Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Angel Tears

My dream job is to count the tears of angels.

I’m not certain of the line’s meaning,

or of the existence of angels,

or even if they cry,

but it would give me something to say

to a smug pilgrim, if ever I met one.

‘I count the tears of angels,’ I would say,

and imagine the reactions this might provoke.

Perhaps anger and a punch in the face?

Fortunately, I have many faces,

and I would simply replace my battered visage

with a non-broken one.

I’m hoping they would express violent anger;

it’s the most fun of all the sudden emotions –

to witness, that is –

and it would mean that their pilgrimage

had been a complete waste of time.

‘God bless you,’ I would say,

as I threw some angel tears in their face,

for one of the benefits of counting angel tears

is that you get to keep some of them.

How much is some?

I don’t know. Shall we say seven percent?

Seven is a magic number,

and angels are quite magical,

so that’s my scientific guess.

It would be interesting to see if angel tears

could cure the pilgrim of smugness,

but let’s, for the time being,

not all hold our breaths.

Plum Spang in the Heart of a Distant Galaxy

There are some words and phrases

to which I would happily take a hammer

…no, wait…

an imposing (or is it ‘impressive’?)

ornamental axe.


Plum spang?

I hadn’t realised just how

utterly detestable I find

the yoking of these two words,


until I found myself awake at 4-something

in the morning,

for the fifth day in a row.

And there it was,

taunting me with its ugly weirdness.


Even on the page,

it has an American accent.


I see it written

in a humming, pink neon tube,

and I set about its axey destruction.


The shattered remnants,

lying scattered at my feet,

reconnect to one another


as if they are an immortal android

from a high-budget science-fiction film,

and the phrase blinks into life again,

the hum and the glare

more menacing than before.


The neon does not yield

to a second axe-attack.

Seemingly like a Borg,

its exposure to one form of weaponry

apparently leads to immunity from a second attack,

and I have to shoot it up

with a bullet-spitting automatic gun.


History repeats itself,

and I begin to suspect

that the phrase is indestructible.


With my arsenal of mind weapons,

I melt, explode, vaporise,

and finally launch it into outer space

at several time the speed of light

until it ends up:


plum spang in the heart of a distant galaxy.

Disassociating Once Again

My relationship to reality 

is like trying to write ‘milk’

in numbers.


I can’t be more specific

than that.

Although, perhaps it should be that

my precise relationship

to the nature of reality

is the thought of my writing

the word ‘milk’

in numbers.


Maybe Roman numerals would work?


which is the nearest I can get,

does not conform to the conventions


and MCLI, which does,

would make as much sense

as ‘mkli’,

which is to say:

no sense at all.

Thursday, 12 November 2020

Monday, 9 November 2020

Where Do You Get Your Ideas From?

I don’t write this stuff,

I’m just a receiver

through which

the insanity of existence

tries to makes

its presence felt.

Saturday, 7 November 2020

Guru 4

I walk into the room

and see the Guru levitating,

his head almost touching

the ceiling.

Checking for hidden wires,

freaky magic mirrors,

and whatnot,

I ascertain that he is,

in fact,

genuinely levitating.

‘That’s pretty damned impressive, Mr G,’

I say,

and he opens his funny guru eyes

before magically descending

onto the floor,

like a guru magically descending

onto a floor.

‘Wait till I tell

everyone about this miracle!’

I say.

‘Yes, do tell anyone you like,’

says the Guru,

with his funny guru voice.

‘I absolutely, one hundred percent will,’ I reply,

before adding,

‘And then you can show them all.

It will be a conflagration

of the doubters’ doubts.’

‘No. You are the doubter of doubters,’

says the Guru.

‘When you tell them,

they will have faith.’

This, I do not like.

‘Show them!’

I say.

‘They already have faith.

I’m the one who has no faith,’

I explain.

‘But now you have belief,

and your belief

will give weight to their faith.’

He then goes off on one

about how faith is superior to belief,

or something,

because, as always,

when the Guru starts talking his talk,

my mind travels elsewhere.

At some point,

acolytes start entering the room,

and when the Guru’s aide

closes the door,

the Guru speaks.

‘Our friend here has something important

to tell you all,’ he says.

Dozens of pairs of eyes

look towards me.

How ridiculous they all look,

I think.

How ridiculous we all look.

Their clothes, their ‘I’m on the path

to spiritual enlightenment’ faces,

their beards, their eyebrows,

their faithfulness.

‘Shall I tell them?’

I ask the Guru.

He nods his funny little guru nod.

‘You’re all fucking idiots,’

I say,

before adding,

‘Namaste,’ bowing piously,

and leaving

like I have a bus to catch.

But when I exit the room,

I find the Guru


on the other side of the door.