This Movie

This Movie

When I think about all the life stories

that never make the silver screen

stories that have a lot of valuable stuff to say

about humanity and how we fuck everything up

and how not to

mine is a prime candidate for a blockbuster movie

a hit at the box office with the best of the best of all soundtracks

and some of the most ground-breaking

Oscar-winning performances ever known

when I look back on the journey

and it’s no fairy-tale

and it’s no love story

and it’s no sci-fi

it’s real, dark, gritty and edgy; as it should be in films

it’s raw, crazy and horrific, edge of the seat stuff

you wouldn’t know where your popcorn went

you’d be so engrossed in keeping your eyes on the picture

or at least to a point—

 

at this point

more recent years

the storyline has been reassuringly dull

some level of near sanity has been restored

of the sort, I haven’t known since I was inside the womb.

 

Outside of the womb no-one is ever entirely sane

no-one is safe

and no-one can be certain of anything

but dullness

this welcome break from the drama

is now a plotless movie

I fell in love

I moved miles away from my hometown

and now

I’m getting married

I’m still not having kids

I kept that promise to myself pretty good

and I’m not caught in the middle of a war

and arguments are rare and petty.

 

My mental health is behaving itself

I take my pills every day without fail

addictions are over and done with

my weight is getting toward healthy again

I eat sensibly

I go to the gym now and then

I sleep well

my hair is grey

my makeup subtle

my dress sense is comfortable, smart casual

I drink coffee every morning

I brush my teeth twice a day

I keep a good hygiene routine

I barely touch caffeine throughout the day.

 

Sometimes I go shopping

sometimes I get on buses and travel

sometimes I walk

now and then I go to the dentist

or go get my hair cut

I rarely enter a pub or nightclub

my friends are a select few

and I’ve burnt my bridges with the old ways

and most of the old crowd.

 

Ok sometimes I still fuck

and sometimes I don’t

and I still swear

and sometimes I don’t.

 

Overall though

pretty standard dullness

that’s how it is these days

not worthy of an audience

not worth your cinema ticket charge.

 

This happy ending is not even cheesy enough

surprising enough

or cliché enough to send you home from the movie theatre

feeling complete or excited

it’s an anti-climax

it’s an anomaly

there’s no cliff hanger

no twist

and there’s no conclusion

and I kind of like it that way.

Where Do You Find Them?

Where Do You Find Them?

Stripped of his protective husk
of agreeable friends and doting acquaintances
a man must maintain composure
poise and decorum to the bitter end

as a rule of thumb, society demands it of him
even the ill-equipped and socially inept
know this.

Anyway, since you ask—
she dropped him off in the middle of nowhere
throwing him from the car bonnet
roadkill, carrion for the crows

She tore off down the highway
picking up hitchers and was long gone
he didn’t remain there for long either
some amateur taxidermist got to him
and stuffed and mounted him
in an unnatural clumsy pose
with a permanently startled
open-mouthed expression
a plastic cockeyed gaze.

He was propping up the bar in my local
staring both into and away from
the immeasurable distance of his hand
to a glass of beer
-that’s where I found him.

The Pianist

The Pianist

She always had to be the strong one
the self-assured, clued-up, clever one
the first battle cry, the last word
the punchline, but never the joke
there were times, I admit
that I would picture her

Seated at her piano, naked—

these were the only times
she’d appear sincere
or even fragile
and to my mind
these were the times
she played
her most heartbreakingly moving tunes
of course, I never heard her sing them.

A DOG-EARED PAGE

A DOG-EARED PAGE

He had the jowls of a sad hound
eyes like a frightened puppy
a bark louder than his bite and
the nervous laughter of a maniac
on a psychologically damaging kill-spree
a burst of laughter that begged like a hungry dog
for praise and approval

sought applause for quick wit
ironical quips and the generalised uncouthness
that drifted in the wake
of a misplaced childhood.

He trailed behind his alcoholism
between bars and interventions
and gigs on the local circuit
he had skill with guitars
a way with words
And a brain—
Which made him dangerous.

He had something to prove
something to sate his appetite for acknowledgement
that he had the gall, that he had balls
that he could have had it all
but for the moment
-he had fuck all

but for intellect
and the arrogance to abuse it.

Truth be told
we always loved
a good story
a dog-eared page
a dear friend
and
that bastard.

Being Human

Being Human

Life in a bleach bucket of sanity

kills originality dead

creativity is misunderstood here

life is wasting here

with every swoosh of the mop

I lean a little closer to lunacy.

