Poem: A Night at the Opera

marx

A joyous night at the opera

Can be a perilous thing,

The performance might be glamorous,

But backstage is another thing

*

The tenor has a sore throat,

Soon to become oesophageal cancer,

And the mezzo-soprano has just lost a leg –

Good thing she’s not a dancer!

*

The backstage-crew are all well-to-do,

And often puff with pride:

“We only help you actors out

From a sense of noblesse oblige!”

The basso profundo is profound indeed,

He can scarcely move from his chair,

And if you think you’ve seen a mountain range –

It’s just his derriere!

*

The piano accompanist has a glass eye,

And it often goes a-roving;

A shrill F# sent it down the aisle –

Towards Hereford it was last seen moving

*

The conductor – he’s another matter together,

You should hear him scream and shout!

But after the show, he likes a pint glass or two,

To reinforce his gout

*

And don’t get me started on the chorus,

On our reputation they are a blot,

Most of them can’t remember the words –

I think they should all be shot!

*

And so you see, it’s all just an act,

As we dance in gleeful rage,

For we all return to weeping and moping,

As soon as we’re off the stage

*

And though half our members are close to death,

The fat women will not stop singing,

Decapitate your own head if you like –

Your ears will still be ringing

*

What a splendid night at the opera,

Though the altos went on ad nauseum,

And the stage manager had to be twice disinterred

From his grandmother’s mausoleum

*

For he’s a secretly a vampire,

But don’t let the audience know,

He might be inclined to drink their blood,

But he’s easy going as stage managers go

*

Still, we do it, year after year,

Out of perseverance and love,

And I hope you’ll forgive me if you see yourself

In any of those above

*

But on and on the show must go,

Please tell me you’ve brought some liquor?

And fervently pray to the god of your choice

That the bass’s arse won’t grow any thicker!

*

 

Poem: The Mushroom Men

mushroom_city_by_bakenius-d5uc3ei 

Have you seen The Mushroom Men?

They come out each night at half-past ten,

Spreading spores from their stores of spores

To furnish the fens with fungi galore!

 *

They have a secret kingdom beneath the earth,

A place of mycelia, merriment, and mirth,

And once the stars a-shining they see,

Thence begins their mycological jamboree!

*

Through the use of their mycelial magic,

They spread toadstools, molds, jellies, and brackets,

And ‘twould be considered a sartorial mishap,

If an imp were withouten a handsome ink-cap!

 *

So, let the fungal festivities begin!

Angels of Decay ushering happiness in,

These cancerous mushrooms will rise and rise,

Until they tower like mountains before our eyes,

*

Death-caps as large at the Taj Mahal –

Custardy molds consuming shopping malls –

(And since Donald Trump won the US election,

The White House also has a fungal infection!)

 *

What a fine panorama atop this portabello!

From its summit I will bellow:

 *

“Come out – come out – ye Mushroom Men!

Though it is not yet half-past ten,

We wish to look upon the overlords,

Who have, so thoroughly, transformed our world!”

 *

Out will venture Oberon and Titania –

And Robin Goodfellow singing ‘Rule Britannia!’

With a charming procession of elves and fays,

Using shitake mushrooms as timpani

*

Enoki as mallets – and after a few psilocybin,

Soon this party will really be jiving!

Magonia and earth will be as one –

And we won’t stop dancing till Doomsday is done!

*

Alas! ‘Twas but a dream I’ve tried to relate

To you, dear reader, in poetic spates,

For now, their kingdom is still small;

But, if down the rabbit hole you’re willing to fall

We can grow great with The Mushroom Men,

And The Kings of Shambhala will rule again!

 

Poem: A Troll’s Tale

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As I went for morning stroll

I was accosted by two trolls,

Who chose to walk by me besides,

Matching my pace – stride for stride

 

These trolls were green as green can be,

As scum of pond – as lake of algae –

Their hair was matted, messy, and knotty,

Bespeaking an appearance severely grotty,

Dressed in rags, and uncouth chainmail –

(And a dagger, perhaps, lone men to assail?)

