Tuesday, 29 April 2008

The Catastrophic Distinction Boundary Begins Anew

He stepped out of his trousers!
He planted a sapling in the crumpled round of each leg --
They were Cenozoic stressed denims
Bleached to suggest his Holocene credentials:
Femur, tibia, fibula and phallus

The sky’s slithering down
Its blue colloidal slick
Succumbing to gravity
In a decade the sky will coat the earth
To a depth of no more than three hundred hands
No less than a thumb
It will be a new Geological Era

The Dead will be slotted into the jet stream
They will become veined with igneous lightning
Grave goods will include
Swallow and snow-goose migratory paths

And the Earth will issue a set
Of lapis glazed
Commemorative tectonic plates

Vinyl-billed crow
Observing from an Inselberg
Has hair bunched under her wing joints
Which she crisps with deodorant
She's chain chewing gobbets
And calling in a gruff oracular monotone,
‘More, more!’
Her feet fusing to the requisite shape
For kitten heels

Monday, 28 April 2008

Pet Name Cemetery

'What did you just call me?' she asks
'What's that?', I stage-murmur, eyes like vices, 'huh?'
'What did you just call me?' repeated. The wrong kind of helpful.
My skull is a farmyard, there

a horse called 'problem' breaks into a trot
There's some sort of scraping downstairs.
I giggle a sob. I know what is scraping.
In a chalky second, I realise: it's here.

Tonight has been coming for weeks.
I hosed down the spade just Saturday gone
chasing crumbs of loam down through the gravel
breath-fogged, pristine backdrop, my flawless denial

In this town there's a place nobody talks about
As we shop for supplies and try to forget old loves
It's why nobody questions a disappearance
It makes us our monsters and makes monsters of us

Each night cars wait in the rain at the gate
Their boots gaping open; toothless and drooling
while figures shuttle in the dark for spades
for evergreen wreathes, for a cigarette's calm.

Each returns one last time for a stiff little bundle
and, glugging grief, carries it down into gloom
They can barely dig the tiny graves for crying
I know because I've have watched them.

I've seen what it takes to bury a Baby
I can tell you where Darling was laid when it died
I know where to dig if you want to find Sweetcheeks
I know what they done
with Sexybum

This is the secret of the Pet Name Cemetery
What you bury there never stays buried
Each cutesy word cooed claws its way through
and dappled with rot crawls back

we've all heard the stories
but scoff or solemnly promise that we won't ever
get so desperate. 'Better' we say 'to learn to forget,
to treat each pet name as the last' but still
-but still the plots get filled

on one night of weakness I was one of them
Found a spot in the rows of half decomposed nick-names
Where Boos and Honeys and Love-Pies are maggoted
Where sugars and shnuggles and pookums bleed mulch
I told her I was going to the shop
It took less than twenty minutes
I told her I'd got stuck in a conversation that went on and on.
'It was boring'
I told her this.

It's crawled a mile to where I'm standing
in my hallway ignoring the questions shouted from the bedroom
leaning towards the source of the scratching
Legs wet, fists locked
Tonight it's back
Rheumy red eyes, open throat snarling
Tonight it's back
A compost crusted rug, claws deep in the wood
Tonight it's back
A pattern of vowels always lodged in the throat
Tonight it's back
A word that can petrify
Tonight it is back
Woojum is back
Woojum is here
Woojum is here

If you stay here you have to accept the damp climate
You have to avoid naming your car
You have to address everyone by their full name
You cannot celebrate Valentines

you must do these things because too many failed to
We know not to go there. All of us do.
And who could doubt that you're done with that pet-name?
But the pet-name is not done with you.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

snow white...

For Moxy- a rough idea of the Snow White video. To be cut to-length:


Saturday, 26 April 2008

Euthanased Fuel

Rare footage of an ultrasonic dehumidifier
In a woodland glade
Controls ratcheted to max
Shows vapour trails torn from the trees
Past shrivel to compression
Abetted by the barometric vice
Of a low weather front
Until there is a colonnade of coal

Miners step from isobars
Holographic reflectors on their hardhats
Factor 15 on their faces

Friday, 25 April 2008

the sharon tate murders

I'm posting this up, re: the 'Charlies Angels' poems....

