Inside Cellar Walls, (330 Commercial Road, E14)
A splinter of rain in the cool yard; the endless smell of perfume and decay; a splitter-splat of rain on leaves, bird droppings; the wind-song in the shadows; a tonal splash of dust, damp air; branches sway, leaves flicker in a breeze from the river: Imagination chooses an individual’s path, through a garden of hunger.
The cold cellar smells of mysterious perfume; a plateau of flowers above me; birds jump like monkeys through the trees. The window hidden by ivy covered wa1ls, midday sun casts a dusty beam for an hour when the backyard swells open to the sky; closed by a tapestry of foliage argumentative sparrows. Two African Marigolds like green nuns blown over by the wind. I put them under the sink, green necks in a pile of tipped dirt. I bring my crippled hands, forgotten songs and poetry to spiritual seclusion from the outside world; exhausted by the day’s work; resentful of people for their violence, madness, and day to day pain.
A concealed Pandorran box opens. Wild romantic roses grow amid the tumult of ivy clinging to the three story building. A beam of sunlight penetrates the cellar like a laser beam, vanishes. I sleep, a strange otherworldly sleep: Prisoner Dream. The cellar grips the events of my life that threw my inner self out of place within me.
Sculpture stands in the enclosed garden, vegetation amassed about them, the hand of a bird ghostly in the storm; the heart of an owl bleeding in the night. The window is open across the ground. I watch the rain, white sky, light, sound. A petal falls from a lush white rose.
The cellar becomes dark: flowers loose light and colour, sparrows plummet into exhaustion; the smell of the earth, carpet fading evermore into colourless rag, the wooden crate glowing in the twi1ight, my pale blue sponge still bright. I look through the window, light a candle; eat bread and honey, wild roses in the dark rain; and the statue of Beethoven, ghostly white in the candlelight.
The man-who-depresses-me, in a mirror fragment, that drifts from doorway to doorway, weightless, goes to his room. I see his reflection, also a fragment of me, a shade paler than I imagined, depressed. The man who-depresses-me reflects the anguish I don’t understand. I go down the spiral of doubt into the cellar; no light, no heat and no water, just loneliness. A splatter of blood on the wall, I cover my broken window with cellophane, stitches in my wrist. A heart squeezing loneliness; a face to face with life detachment; songs noted down in my notebooks lying in a vacuum of hopelessness. I stare through the window to the empty garden.
I am buried in a fantasy, a vacuum in my mind; I am buried in dirt like a plant. There is no cellar only the perfume. My books of poetry turn into pages of savage visions. My heart beats wildly. I awake in a fit, sweating, half dead with fear, like a withered rose.
The ceiling has a hole from where plaster has fallen home for creepy-crawlies. Nailed over the hole, the unfinished full size self-portrait of the man who depresses me, one leg is red, one arm is dark blue and his head is day glow green, poised like superman in flight. The canvas is six by six feet square. One corner is obscured by a zigzagging water pipe.
There is so much space this evening. The sky is blue; rain occupies the space, so immense it makes us seem eternal. Where does it come from? It surrounds us as we shelter in the building. Where did it begin? What distant universe has it traveled through? My mind imagines a golden light in the far sky. It has boldness, substance, and activity. It swarms, melts, and hardens. It falls from the void into the prison of the unseen far sky into the house of darkness, the house of dreams. Tiredness, a cloud evaporating, a rain shower in full moonlight with stolen light darting, twinkling into the ground; into the depths of my being; a sulking tiredness, on the train of deep sleep. Sleep wanders a pathway to the pool of life, phantasmagoric sleep drifts through cinders of a burnt out forest, collecting the images of dreams lying in ashes; a jigsaw of illuminations that swings forth at night.
It is the summer of 1979, thunderclouds roll along Whitechapel roads, Mobiles of light dance in the backyards. The forces acting on the old house are twisting the stone sin. Three stalks of Gladioli sway upwards, pink blooms step into the gloom impregnating the cellar.
My neighbour’s room is empty for the weekend. This evening, the tub that contains the dripping water from the broken pipe in the closet was overflowing. I emptied it down the outside drain. The cellar collects the stink; dampness soaks into me, my clothes, bed. I turn the chair from the window and sit down.
A vacuum in the cellar; a vacuum in me, the cellar is dying; I am dying, the sky brightens; the cellar brightens and I brighten. The sky looks sick, the walls are crumbling and I feel dizzy. The sky is dizzy, the walls are sick, I am crumbling. The roof will fall, turn to dust. The sun will brighten but the cellar is shaking. Nothing is real, all is dark; nothing can be identified.
The cast iron fireplace, the old iron bed on the stone paving, Wellington boots under the twisted yellow sink; someone else lives here, yet they don’t. I am that someone else, but I am not. The cellar suggests the presence of a servant-gardener of the I9th century. The collection of furniture belongs to another personality. I imagine this person has come to life.
There’s no rhyme or reason, alone I go out at night, but I cannot communicate. Boudicca is there, sinister lies fly through the deep darkness. Back against the cellar wall, the window is a sheet of mirrored candlelight. In the reflection I see again the room with the barstool. My friends are total strangers they argue with Boudicca. This morning they were so at one with life. Now dark impenetrable forces search every visual surface for a weakness.
I am a child walking past a wall, a slum wall, division between the outside world and me. It seems to protect, imprison and hide me; I feel afraid to go too far away from it. There is a strange thing imbedded in the wall made fatty tissue, I stab it and dislodge it with a stick, it darted in panic and glided out of sight. It was alive. My heart beat faster.
In a Garden of Eden, mysterious sculptures of skeletal abstract bird-heads, like false gods that a primitive tribe worships, waiting to be brought down by the true one. The tribe obviously is the Iceni. Boudicca divides the people into tribes. The womenfolk divide the tribes. So the people are divided.
The man-who-depresses-me awakens in the middle of Christmas night. He sits in the rocking chair for a moment, rocking anxiously, confused. He must redress a balance. There is something down in the cellar. He goes down the steps, opens the door, and closing it behind him. He pulls up the paving stones to discover a crate of bright white glowing female figurines in a box. He marvels to see them then puts them back and returns back to his bed, to deep sleep. By morning he has forgotten his dream; the cellar is back to normal.
Aug. 30th. Morning. I move the furniture into new positions.
Afternoon, I move it back again.
Sept. 3rd. I move out of the cellar. I take the bed and chair with me. The kitten is the first to move into the vacated rooms above, has a look of relief on its face.