 

In short, they were an unpleasant pair –

I felt comparatively debonair! –

And I certainly didn’t smell so foul,

As these rogues, dogging me, cheek by jowl!

 

“What want ye trolls?” said I to them,

“Scourge of otherwise merry men!

Can chap not go for happy stroll,

Without being pestered by two trolls?”

 

“Well now!” saith the first, “the cheek of that!

Just because we are withouten silken cravat!

Us trolls ‘as fallen on ‘ard times;

We were not always so badly begrimed!

 

“Once we were Great Lords, respected;

Kings of Caverns, now neglected,

That once did brim with copper and gold,

And much else ‘twas pleasing to behold:

Like talking cats – and magical rings –

And lyres that strum without no strings!

 

We were men of renown in them times –

Who ruled the land? – Who manned the mines?

We did! – Ah, but fortune struck us from her role –

When something befell us, terrible,

For, when we mined the earth too deep,

We roused something dreadful from its sleep,

Faster than you can say ‘Conspiracy!’ or ‘PSYOPS!’

From out the ground emerged a giant Cyclops!

 

He squashed our women – he ate our cattle –

And no matter how fiercely we engaged him in battle,

We could barely give him more than a scratch –

Thus, from his tyranny, much more was hatched,

All the land was barren and blighted,

And so our glory days were soon benighted!”

 

“But wait!” says I, from me to Troll,

No bloody rivers do I see roll,

Abergavenny is a peaceful town –

Now raging Cyclops do I see frown!”

 

“That’s why we harried you – he’s on his way!

And means to be here by the end of day –

He’s just coming now from yon Brynmawr –

You’ll hear him roar within the hour!

He won’t be content to see just Abergavenny fall –

But Monmouth and Raglan – he wants them all!

And his ire, his wrath, will not be spent,

Until he’s crushed the whole of Gwent!”

 

“Yes, but surely not e’en a beast of this sort,

Would have the gall to take on Newport?

Tell you what we’ll do – we’ll divert him there,

And by the time he sniffs the air,

He’ll fall down drunk – hunker down abed –

And when comes the morning – we’ll bash in his head!

Then this Cyclops will harry you no more,

And your diamond mines you can soon restore!”

 

But as I continued on my stroll,

I was no more accosted by two trolls,

No more were they by me either side,

Or matching my pace – stride for stride,

 

I presumed by their untimely contraction,

That they’d gone to put my plan into action,

And I bid them well – as I strolled on,

Enjoying the sweetness of this sweet dawn,

Glad that just through enjoying my morning stroll,

I could make life more pleasant for a pair of trolls!

 

 

 

 

Poem: The Puzzle

proteus

I.

I am whatever I wish to be –

A puzzle plucked from the puzzle tree,

 Saw me in half – cut me down the middle –

Make endless subdivisions of this immaculate riddle;

But, this Rubik’s Cube, though twisted, contorted,

Will not fancy its truth to be plainly disported;

For, as soon as a puzzle’s believed to be solved,

All mystery, all magic, all enchantment dissolves:

What was majestic seems weaker – plainer –

A lion king turned kitten by the lion tamer!

II.

We ought not to worry if mystery go abed –

The Hydra will always grow another head,

Though complexity to simplicity can e’er be reduced,

Simplicity by complexity must be seduced,

Fear not, my friend! There are always more troubles!

To belch from the vat – the cauldron that bubbles –

I mean Chaos – the lap of illusion –

That brings causeless clarity to ripest confusion,

By amplifying the tiniest key change of delusion,

Saints quickly run amok in bedlam profusion!

III.

We cannot go to the beach ever again –

The coastlines grow cluttered with madwomen and men,

Who take up their beach towels, and skin them as reefers –

Who cares what they are – atheists or believers?

Whenever you think you’ve discovered the answer,

Your conviction’s benign tumour will furnish a cancer,

Malignant as malignancy itself can be,

When you pluck a puzzle from the puzzle tree!

