From (CRK) To (CGQ)

Dancing in place

with Pink Rabbits,

a rhapsody in standing still.

Stillness wilts

and the past is dusk so

journey East.

Start again.

Feign interest.

Say sorry


say Goodbye

to Rose.

Once more.

Without reply.


The Ghost and the Sunflower

Johnny Mills was busy mangling his turn to read from the play.

“Prick….love for pricking, and BEAT love down!”

Sniggers all around.

“Keeds! Come on now Keeds! Be sensible!”, crowed poor Miss Barton.

The Sunflower carried on highlighting every instance of ‘Our Souls’ he could find. Ghost had been doodling a graphic little cartoon of his friend molesting a giant troll of a woman which he labelled ‘Your Girlfriend’.

“Is that to scale?”, enquired The Sunflower before adding the words ‘BIG FUN’ to the troll’s ruffled summer dress. Ghost rounded off his vision with some sores on the lovers’ faces labelled ‘herpes’ and a speech bubble reading, “Ask for me tomorrow, and you will find me a grave man!”

Last Post on the Bugle

An oppressive absence of activity hung about the half drawn curtains, illuminated only by the vertical plane of light dissecting the room. Either side sat at right angles to each other, were two young men dressed in dark bath robes. They sat in silence, almost entirely motionless, as if to cede control of the living room to the sheet of midday sun that separated them, their heads bowed slightly in deference. The television was on in the farthest corner of the room but its screen was so small and it’s images so mundane that its presence was barely felt and neither man was watching.

Apart from the tatty gowns, the two men were at odds physically. One was short, fair, and sat relaxed, legs crossed whilst the other perched as though on a high stool (despite having a sofa to himself), his dark head of hair and painfully long limbs resting awkwardly, as if all possibilities for comfort had been tried and found wanting. His discomfort seemed to be fundamental, basic; thirst, fatigue or possibly hunger. As if to remedy all three at once, he leant forward and drank the dregs from a warm can of beer and rolled a cigarette. The rolling papers had been left out and were flecked with light brown spots, the tobacco so dry it fizzed when lit. The dark haired man slumped back, rested his head on the wall and savoured the rush of blood that accompanied the first smoke of the day.

For the first time the blonde glanced up and said,

“I can feel my will to live ebbing away”, the words deliberately lengthened to exaggerate their effect.

Before the dark smoker had a chance to reply, the blonde let out a long, solemn fart. It was pitch perfect, starting high (somewhere around A major) before ending on a low and controlled E minor. Startled by his companion’s eloquence and comic timing, the smoker choked through a convulsion of laughter, spluttering,

“Is that the song you want played at your funeral?”

The blonde burst into a desperate giggle, nodding, hands on head.

“I want ‘Yummy Yummy Yummy I Got Love in My Tummy’ at mine”, said the smoker, still laughing, “and I want the words, ‘Oh Well’ engraved on my headstone”.


All this had been coming… I climbed out a window on the ground floor of the staff digs with all I could carry lapping at my sides and I was gone. Another catering job was in the rear view along with my mouldy work boots and a half eaten pasta bake. Escape. I cared neither for the destination nor the journey, I just had to get around that first corner, out of the sight of the guard tower, the breakfast triple shift, passed the village sign, the sun cautiously rising….

Country roads, like almost everything, can be romantically revered and bluntly ignored, just like women, families, poets, jobs…money…

Since my earliest days, revelry and contempt have been present in each moment of my reflections. What chance did I stand? Each experience pregnant with indifferent deference and half-arsed sorrow. Holy Fucking Shit, Oh Christ No! Then followed by, or rather overlaid with, oh well….

Why the ups and downs? Why not the mechanical, flat-lined drudgery of the ant? Envy the ant! He prospers without art! Without question marks!

If only Lenin had studied ants rather than Marx….

Male Gaze

A woman sits alone on a beach, the eyes of the world on the nape of her neck.  What does that weight feel like? I’ve passed thousands of women on the beach, on the street, on the platforms of a hundred train stations and asked the same question, felt that same ache. The nonchalant eyes, divine, oblivious charm, fleeting infatuation and to think in a crowd there could be the spectres of a dozen abject men haunting the same woman.  All of us taking a lonely nibble on the image before us.