Monday, 31 March 2008

Snow White Finally Succumbs

Time’s feral or on the fritz
It gives the incremental strobe effect of batted lashes
Or god’s exaggerated gat-toothed overbite
Suddenly descending

Snow White, real name ‘Sondra’
Made all the children of the kingdom, line up, hold hands
Then she wound them oh so tightly onto an industrial cable spool
And laid them on the sea bed between nations
To fetch oil

Oh her capsule-shaped face
Oh her homogenous nostalgia
Oh her cheeks sucked in for definition
Oh her teeth replaced by the bells they hang from cats
Silver and spherical a ting-a-ling accompaniment
To pretty rants

Oh her plectrum or guitar pick
That was a tiny freeze-dried human placenta
Oh her carbon hair that popped like pressured bubble wrap

Through the glass partition witness
Snow White strapped to a road-kill covered gurney
Press the star key twice if you wish to
Administer the lethal injection
* *
There may be silences
Whilst we process your request

Her crimes were also these: she was a goombah
Selling poisoned mascara on the internet
And mirrors you could spread like butter

Her breasts end like bacon
In a rind

Even the prince failed to escape her delicate malevolence
His bladder is the featured centrefold
In the European Journal of Urology
And his buttocks knock like gavels
On the saddle he's been padlocked to for twenty years

Sunday, 30 March 2008

The Prisoner in E.A. Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum

The gowned NHS patient thinks he is pinioned
Not anaesthetized
He believes he is about to receive the names of his crimes
Sutured into his mene

Not so
He has a
Strangulated hernia shaped like a daffodil
‘Oh!’ says the excising surgeon
Slickering its stem with glitter-peppered lip gloss
Slotting it into his lapel

Later sliding it out with aplomb
And presenting it to a behavioural scientist
He believes to be a monster

Then at lunch poised over breath-pimpled dim sum
He texts a djinn on his Blackberry

Carrying out the surgeon’s command
Djinn possesses the body of a career Commando
Making him loose several salvos of dumdums at a storecupboard packed with dumbbells
In a nondescript gym
Dimpling them considerably without altering their weight
Action without consequence
Other than a police caution

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

not sure if this counts but

A year or so back I became fascinated by Sharon Tate and the people who killed her - not so much Charlie Manson as the women from The Family. It all happened when I was young and I didn't really get it then - don't think I particularly get it now. Writing some poems about it helped. They are in Weeping for the Lovely Phantoms, my most recent book from Salt. I am working on some little poetry films about them, just i-movie style. The girls are all still in prison - that's nearly forty years. So I guess they are the dead that never lived.
Here are two poems from this section of the book:

Make it a real nice murder

Charlie checks them over
the girls and Tex, sends them
over the hill on their first mission
over the edge of the helter skelter
no going back.
They are his barefoot soldiers
his Vietcong spiked with methedrine
a distant twister coming up fast
through the peachy Californian dusk.

It’s a fine August night
ripe for pig killing.
The air is soft as velvet.
On Cielo Drive the fairy lights sparkle
around the homes of the rich
their unassailable lives.

“Leave a sign,” Charlie tells them
as the old yellow Ford
winds its way to the top of the hill.
“You know. Something witchy.”

Charlie’s Angel 1: Susan Atkins

She didn’t want to die, said Susan, laughing.
You should have heard her beg.
She thought because she was pregnant
she was safe.

No way. I told her straight.
Listen bitch, I said. You’re gonna die.
I don’t care about you.
I don’t feel anything at all.

After we killed her, I licked the blood from my hands.
I would have cut out the baby as a present for Charlie
but there wasn’t time.
He would have liked that.
What a trip that would have been.

Jo Colley

Monday, 17 March 2008


Well someone was bound to mention it, so it might as well be me.

When I heard the title of VWC2 I have to say it was my immediate thought, but that's probably because I'm a sufferer and we can tend to get a bit self-absorbed. (ok so I can only really speak for myself...)

To me the idea of 'the dead that never lived' made me automatically think of zombies, which then took me directly to depression without passing go or collecting £200 (yes technically I know zombies lived once, but that's a mere detail...)

So my meagre offering to proceedings (taking a different random direction) and an avenue to explore - that of those people who aren't really living but merely existing...

(Jeff i'm thinking of this as part of my 10x10 offering next month??)

(it's meant to be read out with humour and irony - not woe is me style..)

Like anyone, I have ‘Down’ days
Tell me, do you fantasize during your ‘Down’ days?
I do.
And when I say fantasize, I mean it.
As in Fantasy – Fantastic – Fantastic!
I also have hot tears streaming down my face,
When I fantasize

Because however much I want it,
It won’t become reality.
I haven’t the courage.

Tonight, my fantasy was taking a hot bath.
Taking a sharp blade to my wrists,
While taking a hot bath.

And I want to.
I fantasize on the oblivion it will bring.
The fantasies stop me sleeping.
I so desperately want to sleep.
If only for the (somewhat shorter) oblivion it will bring.