Chopsocky Death of Sun

The Sun has a fungal infection, an
Opportunistic pathogen bloating it
Hydrolytic enzymes are syruping the lunar silverware
Turning the Northern Lights into a downy batting cage

Fox, the urban decaffeinated kind
His face designed to manhole
--Teeth connecting like rungs –
Snacks at a nest turned tapas
Filled with brooded olives

And the Constant Dieter has a campfire roaring in her lap
Last week mini-refrigerator components were introduced
Into her digestive tract
By colonoscopy
Freezing her stomach contents
One meal will last 3 months

Each sunbeam turns into a creamy lignin mast
Its edge billowing a little
Touching Fox touching Nest touching Dieter


Thursday, 24 April 2008

Two-Way Rodeo

Imagine! Ancient mosaics that bobbed like a keyboard
Letting you alphabet into the past

Forensic Pathologists who are also Minotaurs
Tuckered up this-a-way

Rhinestoned disposable overalls --
Albino night sky shod in puckered paper boots --
Facemasks like the helms of doves
Nose rings with the sip
Of champagne flutes and
Voltage cranking between horns
Chacun a son gout
Mounted on swabbed steers
Recording their yippee-yi-yays into
Adjustable overhead mics doubling as space stations
Legs streaming Cyrillic trajectories
Spectators attendant as reachable octaves

While petrol moon slips from zippered white silk nunchaku case
Small as a pocketful
Kick-starting the psychotic stuff
The eventuality of
Stadium gooey with rampage and
Yeee-hah @

Wednesday, 23 April 2008


I wrote this around a year ago and I know that it doesn't really relate to 'The Dead That Never Lived' but, you know......just putting it out there.


Concrete towers of hope and condemnation surrounding a hungry rat.
Automatic scrambling for survival against artificial monkeys swinging on branches of their own concrete breath, gusts of dust and wind blowing through their heads.
When will it end?
Flaming tongues of giants blazing promises of lies and lies of promises to a gathering cloud of smog. Microchip brains gathering in circles and gather nothing. Life preservers are thrown to the sense of logic of those who feel but the lines are cut by hot banana scissors.
When will it end?
Hollowed capsules of life lie piled up, spent and used, sucked dry for all their worth and worth nothing in abundance. This crystallized, sparkling age of darkness where remote controlled lives are the only ones that thrive and remain alive for a price.
When will it end?
Cold hot face packs peel back their skin, replaced with programmed expression and judgment, eager to gaze at their new image reflected in a scalpel.
Apparent incisions into the public membrane with a cubed edge
When will it end?
Square-eyed fork tongues feel safe in the race behind locks and chains and weapons of death. Consumptions shrouding mass perspectives of importance and necessity.
Fat back paper pockets squeal in triumph.

When will it end?

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Rapture Related

I was reading through the past blogs and you said that you were still looking for something in relation to Rapture.
I done some reading and had a think about the big question of WHEN The Rapture is supposed to occur. I imagined myself to be one of those people in the world that are waiting for the rapture and thought about some of the questions they might be asking and how they might be feeling.
One of the questions was, 'Why hasn't the rapture happened yet?'
Me being me, I immediately thought logically as to why and came up with quite a funny image.
So I put it into poetry form.

God sits, irate, at the Gate's of Heaven.
It's the 28th Heaven-day, and it still hasn't arrived.
The component for his transportation device.
"The repair man lied when he said it would be here by the tenth" he thought.
God had sat there through sunshine, snow and mist.
"They're going to start to think it doesn't exist" he grumbled
And every rumble of a Heaven-car that passes, produces a twinkle in his eye.
He smiles and listens.....to the sound disappearing in the distance.
His smile fades.
He struggles to suppress his rage.
He flops back down onto his seat.
Jesus brings him a cup of tea and says,
"Don't worry Dad. You'll be glad when the repair man arrives with the component you need and we transport those lives"
God pouts and grunts,
"I don't think it will ever come"
Jesus shrugs and goes back in the house.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Lon Chaney

Lon Chaney Snr. Horror film actor and Man of A Thousand Faces. Son of profoundly deaf parents, he entered silent film as a result of re-enacting characters and scenes to his family and bed-ridden Mother. Known for his exceptional make-up skills as well as his acting, especially for Hunchback of Notre Dame and Phantom of the Opera. Father of Lon Chaney Jr, who went on to become "Wolf Man"

Anyway this is only my second draft - constructive criticism welcome. There are a number of karmic threads here that could be explored. But I' m thinking aloud.

Lon Chaney

At the light bulb adorned mirror
His sits where the Beautiful People have gone:
The seat still warm with the backside of
Patsy Ruth Miller.
He unpacks his palette with care:
Wire for pig-turned nose, black paint for skeletal eye,
Shoulder pulling weight to pound his back
Into hunched immortality.
Tools to make him a starlet of heinous

Like tender kisses
He applies the layers of Horror
Each one containing its own misery and
Comedy equally honoured.
He bends cheekbone, nose and wire into position:
Salutations to a hundred cavernous nights and silences
Each illness and broken throat
Memorised by the absence of speech.

