Motorway Poem

I was under no illusions as we escaped the city

Watching the night and lost in the wisps of live music.

I thought of the Jetstream of the 60’s dream

A concrete moment in 1967 that cracked by December

When flats grew cold and the hippies froze

Then the dream deferred leapt into the sordid 90’s

When cockroach parliamentarians were as drunk as Withnail

And I saw the final remnants of peace and love in

The cocaine afterglow of cool Britannia

With flags plastered on champagne skin

And close fitting ribcages. I snapped from my remembrances

And naïve theorizing as the motorway lights blinded me

And I grasped my knees in fear thinking

‘Oh god’ but father began to harmonize as I considered

The majesty and mechanics of Nick Drakes right hand

Whispering William Blake innocence in the haze of Jane in autumn.

No need for obsolete baroque impersonations

The fashions of a company bleed into the rebellion

Streaming through the veins of psychedelic teens

Who wear bellbottom jeans to compensate for lack of personality

Could I borrow something as simple as a cigarette?

A line of code or a coda in the delicate prayer of jazz?

Or can I weave words into days, hours into ribbons,

Dresses into snow. Sudden stops. Can’t see

The traffic cones five feet in front of me

Sudden burst, could cold thought

Be any cheaper in city brains?

False nihilism, dust on wooden floors

A disease tended to with ennui

And nobody stops to care.

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The Cat

Thin stray cat stops and stares at me

In the haze of early morning;

Car wash shower mist over the fence

And autumn pine smell in the air.

Cold eyes green and bright

Motionless limbs and twitching ears,

No lights in windows yet,

Cars have not left their driveways.

I am stood still

Been a while since I’ve seen a cat,

But I’m running late.

I take a step

Gravel dishevelled

A rock turned

A molecule or two slides to the side,

The cat lightly runs away

Into the driveway

And disappears.

Cheap Street

We all rest on cheap street,

Some convulse in wasted anger

Red eyes shot at the rain,

Those that succeed do so in silence.

The brave seek the jungle,

And move like they were born

To the scorn of the ones

Who refuse to believe the street exists.

Red wine rain on New Year’s day,

The first bell and the street turns crimson.

Catch what you can, they last.

A Ramble

I left behind the smoking wreckage,

Walked away from that old fire.

Oh I caught my whale alright

That was a product of my sight,

I can fake the chills in the night

Though I have never been there.

I can feel the sand on a shore

That I have never been too,

And conjure up a false emotion

Strong like a blue star.

I had a hit, or two, and sadness comes

When you realise you are not the only one.

That is not the case, however you may believe,

We are all whippets on the track

Chasing the political game

Wrapped in torchlight, melted candles

Restaurants with smiles and fake smiles,

A shiny car, belief in your fingers,

Simple breezes in thinning hair.

I am not one of their associates

I am not a corporation

But I am not an outsider like Odysseus,

I am not an open and tumultuous wave,

I will never be a Spaniard resting at midday.

Yet I can come close

In a summation approximately 12 lines long,

A parable, God I need a parable,

A world captured, it is Gabriel.

Mambo Cocktail

Gris Gris
Distant thunder
Mambo Spain, Cuba
Not the same
Cadillac Rock
Simple rhythms and pulsating beats
Slap bass rumble knife
Rocket voodoo money woes
Street sand, dirt, drink – drink
Cocktails, night time, Reagan
Economics: Drugs, no
Blues, yes
Poly sounds surround screeching parrots
Talking palm tree beach smoking
Huts tropical sea breeze
Louisiana stretch midnight party
Mardi gras poverty wooden floors
Happy life, swaying branches
Middle suburbs in spring
True love, Neruda Lorca
Let the Latin in.

Stream of City Consciousness

Walking out of a yellow stone wall bar
With a half empty tequila in hand
Ice falling out of your pockets
A serviette sticking out your pants
A cigarette ½ a centimetre in your hair
A signed Polaroid of the dancer
Who works telephone operations in Detroit
Mexican night cap sombrero slender
Cat wailing night time driver got batteries
For the smoke alarm back home
His wife is 180 pounds and works at Macy’s
He’d mow his lawn if he had one
You look at him with disdain
Ash mingles with the tangles in your hair
A gnome waits outside with a pitchfork
And the happy accident of 85 rides in
On a chrome horse
Probably out of dice again long trip Reno in the rain
Naked beat drunk midnight train
Hollering moon unfortunate crow with teary eyes
Children hide behind grit grey blinds
With the lights on watching the late shows
While mother vomits, husband cleenex drain clean
Big bop band draws the scene
Picasso, Van Gough they got change for the subway
Pop penny’s in the cracked hand of gorillas
With furrowed brows lying on the streets base feet
Lined with leather shoes on 1905 pavement
On 5th street constructed with earnest in 1886
One month since the publication of the daily paper
Rats take shelter in the covers there children
Squeal with hunger, virginal daughter makes an offer
Passing light shines dull and devilish, it’s belief.