Neoliberal Spoonfeeding

“Pull yourselves up by the bootstraps,” they would always say. “We, Thatcher’s children have done alright”

With the best of intentions we were meant to swallow that line,

A line they spat at you and me without a hint of irony.

“There is no magic money tree,” they would always say. “We Thatcher’s protege have done OK.”

From the cramped decrepitude of the rentier-classes homes for us we were meant to swallow that line,

One out of every three without a hint of irony.

“We can’t rehome you were your livelihoods were built,” they would always say. “We Thatchers benefactors have painted you as cheats and actors”

From the spectre of Grenfell on the hearts of those who will never forget and ‘Winter Crisis’ as an understated epithet we have to swallow these lines .

While Oligarchs use empty homes for laundry without a hint of irony.

“Because you are lukewarm, I shall spit you out of my mouth”

 

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Mastery

I often wonder how it feels,

To stride the world like Alexander,

To roar through earth as mighty streams,

Be loved for my refreshing candor.

To duplicate a preachers sermon,

And have the chosen set ablaze,

To hear the starting gun in person,

Televised, as the millions gaze.

Upon the stage an actor’s playground,

Inside the ring a boxers throne,

The chef whose kitchen is his castle,

The songstress with her microphone.

To live and serve and to be served by crowds that heave with longing,

It is the strangest discipline, alone yet still belonging.

Veiled Intrigue

My friends have.become my enemies,

And my enemies have gone from my sight,

Into walls that fingernails gnaw against,

Sharp glistening bones that pick the gums of soft, raw certainty,

Ears and eyes too, forever afraid, forever alert,

Within the veiled intrigue.

The four corners each turn a face to you,

Piercing gazes like swords into your gut,

To hide from the spotlight is meaningless,

When all your fears are laid bare,

Before the brood baying for blood.

Ticking in the breast of every paranoiac,

Who waltzed about in despair and uncertainties,

Until his dance is over,

And he is shown to be true to his word and to his conviction,

In a state known as “too late” 

Till all he loved turns against him,

Till he becomes a shadow,

Against the veiled intrigue.

Threats of violence turned to dust,

Cries of passion burn away,

Keep the peace and do not leap,

 until your time has  gone astray,

Every face a smiling pit,

Every soft “are you ok?”

Keeps his hope falsely aloft,

Inside the veiled intrigue.

Thalia & Melpomene

Call up the hard as coal thoughts from the blackest parts of yourself,

Fill it with bits of wikipedia-gained wisdom, handed like jewels to the crown Chakra of one persona,

Till it gives off its own fierce aroma,

A putrid stench when you claim it’s from your tongue.

Fiercer than a summer sun,

On garbage heaps like towers built,

Till layered conscience lies like silt.

To know oneself is to know the world,

For oneself is it’s only pearl.

So keep the faith appearance made,

When pressed will crumble, unlike jade

Whose lustre lives till men are old,

The jewel inside will make one bold.

Enough to conquer detritus,

That builds up in the best of us,

And worse; whose stories travelled far,

And returned as cold as buried stars.

Back to the 20s (100th anniversary of the Night Bus Part 2)

No longer with the rest of the revelling pedestrians,

On a bus with horsepower that couldn’t match the equestrians.

An extra-sensory perceptions hasn’t quite kicked in,

That my person and surroundings don’t quite fit in.

The age of flappers and post-war prosperity,

A city with its route in the 20th century,

Workers weary with toil and tales,

Find their way back home without feet or the rail.

How did they sound so different back then?

Accents not quite like I was used to,

Till I discover with aplomb,

That I was from the future!

Tired (100th anniversary of the Night Bus Part 3)

It seems dear friends the journey back has misfired,

The places, the passengers, the public are tired.

In all the games that fatigues play,

That stay with you as long as the day,

And when you get the strength to put it all on,

Weary feet have nowhere to run.

But cab fare is rare at this stage,
Cars away, transport methods change,
Our red chariot cuts through the gloom
The Night Bus route is coming through

Why should I, knowing it to be lies, ride this thing again?

Disregard all the drama that buses put me in.

And get another chance at baffling the night,

With a tripped out extra-temporal flight

But cab fare is rare at this stage,
Cars away, transport methods change,
Our red chariot cuts through the gloom
The Night Bus route still rides through

Fights in pubs never got me close,

At bus stops wrestling with mobile phones

Told you so! As I got bounced

Received the answer for the time a few streets down

But cab fare is rare at this stage,
Cars away, transport methods change,
Our red chariot cuts through the gloom
The Night Bus route still rides through

Could it be? Inexplicably not the 80s

A heady mix of mystery and memories

From someone who know the exact street and time

I might just catch it, no secrets, no lies.

But cab fare is rare at this stage,
Cars away, transport methods change,
Our red chariot cuts through the gloom
The Night Bus route still rides through

What a miracle to be in my zone again,

my 100 year old friend here to welcome me in.

Because cab fare is rare at this stage…

So Damn Hard (100th anniversary of the Night Bus Part 1)

Who am I?

Grand designs unwind themselves after a long week at work,

Ditched the plastic helmets and ultrabrite shirts,

Doling out to my colleagues Bacchanalian promises.

Need the space to vent it all,

So the source will perspire,

While feeding the fire in a thirsty employee.

But the keys are mislaid and the wallets is absent,

The plans are waylaid, the night could be cancelled.

Misery needs company and it has a ready sidekick.

Mind twisted with worry that this night is,

Headed further south than an ocean-going leviathan.

It’s priceless!

How long does a man have to work?

Forever shuffling in the dirt like a worm,

Until the weekday pours out,

And I enjoy what I’ve earned.

Is it a crime to get out of the house for once?

Grab a few pints and a little bit of munch,

Endure a call from my love with her undies in a bunch.

I’m constantly working, grafting my arse off,

While my other half can make me feel like a cast-off.

Ordering me about on my only day out,

Isn’t freedom what Friday nights are all about?

What’s worse?

I’ll be heading home on the worst contraption on earth.

Two things men fear from birth combined —

Large moving things in the night time