Wednesday, June 27, 2007


An anonymous correspondent poses the interesting question: "Whatever happened to you?" (Meaning me.) Apparently this page, or my mind (or something), used to be more interesting.

Since when? As far as I'm concerned I've always been a huge pedantic arrogant solipsistic little creep, and if somebody's trying to tell me otherwise I'm going to be immensely disappointed.

Of course, even when I'm hectoring the world unreasonably, I still have the courage to put a name to all my statements. But there you go.

Riding On The Bus

into town this morning I noticed that all the young men look so designed, as if they had stepped into our (allegedly) three-dimensional world from out of the pages of a style magazine.

No matter how much money you spend on me I still look like an earth tremor in a poor man's wardrobe.

Monday, June 25, 2007


On the television last night somebody was drinking blood. Pig's blood. Some pale, tending-to-corpulent chat show host and a self-satisfied, pock-marked tv chef.

I don't normally watch television, not having one at home, but here I was at work at the end of a shift with three of my work colleagues all ranged around the room in varying states of exhaustion, watching the big set in the corner and waiting to go home. And the overpaid oafs on tv are drinking the blood of a recently murdered pig and commenting on what a fine taste it has. The scene is supposed to be sophisticated somehow--this is one of those shows for a crowd that considers itself to be "upmarket", better than the folks who like all the other tv chefs.

And Lewis, who considers himself a "foodie", watched it play out on the tv with a sudden animation, something like glee shining in his eyes. He reminded me of a teenager lighting his first cigarette in public, only he was even more bumptiously confident. Five years ago the "animal rights brigade" still held enough sway with the media--and had won enough of the old argument--to make this gruesome spectacle something you probably wouldn't have to look at on mainstream tv. Now nobody could do anything to stop it, and watching it unfold was like an orgiastic fuck-you to all those fevered lunatics who had once curtailed your freedom.

The freedom to drink the blood of an animal as an ostentatious, and curious, proof of your dominance over all animals, including the ones who lived in council houses, used buses, ate generic greasy chicken wings in burger bars.

I got up from the sofa seat next to Esme, in a leather coat, with a feeling of nausea rising into what Western heroes used to call their craw. "I'm not watching any more of these murdering bastards, " I said, and I stalked from the room.

The others carried on talking and tv-watching as if I'd never been in there with them. Bruce? Who the hell is Bruce? So it was these days with anyone who believes in rights for animals.

Monday, June 18, 2007

two new ones to celebrate my return from bournemouth

poem: who am i?

i am the buddha
who drinks wine
to excess
and falls down
on his hairy ass

poem: your alba

wake up, turn tv on loud,
lay a long time half-asleep
as presenters with white teeth
spout the showbiz gossip,
crawl under shower with
only five minutes left,
tie up your hair stumbling
bleary-eyed across the camp to work.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

What Happened To The Counter-Culture?

They're too busy getting stoned, and fucking, to develop a serious critique of contemporary life, like past generations of outsiders have done. Since the cowardly conservatism of punk rock, thinking has been unhip.

How your leaders must be loving that. The only time the bastards who run and ruin your lives have to worry is when people start talking politics on street corners, and in pubs.

Snort, brother. Find a fat vein. Get fucked on nice little tablets while Iraq burns and China murders Tibetans and Egypt jails her bloggers and the unions are dismantled and the minimum wage stays at a level that wouldn't support anybody and the education system turns out another generation of inarticulate, knuckle-dragging zombies in white baseball caps. It's all good, man, and what can a poor boy do anyway, right?

"Stick a fork in their ass and turn 'em over, they're done," as Lou Reed's painter friend Donald would say.


While expensive perfume fills my nostrils I can't smell the dead.


Happy in our new cotton underwear while the world goes to Hell.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I'm Off On My Holiday Soon

On Saturday I have to trek off on another of those work holidays, like the one that kept me from the computer for a week in late summer last year. This time Bruce and his gang of wild individualists are heading off to Bournemouth. Yippee.

This, of course, means another reduction in posting is likely. I should get back to the computer before we set off, but consider this advance warning (or is that "advanced" warning? I never know). If I can't find an internet cafe or a library when we get there, my journal will have to be the repository of all my wit and wisdom that week.

I have been out today and bought six paperbacks in anticipation of the trip. Good traditional holiday reading: Graham Greene, Kinky Friedman, Jack London, Charles Schulz. I do not expect to spend large amounts of time trooping around Bournemouth bars with twentysomething co-workers--though once I'm there, the lure of alcohol may prove too strong (as it has so many times in the past).

When I get back I'll say something here about how it went. But accounts may have to be edited. One or two of my work colleagues do visit the page, from time to time..!

Three Nurses

I saw three nurses sitting on a step in the sun outside the Weston Favell Health Centre this afternoon smoking cigarettes. A fantastic image. Made me wish I had a camera with me, or enough juice in my poetry engine to write a decent haiku about it.

Thank God there's still a couple of weeks to go before the smoking ban, which is not only a triumph of corporatism over individual soul and mind, but also another victory for the puritans who are gradually claiming every corner of our world.

Shopping List For A Better World

So much has got to go to create a world we all deserve. But can we start with people saying "You're welcome!" every time you say thank you to them? It used to be something we laughed at when watching American television, and now it's penetrated almost every corner of modern British life. And it's annoying. Annoying, and silly. People say it so automatically the sentiment completely disappears.

While I'm at it, by the way, if anybody out there is in a position to grant these things, how about removing, also, the trend for young white boys to wear baseball caps? And English people answering their mobiles by saying, "Whassup dog?" It just doesn't work, even if you're black.

Okay. We'll get onto the million and one other forms of dumbness, cowardice and conformity that preponder (I don't know if that's a real word, but it should be), at a later date.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Cave Of Winds

Watching old footage of Bob Dylan's press conferences, I'm reminded of this guy I know. He too is full of evasions and obfuscations and surreal wit whenever you talk to him. Is this guy hiding something precious from a callow world? Was Bob Dylan's mind just a "cave of winds"?