Saturday, December 29, 2007

The crew

ough men     rough hands and tongue
    rough for the purpose
a job to do and a will to do it
    when the shovel swings
a tune is played
    rhythm of muscles and motion

ood men
    good to dig a ditch with
shovel and gravel and pipe and tamp
    down in the hole
the cribber's dared
    hardpan or silt
wet ditch and dry
    they're the boys to work with

hen a job's to be done
    and every last son-
of-a-bitch must be working
    they're the boys to work with

mcmlxiii, rev. mmvii

Friday, December 28, 2007

The yellow hat

ard of voice and gut
    the yellow hat
tough as it takes
    when the gauntlet's thrown

he'll brag
    the yellow hat
a match for any boast

is it the pipe to lay
    fighting the mud
cribbing the cave-away -
    no-one else would

watch him at work
    pushin the crew
first by example
    less'll not do

when the going gets tough
    and the boys cry enough
there's one never quits
    the yellow hat


Sunday, December 23, 2007

To Goretti; paraphrases of two Chinese poems

(Inspired by the translation of two poems engraved on antique jade plaques, in the collection of Goretti Lee Roberts.)

hat delight
taking tea
    in the bower
by the banana plant
    bamboo and fir tree
rustling in rhythm
    with the pitter-patter
of the rain
    the bright moon above


These fine sensible souls
    contentedly resting
where flowers prosper
    after strenuous day's walk
heartfelt pleasure
    upon sight of full moon
presiding over mountains and lakes


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Two faithful wives

wo faithful wives
    or perhaps wise women
the art of theatre
    drawn as if from the life
japanese ladies choosing flowers
    for the elaboration of their simple bowers

an exemplary scene
    reminds me of our happy excursions
and the wayside companions we apprize
    with many a will-we or shall-we
as an excuse for dilly-dallying
    you and me, lass
no nonsense between us
    though much that is nonsensical, nevertheless

led up and down the garden path
    by the wonders under our noses
agreeable disposed to each other
    and what most distracts to take note of:
winged and leggèd creatures
rocks and rockbound
plants and trees in the season
and clouds chimerical
    as soon assembled as let go

just-so happiness
    is sustained thereby
for permanence exists in the ephemeral
    and our fondness – call it how you will
the disposition and the pursuit thereof
    being in the present tense persists
letting the clock go about its business unobserved
    hands that practice due diligence
till we decide the tense is perfect
    and call a stay for tea

i love our humble silly-sallying
    and a common delight in the commonplace
a regard most rare
    shared perhaps by these two wise women
     or faithful wives
which shall be my image
    that i bend to pick as a whimsical posy
a tribute in your honour
at this Winter Solstice
year two thousand and three


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Blissful bed

llissful bed where luxury lies
    in thrallèd virtue of your eyes
rebellion lurks at issue whence
you return gentled virtue out of violence
and undo hair    restrained from flair
    so to observe and drawn thither behold
bold shyness hidden        invitation's trust
    in reticence turns and lightning thrust
as breast to breast prudence is cast
    perforce aside        and also pride
loss becomes least and more glory beside
    fond versus vain    all else at rest
perquisite's gain engaged stands fast
    and so proclaims love's gleeful heart
at your invitation tussle is won
    betousled and fragrant to awake as one


Tuesday, December 11, 2007


bedient as the letter of the law
    i arise
consult the skies
    for prophecies and predilections
now it's my turn to shine
    let the sun do what it will
am i a stickler
    or a traveller who's gone too far
over the hill?


Thursday, December 6, 2007

to the pot susannah likes

otund and exhuberant vessel!
vase or bowl you may be
too small for either
meant perhaps to be fondled
though physical integrity suspect
still cleaving despite the cleavage
and made more precious thereby
    here you are boldly declaring
I! instance of the matter that matters
vibrant opposites consonantly engaged
in twain identity attracting and embracing
proving that from difference
springs difference anew
    an occasion for festive jubilation
for such is love
which submits not to degree
and sensible of intensity
comes by degrees
into the province of impulsive embrace
still cleaving despite cleavage
    no doubt an exhuberant vessel
meant to be fondled
made more precious thereby


Monday, December 3, 2007

To an Unreal Mistress

earest unreachable miss, i do not amend my worldly lust
    nor tread the path of prudence for your sake
to bear your silent scoldings with despair
    that ears now deaf to hope's address would me mistake

You feign indifference whether i may come or go
    yet tempt me more, though i can never bind
your flesh to mine by sound or touch or sight
    as living mistresses the feast, not goal i'd find

No, i forswear both kisses loose and fond
the grave lies deep in eyes that seek that bond

mcmlxii (rev. mmi)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

To Joceline

ay . . . joss!
    let's give the rules a holiday!    from you
who take the cake
    like a faith in the exhuberance of living
simply for enjoyment's sake
    to me who peck at the crumbs
    as if committing a sinful act of pleasure
tell me    when are the tables turned
    you know: the unmerry-go-round mad hatterwise
picking up someone else's empty cup
    with apologies

to dodge the questioning
    let's pretend we're the guests
call the waitress
    we'll set out the goodies on our sensual table
the limit's our ability to pay in laughter
    we'll pile sensation to the skies
forgetting all about the cost
    until we've had a bellyful of what we're after!
the moral's clear    move over gal!
    as long as imperfection rules the roost
the gamest cocks get to crow . . . let's go!

mcmlxiii, rev. mmvii

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Slug it out!

nts in nest
    encounter tampering hand
due either to mischief or curiosity
display diligence and fortitude
in repairing adversity

whereas we human creatures
provoked by hand of fate
deplore plead beg lament
question why of misfortune
feelings put out of joint

ant also subject to suffering
dares no idle claim to compassion
earns mercy of labour's reward
resumption of gainful endeavour
by no fault of its own undone


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Disconsolate child

isconsolate child hugs doll
surrogate image of comfort
to which we, too, turn
in our adversity


Monday, November 19, 2007

See poetry (fragment)

... S
ee poetry. she lies
as all gray –powdered predications
lie, like periwigs on empty heads.
Be nice. Discard the lice.
Beribboned as a beauty fair
Cherry-heart has drunk the ripeness of her eyes.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Last Words and Testament of Reverend Divine Doctrinaire Bideen

Last Words and Testament of Reverend Divine Doctrinaire Bideen

Late of Persia and this World

On Consideration of a Dear Friend and Filosofusser, Tich Backhouse

If you, dear Reader, will kindly vacate the idle rocking-chair on your sun-warmed porch and turn to the Byrne Abbey slopes, looking south down towards the Byrne's Bog and the Big Bend where our famous salmon-navigating river fattens on the tide of the salt sea, you will notice a tall red brick chimbley, our own recycling plant, where this township's refuse is burnt and committed to the ether and thrown in smoky spirals by arbitrary winds back whence it came to descend as smut on the streets and fields of our domicile.

