namely a dog, a cat / a mouse & a rat / all ducked out suspiciously in a line like that / so / y’know / true / an unlikely combo / but – see – the farm had always been a little absurd / the lines between the animals blurred / anyway / this particular day / LRH flaps up on a stanchion / and the gang of four I previously mentioned / stood together with apprehension / (y’see – she had a certain reputation / for poultry flights of imagination) / Who will help me plant this lil’ ol’ mess o’seed? / she said / with a beaky smile & shake of the head / not I said the dog & the cat / not I said the mouse & the rat / well shit on you, she said / stuffed it back in her pocket instead / I’ll do it myself she swore / and dropped down lightly onto the floor

and so she did

well my god – such dusty dedication / daily feeds & fancy irrigation / until one day she saw with pleasure / how far it stretched on her retractable measure / so back she went to the mangy quartet / to see if they’d shifted their stance yet / not I said the dog & the cat / not I said the mouse & the whatever / well – that plucky bird she gave them the feather / kicked off back to her corner / spent an egg-bustin’ week / scything the corn into heaps with her beak / threshing the grain with a rusty bedspring / brushing it together with her wings and things / and it was only after she’d crooked her back / filling a mess o’hessian sacks / that she took herself back to the barnyard chapel / to see about some venture capital

(oh…kay said the duck with a cynical quack
I wish you the best of luck with that)

so then what the hen needed to know / was where she could bake her batches of dough / no way was she going to the farmhouse kitchen / the farmer always bitching / & moaning about all the criminals / & crazy animals / no better than cannibals / the sheep in some kind of woolly cooperative / the pigs openly combative / the geese coquettish / the donkey with a wiccan flower fetish / so he spent his time / checking land prices online / dreaming of the moment / he could quit this torment / and live in Greece or Spain or somewhere hot / basically anywhere the animals were not / so it was lucky the hen was a bird of utility / able to source her own facility / & eventually / when the bread was done and dusted / and the production schedules busted / LRH packed her ciabatta / branded with high-end promotional matter / an artisanal label / the LRH gesturing with a wing to a table / as if to say / look at this wonderful display / fresh to you today / and her order books grew / and the products fairly flew

and so did she

and the dog, the cat, the mouse & the rat? / she put them all in blue net hats / employing them in a productive capacity / in her burgeoning baked goods industry / the sparrows / of the hedgerows / she used to seed the artisanal loaves / while the doves / from the dovecote / working to a strict but flock friendly rota / far exceeded the daily quota / loading the little vans / that were driven by a dozen little red hens / each a personal friend / who had eagerly bought into the venture / & a heap o’creatures too numerous to mention / until everything was progressing according to schedule / and the Little Red Hen was given a medal / Awarded in Recognition of Entrepreneurial Endeavours / and a badger hung it over her beautiful feathers / while everyone applauded / (even the dog, the cat, the mouse & the rat did) / and the farmer Skyped from Faro / saying he was due back tomorrow / to give her advice on tax evasion / but wished her the best on this happy occasion / and the Little Red Hen went back to her perch / to watch as the sun set behind the church / and dreamed about spreadsheets, losses & gains / grown from just a few scattered grains / a gizzard of self-belief and a sharp business brain / and she settled down to roost / wondering how to give it a boost

and so she did

so the next day she called an extraordinary meeting / the pigs grunting and the sheep bleating / the farmer grinning by satellite link / from a laptop propped on an upturned sink / next to a well-dressed fox / paws up on a box / who the doves were sure they recognised / from some corporate scandal televised / I want to thank you for everything you’ve done / said the little red hen / when the meeting began / You’ve all worked so hard and that’s fantastic / you’re perfectly loyal & wonderfully enthusiastic / But the time has come for bigger things / for the LRH to spread its wings / So I’m very happy to say / I’ve asked to speak to you today / Sir Reynard Fox of Fox Incorporated / who’ll be taking the reins of the family we’ve created / and me? I’ll be staying on in an executive role / whilst I move out into the wider business world / utter silence from the floor / then a creaking from the old barn door / as the dog, the cat, the mouse & the rat / muttering bitterly snuck out back / just as Reynard Fox stood up to speak / and the Little Red Hen clucked her beak / and smiling widely preened her feathers / dreaming of blue skies and better weather / of personal assistants / a portfolio of investments / offshore identities / and other supranational amenities / maybe a penthouse hen house / in the Philippines or somewhere else / (the farmer was advising her / he was sending brochures) / and she felt herself changing from a Little Red Hen / to a Fowl of the World and back again

and so she did