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11.4k · Aug 2018
The Waiting Game
Duncan Brown Aug 2018
Archie was smart; at least he reckoned he was, because he had what he considered to be the good things in life: dosh in his wallet, a Cat in the garage, and a detach. in the green belt; all of which he had worked hard to acquire. Worked, is not exactly the word for it. Archie did deals. He reckoned he could always turn a fiver into a tenner an’ a tenner into a pony; a pony into a ton and a ton to a grand. He was one of the cash economy’s natural alchemists.  The folding stuff was the measure of a person, he reckoned. Archie never thought about anything; he reckoned everything, and nothing on God’s good earth was beyond reckoning, he reckoned. An ever-ready reckoner; that was Archie, and he loved himself for it. Only John Wayne did more reckoning than Archie, his old dad, bless him, used to say, thought Archie. In Archie’s world a grand was currency; less than that was just spare change. He reckoned he gave superior meaning to the expression ‘it’s a grand life’. The only blemish on Archie’s horizon as far as he could see was the lack of a class bird, or ‘ream sort’, as he preferred to say; hence this evening’s extravaganza at a posh French restaurant in the company of a beautiful lady. Archie only had two serious weaknesses in his existence: a fondness for the last word in a dispute about anything you care to mention, and his infatuation with his dining companion, the beautiful Carmela.

Carmela shared a common background with Archie. They grew up on the same council estate in the inner city. They were aware of each other’s existence as kids and teenagers, but they didn’t really know each other. Carmela was a quiet child and very singular; even in company she could be by herself. None but she was wise to her sense of solitude. She had three passions in life: knitting, sewing and weaving; the blessed trinity of her existence. Carmela interpreted the world by these three gifts. Here she was, she thought, weaving her way through an evening, in the company of three strangers. One she knew, herself, another she didn’t know at all, despite proximity and semi-shared origins. Then there was the complete stranger to the trinity: the waiter in his new and very polished shiny black shoes, “You can tell a lot about a person by their shoes”, Carmela’s mum used to say, she was thinking about that as the waiter appeared to almost pirouette into vision.

The waiter was a patient soul, it goes with the territory. The waiting game wasn’t something you should rush in to, he often told himself, in one of his more existentialist moments. He appreciated the irony of the comment in a Sartresque kind of fashion. He was from a steel town in the Rhonda Valley of South Wales. Iron was in his veins if not his appearance. A creature of paradoxes, that’s what he told himself he was. He liked that assessment of himself. It complimented his passion for all things French: French food, French wine, French philosophy, literature and art. He was learning the language at night school. Alas, his accent was as lyrically refined as the landscape that bred him He shovelled the words onto a conveyor belt of sound and meaning as best he could in the general direction of the person he was talking to, more in hope than in faith that they understood what was being said .The other passion in his life was tap dancing, and as luck would have it he could wear the same outfit for work and leisure, hence the very shiny shoes which allowed him to dance around the tables of the restaurant, practising his language skills on the clientele, His life work and leisure dovetailed with his ambition and he was pleased to wake up in the morning and set about the mortal trespass with a skip in his step. The waiter imagined himself to be a cosmopolitan and enlightened soul, in a very Fred Astaire kind of way, and life was a flight of stairs which he could ascend and descend in a Morse code type of style, just like Mr Bojangles.

The fare was fine. the wine was rare, but the conversation was spare until the cheese board arrived.” Good grub”, said Archie to the waiter. “We don’t do grub, sir, we only serve the finest Gallic cuisine in this establishment,” replied the waiter, in his usual mangled French, whilst smiling that smile that only waiters can manage when registering disapproval. Archie looked blank. It was Carmela who spoke: “C’était magnifique! Mes compliments au chef.” “Streuth! You speak better French than Marcel Proust here” said Archie.” I studied Fashion and Design in Paris for five years “replied Carmela.” “An’ I joined the Common Market many moons ago. It’s good for business” said Archie. The waiter was impressed: “Food, fashion, wine, Proust and Paris. This must be Nirvana” he said. “Great band, but a very dubious heaven.” replied Carmela, knitting together the threads whilst changing the pattern of the conversation in a very subtle fashion that was more to her liking.” “It’s only rock ’n’ roll” said Archie, an’ if you’ve ever heard French rock ’n’ roll it’s enough to make you believe in Foucault” “Foucault, my hero!” said the waiter, “a philosophical genius”. “According to Foucault, a knitting pattern is the hieroglyphic of a consumerist and decadent capitalist society.” intoned Carmela.” “And ‘A recipe is a critique of a cake’, said the great Structuralist philosopher,” interjected Archie, so if you serve the gateaux we may effect the collapse of western civilisation as we all know and love it”. “Allors, Let them eat cake” said the waiter, and everybody smiled at the irony of the comment.

The waiter bojangled his way into the night, tapping and clicking the pavement as he went.  Carmela and Archie got into a black cab. “That was a night to remember,” said Carmela, “very Proustian”. “A la recherche du temps perdu”, replied Archie, pleased as punch to have the last word. Carmela just smiled as she looked at Archie’s shoes.
3.4k · Sep 2018
Duncan Brown Sep 2018
Not long after the beginning, and a bit before the end, the Almighty said to Noah: “Is that your real name?” “Yeah”, said Noah: “you gave it to me, your ever generousness. I was hoping for something a bit more romantic, maybe even an extra syllable or two, or become all psychedelic and have a hyphen and a double barrel, but Noah is functional. I’m not complaining, a lot. After all what’s in a name? Wouldn’t a cactus be just as uninteresting if it was called something else? Why am I and my not very exciting name so humbly in your almighty and quite tedious presence?” asked Noah. “I’ve had a great idea”, said God: “and I want you with the very boring name to be the first to hear it.” “Can’t wait to hear it your Denseness, even if it is only half as brilliant as the square wheeled chariot and deep-fried ice cube you nearly invented for us last week; and as for the three-armed jacket, well what can I say? Jacob wears his every day and I won’t tell you what he does with it at night, as it involves folk music. And didn’t the Paisley patterned boulder illuminate the landscape?” said Noah “Oh good”, said God: “I do so enjoy it when the minions are attentive to my every word and trembling syllable, What’s the point of being an Almighty if you can’t Almighty it over the lower orders from time to time?” “I couldn’t agree more, your Bampotness. Even if you do appear to be a few slices short of a full loaf on occasions. So, what’s this big idea you’ve had?” said Noah. “I want you to build a boat, the biggest and bestest boat there’s ever been” said God. “Why”, said Noah, “we live in a desert, we don’t do boats; never have done, don’t get a lot of call for them in these parts, your Obliqueness. Ordinarily you’re every utterance is a symphony of sound and beauty to the sticky out bits on the abstract countenance you have so generously created for me, O Guano features. Couldn’t you do another plague of frogs and locusts? We loved those. Your subjects haven’t eaten so well since. Very tasty they were indeed, and so much more nourishing than the daily fare of cactus bark and centipede you dish up to us as we go about our increasingly diminishing mortal trespass. I hope you weren’t baffled by the paradoxical construction of that sentence. One Almighty’s punishment is another lowly minion’s business opportunity. I was running a fast food joint while it lasted. Made a change from the normal feast, where you have to catch your dinner before it catches you. Eat before your eaten that’s the Law ‘round here. It makes you feel more like a recipe than a person on occasions, your Compostness.” “Be that as it may, said God: “I’ve got some drawings which Eve helped me to make” “Eve?”  said Noah: “did you say Eve?” “Yes” said God: “Eve”, that’s what I said, she likes me more than all the rest of you put together and that’s why she’s my favourite” “This will be good” said Noah: “let’s be having it. Let’s see the cosmic blueprint of a less than useless boat that Eve devised” “I helped to devise it as well”, said God: “In fact I done all the pencil sharpening, and here it is.” Noah sniggered and said: “That’s not a boat it’s a camel!” “Brilliant, isn’t it?”, said God: “you’ve got to hand it to Eve; she’s a genius at this kind of stuff, and she says it will make me look jolly clever as well. And that will stop all you ungrateful and wretched minions from smirking and sniggering every time I have a wonderful idea.” “This is even better than the ten commandments, three dos six don’ts and a maybe” said Noah. “My Ten commandments were wonderful” said God: “even Moses said so.” “The only reason you have ten commandments”, said Noah: “is because you have ten fingers. If you had seventeen fingers we would have seventeen commandments; one for each digit. People who use their toes to count their fingers should avoid life’s mathematical complexities. And as for Moses ‘The Born Leader’ he’s a party hack. He’ll agree with anything you say as long as he gets his name on the tablet. He’s publicity mad. When he grows up he wants to chisel the definitive text on cactus attraction, for the benefit of future desert wanderers. Eve says he a bit of a Freudian fruitcake on the quiet, whatever that is. She also says, his mother told him he was adopted, and he’s never quite got over it.” “Why would Moses want to get over a cactus, seems jolly silly to me” said God: “He’s a complete basket case, according to the local grapevine. Never mind all that, let’s see the blueprint.” said Noah: “A wooden camel, only a cosmic idiot could imagine it. If it was a wooden horse it could have been sold to the Trojans, or a wooden cat to the Pharoahs, and I’m told the antipodeans go a bundle on timber budgies, but camels; nobody wants one, not even other camels. How did someone as colossally dense and as infinitely thick as your self acquire the surreallness of thought to imagine it in the first place?” said Noah. “You’re a bright little chappie for a minion”, said God: “Eve told me about the Greeks and their wooden gee-gee and I suggested a boat, then Eve pointed out that this was a desert, and consequently we need a desert boat. ‘One that floats on sand’, I said. ‘Not quite El Plonkero’ she said. Then Eve said we have to adopt and then apply some lateral thinking to the problem. She pointed out that we live in a desert and that we need a boat that sails in the desert. And then I had the mostest cleverest thought I’ve had in ages. We need a ‘desert boat’ I exclaimed. And Eve said I was a true plankton eater. She says the nicest things to me. A ‘ship of the desert,’ she says, ‘and what’s a ship of the desert?’  Quick as a flasher in the rush hour, I said ‘a camel’, and Eve replied that I was quite bright for a log, and that camel plus ship equalled wooden camel to sail away from here to some other paradise she called Hollywood, ‘Land of heavenly bodies and the drop dead gorgeous Brad Pitt.’” “And you believed her?” said Noah. “Of course I believed her”, said God: “she’s Eve and if you can’t believe in Eve what else is there to believe in?” “There’s an answer to that”, said Noah: “but you’d toast me like a heretic on the happy juice if I repeated it, your Doorknobness.”
1.1k · Aug 2018
Hey Joe Shakespeare
Duncan Brown Aug 2018
Why you got those boots on your feet
Are you the wandering jingle jangler
That heeled high feeling easy dreamer
Lending ears to become the audience
Marking antonyms like Julius Caesar
Trying to rise before the failures fall
Sublimely for the mad beauty of it all
In desperate dreams of the final curtain
Draping the fading drama in the folds
The weatherman never read the script
And left his quill on the top of the hill
When Romeo betrayed Juliet to the fool
Stealing his chance of everlasting fame
Casting shadows before his own naming
Everything in the lies of playing games.
At least that’s why he sold himself again
For *** and drudgery’s rotting role play
Once for the money and twice to show
That charity begins when gambling ends
Throwing dice at the shaming of the true
Believers in the obviously innocent song
That sang itself to deaths other oblivion
Dwelling inside the flickering footlights
Burning soles who tread the dollar less way
To stage their very own beautiful demise
Before a paying and praying audience
There’s no business like the dying business
That’s the dumb an’ smart career move  
As death consumes all; here and ever after
The three ring circus hits the super highway
To heavenly pay days in the after math
That stole the souls of the leading actors
Wasn’t that just the smart career move
To die happily on the wings of disaster
Farewell sweet prince an’ princesses
May flights of angels love your music.
468 · Jul 2018
A Taste of Honey
Duncan Brown Jul 2018
Disappearing from the garden
Unheard amongst the trees
Humble bees are vanishing
Their sound is now declining
Patterns are slowly fading
A very serious diminishing
Is going completely unnoticed
With consequential devastation
For the well-being of the planet