It’s been raining. – Now, I’ve been caught;
I’m back in the old prison. familiar with this dream spell,
the reappearance of which I cannot escape for long.
In an emotional frame of mind I turn things over for a while;
set in my ways like concrete I stumble over shadows of old forgotten truths.
The novelty of running from myself is reversed
and I’m faced with the same old empty room.
Sunlight falls into the cellar through the attic of clouds.
The land turns white; a page of sunlight glides through the air
– descends from the summer sky and drops onto the cellar floor.
I begin to read the writing, anonymous erasers drift in the sky
– a door closes on the sun, a man in darkness breathes a sigh.
Wind barriers, sound barriers like bright white lights.
I am longing for new puzzles; trapped by old nightmares.
Facts falling like jigsaw puzzles into dense electric light bulbs.
Daylight in cellar atmosphere moving like silver shadow;
Falling from ladders of old architecture
he has no part in the builder’s plan.
Falling down onto an old foundation,
long buried under the darkness of time
My Hand through the Smashed Cellar Window
Smashed cellar window, my hand bitten by jagged glass.
Transparent darkness below the party.
I fall to the floor with drunken fears that reach the pit of my stomach.
I become a dark embryonic shape that cries like an animal.
In the darkness what I hear is one of many voices;
one of many languages tangled up in pain.
Will It Happen Tomorrow?
A vacuum between here now to the shores of a new Kingdom.
A sweet perfume of expectancy over a desert of quicksand.
Through the visual melee of mirages,
So intense they fill the air; so eternal the heart cries
To be taken further from the dark door.
Is it just a dream?
A river divides the seen and the unseen
On the bank I am a child of many colours.
In the light I look across and see darkness
In the darkness I see nothing.
I go to discover the other side and I drown
I disappear into a grave of water
A new existence takes over – the river.
The river of life? sea of death?
I drift down to the ocean into a cradle of the earth
I float upon the mirrored surface.
A fragmentation of knowledge evaporating into the firmament
As if the universe were a room where mirrors slip from the walls
Of an original parent giving birth to a new man.
When will it happen?
I cannot come to terms with reality until I know it will happen
I push love out of reach myself to seek a new clear key or life.
It’s there I know it is; it is more than what it seems.
But why can I not see it? Why can’t I know that I know it’s created?
I Am a Noble English Poet
I am a Noble English poet
– Whose voice has been betrayed
– Whose suffering is condescended to
– Whose spirit is not their slave
– Whose language is not needed
– Who strains at conversation
With those who say they’ll free me
Those leaders of the nation
Thrown into the lake of leaders
Whose noise is always uniformed
While in my silence I seek Jesus
While in politics I am uninformed
I am a noble English Poet
In the thorn bush of institutions
While you climb the marble steps
I want freedom and a solution
Every spirit is different
No spirit is the same
Only disguised by mechanical law
So tell me who is to blame?
I am a noble English poet
Obscure and out of touch
The mirrors face is invisible
The other side is a crutch
The Man Who Depresses You, #1
– a rider in the tunnel of death was laughing and dancing
thought you a fool as you stood solemnly sad.
– a driver of the big wheel takes a lover into his room
an invisible, pretending lover who never leaves.
– a child in a jesters costume will not leave you alone
cannot see your crying soul or care for your feelings.
– a newspaper full of distress good to pass the time of day with;
at night your lives become separate as the chasm opens and swallows you.
like nailing new soles to an old shoe you cannot imagine his kind of love
growing so tall and fruitless he cannot quite imagine yours.
– a workman in an operating theatre is found dancing mysteriously
around the sun of his private world then laughs to see you so alone.
The Man Who Depresses You, #2
– says you are not to go with him,
slams the door upon your coated body has gone into his other world.
– becomes someone else.
a father who ignores his family for expensive lifestyles, exciting parties
– now returns home, a tired and bitter man
defeated and alone on the doorstep leaving vapours in the darkness.
Tramp Punches Priest on the Steps of the Church
Tramp punches priest on the steps of the church
The priest in his frock falls down on the church steps
The tramp storms by a curse on his lips
Lorries from the ferries thunder past
A fat black lady just passing by
Runs for a policeman to get him arrested
Priest staggers back up the threshold steps
Into the cavernous Catholic Church
I’ve seen weddings at that church
Confetti, top hats, limousines outside that door
Where the priest preached hellfire to the dirty tramp
To find him self brought down
Image lock fastened, fossilised beneath church choirs;
Trying to be socially acceptable.
Image lock, locked. A road of dreams through darkness;
Sorrow horses starving by moonlight.
Image lock secure. Freedoms mask was momentary;
My mind goes through tunnels of fear.
Image mask discarded. Only truth can use my skeleton spirit
Torn apart by burning chariots of wild horses.
Inage mask broken. Voids consumed by alcohol;
Mind like a pool in the desert.
Image key lost. Thrown over an old castle wall;
I wander through ivy masses like an orphan.
Dear freezer of diaries
I play a game of chance in the tube tunnels of life’s action like an ultra blue bullet
Dear diary of frozen light
A frozen aura obscures the harvest
A white frost snatches the magic box
Horses gallop prematurely onto the racetrack
Dear diary of lost light
The speaking waters curse the chant
The back street curses a famous mans tomb
The b1acksmith laments the loss of faith
Dear diary of wasted light
The locksmith of your love has been robbed
The wave of events turns you into sand
The fortress of change opens to the Trojan horse
Dear diary of ice
The smiling ventriloquist’s dummy blasts into kaleidoscopic colour
The tapestry of reality leaves the earth in darkness
Dear diary of the object
Hidden in autumn’s defenses you appear with the bloom of spring
Not knowing the time of day
Dear diary of the observation
Optic nerves stand upside down in darkness
Pages turn over chessboards of disorientation shedding layers of identity
Dear diary of the tomb
Bring the light that follows sleep: bring the love that avoids the desert
Help the living to see each other’s endlessness
Horses and Cans in the Empty Waste-bin, (Work poem)
Horses and cans in the empty waste-bin
The gun of the sun choking the machinery
They know I write poetry
They think I write all that stuff about young love
But I don’t it’s a dirty subterfuge
Their minds stick into me like barbed wire
The jab of machinery is like a punch in the gut
The world is so dark and vague about life
Romantic notions cause me to live a fatal lifestyle
I look at the people at the altar of machinery
Withered flowers in light bulb gloom
Mechanical concentration of bored people
A gaping wound spilling nerve cries
Onto the concrete’s silent response
John It’s Snowing! (Party poem)
John, it’s snowing!