Next to the chimbly stands another recycling plant, the Institute for Incorrigible Women; that is, those who are deemed in need of correction but are beyond a husband's balmy influence; and over to the east by the spurline railway tracks, the Honey Haven Ranch, adjunct of Byrne Abbey Hospice and Sanatorium, residence and workplace for crackpots and senile miscreants whose principal offense is that they suffer from mental disability. Of which, i, your servant, Tich Backhouse, is one. We are detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure, which is not returned. Yus, we iz halfway round the Big Bend, but don't let that put you off.

The Rev. Divine Doctre Bideen and i had fallen in with each other at the ranch during several past incarcerations. And a wondrous man to his friends he was. I liked him on the spot. He was one of that rare ilk, the ilk of human kindness, and his crime – if crime it may be – was absent-mindedness: he lent and borrowed money as if it were cheap scrip – which it were to him – forgetting whose wallet it belonged in and he was invariably seized for non-payment of bills. So they put him in a position where he could not earn any money to pay it back. That's governmint fer you!

I wouldn't listen to a critical word about the good doctre, unless it were that his mind were too large fer the brain of a mortal man. His attention was fixed on no temporal horizon and he arranged his curious vocabulary of abstractions in capital letters, thinking words needed no grinding on the philosopher's stone if they were heartfelt.

He got his degrees in Metaphysix 'n Theology at Ispahan University in Persia, and he was a Haji by right, which means he executed the duty of every true Muslim believer and went afoot on a pilgrimage to Mecca. So you can cast no aspersians, ha ha!

How he got to Byrne Abbey, i dunno. 'Twasn't any hankerin' fer the Sisters of Mercy, which is our institutions present mentors, besides he were celibate and never gazed at a woman above their buttoned shanks. He had been a Sufi among the Turks and perhaps they drove him out. And he were at Tiblis or Tiflis when the original Doukobours negotiated a passage West. So he may have come with them. I wisht he talked more about actual people 'n' places an' less about bloodless ideas. But there's a confirmed philosofusser for y': that were hiz bent an' bless him for it! I've copied some of his animadversions – "pipedreamz", az i called them – while we were occupying up 'n' down berths at the funny farm. I shall miss him, an' Honey Haven will never agin be my second home.


I know it's Fall

know it's Fall
    cos my knees are cold
They'll get used to it
    as i will
    this reformed Thyrsus of mine
    but warmer dressed
A storm in a huff
    precipitates hailstones
    drumming its heels on the roof
    so i look out, startled
    and a zealous wind
    fall's janitor
    is thrashing the cedars and cherries
    until they writhe
    . . .  leaving behind
    this seamless layer of cloud
    like the underside of a massive broadloom
    barefaced as a tart at a wake

"Stay in!" you counsel
    "It will clear later"
But this is the seasonal cusp
    when dozing waterfowl
    open the other eye
    and recall timely invitations
    to greet the sun elsewhere
Probability is
    it won't let up tomorrow
Dash it! Mustn't get broody
    turn on the heater
    choose an easy chair and book:
    that mystery set in sultry Baetica
           switch to a brighter station
          rummaging as thought will
        to a destination
A poem, celebrating
    the shorter rotation of the sun
    after the Equinox:

O Fall, Thou Fell Antagonist
            and Usurper
    Who dids't Maternal Summer
        swipe with barbarous hand
    Anent Thine own o'erhasty accession ...

Sorry, can't continue. I feel old
I see my own countenance
    in Summer's decline
    and Fall's succession
    A matching parody
Can't get broody
    A cup of tangy Ceylon tea
    my compatible chair
    the book and Thou, my Dearest
    always in my thoughts

Oh, Fall, welcome!
    But wipe Thy nose!
Unruly gusts, white-rimed frosts
    and scouring rains
    you summon;
    and if your temper suits
    that peerless antithesis:
    Indian Summer
Lucky i am to salute Thee
    in my seventy-first year


Monday, November 12, 2007

Virtue stands

egal virtue stands now irresolute
won't by itself bestir
as if chained like Prometheus to adamantine rock
conscience gnawing with cruel maw
outraged liver


Friday, November 9, 2007

Fib on Acci

dent, eh?
no chance
I got his number
he’s anathematical

numbers measure off
just like syllables in poems


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Falling leaves

alling leaves don't grieve
    they sigh: 'Goodbye
till weather is warm;
    give our regards
to snow, cold, gale and storm!'


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

From the North Shore

cross the harbour
lights of downtown city
    into tardy sleep

i, at my window
seat for contemplation
by fantasy of beckoning pen
    reach out to you

a restless mood
in fellow-feeling
    with those transient rays
bright wands
    that play in squiggles on the water

so you, my dear, are present in my head
held luminous    or else
by turns extinguished

go to bed…? no, i linger
    chastened and sombre
whilst wavery beams
    leap from the darkened waterfront
to show
how naked under this evening sky
my hopes can fly
    or fall
both high and low


Monday, November 5, 2007

The time has run

he time has run on both our lives
has run on sweet
has run on tart
and sweet somehow survives
has run on god knows how
and sweet survives
has run on god knows how
together and apart
and sweet survives


Friday, November 2, 2007

Fall ‘72

s i squint through my sadness
    eyes of sorriest unrest
disquieted by the split between
    me and my compeers
sequel to deficit of views
    feeling used-up and squeezed-out by society
though not so blessedly bereft of grief
    as the village idiot exorcised beyond belief
nor as nonchalant as a solitary bee
    found cold and unangry on a dying goldenrod in September
gutwise i’m hung-up –- with belly fodder no luck
    lush in the bush letting off steam
god’s grace as inefficacious as demon rum
    in redeeming loss of face: seeing self eye to inner eye
while saints sing hosannah
    church choirs serenade apple-pie order in the sky
as if metermaids and one-way streets
    honking drivers speed traps cops on their beats
were headtrips extensions of the ego

Nah i’ll recover my composure
by-and-by without closure
    we grow through not out of
as trees askew attest
    oh Susannah don’t you cry calls out your best
we’ll bear up serenely never meanly
    hardship promises unjoyful occasion to think things over
like crabgrass and clover we’ll learn to thrive
    in the alley where neglect and abuse aint discreet
better that than put up a front like a garden lawn
            obliged to the street


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

To Remind you when Beauty

o remind you when beauty
    lies dead in the grass
her cheer we can cherish
    now she is done
for alas with the season
    whose pleasures have flown
our eyes tracking backwards
    we find beauty less

But off with such sorrow
    for seasons will turn
and pleasures renewed
    though breast sorely torn
feels dolour at hand
    with sun sinking low
we must gather the shadows
    and lay them to rest

Distress is not gain
    the sun’s running on
and bears us all forward
    despite pain and grief
hope is a promise
    that’s best left to time
while beauty’s reborn
    in the rime and the mist


