comedian

D.D. had a way of saying nothing
even matters with
a deadening smile.

 

it tried to pry its teeth out by the rotting
spongy mouldy gums
to see if it cried.

 

the blood and pus that followed only served
to make the joke seem
oh so funny we could die.

 

the flow of comic bloody props had halted
but the laughter it would
carry through the night.

 

the jester starts again the next day
until there comes a time when
it itself can die.

 

but time forgot to follow little D.D.
is the punchline
rotting from the inside.

 

tried and failed and missing death but falls –
applause – the funny man
who always seems to smile.

Jack’s Hill (there was no Jill)

There is a boy climbing the hill
who the teachers seek to kill
or sedate with a little pill
to end all his progress.

As they shot his legs he stumbled
and to the bottom he then tumbled,
but his courage never crumbled
to start the climb again.

He knows the hill is infinite
and that his climbing shoes don’t fit –
But I’ve heard from him, in spite of it:
‘I’ll walk on bloody feet!’

If I could create a title for this, it would be sorta ironic

That time you begin to write

and you can’t quite capture that

 

Feeling frustrated, working back

in your mind through connections

 

‘That just doesn’t make sense’

that you came to think of

 

That time you begin to write

and you can’t quite capture that feeling!

 

 

[written in November 2012]

Untitled and Sonnetesque

What is meant by the subtle inaction

and the feigned, determined inaction

of the beast? Touch greedy and mouth puckered,

prowling the night. Watching the night herd.

 

Flickers of weakness attract the feast,

then glances of coyness ignite the tease.

All the while hidden from victim

grows that beastly grin.

 

How he makes conditions exact

and lets you believe you chose the act

to fumble about that dim-lit den,

time and time again.

 

So from the beast to all I warn:

‘Keep clear of my night or fall for a charm

that respects no taste, just feeds on it –

for every one of you make me spit!’

 

[written in July 2012]

What Colour Are You? [Live Reading @ Grand Central Bar, Derry]

 

Myself reading my piece ‘What Colour Are You?’ live at the Grand Central Bar in Derry, Northern Ireland. Words below.

 

What colour are you?

Are you red? Are you blue?

The first for your lust,

the second for insight.

You could be vivid.

 

Do you fancy yourself a purple shade

or the brown and green the earth made?

Upholding spiritual roles of your own

or being that which forever grows.

You could live as the world.

 

Is it a smoldering  orange within you

or a yellow, illuminating all you deem true?

You’re the comforting warmth.

You’re the beacon for the lost.

You could be our safety.

 

With all your traits, precious spectrum of self,

you never thought it would be hell

to call him grey. Now, he is cold,

ash and dust. He is the shade of old.

He is the graphite residue of cheap words

and cheapest verse.

I Was a Third Rate Telephone (and Other Professions) [Live Reading @ Grand Central Bar]

 

This is a live recording of myself reading at a bar in Derry, Ireland. There are 2 mistakes in here, I’m sure you’ll suss them out easy enough. Poem below:

 

My mother had some curious beliefs

To pass down. One I’ve heard for years:

When you hear a ringing in your ears
Pray for the dead
She said.

So from an early age I was
a third rate telephone receiver,
speaking into myself though the
machine was broken. How could they
hear my prayers if I could never
answer? I only ever listened to
the ringing.

Then I thought that maybe I was
promoted to the incompetent and lazy
switchboard operator that couldn’t quite
match up the right messages to the right people.
Because I couldn’t hear them. I could never
answer to the dead and the ringing
continued.

Then it hit me. I was the CEO
of Deathly Telecoms and, of course, I
had to make all sorts of delegations for
these calls to get through. But, apparently
people had their own ringing to deal with and
no one wanted work where the ringing
never stopped.

So I made an early career choice
to retire. I explained to the ringing
I was tired and it was absurd and it would
never listen. So the dead go straight
to voicemail now. ‘Please, leave
a message after the tone.’ A
never ending tone.