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Blackbirds

It will get better, some say.
It was one of those bird

days, when they all came
to lodge, outstayed their

welcome, hopped into every room,
fluttered my thoughts, action,

even my food. At bedtime, music
played from the radio. Telling

the things I did to earn hatred,
from the four and the twenty more.

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Socialist Cocaine

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There ain’t no such thing
as socialist cocaine.

You may be one of those
who buy sustainable clothes,
fair trade food, the Big Issue,
weep for Mogadishu, but
at the weekend sneeze, “atishoo!”

There ain’t no such thing
as socialist cocaine.

You march against oppression,
but love a Friday night session.
You argue right wing wrongs,
sing the Republic Songs,
hate the dropping of the bombs.

Shall I tell you what’s wrong
with socialist cocaine?

You see, there’s a long white line
to where the sun don’t shine.
Young girls dead inside a container,
en route from central Romania.
Do I have to explain it to ya?

That there ain’t no such thing
as socialist cocaine.

You might like a little toot,
whilst a head’s crushed by a boot.
A tiny sniff to take away the fear.
We’ll keep the red flag flying here.
We’ll keep the red flag flying here.

Atishoo! Atishoo!
We all fall down.

When we indulge in
socialist cocaine.

And It’s Over To History For The Weather

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Live through this,
called useless as a kid.
A cunt, flat footed,
friend of a Yid.

Live through this,
raped in my teens.
“I want to suck a cock, boy,
take off your fuckin’ jeans.”

Live through this,
“You’ll never be a Dad.”
Wank into a specimen jar,
until half blind, going bad.

Live through this,
a crack pipe and alone.
Ring, ring, “Help me please!”
Always broken phones.

Live through this,
the knowledge of the pain.
Today I carry an umbrella,
to shelter from the rain.

Recovery Song

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Dear friends.

This morning
I cut myself
shaving.

A canal
of blood
drifted from
my chin.

I let it
clot,
heal gently.

A miracle
in the
bathroom
mirror.

There were
other
times,
after the drugs
and the damned
had left.

When
self loathing
gripped,
led me
by the hand
through to
the kitchen
drawer.

I’d stand,
sweating,
naked.

A reflection
in the just
before dawn
window.

A knife
stroking
my heart,
my throat.

My shrivelled cock.

That I never
sliced myself
to death
may have been
a case of vanity,
or divine
intervention.

Maybe,
I wanted
more
oblivion.

It all seems
a while
back now.

Friends.

You know,
I’ve not much
of a voice,
but I’ll always
sing my tune.

Help me
higher power.

One
day
at
a
time.

Until
I’m buried
and

real
real
gone.

Because the
only thing
I’ll ever
have.

Is this
here
recovery
song.

The Pulpit of Snide (or when I became very unwell with severe depression and drug dependency, some of my so called friends shattered my heart into a million different pieces by just walking away)

depression-cartoon.jpgIf you think you know the whole sordid tale,
I promise you’ll know only a half.

And within that fraction of my downfall,
only a quarter will make you laugh.

One eighth will be manipulation,
to feed the victim’s pride.

The other eighth, your cheap cover version,
that you stole from the pulpit of snide.

I suggest you swallow just a sixteenth,
and pray that you don’t choke.

Because when you do, supposed poet,
it’ll be me who’ll be writing the joke.

#Recoverysongs

Buttershaw, South Bradford

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Buttershaw, her love spreads. On
summer days, melted and translucent,
she’s a glistened river. Her grace, a
keenness for peace, can hush restless
children to fall asleep on filthy sofas, a
sighed drift down to Mandalay’s shore.

In the churches of Sunday morning,
she’ll pray for purity, tinned fruit and
custard. For those as broke as power,
she’ll steal from the shop girls on Boltby,
who are always blind eyed, smiling, kind.
They know that hunger was never a crime.

Just after sunset, she’ll ignite a single
monochrome firework. Here come the
heartbroken hooded eyes longing for relief.
This, the only love when hours ink a day black,
and blacker still, hastening moonless chemical
nights that drown her deep in Mandalay’s dreams.

Dreams of Children

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Walking up the hill to the poetry class,
talking to myself as if a mad man, of how
tonight I will encourage the students
to write vivid and historical verse.

I’m trying to remember the words
to Strange Fruit and also to turn
my willpower over to a god of my
own understanding. It’s hard work.

I note the hope of cheap Christmas lights
that pulse the November houses. The miners
hours long given away to call centres,
the credit peddlers, the dreams of children.

And if Christ is the redeemer, then look down
and hang a Woman’s deeds. The one who
groomed this South Yorkshire town from
pride to prejudice, from hope to heroin.

Hang them in the windows,
the churches and the pit heads.
Hang them for all the atheists, the
heretics, the bad blooded too!