 

Normal has no imagination

every day is spent

‘sane’

and sane is the word you give to people who

live in bubbles of nonchalant pride

self-satisfied, leading cookie-cutter lives

on life’s conveyor belt

of mass-produced lies, fakes and cheap makes

no surprise.

 

Normal wants perfect

all perfection has flaws

and normal wants to look like advertisements on billboards

sane wants to feel justified

sane is bullshit

delusion

sane is neither yours nor mine.

 

it’s a laughing lunatic buckled into a straitjacket

of standardised expectations

mediocre ambitions

sacrificed dreams

crouched in a padded cell of temporary safety and comfort

staring out through the barred window

weighing itself against a ward full of case studies

shuffling around patiently

waiting for medication time

whose grandiose declarations of sanity

are suspect at best

and you realise you’re just like all the rest

only human

after all.

 

 

 

 

 

Old Nick

Old Nick

Some say Nick committed suicide

in the small hours of the morning

back in November ‘74

others say it was surely an accident

that

Nick wouldn’t ever have made that conscious choice

that

it wasn’t in his character he was too gentle

too shy, too nice, too thoughtful, too caring

he had too much love in him

that

he was superman, he was God, he was a legend

he was perfect, too handsome to die that way

that

although he was an emotionally crippled

depressed young man, he was above doing such a thing

 

—Yeah well

he’s now too dead to ever grow old

and still too young in photographs to lose his boyish good looks

and romantics love a piece of youth and tragedy

it’s nothing to look up to or envy

but it gets under your skin, doesn’t it?

 

Whatever happened

he OD’d and was found dead next day

twenty-six years old and not as well known as he is today

Nick Drake, musician, and poet

isn’t it something—

posthumous fame and hordes of fawning admirers

coming and going and playing guitar

sat next to the family gravestone

singing his songs like lullabies

and talking to that stone like a long-lost friend

they never met

 

They leave flowers, token gifts, poems

they say how deeply his music touched them

play Northern Sky at their weddings

talk of him like some angelic being

ever-present, watching on, listening in

and they dress like him

and they get stoned like him

and they drink like him

and they want to be him

and they want to know him

and they want to get inside and look out through his eyes

if only they could but

 

—Nick

I’m not sure he knew even himself

 

some say it was suicide in ‘74

some say accident

I don’t know

I guess only Old Nick can answer that.

Crowded in this City of Nothingness

Crowded in this City of Nothingness

It’s not always going to be bad

it’s not always going to be good

no amount of clever words

or wishful thinking can change it

bled dry of all pretences

all of life’s perfections and imperfections

sing disharmonious,  clear.

 

The mind is an unforgiving god

seated in a crumbling temple

and the eyes

have grown tired of looking around

for answers

I see more clearly

with eyes closed these days.

 

I don’t have to like what I see there

and I can’t help but look.

 

Silence—

no amount of clever words can explain it

the laughter of peacefulness

or this crowded city of nothingness

that chatters away like a gaggle of geese

religion wants me to have faith

in something other

and prayers go unanswered most nights

make no mistake

—None of them mine.

The Can of Worms

The Can of Worms

He spent too much time

in small rooms behind closed doors

opening windows, inviting devils in

tossing off personal failures

with a frustrated heart

rolling with each punch of the pounding fist

of his broken mind

to ever realise that by his own hand

he killed us all.

 

Fond memories draped in sheets

are locked away

in storage now

gathering dust in corridors we never dare walk down

and those voices we hear echoing back

grow more paranoid and telling

and stack unsteadily

against the back most walls of our skulls

ready to come crashing down at any moment.

 

What a noise it could make

what a mess.

 

This can of worms

we keep a lid on it

it’s old news

it’s water under the bridge

it’s any cliché you can choose

to put a sticking plaster over it; try to forget about it.

 

 

Denial—

he knows the curse of his shadow

he built this pitch-black crime scene

the blue lights have been and gone

and the sirens are faded now

and the jury have said their piece

and after a narrow escape

life goes on as

—normal?

 

All the bulbs have blown here now

There’s no light in our eyes

and no flashlight nor candle can shine bright enough

to ever wash this place clean

and here we are

gagged and bound

by an unspeakable truth

complicit in his lie of innocence

a lie we wish we could still believe.

 

 

 

 

Audio Poems-A Nest of Strange Little Creations

Audio Poems-A Nest of Strange Little Creations

There will be periods of quiet over here on this blog page while I work on two books…

‘A Nest of Strange Little Creations’ and ‘Life is Beautiful’

I’m also slowly compiling the poems into an audio format to hopefully complement the books at a later stage. Please have a listen to the first recordings here.

Hope you enjoy listening and I apologise for my ‘Birmingham accent’ not being all that sexy! Hey, it’s real at least!