Archive for May 2010

The Charity of Caliban

May 30, 2010

The thunderstorm was falling on the speeding car as hard as a ton of bricks. The long haired male driver was more concerned with the interference the rain was causing to the Metal Chainsaw show on radio 666. The Dark Lord DJ said the last three records played were-

Diamond Head- Am I Evil?

Anthrax- Riding Shotgun

Dio (in memory of Ronnie James Dio)- Rainbow in the Dark

Gulping down on Jameson’s, you can’t beat good catholic whiskey the driver shouted, suddenly a huge burst of wind blew off his windscreen wiper. Driving blind into the storm he rolled down his window and stuck his head out. The tempest was raging in his face and his dragging exhaust was hammering in his ears. Still he ploughed on with one drunken hand on the wheel.

Not far ahead he could see the lights of a twenty four hour Asda and he headed for the busy car park. Turning off his snarling engine he began his hunt in the pouring forecourt amidst incoming and outgoing shoppers.

He was no petrol head and couldn’t tell one car from the other, all he knew was that his motor was coloured black.
“They’re all black in this damned dark.” he cursed.

Running out of patience he ripped a wiper from the nearest car. Pulling out some of his hair he used his locks to tie the wiper to his deluged windscreen. After slugging from his bottle he hurtled away maniacally into the flooded night. And he thought, there’s no need to share a problem when you can give it completely away.


A Subway named Desire

May 29, 2010

Commuting back and forth to work we come across familiar faces who are complete strangers to us. Sometimes after a while you might find the time to nod at these passing acquaintances. Furthering the friendship, conversation can be entered into. This is where it gets tricky. Soon flaws could be found in the character of your new buddy and try as hard as you can to avoid future contact, you’re stuck with him.

A good idea could be to shift allegiance and attempt to engage with a different traveller who, hopefully, will reciprocate your friendship. Worryingly, a ménage a trios could be formed whereby the original friend joins in the conversation. You can use this to your advantage by limiting your input to the chat gradually until you have left them to their own devices and returned to peaceful anonymity.

However, when sharing the same subway section with the usual collection of human beings if a regular passenger has disappeared all manner of variables go through your head: Has he/she a new job, change of hours, moved to another town, been sacked, unwell? And then you wish you took the time to get to know the person better. They have an affinity with you; they’ve been riding in your carriage for years. Even a friendly smile would not have gone amiss. Now, that face is lost forever, like a pen.

Sometimes love can be found in the claustrophobic sweaty air of the warren; tales of romance in the subway are not the stuff of myth. Many’s the time innocent introductions blossom into love watched by fare paying chaperones enjoying this real life Mills and Boon affair. Petrol stations and book shops are losing their allure for lonely hearts as the clack-clacking of the underground becomes a tunnel of love.

Informing an unattached friend of my observations of these trysts he has now changed his mode of travelling to utilise the subway in his endeavour for relations with the opposite sex. He’s still on the tracks, poor soul, and it’s a pity he doesn’t live in London or New York. Compare the

Small in stature, uncomplicated in structure the Glasgow underground has one beautiful stop that is the true love to millions.

Wooden Heart

May 27, 2010


We are the wooden men
We are the stacked men
Bundled together
Headpiece filled with splinters. Alas!
Our dried pallet cracks in the heat
Giving grief as Rat’s feet
With a skelf
Paralyzed, yelp for help

Those who have passed
With broken wood, to purgatory or side of the road
Remember us
As the wooden men
The stacked men


Every day a new voyage
Of discovery
Passing through the wasteland
More caressing acquaintances than Warren Beatty
Fondle us daily on our delivery
Tracy Emin would run out of graffiti

In our warehouses
We crate together
Slaves on a galley
Never knowing where to next

The beast with forked tongs appears
Darth Hideous!
Transported without a goodbye
To another ship, another load, another day


The sealing contraceptive wrapping
Engulfs us
Warping our frame
Suffocating us
From our four corners, we’re tied
A Gulliver on Lilliput
We play possum the cat
Every journey could be the last
Passing away of stacked men

In dreams of death
We see a broken slat
On a funeral pyre with flames high
And a boy shouts
“Penny for the guy”
We remember
Our violent chainsaw birth
Born with a timber
End with an ember


On an abandoned road beside a pond
Not hitch-hiking
A man picked me up with great hands of brawn
It was a carpenter who was able
Turned the ugly duckling into a swan
I breathe anew as a bedside table


May 22, 2010

Every Action has an Equal and Opposite Reaction – Newton’s third law.

This Newton guy knew what he was talking about. For every Borg there’s a McEnroe, for every snake there’s a ladder, for every sneeze there’s a tissue. No matter what (copyright Westlife) field we are talking about there is a nemesis, a difference, a chalk or cheese, an oil or water, an oil painting or a watercolour, out there.

(An oil painting if ever there was one)

Recently my son got engaged and to formalise relations my wife and I met up with the other parents. Being a conservative (quick disclaimer: the JW10 website is apolitical) I stick to the tried and trusted and avoid anything that could change my circumstances. In this instance I had no control and had to meet these complete strangers who will figure largely, if the engagement goes to plan; and the girl is a lovely lass to be sure, in my life in the future.

Me and the other dad got on warmly as did the women. The other guy was of the same kick balling favourites of me i.e. he was a Rangers fan. And we had lots more in common, he had the same absurd sense of humour as me and we seemed to agree on everything. And then I thought this Newton guy is not the genius he’s cracked up to be. His third law is mince; all our actions have an equal same reaction. Me and the other dad both liked Debbie Harry and Queen. Gaining confidence from this I recited excerpts from one of my poems about the Blondie singer.

