I’m waiting for

everyone to wake up

to what I am;

to creep up on

my dormant failures

while I sleep,

with soap bars in their socks,

and attempt to beat

competency into me.

 

The full metal jacket

is not waterproof

and it is raining hard.

 

When shots will fall short

of each desired target,

don’t bother

aiming

for much.

 

I drag down

the whole platoon,

and resentment is gurgling

from within

much-better-

disciplined bellies.

 

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Creep past

the sleeping guilt-monster

curled up in a stained duvet;

do not disturb his fitful slumber,

for you won’t like what he’ll say.

“Any spare change?” he’ll ask,

before puking between his knees.

The students keep their distance,

angled away by several degrees;

the workers frown in concern

‘One missed payslip and that’s me…’

 

Nowadays, the trolls

under the bridge

won’t eat you –

haven’t eaten much in days;

flame-cooked

the fruits of their labours

and fed it

directly into the crook

of their drowning waves

…until bruises, rot

and collapsed veins.

No more vanity.

Starved of attention

since infancy;

whet

nursed

an appetite

for self-destruction.

 

It’s the inaction

that gobbles you up.


homeless

Splash out on the Premium Package

and experience every day in high definition.

Life is installed in blocks of annual payments.

 

Everyone has read the instruction manual,

                                                                except you.

Everyone was SENT the instruction manual,

                                                                  except you.

 

They devoured it in 8 different languages

and laughed at the inside jokes in a footnote

                                                                  YOU wouldn’t even have noticed.

 

You received the manual way past schedule

and stared at it upside down for hours.

 

You have misplaced the Allen key and

                                                 several vital screws;

assembled this half-wonky monstrosity,

and now wonder how best to hide it.

 

Wonder if it can function, regardless.

 

Simpsons Spice Rack

And your drinking buddies,

they learn to drive –

turn up with a bottle of cola

and turn down the bottle of wine,

like they forgot

sobriety’s a crime

against all those good times.

 

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tombo-fly

Turn up. To clock in.

Some mornings,

the congregation electrifies,

buzzing bottle-green

scintillation, as

welcome to the eyes

as a chill-studded bottle                

of beer on a dragging    

July day.

And then

the group breaks apart,

and all you’re left

with is the kerbside turd,

a few slow-witted flies;

the empty calories,

a burp on the rise

 

and an aching thirst

for something new.

 

I must pay my respects
to the toilet
as soon as I wake up.
There is a mirror
directly over its cistern,
which means the first
human I encounter
every morning
is this sad-looking guy
with a 6AM squint.
Automatically, my lips
curl a quick twitch:
attempt to make
him smile back.

And he does.

I don’t know if this
makes me a nice person.
I don’t know who
put the mirror there.

12711819

Oy!

Don’t toe the line.
Toe the waters. Opt to
pry at the choppy
edges of existence
and then
dive into the flow.

If all else fails,
nick an ort
from the tepoy
& plates
of the Greats.

Try Poe,
but don’t try
to be Poe.

Repot the seedlings
of each idea – test
what else
might grow.

Every pro
was once
tyro. Every
big fish in the pond,
once merely roe.

Defend your tendency
to tope
by citing
Bukowski & co.

Rhyme can be good
for you; like rye,
satiating. Pleases
the tongue.
Yo.

Drink it in like port.
Swear like a sailor.
Any poem in a storm.

Learn some by
rote, but most
by heart.

Don’t hog it
to yourself.
Tory.

You have poetry gold
deep inside you.
So mine the ore,
& yours the ore!
Be awesome.

This poem is
not a toy. But
you can play
around with it.

Don’t top yourself –
top your best work.

Don’t ty-rope
into overly-complex,
bewildering knots that abduct
all hope of enjoyment.

Don’t be too trope-y.
Know what cliché is?
Yep, rot.
The bloated corpse
of creativity.

A strong image
is like a pet.
Tend to its needs
then give it some space.

The English language
is your prey. Don’t
just talk it, stalk it;
destroy every straggler;
pick off any tasty-looking
contenders, & do
with them what you will.

Remember:
to typo is human.
To not proofread
is monstrous.

Pot is not a key ingredient;
consider it a condiment
that helps things
go down nicer,
for some.

P  O  E  T  R  Y

Essential
since the days
of yore.