Shaftesbury Avenue is covered under
as you search in the darkness of an eye.
You arrive at the midnight party
with the familiar face that you mask the world with.
I’ve been running in circles trying to find a ghostly identity
You say you no longer flee in drunken fear
from your failures.
John, it’s snowing!
Believing you know the truth about everyone’s despair
you dance until dawn like a child who never grew up.
In the middle of the night
the eye of winter is white with the nativity of escape.
The night is over, it’s still snowing.
You sit like a dummy in a glass case. you look at me with your blind eye.
The ice will not melt.
You leave the darkness and the broken glass to resume your search again.
Life continues to change me,
failures still break me.
A Snow leopard is trapped beneath the car roof.
I repeat a favourite phrase that you echo.
Knife invisible feelings cut through me with claustrophobic sorrows.
The Sun Is Bright
The sun is bright But it isn’t in the sky
It finds me out It blinds me in the eye
Tiny running man Giant hungry cat
You have nowhere to go
Running in the eye of a target
It’s not the love you cannot find
It’s the loneliness inside
It’s not the love you cannot hide
But the loneliness in your mind
Man you‘re running
But when you stop and stand
The sniper will put you
Back to where it all began
Solar Light Falls
Solar light falls over towering buildings
A girl, so luminous walks against the concrete
A crown lies in the pool of a mans blood
The monarchies palace is dwarfed by the beauty of a flower
She places her hand on a jewellers window
Screaming with pain she takes it away
The flesh of her palm stuck like melting plastic
On the shiny glass
Running through Smithfield meat market
She sees that the butcher has a smile
Like the inside of a pig’s carcass
If the streets had adopted themselves to you
There would be no city
A New Life, (Work poem)
Looking out over the tops of trees swaying in the wind
amid tower blocks of a London town.
– rain cascades down
You sold your sou1 to the factory
You couldn’t speak
You were afraid of loosing time that is free to everybody
Swollen hands used to the choreography of machinery
now free to forget the production line rhythm
A feeling of emptiness
A name disappears from the clock in the rack
people becoming just another crowd in the melee of humanity
I Am Vulnerable
I am vulnerable to the war, the love war
Please don’t fight, please stop fighting.
I love you; don’t let it die like that, out of bitchery
Don’t fall for false declarations.
You see the whole world milling between us
Sooner we leave it there than be hurt further.
But if you do come, don’t be tricked
Don‘t start fighting, don’t fight.
I must hide my face; I must stem my tears every time, I am vulnerable
My whole feelings are like loose ends in my solitude when I think of you
All my feelings that are remembered from a past life
That never had life to begin with
I Am a Child’s Blood in Snow
I am a child’s blood in snow; I am a new born that is starving
And someone has already begun using you to hurt me.
How can I love you out of hurt?
How could I have loved you ever?
You let them hurt me so much
How could I give you my love? How can I give you love out of pain?
You see, I don’t understand, You never told me
I don’t see the connection; but why?
You always tell the wrong one, I don’t like it.
You tell your heart to the wrong messenger.
The Wind Tightened
The wind tightened around the sun
The sun falls into the dark mud
I have no time to play games
If games are all he’s good for
You who play games
The wind gives no glory, it brings the sky falling
I Am Not What I Am
I am someone else.
I am the silver behind the glass
But I am not even the silver.
I am the storm that breaks the glass
And the glass that keeps out the storm,
I am the mirror in the darkness
As pliable nature loosens
and changes behind its own masquerade.
I am the sea; she is the seagull
He is the river; she is the fish
The river looses the fish
The sea looses the seagull
Then a mirror covers the waters
The hunger that I feel about eternity
Is answered sadly by eternity
With promises that hold nothing but eternity
I am waiting, struggling, changing
While the night weaves comet trails
Over the secluded garden
As I change into a new set of clothes –
My heart grieved silently
At the thought of being secluded
Of not being what I am
I am filled with feelings
I do not understand,
The freedom that I need flies over me.
I mirror that which I feel
And become unreal.
I am only just beginning
To know who I am
You Play a Game for a Living
You play a game for a living; you turn day and night into a pack of cards
You only use half a pack at a time, shuffle, and deal.
The Queen of hearts disgusted
walks out and leaves a nasty pit for you to fall into.
Then the Jack of Diamonds
Sees the spirit of the party has gone
He walks out on you
He leaves everyone quarrelling.
Soon all the hearts and diamonds go missing
So the spades gradually cover you over
As you struggle to climb out of the pit.
Then the clubs, who are wild, beat you down continually.
You play a game for a living, its called living,
But you can’t seem to hold onto – a winning hand.
They slip through your fingers like sand.
(You stand at the card table, alone on the seashore).
You’ve grown to look like the cards you deal
Full of holes – then you blow away in the first wind of autumn
You play a game for a living; it’s called living.
You turn people into cards but you can only use half a pack.
I Dreamt Of Talking To People
I dreamt of talking to people.
Finally talking to people, strangers, friends, everyone.
When they say before a party – I‘m ready for living
When they jump up and dance
I think, where have the been – Inside their heads?
Did they give life to themselves!
It’s nice to be together, with no leaders
Or everyone looks at one another
Wondering how it all began . . .
I dream of talking to people.
I wish I were more of a talker
But even that becomes a masquerade
I have to talk even harder
And wonder if I I’m still sane.
I dreamt of talking to people.
But the control room has collapsed
With the weight of worms
What good is it to reach the moon
When the countdown room is in splinters?
I dream of talking to people.
The metropolis whirls round,
What it flings into your lap is never the same thing twice.
Your feelings toward each other
Change like coaches on a track.
It’s always the same train I catch
But never the same coach.
Hey, I’ve lost someone
– Someone to talk to.
I went under the bridge they went over.
Tell me where they’ve gone?
What I’ve done wrong; why I lose people like this?
The Whole World Is Glass
The whole world is glass, I am its mirror,
Too small to reflect everything,
Though in the distance is the horizon.
The whole world of energy, motion, is glass almost nothing.
I have no idea where this glass belongs.
No change, no metamorphosis from glass into life truth;
From consumer glass hunger into dancing circle of joy;
I see this glass, bending, distorting.
