West Kirby Marina

Waiting for the webcam to refresh while
the world and his wife walks upon
the water, my belly full of fish
and fingers frozen, an easter mission
200 miles from home, wrapped
couples hugging and dogdads fussing

After 30 circles and jabs of refreshment
there be proof - that’s me in the picture,
that blurry blue-black ghost by the rail
the homesick cur stray from the cave
can claim he was here, one more
smiley face for the record
as your hidden histories won’t recall

But the reward centre thwarted by that
awkward lurk and the interminable hover for
the all seeing eye to quarter yawn requires
an extended term of queasy peninsular roll

Fellow travellers

After days rambling, footloose
rootless, return to the flock
& in a station line a lunk bleats
Get me a cappuccino Verity
No chocolate... Verity! Don't want chocolate.
Behind him a nasty piece of work mutters
You'll get what you're given
and fucking like it

Later seated, snoozing and
sprawling, at literal Crewe a huffy arrival
plonks his backpack in the vacancy,
rummages interminably while reeking of
barbecue bites and wet dog
While the same nasty piece, already
beaten back into submission
Croaks an inaudible
ineffective oath

Asking for a friend

Is it possible to sleep so long you die?
can we take a week off work for heartbreak?
how do you function without coffee?
where can I buy a new face & body?

Is it bad to put magic in your ass?
does anyone actually know what they are doing in life?
is it ok to cry during a wrestling match?
how many days until a dead body starts to stink?

Does a cat know when you're masturbating?
does it feel good to stab someone?
is it possible for something to only be slightly mangled?
and is the world ending?

Do seahorses taste like shrimp?
at what point do you stop looking like a jacket potato?
does anyone know any good cults to join?
where tf are y'all finding true love?

Footprint of Violet Hour

At the end of every hard earned day
with your soft soft hands, the urge for oblivion
so at the dawn of every half baked day
the urge to rush headlong into
a chaos of body or mind ***body and mind***
attend the show the shower
the showering of gifts and blessings
foryouandyou and you my fine
feathered friends invisible, impossible
disguised as wallpaper in honorable spylife
this one after a trip quad on empty
come on get back on the space shuttle charlie

the recidivist escapiste freedome rock feverbe
mean reverb, mean like man said mansize childhoodes
and childish menhood, plural, pluraliste all
still to be mined for cheapest of mineral

does the onset of sunset cave this craving, or
does base circadian buzz bring it on, a
reward for negotiating another day a.k
swerving another encounter with reality
like a cheap cuban lift, with a wiggle in your walk
some vulgar ego strut, exhume exhale, a crass
exultation to be filed under mistrust

the outbreath of relief after the 5000th stuffed
shirt day, like: daddy gets his drink on
like: jerry the jerk loosens
his tie and get his mojo working

& cycling downhill watch me no hands
to the next alarm

Card and cake, 4pm

As you wailed at turning thirty
it was my cue to grasp the diem
and clearing my throat ahem
with 'I wish to make a declaration'
that will shame me terminally
and with force majeure afore
in front of the world or at least the miniature
but really very important portion
in which my social mask resides
by suggesting no insisting
that we run away run away la la
right now without logging off
or even our coats press the G
and go walk out the door with a
so long suckers and a fuck yeah pair
of fingers then the trad nervous glance
by the coffee shop in the blinding
sun as no one follows
and the soundtrack swell can't be heard but
still turn it up and turn to me and kiss me now
you're mine I'm yours you'll do
even if we've barely exchanged a word these
past three years I will I so will and
the rest of all time begins now

Folie à deux

If you were buried underground you don't need to say
underground that is implied in 'buried' carry on
but if you *were* for say a hundred days maybe
from mid-december to the beginning of spring wrapped
mute in a mummification pact then you may appreciate
the thawing very unsatisfactory word the
clicking cracking of bone the bloom of blood
the loosening of musckle gristkle and whatnot
a process which some claim could take another
cent jours during which you headless geese
suffering sarcophagus in your stink rags
you will have forgotten your own holy names and
how you came to inhabit this wintry incarceration
but blessed
to meet again
as strangers

