Poems are not like films They are the rare flowers Seen in urban cinematography The bodies of butterflies with plucked wings Thrown into the sewer wind Of the cutting room floor
editing a film frame by frame You stop the sequence of stills And zoom into a dark corner by a dustbin There’s one of the little blighters, quick Edit it out
If you waited to make a film from poems You would keep a Hollywood studio Working overtime You would need a Nazi factory full of slaves working overtime In a pyramid epic And still your film would look like The tracks of a yeti disappearing into the snowdrift
Oh lucky poet With your good looks And your good health
Some of us Were Beatles Some of us were Stones
One of us Was an ugly gnome
Oh lucky poets Sitting on the floor Of the assay office Raking in Armfuls of gold dust To critical acclaim And adoration Did you not hear The voice Out of the wilderness Asking For nothing more Than water
There are eight hundred million people in the world
They live in 800 million houses
There are 800 million living rooms with 800 million cupboards
There are 800 million rusty biscuit tins with 800 million forgotten poems
I have eight folders
They are crammed with poems and songs
And I am the author of eight folders
Crammed with poems and songs
The only response I ever get
Is ridicule, rejection and the put-down
What I want to know is
What am I to do with my life?
In such a hopeless world
The college photocopier opened its green blinking eye
On its back was a ton of photocopier paper
Bowed under the weight it ate but it did not digest
All its lifeblood was spread across those pages
The college photocopier
Bolted through the doors into the night
It ran with rats through the city drains
It followed foxes through the woodlands
A posse of teachers ran after it brandishing staple guns
The college was in uproar
Students demanded handouts
The engineer came but knew nothing of photocopiers in the wild
Now it would live the rest of its life
Concealed in the undergrowth like a small deer
If I live to be a thousand
If I live to be a thousand I’ll never understand the hollow people
The ones you see right through; the ones camouflaged with normality.
They talk about themselves and it all seems fine
But their words are like spades digging out you soul
A loved one in need
A loved one in need feeds on your blood
Leaves you anaemic, your marrow like mud.
The one you love best, sweet anarchic child
She’s drunk on your blood; it makes her go wild.
The more that you give her, the wilder she gets
Her teeth cut deeper…. into your neck.
It’s daytime at last, you sit by her grave
Your tears fall like rain – for a love – you can’t save.