What goes on in people’s mind-lives?
In a glass maze of life that is about to gush forth invisible
Some real truth that no one will see.
I have pain . . . heated hang-up pain.
It glows, glimmers, goes cold, and then
reverses with obvious loneliness.
A simple common denominator
everyone should be able to see, to join in,
widening its circle, making it louder
with song, frenzied with laughter, hysteria, joy, truth.
The Birthday Cake, (Party Poem)
Climbing the tower to the light beacon
You look out alone over an island.
Where did it come from, that pain?
Is this the real light?
You descend to the doorway
to see crowds surging through the metropolis.
Where did it come from, that loneliness?
I cannot understand why do we go through so much pain?
Can you repeat that again?
This time the loneliness makes you look sick and white
In a mirror, in the lighthouse,
But whose lighthouse, where?
The star of the show is sick again, talking of memories
Never letting anyone free from the play
Until they understand the pain, she goes through.
I cannot understand why we go through so much pain?
It’s not us; we are not to blame,
The metropolis is a wasteland
The lighthouse is a sham.
I lit your birthday candles on the toy train
It burnt your birthday flowers.
Is this the vision I’ve always had?
Flowers wilted and blackened by the burning candles on a birthday cake.
I am Alive, (Beaujolais Grape Harvest)
I am attacking every night
I am far into the unknown.
I am alive, I am alive, I feel pain
I smile, I hear
The birds in the trees
Of priests and nuns
In the street, whenever I meet them telling them, I am alive.
The whole world of people
Will burst out of their game machine
Hands lifted to the sky
As the fog of time lifts out of their minds
Crying, I am alive I am alive.
I Am Alive, (Beaujolais grape harvest)
Who has ever told you you are alive?
When you were born
Were you told you are alive?
Three beautiful sounds
The first three thoughts my mind, ever experienced since I began life
These three thoughts never realised never spoken by anyone until now
Three thoughts of four syllables
That is equal
Three thoughts of three syllables
Three thoughts of two syllables
Three thoughts of one syllable
My first three original thoughts
But I kept my arms at my side for lack of any idea
Why I should wave them about
Not for sport or to leave the room
But to wave them in manic excitement
But my arms never responded
The three intangible thoughts
That never registered in the world
Whose many languages
No longer express original thought of Life
Original beginnings of living
I want children
The first thoughts I will say to them
Hey babe, you are alive
Then we will wave our arms about
In excited jubilation and laugh
I Was Talking
I was talking
Trapped beneath in
While I forgot
But saw a picture of myself
Behind a curtain
Talking tears crying talk
About escape freedom
Suddenly I realised
I was the postbox’s mouth
Used for words
In an envelope of death
The window winter sang
The shadow gatherer
Giving out trick shadows
Unwound my attention
Until I was eternity
Wanting only loneliness
In exchange for information
Of a picture of himself
I was a fritter sizzling
Floating in oil
Like the mind in words
The preciousness of life
By the blanket un-roller
I am here I told him
Kept at arms length
Like a corpse
I felt my underwear
Being pulled over my head
I was in oblivion then
In a crown of thorns
With only sweat in my veins
What is he seeing?
My thermometer said . . . . . .
Thinking . . . . . .
In the midst of conversation
How my life has changed
My head and chest
An origami structure
As my mind separated
From my body
Like a matchbox
Futile engraved on your dream
On all your dreams
Head bowed sky bombshell grey
Back turned on society
I wandered along unknown ways
It rains I feel nothing
I expect rain as prophesied
By infant dream
In whose head, nightmares exploded
Diffused like raincloud raining down
Nightmare fallout, blackened mind,
Tainted hopes and sexual drives
Tainted melancholic futile forces
Of X-ray clouds canceric growth
Living now in the unknown
Searching, piecing an alternative
New fragments of thoughts
Tugged at by psyche and sight
Ultimately fail to communicate
My personal futile vision
My very soul, my shadowy existence
Light falling through grayness
Into tarmac drenched reflection of sky.
People walk backward in time,
away from the point of apocalypse,
a star twinkling in the sky,
a little light of history
at the bottom of some city steps,
that is next to a river,
winding, crashing into my memory, my younger self.
I Need You to Tell Me, (Beaujolais grape harvest)
I am alive
I need to say to you
You are alive
I’m sitting in the dark
On a Sunday night
No money, milk or bread.
But I’m alive
I feel pain
A false language
Whirls in my head
Problems, plans, ideas
I have no time
To say, I am alive
I understand the language
It does not have firm ground
I am silent and defensive
The superfluosity of language
I struggle hopelessly under a landslide
Of words, burying me
Trees, birds, animals, flowers
They have no language
They are free
They serve each other
They are alive
Hey, I am alive
Hey, fruit trees
Come and grow
Outside my door
I’ll have fruit for nothing
Then more fruit trees
Will grow all over the city
But they will not allow that
Not fruit trees
It would ruin the economy
No one would need to buy food
But this very simple fact
Makes this language
As I crossed the misty Whitechapel road I saw some alcoholics
Gathered on the green opposite the library
Against the shadows, intestines pumped full of alcohol.
Then I saw plump clear female eyes.
The green grass field behind
Surrounded then invaded her shining face as she saw me.
The alcoholics were lightning strokes of silhouette under an aggressive whirl of nasty talk.
In Adler Street, I had the fear
Of being run down by a taxi, black hooded
In the windscreen I saw a chaos of reflection
Knew how deaths sign dissolved language
As I said telepathically between worlds
Look, don’t, I am alive.
The Seeker for Love
The seeker for love passes the mark
Finds the truth fragmented
Until he realises life is love
Rolling downhill like a snowball
Stopping short of the hilltop
To make him realise he must climb it someday.
The search for love goes passed the mark
The milestone stands out in the wilderness
Against the winter where a few days past
The wanderer looked at the sign
Another hundred piles to the town of rebirth
The town of flowers where there is no love
But lots of excitement that no one understands.
The search for love goes passed the mark
Till one night you scream from a blizzard of thought.
I’m here looking at you, throw out your game, destroy the dice
Against love, for love, because you forget
That passed the marker a man is waving his arms
Trying to draw attention to his heat and soul.
Philosophic Angel, (Beaujolais grape harvest)
As a child I felt I had no future
I was always climbing The highest hill
To see out of the world When a war is declared
From an old radio In a dark silent room
I dream of it in terror
No one speaks of the future
No one had time for me
I was told nothing About growing up
My parents were poor Never foresaw me growing up
Never bothered to help me Because I had no future
She looked at my blisters “You feel pain,” she said You are alive.”
