Friday, 29 April 2011

royal wedding

free the fancy dress three 'cos
conspiracy to bemuse tourists is not
on the statute books of this sceptred isle

but the vampires own you, it's just like
it's like
we need
Roddy Piper

july 2008

the girl who sleeps with one eye open

hair dyed the colour
of batteries, of lucozade, of bradford

bedroom mess,
leather shorts, sheeny lips, white socks and

Misti Rainwater-Lites

In the last few hours I've had the real pleasure of being introduced to Texas poet Misti Rainwater-Lites, the collaborator of my longtime Florida friend, the excellent M.P. Powers. They have co-authored the book Enrique's Motor Lodge Room #22. Buy, buy, buy.

Bye bye.

Thursday, 28 April 2011


connecting people

hi, it's great to be here, thank you for your attention, I'm conscious
that I'm the last speaker before we take lunch so
I'll get right to the point today hahahahahahaha

blow-dried, great teeth and suit
california tan, degrees
in engineering and marketing

we're really excited about the potential of the IP multimedia subsystem to create truly blended services that help enhance the user's lifestyle. communication applications are blended with collaboration services and location-based services to create compelling scenarios for today's highly mobile, time-poor and tech-savvy prosumer

in a kitchen in pinner, 15-year old lauren
cooks for tomorrow's royal wedding
street party
and tweets
sultanas or not in coronation chicken? and gets
five opinions in
twenty-five seconds

minor surgery to head off the possibility of skin cancer, immediately followed by a stag weekend

a round brown shiny mark had been a piece
of my right foot for as long as I could remember;
it was cut from me, near painlessly, just
a faint ache a day later, but still
I wasn't up to long, long walks so
wasn't it typical of that fucking twat
one-eyed stevie to lead us on a circular tour
of amsterdam's cheaper places for a pack of idiots to crash

we stayed in the one we'd seen first, an hour of,
as they say, valuable drinking time gone forever

through spliffs, beers, fatfood and hysterical bonhomie that
half-blind bastard niggles at me, a whine at my side finding
me at each coffeeshop table, reminding
me why I don't like it when there are no women around to disapprove
of the kind of jockeying joshing that serves as cover for
his baiting, but
it's a stag weekend so the only woman
is the one on stage being fucked by
some dumb stud (bored, visibly) and sliding, greasily,
a banana into her meatily bald vagina, and handing it
to the dirtiest man in our pranking band;
he eats
with something like glee on the face
I next see gurning as
I smoke the only rock
of crack I'll ever touch

your looks

I know what that look means
when the wine flows
when opinions come (some of us still have them, I know it's not fashionable)
when the jokes darken:

your disapproval, your
tut tut tut

I knew what the look meant
when, on my stag night, I knelt
with rolled tenner to inhale
my false sense of well-being at
the holiday inn:

your looking down, your
being better and the
nice one

she wasn't even there then, you
didn't NEED to be who you've become this last
decade and a half.

I remember:
your mushrooms,
big fibs I covered for you

you should too

my wife's friend

my wife's oldest friend
is rich and says things
like this:

I always prefer to have an east european nanny, they're
cheaper and easier to get rid of if it
doesn't work out

at the station in april

spring's miniheatwave: gone now so
it's all raincoats and wool but
though she's belted against the knifey breeze, she
shows a clear acre of bare brown calf tapering
to open shoes, chipped turquoise

there is a summer at her feet on
the spearmintsplodged way
to platform one

enrique's motor lodge room #22

This book of poetry and photos is by my old friend from Florida, M.P. Powers (in collaboration with Misti Rainwater-Lites). Be a love and have a look. Dowload/buy it. Now.