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Jade Beast

Jade beast
    your mythic power still lives
avatar of human aspirations
    shape of incongruous origins made compatible
animal qualities by kindred to ours
    singularity most harmonious

    kilin    reputed for your gentleness
monstrous artefact of ancient lore and craft
    we owe you awe and reverence
proof of provenance scant
    you are your own authority
recognized by whom you would be seen
    charismatic aura under cloak of anonymity

    "found under bed"!    so i am told
by what freak of providential coincidence
    revealed to present-day consciousness
hidden after long sojourn
    buried in earth
leaping over manifold generations
    white apparition    indicative of great age

    guardian called to defend against wilful chaos
when worldy events run amok
    human pride and greed resulting in discord
which carry misfortune to innocent life

    huge jaws open in challenge
massive haunches crouched in still momentum
    epitome of grace and strength
body-language in any tongue
    may you stand thus on our behalf
as we remain loyal to your purpose
    bequeathing to futurity
benevolence    serenity and precious gift of friendship

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

To Io (the horned moon)

ost piteous
your plight
soulful heifer
in Heaven
to rise again
your downfall
our delight


Tuesday, October 16, 2007


his gnome, this charming horror,
That sits Apollo-like upon my lusty soul;
Call him Conscience,
Wryly grinning,
Mirthful as a martinet
In parody of joy,
He slits the envelope and stirs between
A foil to mind and spirit,
Still lustful, lascivious, gross, unkind,
But never lost in dirt or callous suffering;
For give this gruesome little wart of sin his due
The college-taught proprieties were born of him
And tie-clad stalwarts know his school;
Refinement, bred of ease, has coached his whim.


Monday, October 15, 2007

A major poet lies here: the ashes of a fire

he two of us
beside the fire
we three

such a great talker
this fire
spitting and hissing
like a skidroad whore

you and i
sitting by the fire
desire burning lower
and the ashes
hiss in displeasure
as we throw on the water
to kill them dead
and joy-in-waning
sends us to bed


Sunday, October 14, 2007

The mind may go beyond

he mind may go beyond the
petty animosities
the grievances
to sit akimbo on the rim of a rainbow
that arcs unavoidably
through the sunlit self
to the centre-not-a-centre
where no untoward cloud may dally
to bar or sully
the light of immanent sight
footdangling pleasure like a squirrel's treasure-
trove of nuts he has stored for the winter season
or a pot of gold to be dug after the sun has set
not before


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Bonne chance, my dear!

onne chance, my dear!
Secretive and silent as a fox
without the fanfare or the view-hallo
as quiet as the mortar on the wall
that sets the mood and tenour
of our etiquette in love
you scaled the bastion
smuggled out the key
and brought my stronghold crashing to the ground
As fortified a den you found
as ever robber-baron ruled
Now captive in the conqueror's pound
i wait to hear my punishment:
to ransom, hurt, enslave or free
declare your next intent
You chose the strategy
and fought a winning cause
to lose was my desert
now honour yours!


Friday, October 12, 2007

A fib is a fib

fib is a fib
    a lie on the fly
like the cut of your jib
    with faltering wind
you sail before
    no care for where off
lies the leeshore


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bowlful of leaves

owlful of leaves
Autumn brought to its knees
Winter sighs: Alas
I too. Seasons pass!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fall colours in profusion

all colours in profusion
likenesses and contrasts
this commodious commotion
blessèd mosaic to kindly eye
so merry and sore circumstance
belong rightly or wrongly together:
shrewd heads nod agreement
to fear future and dismiss past
seems eminently daft
what's been and gone and what's to come
may like our pastiche of leaves and flowers
amend their differences
and vouch assuredly
that we have been and have done
what matters most to us: lived truly
despite our present confoundation


