Category Archives: Madness

Sockedelia

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For Christmas (ages ago now, I know), I received no less than 25 pairs of socks. Many of them came in wonderful, colourful designs. This poem was inspired by some particularly mind-boggling socks. It’s also inspired by the fact that drugs are, basically, a waste of time. I want to clarify at this point that I’ve not actually ever taken drugs (beyond caffeine) but from what I’ve seen, I don’t think I’m missing anything.

I like to perform this with colourful socks as props which I place over my hands and use as sock puppets to deliver certain parts of the poem.

Sockedelia

I’ve never yet been persuaded
My perception could be better aided
By chemical agents

Not yet been convinced
To rinse my retinas
And see the absurd

Life is already bizarre
Far flung nations’ day to day existence
Is as alien to me as any drug induced vision
Standing up too fast when I’m tired
Inspires phenomenal out of body experiences
Besides
I carry my highs with me

My own toe twisting
Eyeball blistering
Rainbow fistula fallout

My own glimpse of inter-dimensional gyrations
Oh yes
I’m talking about wearable hallucinations

‘Cause I’ve seen shrooms
Vacuum packed into little
Individual snack sacks
Seen whacked out friends
Transported from their locked in heads
They said everything is just more UMMPH

And I’ve seen LSD
The temporary tattoo
Of hands tapping mindlessly
While eyes gaze at lights that are lighter
At colours that are colour-fuller

But I’m satisfied my eyes are well provided for
Why would I need Lucy in the Sky
When I have Susan Observing Clouds Killing Sumos?

No substances
No awakenings
No gurus please
Just allow me to demonstrate
My size 8, ambulatory, great illumination

Trigger warning: May cause flashbacks in the flower power generation

 

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Only a mild legal high this evening

Let’s Grow Old Together

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I’m unsure as to what I should say about this. People worry a lot about getting old. They shouldn’t.

Let’s Grow Old Together

On his last day of life, his old wife had been tinkling
But hurried out crying, on spying an inkling
That shortly she’d wither and blither and crinkle
A sign of senescence, in essence… a wrinkle

Her husband awoke and he spoke to her sweetly
In mirrors he sneaked his own peek quite discreetly
And cried in dismay at the grey on his head
I too regret I am better off dead

They rushed to embrace and to face the cruel fact
They took off their gloves then, in love, made a pact
She cried This is it, we must quit! then, all told
They died where they stood, as you should when you’re old

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This rabbit is looking a bit long in the tooth

iMatter

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Without sounding like too much of a cynical, old man, I think that social media and the advent of smartphones has created an obsession with the self. People go mad over likes, retweets, and whatever other social media things call that stuff. Not only that, but it inflates people’s egos because it paints a strange picture of how much they’re appreciated and how much people value their opinion when they’re really just stuck in an enormous echo chamber!

iMatter

iAwoke to overnight notes from my enablers
A fresh fix from my Facebook feeders
Six likes and two ‘shocks’
On my Xbox live stream
And a c-lister retweet of my anti-trump grumbling

iknow when iGo out
I’m recognised
No, no, not famous
Just remembered
See my characteristic flat cap
And snap on wrist bands
Alight with neon branding
Unique look
I’m unforgettable

The girl at the till checked me out
And eyed me up as she did so
It was subtle but iKnow she did
One day I’ll ask her out
But not yet ‘cause, you know
Too busy

iWrote a paragraph
In a colleagues goodbye card
‘Cause iKnow it’s me he’ll miss
Man, he’ll say
There was this guy where iUsed to work
Just, wow

I’ve got a few youtube followers
Subscribed to my weekly drivelling diatribes
The brand is strong
And iHold the most stock

‘Cause if I’m not the main character here then who is?
And if my self-worth comes from numbers
People knowing my name, or at least my face
At the very least, my voice
Then what choice do iHave
When someone else takes the stage?

Experience has made it clear
That what iSay is well worth hearing
Besides, iWon’t be rude
Just cheekily endearing

This is it
This is mine
My moment
iDraw breath
iLook about
iShout
uSuck

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Never again have I matched the dizzying heights of 5 whole favourites on a tweet…

As The Sun Dies

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This is a bit of a cynical poem to be honest. A while back, I went for a super fancy afternoon tea type thing in a posh restaurant with my girlfriend. It was pretty expensive so not the kind of thing we do very often. As we ate, drank, and chatted, I couldn’t help but notice other couples around us. In particular, I couldn’t help but notice their behaviour.