The bed of roses

It was a dark and stormy night
and on closing the front door
for a two hour tragedy, see a
gift has swept up on the path
a row of bright red roses in a brick base
soon revealed by forensic analysis
to be constructed from plastic and foam
convincing only from fifty feet and
easily transported ‘pon a tempest from
balcony or o’er feeble fence

First thought best thought was that you had
rocked up wild-eyed windswept and filled
with the passionate intensity
hurled it from a passing taxi / vehicle
as a contemptuous christmas present
a nod to the fake, the flimsy,
the indecent lack of seasonal miracle

The intrigue and high disdain, the
magnitude of such a gesture would have
lent some glamour to the bleak
midwinter, as you trudged into
the deserted heart of the city
like there was somewhere you needed to be


i) Cketofthathyooxd

1979 wyr notebooks you hadv a plan
equipped with a recorder and a car horn, spastic symphony
a James Last vinal as backbone
sneaked guitar was like a anteloopen hyphen, correct
1981 was constant daytime tv tape splicing
courtroom dramas, Russian lagrange & puppet shows
and now we are dead as will be agreed, but in the limesrobe
even Sludge likes Vangelis an yk-
lovely to have the creatif outlet (Auntie Kez)
I WENT sssshhh to Sussex University to study Human Geography so so
how dare you criticise my wood turning efter aw tha
it's all I can do to top myself from tell you those words
-saxophone solo-
1984 tape to tape baby, pause and record, play and record, get
yourself a Star Ward haircut ye feculent fruit
Whamboys and bloated grey slacks and maybe we are all
mere lumps on that rock eh paid 13.49 not 14.49
admit it you only dim this bcs you were there
and the stinking grit of the YEARS
beneath your sking
sure you'll be lucky to see me tomorrow

a little balm and a little honey

in every pack of pistachios there are
one or two shells which are resistant to
the fingernail the addictive leverage
the satisfying splitting apart

you put them aside and save them for later
meanwhile pick, click, chew and finally
return to the awkward ones
refusing to yield their treasure

curse them go ahead curse them you won't
be defeated, you will solve their riddle
you will break their will
maybe they can be persuaded
by tiny hammer or rolling pin

we don't have a rolling pin
but don't we have a nutcracker somewhere
there was one at christmas, and
something else happens more wine
a movie some family business and the
two nuts stay on the edge of the table

waiting to be splintered or just tossed in
the trash in the cold morning light

Make it new

Day one all the units - stuck
dented and cracked - came out
the oven at last euthanised
wallpaper steamed off
tiles levered loose like teeth

The attachments of years
brutalised within hours
laminate ripped without mercy

There was no problem with the sink but
it too was sacrificed for the cause
water off electric off
a chance to see what was under it all
pale old floor, naked walls
ventilation wounds

Water back electric back
the hammering stops and this
time next week you won’t
remember how it all used to be

'Scenes' viz.

The opening and closing scenes witnessed
weekly had more of a lasting
impact than the episodes of course

Which is why I had to look up the name of
The One Where the soldier gets his
uniform and medals cut off in public *
aka "cashiering (public degradation and drumming out of the military)"
before roaming the unforgiving land
trying to find some peace of mind
- the unjustly accused individual v The Machine -

And The One Where the debonair
dudes gallop through the fields **
to that thrilling soundtrack
fighting for what they wanted, which
was gleefully unclear to me at the time
although of course I was on their side, which
means in retrospect I supported
France v Spain during the War of the Mantuan Succession (1628–1631)
for what it's worth at this late stage. And

Naturally, we have to mention Captain Scarlet
Earth v Mars, 2068
'he won't speak to you while this is on'
who was <indestructible/> key point
with piercing eyes and fearless chin
- see also: "its inclusion of a multinational, multiethnic
puppet cast and its depiction of a utopian future Earth"
powerful undercurrent, plus consider if you will
the Angels - of mercy and death - and
the Captain undeterred by sharks and dynamite and
devilish peril on a daily basis
resolute in the face of vipers, quicksand
and spiky walls

A fierce but unknowingly terrified six-
year-old will be lit up by such visions
themes of adventure, fraternity
violence and disgrace

A churning bowl of shame and courage
that you could claim toxic,
transformative or both

* Branded, USA 1965-66
** The Flashing Blade, France 1967
*** Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, UK 1967-68