Borrowed lines


One of my poems contains the words, ‘My boobs, gently fucked.’
it was a borrowed line. From a borrowed line poem.
but clearly a sentiment that, being a filthy man, appeals to my inner pervert,

All men are perverts? i watch YouTube videos of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon
doing impressions of Michael Caine, i do my own on YouTube, ‘You were only supposed, to
blow the bloody doors off!’

Not a lot of people know that. i cycle along the south Thames bank out to Erith and see birds:
Cormorant, Shelduck, Goose, Seagull, Great Crested Grebe, Heron, Tufted Duck, Mallard,
Swan, Coot, Wagtail, Goldfinch, Sparrow, Blackbird, Crow, Oystercatcher,

Cock. i used to own one, and three hens. One was a bantam, the others Rhode Island Reds
which, until i googled it just now i always thought it was Road, as in, tarmac. One of them died and we let the broody bantam sit on the eggs, the hen we got was white,

A Rogue Island White? Living in England used to be foreign to me until i lived abroad,
my tendrils of doubt stretched too tight to the ones at home,
quantum packets of guilt, thanks Douglas Adams for that analogy,

i guess England wasn’t blown up to make way for a bypass on the China/America route
while i was away, yet. It was a long way to Erith, my bum and arms hurt on the bicycle,
my heart hurt in the rainforest. Come back here,

Start again in this country that’s getting divorced from the EU. The only loser will be
this place. Losers. It becomes a way of life, I know. Until I read about the concentration camps i thought i’d never suffered,

How can a privileged Westerner suffer? Especially a while male one? Middle class concerns?
oh, the water is cold, oh i don’t have the right food, oh, I don’t have the right clothes,
oh, I don’t have the right car, the right phone,

The right fucking arse. i wasn’t starved in a nazi concentration camp. i did suffer, properly.
let’s wild forage for vegetables, lets hurt each other for fun, lets mindlessly persecute
our loved ones. Let’s drink and be merry,

Let’s burn inside. Let’s burn on the cross of another’s fucked up thoughts and actions.

Let’s be a martyr.

For love.

Cars litter where i live. Like so much junk. A scrapyard in the making. Tombstones of our
progress. Cars litter the city, the country, the world. All our junk litters the world.
great lumps of crap wot we made,

i made some stuff once. A wooden chair, a plant stand, a sellotape dispenser. My hands work,
i can make stuff. All the wood went mouldy, and the dispenser broke,
more crap for the human junkyard,

Planet Earth.

In the rainforest i was collecting coffee beans and a hummingbird flew right up to me and hovered there. i was mesmerised. invisible wings and the whirring beat. those eyes watching from the steady head. then a beat and it had gone,

‘that was the most amazing thing’ i said to my companion. in the rainforest much is amazing,
but a lot of it wants to bite you or eat you. even the logging company owners,
and the palm oil plantations want to kill us,

With that shit they put in our food. it’s not them of course, it’s the food companies who supply them and puff up their product in the name of greed,

Time to break. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, etc, etc, fill up a timeline with terrible junk, fill up the servers which spew pollution. The internet was broken with shit no one looks at anymore but the algorithms,

In order to sell you something you really really want. Let’s watch videos of cats. Let’s watch videos of cats. Let’s watch videos of cats. i know, let’s watch videos of cats. sell me a cat amazon. When you shit in the toilet, where does it go?

In Indonesia it goes into a tank, unless you shit in the river. Then it is someone else’s problem, someone bathing further down. Passing our shit to one another. And so it goes. Tonight the Thames looks the same as always. No shit in it anymore, but i wouldn’t care to swim there,

The lights reflect around a few stationary boats. The clipper comes into its quay. The ferry is moored for the night, lights still ablaze. The opposite shore, the south bank is a myriad of lights, some stuck to cars and buses,

The odd jogger passes, an insane look in their eyes. I look out from under my woolly hat, an insane mind with normal eyes. An insane mind but a lazy heart. Too tired to embrace the insanity. Deadly creative, deadly lazy, deadly dead. Deadly Moore & Peter Cook. Alan Bennett & Jonathan Miller,

i do a good Alan Bennett impression, pete & dudley, dudley & peter, but then, so does almost everyone. i once saw lady in a van. not the real one though. Jean-Paul Jorge and Ringo. my son is growing his hair to look like paul mccartney,

i keep going, “Jet! ooo OOO ooo ooo OOO” paul mufartney, i say. why do you want to look like paul mufartney? Alan Ginsberg would be proud. Trust me. Though you probably shouldn’t. how come we all know about him now?

i’d only ever heard of Edward Thomas before. I’d always remembered Adlestrop, the name, because i was made to study it unwontedly, it was late ’84. Someone cleared his throat, no one left and no one came. And on that bare blackboard i saw, only my name.

