That was the way I knew
How to fall, tuck and roll
When the fire reached
Melted the plastic chandelier
And every bold hope
Along with my
Brothers’ army portraits
Melted their stripes and tin
Until their smiles bubbled ichor
That was when I knew
Nothing was normal
That families who eat
Their own young
Are animals of
An entirely different kind
At fourteen I wanted to be
loaded, baked, rat-faced, oiled, locked, scattered, pasted, belted, spangled, bladdered, vapour locked, butt-wasted, bunnied, antifreezed, barrel housed, beyond salvage, making scallops, bit by a fox, wing heavy, tied on the bear, zonked, wrenched, wallied, wee-weed, waterlogged, varnished, blitzed, trashed, canned, chemically inconvenienced, pixalated, stoned, juiced, woggled, twisted, a toss pot, half seas over, a slot dog, unable to find a hole in a ladder, pie eyed.
At fourteen I wanted to be drunk like my heroes
W.C. Fields, Pablo Picasso, Winston Churchill, Alexander the Great, Frank Sinatra, Attila the Stockbroker, Jack Kerouac, Sid Vicious, Richard Burton, Frank Zappa, Sam Peckinpah, Richard Harris, Oliver Reed, Errol Flynn, Ernest Hemingway, Bill Hicks, Dean Martin, Douglas Adams, Keith Moon, Charles Hawtry, Mark Antony, Les Dawson, Vincent Van Gough, Raymond Chandler, James Joyce, Charles Bukowski, Dylan Thomas, Hunter S Thompson, Eric Clapton, Edgar Allen Poe and John Belushi.
At fourteen I tasted the stuff from the local off-licence.
Not Knob Creek, Fighting Cock, Redbreast, The Famous Grouse or Red Label but anything blended, branded “Highland”, or spelt correctly (not wiskyie for example).
It tasted like a mixture of brake fluid, Iron Bru, windscreen washer, bum juice and three week old piss. Plus I didn’t have the money, dedication or stamina to drink a couple of bottles everyday, and at fourteen every moment is shite. Something’s ended, I don’t understand what’s happening to me and the future has yet to begin.
I fell for you, when I witnessed
you throwing that petrol bomb
deep into the snarling mouth
of ‘The Tunnel Of Love’
You slipped awkwardly
upon one of the several shit-parcels
littering the ground
after being lobbed from cell windows
somewhere up near the top.
You arose, gloriously,
tamping in righteous indignation
and shaking fury.
You’d pissed your ripped jeans
with the force of the fall,
and through gritted teeth you spat
“Fuck You And All You Stand For…
You Cunting Death Trap!”
Sticking two rigid fingers up
as you half-circled
and staggered away, limping.
keeping close to the shadows,
and at a safe distance…
like a stray, lost dog…
alone in my bleak sentiments no more.
She wandered in from nowhere
with a request for rot gut
and a routine that eventually
requires cabbies to go some
places drivers never go.
I watched her lapse into sleep
around three in the morning,
dreaming the life of a homeless
person on addictive drugs, hoping,
somehow for the best, the best
being a cab driver who can deal
with the unknown, going nowhere
on a Monday Night.
it seems like I always have trouble
trying to get the lid for my drink
out of the goddamn dispenser
I don’t know what it is
but the lid always seems to get stuck and
I have to struggle with it and
when I finally do manage to get it out
more times than not
I end up with two lids stuck together
but I love their hamburgers and
the cheese curds are wonderful
I love eating them
with ranch dressing and
it seems like
every time I come here
I manage to write a decent poem
We stack the fire pit high as your ego,
trek out for kindling, to find firelighters,
blowtorches and diesel. We say We’ll sing your songs, or at least whistle at your funeral. Bieliebers may, in ignorance,
interfere. Their placards will be glittering fuel
as you are consumed by their smoke.
We’ll record this for our children, hold back
any who hope to add themselves to your flame.
As your marrow and brain cooks
we’ll wipe your tunes from the charts
of history, your sizzle from our minds,
collect your congealed blood on our tissues
to sell online. We’ll write lyrics and headlines
with your charcoaled vocal chords. Justin –
we’ll whisper, pretending to look away – The fire will burn, it will hurt. But it may help us all to hit the high notes in the end.