Friday, October 5, 2007

Tich Backhouse: Letter to Minerva

Tich Backhouse Esq.
c/o Honey Haven Ranch
Byrne Abbey Hospice
Byrne Abbey

To    Mz Minerva Kutlass
Byrne Abbey Boulevarde,
Byrne Abbey

Dearest Minerva,
      and a deja view. It's Box 911, c/o Her Majesty's Prisons agin! If'n you have read about my confrontation with that Mighty Arm of the Law, Constable Percy, in our gladrag Brother Russell's Gazette you'll already have packed the cake and file, but hang on, darlink, i'm not ready to break out, my soul is flayed with grief and i shall wallow in durance vile till i am purged of the black megrims. Have patience, dearly beloved, and listen to Tich, hiz side o' the matter.
      We are born prisoners. Conditioned to the stasis since we were conjured into a finite cell out of the abyss. Once more i am encapsulated in the womb; tis Her Majesty's confinement, lasting the duration of her pleasure, and the padded walls of this hermetically-sealed environment are designed for those who would kick against the pricks. When shall i be delivered? O pray not for a miscarriage, not that i shall linger out the full term. Better call in the Surgeons General and certify me a phantom pregnancy! How can they libel a crackpot with madness? Tiz illiterate az well as unconscionable: cranks should enjoy special rights. We iz an endangered species!
      I was training Tiffani, my precious tyke, how to cock a leg up at a fire-hydrant. Being a pup and a bitch to boot she prefers the spreadleg stance. I thot to strike back at the Mzanthropic Society, how they thinks we iz outta step with them! Uz males, that is!
      The tyke 'n i had taken on a load at the Forebeers Bar, as per custom. Harry, the tapster, had paid me fer taking the slops out back for the hogs, enough to get me whistle wet. You know how everybody iz two beers short of good humour, especially Tich, an' the strain o' livin' off the avails of everybody's condescension coz you iz on the paupers' roll, and when you're stature matches your own good opinion you haz to rise in the world somehow. A draught or two iz me remedy. O an ugly mug like me wid frowzy beard, five foot in me holey sox, mistaken fer a dwarf, people allus take pity on me – serve 'em right.
      That's why you fell, Minerva, first sight an' you know it, you took it bad, especially as your dog had just got run over by the brewer's dray i were driving. O, you are the light of me one good eye and along with the booze an' Tiffani my only comfort in this worriting world o' precarious come-be-chance. That you iz!
      So i did my party tricks, actin' the fool, which i am. Tumbling like me pigeons do. An' sang a dolorous ditty or two sending round Tiff with the hat. Bowls the ladies over. Though they has to be tipsy to appreciate it.
      By closin; time, i'm as high as a cloudless sky, and as sunny, when Constable Percy pokes his ruddy nose through the door. Now Perce an' i get along together very well when we're sober but he takes dead aim at me when i'm under the influence. "Out!" he sez, jerking his thumb in my direction. And Harry hasn't even sung, "Time, gennelmen an' ladiez, please," yet.
      "Pardon me," i replies, "it's me job," and i picks up the pot of slops from under the bar and, quite by accident, oh dear, as i go past collides with him and drenches his bonny blue uniform. He swole up pompous as a bull-walrus in mid-bellow – so i vamoosed!
      Tiffani follows on me heels, waggin' her stump. People say she looks like me; which is not true. It's not fair to insult a dog. But we do think alike. As we lollop down the bullyvard we gets the urge. Immediate. Trickle down the leg, else. Bladder's swollen like great blood pudden. We musta had more'n one over the eight, she 'n me. Never understood why they call the pub "Forebeers"; shudda been "Ten", give a guy something to aim at. Aiming at is what we did, the fire-hydrant outside the police-station, as i explained, it being the most convenient.
      When we're in full spate – o bad timing, can't nip it in the bud – a great holler: "Stop that!" tis the constable drippin' suds onto his big boots, like he was incontinently in synch with our endeavour. But na, he wasn't! And to cut the caper short (being decently finished) drunk-tank it is, with magistrait's court in the morning. Not Tiffani; she was excused, bein' a minor.
      I pled: "Not guilty, Yer Honour. It iz ascertainable fact bladders an' other eliminatory organz iz involuntary. Besides, i iz volunteer fireman an' fire hydrants comes under me purview, hosed down, reg'lar. There i rests me case, M'Lud!"
      "Thirty days or twenty-five dollar fine, whichever comes first," he intones without looking up at yours unruly. I can't hold back me furious short temper. Tis involuntary, too! I climbs over the railing and standing knee high to the dock drubs me gnarly fists on the panelling. "Cum down here!" i yell, "you topin' ol' tyrant an' i'll present you with a matched set o' black eyes. Ye mither were a drab an' your fadderz unanimous!" With that, i exposed myself.
      The ushers descend like a rugger scrum and i sails into the barney. I bloodied the clerk's nose an' went down fightin'! Tuck six good men an' true to drag me to the hoosegaw. Oh it were a fittin' end to a night on the town!
      The beak, he changes his mind. Consults the police sawbones, finds out i've been committed afore, and here i am, guest and detainee, courtesy Liz Regina Windsor.
      Minerva, dear, here's the bad news. I run into Doctre Bideen at the funny farm. Yes, he's in here, too. Again. You remember meeting him at his lecture given in the hall at Mz McMadamz? Old duffer with bleary eyes an' granny glasses. A beard even the mice won't nest in. Thin long streak, speaks in long insubstantial streaks to match. We got the tickets free cos he couldn't sell any. The topic was: "What does Metempsychosis Mean to You?" Nobody understood a word. Both on us. That's how clever he is! Educated at Ispahan U. in Persia. He's my philosophy tutor when we're in the nick together. Kills the time wonderfully.
      I should say, "He was." Was me tutor, i mean. He's dead. I'll tell you how in a minute when i get to feeling like it.
      The Doc 'n i, bein' old hands at the farm, Honey Haven Ranch for the Feeble-Minded, and unfit for anything else, we gots the pretend-we're-bush-clearing job, like before, back forty by the river at Big Bend. Seems like the bush grows while we're watching it, so we don't try hard to catch up. You know the drill. Chop it down, saw it up into cordwood and burn the debris. We're our own bosses during the day. Who's goin' to escape while we got free meals for doin' nothin'? It's back to the padded cell at night. Locked tight. Don't make sense, guards while we're asleep!
      I'm bein' long-winded cos i hate to spit it out! We're sitting cosily together, on a soft mossy log off in the bush, just the two of us, the Doc 'n me, philosofussin', the old tobacco can hung from a greenstick over the fire, me watching the can cos old doc, he gets caught up in his disquisitions, and i don't want the coffee to boil more than to a head, and there's a pork sangridge in me fist, left over from breakfast – well, the Reverend Doctre Bideen, a corpus he is, finally compiled, no more to be writ, not his'n, they have carted him off, leaving me distraught, with a can of coffee i can't drink and half a sangridge i can't swallow. He keeled over in one of his Caesarean fits, mouth a-gapin' like he needed air badly, but it weren't air wanting to get in, t'were his blessed immortal soul leaving his body. I could hear it keening, i swear, like a babe come raw from its mother, glad to go but unwilling to leave. I bolted up to the ranch for help, but no use. A gonner's a gonner, nothing more certain!
      This is what i want you to do, Minerva. You owe me, and i saved it for a special occasion in case, cos i never said nowt about you and your secret agenda; whoever you visits of a sudden, once in a while, claiming it's your great-aunt. So i've written up notes i made while Doc was lecturin' me on Love with a capital, like he used to. I'll post them and please get them printed up in the Brussell's Gazette.

            Your fond spouse,

Sunday, September 30, 2007

My Sister Antigone

y sister antigone
    she is alas long gone
a broken knee and gangrene
    sent her to kingdom come

sent her to kingdom come
    amen amen    well done
dear sempiternal sibling she
    in agony passed on

amen amen    sad tears    shed he
    recalling who she was
dear sister     worn by duty
    thought chores a worthwhile cause

she chased a cow    it fell
she did into a ditch
on top of her pellmell
my sister    underneath    oh hell!

the cow     the bitch – if cow can be
    fell headlong     toppled down
a mucky ditch    with my antigone
    sent her thus hobbling home

so now at night i cry outright
    antigone long gone!
a broken knee and gangrene –
    it cuts me to the bone!

on darksome eves when twilight fades
    in shades of pitch and tar
a figure flits from path to ditch
    it is my sister – ah!

antigone    antigone    anent god’s bane
    you’ve left me sore bereft
until the cows come home     i mean
        the milking’s never done!


New project afoot!

To all Laurie's faithful readers; this is the amanuensis. (Nice, old-fashioned word; I like it.)

Sorry for the lag in posting. We have a new project on the table, and will be adding a weekly installment of fiction - the chronicles of Tich Backhouse.

Tich lives in Byrne Abbey, an alternate universe sister city to Burnaby, British Columbia, in a time sometime between (and crossing over) the early 1900s to the present. He deems "hissel'" a "filosofusser", and is all too likely to be in conflict with whatever authorities attempt to civilize him.

'nuff said; you'll see what I mean. Soon.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Reminder from Hazlitt's "On the Fear of Death"

rom fretful birth
to fretful dearth of years
as yesterday damns tomorrow
    with its claims
infant joie de vivre
    burns dimmer
tempestuous youth    in despite confronts
    middle old age
despised and later tolerated
    whereupon would to the contrary
delay in vanity
    nunc dimitis
and borrow access to what is denied
    future untold
rather than boldly stand up and deliver
    divorce from self


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Mutability my theme

utability my theme
nay, neither moot nor mute
    I must say my say
do my damned worst or bestingest
every grunt and groan
a mouthful to a footfall
until i flop myself down
and exit upon a hook
where there’s no season or clime
no bother of raison d’être etcetera

campanile bells ring their changes
changes to measure compatible
lively the moment    to strike
    or strict
to which they turn their tongues
pulled and reeling
heel and toe as we go
with a heigh ho hey nonny no
upon each taken yeasty breath
footing it tempo to the body’s beat
urged by primal legacy
    mutability my theme
taken at its worth    sobeit!
cogency sent from earthandsky