The creature doesn't feature
On the Richter scale of cuteness
So humble in its appearance
Its existence taken for granted
Not majestic like the whale
Or clever like a leaping dolphin
Nor angry like the wrathful tiger
But its survival is threatened
A species on the edge of extinction

Tread softly on the ground
Walk gently amidst the flowers
Listen carefully for the sound
Our humble friend is not around
That tailored coat is missing
From the symphony of existence
We are all left naked by silence
And the business of buzzing
Can no longer be taken for granted

That taste sweeter than wine
Is now in serious decline
Sight sound and taste is vanishing
Without a serious murmur
From the industry of conservation
Or the planet savers of the nation
Amidst the ecological devastation
Small creatures give us comfort
While big issues merely threaten.
Duncan Brown Jul 2018
When Kafka got up to danska
the band played desafinado
for a deliciously exciting polka
and a dreary two step of Vienna
but he only danskaed the tango
to appease his latent fandango
Kafka got lost in the danska
discovering his passionate waltza
embracing his favourite *****
he hastily finished his unfinished
and secretly went to his America
much desafinado about nothing
he mused of dansking in Alaska
by buying a fur hat in Canada
but it only danskaed the polka
back home in Czechoslovakia
the hat was really not bothered
as long as the danska was polka
and Kafka was quite very travodkad
and occasionally marlony brandyed
dancing a lost tango in anchorage
so ominously close to old Russia
and Doctor Zhivago’s new locum
with much more of that desafinado
and even less dansking his tango
he quietly learned to play banjo
but he found it all a bit of a trial.
Duncan Brown Aug 2018
Paradox Lost

May God forgive me
For all the sins that I committed
And could Satan forget me
For all the ones I didn't
When I had the opportunity.

Paradox Regained

Heaven shades to earth
Whene'er my eyes are closing.
Then falls away to hell
As soon as they are open.
Wi' heaven shut an' hell still open
Faith is blind but sin's still hoping.
308 · Jul 2018
A Pack of Cards 219
Duncan Brown Jul 2018
The golden rule never gives change.
And gamblers only drink champagne
Losers can’t afford it
Don’t play poker with medicine men
Doc Holliday's a sore loser
It goes with his obsession
He's a dentist by learning
A gambler by profession
An' a renaissance assassin
A Medici Faustian bargain
Playing the green baize table
Where ten’s the changing sign
The alchemist’s calling card
The card of transformation
A card of changing of beds
And a change of friends
They could even be enemies
Fortune changes for the worse
An’ losing is a winning gamble
When hands like feet change direction
Losing yourself is the smart play
Sooner’s so much better than later
In time the world loves a loser
But gamblers hate a debtor
I.O U’s don’t spell for less than A an’ E
They’re just vowels without provenance
Gambling cashes in on culture
Money is the 'lingua franca'
Of a very deadly silent economy
No really one talks about it
An’ you can’t keep your eyes off it
But sure as hell everyone
Listens to the silence
Ten’s the calling card of consequence
A very suitable number
In Fire Earth Air and Water
They can be quite soulfully pedestrian
You never know what’s in the elements
A good card to keep up your sleeve
But lose your shirt you lose everything
An’ it goes without saying a lot
Not a good card to be found naked with
Be careful with a nine in any colour
It’s the most deserving in the highest
Nines, sleeves and gambling
Are a triple tray of troubles
Heads have been known to be served
On a tray of trays
Nines can be very Trinitarian
And quite John the Baptist
A good card to lose in haste
But eternal if a friend,
There’s none better
Eights go on forever
The Via Dolorosa of numbers
They are a sacred journey
Only the compassionately beautiful
Gamble with an eight in their hands
Eight is a sacred mystery
In any suit it is never cut
And always woven
From a seamless gambled-for cloth
Eight never gambles in suits
Only in garments
Never gamble with an eight
Unless you’re gambling with redemption
Hand life and soul have been
Eternally lost or found on an eight
Truly a gamblers card
And sometimes a calling card
As every gambler knows
A card of consequence and karma
When it calls keep your eyes on the dealer
Sure as hell a deal's been done
An’ all the blue eyes are on you
Sevens like fives are a journey
Good cards for travellers
Wanderers and shape shifters
Seven seas and five continents
Suits those wandering souls among us
Two solitary prime numbers
Indivisible onto themselves
They can be quite pedestrian
Fives can be over confident over land
But they shouldn't try to be seven
Walking on water's a mistake
Unless you’re an avatar
Treading wine is better and safer
Fives and sevens are a journey
Good cards to keep in your shoes
Sixes are sixes by themselves
An’ they don’t go with sevens
They're the card of reflection
A scriptural card if ever there was one
A card dressed in a triple mirror
Vanity and vexation in the curves
A card to turn and turn
And turn your eyes again
The number of this card
Another Trinitarian consequence
Is reflected in the mirror
An image of ourselves
The card has an identity problem
Don’t knock it, you might need it
It’s your friend in need of friend
An’ with friends like that
It's just as well that any three
From any four sixes
Is the sign of a winning hand
In a loser’s smile
And the best part of a full house
A card of Jezebels, angels
And mirrors, on reflection
Don’t you just love sixes
Five is five and let’s not talk about it
It’s an assassin’s calling card
It goes with its own territory
A card that doesn’t take prisoners
Fours are strangers at the door
Every one with a Matthew birth mark
In the image of John
Like four seasons they arrive
Like pilgrims then are gone
To change themselves to be
The same again, another season
Another fall of leaving calls
A card for all weathers
And shelter in a storm
You are kind of pleased to see it
But you don’t know why
Also cards of mystery and obviousness
And only fools an’ fours
Can tell the difference
It’s the ‘maybe’ card
You never really know with fours
The proverbial knocking at your doors
But sure as hell
They’ll never ring a bell
A tidy card to send to acrobats
And other kinds of well-balanced people
That’s what fours are for
Commitments tailored to your needs
And the occasional highly wired friend
Don’t go out without them
You never know if you might need them
Threes are trinities and divinities
Fathers Sons an’ Holy Ghosts
And more usually the cause
Of a quick divorce
The world moves in threes
Sattwas Rajas and Tamas
The triune dance of the universe
Light, Action and Inertia
It even grows on trees
Every one’s a traveller
Some are even gypsies
A good card to keep in your shoes
They can be an invitation
Or a visitor from a distant place
They're the taxi cards of the pack
Call them when you wanna go
Somewhere, they'll arrive
They're the calling cards of falling friends
You'll never be lonely on journey
Of five and sevens with a three
They’re the crucifixion card
Unless it suits you otherwise
To be so amused
Deuces are twos, the mirror card
Duality’s their basic business
They really are a wolf card
Always travelling in packs
Not sufficient to be dangerous
An’ just enough to not be lonely
They really appreciate your company
It suits their reflective existence
To travel in togetherness
The faces are places searching for aces
Jacks in a pack never look back
If they can possibly look sideways
Concealing their knavish tendencies
They’re quite the well-tailored card
Fine raiment maketh a fool attractive
In very unfashionable circumstances
Treachery an’ deceit on each turning face
Sure as Clementine’s your long lost darling
An Ophelia never got her hand in time
A gambling Hamlet is a sight to see
Jealousy rage and a ferocious anger
Writ upon a countenance looking back
Beyond the cardboard eyes of the beholder
Dumb broads are never dumb
And seldom abroad
Sometimes they can be
A very home loving card
Two jokers live in every pack
One out front the other looks back
They’re the magpies in the deck
Less in sorrow than in joy
They cover every missing face
The hooded birds deserve their place
Their reputation precedes them
In black and white they are the night
In colours they’re magnificent sevens
And they’ve really got your number
In spades it suits their harlequin fashion
To be a veritable grave digging charmer
In jewels they ***** the precious deck
Two diamonds and they’re everybody’s
The vagrant royalty rules the roaming pack
Their world is another creature’s finery
Gamblers are such snazzy jazzy dressers
If you have to lose a shirt do it in style
Second hand clothes and second hand hands
Aren’t so much a misfortune more an affliction
Desperately seeking a lost occasion
Well-heeled fools engrave it on their heart
Better be dead in your gracious threads
Than kicking in rags of common comfort  
They’re the card that always looks back
The face in every hand smiling at you
Looking at them with cardboard eyes
Then there’s the precisely tailored box
The transient funeral parlour
In a good-looking box like that
You can die an’ dine anywhere
In reasonable style
If you’re tailed a toss head first
Into a losing situation
Cards never call they beckon
And if they speak it’s a good idea to listen.
299 · May 2018
Writers’ Block
Duncan Brown May 2018
There’s a writer on the block
  Inspiration’s on vacation
Gone on tour with culture shock
  Desperately seeking a situation
Far from the incessant ticking clock
Words are flowing like glue
Sniffed but so unwritten
The scent of inspiration flew
Southwards and unsmitten
By paucity’s shallow written hue

