Francie Lynch Dec 2015

Donald has a comb-over.
Hitler, a funny moustache.
Hair Donald?
Heil Hitler!

I despise mentioning Hitler's name in a poem.
I despise mentioning Donald's name in a poem.
Iris Rebry Jun 2014

Enter the world of color
Of competition
And danger.
Where all things seem possible and
Nothing is unexpected
Where enemies
Are tricky
Cunning and  just plain stupid
Fat and lazy.
Where an Italian man
With a moustache
And wearing red
Screams
"Let-se-go!"

Yes that is the world I
Am speaking of.
The world of the wishful,
Dreaming they could live in it forever

Benny Langedyk Jan 2014

January

Started all quiet—
with Gracie yelling near
Coleman crying grandmother with
Obi the doge attacking
and running from Coleman to
Wimpy's no. 1 and tears in a trenched
basement proceed to pour achey-breaky
heart into the baked cone of a short story but
cold
and cold
and cold again until trip-taking Toronto
and flashfiving on a salamander,
smoking Colts in exhaustion,
all of them drawing tattoos on my forearms with Twitter handles,
sending off Ryerson RTA pie-charts
and planning that always phosphorous birthday party
where my rock music turned into hip-hop music and
my fingers turned into magic wands and my
perception of reality turned into a waterfall where I
look for Easter eggs crying the suicide Slamming the
bedroom inevitable, wake and hear
Howl for the first time but (side note: everyone was only
there for @JamesFrancoTV) especially since I woke up
with those pretty shindig burn marks on my hairy thumbs
and I know that they're all wishing that the invention of the soul would
turn into a real-life tangible thing that you can put your dick inside.

February

This is when most people
would blame the weather but I'm not most people
so I'll blame "Warm Bodies" and I'll blame
McDonalds and I'll blame them bright ol'
lips ya got there, and I'll drag
her home from Puerto Rico
or Siberia or wherever, without the
notion I harboured of the dark/freezing pain, she got
16th place apparently, she saw me, we called it,
fade to blue, turn up the acoustic Alex Turner,
fade away for a couple of days, fade into a lucky
hand-me-down iPhone start the illustrious Snap
career on Valentines with Spree who
eventually decided that reading
my stories wasn't actually that sadomasochistic of an act
and advised me thru the wintry and blissfully ignorant poems
that I wrote and named things like
"Sad" or
"Hungry" or
"Forbidden Love" or
"Theme and Variations on my Eternal Damnation"

and then bam! (keen use of onomatopoeia)
at 11:58 on the 25th,
I listened to that lackadaisical youth song and told myself that
I was certifiably an adult two minutes later,
woke up,
bought some lotto tickets,
spent the next night with my shadow because nobody wanted us two at the fire,
we grabbed Indian food,
we enjoyed the sights and the sounds of the hammer coming down on the 401
and napped til 3am listening to Morrissey
but then I told myself to leave it and
I slipped into a joint and my
imagination and probably my
wellbeing collapsed from dysentery
on the walk home, upon realization
that I have to deal with March next.

March

Always a blur and here is where I started up with
China Ferrari Sex Orgy Death Crash, we had a gig coming up,
we escaped Brooklyn and the undulations of our shitty keyboards
pounded against tom-toms and my scratchy poetry through my
scratchy voice hole, can't hit those high notes.

Maggie made more connections to Brendan, they knew Law and
Outlaw, they knew the library and knew how to skip and I took
a few weeks off, drove somewhere different everyday, wrote
stories and read a lot and learned more than I would've had I been
in school. I learned how to drive, at least.

Came into some grass and some zigzags and tried playing around in
front of a bus and tried getting crappy rides home from "maddy" still
and tried to take bong hits but my lungs coughed too much, this newfound
serenity brought me appetite and an excuse to be out of this reality
without the shocking use of a waterfall, we'll call it a water pipe.

And I met a different Sara, too, this one kissed me in Johnny's beside Johnny
and we played Monopoly and—

April

—monopoly ended for good reason,
the reason being that we saw through the green screen making
Melnick regret the wallpaper choice, the excuse to look more like a predator falcon, the insinuation
that AidanFriend was creepy and that just because some kid gave me a high-five doesn't mean I get to break his neck and avoid him in December,
We'll be at the reservation,
We'll be at the airlock,
We'll be at the indent,
I'll be in a high security prison, due to smashing grapes into the walls,
We'll be at a Taco Bell on 4/20 where Monopoly kicks my ass into orbit,
We'll all be too hazy to share our feelings and draw our emotions,
We'll be recreating root beer hash browns and trying to be funny on Twitter,
and I'll fly out to Limeridge with
Sydney, bloody Sydney, who at this point had read my novella  
and only had the kindest words to say:

"Can you just shut the fuck up and take a compliment?"
no.

And I definitely tried my hand at
another one of those parties but
I was too filled with gin
to fully recount the details,
but it sure was a piercer.
Read about it sometime.

May

And at the beginning of May there was Tyler and vampires and ruffians
and brightness exploding from dark souls to library corners,
and while yes, I do advocate the responsible use of the cannabis plant, I do not advocate getting stupid high with Doug one day and fusing your body with an iTunes visualizer and writing a sappy stuck and irreversible "love" "letter" with all your "true" "feelings" from May 2012 seeping out the paper flipping the piss/pass of twiggy branches despondent from here until the end of the notepad...for sure.

And now that it's all out there, Gracie can advocate getting stupid fiery
flaming mad with a single outspoken foil at midnight drawing a big letter "E" on my
chest, my blood spews from my insides and all can be OK again when I rest in the laurels of
the IRA,
the Tobermory,
the chew toy expurgating reaper?
And I guess at this point all those
exciting drinkin' buddies wanted nothing more to do with me,
I assume because I can't grow a moustache.

Like all of the loud sounds that made up our fingers and toes were all being played in different octaves, with a thousand different timbres, all at once.

June

Y'know...
I'm struggling to come up with what to write down here.
Usually words just pop into my head and my fingers ejaculate them,
but that's not the case right now.

-takes a break
-eats some pizza
-general New Year's Day merriment

OK.