Powers and co. have also created a blog to boost the book. I warn you, it's not safe for work.


so I had my own place finally, it
was in a late 1960s block on the edge of well-kept estate and
I was up on a hill and I could see most of the town from these huge
floor-to-ceiling windows in the wide, bright
living room;

I'd stripped it all out and painted it and kept it simple and I needed
bookcases more than anything, so

I went to ikea with mark and sarah; we hired a van. the nearest one was miles away so
it was a bit of a day out, eating swedish meatballs in the saturday din
of the canteen there, mark messing about, as he does

so I get these two very plain bookcases and because the whole flat is so white,
I got them in a sort of silvery grey (they looked good, really. it worked, OK?)
you know how everything in ikea has a stupid name, something scandinavian you can't
pronounce usually, well these
bookcases were called BILLY and

we got them in the van and drove back and it's all
high spirits and whatnot and we pull up as close as we can to
the door of the building and mark and I wrestle these fucking
flatpacks into there and up the three flights of stairs. sarah sits in the van.
I'm 90% sure she would have been pregnant with tom around then. anyway, she
sat in the van and we did the work

so we're getting the second one up there and I can hear a phone ringing and
as we get to the top floor I think that's my phone,
who's calling, not
many people have my new number and oh fuck it, they'll call back
if it's something important but
it's ringing and ringing and I'm thinking shit it must be something urgent and I'm like
we get the bloody thing in the door and plonk it down and I'm running
for the phone and it's still ringing and
sarah's voice goes:
is billy in?

gay mates

some things do get better. more civilised really, when you think about it. so tell me if you've seen this, if you've become aware of this. this is what I'm talking about. So you're on a train or a bus, or you're just out somewhere. not somewhere posh or trendy. I'm not talking about being in some fashionable part of london. say you're just on you're way into town on the train and you're going through somewhere pretty ordinary. so I saw these kids get on the train in borehamwood. borehamwood is not smart. pretty tough, even, parts of it, some of the people you see on that high street there. not the easiest place on the eye. anyway, these kids get on and it's nearly all girls. ordinary girls. noisy, but they're ok. it's not a disturbance. and there's one boy with them, about the same age. they could be fifteen, sixteen, I don't know. so there's this one boy with them and he's an ordinary sort of kid too. I mean not well-spoken. I mean working class, alright. these are working class kids. they're all fine. nice kids, I suppose. and from the way he talks and the way the girls are with him, you'd say this boy was pretty camp. if you had to guess you'd say he's gay, right? the girls like his company, they find him pretty hilarious. he's sort of got that arch, camp, witty sort of thing going on. he's as loud as they are. not exactly making a big deal of standing out. he's not imposing himself on the carriage, on the other people in the train. you're just very aware of him. it's not annoying, you just notice it. and no one really pays attention. and there are other kids a bit older, a bit younger on this train, as well as families and just people like me, like people on their own just going into town. it's unremarkable that there's this quite camp kid with his girl friends. and I was thinking, you didn't use to see this. this is something new. I don't know when this would have stopped being a big deal, but it's not a big deal, is it? I mean, if this was years ago, like when I was at school, a kid like that would get the shit kicked out of him. but nobody's even taking the piss. and there's this stuff you read in the papers. the columnists or whatever. this stuff about white working class culture being very intolerant, about there being an ignorance. and I don't know who they're writing about, but it's not about these girls. they've got a mate who's gay and it's pretty open. well unless I'm completely misreading the whole thing. and it's no big thing to them, or to him, or to anyone who sees it, and I think that seems like progress to me somehow. a lot of shit is written about kids, about people in this country, about a coarsening of the culture, and I'm thinking well maybe in some ways, but this looks good to me. people can really be alright. this isn't a bad country.


why does someone bring a thick-tipped pen and
write, quite carefully, this single word on the
red-painted mute tall side wall of
a house that huddles close to its neighbour, (separated
by a public passage (no cycling, but they do)):


Wednesday, 27 April 2011

the band

urine sample
pest control

and then

the names we gave the band
we were in at school,

the names weren't great and the
band wasn't either

chubby munckin

beside the sea

Tuesday, 26 April 2011


when does it stop?
the noticing a woman (girl) and you
think she notices you and
there's something there and she
works in the same building for
the same firm, just
around the corner; we don't
have anything to do with
that lot really so I'll never speak
with her, why would I
I'm a married man and I don't play away,
why would I and anyway she's
just a cute-ish chinese-ish-looking chick, short
with sort of bandy legs and
thick-ish calves though I've never
minded that

so when do you stop noticing girls (women) like
that then?