Heavy as leaden thought can be
The vacant empty page
Stares blank in mirrors at me
The mocking unwrit rage
A parallel universe in a vacant sea

A world of solid silent inertia
  Invades the imagination
And dulls the poetic drama
Each page gauged in vexation
Such a perfect portrait of a tabula rasa

The origami of crushed paper
A testament to frustration
And a tsunami of written failure
Mocks the myth of imagination
Reducing it to an unremembered feature

And then the keyboard sweetly sings
The ink is beautiful flowing time
While the percussive alphabet rings
The wine soaked harmonies of rhyme
Sweetening the song that poetry always brings.
299 · Oct 2018
The Beauty of it all
Duncan Brown Oct 2018
The gravity of angels doth presage a fall
Dissent is the ascendant written on the scrawl
Scripture's now grafitti's permanent fixture
Anyone care for a psalm missile or two
God has a couple, his friends have got a few
Nothings old every things really quite new
Every bargain's even got a testament or two
Destructions guaranteed, creation's over rated
Another Eden's a blue print for a parking lot
Rise and fall's kids’ stuff, god does them all
Damnation just that button on a play station
Satnav's got two, that's one for each direction
Heaven's great ' but hell can be a serious option
It really is an avenue, you gotta keep it open
When faith abandons you, the other joints reliable
In the meantime just enjoy the uncertain chaos
Sin must have some virtue, there's enough about
Even the clergy occasionally let it all hang out
If its good enough for frock coats, who knows
It might be better for all of us dressed as we are
Ready for anything that sin can throw at us
And everything we can toss back in a glass
Darkly with the shades on in a cheap hotel
We might as well if heaven's hell on earth
And the wagers of each sin is just a gamble
With eternity dead heading with our salvation
It could take a while before the result comes in.
296 · Oct 2018
Duncan Brown Oct 2018
A world can be so wonderfully inarticulate
Expressing as it does each prejudice
In a blizzard of minimalist vernacular
Pursuing the obvious common denominator
Thus elevating the average meanness
To the heights of banality and expedience
Quantified by the measure of indifference
Required to fill the volume of ignorance
Necessary to potentialise each prejudice
As a true barometer of society’s preference
Calculated to protect the existing social order.
295 · Sep 2018
Before the Fall Act I
Duncan Brown Sep 2018
A door is never open
It's always ajar

A song is never sung
(except by fools
who insist on interrupting
the sacred business of drinking)
It is only heard
In the distance.

A glass is never empty
It's just lonely.

Friends are never a friend;
They're only the next act
Of treachery and tragedy
(Doesn't that sound poetic)

Poverty is the person
Who stole your prosperity.
Prosperity was a similar
But infinitely less honest
Kind of thief
Charity is the one true thief
I'll drink to that
(Truth be told, I'll drink to anything)

Oh dear God stop me
From ever becoming religious
You owe me at least that much
IOU a Jack, a Jim an' a Johnnie
(That’s Daniel’s, Bean an' Walker
to the unbelievers among your flock
of sad unsinners)
Being unholy is kind of cool
Holiness is in the concept
Religion’s got nothing
To be holy about
It’s an empty glass.
Drinking's got spirit
Dear God of mine
Make mine a double
I'll believe in you twice.

(Thank you, Janis. Why don’t we jack that Mercedes Benz you keep singing about? You can drive an' I'll be your loveable but inadequate companion, just like Gabby Hayes. I can’t do Tonto. The Noble Savage is beyond my range an’ anyway, you won’t wear a mask. The world is full of lonely rangers, but how many wear a mask? Maybe we could go to Mexico an’ I'll apply for the Cisco Kid's job. He wears great hats. I'd look cool in a hat like that. Is he any relation of Billy...?)
Loneliness in a glass
It's an urban myth
An’ a rural hype.
Drinking's only a curse
Morality is a disease
Curses are like glasses
You can lift them
Ever tried to lift a disease?
Aphorisms; don’t we just love 'em
Especially when we hide behind 'em.
(Is The Lonely Ranger
An aphorism in the making?)
They're a sign of conversational fear.
An’ fear is just a sign of itself
When it's got nothing else
To be fearful about
I think I'll have another drink
Before I start talking about Fitzgerald
And Malcolm the Vulcanologist.
Good word, vulcanologist
Impressive in the right company
Must remember to use it again
On the next innocent abroad.

Nobody loves you when you're just a poor drunk. A few people love you if you’re a clever drunk. But everybody loves you if you're a rich drunk. You've got a friend in every pocket, and that's what friends are for. Your relatives live in your wallet ‘an we're not talking photographs here. You can only trust your enemies. They at least will be true to themselves and as treacherous as only an enemy can be. Truth be told, there's truth in wine, but a sadder truth is: we all tell lies. The wine just makes them more delicious. We can all drink to that. The rich are never drunk, just unsober. Only the poor can be driven mad by drink. (It's the only experience of being chauffeur driven they'll ever have.) The rich are merely inebriate and eccentric. Class and euphemism are always so reliable. It’s a very rich language we have here; in every sense.