So I shall always be whatever I wish –

For I am the Fisherman – and illusion – The fish!

 

Poem: The Whorehouses of Heaven

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I have been in bed all day;

I have been in Heaven all day,

Pain has shrunk away, by courting

Pain, swigging my way down Gin Alley,

Against the doggerel, poetasters,

Fiddlers, pamphleteers competing with

One another – outrage – I pass the beer

Barrels; the rats and the vomit; the

Scorbutic sailors pulling down their

Pants to prove that their legs aren’t the

Only wooden parts of their anatomy –

He might have been called ‘Black Heart,’

By The Howling Gazette – but the whole

Genitalia was pretty soon as black with

Rotting; his syphilis blooming

 Beautiful fruit

 *

Gaily, he and I strode along –

We didn’t know which perspective

To use – Third person – first person –

No person – so, for the time being, I

Will remain ‘he and I’ until my grammatical

Fever abates

*

Through all the friction and brio,

The pavestones cackled majestically –

Like a flock of jackdaws –

A firecracker of applause

*

They all concurred he was an

Agreeable fellow – though, within

The Scorpionic rabble of his mind, he

Had perfected 365 ways of being eminently

Disagreeable, though he dared only use one

Or two of the mildest forms, on auspicious outings

And  Holidays

*

“Oh, what am I to do!” Bewailed

An out of work actor, marinating, and

Lightly sautéing his sorrows in a flaming

Pint of gin. “I have no one to perform at.

I have all this crazy, restless energy, I

Just do not know what to do with!”

 *

“I’ll tell ye what ye can do with it!”

Advised a scum, slime-throbbing sailor,

“Stick it up yonder arse, and see if she

Has any use for it!”

*

The whole tavern guffawed at this, and

The employability of said yonder arse was

Proven to be very much open-ended

*

But our hero was not amused.

Thumping his liquid bible upon

The desk, he fulminated, mightily,

So that all might hear:

 *

“I HAVE SEEN THE WHOREHOUSES

OF HEAVEN!”

*

Cat calls were issued, and

Vociferous demands were made

To adduce evidence of the verity

Of his ostensibly meretricious

Astronautical navigations

 *

Deliberately jocose prolixity

Aside, something happened

Which no one expected –

The guest began to absquatulate

From the realms of sanity – nay! –

Not just sanity – but humanity

Itself!

*

“I have thrust my face betwixt

The titanic tits of titans!” he yelled.

“Arse, arses, everywhere, and not

A cunt to stink!”

*

His hair burst into flame –

His face ruptured into that

Of an eagle’s, until he had

Become as a Babylonian apkalle,

A crematorial fire reducing his skin

To a squamous black tar; like a

Toasted marshmallow, all crispy

Black on the outside –

Pink and gooey on the

Inside

 *

The whole place burst with

Delight – truly, people did

Not know whether they were

In Heaven or in hell – arses,

Were indeed, everywhere,

Nymphs of isles and sea,

The effluvia of genitalia rising

Like musky incense up to heaven,

To appease Priapus and Kurukulla,

And all other gods of might and

Delight

*

And so our hero was saved –

Though, from what he was saved,

I neither know, nor can tell, only

That, with that maritime smell,

London was gusted up into the rafters

Of illusion’s swellest theatres, and

Opened, once and for all, to Mary

Shelley’s soiled garters

 *

And so:

I have been in bed all day

I have been in Heaven all day

 

Poem: Pink Ribbons

the-burning-of-the-houses-of-parliament-jmw-turner1

I tie a pink ribbon around

My neck to show that I am a

Gift to the World – or should it be

A noose? Something more abstruse?