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Poem in twenty five words

... because you asked for it:

f now exists
    it aint simple whit
precise fit to Greenwich
    meantime     gone
nor when you were born
    slipped womb pellmell
with anguished yell


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Beauty mediates

eauty mediates
though immediate
how can that be?
what’s out there
ceases to be the other
and draws us
hither from thither
in a splendid identity


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Out of the Impasse

m i sane or am i mad
    a dog in the manger
hating the stranger in myself?
    good and evil we were twain
but god is dead
so i am half-alive
which is the very devil!
    they swear the seed i bear
is cursed even unto the trump of doom
which is why i would bid my heirs
fare-thee-weal or fare-thee-woe
    meanwhile i’m stuck among the either-ors

        see-saw margery daw
        johnny shall have a new master

    why rue the devil’s encores
adam’s legacy    not mine!
i’m wiser    pay him no heed
he’ll get meaner and meaner
aggravate his spleen and bust
    until then i won’ t mention
good/bad    honour/lust
embrace the difference between
without being one or t’other
i’ll arrange a humane paronym
brother i’d rather say amen:
    to my little i am and big i am
hello in there stranger
i’m no dog in the manger!


Monday, September 10, 2007

To be is no verb

o be is no verb
it is me
scion of family tree
to dig up my roots
you’d recognize brutes
as small as could be
which is where i began
matter of fact
an animated that
herb    browser or flea
my ancestral tree
mould raised up
from spirit or dust
what matter
to be in one word
it is me


Thursday, September 6, 2007

Veritable Rant-tant-tivvy

nd has end    beginning beginning
    trouble is    ouroboros swallows tail
stays dumb    rational verity blown
    like cause and effect which effectually
waltz around ballroom to metric strains
    east is east and west is west
until you re-orient your swatch of the sun
    day's begun when day is done

    dexter or sinister take your pick
devil's due:    virtue he elicits
    by whose light or darker insight
are shadows cast that ne'er standfast
    sun doth run    after-burners on
nor wait upon    humanity's condition

    no lad     no lass
polarity's bad cess
    imperative challenge    no small change
logic and grammar's perplexity
    okay to spit it out quick
before you choke or get anal-ytic

    why taken for granted as how
example: throne of god occupied by his nibs with beard
    photo op frontally posed
as if transparency in action
    behind scenes access denied
consequence: chimerical inklings
    lead us on
to gratuitous intent
    apochryphal precepts
invoke fealty to almighty
    ben- or mal-evolence
dispensed removed
    within or beyond reason
though we invent incantation and sacrificial offering
    to allay and propitiate
'step on crack:    break my back'
    hexed?     oh hell no sweat!
mumbo-jumbo survives
    from aeons before Satan's get

    tail-end peace quivers as gross felo-de-se war
clamps jaws
    ego trip    evolutionary dance
sink or swim mayhem
    oughta be maxim:
hyena's leftovers' slim-pickins fattens cosmic cycle
    rhythmic stress maintains integrity
keeps us hopping
    harmony of spheres tactical guessing game

    verity's rationale withholding contingency
beggar's coat     fit to blow its stitches
    ludicrously vain this either-or dogmatism
presented even before you lose your baby teeth
    brusque truth crunching on tempting rusk
no     no no nooh     No!
    ""oh no" limits conditions of play
worries     caged lion into apathy


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

At the top of the food-chain

t the top of the food-chain
he who fell
fell ill
what a to-do about
nothing that whatever could be done
until the spill-
age     upset
was righted
alright! he remained
at the top
not the height
of the food-chain
lower than before
before the fall
for the chain is a cycle
nobody's on top
of this     never-bottoming-out
well ...?
or always as long as


Friday, August 31, 2007

Who turned off the sun?

ho turned off the sun
and fixed it on those mountains?
If I am crazy
why any mountains
why my beloved sun
why darker clouds
and persistent unruly winds?
suspicions rule my brain
and you laugh it off i know
cleverly defending your ego
but i?    suspicions remain
why any sun
why any sky
why do clouds fly
and no rain fall?
peripheral light and shadow
lie between
humanity and insanity
and the pain of the crossing touches my cerebellum
eyballs switched back to front
cutting off the sun
and the clouds
they bring no rain
with their cold penumbra
only doubts    suspicions    remorse
running wild
while people twirl parasols on mountain-tops
today I am a fearful child


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Topsy-turvy sweetheart blues

Topsy-turvy sweetheart blues

Topsy-turvy sweetheart
    woman who ain' true
won' pay y' no min'
whoso livin' hoopla romance
gets lef' behin'

    so don' pay y' no min' woman
who ain' true
topsy-turvy sweetheart
bubble that blew
won' pay y' no min'
trick's turn back on you

    topsy-turvy sweetheart
swear worse'll happen
clean gotta go through
stop posturin' woman
i won' woo

    i'm battered woman
battered bleak n' blue
no more bad news
seen y' clear through
don' pay y' no min'
turnin m' back on you


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Pus is pus

us is pus
    and rot is rot
lower than life
    not worth the fuss
no sooner noticed
    than dismissed
those foul accmpaniments
    of gross disease
whose ethic from paradox construe
    to conserve by getting rid of
where death protects this onerous virtue: life
    an imperative by conflict hidden


Monday, August 27, 2007

Alley Loo Yeah Chorus, Part XVI (final)

errymemad sniffs phooey
    you z growed up topsywise turvey
        accept yr white-liveried n black moodz
            oh my-giddy-aunt fatalism
        accept yr tergiversatin n faint heartz
    yer breakin wind aint inspiration
        nor sweat on brow dew frum heaven

    piss alley rules y
    piss alley rules y
    piss alley rules y

    tad z taken shepherdz crook n bosunz starter
            fer granted
        aint that how yr state-f-art animal adapts
        aint that exactly where pragmatrix leads yr
        aint that tackin thru divers crowds f premisses
        aint that yr puretest enigma n variations
        aint that yr cock-n-bullier circumstances
            red rag-written-off by-n-large

    oh yeah    oh yeah    oh yeah

alley wit-in-residencez sees-n-saws
    wealth z
        coin f realmz half-arsed swollen model
            as fart is to shit
    wealth z
        bottle corked r pig bled
        after shit z forked n spread
        seed spilled nursed n fed

alley loo yeah chorus cries
    oh yeah    oh yeah    oh yeah

filosofusser will go a-musing:
    what fool will bravely naively disinfer
        originall bitterend
    where peacez stagnant regime
        warps across warz mayhembez regimen
    could be clockwise crack f cockalarum doom
        importunate knock on too-little-too-late door
    unimportant as lubricious peccadillo
        that lays to rest nightfall head on pillow

    lolloping waves
    tossed heads f trees
    tip-toeing clouds
        upsy-daisy downsy-daisy
            banality f words
        aint no revolution

    what suffices comes back to haunt y
    being lonely-onliest iz price paid
            be merry
                be wise
    return c.o.d.
    unless product satisfies