Those first few days burned up in the sun
like a sweaty time bomb from Liberty Prime, the
6th came as an extra Heineken and a pat on the back,
decided to give up on school, didn't go to graduation,
didn't go to prom, unfortunately my hibiscus
wasn't auditory, kinesthetic or visual, but hey!
I finally came up with some better poems!
Didn't matter though, rolled up my pant legs and
trudged through the sand of the alarm clock they used in
that one episode of Seinfeld that I watched in a bubbly
blanket fort saved by the hypnotizing chants of the chorus
of perpetual snotty shruggers shrugging off my insurmountable
plans,

new job!, Global Pet Foods!, in the money finally!,
although it started out rough,
boss was a drunk and she made sure to
phone me up at 2am on weekend evenings
to complain about my sloppy salesmanship,
the difference between Acana and Orijen,
the stain on my t-shirt one day,
how hard it is to be a lesbian in our post-post-post-post-modern society,
and how birds decay in Autumn due to a professor emeritus whining
on about Man's desire to sate the appetite of animal, of Cancer, the
fleshy hamburgers his friends sometimes eat,
switch to sunny and shimmery days with green outs,
and meeting the crows for new chapters, my life was supposedly saved
by a little baggy of 12.5 grams that I carried around like Linus' security blanket, it was arguably my closest friend, my alphabetical mini puzzle,
my agnostic little-dog,
my quote, unquote—oops, I forgot what I was gonna write here,
I guess it doesn't really matter.

July

Came and gone.
Played some Nintendo.
Saw some murky Jeeps.
Don't wanna talk about it.

August

Glory to the lord,
Tobermory has come.
May those scarred blisters on ya feet
always remind you of the Half-O we had,
the Funky Forest: First Contact, the
Brothers Bloom and the innumerable
dollars spent on pizza pies,
straggling the controlled fire, burnt
video screen with four awesome fold-up
chairs and a sweet table for only 40 bucks!
And this freakin' fantastic Fortinos for only
10! Woah! We turned back into ourselves
though and on the drive home we engaged
Metros and Mirelurks and Bambina chicken
burgers and Sebastian drifted-
And OK, so, I                    -into Toronto.
finally got through that
Global Pet Foods purgatory,
Janice had a problem with the frequency at which
I took out the garbage,
I grabbed a Dachshund puppy and
nestled it close to the heart of the storm
that shattered my eyeballs, that lightning
that punctured poor little-mutts ribcage,
the thunder that inspired my immediate
resignation, and left without mythologies, I
came as though a pilgrim to the shed
illuminating the way with white Bic lighters
and a Zippo that no one broke before
I tossed it into a compactor, added
some Angry playlist and some disheartened
weeping in a hotel room, it was pretty bad,
you should've seen it.

September

watery depths of the bottom of the homoerotic swimming pool,
wishing/washing the water from my ears with chocolate milk as an antiseptic,
when the leaves tumbled to the bossanova earth, Taylor recounted reggae
...and bought these terrible clove cigarettes because the sky was
yellow and stringy and the rain pelted against my sunglasses which
obnoxiously reverberated down my spine and sputtered out of my
unearthly and verboten first moments in the freshly cut shed,
the first steps into Liberty City, The Thinker, an ape, who had been there from the
utter beginning, the camera zooming in the mouthpiece, around three
bendy arm percolators, near the atom of creation, near the stem of my
ennui roses, trotting down to a homely and intensely pleasant bowl of chicken soup
...that I injected after that car crash that’s still not really my fault, the
cops are all blinded in a BDSM dungeon sucking on each others guns
or spray painting their riot vans to look more like the goopy and “dank” Mystery
machine, too busy to hear about a car made from an eleven hundred pound block of
/gold/ \flinging\ itself into warp drive and bumping up my insurance, I’m in the
worst fucking demographic, I’ve also got the worst !%$^&(@ lawyers, and
almost exactly at the hangover, a peace day occurred in the form of a woebegone
tremor shaking my rubber Rainbow Loom, pulling into an Pizzaiolo, vaporizing,
creeping up on The Taste of Tea, Xmas tea, a casual stroll around Casa Loma,
hopped down into Dupont Station and dreamed about the rest.
??? (Where am I?) ? (I left the light off.) ? (That goes in the plastic.) ???
ventilated some poems for Billy, too, found Rachel at the Trinity + Burger King
= a chance meeting with the only red-haired girl in the city. I said:
You’re the only one allowed in my car. Lock all the doors, for the whore, the
vendor, the crack house, slipping on Rihanna, closing my eyes to the sounds of
zooper Dooper, of Mickey Mouse,
Janis Joplin,
_nd our glorious Atwood!
leading lascivious Union Jacks,
ending the movie early,
Drinking all the antiseptic chocolate milk, eating all the
5 Guys fries near Brooklyn, and
verbalizing the eternal thirst-quenching and thought provoking
Question: Are all these things are still connected to the moment it began?

October

            (See? It’s Autumn now!)

            we left mushrooms on the
porch
            and regurgitated film trivia.

we guessed how
                        our lives would be shot
had we all lived in a sitcom.

We told ourselves that
        it was OK to sit in the
shed all day without motivation.

We mused Columbian
        haiku, with an extra
syllable tacked on the end.

We masqueraded our
bubblers and dressed up like
ourselves, no one would give us candy.

The lampposts revealed
that our pipes were rapidly
spinning out of control.

November

called it off
for the month
but the month
ended after a
week and I returned
to the foggy windows
of Tapleytown, this
time with a vengeance,
this time with more gas
in the car, this time with
something to write home
about, this one time in
November the Zebra
fantasy developed more
surrealistic qualities, more
knives with blades made
from human teeth, and I tried
tea and ruined my nose, all
I can smell is milky oily eggy
water and the human condition:
it’s dependency upon a field of
white poppies, glorifying
the allegory of an American
utopia, the bus itself, as an
active agent, a living synthesis
between Man and machine, a
living mechanical mobile
sterile womb, designed
to subvert the natural falling
hierarchy of my brain cells
into a graph representing just
how shitty that November was.