Especially when we talk in clichés
Even with perfect strangers
(Why are strangers perfect?
Are they some kind of deity?)
Clichés are a wonderful thing
When you have four fingers
Of blessed rye in your hand.
‘Only the good die young.’
That’s a great ole cliché.
‘Been down this road so long
It looks like upper street again’
That’s an even better one, I think
Bob Zimmerman’s brother in law
Didn’t get ‘round to being related
According to the romantic plan
“That’s not a cliché, that’s an
urban myth”, said the stranger
When Dante met Janis it was
Downhill all the way for them
Thank you, John Milton
Where would hell be without you?
In ever decreasing circles
You might say, an’ then again
You might not bother to say anything.
Intellectuals are sometimes lonely.
Perhaps you don’t speak to strangers
Even perfect ones in dark glasses
Who are unafraid to look in mirrors.
Let me buy you a drink in a darker glass
Did I tell you, me an’ Janis are
Heading down Mexico’s dusty way?
Elvis and Marilyn are living there
They were secretly married even
To each other's each other self.
They were all set to become
The King and Queen of America
But the constitution wouldn’t allow it.
Norman the Mailman’s going to write
(That’ll be the day dream all believers
Try to avoid believing in too much)
A bestselling an’ hard hitting novelty item
About it all, with the built-in revelation
That their kids were kidnapped
By all those dead Kennedys and ……
Is the floor getting closer or am I collapsing?
An’ what did you say
Your name was, Mephistopheles?
That’s a cute name. But why are you
Smiling at me in such a strange fashion?
Make mine a double; what’s your poison?
275 · Jun 2018
The Air Guitarister
Duncan Brown Jun 2018
Eatyour Beefingheartout FranklyZappa
Thisairguitarist hasyournumbereding
Sixanseven inmyveryown hothundrededing
Lessthanyourworth ansomuchymorexpensive
Thanpoorboyzin a rockingorchestralsonger
Noonebeats thisten steelfingeringwizardist
Intheimage of our charmless deceptionism
Ivestrutterdstuff wherestuff shouldntbestrutten
Thenseenmyself as othershaveneverseenme
Andbangedmyheaderer to the cosmicgodderer
Ivemimedasong where the wordsareallwrong
Andcameback foranencore anthensomemore
IvejammedwithJimi and hammeditupwithFreddie
ZZdmytopinacuteflipflop rollingoverwithBeethoven
Beenallalongthewatchtower anamnotareligiouser
Letalonealonely Jehoveringkinda windowdresser
BlindFaithsmyfaith the soundofoneslowhandClapton
Thatsgodinbluejeans he cansharemymirroranytime
Megodanthemidnightrambler ohwhatatriolivesinme
Wevewornout seventeenmirrors anfivemoteldoors
Butamtheking ofreflectedglory  inmyglassypalace
Slaying eachimagined audience gunslingerstyle
Zimmerman’s cubistfendering madeanartistoutofme
Thatharmonicasawarning forthestartofworldwarthree
IvedressedlikeKiss donethetwist ansetmygreatballsonfire
Anblewagollywithmissmolly cozIworespexlikeBuddyHolly
Soldmysoully to Beelzeebubby for sexndrugznrocknrolly
BinZiggyingwithIggy anfedthe AnimalstothezoowithLou
Ohwhataperfectday to rearrange the theoryofevolution
Iveevenbeenjumperingbroomsticks withbonnieweeBrenda
Andwithmyonehandcuffclapping IfeltliketheprisonerofZenda
ThenshookenupmypelvistoElvis andtrystedmytrussatMadonna
Theformertwassublime thelatterwas likeaVirginonthedicriculous
Iveruinedmyhealth blownmywealth andyingwasacareeroption
Thenbeennbornagain anbecomeaZen anIonlyeatvegetarians
Ivebeendecievedtobelieve an I believe Ibelievedtodecieve
IduettedatriowithapreciousPearl justJanismeanBobbieMcGhee
Thehigherthethrilll thegreatertheFall the musictenthrallsusall
IvebeenaWhoan’If aThatan’aThem anseveraltypesofabbreviation
ShakespearesSister BecketsBrother An ChaucersCousin
Haveallplayedtheirliterarypart Inmyveryown Divine Comedy
Ivebeen a Door a Chair and a Floor covered in Spiral Carpets
Beatles Bugz  SuperfurryThugz antheoccasional Arctic Monkey
Haveplayedtheirpart inmy fantasticalanverymagical menagerie
Ivehuggedtrees an’creatureswithfleas an’hostsofgoldendaffodills
Beensavingwhaleswithpsychedelictales ImaSamurai eco-warrior
Theplanetssafe whileIvegotfaith ButI’llneverabandonmymirror
I’mthefoolwholefthishill arebelwithoutapplause I’masilentcinema
ComeeachMondayMonday I’lldescendthestairfwayfrommyheaven
Andworklikeapoormansson playingthatfoolwhoselefthishill
To be standing alone in the corner at All Tomorrows Parties.
272 · Sep 2018
Just Alone
Duncan Brown Sep 2018
Alone she rests ‘neath castling towers
outfacing glazy terraces
by just gazing south to west

Alone yoke of bags she appears to shed
like a mother at a crossing
just waiting for the lights

Alone on a rise arc of green
glass to stones engraced
just by her lovely patina’s glow

Alone upon art’s breasted seeing
infants whisper blessings
to a brown madonna just watching
269 · Jul 2018
Duncan Brown Jul 2018
A scarecrow dwells on the horizon
Such a lonely image of crucifixion
No ragged thieves surrounding
Sublimely frightening and beautiful
Observing this world’s unfolding
From the inside solitude of loneliness
Externally gazing at the moving distance
Tethered and shackled to lifelessness
Exposed to nature’s scorning passage
A victim of insignificant circumstance
This symbol of something miraculous
Sowing each souls fertile imagination
Harvesting it in the rags of the future
Fixed and pinioned to the present
The lonely ballerina on the landscape
Unmoved the world moves around it
Like a dancing figure on a music box.
259 · Aug 2018
Duncan Brown Aug 2018
Shake your hands to your elbows
And your bones down to your feet
Where empty sockets in our pockets
Remind us where eyes used to see
When our shoes really hit the street

Walking on water is something else
Treading grapes a sweeter experience
While each doth not presage the other
Sour wine tastes so much sweeter
Than a dust filled glass of dry water

Loaves and fishes in their dishes
Feed the hungry eyes of multitudes
Eating miraculously each mirage
Believing it to be the fools’ banquet
Transforming hunger with a new image

Breaking bones is not what it used to be
When the economy of flesh is hunger
And salvation is a calcium paradise
Costing each of our arms at least a leg
When life is damage imitating limitation.
258 · Aug 2018
Sleazy Bunch
Duncan Brown Aug 2018
The dealings done surreptitiously
Far from prying eyes or scrutiny
Money changes hands inconspicuously
Ambition triumphs over integrity
Substance is sold ever so discretely
Damage is always consequential
Destroying the hearts true potential
Wrecking lives and community
By an injection of poisoned pity
And getting away before the crunch
Politicians are a disreputable bunch.
257 · Jun 2018
Janis Kali
Duncan Brown Jun 2018
The wild sound of creation and destruction
Drove that Mercedes all the way from Texas
Wrapping it round the lamppost of America
Creating light and darkness in a single image
Wrecking tranquillity was her daytime occupation
Creating havoc her favourite night time passion
A constellation of starlit bourbon harmony
In the comfort zone of her southern hospitality
The Divine Creatrix of her own stellar universe
And the born destroyer of everything before her
Time and space an empty canvas for her image
Each single moment a vast horizon of homage
Nothing moves the stillness beyond her presence
Worlds collapse to nothingness by her caprice
And heaven itself a single jewel on her costume
Hell a mere facet of her beautiful endless terror
Saviours saints devils and sweet singing angels
Baubles on a necklace she wears for pleasure
Mere vanity in her divine imagination of mirrors
The sound of her voice rocks the vastness of time
Rendering infinity past before it happens
No one ever messes or dares drive a Porsche
In the presence of a blue jeaned Kali from Texas.
253 · Sep 2018
The story thus far
Duncan Brown Sep 2018
Chaucer was that gentle parfett knight.
Travelling as he went on his pilgrimage
Like a beautifully medievel Kerouac
With a bunch of others on their progress
Telling tales as they went on the holy journey
To that place of worship on the road to poetry
Nothings deep everything is scenery an’ heraldry
Lovely on its pilgrimage to Canterbury
Then some silver stuff takes you on to genius
Written by that bad bad bald guy
In that age of written geniuses
When everything went Einstein in colour
Every relative had an absolute poet
Dreaming of theatres in the round
And other kinds of geometric fashions
For strutting the stuff of the written culture
Beggars were borrowed and the acting got better
Dressed for dying beautifully to a paying audience
Things were on the up when written downtown
Across the boards and curtained signs saying exit
Selling stuff in the aisles to increase the margins
And other kinds of existentially profitable existences
For the written word and the acting sin tax
Made a buck or two worth turning up for
In the bear pit of the wooden O’s auditorium.
Then the lights went out in a very puritan fashion
Of iron buckles on high and mighty hats
Inside heavy shoes were emptier soles
Nailed art to the boards in crucifying style
Paradise was lost but that light still shone
In those dark and dismal times of religion
Where even god was proclaimed a heretic
For daring to be one of life’s creative souls
With an occasional very flashy revelation
Flasing the light and other stuff so fantastically
Behind the shed in the basement of the other Eden
Johnnie was mixing up the stuff from the garden
Still tripping the light show quite fantastic
Transforming colour from darker spaces
That kept the puritans in their prurient places
A voice alone inside the high hat revolution
Didn’t quite do everything all write on the night
Because he thought about it twice in the daytime
Thinking about is okay but seeing it is better
A tale of genius smothered by intellectuality
Was wee Alexander’s thoughtful contribution
Butterflies and wheels and other kinds of deals
Set the scene for the future enlightenment
In the shape of ghosts to haunt eternity
With a grain of sand and a redder rose
An’ other stuff both wonderful and dangerous
Its appeal was so magically tremendous
It remains today to haunts us all so beautifully
In shapes that become everything around us
The surrounding beauty is so alchemical
Transforming water into wine and flowing poetry
The miracle of pouring words transforms us
From passengers to charioteers of fire
On the battlefield for a worlds tomorrow
Where our sweetest songs still remain
Our tears of joy from fleeing pain
Played upon the fields of destruction
Where yesterday will never be tomorrow
Unwritten the sun sings it on the morn
Because tomorrow wants to be here
It’s there on the rise before our very eyes
And nothing’s stopping it except ourselves
The poets wrote it so long ago
And now’s a better time than most to sing it
All together now, ‘the future can be beautiful’
247 · May 2018
Lenny the Bruce
Duncan Brown May 2018
The ultimate warrior
A clown in armour
Shining in the footlight
Fighting a colder war
By cracking a hot one
Each and every night
Prurience was the enemy
And its ally hypocrisy
Lenny fought them all
And died to tell the tale
Living like he does forever
In every fool’s fall
Of rising laughter.
244 · Jul 2018
William Bonney Wasn’t
Duncan Brown Jul 2018
In the times before the current ontology being right was easy; a gift from a dextrous God. On the other hand, the world was beautifully sinister. The ‘metaphysics of the sinister condition’ propelled Immanuel Kant to conclude, that: ‘Looking at your right hand in the mirror you see a left hand, identical to right, but unable to replace the other, which, like God is right.’ Wittgenstein, a patient soul, was rightly amused and replied 200 years later, (that’s the kind of guy he was: prepared to wait a couple of centuries in order to deliver a dexterously sinister reply), ‘A right hand glove could be put on the left hand if it could be turned around in four dimensional space’. (Neil Armstrong, Captain Kirk and Doctor Who have ordered two paisley patterned pairs each).            
Machiavelli absconded from this digital count, citing an ‘a priori’ engagement with the Inquisition as a not unreasonable excuse for his point of departure. Aristotle replied: ‘Might is Right’ was true Philosophy
and fitted the world like an un-left handed glove, but he didn’t want to hang around to debate it, because his brilliantly sinister protégé, Alexander, played a very destructive ragtime with his band and was quite decidedly a great southpaw, who got dextrously cross being labelled ‘sinister’ and imagined himself to be rather charming, in that mirrored image kind of way.