tadz soleloquy
    no sir    no sirrah        no sirree
        to be aint not-to-be
    even secondhand look
        on timez face
            can see
        more lies in wait
            than hourglass sand run out
    life z handheld candle
        meant to burn steadfastly
            till snuffed when infirm
        like fellow-de-se sun
            sheddin brightness on disarray
                to make sense of
                    day in    day out
            expirin when dayz work done

    cry amenity    cry alley-buddha-loud-yeah
    cry amen fr humanity

utter last by tad
    got mentors n tormentors
    taken hints n kicks
    licked sugared ifs n salty buts
    heard calliope round f blasphemies n tut-tuts
    goin out where i came in

    joy z efficacious
        dated anterior to dis-ease
            which sends contentment
                to its knees

    truthz bein antinomial
        doesn't matter
        like odd pairs of socks
            found in wash with fluffed curses
                that beg or borrow hysteria

    yeah        listen to tad    be aware
    bottom line by default z diaperin n spankin buttocks

blind alley filosofusserz paradiddle:
    serves no humane purpose
    this bein led up garden path
        or down
    by revolutions
        turns of juggernaut wheel
    to which we are hung
        as if buckets to scoop
            and fill with earthz richness
                pockets f plenty-plunderers
    mountebanks that exploit
        our weal and woe
            writin finis over our shed bodies
                in name of advantage
    oh whose
        no    not ours     nay
    cry out to toiling-wheel-year-by-yearz-turning    whoa
    cry woe to wheel

poetasterisk bids envoi

    cry qui vive
        looksee peoplehole
            knock on portal
                where revealed other eye     or i
                self beyond self
        terra incognita
            "here be strange misshapen beasts"
        ill-omened to deter seers n pilgrims
            from discovering wonders greater than allegory
        land with no tongue to praise

    take carnal oath
        cross boon-companion heart
        void phlegm
            cleansing fistula where sooth runneth
        question maudlin liver n sepulchrous spleen
            let intimate organs run together compliantly
                like sojourney moon and journeyman sun

    we be all seeded properties
        accommodated over noble celestial endowment
            to fare in singular animation
    aware and not aware according to lore
        in whose backyard we cant put ultimate shape to
        nor entertain in courtesy resident mage
            if such there be
            except to dream upon

    aint that yr daffy-down-dilly finderz-keepers
        gone to flinders upset revelation
    bless yr joie de vivre liver
    bless yr leapfrog kissin heart
        may that fire up engrams in yr corpus callusom
            till y forget who you are n find out what y iz

alley weal rule y
        alley weal rule y
            alley weal rule y
                oh yeah alley-wise weal rule y

The End.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Garrowby Hill

n Garrowby Hill
    where we push the bus
the passengers fuss
    the driver sez dammit
the bus it fumes
    till we reach the summit
where down it zooms
    whining shrill
on Garrowby Hill


(Note by amanuensis: Laurie says this poem was inspired by an experience on Garrowby Hill, E. Yorkshire, UK, one New Year's Eve in the late 1940s.

The hill is famous for it's precipitous slope. See a view from the top, here.

A painting by David Hockney, Garrowby Hill, exhibited in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts: see larger image at

Friday, August 24, 2007

Busy the moon is

usy the moon is
    fair to see
busy to play
    hide-and-go-seek with
at night among the clouds

even in my dreams
    my fairest dreams
replete with felicity
    i have not seen fairer

ah, that i could capture
    capture and kiss
those maiden-proud lips

but lo! presently
    she shape-shifts
into a haggard old man, listless:
    why, oh why?


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Oh, to hell with thee, bright morning

h, to hell with thee, bright morning
who with thy one good eye
startles my coiled senses
into dazed antipathy

go spin thy sticky spider’s web
to catch the flies and dew
surprise the bloodless lily
who may see her petals droop
or send the morning glory up
a fence to reach the top

thou order’st
they can’t resist
the mad engendering
but i possess the state they miss
and spurn thine urgent ambience

so toil away with cocksure vim
but withdraw the importunate summons
thy mandate sooner i’d ignore
than break my snoring sacrament
for i was old when thou wert born
summary impertinent may dawn


Wearied feeling low

earied    feeling low
    sitting just so
silence wise
    senses reach through dimensions
inhabiting head
    felt to quick
softly    softly    resolution
    other    out there    let go
sun bright on balcony curtains
    furnishings settle with differences
even traffic noise receding
    simultaneous coincident calmness
presences lose solidity
    talk    justifying talk can frame
unanswerable:    who how what where when why
    let float like motes in sun's bright wands
searching shadows
    needing no perusal
for again that unimpeachable moment of clarity


Friday, August 17, 2007

In the garden

n the garden
of my mind
bees buzz
distracting my attention
from the flowers


Thursday, August 16, 2007

in situ

o this world we must turn
from mighty to mite
through flesh and mineral and composite
to how we comply
tis answer fit
in tasks we bend
with work we play
no passing show
in rhythmic dance our motions flow
from toddling strut to shuffling gait
out of earth we came
to earth we go
our questing place
both to and fro


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Some tales are dark

some tales are dark
some bright
i like a little light
to spark
the blackness
just a moment's glare
a cigarette that's lit
and puffed away
as each sun wends
into yesterday
my story goes
to ends
that fit
so does the rose


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Alley Loo Yeah Chorus, Part XV

eremymad sez
    examine rough side f tongue
        loud-mouthing revolutions
            lasting as barleycorn brew fealty oath
    examine fine sadness
        when exhausted battalions died in van
            yr freebooter economix taint
            carried over into war
    examine exhumed etceteras
        don't need religious mirror fr hindsight
        look inside own eyes
            cleansing limbic foreshore
        exercising remedial franchise

    brainless conscienceless commensal would rule us
        virtue meanly becomes because
        spoilsport playing second fiddle
            reckons to oust first
        limning z detraction
        articulation z fits n start r petit mal

    tadz revally

        sing nonsuch song
    sully me none
    aint reciprocal

    portrait z not sitter
        diabolic tease n pucker lips aint master
    tad climbs out of consanguineous bed
        waking up topsywise turvy
    pinches self
    finds originall aint reciprocal

        sully me none
    sing nonsuch song
        originall aint reciprocal
    . . . wake up call!

tadz revalleyation
        we iz uz n we aint uz
    we z premissory notes
        thrown at in-f'r-penny infer-pound arena
    we z oracular crystal balls
        divided over divinin what iz n what ought to be
    we z shrove tuesday tops
        whipped into whizkid dizzyin transports
    we z cinctured catherine wheels
        explodin in demonstrative splendour
            over grand almighty firmament

    pledge yr carnivalleytory oath
        may alley weal rule y
        yeah    may alley-wise-we-all rule y