english reserve

an african man slaps
his ticket on another windscreen

you fucking cunt, you fucking
black piece of shit, I hope you
get cancer and die you


in this england, pale orange fur falls
from trees in spring and swirls
round our feet and
gathers in banks where
paving slabs are split and sticks,
darkening, to
wide splash-shapes under
bus stops and
churchyard benches near
the centre of town where
weekend drinkers throw up
protein and fat and special sauce on
fucking classic nights out, you
should of seen him he was
wankered, mate, it
was hilarious, the bloke's
a legend and I was all like
come on you lightweight

the fluffy blanket

we got this blanket as a wedding present, really
you'd mainly use it as a coverlet for your bed, I suppose but
I lie under it on the sofa when I can't sleep; my son (5)
has it on his bed as a kind of weird treat on winter nights and
always throws it off 'cos he gets too hot and
it's always called THE FLUFFY BLANKET or
just THE FLUFFY and
it just won't die and

when we were childless and when she
asked me to do something I'd say
leave it to beaver though I'd
never seen that show and
"beaver" became this heroic character I'd
play to her amusement/bemusement:

a CARTOON beaver, small so I'd have to
crouch, wrapped almost entirely in
my head showing and
my upper teeth protruding and
guffawing and
it worked best when I
was naked under

the information society


standing on a station platform
seeing a poster for a jeans brand;
a slight rise at the sight of
the hispanic chica whose
nice arse is doing the selling and
she's named on the ad so she must
be someone

googling her on your phone
learning she once gave
a sexually transmitted disease to
an argentinean footballer

Monday, 25 April 2011



bank holdiday

trousers and jackets

rich in vitamin c

take jesus

here for the rangers

today's attendance:

here for the rangers
you're only here for the rangers
here for the rangers

wife beater

brighton and hove albion

does your boyfriend, does
your boyfriend
does your boyfriend know you're here?

sing when you're rimming, you
only sing when you're rimming

stand up 'cos you
can't sit down



I poured martell cognac
over raspberry sorbet
it was

that is all.


seeing a bloke you think
you know

creep up, tap shoulder
BOO (jocular)

it isn't him

boo? what do you mean boo?

front it out
I mean boo to you, cunt
what of it?


so I had a poster in the front window
for the big march in march
smash the con-dems and all that and
it didn't stop this prick from the
liberal democrats knocking

I'm probably being optimistic he
began all
ho ho ho and
he he he

yes you are, cunt
take your fucking tory shit and
fuck off


she's from vienna and
at thirty-four she could be
twenty-four and she
has a fashion blog, pictures
of herself, snarling
in shabby elegant disarray, all
long leg and platform shoe

and she keeps
posting lines from bukowski and pictures of
the dirty old man of san pedro

too good to be true but
it's true


I know everybody's Birthday, I know what people's Toilets look like and Random people are getting poked everyday.

i meet my bf,and break from in relationship

I learned to liked what I disliked


everyone is exposed lol relationships are ruined and shit!!

I may have not keep in contact, reunited, or found what i never could emagine a friendship i would have with the people.

hard men

big mick:
on the dancefloor slapping body-builders, he's
the hardest man in bracknell

big chris:
went on holiday to colombia with his mrs., they
were FUCKED, mate
it was heavy, even for him, smoking these
roll-ups where the paper is coated
with pure coca paste or something
yeah, something like that

be a shade braver

there's this advert on the TV, this woman is walking down the street and she sees a pair
of red high heels in the window of some swanky shop and she's, like, omg, totally got to have them, right, but
she catches the eye
of this very snooty shop assistant inside and, get this,
it's like she's TOO SCARED to go in and buy the shoes

she's intimidated

well, what is it? she's scared because it's an expensive shop and she doesn't have the money or doesn't
fit in somehow, feels all insecure in somewhere so perfectly pointlessly hateful?

but, it's okay, she whips off the little hat and we see now that
she's DYED HER HAIR with 'beautiful, natural tones' or some bollocks like that, so
confident she can stride right on in
and, confident, she can
stride right out and
cut through city crowds in
her new shoes

be a shade braver says the husky voiceover

dying your hair makes you brave enough to face down the icy gaze of a shop girl and, heroically
buy some bloody shoes

people buy that? god help us, the
world's gone mad, that's
all I can say

I mean, dying your hair doesn't make the shoes less expensive does it? so you
might be BRAVER but you've still maxed out
your credit card;
I mean, maybe it's not braver, it's just more
be a shade more stupid,
yeah, haha, why look so fucking
pleased with yourself?