December

Showcase gets tougher, all the faces blend into
a Nutribullet with a fancy book and an extended
store warranty for only 5.99 with 20% off, I can’t
do that math, you do it, tiptoed into the back when
bp asked me for a no!no!, didn’t have ‘em but needed
to temporarily halt my adventure thru commercialism,
my growing distaste for the holiday season and the fact
that there’s literally a giftmas song in every genre of music,
asked the crew if the lights would go off and an icicle toppled
on our glasses in delight, still had some very intuitive customers
though.

new girl!, calls herself Avocado Baby!, we're nowhere near money, though,
stayed up all night drawing a
four wing dinosaur, paying attention
to the image on my back,
a felt tip connecting with a pimple,
she makes a fine feathered
microraptor, she had the chills at
a photoshoot and prayed to soup
god, she has a lot of fun in photo
booths, jumped into a night at
Showcase, my moral code debasing
the below freezing and esoteric temperatures
of the shed, the new Xmas TV, the
unholy snowman covered in penises,
the sold-out Santa Claus on an advertisement,
and there’s the heartsick worry about how: she
can have too much fun in photo booths,
that her sun is going to go down on Canada
Day weekend, that there are too many
clubs selling vodka and not enough me’s
buying soup, that eventually all of my
neurons will collapse in her name, that
her impenetrable cocoon will never blossom
into a much less secretive copy of
Grand Theft Auto 5 for Xbox 360,
the grandiose idea that all of 2013 wasn’t
a write off, the cryptic and frankly terrifying
notion that Eleanor and Ailie and Sara for a few
weeks and some idealized chicks on the
bus and also the girl on the cover of
Contra (she’s kinda hot, whatever)
and apparently Alannah are all secretly
in a very tight-knit group that meets up
on every other Monday night to stitch’n’bitch
about how messy my bedroom is,
that a nuclear spill into the Pacific will
negate the romance in our bath water,
that if I don’t stop vaporizing skull kid
into a magic flight, I’ll always smell like a
Harvey’s burger, and finally, that I’ll drip
down the drain hole like last years green St.
Patricks Day liquor. I’m probably a bit more
viscous though.

And, hey, it’s New Year’s Day and I had Chinese food!
It's not my favourite, but it's traditional.
I prefer Indian.
I told myself that whatever my fortune cookie said, that it’d be my motto for 2014.

It read: “You really like Chinese food!”

I have to forget this.

Poetic T Oct 2014

Testaments wrote in language
Of old
Incantations,
Spells,
Elixirs,
To put hair on your chest,
"But accidents can happen"
Never sniff the jar full of mystery
Or you'll nose about it for weeks,
Platting,
Braiding,
Partings,
Upon it, styles just to hide the sight
Its growing from your nose in fact,
Do you like my
Moustache,
As you
Sneeze,
And then the secrets are out,
Mischief with papers of old  
Noses shouldn't go
"Where noses shouldn't go"
Incantations,
Spells,
Elixirs,  
Are for professionals, not those
"Nosy individuals"
Who should put things
Where they should nose they shouldn't go..

How neatly a cat sleeps,
Sleeps with its paws and its posture,
Sleeps with its wicked claws,
And with its unfeeling blood,
Sleeps with ALL the rings a series
Of burnt circles which have formed
The odd geology of its sand-colored tail.

I should like to sleep like a cat,
With all the fur of time,
With a tongue rough as flint,
With the dry sex of fire and
After speaking to no one,
Stretch myself over the world,
Over roofs and landscapes,
With a passionate desire
To hunt the rats in my dreams.

I have seen how the cat asleep
Would undulate, how the night flowed
Through it like dark water and at times,
It was going to fall or possibly
Plunge into the bare deserted snowdrifts.

Sometimes it grew so much in sleep
Like a tiger's great-grandfather,
And would leap in the darkness over
Rooftops, clouds and volcanoes.

Sleep, sleep cat of the night with
Episcopal ceremony and your stone-carved moustache.
Take care of all our dreams
Control the obscurity
Of our slumbering prowess
With your relentless HEART
And the great ruff of your tail.

Azad Akkash Apr 2015

To Jody;
My five years old friend and nephew

I put down the telephone,
entering a nap of elation,
till the echo of your sweet utterance
On the back of expatriation's wind
Swims away, dims.
By then, medusas of melancholy with their thick sorrow
fill up my throat
and my heart
would blindfolded fall on the knees and
die down…

With good and bad big wolves
tracing lost children or stuffing shaking goat kids into their paunch.
With ravenous bears, malignant hyenas
and crude giants,
garrulous  gracious squirrels, laborious ants
and active voracious hares.
With them, the two of us
had upholstered the land and sky of the wonderland,
and with their voices and whoops all,
we had irritated the dreamland's walls.

No matter how many times
we were building the villages for stories of straw, furze sticks and bricks,
I would only visit your house of mattresses and pillows.

Only for you,
I did revived the dead wolf
in order to revenge the "predatory" lumberjack.
With no regret I kept sending "wolfy" to the roasted chicken's shop
to defeat the hunger,
So that he won't eat the trapped little girl.
And before your smile,
the wolf in walrus moustache would play with the girl till daddy comes and takes her home.

And you are …
popping out, never closing the wide eyes of yours,
waiting for grandpa to take us to the village.
Up from the houses' roofs,
with Qarmeetlak's1 rabbits,
beyond the barbwires and in secret,
we stick the tongues out to the Turkish barracks.
Along with goat kids,
in tracking smugglers' traces,
we fool the landmines,
sneak to the other side of the border.
With smiley faces and hidden bleats,
We snatch the poppies and the grass that grow out from the edges of spring and the craters.
We hide from smuggler's ghosts who
in the  labyrinths of landmines
because of the unclaimed hands and legs are grabbing the collars.
We taunt the jackals' yowling and the patrolmen.
And in front of the rumbling sky, we do our best to look prettier;
Isn't  it "God taking photos of us"?
And like coward puppies we flee and go back to the safe village,
just before the dusk's winds could carry our smell to the angry spirit of Salan2
who is scouring the Kurmanj's Mountain3,
pursuing his endless vengeances.

