Friday, 29 January 2016

Age Don’t Mean Sage

an ‘age has nothing to do with it’ haiku

A child may be wise;
an old man may be clod-brained.
We clear on this, yes?

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Boring Remakes

A New Game

Passengers on a Plane
Psycho... therapy
A Clockwork Radio
Singin’ in the Choir
Walkin’ in the Rain
Dial ‘P’ for Pizza
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Bottomley?
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Kitchen
The Godmother
Apocalypse Not
Some Like it Tepid
The Harry S Truman Show
A Streetcar Named Mondeo

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

there’s no pleasing some people

seurat’s mistress

new portrait
makes her look

completely dotty


graveyard sky
rains on threadbare landscape

breezes sneak between
expressionless plants

catch winter’s dissolution
when it’s gone

it’s gone

the spirituality of seven-year-old boys explained

based on a real childhood

sing loudly
stand still
be quiet
kneel down
peace be with you
stop laughing
and I shall be healed
go in peace to love and serve the lord
here’s your pocket money

celebrity endorsement

what we mean by
he is a man of principle
is that he is a man who never grew out of
wearing his easy virtue,
like a sixth-former’s CND badge;
unsullied by the grubby,
real-world need to compromise,
achieving naught but self-satisfaction
and a sanctimonious hatred
of his gainsayers.

Monday, 25 January 2016

losing real

‘today it is Monday
and all the grey clouds are out
dancing like bored geography teachers’
         a man

fatuous identity politics
jackboot diversity tattoos
in unexpected places

cross-dressing simon cowell
discover poems
on alternate weekends

broken-tooth chic
car-crash epiphany
in shotgun green

freedom-fighting blusher
kissing smudgy lipstick
all stand for the national handsome

getspend your cash
in and on until
just like this


Monday, 18 January 2016

Simplicity Itself

Greetings campers! Today's reading is taken from the Book of the Bleedin' Obvious

The theist has a belief; if this belief is not there, the individual is an atheist.

That is all.

Most people erroneously think that an atheist is someone who believes that there is no God, whereas, in fact and by definition, all there is to being an atheist is the absence of belief.

This is not the word of the lord of the dance.

Response: Can we go now?

Monday, 11 January 2016

David Bowie: 1983, 1989, 2016

for Jon (who else?)

Tunbridge Wells, Summer 1983

Best pal Jon and I spend two hours a day clearing Jon’s parents’ garden, for £1.50 an hour. After two hours, we down tools, ask for our wages, and then head into town, each of us to buy a David Bowie album. Each one costs £2.99, a special promotion RCA are doing in the light of the commercial success of ‘Let’s Dance’. Then it’s back to his house to listen to the albums.

Work. Wage. Album. Listen. Repeat.

It becomes the Summer of Bowie.

Salzburg Station, Summer 1989.

Inter-railing with Jon, and we find ourselves with time to kill in Salzburg station. We decide to play 20 Questions. At some stage, one of us inevitably chooses David Bowie. The identity revealed, the next person chooses a mystery animal/vegetable/mineral to be guessed. After a few questions, it is obvious that the mystery is David Bowie. The last few questions go thus:

Are you David Bowie? No
Are you David Bowie? No
Are you David Bowie? No
Are you David Bowie? No
Who are you? David Bowie.

Oh, how we laugh.

The next person’s go, and it is obvious what is going to happen.

Are you David Bowie? No
Are you David Bowie? No
Are you David Bowie? No
Are you David Bowie? No
Are you David Bowie? No
Are you David Bowie? No
Are you David Bowie? No
Are you David Bowie? No
Are you David Bowie? No
Are you David Bowie? No
Are you David Bowie? No
Are you David Bowie? No
Are you David Bowie? No
Are you David Bowie? No
Are you David Bowie? No
Are you David Bowie? No
Are you David Bowie? No
Are you David Bowie? No
Are you David Bowie? No
Are you David Bowie? No
Who are you? David Bowie.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

It just gets funnier and funnier until we can’t breath.

11th January 2016

Jon emigrated to Australia a few years ago, so although we communicate a lot via the internet, we very rarely see each other. I got a message from him last week saying he was on a flying visit to Blighty. Seems somehow appropriate that we arranged to meet up today – 5.30, Charing Cross, and my return train is at 9.03, but some people you make the effort for (well, one person...).

We may be playing a game of 20 Questions.

We will definitely be choosing David Bowie.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

The Beard Oil Does Not Make the Philosopher

My adoptive great-great-grandfather, being quintessentially Victorian, was both a God-bothering do-gooder who founded the NSPCC (one too many ‘C’s in there, I fear) and the wearer of a prodigious beard. Like Lear’s Old Man’s beard, it could easily have accommodated two owls and a hen, as well as four larks and a wren (and maybe a few mice). One hundred or so years of social progress has led all but a few of us to announce, with tedious regularity, that God is dead; the belligerent among us have taken a few more steps down this path and have relegated all religions to the ignoble status of Death Cults. Over-generous beards, however, are still with us.

With the vexatious notion of God no longer troubling our thoughts, we can now spend the appropriate amount of time on the truly serious business of existence: admiring how absolutely divine we all look. Thank God for that.

Only the other day, in an attempt to keep the spirit of spousal affability alive, I had the grave misfortune of watching possibly the most repulsive TV programme I have ever seen. The presenter of this show, a flame-haired obsessive compulsive shopper/lunatic, who desperately needed to avail herself of some of that old Buddhist wisdom regarding the acquisition of goods, explained in a flurry of psychotic euphoria just exactly which items of getting and spending had been in the ‘boom’ part of the ‘boom-and-bust’ economic cycle during the previous twelve months. Before I ran screaming from the room, the impossibly happy shopper was explaining, apparently mid-orgasm, that men’s grooming products now occupied twice as much shelf space as they had twelve months previously. Beard oil, I learned, was something which last year almost no-one had heard of. But now[1]?

With young men now wasting all of their spare time oiling beards[2], it will be left to the beardless atheists of this country to follow in the footsteps of great men like Benjamin Waugh. I plan to devote my spare non-God-bothering/freshly-shaven time to founding the NSPC.

[1] Plus ca change, hopefully.
[2] The gullible, narcissistic buffoons.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

dusting a sunset

for fingerprints
instead we found
for everything
scribbled in orange/haste
across a weak
and dreamless sky

such things begin
again on brand-
damaged slate
one day beyond repair
it doesn’t matter