Which, on inspection, will fittingly

Adduce, that I have yet to state a

Truce between what I was, and what

I hope to be? In this Interregnum of

Identity, I am indecisive and transitory –

A Pandora’s Box waiting to be opened,

So it can cast its rancid obscurities

Out. Perhaps, if I had a perm, I

Could pretend to be Albert Durer, and

From my masterly pencil, discern, a

Complex of Alchemical tractates, to

Bemuse those that outlive me? –

Perhaps I shall be a Mesmerist, caught

In a miasma of electrical mist, until

My enlightened sensuality is dismissed,

By those that don’t really know how to

Feel. I have stolen Lord Nelson’s arm, and

Used it as a backscratcher – assumed his

Glass eye as an ersatz olive, in my

Comic, cosmic martini – a ballad of

Time, excrement, and space – I hope it will

Not be a waste! But that is one of the

Things about Eternity: you

Know there will always be a

Little bit left over, some supernumerary

Rover, which, wreathed in clover, will

Declare the inviolable principle of

Endless Excess – ah, to express! –

To leap into that ocean of Nothing, and

To be caught in the tresses and currents

Of Something! I feel that – the woof and

The weft, the curve and the cleft, of the

Ticking of a clock being nullified, by

Timelessness’s infinite ill-meaning –

So, I’ll go along screaming into clusters,

Into forests, into unspeakable wombs

Of nacreous lustre.

With Nautilus shell as my canvas,

I shall declare ‘We’re no longer

In Kansas!’ And I wake to find, the

Straw taken from me, to recall who

Dorothy was after all. So, in this

Interregnum of Identities, I shall browse

Through the panoply, of people, characters,

Poets, and actors, I have yet to be –

I have been the Outrageous Devil – now,

In an effort to contradict myself, shall I

Become ‘The Virgin Prince’? Who bedecks

Himself in taffeta and chintz? No –

My tailor does not work from earthly

Material; in love with his own genius,

He draws from the fabric of my

Imagination, to make for me –

A DOUBLET OF HORROR! – Well,

I don’t like the cut of his jib – so,

I shall cut him, then cut myself, to

Try and sever the mutual confusion,

That leaves me so listless, so blinded –

With thoughts unwinded, I shall hide myself

In the corner of a coffee shop –an

Unqualified fop looking for some

Sign, some inspiration, of who I might

Next like to be.

II.

And what do I want to be? A

Help, a boon – not a buffoon –

More than just a joke everyone is

Willing to laugh at, but no one makes

The effort to understand. In this green and

Pleasant land, where stupidity is much in

Demand, I have seen beautiful old

Buildings, blackened by smoke, and

People, who, with pink ribbons, my throat

Would choke. But still, I will wait

Outside my own Houses of Parliament,

To make sure a crowd of me is ready

To rebel, when the next King of my

Consciousness

Is crowned.

Poem: Ejaculations Against Stained Glass

transformers

I went into a local church

To admire the stained glass windows

Stalking down its time-tossed corridors

To bathe in the fullness

Of its raw vivid light

But my appreciation was annihilated

When I noticed the fig leaf

Covering Adam’s genitals

As though he had been castrated

By a roving maniacal tree

Determined to leave a memento of his crime

For this aboreally-assaulted amputee

I could not prevent my tongue from shrieking:

“SHOW US YOUR COCK, YOU FILTHY CHARLATAN – FOR THAT IS THY LORD!”

Whereon I streamed out of the church

And tore off my clothes

I was naked

And extremely proud

A Reuben as though painted by Reubens

“The body is to be delighted and cherished!”

I cried,

“As the expression of every human’s  natural divinity!”

Then I grabbed the first goddess I could find

(I did not have to search long;

There was already one

Crawling up my leg

With the enlightenment of lust in her eyes)

Then I coupled with her

For many eternities

Ejaculating into the shameful face of celibacy

Until he took off his mask

Gleamed a spermy smile

And joined us for an orgy

All because

One silly man

Couldn’t come face to face

With his balls

 

 

Poem: Killers and Lovers

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How I hate domesticity!

How different is a mansion

From a mausoleum?

An old manor house

From an indefinite pissoire?