Sunday, 24 April 2011

sandpit lane




you see the number of people following you
on twitter has gone up by one and think
I wonder who it is

Adult2Dating HotGirlsForYou

so, popularity must wait
a while longer

forty-one years old

where I grew up we
gave all the pubs, like, our own versions of
their names, so
the bell and crown was the bell-end and
the cherry tree was
the chezza and
the jolly sailor was, well
that was just the jolly;

I was about seventeen when I started doing that and
since then I've moved away, moved
back and moved away and
moved back and the last time I moved away was years ago now but
just last year we were thinking of moving back down there 'cos it's cheaper and
well, you never know, but no one
I went to school with lives there now, well
almost no one, nobody I like anyway,
there is one friend, but I didn't go to school with him, look
it doesn't matter, all
I'm saying is that I'm forty-one years old now and
I still use those names for those pubs, and probably
I always will


I worked with this guy two summers in a row, well he was my boss, but the whole job was childish and we were all just kids really. idiots. it was mostly fun...
you wouldn't get away with it these days.
he was slightly rakish, like a seedy appeal... a sort of withnail and I thing, if you get me

bad teeth, posh blonde hair pushed back in untidy handfuls
round glasses, impish grin, roll-up fags, public school (wasted?) accent and dead-men's trousers
(charity shop specials)

women liked him,
even young pretty ones; charm: you can't buy it

he rented a playstation with the company's money and sat cross-legged under his desk playing it
that way nobody in the hall outside could see him if they
looked into the room

the second summer, he had this huge party in his raggedy garden, drunk
I fell asleep in a plastic lawn chair and
woke up handcuffed to it, of course the keys
went walkies and that was a fucking adventure I can tell you.

I didn't stay angry long, you
just couldn't with him

one christmas they called me, well it was
boxing day and I was like, who calls on boxing day
why would they call now and before she spoke I knew it was bad
and she said it's about bill and I
knew what was next

so the funeral was soon after and
it turned out on christmas eve he'd told each of the few people
close to him that he was with somebody else and then
ended his life quietly

it was all ex-girlfriends, yes some were
pretty and (still) young and they didn't get on and
I'd done my bit and
I just needed a drink on my own

at the cricketers I knew the landlady, kind of a friend from that whole scene around town and she
said why the suit, have you been to a funeral?
yes, I said.
shit, shit, sorry, she said
and I was like, don't worry but
I got a free drink out of it
and thought for fuck's sake it's like he's still here

old navy rum

a latvian man, teenaged when his
young old country was ground
between moscow and berlin,
he went the german way, big and ignorant in
waffen ss colours and totenkopf

god only knows what he saw or did because he
never said in all the years he was just the drunk arsehole, sitting
in my grandmother's living room, always
repeating himself:
do you want a sandwich? do you want a sandwich? do you want a sandwich?
and never losing the hard-to-understand accent though
he spent longer here than back where he couldn't return
and longer on merchant ships than anywhere dry

he'd come back with piles of frozen meat and bags of bad
knickknacks and
no stories from any of those faraway hinterlands.
he doesn't make it past the bar in the port, my dad said

when he died my nan denied
he'd been more than her lodger and we thought
fuck me, I've heard everything now

he was like this:
her birthday, we're all eating in a place in whitstable and
his brain locks and all he can do is
old navy rum, eh?
old navy rum, eh?
old navy rum, eh?

agamemnon road

my first home was
my grandmother's place, where she lived
some of the time with the man who laughed,
drunk the day her husband was cremated and
there was some old austrian refugee lady upstairs in
a room or rooms I never saw: a boarder; it
was a boarding house and it
was cold, with hot water just briefly in the morning and
that same medicated tracing paper bogroll like at school and
a stuffed, real crocodile with marble eyes lurking on the dark
landing, scaring me almost every time and
in the living room, big blue glass bowls got filled
with peanuts and quality street as she kneeled bonily with pursed lips and
another cigarette, two bars on the fire on a bitter day and
two drinkers round a china lamp-post, I think it was a lighter and it
played how dry I am when you lifted it and I liked it more than
the eyes of the knickknack shrunken negro head on top of the tv set

my mum's dad had said
let me paint the room, they're coming home from the hospital and she said
no, I'll have it done but
she didn't do it, so
it was terrible in there and my mother cried and my nan said
alright, let's have a look at this baby then

she could never say my mother's name without saying 'er..' just in front of it, like
she couldn't quite remember it.

