Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Poem: Sloppy Smiles

I’m not smiling because I’m happy
I’m smiling because I’m wrecked
Because for a weekend I can heal
The bleeding head from all the pecks
From the pecking order
I can cut the cord
And breathe with my friends
We’re not gonna stop til the very end
After party
House party
Couple of hours passing for sleep
Then back to the pub
I don’t even know if I’m enjoying it anymore
It’s my only chance
I’ve been talking to fucking idiots all week
And now I just wanna dance
To feel something pure
The blinking of computer screens lighting up my face
Is replaced by roaming strobes
And drum n bass
Sad or happy?
Who cares?
I’m ignoring all peripheral wears and tears
And I’ll get hammered quicker if my dinner is just this cheese melt
Fuck the recession making me tighten my belt

It’s elemental now
Just stinging sweat and this sticky floor
Just the lights, the beats, my feet and nothing more
Avoiding Monday kicking in my bedroom door
And shackling my ankles
And, bleeding and sore,
Dragging me to work
To avoid being poor

Flashes of the news talking about binge drinking
Thinking they’re linking it all together
… whatever…
They’e saying I’m to blame
Over the centuries, it’s always the same
Just another scapegoat
Older generations scared of the young
No idea about this pill tripping to my throat from the tip of my tounge
Unaware that the system they’ve created
Cremates my faith and makes me not care
I’ve got loads of surplus cash but so little time to spare
So how fucking dare they?
As I pour my heart out
Eight hours a day
Five days a week
Then say it’s wrong for me to get twatted
And feel strong for once
Those hypocritical cunts

Maybe I just want a taste of feeling
Maybe it’s a simulation of love I’m needing
Give my reality a tweak
Then maybe, just maybe
I can make it through next week

Poem: Bored

I’m bored
I’m bored of being bored
I’m bored of being bored of being bored
I’m bored with being so bored
That all I can do is sit and reflect on how bored I am
I’m bored of the left
I’m bored of the right
I’m bored of being told that the only options are fight or flight
When the option that most people choose
Is simply being bored
I’m bored of working
I’m bored of staring at the abyss of my overdraft
I’m bored of it being someone’s birthday every fucking weekend
And not having the money to buy drinks
And it makes me feel like a cunt when someone offers to buy me drinks
On their own birthday
I’m bored of seeing the same people at every party
And having nothing to say
I’m bored of getting needy to all the new people I meet
Because I’m so pathetically desperate for something new
(and cheap)
And friendship apparently costs nothing
So it fits into my budget perfectly
I’m getting bored of me and everyone I know
Casually shagging, then dating
Then going out with each other, breaking up
And then going back to casually shagging to start the whole sorry predictable joke
All over again
I’m bored of debating
I’m bored of staying up too late
Pissing about on the Facebook for no reason
Other than to avoid doing something productive
I’m bored of teenagers being loud on the bus
And I’m sorry but sometimes I don’t give a shit about the social and economic conditions
That cause you to behave in such a way
Sometimes I just want you to shut the fuck up and turn your fucking mobile phone off
I’m bored of your face
I’m bored of this street
This town
This city
This country
This continent
This world
I’m so bored I could kill myself
But it’s so much fucking effort
I’m bored of this poem
I’m bored of my voice

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Flaying The Passengers

So, on Sunday, I was on the Megabus, coming back from doing a gig in Glasgow. I was compering this charity half-dayer of folky punk, which was grand, and all of it organised by Dave Hughes. Props to him. Endlessly energetic and tireless lover of DIY ethic. He played with the full Renegade Folk Punk Band backing him as well, and they covered Al Baker, the frankly immense One Night Stand In North Dakota, and whoever wrote 'Wagon Wheel'. Fun times were had. Much shouting along, etc etc.

These details, however, are incidental to this story.

Back to the bus.

I'm sitting there, with a misguided amount of bourbons, and I'm devouring them at a rate which suggests to my fellow passengers I have had many, many more bourbons in my life than sexual experiences. I'm also reading Neil Gaiman's incredible, epic graphic novel Sandman. I'm on volume 5 of 12. This also suggests of lack of sexual experience. The bus is slowly filling up, and a chap in his twenties asks if the seat next to me is free. I feel like saying something totally hilarious, such as "No mate, it's a fiver!" or "Did one ever see or hear of a Free Chair Shop? I very much doubt it!" There're endless variations on this punchline, and I for one find one as utterly hysterical as the next, and I use them at every available opportunity.

Except this time.

Due to sheer tiredness and simplywantingtogethomeness, my savage, cutting yet warm-hearted wit deserted me. I was left floundering.

What to say?

What to say?

It was a split second decision. My brain was flapping like a pigeon gunned midflight. And then I heard a entirely calm, youngish, male voice - weirdly similar to my own - say: "Yeah, sure, go for it". Then felt a shitpie-chowing grin smear itself across my face. I was practically insisting, begging him to sit next to me. I may as well have patted the seat of the chair after I said it. I may as well have got a bit of tissue and given it a spitshine. I may as well have dropped my trousers and pants and invited him to use me as a bargain-basement fuckstool.

Stupid, stupid, stupid politeness, constantly making me look like a desperate twat.

Anyway, so he sits next to me. And he has nothing to do with him. I find this weird. When you're on a trip - especially a nine hour one - the likelihood is you will get bored. So bored you will chew your own arms off just to feel anything other than the numbing, sinking, all-encompassing tedium. But he has nothing with him. No books. No magazines. No earphones. No food. Nothing. I see him briefly read a Tesco receipt, but this fails to entertain him for very long, and he's reduced to just staring out of any window his eyes fall on.

Why hasn't be brought anything with him? I wonder. Why, why, why? He makes only one phone call in a language I don't understand (i.e. not English), thus piling mystery upon mystery. Unfortunately, since we're all fragmented and isolated in a cultureless, blank landscape, I can't just ask him. It'd be, of all things, rude. And, let's face it, he might be comfortable not doing anything. Right?


Fucking wrong.

Because what actually happens is this: whenever I open my said copy of Sandman, he turns his head and reads it with me. He isn't so rude that he actively leans in or anything, but out of the corner of my eye I can see him, reading, taking in the finely crafted story and complimentary images. But it is totally out of context for him. He will get nothing out of this. And it's just a bit weird. So I start playing small games with him, such as lifting the side of the book slightly, therefore obstructing his view from Neil Gaiman's genius. Or putting it away for a few minutes for no reason. All to remind him that if you're going on a nine hour trip, bring a goddamn book of your own.

But, of course, after nine hours, anything can get a bit much, so I put Sandman down for a bit and stare out of the window at the wet greyness of Middle Britain. It is at this point I realise something. Everything this guy is doing - every blink, every slight cough, every arm movement which even slightly encroaches on my half of the seats - is really fucking irriating me. Then my imagination goes into overdrive.

I imagine standing up, grabbing him by the scruff of the neck, screaming at him over and over again: "BRING A FUCKING BOOK! BRING A FUCKING BOOK YOU FUCKING TWAT!"

I imagine standing up, and doing an Arnie-style neckbreak on his stupid bookless neck.

I imagine tearing off his limbs, beating all the passengers to death with them and feasting on their twitching corpses.

I imagine doing all these things, simply to entertain myself.

But, of course, I don't do any of them. Because I'm nothing but a neurotic with nothing better to do with his time than project his considerable self-loathing on to a complete stranger who's just innocently sitting there and trying to read a little bit of someone else's comic book as unobtrusively as he can manage. He probably (i.e. certainly) doesn't deserve any of this.