Till the break of day,
with your slim clever squirreliness,
out of the branches of the most interlocked sorrowful stories,
you were shaking the attached laughs and guffaws
on the  hair of the deceiver Ashrafieh and the grumpy Sheikh Maksood's4 night.
Eventually, in taking its revenge,
the night would stuff you in a small basket and throw you away into the waves of sleep and dream
accompanied with all that eager to see the giants' kingdom and the mice's storehouses,
squirrels' village, their dances and bridals,
the departure will lead you to the waterfalls' cliffs of a dreamy sparrow's new day.
With the beaming love out from our eyes,
you dry up your tousled feathers and
take into the open.

Nevertheless, how simple-hearted the lies were when I kept telling you:
"Dog is a dog, a wolf is a wolf and the kitty is a kitty, and what are we, my Jody?
We are humans!"

I didn't want you to know
how in the world, could a dozen of
rabid armed dogs
smash down the door
and out from your eleven months old eyes,
with a persistent thronged barking,
they did take your dad away to the deepest liars of the ranch of malevolence,
introducing him to all kinds of animality.

How might I explained to you
why in the world, they reduced 'dad' for you
to that thing which every month
from behind a doubled bars
keep sending you a tearful laugh?
Why did they minimized the ancient capital for you into
both of the Political Security Branch and Siednaya's Jail5?

Your fingers had just started taking to writing and drawing.
You had just started
cantering your own stories
along with unsaddled breezes' foals
when herds of jackals with dark mouths
deported 'your Azad' into a fool refuge.
Again,
they
made
you
an orphan.

Inside the brushwood of the story and the wilderness of the epic,
since neither your fingers have become able to rise the sign of victory correctly,
nor could your throat match the letters of 'Kurdistan' properly,
whatever cave you step in,
no matter how shiny is the globe in the witch's hands,
she would never be able to tell you,
these lacrimatory mist and clouds,
with the emerging of every spring,
from which valleys of the ranch of malevolence  
did they come to overflow the Kurdish neighborhoods.
How did they vilely with no permission go up to the third floor
in order to join you in a poisoned feverish soiree.
And since when
the creatures of darkness
that they had brought
have been grazing their hyenas
among our fresh hopes.


Hence…
when I tell you that
I'll come back with the snowfall,
it is nothing but a lie!
When you ask me to come back in summer
in order to hang on my back
and swim together
along with the little fishes,
such an imagination!
When you are not sleeping in my empty bed anymore
Intending to let my pillow and blanket await for
my return,
only a childish dream!!
Yet, when you
in the sweet and soft Afrini accent of yours
say to me
'Ozod, I mithed you thoo thoo thoo much',
my heart
would blindfolded fall on the knees and
die down…

Azad Ekkaş
Roni_alend@outlook.com
Erbil: 3-1-2011

1-The village that Jody's family decsends from. It is located on the very Syrian Turkish borders.
2-  A traditional hero of the region.
3- Kurds in Afrin district in the remote north western corner of Syria call their region the Kurmanj's Mountain
4- The two largest Kurdish neighborhoods in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
5- The largest political and militaty prison in Syria where Jody's father was imprisoned. It is located in namesake town near to the Damascus.
mark john junor Sep 2014

her rigorous objections
are herded slowly down the sheep trail
by studious pencil thin men with stylish mustache's
who have deep pocket pickers for friends
they gather round the weak willed and the willing alike
looking for cheap thrills and spare change
everybody needs a new road
when the old one seems to never end

but she with eyes cast down
mumbles her unappeased desires
as she shuffles a little closer to the truth as she sees it
she has it all written out in secret languages
she has books filled with life's coded thoughts as she see's them
barn burners and dare devils grace the cover of her latest creation
self titled to her own romantic name
she is stylized in her own way
so she adores the pencil thin men
with their dashing devil may care good looks

i wrote her a letter yesterday
full of stories from the great highway
full of chipper go getters and the glum go gotten
she is a forever stone on a necklace
she is a moonstone on a bracelet
she is graceful when it counts and
thats more than enough for me

the pencil thin moustache men
come to conquer the all night diners
in the small shoreline towns
but slink away in dawns first light
with stolen smiles and borrowed kisses
that they promise profusely to return tomorrow
but never do
such is the romantic night by her side
such is the wonder-wheel days of our
journey on the great highway

Martyn Thompson Aug 2011

i - Introduction:
ii - Lismore Park
iii - The Road to Maidenhead
iv - Town Square
v - Contradiction, contraband
vi - Saturday Afternoon
vii - The Circus Comes to Town (Sunday)
viii - The Show
ix - The ringmaster
x - The Fracas
xi - An incident at Upton Park
xii - No ball games
xiii - New found…
xiv - Nearly done
xv - Another time…

i - Introduction:

Come friendly bombs you’ve still to hit
The place whose name means quagmire
The town, the place that’s left bereft
Of soul, of spiritual fire.
But hurry, hurry, please be fast
For the crack dealer plies his trade
With slight of hand and cunning
A ghetto he’ll have made

The peroxide perms have now all grown
And muster outside shops
To wait for the be-suited sales rep
With his rocks and his alco-pops
They’ve all spawned offspring of their own
Fifteen-year-old cradle pushers
Who sold their souls in return for hope
To thirty year old cradle snatchers

Come friendly bombs it’s plain to see
The vacant, empty faces
The lifeless eyes, the pallid skin
The love that leaves no traces
The love that lasts a knee trembling minute
Outside Harry’s and Sluffs
A love that smells of emptiness
O they cannot get enough

Come with me, look over there
To the sculpture in the mall
The stainless tree with it’s stainless birds
And stainless birdsong call
A bird sings and the town all stops
To see from where this sound will show
A bitter disappointment when learned
It was played on the radio

Community service on the airwaves
To draw the crowd together
A song played, a one hit wonder
Reminds us nothing is forever
The sterile radio station plays on
Opiates to which we should yield
And bare our souls and be grateful for
The song of Bedingfield

ii - Lismore Park

The sight of a child playing in the street
Is one of day’s gone bye
But Lismore Park sees them out in droves
Stealing cars and getting high
The twelve year old sent out to play
Whilst mother takes a knap
But really she’s having it away
For a fiver and a brown wrap