Julius Caesar like Jimi Hendrix before the fall
Playing a right handed empire upside down
Until only decadent ruination was left
Second handed down to instant history
Carved in stone upon an ancient broken glory
The experience never left his soul alone
Unlike it left the beautiful Saint Joan
True righteous in all her blossoming
Left to solitary incineration at the end
Leonardo always painted in the mirror
Reflecting images from right to left
And made the distant appear quite near
A smile gazing in the closer distance
But there’s miles of mystery in the eyes
Everything else is just as he rightly left it
Beautifully left vertical on the right horizontal
Restoring your faith in renaissance artistry
Bounarroti worked the Sistine ceiling
With God outstretched in dextrous touch
Toward Adam’s innocently sinister reach
In that other Eden; Adam was left handed
Not dissimilar to the artist and the vision
Set high above the holy sepulchred floor
With its tabernacle likened door
Left so far and distant down below
The hell of all those dazzling heavens right above
Inspired Napoleon to abandon his rags
For a brightly coloured bespoke coat
And a gorgeously tailored left-ways hat
The woven garb to free a continent
And safeguard the very precious joys
Of Liberté, Justice and Egalité
The food, wine and song of democracy
In a very left handed kind of way
That was so right-on you loved him for it forever
And Moscow never looked the same without him
It’s much more Left Bank now in its Russian ways
Catherine thinks it’s Great, and in that style she left it
Then left was right an’ wrongs were righted leftly
Until everything left was rightly wronged in cruelty
And left a scar that rightly shamed a century
Nothing lasts as all things pass to dust and history
Yet the phoenix flies in the face of burning misery
While the ever salient Homer left us his republic
And his equally luminous sinister revelation
That Jack the Ripper and the Boston Strangler
But worst of all, Ned Flanders were all lefties
As it is in the end, so it was in the beginning
The ever brilliant Elvis has left the building
239 · Jul 2018
My Generation.(part 2)
Duncan Brown Jul 2018
The false glimmer of charisma
Waxing lyrically on the shimmer
Conceals the shadows in the light
Fantastic hollowness of thought
Counting out the take on the insight
Of the taken at the back of the hall
Silhouetted by the moving shadows
Writhing prophecies on the wall
Vexing vanity before the fallen
Cloaks a heavy bright fantastic
Image outside its hollowed light
Deceiving to believe in its self
As the saviour of that living truth
Which it alone is possessed of
Deceiving innocence by stealth
As substance dies an instant death
When style triumphs over beauty
High hype from the lowest heaven  
As the media thieved the language
Murdering truth with killing syntax
In gorgeously manufactured styles
Torturing all us immaculate vowels
The medium strangled the message
As the messengers styled their hair
When presentation hit the airwaves
Surfing highways to lower heavens
That perished our innocent thoughts
And substance died an instant death
As ephemeral flourished by abuse
Subjected upon the corpse of truth.
But writers wrote an’ singers sang
That ancient an’ well favoured song
The future’s here and it won’t belong
To anything but its own sweet self
Unfolding dreams a serene vision
Wraps itself in hollow shadows
Glowering truth upon its surface
Concealing shallowness by depth
It’s the common currency of deceit
Practiced so naturally by politicians.
209 · May 2018
The Plagiarist
Duncan Brown May 2018
The small gods of mediocrity worship me
In glimmering shades of opaque vanity
And a quantity of quietly suspended sanity
For believing in me is me deceiving in thee
Cos’ nothing exists inside an empty mirror
Everything is but a shallow showy business
An’ vanity’s the perfect anaesthetic to criticism
It has a certain cachet of symmetrical insecurity
Which protects one from the whips and scorns
Of the too, too solid clever clogging creatures
And their insistence upon a useless authenticity
And several types of other irredemptive features
If thickness was a virtue they’d be geniuses
As things stand they’re an average ordinary
Overburdened by the extremes of modernity
And the necessity to dwell in the sin of originality
No such burden afflicts this untempered soul
A pickpocket in heaven is a smart career move
There are so many treasures in eternal garments
Looking better on me than any famous other
They may have originality but I possess the sin
Tailored to perfection of a finely cut deception
Wrapped in the vestments of deceitful beauty
So befitting on this prince of thieving vanity                                            .
If you have been where I have always been
You could’ve written the Faerie Queen
And several iniquitous verses in between
The fame and fortune of writing anything
It’s a difficult business being someone else
At least on paper and preferably in private
An’ don’t you just love an innocent abroad
Loneliness is always my singular attraction
And sadness isn’t without capricious merit
They’re the essential requirements of being
A phantom haunting in the raiment of deceit
I could shake the scene but only for an hour
Why does everybody know that second-rater
Or some warbling barbed wire singer-songer?
The blowing wind of his twice solid injustice
Denies me my princely literary inheritance
I’ve got more Faust than a beggar’s banquet
I could be them, but they could never be me
So who is the real genius at the literary feast?
That’s the question that they refuse to answer
I’m the prince of all the borrowed tomorrows
And the silver-buckled trampling of history
Who are they compared to me, the thief of faces
A genius at my very own seditious practices?
Skylarks, nightingales and ****** red roses
There’s no purchase there for a born deceiver
Pirouetting upon the landscape of deception
My ancient trade, a slave to modern ambition
And isn’t wealth so comfortably in fashion
Filthy lucre for filthy booker is my very passion
A flattering self obsession can be so expensive
Plundering souls to satisfy a scribbling ego costs
Much more than your average literary bargain
Writing’s cheap and writers are even cheaper
That’s why I became this born-again deceiver
Transient fame and eternal blame’s my passion
Who cares about fifteen minutes of ignominy?
I’ll do it all tomorrow in another stolen name
Addiction thrives by being exposed to shame
Any fool can pen their play or scribe a novel
The romantics always scribble in their hovel
Whilst the past is a very lonely day tomorrow
And written failures drown in present sorrow
But my notoriety is a timeless endless furrow
Ploughed and planted in each passing season
Harvesting the festival of my sweetened treason
And I’m compelled to a very summer’s day
An’ winter springing another written disguise
Favouring my fortune by a winning surprise
Beggaring the belief of a charitable donation
To the swollen coffin of my self infatuation  
Ferreting in the trashcans of the famous
For those half-forgotten reject slips
Nothings too worn or useless for my audience
Even less for my insatiable appetite
To be appreciated as a literary genius
Even if it lasts for only fifteen minutes
In the company of an utterly innocent audience
I’m neither proud nor even vain glorious
It’s just part of my addictive insouciance
I just love that moment in my significance
When I can be seen as someone not average
Not much to ask and even less to deliver
It doesn’t take a genius to be just clever
That’s a joy that I can always joyfully deliver
Twice on Saturday provided one’s a matinee
I will venture on this shadowy way forever
Harming no one except a ripped off author
They should be grateful for the plunder
After all it is a kind of literary flattery
I have standards in my taste for literature
I’d never rob your average written writer
If they’ve mugged themselves, why bother?
A long lost great or an undiscovered genius
Is more my taste and appreciated flavour
New wine is fine but truth is there to be told
I’ll drink anything especially if it can be sold
To any old innocently paying punter
Desperation travels in the company of deceit
And much of it is right up my street
Not quite the boulevards of the ancients
And there I go along the road of the living
Avoiding life’s cul-de-sac dead end
A place to spend a life seriously avoiding
Even if it means inhabiting other people’s clothing
The wearing and the tearing is a riot
An’ God won’t send me to Hades for borrowing
The silken garments of the truly wonderful
But he sure as hell gets mad if I copyright it.
208 · Sep 2018
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Duncan Brown Sep 2018
The leaden cloak of his sorrowful pain
Is measured in tears like driving rain
Beating on the heart of experience
Searching for the self’s deliverance
From the consequence of his ignorance
Anchoring his soul to actions past
The present crucified upon his heart
Conscience writ upon a mirror image
A reservoir of guilt haunting his step
Casting shadows on his shallow soul
Traduced by chance and circumstance
Invading his dreams with silent terror
Water drowning heartache in his song
Wandering upon waves of contrition
Crashing on the shoreline of neglect
Brimming with remorse ridden regret
The wine of benediction in his thought
Seeking his redemption from the crime
His immortal grace is the Ancient Rime.
207 · May 2018
The Lonely Death of a Poet
Duncan Brown May 2018
Chatterton the fabulous creator of other poets’ dreams
An angel of delusion in his world of written confusion
Summer days and lyrically sweet-sounding skylarks
The sunrise and the moonlight of his fading horizon
Writing by the second hand in a hour glass of sand
Amidst the red red roses and the golden daffodils
Quilling songs of hemlock and fading with the flowers
Wearing shoes of silver buckles in John Keats's soles
In his final moments he perished beautifully like a poet.
Duncan Brown Apr 2018
Here’s to a life lived in mirrors
Looking at you, looking at you
Looking back at you looking back
Through your glasses very darkly
To Greta Garbo on the phone
Waxing lyrically quite fantastically
About the joys of being alone
To Joan Crawford on the prowl
Couching a cast with every vowel
Telling Marilyn about her calling
And about the bombshell falling
On the emptiness of an ocean
Where no blonde is an island
Not even one in transit to Venus
Or some other heavenly body
Liking it hot and sometimes cool
Recounting their sins so Cardinale
Occasionally cracking a commandment
To a Sophia Lorenaissance princess
Returning home from Casablanca
So beautifully and unusually a suspect
Knowing she’s below suspicion
Lavishing serenely back in Hollywood
Wondering why Anita Ekberg fell
Like the silver dream’s golden foil
For fame and famous familiarity
Rediscovering tee-shirts as she went
That extra length for helpless notoriety
Without surviving such polite society
Or Grace and Kelly looking in
At you looking at her surprise
When stardom started whistling
At that gal from the windy city
Skinning her bucks Madonna style
Whip wisecracking her lady cat wiles
When Doris finally made her day
Inside that very holy wooden shrine
Renowned for famous fickle fortune
By passing shadow’s tripping failure
In the limelight of fantastic glamour
Having it all and loving the clamour
Before the system really damaged her
For toughing it out like Frances Farmer
The Deity from the silver scream
Her voice alone playing Saint Joan
When the mogul empire struck back
With a cast of riders in white coats
Halting a sweet Cordelia on the inside
As the tinsel world bade a shallow farewell
To another Angelina on the flipside
But glamour is as glamour does
So clamorous to a made up self
An’ there’s no clamour like Hollywood
Clamouring for another famous mirror
To see ourselves as others seldom see us
In realms of glittering golden clichés
Shimmering on the scarlet carpet
While worlds spin in awestruck wonder
At the mystic vision of light and shadow
Entranced by the mystery of the alchemy
Illuminating this lower light to heaven
Our senses ripped and vision stripped
By beauty’s outrageous plunder
And imagination’s helpless surrender
To that mirage with hooded lids
Never looking back at anything
Bringing it all to her Bette Davis eyes
And both her Betty Grable’s surprise
Shredding each soul’s futile resistance
Before the onslaught of her Divinity
Traipsed her spell through tinsel town
Draped in black with a golden halo
Stole the show with her red stiletto
Embedded in that wanton poster
Telling the world she won an award
For acting as she never meant to be
Selling it like some reluctant Ophelia
Wondering why they call her Cordelia
Whilst leering at her cinematic feature
Wearing hats of metaphysical mystery
On dreams eternal in a transient moment
Where every sin is an open invitation
To every door with a sign saying exit
Where tough guys come and wise guys go
But looking at you goes on forever
Inside hats of sparkling wonder
In the Hollywood hell of other people
Flashing their bulbs in prurient homage
At the sinning flash of a new décolletage
Of heavenly strutting star slight women
Stealing the show and loving the glow
And straightening out the golden rainbow
Dancing light fantastic on the brick yellow road
That’s the way those winning women glow.
202 · Jul 2018
Anna Akmatova
Duncan Brown Jul 2018
Harsh as frozen iron
General Winter
Could not break
Nor glare to chilling silence
The vision sweet
Of beauty on a flower
Smiling at a moment.
198 · Aug 2018
The Chelsea Hotel
Duncan Brown Aug 2018
The Chelsea Hotel
We remember it well
An' its splendid interior decor
By never setting foot there
A very Bohemian Rhapsody
Two Dylans are thrilling
One Bob an' one Thomas
One life and one death
A song and poetic requiem
A Sad Eyed Beautiful moment
Another unquietly into the night
Embracing the dread valley below
Sweet Syd and Saint Nancy
Perished like lovers in drama
No light at yonder window
For a rocking Romeo and Juliet
Breathless in period splendour
Lovers in tragically beautiful embrace
Immortality in the perfect place
Edie set her room on fire
Our heroine couldn't get much higher
As the ceiling just got lower
Another window was another score
When the ceiling hit the floor
Unbroken she was beautiful like a woman
Dancing eyes across the hotel floor
Her world moving in that revolving door
The Chelsea Hotel has more to tell
That Hotel California couldn't rival
That's why it’s there in New York City
An island of dreams in a concrete ocean
Where all lost writers find a paradise
Checking in is our one remaining dream
Checking it out our beautiful possibility.
189 · Sep 2018
Freedom and Liberty
Duncan Brown Sep 2018
Liberty to itself exposes
Limitation’s weakness
Upon the face of liberty
Staring back in beauty
At the ugliness of chains

