Black rose

In the band
I’m not a natural singer
I became the vocalist
in yet another
shitty band
banging away
on my bass guitar
uttering words
that nobody
in the band
seemed to recognise
we played a few sets
here & there
pissing everybody off
no melody
no tune
they said
it didn’t really matter
we weren’t aiming
near the stars
we were
just another shitty band
playing for ourselves
the words
meant nothing
to anybody there
though their
seemed to match
the black rose
of death
we made between us
a lyric
that reflected
a moment in time
between she & me
we split up of course
I couldn’t play
or sing for that
& some
wanted to aim higher
than our gutter rock
needed fanbase
love from the crowd
best of luck with that eh?


At 14
you know
beyond belief
that everything
you have been taught
told to be truth
is a lie
you hold
no weight
no evidence
in the world
can convince you otherwise
at 41
you have the weight
the evidence
but still
is listening
you could shout
from the top
of a lofty hill
a low holding wall
the truth you know
to be so
giving details
into the slanting sun
& they will
laugh right at you
titter even
& walk on by
clinging tight
to the big lie

I got shallows running deep baby

You got no soul
he whip cracks
I must’ve hip moved cos the whip flicked by…
I got no soul?
maybe baby it was worn out
those long summers in the city
falling in love with each pretty woman in a thin summer frock
bathing in my love
as they frothed the pavement.
I got no soul?
could it be the dead end jobs hustling for pennies on the pound
pressing the oiled hydraulic lever to push out just another dark rubber grommet
waiting on people who’d rather I wasn’t there
and sending drinks to the waitresses while I did their job and mine?
I got no soul?
sleeping with women who were too scared of rejection
to tell me in sheet stained nights
that they had feelings other than their body offer for me
scared of their daddies so they burned me instead
scared of their mommies to let go
feel the lust inside
scared of what people might think to make a noise in their love?
I got no soul?
was it walking the dark English night
silent intensity
nowhere to go
call home
hoping for salvation in the next hitched car
to take me somewhere
an adventure
black emptiness inside never ending despite whichever fag end town I found?
I got no soul?
tight rooms burdened by tired furniture
wallpaper curled sweated walls of loneliness
the bottle
to ease
and waiting for a new endless day
that might bring a new something to the selfpity stretch
only the swirls of half readable words penned before dawn.
I got no soul?
friend faces I forgot
life stories I heard
of lives so other than mine
wars of love
the mean that we do to each other just because we can
want to
maybe baby
I’ve mistaken these deep blues and yeah
just mebbe,
I got no soul.

round hole

I’ve tried
to fit in
to be amongst you
whether it be
working class
middle class
no class at all
it ain’t me
its you
you hold yourselves
so tight
in position
that when i
come along
I bounce
right into you
to the outsider
my parents plans
came to nothing
I wanted elsewhere
& when I got there
I just kept going
not through badness
more the madness
that there was more
in the one position
& that comes with a price
outriders are out
outsiders are not in
like you hold yourselves
to be
i’m not crying
in the wilds
for loneliness
more that these visions
costing so much
stop you
in your tracks
from seeing the light

only 1 i got

I don’t like your attitude
the boss man said
he wasn’t the first
to say this
he’ll be the last
well said i
it’s the only one I got
there y’go
he went on
that’s what I mean
it’s a good attitude
not yet worn thin
despite the hassle
types like him bring
they swear
to your best interests
only looking out for you
but when
the trench time comes
you will
be entirely
deep in the mud
on your own
I listen
to what they say
but watch what they do
part of the family
part of the firm
when that hard time
they will
not look you in the eye
as they say goodbye
let you go
its hard times y’know
my attitude?
its their care less
bothers me
there y’go…

One of those faces

I was on the dole
so I put on my wedding coat
sat through
another interview
this time for a job
I quite fancied
working in a record shop
this a lifetime ago
had racks of vinyl
played hit music
kindof loud
for housewives in the day
DJ’s late on Fridays
Or Saturdays early
I started on the Monday
dusting the plastic LP covers
hoovering, tidying
I was just happy
to be able to play music
on the overhead speakers
nobody spoke to me
except for do this
do that
the days were long
but I was young
all days were long
when everything was new
on the Saturday
the boss
you can go now
so I did
happy with a week
playing music
on the Monday
I turned up ready
to do it
all over again
& they had a new
young fella there
dusting the covers
on the vinyl
the boss called me in
‘when I said you could go
I meant, not to come back’
so I sat on the bus
in my wedding coat
head full of what?
what happened?
what reasons?
what next?
it must be my face
did not fit
I wasn’t sad
when it closed
a year later
and now
I couldn’t tell you of
a name
or even
a face
of anybody who worked there.


There would be nothing to say
no thing I would want
to do with you
not the death
of my desire
its over
has been
for so long
our skeletons
are no longer the same
not that
that stops me
from wondering
how the hell are you?
did you ever
It’s the curse
of romantics
once we open
our hearts
let you in
we don’t let you go
from there
though we might
throw you out
of our day to day
curse you
for the rain you bring
dissolve your love
in the acid
of pain
what could’ve been
your stain

Rat soup

Rat soup for the bedwetter
that was me
I was three
had got through a year
in a childrens home
fighting older boys
who would swap my sheets
for their pissed ones
to come home
to a deranged family
looking after me
by beating
making me drink
rat soup
freshly boiled
from rats
caught in the garden
every time I wet the bed
I’d hide behind the sofa
they’d drag me out
by my heels
and force it on me
if I didn’t drink it
a beating
if I did
they’d mock me
‘he drinks rat soup
for wetting the bed’
my mum had run away
my dad worked all the time
though he did find me one night
changed my sheets
but still they beat me
to drink
rat soup
a level of cruelty
to a child
missing his mum
his dad
that I still can’t name
put any meaning on.


Living in nowhere
out in the sticks
old hedgerows
which carry surprises
scrap metal
holed water tanks
puzzling bits of cars
an old hand plough
that I donated
to the local museum
a cheese pail
repainted now
with a new use
holding umbrellas
building a pile
and wondering
what to do with
rusty hand saws
Another winters day
my friend Pete
and I
filled a trailer
battled the ice and snow
to the scrap yard
to weigh in
piled out the
bits and pieces
from the centuries
of discard
and waited
after a long while
the little window
a hand popped out
& a deep voice
“which of you wants
The £1.50?”