I shit upon your mansion

And creature comforts

Trembling as I indulge

And reject my own

The IV Drip

Percolating piss back into your bloodstream

A day outside

Amongst the trees and bees

And all the curious little insects

That land on your shoulders

As you try to read

The sky wrapped around your head

Like an infinite turban

Which you wrap

And unwrap

Insidiously

Just for the fun of it all

Then inside:

Perfect claustrophia

Sun-denying hallways

That commit the blasphemy

 Of making nature an abomination

It nature is an abomination

Then let it be abominable!

I have seen the squalid King of Vegetation

He is hideous

Like an unripened toad

Fortifying himself on the death of his own children

In a cycle of beauty and sick

I see the corpses

Swinging from the branches

Of that strange pine wood

Where skinless flesh

Just reeks and reeks

That’s the sort of abomination

I can really sink my teeth into

No the abomination

Of sterile homes

With its perfectly clean surfaces

And doctored opinions

Its etiquette of sadism

That takes out the whips and chains

As soon as the curtains are closed

What of the Bacchanalia?

What of the insane pagan revel?

In which man becomes as wild as nature

And nature as wild as man?

We think of domesticity

As a feminine discipline

But it was the birth of civilization

With its patriarchal control systems

That made people the slaves

Of senseless comfort

How about being comfortable

In a bucket of blood?

An acre of pus?

A woodland of war?

Or a thousand dead miners

Choked dead in a geological womb

That was never meant to be tortured?

How delightfully comfortable!

As comfortable as sweat shops

And the child sex trade

Of vacuum cleaners

And designer lobotomies

Sure to furnish the coffee tables

Of the bleakest of homes?

I just feel comfortable

Perched on this razor

Like an indestructible pigeon

Cooing its own remorse

I come together with you

With booze and knives

So we can start to revive

What our domesticity has killed

Ugly Father Domesticity

With his good home

His respectable job

That polishes the balls of tyrants

And keep foreign children in toil

With his cut and dry opinions

Informed by newspapers

And anaesthetic chat shows

With his prim short hair

And uncomfortable clothes

Tailored by boredom

In a blood-soaked back alley

All the right magazines

And a mucus-filled nose

Fuck yourself, Father Domesticity

Take a knife

From your Ikea-ordered kitchen drawer

The same ones you use

To butter the poor

And kill yourself

Kill yourself like a scone

Like a Victoria sponge

Like the bloated lack of meaning

In unhappiness’s eye

As it wishes it were as blind

As it was omnipotent

I have seen Wotan

Old One Eye

With his aggressive Cyclopia

And intrusive ravens

Sent to spy on the world

But he has not seen me

He was too busy

Playing on his Smart Phone

As I refined my senses

To that of a trained killer

So I know when to pull the rug

He brought in Marrakech

From a penniless pilgrim

With seventeen daughters

And just one son

To slaughter them all

Killers and lovers –

Who can tell the difference?

Both need fiercely refined senses

To be effective at their purpose

So I’ll take another knife

And keep it under my pillow

Just in case the night makes me passionate

And I want to bite your neck

 

Poem: Convention Prayer

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Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

Wild man

Don’t you have a thatched straw hut

You can run back to?

You’re too rough and ready

For the likes of us sophisticates

With your ghoulish spontaneity

And shamanic thunder

Go back to the woods;

Maybe the trees will love you

We’re trying to have

A civilized dinner party here

But you keep on

Puking reality

All over the chinaware

So leave us all alone

Until you’ve been castrated by convention

Like a good little myrmidon

 

 

Poem: Birds on the Moon

moon birs

They talk about the first man on the moon

But what about the first bird on the moon?

Sparrowhawks don’t need spaceships

They can just find

The right auroral thermal

And drift straight up into the stars

They’ll require no flags,

No hoopla,

No television crews

Just a few steaks of roadkill

And a baby pigeon or two

Of course,

The sparrowhawks

Were quite shocked when they got there

The lunar craters

Were already manned by beavers

And a colony of prairie dogs

Who really knew how to boogie

To say nothing of

The indigenous wildlife

Who are largely invisible

To our naked eyes

First man on the moon

Who really gives a shit?

An albatross will see more

Than you ever will

So take off your monocles

I’ll show you where to shove them