Friday, 21 April 2017

Nationwide BS

We're gonna miss it
repossessed. Me and nan
our kid in his vest.

The barbeque from
B&Q, the garden –
weeds are growing through.

The house weren’t mortgaged.
It was me. I swapped my
soul for slavery.

You were the pimp and
I the whore. The thing is
who is paying for

the hundred plays I
never wrote. The music?
Not a fucking note!

You took my dream of
liberty. You bought
my creativity.

You should be punished
for your crimes. Instead you
offer comfy rhymes

soft focus dreams of
what we had. But where
were you when times were bad?

The factories, the shops
closed down. The life sucked
from this hollow town.

We needed help you
walked away and now you
give us poetry.

You wanted us to
be like you. To join
your pin-striped wrecking crew.

Your easy finance
was not free. It bought us

A million loans a
millions cards and 
a million prison yards.

We’re gonna miss it.
Repossessed. Me and nan
our kid in his vest.

The barbecue from
B&Q, the garden
weeds are growing through.

The house weren’t mortgaged.
It was me. I swapped my
soul for slavery.

Thursday, 23 March 2017


Hungry and deprived of better meat
The bulldog snaps at gristle in the street
Snarling at the world, this slavering beast
Begs for favours at his master’s feast

Let this dumb animal express our creed
The hubris of a nation gone to seed
A canine lacky to the ruling class
A monster with a poker up its arse

Now we are leaving Europe watch the news
For blander food and longer airport queues
Let the English sycophants bend over
Retreat behind the shattered walls of Dover

The vote was rigged, the stupid seized their chance
For intolerance and ignorance
Enough of Luther, Sartre and Foucault
Cleverness is alien, you know

Dull of wit, the English cur was beaten
Surrendered by the gilded sons of Eton
Our dreams our ended now, for who were we
To hitch our flag to foreign liberty?

Henceforth let us be ignorant and narrow
Take up the English tankard and the arrow
Compliant slaves, our hopes and dreams are shot
To live in fetters is the bulldog’s lot

Please donate generously

Somewhere in our country tonight
a blank face from a mirror stares back

a lonely tormentor turns off the light
at night, there is no-one to attack

daytime is their prime territory.
It’s true that they could victimise the cat

but since animals do not cry
where is the satisfacion in that?

When they are tucked up in bed
they have little opportunity

to oppress those who are merely talented
with their terrifying banality.

To obfuscate, browbeat and confuse
to knot the stomachs of their prey

and render them horribly depressed.
They need you. So give to a bully today!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Ballad of Yellow Hair


You know this is a quiet place
And simple folk we are
That’s why we choose who’ll run this town
With whisky in the bar

It takes a very special guy
The sheriff’s star to win
It seemed to be a lucky day
When Yellow Hair came in

His golden locks looked good to us
His promises seemed sweet
He said, I’m gonna kick their ass –
The bad guys on the street

I’ll fix this town, I’ll drain the swamp
I’ll make those hombres pay
My silver Colt will do the job
At noon, on Saturday

Eleven came and then came noon
At one, a shout went round
It’s Yellow Hair in the saloon
At last he has been found!

We saw that he was breaking bread
With those he claimed to hate
The twisted and the sick at heart
The meanest in the state

He used the toughest ruffians
To guard the bar room door
And now he spoke profanities
Not like the guy before

What about your promises?
At last a brave man cried
Who are you? Said Yellow Hair
You cannot come inside!

He’s started being loud and rude
And boasting of his gold
He’s always been the baddest dude
And craven lies he’s told

You could say that he toyed with us
But then he gave us hope
His currency was powerful
The six gun and the rope

You know this is a quiet place
And simple folk we are
That’s why we choose who’ll run this town
With whisky in the bar

Somewhere in the deepest hell
Where men parade their sin
It’s unclear where their badness ends
And Yellow Hair’s begins

Tuesday, 10 January 2017


You could say that it was a dull story.
I gave you when and where, but not much what.
Not much happened: not like the action guy
whose brave deeds get the girl in the last shot.

The hero does not reflect or look back
he does not need to. His why
in the final analysis
does not stand up to much scrutiny.

At least you know something of my biography:
the sheets I sweated in; the upside-down days
when rain pattered onto the rooftops

the frowsy streets printed on my memory
the hopes and moods that impelled me.
I was the Ulysses of the library.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Philip Larkin is on Top of the Pops

Phil Larkin straps on his Gibson SG
for the blistering riff of Mr Bleaney.

It's his chosen weapon of attack.
He looks at Johnny Rotten – a flashback.

The Sex Pistols had outraged the country
with their foul-mouthed ranting on TV.

Thanks to their anthem, God Save the Queen
they were more outrageous than Benzedrine.

How he had admired their first LP.
when was still at the university.

He wrote a letter; Johnny said ‘join us’.
So he went down to London, on the bus.

His first gig was a room over a pub.
Next thing, he’s playing the 100 Club.

Steve Jones is toast, says the NME.
Larkin brings to the band a new energy.

See him swaggering down the King's Road
he has finally killed off work, the toad.

Punk’s gain is a loss to the library.
Each slab of noise is a sonic elegy.

There's a tender savagery to their sound.
Marr had Morrissey, Eliot had Pound

Lennon had McCartney; he has Rotten.
The grey mornings in Hull are forgotten.

Rotten scowls, from Sid a cheeky grin.
One, two, three, four … Paul Cook counts them in.

Smile like a fool, pull out the organ stops.
Philip Larkin is on Top of the Pops!

Monday, 26 December 2016


These three flew too close to the sun
but now in their embroidered finery
they are pinned to the dust of history
glowing faintly in a junk shop window.
Their crushed velvet rebellion
that once burned so brightly
seems like a trick of memory.
Did it happen? Now all are gone.
Like three tropical deities
they play on. Squandered royalties
and blown amps don’t matter now.
Answering a muse higher than poetry
with their amazing musical alchemy
Jimi, Mitch and Noel: their last show.