Thursday 26 November 2009

#100 - City Road Bus Stop

I'm at the bus stop,
thinking about that prick Kit
and how my fallen arches
make waiting so utterly shitty.

Nifty's teachers have asked us
to come in. Apparently he's
being disruptive. I have moments
where I genuinely wonder

if I love my kids. Is this it?
Am I supposed to be grateful
for this pipsqueak contentment?
I try to roll a cigarette -

my skins blow into the road.
Typical. These days, my lower
lumbar's crocked so I have to
make a decision when I stoop.

So this is what it is to be alive.
Gathering fag papers out the gutter.
I snatch up a fistful,
too damp to use

and then, I hear the bus horn.

I look up.
Death's wearing His conductor's cap.
His sockets are full of daylight.

I always knew He'd come back.

#99 - How I Managed To Steal Poem Ideas From Other Poets Using A Wiki Form Of Intellectual Property Theft

Years later, those folk who had contributed
to the project would try to take him to court

for a tranche of the immense profits.
Unfortunately for them, he had bought

jurisprudence the previous summer.
Justice was dispensed via a sort of

novelty gumball machine
heaped with balls of Semtex.

'Those fools,' he gasped, drunk on the observation deck
of his flying castle yet again.

'Don't they understand that I control reality?'
He conjured a metaphor;

the rain became gunfire.

#98 - 8 Minutes In The Life Of A Poet

I'm exhausted.
I've acquired a sort of palsied rocking motion.

Any desire to create, wrung out of me.
I feel like I've stood wanking
on a plinth for fifteen hours

expecting approval.
I want some broth. A hot bath.
A break from line breaks.

Two more.
Two more.


#97 - Shopping Trolleys That Have A Dodgy Wheel

The bad one leads you into gutters,
steers you towards the wrong aisle.

The bad one teaches you to wrestle,
puts the grunt and resentment into your gait.

The bad one forces you to concentrate.

#96 - With No Parameters

the poem spreads like a crap infection
tunneling its way into places
it has no business going -

oh, here it is tackling global poverty
in a borish, scattershot way
while simultaneously

meditating, scrunch-browed,
on the first leaf of autumn,
a disquisition which leads it onto

fractals, and a breezy tour
of quantum physics containing
several factual errors within

just four lines.
Please, give me my cage bars.
These shackles keep my ankles warm.

#95 - Granny In A Bag (And Heading For The River)

'Sorry,' I say to Kit, my boss,
'I'm just feeling a bit sensitive.
Yesterday I had to bury my grandmother.'

'I'm terribly sorry to hear that,'
says Kit gravely, removing his tricorn
as a mark of condolence.
'That must have been very hard.'

'Yes. She's a very tenacious woman.
Clawed her way back out within minutes.'
I mime yellow talons pushing up
through soil like dragon's teeth.
'Luckily I had the spade,
and a burlap sack.'

'Burlap,' repeats Kit,
enjoying the word.

#94 - Train Travel

On our way to visit
the children's grandparents
in Frome

I catch a flash
of Death
through the window.

He stands in a ploughed field,
reaching to lay a white-twigged hand
on a chaffinch snipping at the new seeds
with its sharp beak.

For the next ten minutes
I can't speak.

'Daddy, Daddy, how many more stations
'Oh shut up, Gulliver!' I blurt.

I excuse myself, go to the toilet,
splash water not suitable for drinking
over my flushed face, try to stare myself
down in the mirror.

It makes things worse.
I've aged.
I'm looking more like Him everyday.

#93 - The Bible Distilled

Once upon a time,
Death walked abroad

across the marshlands
and swamps, down tan beaches
and along the bottom of the empty ocean,

bored as buggery -
thud-headed with it, in fact -

all the while,
unaware of a perfect egg
who rode him pick-a-back.

One day, Death slipped.
The egg went


#92 - Sodden Hooks North

traipsing through marshland with gumboots,
cane and compass, swatting at lambs

and apparitions of lambs in the mist,
grinning when the oak shaft connects

with something more solid than vapour.
He is in search of Winter's stomach;

once he finds it, old Sodden fully intends
to slit himself a sly entrance

then tuck up inside, relishing its caustic
warmth, the stripped carcasses'

slow relinquishing of their chastity.

#91 - What Happens When Your Eyebrows Meet?

Well, they begin to plait,
then burrow back into your brain, son,
hunting for the frontal lobe,
the seat of motivation.

They feed on it, chewing through
white connective tissue
and replacing it with fur.
This is why the monobrowed
tend to be listless and poor
at taking the initiative.

Don't worry, it's not catching.
They deserve your pity
rather than your fear.