Friday 25 November 2011

#101: Made Up Language

And so they sat by the stream
and made words.

They strung together syllables
like ladders of DNA
then tried them out
to get the heft of them:


'I swen you,' he told her,
and even though neither of them knew what it meant,
she smiled.

#100: Dead Man's Jenga

A newsworthy disaster
(think choking damp in a pit,
or some kind of theatre fire,
or a bridge collapse - you know,
the old timey ones that ushered in
the cosy sweater of health & safety legislation
we now enjoy)
fills the mortuary to over-capacity.

Dennis and Eli stack bodies in the cool cellar.
When they run out of space, they begin
heaping them on the stone floor -
it starts out as a practical stopgap
but soon becomes a game.
This is the gallows humour
that both men are infamous for -

Eli once brought home the blue cadaver
of a drowned girl and introduced her
to his mother as his beloved.
He continued the farce right up until the wedding day,
when Dennis' ventroliquism skills failed
to convince the vicar.

#99: My Horse Hates You

For Lee

Eduardo the horse, Eduardo the horse!
How his name is curséd through the ages!
He sports a thick, waxed moustache
and barges into coffee houses,
bakeries, auction houses,
mortuaries, antenatal clinics,
hunting for you,

yes you who is reading this poem now!
For it is you who he blames for his cruel deformity,
this creature equine in all but one aspect,
a smooth, pink caucasian rump
protruding from his dappled hind quarters,
mocking him.

#98: Wholly Ghost

For Nick

Now I'm a spook, I like to visit old buildings -
not to frighten people, just to check out
the architecture. You know what it's like
as you get a bit advanced in years. Actually,
that's the worst thing about being dead.
You know how they say you get more right wing
as you grow older? Well, some of these folks
have been dead for thousands of years,
so they are like crazy racist, mainly
against countries that don't even exist anymore.

That's why most of us prefer to hang out
in libraries, old castles, graveyards -
quiet places, where we can be alone,
away from the dickheads.

#97: Rock Bottom

Trent came round in a tin bath,
part submerged in his own faeces -
nope, no wait a minute,

he spotted a piece of sweetcorn there.
He never ate sweetcorn.
This was someone else's poo -
perhaps many people's, in fact,
a confederation of defecators, given the volume.

Well - advantage pranksters! he thought,
bearing the poo-blackout philosophically,
(as he had learned to, over the years)
and he began looking round for a towel.

#96: Nobody Saw Us Come In Here, Nobody Will See Us Leave

For Ben

In the old chapel,
the Keepers of the Flame
hunched round a table.
The abbot locked and bolted the door,
then solemnly handed each man a bowl.

Into each bowl, he poured
a portion of Frosties, and some milk.
They ate in rapt, ecstatic silence

while in the vaulted windows
saints gazed down

#95: A Brief History Of Something

Daryl found the kazoo at a car boot sale in Yatton.
He paid the man £150 pounds for it.

When he got it home,
(which took him longer than usual
because he decided to take the Renault
through the Tesco carwash on the way back)
he showed his wife, Alice.

'That's too much to pay for a kazoo,' she said.

Daryl said nothing, but from that day forward,
he fostered a cold, hard nugget of hate for her.
He never played his kazoo.

#94: Caressing David Icke

I have seen him change in his sleep,
that ancient DNA kicking in
as he dreams of lying prone
on a hot, flat rock in an endless desert.

His skin thickens briefly,
or his tongue thrills from his mouth
like a party favour.
He is happiest then, and I,

a giddy insomniac,
am happiest watching him,
stroking his fine argent hair,
shielding his face from the hidden cameras.

#93: Smiling On Public Transport

Every day I watch the tram go past,
that same gormless man
sat at the back, his face pressed to the glass
in a rictus of jollity.

What does he, of all people, have to smile about?
With his colossal pustules
and his eyes like a suicide chair,
his carrier bags of withered cress
and his unwelcome moustache,
the purple ganglia extruding from his throat
and his pronounced cranial frill
like a stegasaurus?

#92: Touch Me, Hit Me, Help Me

Augustus ploughed headlong into the happy throng
of children, thrusting his cattleprod
every which way
with a gusto
that witnesses later described to the court as:
and 'consumately arousing'.

Three years later, he remembered that day
as he sat in the tiny attic,
and drowned himself
in a tureen of chill goulash.