Early on the 13th

Early on the 13th

I heard the church bells down the street

I saw a reflection in my lover’s eyes

I caught the sun breaking through the curtains.

 

I thought of dedications and declarations

Hymns and poetry and movements like wine or ivy

All short enough to ensnare attention.

 

And I wondered if I’d found balance

Or if I’d stray like abstracts or jazz,

If I lit down in a country of romance

Would I meander like a fickle tourist?

 

Things crowded my mind

Early on the 13th.

Advertisements

Ideal Party

The parties I want to attend

Throw champagne in your face in disgust

Then scratch your car; and

They play something smooth like honey

On the speakers. You talk to a narcissist

Until you’re ready to beat them with the bottle.

No matter your turn of phrase you somehow manage

to demean and offend the artistic upstart

who you’ve been listening to for the last hour.

You fall into the pool

And the ripples make the moon light dance

All around You. Then you stand in a dripping

Blue suit, smile, and walk out.

Average Day

Propulsion, speed, Opera

Bowling down the road in sleepless coattails

And the same gloves you slept in –

What a gorilla, devoid of inspiration

Wallowing in howling sin, desperate as a star

Ready to supernova. Arrested for jaywalking

And screaming at the police for offences

Mismanaged. Work in the morning,

Sad wailing musical pipe dream romance –

Stale coffee. Dreams written as tattoos.

Every eye is on you like Apollo: a crumbling obelisk

Cursing to the dirt, asking the earth

“Why aren’t I rich yet?” – Some kind of prayer.

Writing for NME

It’s an aspiration,

Nay! A dream!

To destroy a hotel room

While my body is as weak as a guitar string

Left on a guitar by an 80 year old

Farmer who’s seen everything before.

But, unlike him, I’ll be dancing

Gyrating like sin, singing and drinking

(Attempting to do both at the same time)

Ready to interview a Mancunian upstart

With a fringe

And a paisley shirt

But the guy will have to call me and not give up

Because I guarantee I’ll be passed out

In glory.

Conflicted

I’m waiting for fate to hand me what I want

Because to go out and grab it shakes me to grey

And I retreat. I want to wake early, before the world;

Get the bus, work. I want to write the feeling

Of changing seasons, that which excites

And fills the air with sweet leaves falling.

I want to know the names of streets

And follow them like a natural dance

Not having to look forward in a white shirt and tie.

And I want to rock and roll – but to write is to

Be safe. And that’s easier.

Belle and Sebastian

Thank god Belle and Sebastian came along

To save Smiths fans in English classes in the 90’s

With sexual confusion and Nick Drake jangle

Pop fusion. What is it about wispy words and

Shambolic melodies of silvery pop, like carp

In a pond, that makes the heart start like

Kerouac’s car in a book not yet read?

 

It’s like the rain in Cambridge, or sun in Oxford

Where Wilde is king of the homesick

And the music pours like a quick gold fix of Shakespeare.

Plaid skirts and small cars on muddy lanes

And coffee dates under grey skies with scattered planes,

She’s got hair like Tina Weymouth, she writes in French,

Her eyes are a deep brown. She speaks like jazz,

Or a Mancunian in the slums. Her mother’s a nurse.

Goddamn, I’m in love. Time to Tipp-Ex those lines of

Cynicism that flow like waves in my notebook.

Fred Schneider

I let Fred Schneider into my house

And now we’re selling discount fish

At tourist prices but I suspect my house

Is haunted now and a constant fog

Drifts through it like London and the walls

Are damp and blue. We have problems with

Seagulls and men with hooks for hands in

Yellow cagoules. Jazz is banned to my chagrin.

Tai Chi is practiced by the dirty green bottles

That house our experiments. Hausu, what a film.

Summer is busy for us but the day trips to the bay

To gather more fish are always a treat.

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.