The party at the house next door
That never seems to stop
The men all come and go and paw
Girls in this knocking shop
But halt weary traveller, stop!
Come sit and rest your back
The bench awaits you on the green
And the deluded maniac

The man who knows what’s wrong with you
And how to make it better
As long as he keeps his soul filled up
With cheap White Lightening cider
Six large cans for a five-pound note
From the corner shop near the school
An offer really not to be missed
And to make the drunkards drool

A songbird sits on the climbing frame
And sings his cheerful tales
A tune too much for our dear lush
The maniac exhales
The songbird sings and fills the air
With a loving string of notes
That reminds the sitters on the bench
There may still be a hope

A radio plays ‘that’ song again
Should you dare to forget the rhythm
The bird has flown away now
Fed up with this hypnotism
The airwaves are now filled with dross
Thanks to the flat opposite the green
The weary traveller moves on
“Better days has this place seen”

iii - The Road to Maidenhead

O friendly bombs do try to miss
The sweet blossom, the fragrant smell
The flowers, the green grass of the parks
The havens in this hell
Be careful around the Jubilee River
With it’s wildlife and sculpted hills
For a walk in this very man-made place
Will surely heal your ills

But spare no mercy for the superstores
That pollute and destroy our thoughts
“If it’s not on the shelf, we haven’t got it…”
The familiar assistants’ retort
Take no prisoners with the office blocks
That lay empty year after year
For they clutter up the atmosphere
And have no value here

O friendly bombs, o friendly bombs
The cabbages are all grown
They read the Sun and sing along
To the radio’s dreaded drone
Whilst in their vans they speed on by
Jumping all the lights
To price a job – a small brick wall
Based on a thousand nights

The car showrooms… the car dealers
Stack ‘em high and sell them cheap
Chop-chop salesman, soften ‘em up
The rewards are there to reap
Finance, part exchange or cash
Anyhow you like
“No sir, not me sir…
…I’d prefer to use my bike”

The bustle of the weekend crowds
The steamy traffic queues
Stare too hard at that red car
And suffer the abuse
Overtake the blue one now
And make him toot his horn
See him raise his voice in anger
To satisfy his scorn

iv - Town Square

Saturday morning, seven o’clock
The town begins to wake
A pair of sleeping winos
Dream about their fate
They plan their morning sermon
But who will really care
For what they say means nothing
Less than their icy stare

The busker and the balloon man
Wait to take their turns
To entertain and irritate
And suffer being spurned
By a thousand shady shoppers
Who’ve heard it all before
And probably given hard earned cash
To make them play some more

The trickster and the barra’ boys
Set up all their stalls
Selling mobile phone covers
And fake branded hold-alls
Adorn your phone with logos
Hankies for a pound
“Yes sir, we’re here on Sundays…
…(Providing there’s no police around)”

Grab a baked potato and sit
And watch the folk go by
Some will have you in hysterics
Some will make you cry
The man on his double-glazing stand
In his suit and in his tie
The perspiration on his head
Watch him wilt and fry

The songbird settles on the wall
And sings to our delight
A merry sonnet that will inspire
Dreams we’ll have that night
The wino shouts his sermon now
The bird has paused his song
This post-war sprawling Hooverville
Muddles slowly along

v - Contradiction, contraband

On the steps of the library he screams aloud
Through a mist of smuggled gin
“You’re all fools, the lot of you is scum
I’ve not committed sin…”
“It’s not my fault I’m a lush… a drunk
I don’t choose to live this life”
“You’re all wrong in carrying on
It’s you what’s caused my strife”

In his wretched form he abuses the world
Pooh-poohing this and that
A skunk telling the world it stinks
The polemic polecat
“Society has robbed me of everything
And left me less than whole”
“The only day that’s good is Thursday
When the postman brings me dole”

On Friday he meets his dealer
To fuel his pickled mind
The man with the van on Saturday
With the spirit and the wine
By Monday, he’s all skint and broke
The weekend has passed him by
He takes his place on the library steps
We shake our heads and sigh…

Every week the same routine
The same routine again
Like clockwork his life ticks on by
The suffering and the pain
But he tells us it’s all our fault
We’re the ones not right
But it’s very easy for him to say
The man who’s so contrite

The children watch him puzzled
It’s more than they can bear
“It’s very rude…” their mothers say
“To stand like that and stare”
But what, do they expect their young
To ignore this fool a mumbling?
For they will see it for what it is
A stormy weather warning

vi - Saturday Afternoon

I sit on a wall in Slough with friends
Sharing the Dutch export
Watching and laughing at the world
And it’s variety of sorts
A happy bond that we all share
The joy of simple things
Come friendly bombs and gather round
Watch us while we sing

The friendly bombs you call upon
Are they straight off the shelf?
It’s my belief, my firm belief
The bomb is in yourself
Ticking slowly by and by
Just waiting for the code
To trigger you and trip the switch
To make the bomb explode

We watch the people from where we sit
The hellholes they’ve all made
They don’t live they just exist on
The edge of a razor blade
Stop! Step back and take a look
It’s not too late to change
And become what you really want to be
An icon of your age

Over now to Langley Park
To sit and bathe in the sun
O friendly bombs please wait a while
Until this day is done
But what will tomorrow bring my friends?
And will it come too late?
Something that may save us all
The bombs may have to wait

A sedate sleepy Saturday
Away from all the crowds
Share a joke, a toke, a smoke
And laugh together loud
The sun warms our sombre souls
As on our backs we lie
Staring as the clouds roll by
United under the sky

vii - The Circus Comes to Town (Sunday)

Halt now, wait awhile please
Stop the counting down
Today the air is charged with joy
The circus comes to town
Must have arrived last night we think
Under cover of dark
And settled down and pitched it’s tents
In the grounds of Upton Park

The queue to purchase tickets
Trails far along the road
No. 53 offers cups of tea
From outside her abode
The crowds are mum, they say not a word
As they wait their turns to go
Inside the circus big-top tent
And sit and watch the show

We settle down and take our seats
With an ice-cream and a coke
But wait, where are the circus clowns?
Is this some kind of joke?
A wall of mirrors fades into view
And puts us in a spin
Reflecting all the bright lights
The colours and the din