Freedom is what happens
To untrammelled thought
Left to its own delight
It is the natural consequence
Of  beautiful significance

Liberty dwells delightfully
Where repression fails
To threaten human frailty
Laying down poetic law
Writing up our freedom

Freedom is soul expression
Engraved in beautiful thought
So natural to a poet
Remoter still to politics
Yet closer to our heart

Liberty is what liberty does
Increasing the joy of love
Sharing our soul’s humanity
Extending our compassion
To others bereft of beauty.
185 · Sep 2018
Duncan Brown Sep 2018
Saintsirmiickael and his coolcohorts
Shooking his lefter leggers in snorts
Bebopping aloopbop boppity bip bop
At this gal renamed crazylittlefender
A shadyladily upon the fadinglybeauty
Ryefillwryfilled arriveangetfooled
Crinklecrinkle comeangetyereyesfilled
Concretesnice but glueissomuchbetter
Rivetingstuff if you’re reallydesparate
Toplayerin a rockering and rolleringband
Flasheringjackerings on the higherways
Averygoodplace for loseringyourselfer
Asthewheelsonthebus go runarounding
Heavencanwait an hellhaslostitspatients
Electricsoup and banderaiderdependence
Twiceaweekontv and thriceinthemirror
Hereslookingatyou reallylookimngatme
Itsallright IthinkIbought abrandnewticket
183 · Jun 2018
David dressed in stone
Duncan Brown Jun 2018
Enclosed in stone each transient soul is lost
Untouched of creation or by human thought
Until that moment of descending liberation
Ignites the flame of our fervent imagination
Breaking chains of imprisoning solid inertia
Shattering slabs of gravity buried in marble
Releasing mortal dreams of liberty and beauty
Carved from matters shackling solid prism
Thus we are the stone that slays the stone
The similar to the similar liberates freedom
Crushing tyrants into broken endless dust
The very matter from whence we came to be
And to which all souls shall return eternally
To rise again in renascent beautiful symmetry
Reincarnated in the image of the solid flesh
Gazing at a philistine crumpled on the dirt.
178 · May 2018
John Lennon
Duncan Brown May 2018
In your face like empty space
Attitude all over the place
Tough as nails, an’ soft as grace

One of four an’ four of one
A killer voice, second to none
That’s how to get your slaying done

Imagine what it feels to be
Something that can set you free
Unblind your eyes an’ let you see

Right out front with that voice
Enslaved our soul in hellish choice
Of rebellion and some sweet rejoice

We left him dying in the street
Buried by fame for all to greet
Crucified in stone at our feet

He is gone, but his song remains
Forever heard in the soul’s refrains
Freedom sings in breaking chains.
174 · Sep 2018
Heretics and Hisetics
Duncan Brown Sep 2018
Sally the ever so cunning clown
Said to Ratzo the equally cunning Pontiff
Hi Benny, how’s your holy business?
You cannot Benny me without an edict
It goes with the religious territory
Said his haughtily high hatted holiness
An’ there’s no business like gods business
Even to sinners and heretics like you
Ok said Sal you’ve got your edict
What does that make you, Pope?
Is that Ben the edict or Benny the dict
I’m cool with either nomenclature
The latter has more comic possibilities
But the former is beautifully ridiculous
An’ that’s always appealing to a clown
In a purely professional capacity
No, That’s Benedict, one word
And a brace of good looking syllables.
Duncan Brown Jun 2018
In a world where all half truths
Are more dangerous than none
Taking sides does of necessity
Place yourself outside the truth
Of things that are truly eternal
An’ lets transience rule the soul
Revealing all that’s writ above
As deceit writhing down below
Boot heels in the worried earth
Churning up that fearful storm
Tearing stones to bleeding dust
Blinding audiences to madness
Dressed in vestments of sadness
To be born poor and beautiful
Is to really never stand a chance
In that rich an’ very ugly world
That taught us all how to dance
To the sound of magic in the air
Coloured flowers in our tresses
Stardust on our boot heeled feet
Dancing visions along the street
Before the nightmare kicked in
And the coloured lights fled out
Leaving us all in black and white
Lost for days at the lack of light
In our stylised monochrome hell
Taking a chance on another dance
With the dark side of that moon
Spinning alone in a broken room
Fixing thoughts on a turning table
Flowing from the eye of a needle
Stitched some souls to living hell
Burning music to the pits as well
To rise again in sounding beauty
Today tomorrow an’ all eternity.
171 · Jun 2018
Mistress Art
Duncan Brown Jun 2018
I went singing to your outer heaven
but nothing moved within.
Then my voice turned to ice
frozen by the gaze
of your cold and luminous no.