american suburbia

There are many, many excellent photos of America's ever-shifting suburban landscape right here. Recommended.


I love you

Saturday, 23 April 2011

pillow talk

I just need to get up and clean my teeth

go on then

I will, I'm just adjusting
my penis

adjusting it?


adjusting it?

yes, just...
adjusting it,
I can't explain it, leave
me alone

what would you do if you
woke up one morning and
I had a penis?

do? what do you mean do? there's
no point thinking about it, it's never
happened: a guy wakes up, he's been
married for however many
years and his wife's completely normal, they're both
over forty, it
doesn't happen.
do? what the fuck are you talking about?

strictly private


Friday, 22 April 2011

this girl, one summer

the german-speaking girl from
italy, she
has curves, curls, wide
laughing brown eyes, is
sun-kissed, me-kissed
and prized
open, and
walks on
strong tanned legs and high,
high heels and feels
great, she says, and is
- about the business of pleasure
- that this will last forever
- in the kitchen, my friends' kitchen
that she takes over, filling
us, the house with the mothering wonder
of her clattering cooking, bright colours, rolling hips
and gifts we didn't expect
she's gone, but not, she says,
for long

I get postcards, letters in a childish hand
hearts for the dots of i and j,
calls from a payphone I imagine
on a steep südtirol street

she's coming back to me at easter,
then she can't come,
she can't come because
her parents don't know me so
I should come there and I say
OK, then I say, no, no
I can't and she says
OK, she's coming anyway and
I wonder how and don't
care how and
at gatwick airport she
doesn't turn up, and
I never call back

and neither does she

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

lunchtime stroll

the holy koran

just here please, mate, just
like in the front yard of the church here

just here?

yes, spot on
lovely, thanks

3.50 then, boss
so do you live in heath road then?

no, just behind the church

yeah, 'cos a lot of people ask to be dropped here

well, it saves going all the way round

OK, can I ask you a question then please mate,
have you
read the holy koran?


well they do it on the internet now
free, like



near a bridge

slow and steady

renting a big, bright room in barnet
working for a landscape gardener, picking
the pekingese shit from large lawns
watched one day by some
old  boy
slow and steady, young man
slow and steady
slow and steady? slow and steady? up my arsehole
off that job but
doing others later

buying a very old mazda from a 3-bedroom
semi in hendon, they guy is a greengrocer, loves bikes, does coke
sells us some

it's cheap: he needs the space and it has
no windscreen just a plastic sheet
driving it anyway like that for weeks, losing
patience on a long run of speedbumps
terrifying passengers taking it onto the pavement somewhere
in south london on the way
to see joe lewis (louis?)

no, not the greatest heavyweight the world has
ever seen, just some
bloke with long hair


a face from years ago

stealing very heavy
garden ornaments, taking
hours and getting

all night stripping the lead from
the roof of the closed-down hospital,
lugging it across yards and
over walls and
leaving it 'cos his van (borrowed, main-road-parked) has
been pranged unusable by someone who
didn't leave a note

broke, wants a beer and heads pubwise in hope;
these are the cocaine-sons (moody) of smallish businessmen, with
a fresh shirt in the boot of dad's beamer on nights out
in bracknell

do you want to buy my boots? (dm's, worn)
buy your boots? buy your fucking boots?