The ringmaster enters, cracks his whip
And hands out little slips
“Everyone’s a winner” was
On every body’s lips
The clowns they all appear now
With a modicum of fuss
Hold on just a minute now!
The clowns we see are us

A spotlight points up to the gods
At the top of the trapeze
A giant money spider glides
Down with greatest ease
He touches each and everyone
All paralysed with fear
And hands out ten pound notes to all
Then promptly disappears

viii – The show

A strongman strolls out slowly with
A length of iron bar
A leopard spotted leotard and
Moustache sealed with tar
He looks around the big top with
A menace and a sneer
Surveying all the audience
He seeks a volunteer

The white van man he raised his hand
The tattoo on his arm
Said this man must not be crossed
To do so would mean harm
The strongman bent the iron bar
Across the van man’s back
Then invited him to strike him down
An unprovoked attack

The van man clenched his hand and hit
And hurt his mighty fist
A statue of the strong man shattered
Turning into mist
The van man stood and stared in fear
The mist it gathered round
And carried out our hero driver
He hardly made a sound

No-one clapped we all just stared
Our faces ghostly white
The strongman re-appeared and looked for
A second stooge that night
No-one raised a hand in fact
No-one said a thing
The strongman shrugged and vanished…
Empty was the ring

A knife thrower was the next to appear
And seek the help of one
With nerves of solid steel and courage
Secondly to none
Down came a fallen woman
Who said she had no fear
A knife was thrown and pierced her skin
Her right large ear-ringed ear

ix – The ringmaster

A second knife it struck her chest
She didn’t seem to weep
She didn’t seem to be in pain
Although the knife was deep
A third knife struck her arm and then
A fourth it struck her head
The knives that should be missing her
Were hitting her instead

Horrified the crowd looked on
Without a fuss or row
The woman now all full of blades
Politely took her bow
She then went back and took her seat
And never said a word
Not another word she said
And not a word she heard

A magician was the next to charm
And thrill us with his tricks
He pulled a rabbit from his hat
Then sat it on some bricks
He then threw watches at this beast
That grew to a great size
The rabbit caught them all and juggled
Them to our surprise

But here’s the rub when we all looked
At places on our wrists
No watches were there to be seen
A cunning little twist
The magician cracked a whip and put
The rabbit in a stew
Which vanished there before our eyes
Vanished out of view

The magician he announced that he
Alone did have this plan
To mystify and amaze us all
With his clever hand
Indeed he was the ringmaster
That owned this circus troupe
That terrified and petrified
Our frightened little group

x – The Fracas

A swarm of bees engulf us now
And cover us with honey
The ringmaster cracks his whip again
The bees all turn to money
Then suddenly the fight begins
As we grab this flying stash
Filling up our purses now
With the hard-grabbed cash

The ringmaster, a clever man
Calms us with his sigh
“There’s plenty here for everyone
…And more than meets the eye”
Suddenly a flock of doves fly
Sweetly through the air
They then attack the baying crowds
Pulling at their hair

Then with a deafening bang, a crack
A flash of burning light
We all cascade towards the floor
The circus out of sight
Confused we all stare around
Thinking it absurd
This bizarre spectacle should vanish
Gone without a word

I look from face to face to face
Whatever could this mean?
We all are laughing nervously
How stupid have we been?
We talk about the day’s events
We talk and talk some more
A voice booms from out the sky
“I’ve opened up the door”

“I’ve brought you all together now
To pander to your greed
To watch you take from fellow man
Deny him what he needs”
I reach in to my pocket
For the money I did place
It reads “Admission: 1 adult
To The Human Race”

xi – An incident at Upton Park

That week the local paper ran
An exclusive full-page ad
“Faland’s Travelling Circus Troupe”
“The most fun ever had”
But no review was there to read
To tell of our event
The strange encounter with this circus
To which we all went

The following Sunday we meet up
In groups of three or four
Since that incident in Upton Park
The spectacle we can’t ignore
No-one knows quite what it means
I don’t think that we’ll ever
Understand all that happened here
That brought us all together

Perhaps there is a deeper message
Given on that day
Faland may be telling us
That we have lost our way
He simply used us all as tools
To illustrate our folly
That had now become too serious
A risk to things so jolly

Every week now we all gather on
This hallowed piece of land
And this is very odd because
Nobody makes the plan
The idea comes to all of us
A self-ignited spark
And draws each of us in turn
To meet in Upton Park

We picnicked then we all played games
Then talked about the rain
We toasted our new friendships
And vowed to meet again
The bombs, the bombs they’ve all slowed down
Compassion saved the day
This newfound love we now all have
Must surely pave the way

xii - No ball games

The joy did not take long to spread
Across our grimy frowns
And bring a little sunshine
To lighten up this town
Happiness is upon us now
The whole of Slough-kind
Depending on how you look at it
And on your state of mind

The lush upon the library steps
The wino on the bench
The Publican and Landlord
The busty serving wench
They all wear smiles and laugh a lot
And speak of wondrous things
A songbird perches on the fence
And merrily she sings

The children, o the children
How they sing and dance
Always being friendly
In any circumstance
They have no care for politics
You’ll see it in their face
They want to play with everyone
Who’s in the human race

Meanwhile back in Upton Park
The townsfolk meet again
But there’s no talk of horror
Or suffering and pain
Instead though how a monument
Should be erected in our names
And pulling down the signs
That read ‘No Ball Games’

The bombs have all stopped ticking now
And line up by the wall
And every now and then they clang
Just to remind us all
If we get too complacent
And don’t respect our friends
We’re marking down the seconds
To our bitter end

xiii – New found…

We shared our food and shared our tales
Life stories we all told
They made us laugh they made us cry
Left us warm and cold
The suffering we did speak of
Helped us understand
How fellowman and woman kind
Dwelt in other lands

We laughed at tales of folly
And stories of the past
Stories that we are in awe of
Stories that will last
For another thousand years or more
And travel on the wind
A gentle breeze that talks to us
Thrilling to the end

Gathering momentum
Our stories travel far
Picked up and told by new folk
Under glowing stars
They bring warmth and humanity
Softened by the rain
They travel back to each of us
To be re-told again