I went dancing to your inner hell
but the flames fired without.
Then my feet turned to ashes
smouldering on the precipice
of your burning cruel denial.

I went smiling to your welcoming eyes
but nothing flickered there.
Then my lips turned to dust
lashed beyond the void
of your lids’ stunning eclipse.

I went loving to your secret self
but emptiness was there.
Then my heart turned to shards
stranded in the ruins
of your other sense of being.

I went soaring to your angel eyrie
but shadows lingered there.
Then my flight turned to eagles
blasted by the revelation
of your vast golden dwelling.
170 · Jun 2018
Tomorrow Certainty
Duncan Brown Jun 2018
Tomorrow is never quite that certainty
And today’s a rumour from yesterday
Left over from some time just flown
Always re-emerging in another name
Where everything remains much the same
Rearranged inside another time frame
Compounding moments into a frenzy
Beyond the reach of our karmic odyssey

Narrow minimalism constricts our liberty
Reducing thought to a cypher of negativity
Trapped in a prism of fates consequence
Moving in straight lines by sheer necessity
Or compelled by force of circumstance
Robbing us of our capacity for generosity
Reducing soul to restrictive insignificance
Is perhaps the greatest crime of the century

Shuffling sideways backwards and forwards
Along constant corridors of disappointment
Life becomes that maze of bewilderment
Consumed by the gravitational pull of tedium
Plundering each imagination of nourishment
Shredding it in the pursuance of indifference
Demanding each soul’s utter compliance
Before the altar in a mall of insignificance

Infatuated by the trappings of materialism
Things destroy each souls loving humanity
Rendering useless our capacity to beauty
While some things remain changed the same
In a blizzard of repetitive indifference
We forget what used to inspire us deeply
Looking hopefully in every mundane mirror
We seek our inner selves in two dimensions

Each soul is possessed of such sweet beauty
Transcending ignorance and the iron inertia
With the golden hope of a living aspiration
Raising our dreams beyond our imagination
Beyond the realms of such unparalleled bliss
Waiting for the touch of our embracing kiss
Obscurity within may be a night-time seeker
There is no greater truth than the dawn of beauty.
170 · May 2018
William Wordsworth
Duncan Brown May 2018
Poetry weaves its wondrous symmetry
On drifting clouds of searing imagery
Wandering in realms of magical vision
Writ abstract on the naked imagination
Voyaging upon infinite oceans of rhyme
Beating rhythms of a sounding beauty
In those hours before a dawning chorus
Eclipsed the past of its dolorous song
Shackling poetry to its ancient thrall
The golden flower unchained the dream
Of brilliance writ in luminous cadence
Reaping in fields of solitary thought
Traversing horizons of pure romance
Gazing through time’s elliptical prism
Upon curves of solid liquid geometry
Flowing in streams of rippling sound
Unfolding nature’s riotous harmonies
In the lonely beauty of a single flower
Surrendering unto landscape’s mirage  
Decanting words worth heavenly song
Upon chalices of sweetened deliverance
Dazzling nature by her purest reflection.
170 · Sep 2018
Pere Lachaise 4
Duncan Brown Sep 2018
Whats in the name game
Axl blew it with a nose job
Tried to blow his brains
With his name
The Rose was firing blanks
Isn't that just as sweet
Vanity is the better part
Of insanity
Morrison looks on in wonderment
168 · Sep 2018
Fame is a Mask
Duncan Brown Sep 2018
Fame is a mask that eats up your face
Choking on the anonymity of celebrity
With all your eyes in a different place
Obscuring the last vestige of humility

Priorities rearranged in synchronicity
Shifting headlines matching duplicity
Life’s a duet with your own positivity
Decaying in lightbulbs of anonymity

That countenance divine is truly thine
For a whole fifteen minutes of nothing
But sound and a furiously hyped byline
On an empty face devoid of everything
There’s the shame and there’s the pity
There is no such thing as bad publicity.
166 · Sep 2018
Hey Joe Shakespeare
Duncan Brown Sep 2018
Why you got those boots on your feet
Are you the wandering jingle jangler
That heeled high feeling easy dreamer
Lending ears to become the audience
Marking antonyms like Julius Caesar
Trying to rise before the failures fall
Sublimely for the mad beauty of it all
In desperate dreams of the final curtain
Draping the fading drama in the folds
The weatherman never read the script
And left his quill on the top of the hill
When Romeo betrayed Juliet to the fool
Stealing his chance of everlasting fame
Casting shadows before his own naming
Everything in the lies of playing games
At least that’s why he sold himself again
For *** and drudgery’s rotting role play
Once for the money and twice to show
That charity begins when gambling ends
Throwing dice at the shaming of the true
Believers in the obviously innocent song
That sang itself to deaths other oblivion
Dwelling inside the flickering footlights
Burning soles who tread the dollar-less way
To stage their very own beautiful demise
Before a paying and praying audience
There’s no business like the dying business
As death consumes all; here and ever after
The three-ring circus hits the super highway
To heavenly pay days in the after math
That stole the souls of the leading actors
Wasn’t that just the smart career move
To die happily on the wings of disaster
Farewell sweet prince an’ princesses
May flights of angels love your music.
163 · May 2018
Four Shorts
Duncan Brown May 2018
(After Bob Dylan’s Talking New York Blues)

Buildings going down to the ground
People going up to the sky.

Pilgrim’s Progress Report

From Chaucer to Kerouac
In dust and on tarmac
The road always writes back.

Haiku Mirror

Earth above sky below
the flowing illusion
water mirrors heaven.

Non Haiku

Haiku shmaiku
Gimme a sonnet
With flowers on it.
162 · Jun 2018
Hairy Mary’s Sonnet
Duncan Brown Jun 2018
Mary Shelley cherished a love of infinity
Indwelling in the very heart of humanity
Exposing soul to light’s precious scrutiny
Dancing on the cusp of sublime anarchy

A song that sang itself unto that eternity
Beyond the fragile touch of mere mortality
Unfolding unheard sounds of her divinity
Unconcealed in the music of her beauty

The future flaunts its precocious vanity
The past remains ensconced in misery
The latter chains itself to broken history
The Prometheus dreams of future liberty
Her one remains our blessed sanctuary
Of hope filled dreams of loving charity.
Duncan Brown Apr 2018
Let me tell you something pilgrim
Straight and to your copied paste
That thing masquerading as a face
On the elongated ***** of your Janus
For you that’s just the perfect place

The world needs a dramatic critic
Like the desert needs more sand
And secondary literature more bland
Always needs another helping hand
To slap it on the key shaped shifter

In all things pertaining to writing
Bribery’s cool but flattery’s not
The way to fuel the imagination
Filthy lucre can be an inspiration
Filthy loookers a mere distraction

A journey to a place poetic of literature
Is for so few the metered pilgrimage
Undertaken by many a scurrilous rascal
Disguised in critical converse writing
So uncritically stereotyping themselves

The mother of all of typing errors
Dispatched by the gods to scare us
Into thinking they must be the genius
Scribbling down their magnum opus
By lining it up their own proboscis

Stained glass shades at the ready
Holy writ is on their sacred menu
In the cathedrals of the mediocrity
Their vicious verb is very acapella
Only the lonely write in melodrama

To be a critic is not to be in Hamlet
Or anything else that really matters
It’s a life disguised as a T.S Eliot
Hurling anagrams at the geniuses
Writing truth in all things beautiful.
158 · May 2018
Punk on Punk
Duncan Brown May 2018
the Rotten vision of it all
a renaissance culture Clash
of hell rising from The Fall.
152 · Jun 2018
The Glassman
Duncan Brown Jun 2018
There’s a pawn shop broking on the corner
Doin’ some good business
As the venerable beads of the abacus announce
Their returns
An’ the parking lot hasn’t a lot of what
It was equipped for
Meanwhile the pillars of salt are crumbling

Flickering signs changing all the times
For the manys
Whilst flashing on for enlightenment
Of the fews
Broken light’s dancing on the pavement
It’s a sign on the shoes
While the sun blinds up as regular

These are the good times for the bad
Robbers of the daylight
Even better times for curtains
Nobody’s payin’ any attention to anybody
Stuttering out their views
We’re just watching a concerto
Making an overture to the blues.
152 · Jul 2018
The Written Heart
Duncan Brown Jul 2018
The heart is written on the page
Unavoidable in the empty space
Occupied by that tender rage
Unfolding in the patterned lace
Weaving words beyond their age