(A little known Blondie song but beautiful, nonetheless)


They’re a temple
That the Incas couldn’t assemble
Euclidean geometry
With angles of flawless symmetry
They’re the golden grail
Corpses strewn far and wide on the trail

Nothing on Earth is as desirable as this
The most incredible wonder in the universe
I fall to my feet at your throne
Expressing worship of the glory of Blondie’s cheekbones
It’s almost like they’ve been chiselled in stone
The immaculate conception of Blondie’s cheekbones

With much struggle, I was trying to steer the conversation toward the glory of the mighty Queen but my son’s future father-in-law kept going on about Glorious Debbie. And then he came away with the Newtonian the Third statement that made me think we are poles apart. He said in his teenage years his bedroom wall was a shrine to HRH Debbie Harry and multitudes of portraits of this beautiful woman adorned his four walls. What about you, he asked? After awhile, while weighing up the consequences, I said mine was the same. Truth be told, my teenage walls were decked out with the charismatic photographs of Freddie Mercury. Keep this one to yourself. And no, I haven’t written any poems about Freddie…

One day, watch this space, coming your way, in true Newtonian Third, the ode: Freddie’s Teeth.


May 17, 2010

“I wandered lonely as a cloud.”

Ivan Hardsasnailsovitch pondered this line with deep analysis. A single cloud: lonely, wandering. He looked up. There was a cluster of clouds that by his geometric reasoning could easily have been potted with a plant if he had a cue ball cloud big enough. There’s not many lone wolf’s up there in the sky as the clouds tend to flock like sheep, he thought. After this observation he meandered along the forest, big-eyed.

Fearless himself, Ivan had read about the increasing rise in illogical fears with a passing interest. Weak-minded individuals could possess more than one phobia and even be scared of life itself; an impotent mixture of claustrophobia and agoraphobia. These pathetic figures are nothing more than creatures of the night and they’ll be afraid to cross the street next.

(Contemplation by Ivan Kramskoy 1874)

Calming himself down Ivan resumed a passive state of mind before a myriad of posers engulfed his centre of thought. Why did Aristotle contemplate the bust of Homer and not instead the bust of Tyro? Has Corporal Clegg been over-promoted? Why was there no Lower Volta? Is the violin the most discordant musical instrument ever invented? It is, accordion to this seventeenth century poem by the most played footballer in the world: A.Trialist.

I can hear violins
The most disharmonious of things
Shrieking louder, louder, louder
Rising to a crescendo of din

The slicing bowstring cacophony danced a symphony of death in Ivan’s head and he did not hear the rumbling, violinesque, roaring engine of a steamroller behind him. The unmanned out of control juggernaut went right over the top of Ivan, flattening him, proving that too much thinking is a dangerous thing. However, he is not known as Hardsasnailsovitch for nothing and Ivan didn’t have a scratch, dent or bump on him; the steamroller had to be written off.

Another cut that wasn’t in the manifesto

May 8, 2010

In a recession there are some industries you can bank on; sex and hairdressing are two of those. I’m not sure if it was Heffner, Raymond or McGregor (google it folks!) who said “sex is constant”. The world’s oldest trade is a steady enterprise with not much fluctuating up and down’s. Similarly -vainglorious lot that we are- nobody can do without hair styling; follically challenged excepted. Thick, luscious hair that can be tailored to our demands does not care a jot about budget deficit’s or falling Sterling.

Everything is cut these days and to follow suit I was in need of a haircut. A friend suggested instead of the traditional barber I upgrade to, dum-de-de-dum-dum-Dummm (fanfare noise), a hairdresser. Oh well cut and blow me down I’ll try anything once, pioneer that I am, so I Christopher Columbesed a booking with a respected Sweeney Todder.

Woody Allen famously said he would like to be reincarnated as Warren Beatty’s fingertips. That is quite touching; however, I would love to be resurrected as David Bowie’s hair. Truly this man has a Hairculean head of hair. It’s been dyed Joseph coloury, shaped Rubikly, styled Ferrarily and still not a hint of recede, grey or balding. DB, who loves ya baby; and a great songwriter too.

My friend told me a fringe benefit of going upmarket was the beautiful female dangling over you smelling of a thousand and one dollars while she crimps your locks. It has to be said that most hairdressers are absolute Helen of Troy’s and with the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end I looked forward to the experience. Sitting on the comfy chair I wondered which one of the lovely Aphrodite’s would be having a shorn at me.

From out of nowhere a male snipper appeared and dangled over me, I shrank in my comfy chair. Reluctantly, small talk ensued and the, to be fair, quite cheery male hairdresser said his favourite song was Bowie’s- Rebel Rebel. He made a big point of saying that the lyric
You’ve got your mother in a whirl
She’s not sure if you’re a boy or a girl

could have been written about him. With my back hairs retreating into a shell I agreed with him. I looked down the queue of waiting customers. The men in the line were mathematically and drastically trying to work out if they were going to get the male dresser; the women in total nonchalance were laid back.

Dei of the Jackal

May 7, 2010

This would be the Jackal’s most ambitious target to date or would it be a prey too far? The previous crimes had been so effectively perpetrated that the press were pressed to call them assassinations. He had now upped the stakes and the next man on the hit list was the Pope.

His last victim, Simon Cowell, with his plentiful security entourage gave the Jackal problems. However, as you’d expect, it was the high waisted trousers that Cowell wears that was the most challenging part of the assignment. The Pope is slightly better known and if the Jackal could pull this one off or more literally pull this one up, infamy forever would be his legacy.

The Jackal took extreme pride in his handiwork and his hand speed was that of a boxer. In the manner of all career criminals, gloves were the norm, although in the Jackal’s case this was for hygiene reasons. In this line of work you can come across some expelled waste residue. (more…)