Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Reflection on Watching a Wall of Slowly Drying Paint

It ain’t.

Slowly Drying Paint

I took an antique time-piece to pieces:
unscrewed all screws, released all springs, and laid
out every coil and cog together on
the kitchen table. Time stripped bare. Time stilled.

At which point even I began to think
that this was fast in danger of descending
into a sort of nonsense whimsy posing
as deep, profound, insightful wisdom. That,
it ain’t, but rather something more prosaic.

And thus it was that I went to write a poem
about a wall of slowly drying paint.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Another Brian Cox

Brian Cox looks to the camera, utters a softly-spoken thought of great profundity about humanity’s place in the universe and then falls off the edge of a cliff.
   ‘Cut!’ shouts the director. ‘Can we have another Brian Cox, please?’
   A junior research assistant promptly goes to the Brian Cox Room, where they keep the spare Brian Coxes. The assistant knocks before popping her head through the door.
   ‘We need another Brian,’ she says to the 307 assembled Brian Coxes.
   ‘What was it this time?’ asks one. ‘A volcano? A manhole? A black hole?’
   ‘Cliff,’ whispers the assistant.
   ‘Third one this series,’ says another Brian Cox, as he walks towards the assistant, hand outstretched. ‘Brian Cox,’ he says, by way of introduction, ‘although you probably knew that already.’
   ‘If you’d like to follow me,’ says the assistant, once the introduction is over.
   Brian Cox and the assistant walk towards the cliff edge, where they are met by the impatient director. ‘Brian, we need to re-do the shot. You fell off the cliff as the last word was coming out and it sounded very post-watershed.’
   Brian Cox utters a softly-spoken apology of great sincerity before asking what it was that he was saying. ‘Some shit about humanity’s place in the universe,’ replies the director.
   ‘Oh, right,’ says Brian Cox. ‘Do we need to do the shot next to a cliff?’ he asks.
   ‘You tell me,’ sighs the director, wearily. ‘You wrote the bloody thing.’

Brian Cox looks to the camera, utters a softly-spoken thought of great profundity about humanity’s place in the universe before jumping on to his Yamaha DX7 and snowboarding into a tree.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

amateur heart surgeon

amateur heart surgeon
seven manslaughters
‘completely preposterous
patients can’t expected
100% survival rate
all can say is
if had lived
hundred fifty
years go
would all 
dead now
not just seven’
bail denied

amateur heart surgeon
stands in dock
amateur trial
where amateur jury
manslaughter: not guilty
amateurishness: guilty
amateur judge
hands down
amateur sentence:
two our fathers
one hail mary
everlasting life

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Today’s ‘To Do’ List

1 Write today’s ‘To Do’ list

2 Get distracted

3 Misplace ‘To Do’ List

4 Bake banana and chocolate chip cake to take up to son at university

5 Eat banana and chocolate chip cake intended for son at university

6 Text said son ‘This morning I baked a banana and chocolate chip cake for you’

7 Receive text from son thanking me for being ‘such a sharing kinda Dad’

8 Drive to shops to buy ingredients for banana and chocolate chip cake only to realise that car has been left at home (which will at least explain some, if not all, of the shouting in the street)

9 Return home to get car

10 Drive to shops (yes, in actual car, obviously) to buy ingredients for banana and chocolate chip cake

11 See no.4

12 See no.5 (nah – only kidding!) Leave banana and chocolate chip cake to cool

13 Do houseworky stuff until house no longer resembles stunt double for ‘How Clean – for want of a better word – is Your House?’

14 Find today’s ‘To Do’ list and notice that all of the things on it have been done exactly in the order and in the manner described*.

*What do you mean, ‘That’s a bit of a weird list’?

Sunday, 19 October 2014

amateur formula 1

amateur f1
bad press
due to
628 car pile up
on m25
venue for
amateur f1
gb grand prix
said organisers
‘no idea m25
so busy
friday 4.30 pm
thought most people
still at work
planned deal with
small volume traffic
by flashing lights
get out of effing way’
this year’s winning car
amateur f1 xr3i
said winner
‘amateur f1 cars
normal cars but
i think i’m a f1 racing driver
on side
in orange crayon’
plans ban amateur f1
‘clear infringement civil liberties’
jeremy arseson
elsewhere ukip councillor
‘628 car pile up
result too many immigrants
also god’s judgment
not banning
foreign shit
beards curry french names’ 

Harry Potter’s Cloak of Invisibility Becomes God

The universe will be dismantled an atom at a time. God will take each atom and make it vanish behind his Harry Potter Cloak of Invisibility.

When the universe has been dismantled an atom at a time and hidden behind God’s Harry Potter Cloak of Invisibility, God will then dismantle himself an atom at a time and hide the atoms behind his Harry Potter Cloak of Invisibility until the only thing left in the universe is God’s Harry Potter Cloak of Invisibility.

Sentience will evolve inside God’s Harry Potter Cloak of Invisibility and thus, God’s Harry Potter Cloak of Invisibility will notice a sizeable collection of atoms and decide what to do with them.

“Let there be light entertainment!” God’s Harry Potter Cloak of Invisibility will command and a new, slightly shallower universe will evolve.

And this is how God’s Harry Potter Cloak of Invisibility becomes God*.

And it is true because it has been written because it is true.

All: And so say all of us. Oh-oh, the hocus-pocus, that’s what it’s all about.

(from the Gospel According to Leif Garret)

*Although destined forever to live in a universe which refuses to acknowledge his existence, despite him once turning up at a fancy dress party disguised as a magic carpet with the words I’m God now and this magic carpet manifestation is a test of your faith woven into its fabric; unfortunately, it was in a language which nobody understood** and which looked like some fleur de lys patterns which had been stitched on by a one-armed bandit***.

** Only three people in the new God’s new universe could speak Cloak and they were all cloaks.

***Not a gambling one-armed bandit, but an actual one-armed bandit with only one arm.

Sunday, 12 October 2014


after Luke Kennard (encore une fois)

for 2015½
eurovision football contest
eleven special edition lime-flavoured milkshakes
predictably tedious affair
momentarily erupts
into controversy
as england’s captain
wayne combover
drinks left-back
peace and harmony restored
when everyone remembers
it’s only game of foopball
with little hope
of milkshakes scoring
let alone winning
their supporters instead
try win
racist behaviour award
small island st lucia
on pitch
whenever england
near goal
england supporters respond
by whistling
second movement
third piano concerto
ref blows final whistle
seventeen times
before is heard
as england
progress to finals
where eliminated
before plane


ray winstone
loses dignity
in advert

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

This Much

for George and Joanna (04.10.2014)

More than a prisoner hates his cell,
More than a bully likes to shove,
Or the hypochondriac hates to be well,
That’s how much you I love.

I love you more than a dog can bark,
More than a cloud holds rain,
I love you more than the moon lights the dark,
And more than work is a pain.

As a bad comedian laughs at his jokes,
Or the sky likes to be blue,
As a bicycle wheel needs its spokes,
That’s how much I love you.

I love you more than a bird can sing,
And more than a banger won’t start,
I love you as much as a wedding needs a ring,
And more than a horse pulls a cart.

I swear to you by the world at large,
For everyone to see,
As a sensible soldier hates the word “Charge!”
That’s how you’re loved by me.

(after Nash)