Each soul of scribing innocence
Traverses the lettered landscape
Seeking that treasured sentence
And a beautifully poetic escape
In the darkened light of experience

More in joy filled fields we furrow
An’ less in borrowed crying pity
Memory, the heartache of tomorrow
Reminds us of the mortal humility
Hidden inside our treasured sorrow

Struggling for another sacred word
That takes us somewhere different
Untouched unseen and unheard
Even blessed as the fragrant scent
Drifting in the untraversed firmament

History is the shadow written presently
And oft’ times an enlightened tragedy
Lurking like a lark in lyrical symmetry
Weaving the future’s heavenly story
So beautifully funny a divine comedy.
150 · Aug 2018
Saris in the Dust
Duncan Brown Aug 2018
Beauty treads in coloured threads
Of shimmering silken silhouettes
Trailing shadows through the dust
Trespassing life's sweet mortal flesh
Shaped in realms of entrancing cloth
Traversing stone and this softer earth
In falling rhythms of coloured light
Reflecting images of luminous night
Caressing shapes of lyrical symmetry
Drifting in shades of woven mystery
A mirage unveils their sacred history
Wandering through the shared eclipse
Of time and nature’s mystic aspiration
Transcending all limitation of thought
The drifting image unveils the self
In unfolding waves of flowing soul
The falling falls of ascending truth
Revealing celestial images on Earth
Of the sacred soul of Mother India.
145 · May 2018
Post Foucault Haikus
Duncan Brown May 2018
deconstructed concrete,
post modern shelley/shakespeare haiku.
….  ….  ….  ….  ,,,,,,,,
….  ….  ….  …. …. ….  ,,,,,,,,
wert, for art thou romeo.

…. …. …. …. ,,,,,,
They Also Serve.

Two exciting full stops,
A sensible comma.
Oblique separation
Of Shakespeare from Shelley.
And some small dots.
Thus we are enlightened.
So. Please asshoer your shoes
That. I can inshoer your shoes,
And..That that is not an isshoe.

Serious john maccccenroe haiku

You can’t be tennis
…………..a racket.
145 · Sep 2018
Pere Lachaise
Duncan Brown Sep 2018
Pere-lachaise is just the place
to be a writer for
Morrison and Oscar have taken up
a permanent residence
Hugo is beautifully miserable there
and Balzac just loves the dead
life can be very funny; he says
among the tombs and catacombs
in the necropolis of the city of light
a place to die for.
144 · Jul 2018
The beauty of it all
Duncan Brown Jul 2018
The gravity of angels doth presage a fall
Dissent is the ascendant written on the scrawl
Scripture's now grafitti's permanent fixture
Anyone care for a psalm missile or two
God has a couple, his friends have got a few
Nothings old every things really quite new
Every bargain's even got a testament or two
Destructions guaranteed, creation's over rated
Another Eden's a blue print for a parking lot
Rise and fall's kids’ stuff, god does them all
Damnation just that button on a play station
Satnav's got two, that's one for each direction
Heaven's great ' but hell can be a serious option
It really is an avenue, you gotta keep it open
When faith abandons you, the other joints reliable
In the meantime just enjoy the uncertain chaos
Sin must have some virtue, there's enough about
Even the clergy occasionally let it all hang out
If its good enough for frock coats, who knows
It might be better for all of us dressed as we are
Ready for anything that sin can throw at us
And everything we can toss back in a glass
Darkly with the shades on in a cheap hotel
We might as well if heaven's hell on earth
And the wagers of each sin is just a gamble
With eternity dead heading with our salvation
It could take a while before the result comes in.
Duncan Brown Apr 2018
Loan me a pyramid
Methinks I’ll create a desert
And a few things laid to waste
Hamlet’s now been discredited
His girlfriend went to his head
And the bald bard is now dead
Put that in your jest good fellow
And play with it until’ it’s finite
Cos’ I’ve got a life of my own
Dramatists an’ their princes
I ask you; who needs any of 'em?
This skull will paint the town
An' the treachery of Elsinore
A deep and blood soaked red
Life's much better red and dead
At last this poor, poor Yorrick
Wants his rich an' cold revenge
The pink champagne's on ice
An Ophelia's really quite nice
Twice a maiden for half the price
Chaining daisies for her prince
Will she jump or shall I shove
It’s jolly difficult to determine
If she’s coming or if she’s going
With half her bunnery to a nunnery
Or all her nakery to a bakery
It’s all really quite *******
I must mismatch that doxy later
She's such a lovely little mover
An’ quite the mountain shaker
She’s wasted on that lunatic
Besotted with his hollow crown
And everyone loves the mad prince
The odd fellow’s such an infinite pest
And an absolute calamity of error
Now the loser’s love will love  
This fool who looks and acts
Like me, a prince with brains
That's my own unkind of justice
Laced with the sweetest contempt
Her father was a broken pawn
Shop keeping’s in his blood
He had madness in his method
But his ambition was quite flawed
Shallow depth betrayed his thought
He could’ve have been a contender
Not just a two bit part of a player
Upstaged by a curtain. How tragic!
Death by drapery; don’t you just love it?
His son is now a polished footman
And such an excellent head waiter
He spends his life in glass mirrors
Reflecting on his boney features
As I make sure he waits forever
So much better never than Laertes
That’s my motto for another day
He may count himself so fortunate
He was such a snappy dresser
(Do take me to your tailor
I'll deal with your leader later)
‘Tis a pity he was such an idiot
If brains were more his fashion
And skulduggery were his judge
He might have fared much better
Of characters faithful to a grudge
He could’ve lived much longer
I'll make him beg and borrow
At my very own convenience
Then dispatch him to his father
That eternally serial draper
Ashes to ashes and curtains to curtains
There’s a poetic justice in that
And it’s ever so sweetly prosaic
I might even copyright that
It’s so great to be (sic) on the up
And watch the shallow pale cast
And all their precious thought
Come tumbling, tumbling down
Life’s just great for a vicious close
Horatio; a name to conjure with              
Is now my personal skull dresser
His life is in his hand held mirror
And vanity was his saving feature
But not enough to save the creature
Vanished in the puff of a hairspray
Mist and then tragically unspoken
By all outside his fractured image
Hair today and bald tomorrow
More in boredom than in sorrow
That’s the way life goes in Elsinore
A place of lunacy and ditch fillers
Bedevilled by ghosts and spectres
Wearied by the mortality of trespass
But lovely for their dramatic effect
With dreary words in opaque coats
Whose only life was useless death
Haunted by their unbroken breath
Killing the living is as easy as pie
Deceasing the dead takes real talent
But some how I know I’ll manage
Burying them is a different matter
Perfect for the professional digger
Such simple souls with nice shovels
To gouge their own infernal trench
'Neath the crust of an all receiving earth
Their trade is part of my obsession
And their undertake is imminent
I’ll ditch them with an eternal trowel
And let them shovel hell as well
Isn’t that so me, generous to a fault
I’ll let them share a double vault
Two messengers and a message
Arrived in time for their departure
Later’s so much better than sooner
When your life’s the dying business
Overtime’s a bonus. Die one get one free!
Who’d resist such a generous bargain?
Certainly not a haggling fool like me
Most consanguineous with his deed
The King and Queen were in their dream
Before they met their nightmare      
Now they’re gone to match their deeds
And the kingdom is quite empty
There’s nothing left in their possession
A perfect state for my accession
The hollow hat suits this skull
At a jaunty and a rakish angle
And Ophelia will look great on me
Do bring that doxy closer to her maker
She can bring her chain of flowers
They’re perfect for the occasion
Tonight’s the night for her accession
Tomorrows the date of her departure
She can take her mad, mad prince
To that too, too solid earth
That gladly awaits their tenure
And I’ll be king of the castle
It’s so true; nobility fits me like a glove
And power is my one true love
Down the below and up the above
But alas and alack it came to an end
The doxy brought her princely friend
Who wasn’t quite full round the bend
Neither was he my best friend
With a daisy chain in every hand
And designs upon my scrawny neck
He stretched it ‘til it made that sound
Which left me crumpled on the ground
Rattling bones and kicking legs
Gasping for that sweet fresh air
Which forsooth was never there
And thus it was I met my fate
Both outrageous and unfortunate
The shallow earth consumed my flesh
And stole my ****** hollow bones
More in vengeance than in sorrow
They let me rot for all tomorrow
Perished by their flowery garotte
The precocious pair claimed the lot
Castles, kingdoms and a ****** moat
And all that rots in old Denmark              
All by the method of their madness
And I their puppet on a string
I do believe they planned it thus
To leave me squirming in the dirt
To take the blame and feel the hurt
A cat’s paw for the embrace of death
By the doxy and the scheming heir
My my, my, what a precious pair
Death by daisy chain, how pathetic
A comedy more tragic than divine
I’ll never be able to live it down
And they will never dredge it up
Alas, this last poor Yorrick’s gone
And all their ***** doings are done
Less in grandeur than in greed
The beggars planned the ****** deed
And all I got was this floral ****
Oh what a foolish fool dies in me
And oh what a pity rules in Elsinore
A greedy prince an’ a scarlet *****
That’s their lot, there’s nothing more
Except this one true final score
The bald bard knew the old trap door
Concealed a fall in the rakish floor
Is everything wormwood, wormwood?
That’s the question, and there’s the scrub.
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