Piercing Blue

So this is what passion is
All that it is, all that it ever was
When it’s laid out, stripped bare
And shown for what it really is

Bursting, short, sharp spurts
A few manic minutes to break the monotony
We need, we crave it, we hunger for the
Release, the relief

So gasp, gulp it all down
The essence is essentially all
You need child
To forget for one second

Just how you turned out
How every rock you hurl
Bounces back off the glass
Bruising that already bloodied

And blistered face
You’ve torn the veil from grace
And seen the wrinkles that have
Set in and hang around once soft

Lips and been shocked to see
But not too shocked
That those piercing blue eyes
Have turned to grey and clouded

Over. It’s all over and now
As you sit, rocking back and forth
They’ll never understand your need for
Mediocrity or an even keel

Smooth sailing without the pits
And troughs along the way because
Once you’re riding a wave
You can’t hold back the sickening knowledge

That soon you’ll be lost at sea
Adrift and crashing against
Those tired allegorical rocks
Without a siren, a harpie, a sylph or
A selkie to offer some brief respite
To rub your back, hold you tight and whisper
In that one ear that works;
It’s all alright, at least you’re alive


We’ve all been searching for something for so long
That the reality is that we simply can’t accept anything
That’s real, as everything that is actual and material
Is by its nature, flawed with faults and far from

The ideal, the perfect, the immaculate image of
That life we dreamt of
That we were raised on, hand reared to believe
That something just a little beyond human

Existence could await us, perhaps only us
And it’s all fairy tales and folk lore
But perhaps thats all there is
There are no dragons, no hydras, no trolls

No knights, no princess
Nobody wears a white veil
We are all muddied, bloodied
Human and defective

Beauty is best left fleeting
Because she is a flickering, fluttering flash
Through your life
A bright flame that burns out far too fast

And scorches into the soul
The first cut is the deepest is
A lie I’ve heard far too many times
As the twentieth gouge slices roughly into

My aching wrist, relax and wrap it up
A tourniquet, a suture sculpting the skin
To disguise the damage of
Every little last laceration

Thanks for the mammaries, the misery, the memories
The mild amusement and the smile that slips across
These bruised and battered features
It’s not so bad, we are all alive and

Well, well isn’t that just the point
We live, we grow, we move on
And beautiful moments are only beautiful
As they are so short, sharp, sudden
Unexpected and altogether surprising
Cutting us to our cynical cores and showing
A glistening glimpse of something that we know
Deep down is the ecstasy of life

All good things in small doses
Lap it up and indulge
Savour it, savour her
Save up the saviour and store it
To save you from your sorrow

Pity Is As Pity Does

She’s happy now
So I hope that serves as
Some small comfort
As you sit sipping scrumpy

Alone in your apartment
Checking your phone for a text
From someone more interesting than
Your plan provider

If light alliteration can amuse and
Entertain then take that up as
Another pastime to help see you through
The longer you last without speaking shit
To her or anyone else can only be time well passed

Your prime, is gone like the wind
Technicolour and technically over
Or is it all a state of mind
What state is yours in right now

After one too many nights
Lapping at the teat of any of your many
Vices, metaphorical and as meaningless
As the last four years of your life

Time is short, or so they say
Youth is fleeting and wasted on the
Young, yet you could do a lot to slow it
Down, stop sliding down the slippery slope
Of slosh, drink, drunk

You are what you eat and if all that defines you
Is your seat at the bar
Your bank balance and beer belly
And the way the barmaids frown
With pity and disgust

Well, what a pity it is that it’s come to this

Rough Mouth

Let’s cut it loose,
Slow it down
Ditch it, smack it, stop it
In it’s
Fucking tracks

Is that the only muscle that works,
Connected to your mouth but not
Your brain
Running on vapors but still running on

We’re all tired of being your back up plan
So three cheers for plan C
As we sidle away and take our wet blades
To the whetstone

For you to turn around
It doesn’t have to be like this
We’re far from perfect
All of us

But we’re trying so hard
Bless us, anoint us
Let the sarcasm wash over us
Baptised and beloved by the patronising prophets

Sometimes simply living is hard enough
With the stresses and pressures we’ve created
Our qualifications hang round our necks like
Metaphorical seabirds

Still alive, screeching and flapping
Violently against our chests
Their shit running onto our shoes
Staining the cheap leather

Yet still the laughter rings out,
Caws out, clucks out
Get the fuck out of here and leave us
All alone, every last one of us

We’re cold, we’re poor but we’re happy
Or would be if we could just focus and
Count our blessings
Without that tongue clicking, clacking
Against the roof of your rough mouth

Chanting, chiding about how we should all
Feel a little less than fulfilled
An overqualified, inexperienced and indebted generation
Saddled with expectation and
Sidelined through no fault of our own

So raise your glass to repression
Block it out, blunt the daggers
Flip the coin and grin as the regent’s silhouette
Lands, facing up


Inspiration is not a river, nor a stream
There is no constant trickle of ideas
It is neither an ebb nor a flow
Inspiration is a small spark

From a single match, a single discarded cigar
Taking hold of a forest, searing the sequoia
And then

A spark, a small spark
Yet the mind needs nourishment
Much like anything else
It wilts, it flops, flaccid into itself
An implosion

Caused by mass media news and junk television
Feed it Dickens, Tolkien, Keats, Yeats
Chekhov, Ovid, Blake, yes even Blake
I’ll never love your little lamb, Sir, but you stirred me up
And feeling like shit is at least feeling something
I tip my hat towards Gothenburg

Not true writers; musicians, the professors clamour
As they strive to root out some great mystery in every
Single, metric, foot, as though, Shakespeare buried
Some great secret in Coriolanus
And you could be the one to break his code
Now, come on Sir, perhaps he just wanted to use a full
Right there.