Smear by smear he moulds each of his dreadful
Broken children.
Each old new infant blinks under light
Born into its role of death as love’s dialogue:
Tendering the currency of bastards
Tied away to sickness, bed and shadow.

Poised, the creature is ready
to break out into celluloid like a putrid rash
And wear for the Beautiful People their lonely
inner visions.
His trade: to unmask by masking.
The phantom and the hunchback stand,
lurch, stare and groan back at painful features.
Ready to go forward and make shadow flesh:
Ready to drag the grotesque to love.


Thursday, 17 April 2008

A Work in Progress

The bombs and bullets whiz past my ears on my way to school.

I step over pools of blood of my dead friends, severed arms and legs and heads of men, still gripping their guns so tight.

Every day and night they fight, and I go to school.

Explosions boom and rock the classroom, sending us all to the floor.

We used to scream and shout, but not any more.

I’m not afraid of death. I’m afraid of surviving, getting old and realizing that I am stupid because I was too afraid to go to school

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Graham Chapman

Thought I'd post a few famous funerals up on here. I've always liked this footage, in particular. 

Its strange to hear ALOTBSOL in this context: a song that has accompanied Chapman's death before. Not everyone in the audience is coping well with that irony. 

Funeral poem

We look fit at funerals, you and I,
as we file past the casket, bow and turn,
your black veil flares, my gothic perm
caught in the reflection of a platinum urn
lit by candles, while lily-clad damsels scatter platitudes
over colleagues and cousins and cumbersome shoulder pads.
All the dads too strong to cry on our shoulder, as
monochrome chic can’t be soiled by grief.
Our contrast immaculate, our edges too accurate.

Exhume the funeral: the final resting place of style.
The death of colour. Man Ray would get it—
Just take a cursory glance at the history of aesthetics:
Rauschenberg painted coffins, Brigit Riley made us cry.
Still, it took Chanel to give death its eyes.
A mathematics of line, curve and shade
that would imbue the most pitiful holiday snap
with the jouissance of the French New Wave.

We’re back in Kansas, in the town where we began.
Just ink and canvas and a middle-distance stare.
The last strut of the Rat Pack, coffin aloft,
with the best dressed member sealed into the box,
We’re ready for the close-up, we’ve never been so ironed.
Our lives, a film noir, classily made,
and nothing is more classically designed than a grave.

Black and white is a durable idiom.
Immortality a blessing as well as a curse.
Some things never go out of fashion:
the camera, the pupil, the ink-well, the hearse.

Sunday, 6 April 2008


‘’Apocalypse means
‘Drive-in jewelery’

Amen means
’Your death-rattle will be indistinguishable
From drum and bass’
Sayeth the lord”

God’s coming back and this time
He is issue oriented
And already wearing protective goggles

You have defiled yourselves with exercise --
What happens when you do yoga is
Your soul does a really spiteful impression of you

When I was a sinner I was so flexible
After two-hours in the tree position
My eyes would slip down inside my nostrils

Now I am sedentary and do miracles
I perform surgery on moonlight that’s got MRSA
I teach Tai Kwon to box jellyfish
Then there is the miracle of The Puppy
Ten years soaking up formaldehyde
And it starts doggy-paddling in its jar

‘Your hairstyle is actually my shadow
So your hair grows when I move away
I can give you bad hair days by darting to and fro
But if you are bald I am right on top of you’
Sayeth the lord

‘I am the eco-system Santa
As prophesied repeatedly
Yet I am so small
Two acrylic nails
Stuck to the front and the back of me
Concave inwards
Are sufficient for full body armour’
Sayeth the lord

Saturday, 5 April 2008


Cut-up obituaries from Yassir Arafat, John Peel, Old Dirty Bastard & Emlyn Hughes (all November, 2004)

Balding, paunchy and badly dressed, he had the air of
a Philadelphia McDonald's parking lot,
wearing a cheeky grin
and a pistol, born for so long on his hip, that
rap music evolved around him.
He could claim to have broken The Fall and
the White House lawn.

Determined to restore Palestine to the roadmap
he became a DJ in Dallas
and played songs that sounded like people fighting—
A style that earned him the nickname Crazy Horse.
But despite the hallucinogenic overtones, he refrained from indulging in
corruption, misrule and human rights abuses,
as he led his wolves directly into
the hearts of suspicious teenage listeners

He was later arrested for failure to pay child support
and announced that he enjoyed "vigorously grand-parenting"
with a "face of terror".
His nasal pronunciation and short vowel sounds were powerfully
derailed by persistent violence

With the onslaught of Beatlemania
he was shot in the back and arm
by Liverpool boss Bill Shankly
but the wounds were superficial.