that was pukka

Sunday, 17 April 2011

her dad

the next day I thought ok, give her a call
so I called her mobile but
no joy, so
I called her parents' house and
the dad answers

that spineless prick

can I talk to her?
she doesn't want to talk to you
you're annoying and upsetting her

no, I said
she's annoying me and
upsetting herself

and that was the end of it, or
so I thought


I had to deal
with people all day saturday and
I didn't know if we had a plan
to meet up, or where to meet up
or whatever; I couldn't think about it so
when I'd finished there were
VOICEMAILS that made
no sense

so I was like oh shit and I called and called
and you didn't pick up and I was like
fuck it, I'm going home

finally you called me when I was about 80 miles
from you and you were like
come back to london, and I was all like come on be serious
I'm here now and it's late and she went
where are you, who's that talking there?
well, so, I was at my friends' place already with wine
maybe lines of charlie, I dont know, all those nights round
there were kind of the same, but good anyway and I don't remember
what happened when or whatever

so we're arguing and it's stupid and it's boring and I've had
enough of it, really and
I almost sat on my friend's cat and I was like
fuck, shit, sorry

what happened?
I nearly squashed their cat

so, she goes, you care about their bloody cat more
than you do about me, well
I knew it was serious because she was too prim to swear
most of the time

as it goes, I said, right now, yes I do
and I turned my phone off and my mates were like
what was that all about and I went
you don't want to know, really


you were just a pain in the arse
well, most of the time.

ten or so years younger but uptight, upright like
the daily mail or the twitchy curtains in the
subsuburban avenue where you grew up, mad morose dad
henpecked to fuck by madder, poisonous dark-eyed witch-mother italian peasant
muttering curses, criticising somebody for eating
a peach the wrong way in
hateful fucking clutter of tupperware and cheap tightwadded surrey, honey


one week of sunshine corfu, living on feta cheese and killing the ants in
the little apartment while still cock-numb and sweat-slick from the
sex you thought was dirty but you liked it and
feeling you loosen, lovely little legs parting, walking carefree on paths up hills and down to the sea we
never swam in.

so I thought it could work but,
no, back with bags at gatwick your dad put you back where
you thought you belonged and yes,
yes, your mama made it worse again
you look ill, she said; didn't you get any sun?

Detroit and Mongolia

Detroit, a dying city fast crumbling into desolate urban prairie, attract photographers fascinated by the sheer scale of its decay. The pictures are often strangely beautiful. See the work of Yves Marchand and Robin Meffre and of Timothy Fadek.

Fadek's series of photos from a trip to Mongolia are also very good.

Saturday, 16 April 2011


we lived in a flat that we couldn't afford and we
had many other problems

one small problem was mikey who
lived downstairs, came from mauritius and
drank all day

keep that fucking noise down, mikey
would scream into the intercom when
I was lying motionless on the sofa reading
a book

come down here, said mikey one day
all your stomping around, look
at my ceiling, so

we went at looked at it
at the round
dent in the plaster

a broom was leaning against the wall in the
hell of mikey's dark living room;
the end of the broom fitted
perfectly in the hole; we walked out of there

da vinci systems

heathrow airport in good time
for the flight
taking a shit;

the toilet paper dispenser is
made by da vinci systems

with a biro, someone has written
that cunt
thought of everything

pound lane


carrying drinks
from the front of a pub to
a room in the back,

sorry, mate.

I'm not your fucking mate

pub, London W12

Friday, 15 April 2011


a few weeks ago
I was walking to the
train station after work
when I heard somebody calling
out to me

a van had pulled up at a
zebra crossing to allow someone
across the road

mate, said the driver
looking me in the eye
mate, I've shit me pants.
that's unfortunate, I said.

then I went home and forgot about it
until today.
I still don't know what it

Cardiff and the Balkans

I think most of the photography here will indeed be made in England. Also, I'm usually not inclined to take pictures of people.

So, for something different, do have a look at the great work of Cardiff-based Polish photographer Maciej Dakowicz. He has captured the people, chips, fag ends and blood of countless nights out in the Welsh capital with wit and precision. His shots from a trip around the Balkans are wonderful too. Enjoy.

clarence road


birthday party

lemsford road

fuck yeah

st. mary's street

Bukowski wrote this

Bukowski wrote this some time before 1994:

now it's computers and more computers
and soon everybody will have one,
3-year-olds will have computers
and everybody will know everything
about everybody else
long before they meet them
and so they won't want to meet them.
nodody will want to meet anybody
else ever again
and everybody will be
a recluse
like I am now