Actually i studied Ozymandias too. King of Kings. Fucking Elvis or what! Thank you very much. Uh ah huh. I’ve never made a poem that rhymes. Bukowski said, ‘there are rhyming poets, and real poets.’ probably, or something like that,

Rhyming is stupid, unless you are John Hegley. i saw him the other day, John Hegley, at Forrest Gate, he used to live in Luton, which, he points out, rhymes with crouton. He probably points this out every show he does,

Bless. Bless me father because i have sinned. and so did you, you old bugger.

Bugger. It was my dad’s favourite expletive. i guess that was better than fucking cock wank. or Belgium. Swadding Belgium man. and 42 or, ‘i think you ought to know i’m feeling very depressed’ or ‘life the universe and everything’,

Some people don’t swear. Fucking cunts. Most people think i don’t swear. Why are expletives mostly sexual? Sex is dirty then? In India, i was told, they are not sexual, they are all about insulting your mother and saying she was a dog,

You come from a filthy dog, it seems. What is the matter with people? Me in particular. Maybe i should write a poem about a big old fish. That would be popular i guess. or a train station. or about killing myself. i’d be a legend then, though dead,

‘lock away your childhood and throw away the key.’ ‘don’t leave me Harrold.’ ‘you dirty old man.’

Walking in a forest, dead brown leaves underfoot, the smell of undergrowth, the nettles have all gone, birds puff up and gloomily search the cold earth. the trees like black sticks. no faces in a crowd, only wet black boughs,

No Metro. There ahead is a mound, this is a barrow. A tumulus. i walk to the top. i image the dead underneath. i imagine a wooden ship down there. Around the forest drips in its dreadful silence, watching over me, along with the dead, knowing,

knowing it’s not too far away. this could be an old battlefield. the dank trees were planted recently, so they can chop them down again. perhaps many died here, now piled under my feet. perhaps one day someone will steal my words,

They stole my pictures on the internet, so anything is possible. i got paid for one. the Telegraph. i doubt i’ll go down in history for that. who needs history anyway? i guess the historians do. what was it Bukowski said? “Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.”

On a train, back a few years, full; outside the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland. we pass over a long viaduct that curves and i can see the arches underneath. i have come from Italy. i’m fucked after hours on the train,

Coming the other way down Italy, an Englishman insulted me. thank you fellow countryman, up yours too. i used to love Earl Grey, how English. cucumber sandwiches, cricket, curry, lager, lager, lager, lager, shouting, lager, lager, lager, lager

Shouting. They shout on Eastenders all the time. i think perhaps that is good acting. is real life about shouting at each other all the time? perhaps real life is about drinking all the time, or going to the toilet, or vomiting, who can say,

Perhaps your cat would like to sing to me? Holy Zarquon singing fish. this is the end, beautiful friend this is the end, my only friend, the end. Saigon, shit. i'm still only in Saigon. Every time i think i'm going to wake up back in  the jungle. Every minute i stay in this room i get weaker,

Git owt a ma pub! Orwell was a bright lad. Too bright for me as I don’t understand his essays. perhaps I didn’t understand his novels then? Perhaps I read them on a superficial level? Perhaps i am superficial then. Perhaps existence is superficial. Yes, that’s probably it,

Maybe it is time to watch more cat videos. Or people being idiots. Maybe it is time to regret buying a new mobile phone that seems to have a fault. Maybe it is time to have my moobs gently fucked. Moobs, who’d ‘ave ‘em?

Yesterday i was somewhere else. Tomorrow, up the creek, no paddle. Today, today, is probably ok. Well, i’m still here, so that’s ok, i guess.

(2017 - This is from my book Caffeinated in Woolwich)