Tag Archives: poetry

THE JACKSON POEMS

These poems came about because I was introduced to the genius of Jackson C. Frank, so I spent half the night writing a cycle of nine hopefully bluesy love poems, while listening to him on loop.

 

 

THE JACKSON POEMS

 

dusty time of night

dusty time of night
between dusk
and not sleeping
in your arms,

lonely walks the street
he’s a blues song
looking for a home
rain-dirty love, all gone,

sunset slipped him a slow beer
steered him to a whisky-warm dive
bought him another round,
an empty bottle

is still full of memories.

 

 

 

fublin’ with midnight

dirty street-light-nights, new cross
rain-tossed-laughter
a smokey pub
and last orders,

stumblin’ home
in arm bound love
kissing in the rain
tastes clearer,

midnight fublin’ trips us to the bed
instead of trying to move
just lie there, waiting for dawn
and for love, to never end.

 

 

 

1am ghost

i hear the late bars chucking out
drunken shouts and a police siren
i could not love this town more
if it were made of gold,

cat window scratches
i move slowly, not to wake her
a thankful purr to be rain-safe
and settles,

awake now
i set the sound to low
crackle-needle finds tom waits
in growling-soft saturday tones,

sit back and gently watch her,
breathe my hopes
like whisper-wishes
to the ghosts of night.

 

 

 

sunday morning blues

the words won’t come
on a sunday morning
never know what to say
the day after…

a bottle of jack
still sat on the table
accusing
the quiet morning,

she dresses quickly
says she has work
we kiss
friendly,

silence is my blues
it follows my heart
in dark shadows
and unsaid words.

 

 

 

dirty streets

crisp-packet, gutter-blows
under a grey london sky
and the left-overs
of rain,

new cross train station
on a sunday morning
is a noisy whore
all naked and unashamed,

the clack of the carriages
as they carry me town-bound
sooth my mood
un-silence my smile,

window gazing,
south london
all dirty in its beauty
all dirty, in its love.

 

 

 

love song in echo

i see the lovers
walking hand in hand
the unslept streets,

i see the lovers
kiss-touch-love
the undreamt years,

i see the lovers
echo-kissing
it aches my soul.

 

 

 

the tender blues

it’s the gentle-soft
half-touches
that wear away
the first,

love is in the detail
not loud gestures
noisy flowers
and sex,

the tender blues
painted our silence
into ordinary days
quietly,

no one notices
where you are
or what song is playing,
until you get there.

 

 

 

last train home

tom waits
sings a jersey-girl lullabye
gravel-love
through tinny headphones,

train stops
ten minutes short of home
half hour delay
ain’t that always the way,

smiles at raindrops
kiss-chasing
slowly
down dirty windows,

knows he is happy
just here, just now,
and that
is a quiet sadness.

 

 

 
a new coat of paint

dust covers
placed with love
over the scratched old gramophone
gently,

colour-faded walls
of the old home
need
touching,

a paint-peeled kiss
lingers in the room
unspoken
unheard,

the rain-tears
echo louder
in the empty room,
some things can’t be fixed,

just painted
over.

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Filed under Poems 2011 - 2012, Poetry

Mexican Red Sunsets

MEXICAN RED SUNSETS

Whisper my beating heart silent
-my footsteps cross the border
Rio Brava del Norte,

America, that open whore
wants cheap life
and cheaper beer,

Fourteen hour days
for half minimum wage
and no health cover,

Soon the whites will all be obese
eating McDonalds with extra fries
served with a Spanish accent,

Give me back
my soul-torn sunsets
Mexican red steppes,

Ashe juniper, White-tail deer,
this is where my heart lies
this life, this beauty-whispered life.