Then she kissed me
I ran up the hill Waving my arms Beneath the starry sky
It happened next day, again
I was afraid of her
She was a philosophic angel Sent to tell me
To make me remember
In my fragmented mind shell
I was feeling pain
She went away
Could someone live my life?
I was alive
The distance between us
People with no future
People without a present
I walk beneath the clouds In the unknown
It is grey everywhere
The sky is like a bomb
Rain is falling, lightning, thunder
The bomb in its metal covering Is grey like the sky
I walk through the unknown with it
I Was Completely Mad, (Drinking poem)
I was completly mad
My head was exploding
Ghosts were holding me down
Everyone left me alone
They did not even see
The deformity growing within
I tried to put out my cigarette
I could not stub out the fire
I stabbed it into the ashes
Again and again without success
It seemed to resurrect its self
To refuse time and change
The lighted cigarette fought and won
It threw me back time after time
Into the past where everyone whirled about
Like clouds running to catch the sky.
Madness had frozen me
Then, slowly, the juices ran out
Shrieking from the rotting fruit
The chemistry of madness broke up
Despair, isolation, fear
Had finished their boardroom meeting
To resume their normal jobs.
I had been drinking
I was nauseated by alcohol
That turned me white as a sheet
But not drunk enough
To tear off my mask
It had to decay
I went for more drink
Then people came over
They recognised something
It was my face
It appeared through the smoke
For a few moments then withdrew again into obscurity.
Other people’s faces registered
Like leaves on a tree
In an eerie supernatural clearing
In a deathly vision
Still, silent, pensive
With no wind, rain or fire
Even words failed, as they do
To communicate my plight
But I do not put any blame
On things I do not understand
No one could control the chaos
So I was found yesterday
Paralysed in a barroom
No one noticed the strange cigarette
Still alight, and threw it to the floor.
MUSE, WHO ARE YOU
DEC 1st 1980
Tread the new path. Treading the new path – no present does it have – voidoid – parting of the days, clearing of the ways for the androids.
Swimming a new pool, once around the world or more, all I see/only to see war, children of the bomb, where’d they all come from phenomenon? Paranoid android, ban the bomb phenomenon.
No one believes me
When I say I tried
Look at me
I loose my mind
I don’t believe in myself
It’s easy that way
Just let me hide
Love just puts me down
Love broke the glass for sure
Left it in my heart and closed the door
The fire cries at the midnight hour
Alone in a dream that’s none too nice
The fire dies for the dream is sour
The flame of love is taken from my eyes
The soul scream in its spilling dream brain helmet shadow cast against the sun, the night, the stars, electric music on legless hips sat upon a dead planet amplified in stillness. Lips painted red shining wet dripping saliva into the formless faceless empty void.
A dead bee in an old jar, you empty him out, loose the image in the jar. The unconnected image looks in from the outside upon the ruins of your dreams as they whirl like quaking slums of cities lit up in penny halfpenny street light trying to find the smile connection out into the spring day. A bitter cold day, a dead honeybee in a glass jar killed in the first sweep of winter, a dead honeybee in a glass coffin for you to examine against the cloudy sky.
The bomb-town children forgotten by the city divided by an invisible line at the bottom of the sky between Mile End Road and the accountants shining tower blocks The bomb-town children living in a web of warehouses and ruins, alcoholic dives and institutions, hospitals and schools.
Spring in the heart, but winter in the soul; a dark crazed fugitive soul alone in a mad maze of mod socio-war fun fare, falling through structures of death made skeletons. I want my soul to be equal, to be on a plane-level with peaceful world landscape.
JAN 18th, 1980
It is an irony of Christianity that I do what I have to do to keep alive and yet life is always empty. The room, the person in it is always alone.
It is night-time. The man sits in the back half of the room crouched over the gas fire, depressed, in his mind a black cloud, pierced by the desire to sleep away the depression. The front half of the room is forsaken, it is not his room someone or something else has it from him, the cold, a burning angel, the past, a droning noise that brings black aggressive depression.
It is morning the man is searching for words, music, and a voice against those who think him a failure. He is awake, sitting in the first half of the room, typing next to the lit gas fire, staring, musing on the back half of the room with the mattress, the amplifier, and electric guitar, at the tall curtainless window that emphasises the still-lifeness that captures all the sunlight
The man and his work and the burning gas fire, the surrounding emptiness around all of his possessions. Emptiness – nine tenths of what he owns, while of what he owns is dispensable, frail illusions to fill the space.
The man discontinues recording this narrative. The gas fire was making him hot. He went into the cold back room, lay on the mattress. The narrative continued in his mind alone and progressed to thoughts he quickly terminated because they were too depressing and went to wash. He suppressed his thoughts from this narrative, summarizing them, a whole state of mind that no one knows exists in him, in a few words — my private thought and continued with the examination of space, sense, mood, colour and reality bringing him to this sole point in time, typing a general narrative that ends now because there is nothing else beyond these words to reveal anything more about the circumstances.
He is living in a disorderly house. A winter of chaos unsettled his mind. New ideas that never worked, new work that was the wrong idea, a cloud of confusion that took him up the stairs into an unconscious dimension bleak and troubled; pursued up a tower of stairs by depressions until at the edge he descended realising, laughing like a toad at fear itself. It is morning, he awoke early. The confusion settled, the house took a breather. Was it a battle for sanity that he had been taken into? Yes it was. He tries once more to steady himself before insanity grips him and the house drags him up into another whirlwind of exterior forces
A collection of bones, an open grave for the bodies of tortured, executed suspects, times change, the torturer must leave the graveyard, the interrogation cell, left behind are the bones, unidentified by mark of cross. Children gather them into heaps beneath the Cambodian sun. Civilized man finds them, murder, savagery, and then he finds the executioners files, their names. What belongs to whom? He must examine them. Post mortem. Check the teeth, the jewellery.
Mirror image, it is death; it is decomposing of everything I am, here before my eyes, desperate mortality, art searching for the sign of immortality, searching with many eyes, many warriors. Struggling in the river of life to death, to underground river, to ghost, for the immortal icon, or the immortal design, for the unmistakable proof of the souls metamorphosis, in a blueprint, a microdot, a painting, a film, a song. Search, search, art is full of clues that point to the road of eternity, mystery, amorphous, impatient for the truth, the touch of life that lives beyond death.
