made thru language, unmade too. we go to war cos orders are given, obey language becomin ours. pizarro didnt conquistadore latin america with handful soldiers. they won thru words. paraphrasin andrew vachss – words are weapons an wars been declared genst most us all. under jaruzelski yu knew the borders. wordworkers can fight back. from the madness-profession those box-tissues pushed on over are now branded smile. until yu bleed aye?
When the earth and sun
Were somewhere else in space,
I lifted the wing
Of a butterfly
From the pavement
On the downtown square.
I’d never seen
A blue like that before.
Much like a Dream,
The wind took it away.
Much like a Dream,
It comes to mind sometimes.
Much like a Dream,
It is as if it never was.
There was an explosion down on Wharf Side,
less than five minutes ago.
That’ll keep the Emergency Services
‘As Busy As Blue-Arsed Flies’
and far enough away
from where the real action’s happening.
There are ‘Lookouts’ and teenage ‘Scouts’
skateboarding and BMX-ing
the pub windows on the North Side of town.
Someone’s about to get their Number Pulled!
All phones are switched off or left behind…
everyone’s waiting for the bottle-rocket
to pinpoint the night time sky.
Vans trawling the back lanes,
they’ll be chaotically disrupting traffic
when it finally ‘Goes Off’
It’s like a ‘Hoodie Convention’
down on the CCTV’d main streets…
all is smoke & mirrors…
except on the dark East Side,
where no one’s eyes are even looking.
It’s quiet over there,
but, you can almost taste the villainy in the air…
it’s metallic, bloody and euphoric.
There’s ‘Fearful Anticipation’
emanating & vibrating
from the far end terraced house…
as the Shadows in the back garden
slowly change shape and then quickly come alive.
“Que es mas macho?”
Murder tourists wearing “America First”,
red ball caps, three cheers for the home team
and no one else;
Strapped on weapons: from buck knives
to Glock nines, kill or be killed viewpoints,
might be better off dead;
“Make mine a Budweiser-drink American”
either oblivious to, or ignorant of, Belgian
corporate takeover of former All American
“Speak English as God intended or be gone”,
“If God had meant for us to speak other
languages he would have dictated His Word
in another tongue”;
anarchist patriots, “Don’t Tread on Me” pennants,
flags, decals, tattoos, proclaim, “in the land of
the free, citizens do not have to obey laws
they don’t agree with”, band together in gangs,
follow their chosen paths directly into
In God We Trust labeled courts, max security
prisons, unclaimed bodies gravesites;
third generation drug abused children, faulty
genes rewired into something barely human,
nearly dead in their teens; even the Marines
can’t make men of them;
predicate felons with rap sheets instead of bios,
parole violation headaches and ulcers, pedal
to the metal Venus overdrive dreams, always
two quarts less than a gusher, a false alarm
away from a fire.
“Did you ever expect to
live this long Mr Bukowski?”
“No. I’ve lasted this long”
and that was no bullshit;
are two very different things
and how the fuck I’ve lasted
this far puzzles me and pisses-
off a number of people, but,
I have lived and loved
and that has only happened
when you have been
around and in my life
to make it so
and right now, you’re not
around and my life isn’t
its lasting out
until you return
to help it happen.
John D Robinson is a UK poet and publisher, editor: his chapbooks include ‘When You Hear The Bell, There’s Nowhere To Hide’ (Holy&intoxicated Publications 2016) ‘Cowboy Hats & Railways (Scars Publications 2016) ‘Damned Dirty & Dangerous’ with Ben John Smith (Holy&intoxicated Publications2017) ‘Looking Down Both Barrels’ with Adrian Manning (Holy&intoxicated Publications 2017): his work appears widely and frequently in the small press and online literary journals:
As a publisher: Holy&intoxicated Publications has published chapbooks by:
Bradford Middleton ‘A Life Like This Ain’t For The Feint Hearted’
Bradley Mason Hamlin ‘Zen in the Art of Drinking’
Martin Appleby ‘Worse Things Happen at Sea’
Gerald Nicosia ‘The Ghost of Kerouac & Other Poems’
The Poetry Card Series is an irregular publication and has featured:
A D Winans: Gerald Nicosia: Bradley Mason Hamlin: Adrian Manning: Janne Karlsson: Rob Plath: Alan Catlin: John Grochalski: Ally Malinenko: Wolfgang Carstens: Ben John Smith: Paul Tristram: George Anderson: Amy Huffman: and many more: Series 5 will appear some time in 2018:
Illustrated Broadsides with
He is the editor of the forthcoming ‘tribute’ to the poet Steve Richmond ‘Poems-For-All’ Series:
Been too long hiding suspicions
Concerning what goes on behind shuttered window panes
I can smell him on your neck
And see him in your smile
I’m beat down by deceit
The glove box isn’t the cleverest place to hide “Tomorrow Night?”