But I cry hot tears,
Because I can’t run that bath
I can’t bloody that blade
I can’t hurt the people I love
I can’t leave them to clear up the mess,
That was my life.

Apparently, I have low self-worth.
So if I loved myself as I love them,
Would it make my fantasies sweeter?

Where is my life-coach to tell me how to think?
And what should I think when she’s not here? –
…And how should I think it?

And so until she returns, I want to stop thinking…

To stop thinking…
…would be an oblivion of the mind.
Mmmmm …oblivion
Total …oblivion
Now that’s a fantasy I could go for.

cheers all,

see you soon


Thursday, 6 March 2008

The Queen is Dead

I've always been really interested in newsflashes, programmes being interupted and suddenly we're in the newsroom with a stern newsreader, saying 'Something Has Happened.' It used to be the main way we found out about big events, but I guess the internet has changed this. Here's a clip of Martyn Lewis announcing the death of Diana, and then my poem about newsflashes.

George Aligayah
Every day George practices
his well rehearsed line.
he looks into the bathroom mirror as he is shaving,
he sings it in the shower
enunciates every word whenever he is alone,
"The Queen is Dead."
He rehearses scenarios,
she died peacefully in her sleep,
a bullet went through her forehead,

she was killed in a car crash in Paris.
Mrs Aligayah has not been on holiday for years,
she cannot understand why her husband always ignores
suggestions of a French chateaux,
brochures of villas in Tuscany
all talk of staying with her brother in Tobago.
George knows the value of full attendance.
He does not want to give anyone else the chance,
Huw Edwards, Fiona Bruce

Dermot Murnaghan.
When they are in the same room
the atmosphere is always frosty.
He knows they all want to be the one breaking the news.
George Aligayah has a bag packed especially
he keeps it by the front door.
In it is a black tie, a comb,
a notebook with a carefully worded eulogy
and his lucky pants
because at any time the phone could ring
and it will be his producer saying
the Queen is Dead,
we need you."

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Roll back the stone

Hi peeps,
when Ross asked us to think about the death of fictional characters, my mind jumped straight away to Jesus. The below is what I came up with, (so far). I see it as a guy or gal in a confession booth talking to a holy dude.
If you remember my VWC 1 piece, their was a lot of looping, rhyme repetition, work juggling etc. I wanted to be simpler here, because the church (for me) does all the word juggling. I wanted to write some questions that maybe the pope can't answer without contradicitng himself. Anyway, all thughts and complaints welcome.

Father, according to your rules I have sinned. I have never confessed before and I ask for no forgiveness. I’ve never burnt witches or turned a plane into a flying bomb. I did kill a fly once but it was self defence. I come only with questions. Got any answers, God knows.
Well its Easter day, roll back the stone, and like my own personal faith reservoir the tomb was empty. I suspect my departure from the crucifix cult began at the age of seven when I was banned from my own Sunday school for asking how the son of a Carpenter could also be of the line of David. If you can answer that question I’d love to hear it. No joke I really would, and if you can’t, ask yourself why. And to quote Bill Hicks, why does the Pope need bullet proof glass if he has so much faith?

Religions don’t fascinate me but the power of belief does. For example, I love the way that people who don’t believe in evolution always neglect to mention the stages of development that a human foetus goes through. It begins as a single cell right, then will change to roughly resemble a newt like creature. At another point it will resemble an ape like being covered in a downy fur and finally a modern human. Also I don’t understand why if God designed the human body alterations to a mans private bits would be needed after birth. If it’s more hygienic after the chop then why didn’t God design it that way? I would have to assume that either God made a mistake or that the human body simply isn’t finished. Which brings me to one of my own personal beliefs, evolution doesn’t disprove God but quite the opposite. The question to be asked is not did we evolve from monkeys, but what are we evolving into? Gods’ maybe. And if the Roman Empire can have a vote that was only carried by three votes to pronounce Christianity as its new religion. If the pantheon was dropped and Christ won on the campaign trail then God must be a politician. He’s all powerful after all; it couldn’t have happened without his permission. And of course politicians aren’t to be trusted, they never keep those promises and in the end we always vote for someone else. I guess Apollo twigged that too late. And you could argue that some Roman behaviour was barbaric and that they were ‘saved’. But they would have said that they were advanced, civilised people. I wonder if we extend that logic how long will it be before people view us as little better than cavemen. Eating meat and putting mercury in our teeth.

Moves in mysterious ways, is just not good enough.

You see father, Easter’s a bizarre time for me. Happy Easter, he died for your sins, have a chocolate rabbit. What? I think most people, even you, know that it is in fact the Spring solstice and has nothing to do with Christ, but the truth is irrelevant. Our country is founded on tradition and that won’t change. I just hate the fact that were forced into this, especially at inflated prices because we all have to buy cards, none of which have the man himself on. You have to admire the Medici bank but I still want to believe that the holiest man is humblest. Never trust a religion where the leader sleeps on silk father. When did faith become a business?