It lies on the pool of a pebbly beach. Water curling, a handful of shells and pebbles of silver… It lies in the stomach of a blue shark, with Lewis Carroll pouring tea from his china pot, for a girl in orphan rags who holds a torn and severed sailors arm….
It means nothing to you, you cannot read the message wrecked across the world like a broken dream. Your stomach covers broken glass from the window that shattered, blasted by a storm, tears filled your eyes. Sunlight falls and tears a desert across the globe like a red scar, like a wound, a grazed knee, cuts over the equator like a flame, a burning sword gash. Then away to fade in endlessness.
Guitar hero hung on a cross of thick frozen ice cream. Star of Bethlehem above the synagogue. A dream of truth turned into stone. Reality, a sign to be dreamt of; reality preserved by theatre to mark the milestone of life’s seven lengths of the pool.
JAN 25th 1980
Waiting for the painting
To dry from my eye, I
Pick up the guitar and play a few bars
Waiting for the painting to dry.
The future is imagination. I am a prisoner in a cell, no visitors, no communication, how will I be freed. Turn my back on the window. Stare at the mattress, look the amp, standing in the shadows. It has power. What do I want? I have lost out on the future; my electric guitar makes me weep.
A new moon, it is a cold night, Watney Market tower blocks against the clear night sky. Twinkle, twinkle little star. Loved ones, there are some loved ones in my life. It’s impossible to show, to talk, and to love: Father of the stars. My mothers face shines, she’s looking for me, she’s looking at me and I have to turn away. I heave with sadness. My father has gone out; a shop steward he stands in a crowd of managing directors. My father has gone out; he catches a bus into town, for a drink with his workmates. My mother sits and watches the late night film alone. My brother comes home, he complains. My father comes home, they argue. She stays up alone to watch the fire fade into the early morning. I go home. There is no conversation with my father. My mother cannot cope with my teenage ideas so she says nothing. She’s just an ignorant orphan, knows nothing about nothing. They never knew me when I left. They never know me when I return. My openness becomes a wound to hide in, a vanity. Their relationship has ripped apart my heart and they have forced me out into the streets like a whitewashed punk with limestone hair, sick on milk and mad as a bear, walking through puddles and spitting at the night, lonely as hell and as high as a kite, pasted beneath wallpaper, a cry gathering void, that sparks like tinder-wood, and dreams so annoyed. No looking back, no curtains to draw, no looking forward, empty tins on the floor; empty tears in his eyes, empty thoughts in his head, empty life in his dreams and a cold mattress bed.
My eyes are turning purple, purple flames jettison out like melting nails. My eyes are closing over, like a boxers eyes in the ring, bruised over by punches of heartbreak, kicked by tears.
I cannot do enough to get the friends I want; I cannot find them. Treat me good; treat me fine, I’m just a superstar who’s having a bad time. Give me a mask, one that smiles, maybe that will help for a while. Give me some hope that turns to dust. Make me a promise that I can’t trust. Tell me your secrets then I feel down, the very next day you won’t be around. Time goes fast; I have a lot of grief, moronic with loneliness, searching like a thief. Hey, Mr. policeman, truncheon, tyre, wreath! The zebras in the zoo cage and night is in a wet suit; the junctions like a black balloon twisted round a lamppost. Just like a snake in the zoo, venom in denim sniffing glue.
Impossible odds bleeds, roped into doing something. Examining ghosts of the image culture/bomb culture; smoking hash into empty lung, getting doped/loony, going down into crypt darkness. Drunks illuminated by skylight, sitting rebel soulless in the corner, getting stoned. Hey cat, hey man. Above, in the space the organ grinder plays a Bach sonata. The bells are ringing for me and my gal, the party’s swinging.
Go down to Jubilee street surgery with a swollen hand, hey doc, what is this, cried in alarm. The alarm bell buzzes nauseatingly. I cannot work with my hand like this. A septic bite, fingers swelling, one by one.
I was with you that night the saxophonist played in Leicester square, Charlie Parker number; you got a taxi home, never paid the fare; hard up painter man getting it together over a period of time; a mind preyed on by doubt and insecurity. Crawling out of the wreckage of a car, right down to the level of a hobo, only a matter of a few quid separates you from them. Gutter health death fear pressing on your mind, in the corner of your mind, everywhere you go, hanging above you like an angelic bell. Going to practice with the band, playing electric bass, making the house jump as the East End dole queue lengthens, you’re always on the end of it, Pop artist, searching for a model, girlfriend for life drawing. Bass playing pop artist, dole queuing car crash victim. Painted boots, plug me in, mushroom cloud skyrockets, psychedelic color, speeding, empty stomach, empty pocket, Cool’o’mondo, (Cool as death). The future looks bleak, the prospects took dim….. standing on deaths doorway, an East End unknown. Heart in the East End, the realistic level, what is painting all about in today’s terms…..
What is writing all about in today’s terms, the electronic band? The Grapevines set piece, the synthesized deck poem, the heroic prose rebellion, the stand up propaganda drug psalm, the sonata spat in a bible lyric.
JAN 26th 1980
Thought I was in love this morning
Now I cannot even see the door
This morning I thought I’d have love tonight
Now she don’t think of me no more
Thought I was in love this morning;
Now can’t even close the door
This morning, thought I’d have love tonight
But now can’t see clear no more.
Would she live for my life like I’d live for hers?
Would she be the love I’d always put first?
I’d like to find out, but would she get hurt
Neither of us seems to have loved.….
Write to her in purple Write to her in blue
Tell her I’m in trouble And the trouble is you
Tell her I need her Tell her my news
That the sky is falling How could she refuse?
Thought I was in love this morning
Now I’m alone with the blues
This morning I thought I’d have love tonight
But it seems I haven’t my played cards right
FEB 3rd 1980
Something came up, I stop what I do, my face in my hand, thinking of you. Something came up, I stop what I do, my hand on my brow, thinking of you. My pictures go wrong, they break up like glass, when they hear my new song they run away, they can’t laugh.
In this world, what’s wrong with me, trilogy, your very own personal jukebox.
Life has just begun: collage; omelet and newspaper; the stairways of night and twins everywhere, twin rooms, twin insomniacs.
Life has just begun: echo from the nightmare of philosophy of new Cultural Revolution born like yolk of egg in midnight albumen, womb of displaced sleep-time.