They weren’t talking to each other.

Several other couples had evidently paid a large amount of money for the same experience but, upon arriving, took out their phones and ignored each other. I was horrified by it. The view from the restaurant window (very high up, looking out over Birmingham) was stunning, the food was delicious, and the company was wonderful. Why would I want to be on my phone? But this is pretty typical these days. This poem is about people who have lost interest in real life and prefer to live through social media, texting, twoots, chapsnats, facebogs etc. It’s all part of a general turn inwards and obsession with self-advancement. Cheery stuff eh?

Also, it was written to be performed so maybe try to imagine it being said out loud. One day, I’ll get round to making some videos of my poems.

As The Sun Dies

There they sit
On the 27th floor outdoor balcony restaurant
For sandwiches and drinks
She thinks she’s picking up good vibrations

But it’s just his phone
Drrr Drrr Beep
Ping
Another text requesting he ask his date to

Wait

While he lets his friend know how it’s going

It’s good to see you she says
I know that work keeps us busy
And it’s silly to expect you
To give all your time to me
But it’s
It’s good to talk

Mmm he replies
Instagramming a ham sandwich
Minutes pass in silence

 

Drrr Drrr Beep
Ping

 

Until at last he speaks

You look beautiful
She smiles
And while he can he snaps a picture
Niftily sifts out her blemishes
And tweets it

Fact to phone
He screens her out again
Too busy painting data of the date
To live it

But she remembers the time before
The man she married
Before in sickness and in health
Became in signal and for wealth
And love took second prize
To pride and picture perfect appearances

In desperation she takes out her phone
And finds the photo he recently posted of their food
Hashtag lunch with my gorgeous girl
She comments Happy Anniversary

His phone quakes once more
Drrr Drrr Beep
Ping

His eyes flicker up momentarily
Then up again and longer now
He looks at her
As if seeing her for the first time
His gaze falls back to the phone

Hers lights up now
Oliver likes this
And as he poses for a selfie
As the sun dies on the silver skyline
He doesn’t even register her leaving the table
It’s erased by his filter

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#blessed

 

Beach Gate Hut

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I spent much of this week stewarding at a Christian festival called Word Alive. I had to guide crowds, set up venues, tidy up etc, and, to be honest, it was quite a draining and difficult job. There was, however, one absolutely wonderful duty. There was a gate on to the site called the ‘Beach Gate’ because it led down to the beach. Every couple of days, I had a 30 minute shift at this gate.

There was a small, one person hut for the on duty steward to sit and and check people’s wristbands as they entered. There was colouring in to do in the hut, someone had hung balloons up, and it was generally a nice escape from the noise and busyness of the festival. I spent much of the time in the hut singing Paul Simon‘s new single Wristband and writing this poem.

Beach Gate Hut

Hut by the Beach Gate, secluded escape
At the nape here of Pontins, the steward’s retreat
A small grey oasis, a warm bottleneck
For the checking of wristbands and resting of feet

It’s clear of the clutter of any marquee
And it’s free of the bustle of crowds in the hub
So rest in the nest of this wanderer’s crib
And inhibit pedestrians not in the club

30 minutes are yours, til the next guy gets here
But don’t fear, you’re in charge for the next half an hour
The authority’s yours, do whatever you choose
Til you lose all control and go mad with the power

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A tattered remnant of my fallen empire

The Curious Case

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I had actually completely forgotten about this poem (if it can really be called a poem) until I flicked through the notebook of my earliest stuff. I don’t really know where it came from but I thought it was strangely compelling. It also features a truly awful and nonsensical pun.

The Curious Case

How very curious he said
And died
But he wasn’t a cat
So far as I know – which isn’t far
But even a broken pen is write twice a day

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This is quite a curious case

Tender Lure

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I know I’m stretching the link to Valentine’s day now, and this poem has an extremely tenuous link but just go with me for one more week.

This is not quite a love poem. It’s a poem about love gone wrong. It’s about several men who fall in love with meat. Sadly, it’s how some men seem to view ‘love’ these days anyway.

Tender Lure

My simple brother Jack caressed
A juicy, dripping chicken breast
Its curvature
And tender lure
Resistance: Hard at best

But watch my cousin John appoint
This governor: A gammon joint
A sumptuous feast
Of scrumptious beast
But tell me, what’s the point?

Then lastly, Uncle James has wed
A sirloin steak, cooked rare and red
So soft and sweet
His lawful meat
He’s taken it to bed

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There’s something fishy about my housemates new girlfriend