On scraps of paper
I took an axe to the old oak
Where we carved our names
Summers ago in childish love
Splintering the scarred heart
Into a million useless chips
That will never be worth cashing in
Each strike is for a promise that you shattered
Every blow for what you were doing to him
I should’ve paid more attention
To the stains on your birthday cardigan
I swing until it slips from my calloused hands in exhaustion
Red-hot as a giant brick kiln
in the backyard’s cluttered nexus
(of junked household items
just taking up space)
comes the realization, finally
that bad things magnetically attract
more bad things:
no way out of it,
almost an unwritten law we can’t break
to absolve somebody’s trashy life.
So if you see me peeking over the fence
it’s all right, I assure you
I’m only doing field research
on this delicate subject
& there’s no need to panic
or shout, “No trespassing, creep!”
before the truth hits you squarely
on a body full of bourgeois hypocrisies;
before the false bottom drops out
of the earth’s fabled flatness,
you know I’m there to shield
your supermodel breasts
from the perverse
Lightning rip; time hang;
air fuse; unwrapped thunder
crash. Hail rapture come.
Pellets plenty as ideas hop, parabola,
pop cocaine dandruff in the corpse hair.
Strip insight bare. Race out
back nude, cupping palms
to capture onslaught. Back
leans the eye. Bats lashes at
white stings above the green mane.
Maniacs better fed than this.
And not till hunger eats me up
do I fall to the make
in a rush of ice cracking stone.
God thought cold, think to clothe myself,
crunching shivers back inside a stuffy skull.
Willie Smith’s poems and stories have appeared in the toilet, the recycling, the gutter and in his worst nightmares. He is a retired office boy living off, in the form of a dubiously-deserved pension, the taxpayer.
They’re hell-bent, serving you up, minus tent
or man-made cave, you’re a cold dish to be
ignored. Winter’s coming, dark already
lowering. My cup doesn’t overflow, though
I fill it, my hand is steady and practised,
my two rooms snug in this greying landscape.
I apologise for the difference.
Parliament broth is thin…not a healthy
grain in it yet the recipe pervades,
invades this life to kill what they see as
leftovers living free in the basement.
The planet would probably love to shrug
us all off, have a good scratch, ease itself
of vermin clinging to its very soul.
When the rich wage war, it’s the poor who die.
Knows the score and the brain’s response system,
The amygdala, is damaged,
Ecstasy hardly ever turns up now, and when it does
It comes disfigured, disguised as an intrusive memory,
A memory relived in a series of treacherous thoughts,
the delayed anguish of terrible traumas,
During days and nights without sleep, steeped in hypervigilance,
I welcome the barrel of my Glock, suck on it slowly, like it’s a lollypop,
Welcome the blade of my K-Bar knife, the blade inserted
Between the second and third ribs, then thrust deeply,
Breaking bone, until pain and misery merge, relieving the guilt of my years.
In another setting, I taste the toxicity of a cyanide pill,
A peaceful and painless death, hiding behind one of fate’s three doors.
The kind the downed American flyer in a 1940s b&w WW II film popped
Just before he was about to be captured by a squad of advancing Germans
I’ve been trained, so I’m ready for the adrenalin rush, the pure hatred, the firefight.