Saturday, August 4, 2007

I think incessantly

“I think incessantly of those who were truly great
who left the vivid air signed with their honour”

stephen spender

I think incessantly of those who were truly great
    who left the vivid wind signed with their honour
because i am disconsolate about my life’s mean history
i want to torture strength    ascend    invade the brave air
    slay dragons    fight wild beasts with my hands
    defend the world from disdainful censure
instead i sink in the gutter of my need
    and leave the unrecognizing stare empty of my gesture

i think continually of how i’d rather walk with those
    astride like a colossus    where little men peep between my knees
though i sense conceit in my human estimate
    the truly great become a mockery when i measure stars
    which shine beyond their death saying nothing bitterly
brilliantly signing the midnight air with their blue humour
    and the bare rounds of earth’s orbit memorably assign
the beating rhythm of the opposing seasons
    citing no authorities or poets intent on cerebral ritual
or teachers of good rollicking reasons we brainlessly    perpetuate

i wear my honour like a cape of washed-out colour
    rain and snow lower my brow and the frost steams from my breath
uphill work this desire to survive beyond life
    descending to death without tragedy or comedy to humour my posterity
and i thank continually those who wrote across the atmosphere
    with trails of glory in their honour
curving across the deep wide blue of who i am with visions
    of what i might be    an awesome prospect if i could forget
the might-be as a should that draws a shadow over the effusive sun

i wear my honour like a mantle of cloud cover
    thinking continually of who am i this day immeasurably greater
for the beating bounty of my frosted breath
vividly writing the bare round rhythm of this winter season
                        with my white signature


Compelling tidal rhythms

ompelling tidal rhythms
    enthrall our corporeal selves
demand pertinent attention:
    pulsing waves awash
heart's drumbeat in earthmother's womb
    like cathedral choirs
voices raised    and falling
    organic accompaniment
periodic cascades of seafoam
    that caress and embrace with force
recipient shores
    transition from what goes before
into what comes after
    flex and reflex
progressively alternate
    impromptu most consummate
this everlasting now


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

This morning ritual

This morning ritual –
cat Sasha
eyes twin white orbs
pierce window glass

woodland solitude
gladdened by
birdtalk and song

interrupted by commotion
but listen ...
silence never stopped

or standing erect
vegetative sentience
essays mobility

we call regularity
manifest order
when even disorder
is order manifested

‘rules of order’
as if order were rules
rules order!
so too law
is order broken down
into laws
ruled and judged
through intervention


Friday, July 27, 2007

Allley Loo Yeah Chorus, Part XIV

elkin wonderer sez hi
    lookit thoroughfare
        there z shortcoming n shortcommons
        there z long suits n trumps
        there z shortfalls n longhauls
        there z speed bumps n traffic summons
    y takes y lumps
    pavement payment due y'all

wayside pulpit propheteer extolls
    lookit strait n arrow
        there z marbelous walks n fountains    no lack
        there z guilded halls n recitals by bach
        there z haloes n harps n angels in flock
        there z bullion vaults n arches by max

    o laud    sing amen you all

jeremymad sez nay
    second lookit thoroughfare
    direct route leads from what z lapsed
        to what z perhapsed
    turnpike avenue f revenue
        culled sacks by bushel
        cost f express or posthaste
    lookit crooked mile reward
        pecks f kisses from missus
            who z dandlin crooked kid on crooked knee
        halt cant leap crooked stile
    toll litters concourse
        idiots havenots simpletons loonies freaks
        derided scorned despised
        hated hounded abandoned
    hum-hum fall-out peradventure

    singular wail'll tell y
    cry ai ai ai amend y'all
        alack n woebegone y
            alley weal be on y

alley jest supposes:
    wish-on-a-star risk
        salvation by degree or decree
    aint no noble savage manimality to save us
    nor godlinexus tween earth n heaven
        pray for magnumanity
    we iz free to be what we iz to be
    free of our own apronstrings
        if to be human z inhuman
            n to go ape z divine
    alley wail rule y
    alley wail rule y

    godz chillun gotta sing fer breakfast
    godz chillun gotta sing fer fast break
        fulcrum z sprung on no arm-twisting
            bejesus submission-hold
                cryin uncle
        double fiddle-di-dee mooseracktangled knackeryard knot
            aint where it z at
        none f us need eat own shit
        however recipe got

resident alley filosopuss spits ox off tongue
        onto barrelhead
    given body z at odds
    survival-toolshaped n flawed
    tool must sharpen edge
    remove elder burr
    care for wits n senses

    alley-wort hooks alternative abode
        digs in discommodious niche
        flouts landlord with single-minded salute
        disrespectin    rite-n-propertied gallantry
    cross-purpose malefactoring
        later consummate address

    alley green thumb rules extend y
        chess knight moves bent like legs f athletes
        refractory can be canny advocacy

    examine limb as patent crook
        limited animal enjoys joint cooperation
        articulation tangential asset
            machine can wipe own arse
            peeper can fetch bum through looking glass
        limber coupling to strangerself
        schitzy split extended into
            by hook or by crook
        with the corollary: i'll be first in my book
            cutting off friendly hand in exchange for
                prosthetic gauntlet

    roses bred for comely face
        leads to ditto noses
    as inference perforce
        rounds off supposes

This place is mine

ou have the whole outdoors!
    this place is mine    not yours
stay off the premises
    before goodbye
slips into hello
    just go
because we're done with kisses
    and tête-à-têtes
we're done – that's flat!

even though i can't bear to hear
    knock-knock!        on my door
in the tear-drop silence
    fretful    bothered     you'll arrive humming
as if sans souci were doh-ray-mi
    i'll not burn a candle incensed
nor put up a shrine to honour your absence
    oh horrors
damn you    no!
    never forget
this place is mine
    you've got the whole outdoors!


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

That unimpeachable moment

earied    feeling low
    sitting just so
silence wise
    senses reach through dimensions
inhabiting head
    felt to quick
softly    softly    resolution
    other    out there    let go
sun bright on balcony curtains
    furnishings settle with differences
even traffic noise receding
    simultaneous coincident calmness
presences lose solidity
    talk    justifying talk can frame
unanswerable:    who how what where when why
    let float like motes in sun's bright wands
searching shadows
    needing no perusal
for again that unimpeachable moment of clarity


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Out in the vastness

ut in the vastness of the deep
stars may crumble stars may creep
whence they come and whence they go
is not for you and me to know

here at home we’re clearer far
more near what is, and how things are
yet we tremble at the stepping stones
and glory in our ignorance of thrones


Monday, July 9, 2007

Go away, rainy day poet!

o away     rainy day     poet!
    mention the sunny south of the hill
the crumbling cliffs of gravel
        or hurrying cricks that hop and skip
among the pebbles     singing of the sea
    and the green treetops on tippytoe
to watch the starry Venus climb     while I’m
    lazily gazing at the farther spaces
beyond mountain peaks     places
    a tide the sun knows     and I reply
to the question: yes     i     yes yes i!


Friday, July 6, 2007

Memento of World War II

that stirs men's hearts
with horror in the aftermath

Future wars are deadly
but not as real, as mud
and blood, and recognizances
in spirit.     I mean the end
we inherit.

