Saturday, June 28, 2014


The Moon-heeled Sylph (a lullaby)

Sleep, teeth-chatter, o'er the icy stream,
A silly leap, a silly leap to dream;
Sleep, Horripple, suspended in the air,
A silly leap, a silly leap, repair.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Lines by a Precariat on Culture and Religion

The pope and the Queen exchange priceless gifts;
Al-Qaeda calls Isis militants heretics.
Stupid religion – grant the children food,
Let them dance to Pharrell when they’re in the mood.

I woke up with a beard, must have grown when I was depressed –
Get me Banksy or Brian Eno’s email address!
Is it cranky to say you’ve seen my face? –
I am listed on The Paranormal Database.

I mentioned God, and I lost them.
I bought a dog tag from a surplus store in Fareham;
The blood type on the dog tag may or may not match mine;
The religious preference may or may not be mine.

Covert believer, coquettish with an image of himself as atheist,
Was given disbelief during transfusion
And went into shock.

I'm "N", am noon for Nasrani,
On my window smooth as sea glass, etched to expose me.
I'm bloody-minded enough not to replace the pane:
If you think you're hard enough, Isis, if you think you're hard enough.

Is, isn’t, pardie, seeing how the frog
Straddles both in an ikizukuri
Parody, its eyes blinking ardently
And abruptly, I should remove to hate
All culture, for does it not subjugate
Me, in my gaze confuse what existed
And what exists yet? Am I not listed
On the paranormal database, like
Those moon-heeled sylphs who witnesses claim strike
Out for the bank only to hang reposed
Above the stream? The virtue thus proposed

As advisable, by implicature,

To remove in order to hate culture

Is tolerance; and as I walk my dog

This evening, passing households in a ward
Claimed by the Tories, and feeling ignored,

I could almost join them in their mistrust

Of others; but then glancing up, and just

In the moments it takes me to walk by,

I see through a window a girl that I

Know to be eight or nine, for she is in

My daughter's school year, and a more sanguine

Appraisal of existence, reconciled

With tolerance and all ideals compiled

Within grace's fardel, forms in my mind.

Alone in her bedroom, how mild, how kind

She seems, looking pensively into her

Dressing mirror, holding what I infer

To be a hairbrush. What is she thinking?

She was not here 10 years ago. I bring

My dog, Larkin, to heel, and I am passed,
Part precariat, part iconoclast.
What is there but that I am not heeded,
What is there but that I am not needed?
There is a paternal streak from afar.

Culture prises the spirit from the pineal gland,
And my essence, displaced, is witnessed by the Scole Group
On a sealed roll of film, wherefore my skull, like the land
Pronounced in verses that incite the Jews to recoup
What is their own, should call to me, being lost, arouse
In me a yearning to return so that I may house
Myself once again within its confines, to connect;
But unlike those who only feel safe when they elect
To stay within the borders of a promised land, my
Spirit could avaunt of the skull and afford to lie
Elsewhere and be content, in posterity of art
Or that paternal streak from afar; swap the rampart
Of a sinus-ridden case for an eternal life,
That whilst anon I make a widow of my wife,
My children are assured how I love them and my verse
Can resonate. Retorts by Exodus that coerce
A people, ferociously, to remain destitute
Are as abhorrent as those shrill attempts to refute
Israel's existence. Third eye calcified, soul gone,
To float unadulterated, internimbus on
Jordan's banks, paying no heed to hymn books of shape note,
Immune to IS, Hamas or the Zionist vote,
Unimpressed by Tories or Labour or Russell Brand:
But even here, removed thus from the pineal gland,
My spirit detests the anti-Semite who, trying
To appear reasonable and so understanding,
Talks of the Jewish people in terms of "I know one".

My third eye is calcified and my spirit has gone:
I will be immortal, perhaps in a lullaby
Sung to Chinese children, like fathers sing of Li Bai
Leaning too far from his boat to capture a moon-heeled
Sylph, or exclusively in the Scole Hole, on that sealed
Roll of film proffered by Thomas Edison.

Another song here.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Life’s Uncertain, Probably Paignton

Life’s Uncertain, Probably Paignton

We were at one of those small genteel amusement parks you find alongside the promenade. It was a sunny day, so bright, at points almost flashing into whiteness. There were daffodils in the beds, golden memorial plaques on the benches and we were wearing pale yellow shirts with dark yellow trousers. Strolling past the teacups ride, I told you that no one in this world would vouch for me.

No one in this world would vouch for me,
Nor rest awhile in my memory.
Life’s uncertain, probably Paignton,
Whereat courage desists from mainten
ance of my radiophonic mind;
Voices do too much abound that kind
Words should assume a grief's prosody;
For I retain all that is told me.
Every unit of what is said,
Running simultaneously, bled
Of intent, sounds like idling rue,
The soft sobs of someone like me, who
Has engineered conflict to stop it
Hurting so, when I lose loved ones. Sit
And rest awhile, after your long hike;
Would anyone ask "what was he like?"
About me?

Being so sonically sensitive, I retain every unit of all my old friends' confidences, though I am no longer privy to where they are drinking. At 21, the words John used when he told me he was a gambler, at 17, those used by Janna when she told me her nana had died over Christmas, at 11, those Aaron used when he asked if my willy goes hard when I kiss a girl: all these, layered, serried like tombs, looping at varying speeds do now attest to my radiophonic mind and have the lilt of loss.

No one
Could vouch for what is barely extant.
By some scotoma in the sextant,
My death,
Which had seemed so far does now impinge.
What was he like?
“On summer days, he packed a syringe
Filled with sugar water to give to
Dehydrated bumble bees, but you
Would not have wanted to live with him!
On rainy days, with drains at the brim,
He would stoop all along the pavement
To rescue worms, in some enslavement
To fastidiousness or welfare.
People would shout from car windows fair
Comments, like ‘Worms!’ or, one time, ‘Braces!’
(He was wearing some). He heard ‘Racist!’,
And returned home to his wife quite grim.
You would not have liked to live with him!”

The song versions are here and here.