Who’d have thought this loving joy
This beacon in the dark
Would begin upon the grass
Of hallowed Upton Park
The greed has gone or mostly so
Now happiness is here
We’ve seen the light and now must spread
Our messages of cheer

Looking back it hardly seems
We could have been that way
Not caring if each other lived
To see another day
This new found near Utopia
Must spread across the land
And we must stand to offer all
Our warm and guiding hand

xiv – Nearly done

The story is now almost told
Of how a strange event
Saved us from our selfish selves
A message heaven sent
With cunning tricks and sleight of hand
The error of our ways
Was written up in greasepaint
Shining through the haze

A strange dishevelled ringmaster
Who came from who knows where
Scared and terrified the crowds
Scared us from our chairs
Although he had the strangest troupe
This circus freak-show ball
The message was received and felt
And understood by all

We tried and tried to find this man
Our efforts were in vain
This curious little man was never
To be seen again
He vanished out of sight right there
In front of bleary eyes
And left us puzzled and wondering
Confused in our cries

It didn’t take too long though for us
All to plainly see
What this spectacle meant to us
To you and they and me
Happily now we understand
Our mission and our task
And how to offer helping hands
Without the need to ask

The story is now almost told
It never is too late
To fill our soul with loving care
Dispelling all the hate
That builds up over months and years
Of no-one taking care
And people taking for themselves
Much more than they dare

xv - Another time…

Further up the road they say
Exists a living hell
In Basingstoke the people choke
Inside their tiny shells
Above the noise of traffic jams
That permeates this town
The sound of ticking can be heard
The bombs are counting down

It seems we have a problem here
Of selfishness and greed
Every man and woman takes
Far more than they need
Far more than they want in fact
As if they hadn’t any
They’ll take everything you have and leave
You without a penny

Sizing up each other
In the bar and in the street
Not afraid to be the first to strike
With flying fists and feet
“You looking at my bird?” he says
“…you made me spill my beer!”
“You should know that my very name is
Something you should fear!”

A melting pot of anger
Just waiting to explode
And rip the souls from all the folk
And throw them in the road
To be rinsed on Monday morning
And flow slowly down the drain
And wait there until Friday night
To be ripped out once again

But wait! It’s seems a happy noise
The hatred has elapsed
For a moment we’ve all been released
From the horror of our traps
What is this noise, this joyous noise?
From where doth come this sound?
Get ready for the spectacle
The circus is in town…

I wrote this in about 2004 - loads of literary influences in this poem. It speaks for itself really. Having read through it, I think I ought to revise / review and re-write some of it, but this is the original.... yay!!
murari sinha Sep 2010

in this world of the limped nuptial
i’ve appeared as a power-missile of the lac-dye
that is used by the hindu women
to paint the border of their feet

the tooth-ache of some-one pumpkin
that grows on the thatched roof of a hut
has wringed spirally  
my mythological birth with corporate death

managing and arranging  my thoughts
on what I was in the past
what I would be in the future
or what is my dos at present  
the wonder-paintings of the altamira cave
unfolds its wings beside my painful in-growing nail

and in her own sky of miss marry  
my hands become so much condensed in every drops
as if within that moping smog
without any speech
speaks the twinkle twinkle little star…

beside  that labour pain what awakes then
is the patronage of a one-horned idea
along which while walking  without much preparation
i can enter into any e-mail

though our love pulls a very long-face about itself
and in the opinion of the married women
the sigh of the sin θ of our love wants to cultivate
mustered-seeds on the soil of the inhabitants
of this human-life
with a stick by which the monkeys are driven out
what more can i say in lieu of
a piece of red-salute written in green ink

if i say in the dawn of the 52-cards
i touch your face
by the hands of a school-boy
your calmness and earthly perfume
make me stunned

then in this field of sweat and war
the explosion of logic and intellect
of your top-floor
seems more famous anchor than the milk
that spilt over on the fire

and more to say
when daubing all over the body
all taste of the path of joy
enter into then fort of gold you can notice there
when in some unknown moment
my pajama dies socially
by the bite of the snails and oysters

to keep the heart of the break-kiln always move
this form-less interactions are so well
in the harvest-arrangement of the late-autumn
we are all uttering the name of cherry-flower
and begging shelter from the mango leaves

the cause of spreading over of the fragrance
from our secret myrobalan to every side of the pillows
is not only such that in the morning
an empty ink-pot says to the rain-water
you are beautiful

it is also remarkable that
coming to our half-articulated  travelling
the writings carved on the granite stone
become very much ashamed also

and  taking the busy market-price of the sun-glass
in the fold of the loin cloth tied at the waist
my both hands are also marked very much
in the omnibus of the dancing-bar

such is just because it is the art and science of navigation
that pastes some earth-wave
having no number-plate
with the public
rolling down  on the mat of the summer

it is impossible
to memorise the history of  those
so much contended-hunger
so much contended-sleep

it is all right that the staff-members
of our vibgyr university are all alive  
but they are the existence of some
bio-data only

arrangement of so much smiles and tears
in the nomenclature of banana-bed of mrs sofia
is not to tell the directionlessness of her fishery products
but if the culture of the wild trees assuming figure
then there remains no separate entity of the rbcs
inside or inside-up of the veins and arteries

all are the world of cosmetic-surgery
all are the arena of displaced national integrity
that is the only way to get admitted
into the still water of the horse-race

so the making of this self-portrait of the tip-cat game
by own-hand
so is the fancy of the engagement ring of the bursar

as a result of the headache in the au fait knee-joint
all the rats on the rice-pot of margaret  
become very angry
and when they make their performance  
you can’t catch them by extending your hands

so there is this sky-blue printed sari of desdemona
now take refuge under her perfumed disaster
and it is feared that there may be the drops of sweat
on the lobes of her nose extremely devoted
that the trees become to reside in

how much confusing is that cascade
in each of whose earings the dark fortnight
and whose eden garden is so large
that all those  people with crevasses dwell there

they stay in a group of nine
neither eight nor ten
just n for 9
n is also meant for the nancy
and the narcissus
and the sensational appearance of the
nereid  