As if we should
disport our senseless appetites
in rage, confiding passions
that could eat our hearts out:
a puritanic ecstasy!

This is me: the one who feared
and queered his fate
grotesquely losing what he ate
in nausea. Back when
men were men, in spite of wit
that blunted on the stones of accident.

What was meant by Ghandi when he prayed
for men to come as men in passive sort,
when blood smells blood?    The lip may sneer
until the debt is paid.        Odds are now laid.


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Alley Loo Yeah Chorus, Part XIII

ow many fractured bits can brain juggle
    mind-boggling kaleidoscape gives us fits
    dismiss putative genius machine
    analytical engine cant handle contrary witz end
    logicz compulsion     versus compunctionz prick

take recess
    fork out excess from wallet
    looksee corny carnivalley routine
    whether you eye manna r elixir
        snake-oil mountebank
        gets famous two-cents worth leg-in-door

take yr shibboleth    truth
    other-worldly conception
    high-minded n high-handed
    takes pride in belonging
    implies diabolical opposite
    them n us scenario

summon alley law     yeah
    prima facie case
    synthetic origin

    birth n death
    nearest portals to herebeforeafter
    apposing miniscus in peristaltic tube
        whose orifaces
        neither unfriendly nor benign to lookers-on
    what z behind aint principals 'r participants
    not so z we can tell

comes consummate logic
        ulterior test
    logic z fabulous butcherz hook
        holds pertinent carcass up to light
        dwells at cutting edge
            molesting or unobserved as


alley pince-nex whiz sez
    use logix excruciating zeal
        as if own tippytoes were dancing
            on knockaway stool
    logix    antiscorbutic
        headhunter n torturer
    logix    occamatic doctor
        cuts afflatus
        sutures deflated windbags
    logix     private soldierz housewife
        kept in knapsack next futile baton
    logix     neat accomodation
        twixt jack sprat n spouse

resident alley pince-nex whiz sez 2
    logix    bullyboy rack f stag
        f'r browbeatin upstart tads
    logix     ebb n flood climacteric
        like doughty salomon salt n freshet battle
    logix     cartwheels denied necktied gantry birds
    logix     man-o-war walkin on air
        over chops n combers
    logix    triumph 'f mindin over matter
        transverse n logitudinal propagations
    cos matter rules mind    natch

    logix    object lesson in lab n lav
        ports n heads fr snoopin n poopin
    logix     poker-faced intro
            to wild cards n boneyard

        some tricks run tally-ho in packs
        some knaves grab tarts


        when logic fails
        dice n heads roll
        all bets off

alley bywords n o-biter dicta

    nix on strong medicine
    massive dose moral reason
    thrust holus bolus down gullet
        from pulpitz height
    as if prescription for what ails y

lookit cop-out nostrumdamnus
    heady spoonfulz dial-mass-f-pottage
        sorrel leaves for poets
        noun secateurs for philosofussers
        soupcons for garcons

lookit snakebitten victims f jacobz ladder salesmen
    dumped back on no-soon-tomorrow square zero
    waitin to throw fixit six
    chuckleheadz dice handicap

lookit turnagain worthy citizen
    pussyfootin-boots exemplar
        for mutinous subjects n refactory masses
    justifyin consignment f daffydowndillies
        to dark lordz dominion
    headstrongarmed    contingents f liabilities
    shepherded like vehicular particulars
        down gauntlet freeway to tomorrowyeah

    may alleyways rule y

Sunday, July 1, 2007

When i was charmed and young, lad

When i was charmed and young, lad
    i swung a fancy ankle
i was a fancy lass
    i swayed my nifty arse, luv
to catch your fond attention
    to lure you, bold as brass

though i was almost six and teen
    and you were teen and seven
my heart was some mischevious
    and love was nearby heaven

now i am sick and worn, lad
    and languish in a haven
and you are dead and mourned, luv
    and i am sore bedridden

though i am sixteen-sixty, lad
    and frown at what i am
i’d still strut a fancy ankle
    I’d sway a nifty bum
to catch your fond attention:
it’s soon how years has gone!


Saturday, June 30, 2007

My memory is a garden

y memory is a garden
that cannot now grow
and the weeds
are rank
where once you walked

i love the weeds
for they too
are never looked at

my heart’s ease
by the sidewalk
of your attention

wild flowers
still grow
where once we walked
and i pick them
one by one
in case you pass by again
and think
those stupid flowers!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

When you're on top

hen you’re on top
    you’re on top
you can lift the mountain
    on to your shoulder
when you’re on the bottom
    you’re on the bottom
you gotta tackle the legs    
        ‘o the mountain
    boulder by boulder


Friday, June 22, 2007

Tich Backhouse does Summer Solstice

hen askt t’ rite a solstiss pome
    I think o’ things i’d like t’ say
An’ then said thingz they goez away –
    O, blow ‘m!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Alley Loo Yeah Chorus, Part XII

ey ninny ninny     artificial tongue
    hey nonny nonny    umbrageous folly
    hey ho    grind y'r calliope navel
        belly-got lingo n fulcrum
        you'll come to answer for boys n girls
    then make hey n alley hoopla
        you'll swing n hang together    ah

say nay    say nay
    universal rule z ululated out f court
    adjudged contemptible hoax by lore
    bought n sold as baggage at birth
        ain the ticket
    cry alley weal rule y
        alley weal rule y    yeah

tad    lotos-legged
    mistakin kaleidoscope toy
        f'r originall view of stars
            grab yr wrecker bars
            prise yr freedom
            bend yr prison bars
            hammer yr landlords
            smash yr cages
                smithereenz ultimatum pattern

    best bet from gifthorsez mouth
    peopleholez aperture

take yr simple looksees n quaint saws
        hand-me-maidenly-down savvy views
    like whales wheezing bottom
        gotta break f'r air
        spout n aspirate

    mouth draws breath
    eyes swivel looksee
    apprehensive or proprietorial
    you can like it and you can lump it

shouldn't wonder if phases f moon
    states f mind to suit
        from rags f thought to velvet britches
        from silk purse to wild-oat-sowerz ear
    round n round n round again

say nay    say nay
    cry alley weal rule y
        alley weal rule y     yeah

    howl z bestial tongue
        n sting f bee z eloquent colloquy
    wail z primitive lingua franca
        venomous bite z comprehensive lexicon

alley caterwaul sez
    kiss off almighty liason
        too-too wholesome seminal integrity
            qualifications admit
        like roosterz definitive performance at dawn
            on tipheap
        while adjunct hen demonstrates lay f land

    kiss off citadel and temple
        stronghold or glamorous     makes no mind
        potentate on balcony acknowledging masses
        pulls bitter plum from pie with flourish

    kiss off history as looking up to looking back at lot
        slumdwellerz paradigm
        brick by brick pile nondescript class erect
        cause n effect monumental improvidence
        ripoff hi-rise particular people disown

say nay    say nay
    cry alley weal rule y
        alley weal rule y