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1987

1987

you had to be there,
pat had a yankee flag
draped across his wall,
halls of residence,
wharfdale speakers,
U2, building slowly,
bitter love songs
are always the best,

you had to be there,
me & debs
holding hands
eyes touching
like we were more in love
than anyone had ever been,
like we invented sex,

you had to be there,
thatcher’s 1987
the UK full of hate & money
funny how somethings
never change,
how some things
always, remain the same.

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Filed under Poems 2011 - 2012, Poetry

SEPTEMBER

SEPTEMBER

We ache in our bones
calcified love that dares not whisper
its old songs,

our unsung lives, lie small and helpless,
twisting in a sirocco wind,
and still, and

still,

and still we remember
just those moments

that falling leaf
that touch,
that kiss.

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Filed under Poems 2011 - 2012, Poetry

These Days

These days

“These are the burnt out ends of smokey days,”
we are lillac-blind, cruel-blinded by our
give-up, press-reset, fifteen-minute ways,
this life through un-acquired tastes, seems sour,

These are the stubbed-out butts of dreams, of love,
each night we kiss our kids with whisky-breath
with our stale words and lies, it’s not enough….
our bitter gift…a legacy of death,

These are, the cancer-ridden days of tears;
of drugs and dust and drought and forest fires,
in blind, cold pity we make real our fears,
look away with me as we light the pyres,

These are the fag-end days, the tipping point,
we’re done, put out the light, lock up the joint.

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Filed under Poems 2007-2009, Sonnets

london road (brighton)

london road

the pogues
dirty old town
cowley club PA system
london road

my friend vanessa
scores some gear
back of richer sounds
she’ll be dead soon

out back in the bystander
latte and a fag
the last place in brighton
you can smoke

tommy’s on the street again
can of special brew
and his three legged dog
both stink of piss

steve says you can get a blow job
in the toilets on the level
for the price of a ten bag
if you’re not fussy

sirens break the cold
november night
crack house above the subway
closes early

some drunk got kicked to death
gutter left
back of the old wollworth building
something to do with a girl

it’s always something to do with a girl.

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old box

old box

love letters
tied up neatly
parcel stringed,

black & white photos
grandfather
during the war,

subbuteo figure
brighon away strip
1983,

simon armitage
“kid”
first edition,

swimming certificate
800m
butterfly,

paperclip heart
daniela sauter
first kiss,

all this boxed
not
forgotten.

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Timeline

Timeline

This is a long time ago.
I am trying to sleep at my grandparents’ house.
I hear his gurgled cough all night.
I don’t worry.

This is now.
I am caressing the sweat off my daughter’s headcold.
I am the one they quietly cuddle up to.
I worry.

This is later.
I am visiting my brother in hospital.
I heard the words on the news, now I feel them, dirty bomb.
I listen to his cough, and remember my grandfather.

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Filed under Poems 2007-2009

what will survive of us…

what will survive of us…

the old brickwork
shivvered away
the remains of painted love,

“jezz does helen”

rained and blistered, faded,
years after they forgot
those clumsy moments,

the school wall crumbles,
slowly arthritic joints
need repointing,
but are lost
on some crumpled list,

the last scratching,
etched and chiselled
by metal ruler,
and adolescent earnest,
“kev-4-jen-4-ever”.

what will survive of us
is ciggy stubs
graffiti
and half remembered
blow jobs.

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Filed under Poems 2007-2009

fly posters will be prosecuted

fly posters will be prosecuted

muslim students with rucksacks
will not be sat next to on trains,

young blacks will be stopped
and searched,

children will be driven to school
in four-by-fours,

gays will be beaten
and jews will be spat at,

men will fuck whoever they can
and lie to their wives,

politicians will smile
and kiss babies,

the homeless will die on the streets
when the weather turns,

prostitutes will take crack
and executives will take cocaine,

targets on CO2 emmissions
will be talked about,

footballers will get away with rape
and drunk driving,

mcdonalds will sell burgers
and starbucks will sell coffee,

fly posters
will be prosecuted,

this is england
have a nice day.

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Filed under Poems 2007-2009