Life has just begun: rock and roll on the radio show, late breakfast, dream aura around light of mid-day, mind full of pop art, street full of spring rain.
Stretch a canvas and sketch in a dog headed space-man comic cartoon with a blurb balloon, “life has just begun,” before it is burst by the rocket ships of the metropolis, wars of civilization. The words sealed safely to float infinitesimally in the sky for posterity.
Life has just begun: Rendezvous with a twin on a rainy morning, the infinite rain that never stops falling, the gentle rain. War news is on the radio, in the paper, in the minds of people passing through. Candy floss coloured angels with giant Doberman pincers on gold collar and chain. Digby the space pilot watching over the mooncraters of London combs his golden crew cut with a black comb and takes a smoke. The lemur nosed underground train drivers whisk away the dragon tailed trains into Holborn chasms. Cafes full of Lucifer look-a-likes in leather and spurs. D’Angle Danger in Venus veils goes to fight for her rights in the immigrant sweatshops.
Life has just begun: Beads of spring rain clinging to the buoyant garden of branches in the mind of the cat headed rain coated gangster.
Life has just begun reversed: Juggernauts with ferry bumpers and scar faced racehorses reading maps of the route drop into the Grove Cafe for Grecian trifle and to take Bartholomew compass readings for the galleon voyages of Portuguese birdmen.
Scar faced theatre man in brown leather flying jacket, plays ragtime piano youth music, looks up smiling, eyes like brown jewels. The French girl leans alone onto the bar, stares into her coffee gossips with the American girl. The Australian sits beneath the pink light with his car girl, yellow bearded icing toned face looking at wide eyed girl of the island of eyes. I am sitting by window waitress calculating when a brick is thrown by East End punk, smash’s glass. Piano teeth clatter and spit, the cafe gang is out on the street in a moment. I wonder if the punk is anyone’s relative. Upon my visit to the squatters’ cafe I find that everyone a walking mirror of themselves. I bounce out of the cafe like a water ski.
I’m reading the poet, a little like me
But I’m afraid I blow it
Something a bit like me
But I don’t wanna show it
I can’t spell that good, I hate melodrama
Metaphysics drive me mad, sonnets are for Llamas
Literatures a drag it just drives me bananas
So you bury your nose in some great mans book
What do you know? Please let me look
I don’t believe it, I think he’s a crook
You hide behind books then glare at me so
I Can’t read your mind, what’s wrong do you know?
Please walk a straight line, please stop saying no
I’ll put it to music, I’ll sing like a war
I’ll sing like a bird just don‘t close your door
What’s a title and author? Written on it for
Dream life anxiety
I lie on my back and go into the dream machine
It has the shell of a gutted juke box
It whirls me around playing the same old song
Singing of the pursuer of love, also pursued by love
Which is another word for loneliness.
The vinyl was coloured black
Now it’s colourless.
The clock has stopped
It’s early in the morning
There’s a telephone box across the street
No one’s using it
It’s deserted outside
The city lights bow and lick their lips still brighter
Like worm eaten beetles
The odd night life car drags its self by
I lie in the chair and wonder what the new day will bring
I’ll be tired when I step out of the door
The air will chill me
Nightlife, it’s so quiet
People are so mysterious curled up in their dreams
I want to know what they see, maybe I should
Go and wake one of them up
Nightlife, dreaming loving and casting curious spells
To call the lift of fate down to see what’s in it,
Who’s in it, to try and catch these fleeting images
Stop them just as they step out of the lift door
And ask them to make a new law for you
Because it’s only a new law would resolve your dream
I declare that whenever people meet
They are to shake hands and kiss too
Anxiety in my dream, it brings worries
Awake it brings worries. What can I worry about?
The electric light for instance, it’s on
Costs money, which I haven’t got
But I’ve got to worry about something
Because it’s dream time, it is making me worry.
I cannot help it. The electric man too
He stays up all night worrying how he’s going to get his money
Now if we both went to sleep, if we
Both took more care over our troubled dreams
If we both put our dreams together and marched them
To the Prime Ministers door
Making him listen to the new laws
That our dreams want to have him pass for us
If everyone’s dream could be resolved
By passing a new law, what a happier world this would be
That may sound corny but I’m to sleepy too give a damn
Trying to resolve a dream
That would take more than the world to resolve.
Yes I put my head against yours
I put my arm around you
I don’t know what I was doing in this society
I only knew I’d found you
It was too dark see anything
We were like too children in bed
We were warm and were there for the dreaming
There was no worry and nothing was said
You talked a lot about life being good
When I met you in the bar
But we never thought much about love
You left in the car
We parted again unforeseeing
As if every day was the same
As if someone new would take my place
You wouldn’t even ask his name
I’ve got a lot of good-byes to write
Good-byes I never said at the time
Believing I’d see you again somewhere
As if seeing you is just being alive
Couldn’t I have given you a better life?
Then the life you went back to find
Could you have given me a better life?
Then the one I’ve had all this time
FEB 16th 1980
Hey western man, what is happening in this poem, can you tell me? I’d sooner write for savages than civilised people. What is happening in this poem? Why do you read it and say impressive, heavy? These are my thoughts upon the world, upon you. Do these things mean nothing, what do I mean to you that you do not question what I think leaving me to draw a comparison between us that isolates me by these poems? Poetry that’s an image on its own, but it’s not my idea. I write the poem to say something very immediate, capture a thought, yet the thought seems to veil itself as a poem and become inaccessible to immediate conversation, why did I say this? Why did I write that? Did this really happen? Was the experience a fabrication?
Throw the typewriter out of the window, de-fenestrate the typewriter. It is a symbol machine; it is a threat. It records discussion, argument; it reveals the mind, the true self thought; it hints at new levels of conversation.
Muse, who are you? Like a rotting tomato, wrinkled and scarlet I’ve thrown you against the wall again to see you splurt and split open and spill your contents, leaving a darkness I no longer need linger in, searching to change the past, seeing how like the present it is.
I can delineate a midway line between one world and the next.
We are our first gig you know.
I’ve been running after a train full of corpses.
Thinking about the girls I know.
I’d love to make you talk through my eyes.
Notes end, the end of the octave, the octave generation, the octave decade, the octave of generation ends and a new one begins.