Oh and then Marlowe, what a man can achieve in some short
Thirty years
Is enough to confound as much as admire
If a few glasses break over my thick skull some day soon
I hope some whining fool is writing odes to me
In four hundred years time

Though I’d settle for four hundred days
Now, Poe, America’s finest, many might argue
Yet you chilled my bones, as you buried her alive
In a crypt by the tarn

And moving back, Dante, hell you’ve got some nerve
Some verve, and a ponderous verse
Call upon Virgil and imply his approval
When he is but dust and his Rome a memory

If i chose a guide through this, by my side
I know of one man I would take
Though he wanders through the dark now himself
He’ll never walk alone as he stands guard atop the walls
The abbey, in red, will always live with me
So, Sir Jacques, I bid you your rest

And so what if elves became otters and dwarves were just mice
Great Gilgamesh proved that a cliche, a story told twice
Can ignite millions
Move them to love or incite to hate

So whether you live long with whiskey in hand
Then tube in your throat, defiant to the end
Or let it wash atop you and be overwhelmed
With stones in your pockets, barefeet in the riverbed

Inspiration drives us, us artists, us fools
Tonight I lay Dostoyevsky aside
I feel far too much like Raskolnikov
Yet half as smart


Raise your hands, not for them
As an expression, a symbol
A reminder of who you are
Just for yourself

Stand tall, lean
A testament, a monument
To everything that you once stood for
And can stand for again

If you just believe
In yourself, you
That fragile lump of far too
Human flesh

You’re not that bad
Not all that great either
You’re human
You make mistakes

We all do sometimes
Supposedly, apparently
Allegedly, unintentionally
Just you wear yours a little

Too well
Not as armour, not as scars
More like tattoos
Well chosen and you
Paid the heavy price

Willingly, a little too eagerly
Or so it seemed at first
So raise your hands
Above your head

And come along quietly
One foot in front of the other
Follow the painted line

A Far Fairer Fight

I still feel the floor
Where I lay that night
Cold, hard
Yet far safer and more secure

Than I’d felt before
Or ever felt since
Rock and roll
Over, back and forth

Cradle yourself, hold it in
Your back in your hands
You’re back, you’re back
And holding on

And every muscle aches
Strains, bleeds for the shelter
Of a timber plank
Coarse and ruddy

Chafes the flesh and chills to the bone
You don’t need bones where you’re going
None of us do
You’ll need eyes and a heart and much thicker skin

We’re all growing tired and drawn out
Hung, quartered and stretched so thin
By this rat race life
That rodents could take us out in any fair fight

They’re smart
Those little furry fellas
With big ears and whiskers and
No free will

We’re the sentient ones and we’re doing the
Shit we resent, day in, day out
So ask yourself, who really wins the cheese
When all is said, squeaked and done


Your biology defines you
All of us, every one
It’s cold, sad and dark
But it’s a fact

You can never rise from where
You began, not truly
There are always reminders
Of frailty, weakness, mortality

Even when you break down every
Single barrier, the wall falls,
The bonds tear, there will still be
That link, that chain, binding you to

Yourself. That sick, twisted.
All so ordinary
Oh, so you’re bi-lingual?
Well schön für dich!
A toast to Schadenfreude

I raise a glass to my bleeding lips
You can nip, tuck, butcher
All you like

But this was never about physical form
Your scars always live, you can’t outrun
Your past, or anyone you’ve passed along
The way

Run along country boy, your reach exceeds
Your grasp, you gasp and fall from the ledge
Yet you don’t believe me, maybe all that means
Is not that the glass ceiling doesn’t exist
Just that you’ve yet to smack your clumsy
Anglo-Saxon skull against it

A Natural End

A natural death
Yet all death is natural
A beginning must have an end
The cessation of life

But it hurts
It’s agony, it’s raw
Retching and choking on emotion
If tears were claret
You’d bleed out

Expensive too
When my day comes
Give me five more decades
When my day comes then

Bury me in a box
I’d like to leave you with more
Than my cynicism
Try to read

Something cheerful
No dirge, no shit like this
Something light, but no Blake
Wordsworth perhaps or even Poe

I’ll put the fun in funeral
So dance the dance of death and
Get ripped, pissed drunk on some
Strong scrumpy for this country boy

Where Astronauts Unwind

I met her writing meta
Fiction, carefree in a cafe
Silent for a second, bar the tipper
Tapping of the spacebar

Her eyes met mine, glanced
Down then roved back and locked
On as the caps lock engaged
And screamed out HE HELD HER TIGHT

Release, lift your finger, and he released her
As she realised there was much more involved
Than the friendly smile had first suggested
It was steamy on the page and
Paige wiped steam from her glasses on the hem of her skirt

Dripping wet, drip, drop
Was that too much
Perhaps she’s cold and resistant at first
The mug was cold too, a top up please
Hot and white, just the way I like it
The meaningful look across the tables

Too much, yes, far too much
The waitress sighs but Paige chuckles
Then returns to the tipper tapping of the spacebar
As I take the space beside her