once again we rub green-chilly after pouring water
in the parched-rice on the ancient plate made of brass
it is right that the peak is separated down from the temple
but it does not hurt the priest

by the right of our walks strewed outside
we too when hiding ourselves in the regime of fire
with our intention and activities
with our standpoint
with our conduct and  behaviour
or any instant rule or direction
or our deeds
that compel the rotation of the deodorant

thus after the eye-operation
the love between you and me is now
seeing more week-ends than before
to her knee has been submitted many caws
painted in water-colour

in every corner and every hole of the body
that pulls the rickshaw the wind enters
and in every root-cause of the sufferings
the ripple of annihilation of love

from the shop of dip-swimming now
you can also purchase soundlessness  
to feel  the spirit of  chrysoberyl

now you need the work for 100 days
to gain the power you need to keep pace
with the graph of the terracotta
that may also be a long day of fasting  

then on the back of that hungry conch-shell
a globe shouts
the other’s world puts its office-water
in the fountain of cactus the roaring of which
pours so many telephone-calls into the ears

then in our market the ear-bursting sound of the generator
then in our forest-land
the bullet-fight between maoist and the joint-force

then with the enlarging and waning of our moon
are the bright fortnight the dark fortnight and the leaves of wood-apple

you may say now
those demerits relate to the seeds of the gm oranges
but just think the scanning of hibernation of the philtre
or of the kite the thread of which is cut off
they can’t escape their responsibility too

then tell me to whom i could give
my sad melting point  

but then to do any work means
this trigonometry
outside the territory of copyright

then the connection of the biscuits
with the thoughts of the fire-works
is clearly dismantled

the border-zone of all relations thus keep themselves apart
and due to a sharp difference in the chromosomes of sand-stone
our dwelling-house becomes a museum

to build a hospital with a big moustache
at last within the hypnotized company
the shadow of our bed-room appears

then the light of the social moon  is like the materials
with which the inner parts of the sorrows of the pomelo
is made up

it may be well for making great
the art-work of the horse-rider
that is wrapped with the handkerchief of ocean  

it must be waiting for my shampoo-power too

some cure may be offered by the paraffin
and her open hair

but one deed of the rose-petals
and the convex sweet drops of molasses  
is the flame of thumb-impression
that is born and brought up by the pan-cake
in-between sauce-pan and peter pan

in this all-pervasive panorama of slang-opera

Chris Voss Nov 2013

In between sips of skim-milk splashed coffee; in between the sharp, fragmented, ink-drags of pen and indentation of paper and the simple sketch of a fish in a lake [the fish like the hand and the cog, and the lake like piano keys and copper machinery] The Imagist explained to me the conception of music and clockwork.
And the Human Condition.
"Humans," he sketched, "have a very peculiar sense of self - it ends at our skin. Cut off my arms and I'll survive, but sever the air from my lips and... At what point did our limbs become more a part of ourselves than the sky?"
And after a moment of measuring the weight of words, he thought to me, "Man, I don't know why I get myself into this... What made me think I could write a children's book?"

I told him how I wished I could write music. You could read it in my poetry; my metaphors about sheet music and night skies. My yearning to explore worlds that my starfall has never blinked in. And it struck me, bittersweet through the roots of my wisdom teeth, how we can never choose our art. Rather I'll bushwhack through, leaving trails of half-started, stutter-stepped poems, looking for something that sings like guitar strings.

The Imagist and I, we are children of a visual age.
I try to sculpt our twenty-seven minute attention spans through sporadic hand gestures.
He told me about his trip to Montana through drawings of the people he'd met,
from the three friends of friends who were a quarter of a face or less. Like Bob, the right eye and jawline, who knew something about everything  [He said it's like having a conversation with Wikipedia], to the deeply detailed dreamy girl who played the accordion.

Sometimes we wake up feeling like Mr. Potato Head, with our mouth where our eye should be.

In between sketches of friends who fell out of touch and John Ashbery poems, we gave credit to palindromes. The Imagist drew HannaH with a handlebar moustache and I realized that this poem ends when Two Creek closes - comforted by the fact that poetry can be about the simplest moments, the ones that I never understood exactly how beautiful they were until I read them in my own shaken handwriting.

In a mix-up of words, He discovered how sick he was of writing with something, rather than writing for something.
I evaluated my own pen and chewed on my tongue.

I wish I could draw portraits so that I'd remember first impressions.

When The Director showed up, we exchanged science and art. He explained to me the imaginary horizons of black holes and Hawking radiation, but even he taught it through a sketch in the top left corner of his science fiction movie script. At the foreign end of the table, The Imagist continued a conversation about the complexities of children's books, and theories someone developed through observing their attention-starved cats who bore uncanny likeness to kids, and the appeal of Furbies, while The Director asked me how I write a poem.
I told him it starts with a single line, something that zings in my mouth like cavities and canker sores, but not to take my advice because I have far too many illegitimate, bastard sons; clouds of words daunted by the clear skies of the rest of the page. After The Director's end credits, eventually I joined the foreign conversation where we had begun it, with The Imagist saying, "Our skin connects us to everything, it doesn't trap us in to our own narcissism."

And then they were gone too, each dissolved into a part of themselves and each other - to fall into place in a world that runs on six-billion beating hearts.

In between the grain of a yellow birch table that's hosted the gunfire of mouths and lonely bones, I stayed and played my part, losing my fingers in the varnish and pages of books, believing that I, my entirety, my open borderline skin, my wooden grain, my air in the wind, my ballpoint pen finger, was writing for something.

david badgerow Dec 2011

not everyone who holds a pen is a writer.
not everyone who rides a horse is a jockey.
not everyone who clips their toenails is a podiatrist.
not everyone who smokes knows the feeling.
not everyone who chokes is a sadist.
not everyone who lies is an actor.
not everyone who wears a moustache is a communist.
not everyone who smiles is the sunlight.
not everyone who tries is a failure.
not everyone who shouts knows the silence.
not everyone who cries knows depression.
not everyone who laughs gets the joke.
not everyone who speaks is a teacher.
not everyone who hears truly listens.
not everyone who died really lived.

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