I am. I am not. I am ham, am, step inside my ghost. I am outraged by the anti- I am. Proof, go and get stuffed. Proof, you are blind. Proof, go and get stuffed like a scarecrow. Bourgeoisie pendulum hanging from a chime; bourgeoisie hanging from a lie, where are your real feet? Why can’t they set down on the ground? All you want is shadow, step inside my ghost. I am. You are the destroyer. I am you. Tired of this role, all I need is thoughtlessness between each new job and I can live.
The atom bomb; invite it to the breakfast table along with clowns and lepers. A man pisses in a public lavatory. A dummy head of a cubist mask is shot in the neck and red liquid drains out. A film of an atomic explosion over his head, it is his soul dying. The atom bomb; sit it at the breakfast table, there is no fire in the fireplace, only smoke and gas. Do not light any cigarettes please.
Photographs of the bomb must become a common occurrence again. Put an image of one at the head of the breakfast table with punks, hippies etc, injecting heroin etc. Let all the food be vomited over the table, a bang, lights go out, film of the bomb.
No it must not be treated like this; it must be a common thing. Cornflakes advertised by a picture a bomb explosion. It must clean the family houses with the housewife. It must be packed up in the satchels of children as they go off to school
A picture of Brighton’s Mods and Rockers; a pantomime character wearing a mushroom bomb effigy; films of mushrooms as they grow and make circles; bomb culture children dancing though the forest looking for magic mushrooms, find them, eat them, psychedelic explosions, psychedelic and bomb.
The pantomime mushroom bomb effigy is collecting votes, telling jokes and kissing children, is a door to door salesman selling nothingness, drugs, is a rock and roll promoter, is a sick man in a hospital chatting up nurses. Is a make believe being on a shelf with carrots, beer bottles, Is the compare of a bomb variety show, is an assemblage in a gallery as a work of art.
People must ask, can this be thought of as a work of art. Name Grosz, Delacroix, Goya, any artist who ever painted war as an atrocity and not something to glamorize, make heroes of the victors etc. At the top of the pile, a silk screen of the bomb. Have it sitting in a make up room putting on lipstick, eye shadow. It’s reflection in the mirror. It’s a drag artist; a woman goes for an abortion. The bomb has mysteriously taken the place of her womb; it is not an exploding bomb but a frozen one, frozen in time, in the freezer. It is the prodigal child come to take the place of a city’s future generations. It is the child that Herod tried to find and kill by killing all children under a certain age. It is crucified or killed but rises from the dead; resurrection. Let it become the insignia for cornflakes and tins of beans. Let there be a comic book for children where the hero is the bomb and like all heroes, always wins in the end. Let its image become as common as this, like a plague, a black armband, and an image sown onto the jackets of Japanese people. A desperate Japanese man scrambles about trying to fill in every blank space he can find with beauty but always a silent noise and darkness fills it first. I am in the center of holocaust, in a vacuum; all around me on every horizon that circles me is darkness with a strip of bright white light all around the compass. Above me there is no sky, only a void, nothingness, sleep.
Paintings as fresh as the morning’s milk
Undercoat dripping through the overcoat
The whitewashed walls hit with sunlight
Milk as fresh as a new painting
Milked from the dairy cows
Munching away the green hills
A fresh new painting milked from the dairy cows hanging on the walls
Cows munching away the walls where fresh milk is hanging
As I sit at the breakfast table eating the green hills
Searching all day for the disappeared painting hanging on a cow in a green field
Cows munching the fresh walls hidden in a painting
Cows hanging like fresh painting from the munched green hills
Milk as fresh as the new paintings milked from dairy-cows munching away the white walls
New paintings fresh as milk milked from dairy cows munching away the white walls standing in the green fields without hills as I sit on the breakfast table
Fresh paintings hanging like the morning’s milk from a whitewashed wall on a green hill
As cows munch away the green hills their mouths full of flamenco music
Cows munching the green grass snapping from an acoustic guitar
Cows sucking the acoustic guitar
Falling on their backs and digging in their claws
As cats sit on the breakfast table like fresh new paintings
Cows with the necks of guitars eating the fresh green hills
As they churn the strings of green grass hanging from the fresh new painting
Cats on their backs digging in their claws sucking the fresh milk from acoustic guitars
Cows on their backs digging in their claws sucking the milk from acoustic guitars
Cows in the land of guitars chewing the green strings
Falling on their backs splashing fresh milk over the new paintings
Picking up the acoustic guitar that‘s full of cows chewing the strings
With the cat on it’s back digging in its claws into the green hills hanging from the wall in a field in a new painting
Birds in trees
Aluminium and mirrors, birds in trees
Your lizard is flying
Squirrels in trees wearing number-plates
Heads of hollow wood
Astral projection of abstract man
The night sky like a laser beam
In the middle the universe there is a man and a waterfall.
At the edge of the universe there is a wall of newsprint.
Midnight sky turns into a waterfall, falling into mankind.
Abstract projection of abstract man like a photographic ghost
The night sky like a laser beam through a head of hollow wood
Squirrels in the trees wearing number-plates like lizards flying
The ancient lizard is flying, the dinosaur lizard has escaped
¬Behind the wall, a waterfall that falls from space &
A man/child with an electric guitar without a face
The mirror of my mind, furnace chimney of space
The abstract sphinx in a desert of stars with a mind like a pit of sponges
A seven pound dove in a brown paper suit reading the Sunday Times
Night time brings a settlement in the eve of stormy weather
A newspaper wafer of small animals under a spy glass
And an animal newspaper wafer.
Cover the cage over for the night so nothing will scare the budgerigar. Joey walks on my dreams; brains cracked out of their skulls the kitchen floor, bird brains, my brains. Dream dead electrified by lightning bringing the dragon. Chaos brings a secret world of nightmare, fear, and paralysis. Truncated dreamer delivered at the end of train journey. He is covered over for the night, lights out and television amnesia, child in a god’s world. Joey the budgerigar, I let him out to fly when I am locked up in the house alone. He flies into the walls, he panics, he is scared. Sometimes he flies out of the window and I dream. I fly over distant mountains really high, gliding along valleys, free of nightmares.
They’re eating up my dream-world; they’re stealing all my dreams
Not all the troops of London can know what this means
They eat away my dream-world; they eat away my dreams
Not all the troops of London can know what this means
History is in my head, history is in my face
and all the troops of London are just out of place
Someone wants to do this, wants to live just like that
But I I’m a history collector and I’m passing round my hat
The only history I’ve got – I copied off TV
If I had any past I’d be a lot more free