He became the instantly recognisable face of
the inexplicable “Big Baby Jesus”
but failed in both war and peace to achieve his dream of
being driven by limousine from
his West Bank headquarters
to a New York State welfare office to pick up his cheque

He signed interim peace accords with Israeli leaders Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres,
appearing together on a Mariah Carey remix.
Clearly not on the payroll of any record company, his words carried weight.

His first marriage to a 15-year-old Texan girl was dissolved
into 20 vials of crack— like
a plane crash,
pre-recorded, and broadcast every night
for the last ten years.

Living at his mother's home under house arrest,
he was somehow enduringly adolescent and old before his time,
a modern day
television quiz show
who installed a one-party system
but could play in three different positions,
a spirit of the all-conquering Liverpool side
with boundless reserves of drive, enthusiasm and battling qualities,
who vowed to
play The Sex Pistols' "Anarchy In The UK"
until his country was united

has been widely reported in the mainstream media
a global phenomenon
rife with cronyism, run so single-handedly that only
tears of countless
can make the
cold blooded

Friday, 4 April 2008

Moomintroll Buys It

Meringue Pupa, Tranquilized Bomb,
Eleventh-Hour Udder,
He went by many names
But today
Moomintroll is shrink-wrapped on the gammon carousel
At Waitrose
His fat in circles round him like a hoopla rod

His veranda made of scrapped electric kettles and their flexes
Has been upended, propped against a public statue
As a weekend lean-to pissoire

Poor Moomintroll went swimming in the harbour
Where Ancient Regimes
Had dumped their million guillotines
Waves merely rolled their million silted mechanisms
Dice dice dice

Rumour, though, suggests dementia
After ten years as a full-time semen donor
His sex identical to windscreen wipers
Though renegade and
Twice as squeaky

Death the Chiropractor culled
His valley calcium
Manipulated his cranial sac
And turned his plush into a single-seater

Thursday, 3 April 2008


Just to say that the books are NOT now closed for new submissions. Please keep sending stuff through!

I think the 30th of May will be the provisional submission deadline. That saying, the earlier the work comes in, the more time we have to develop it for the stage.

In particular, there are several things I am looking for

>2 more 'testimonials', written in the same style as Jeff Price's piece on Andy Lippincott.

> A piece of fanfiction, written by a 10-13yr old child, where the kid decides to kill off the main character (eg Harry Potter, Spongebob) - see the blog entry called 'Killed by Your Own Non-canon' for more details.

> A piece on the Rapture, or TV evangelism, or some other mediated fantasy concerning the apocalypse. (i recommend anyone interested to listen to this episode of This American Life: http://www.thislife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?episode=125)

> Some sort of hymn to finish on (thematically, this can be quite broad strokes) to be played with a live mariachi band. Possibly to the tune of God Save the Queen. Maybe to be also sung by the audience.

Holler back at me,

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Event update

Hi there- just a note to say that I've been really enjoying all the stuff thats been posted up on this site so far.

Over the next few days I'm going to go back and comment on everything that I'd like to use for the event. One of the remits of this project is that we get writers collaborating with artists in different mediums. So I'm going to try to tentatively suggest ways that each piece can be staged/filmed/sung/etc. The last event we did had about 4 basic 'types' of performance:

>poems turned into songs, sung with a live band
>poems turned into short films
>poems turned into short short plays
>poems read straight to audience, using a series of lighting states

Obviously thats by no means definitive, but its roughly the sort of range i mean when I talk about 'developing' or 'staging' poems.

I'll be really keen to hear your ideas as well. First we need to come to some sort of conclusion on the best way to present these poems to a live audience, then I'll try to find the right collaborator for you, and pass you on their details.

Obviously, you guys are scattered all over Europe, so I'm going to be looking to have a resource of local actors to perform alot of the work. If you are keen to travel up to Newcastle to perform yourself, make sure you let me know.

In the meantime, any questions, drop me a message here or at my email RossGSutherland@Yahoo.com / 0771 944 6025

Ross x

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Mock Turtle (Lewis Carroll's)

An hydrocephalic Victorian bathing machine
Boo hoo is a crypt
For this marine chelonian who choked on excess nasal hair
Caused by oestrogen flooding his transgressive tea-table tableaux habitat
Boo hoo
Roll-on deodorant is applied to the pits of his limbs
By optional senators
Like mustard to provolone
Boo hoo
Then he is beheaded onto a spreadsheet
By a scimitar-wielding welder, visor down,
And the neck’s rim flesh tin tacked onto a fully inflated whoopee cushion
Finished with yacht varnish
Boo hoo
Boo hoo abstruse
Boo hoo hoo hoo
And a small clock gummed under his sloped chin
With its alarm function disabled by some soup