it’s hard to dance with the devil on your back.

so shake him off.


there are a thousand
and one cliches
that you could use to describe
the situation
that went down yesterday.

“i never thought
it would happen to me”
is my particular favourite

for eventualities like this.

or perhaps
you prefer
“life will bite you
on the arse”, because
this –

this –

is all down to me.

has its own way of defining
who you are –
of shaping you into
some kind of person,
a being
treading the earth

we’re all just
bags of air, experience
and trauma

after all.

i’d only just got used
to the idea;
i never thought i’d say that.

i couldn’t tell you
because then you’d know –
and people judge
what they can’t understand.

i don’t get it myself
i feel it’s a punishment
for all i’ve done wrong –

but really,
i’m a good person.

i promise.

i looked to a day
with you
where the feet
were plentiful –


pipe dream.
it’s fate,
they say.

fuck that.
i made it this way.

to wake…

to wake
on a cold september morning
and see the sunshine
stream through the
in the curtains
after a night
where the thunder
thrashed the skies and
the rain lashed the earth
and the lightning
scribbled flashes of
hot anger
onto the cold, grey canvas
of a dark night

is what it means
to live.

late on a saturday evening.

you called me
on a saturday evening

out of the

you’d caught me
i hadn’t been expecting

to hear you speak
was like
unearthing roman coinage
in my back yard.

so precious
amongst the ordinary
amongst the fabric
of my own life

for it to stroll back
in, swaggering slightly
knocked me for

this “thing” we had
was made of bricks
but now
it’s just a pane of glass.

you never told me what
you wanted to ask.


i have this condition.

i never speak to my
for fear that I may
into a chasm of regret

i eat jam
from a spoon.

i stream shows
late into the
whilst smoking

i set up
businesses that

i avoid the
front row
and i avoid
those who know

i like
rocky 3.

i sleep with your
within arm’s reach
something within me
says that
if i can touch it
then you never really

i keep your
in my handbag
in a coffee

i fall for all
the wrong

and when

they leave
i blame myself.

i don’t look
into the mirror
and see
a friendly

in case
you were

i go to his
and leave bits of me

so he doesn’t

because one day
i know he will
leave me

and if he has
my book of

then one day
in the

the words
may make him


You are not lying in that bed.

You are swinging my youthful
grandmother between your knees
Toes tapping to the beat.
Teddy boy, with feet
like rampant, fluid wildfire;
You are not lying in that bed.
You have donned a purple wig
and wrinkled old stockings
And you’re singing, with a smile
In your own inimitable style;
You are not lying in that bed.
You’re fighting angry tentpoles
In a freezing winter field
With a twinkle in your eye
“We’ll be comfy!” – what a lie!
You are not lying in that bed.
You are holding out a strong hand
To hold on, tight, to mine,
to show you’re there, and will remain –
You won’t let me feel such pain;
You are not lying in that bed.
In my head
We are dancing
In Bulgaria, 93
Can you feel it?
Can you see?
There are things I want to tell you
That you’re never going to know
Unless I keep the faith inside me
That your hearing’s yet to go
So I grab the chance with both hands
And I lean over to kiss you
And I hope you leave me knowing
That I’m really going to miss you –
You are not lying in that bed.

a shit poem about a cough.

i cannot remember the sound of my voice
because right now, it just resembles white noise
or a spluttering engine, the cutting of wood,
i’ve tried linctus and pills but it’s no fucking good,
i’m awaking at midnight to hack up my lungs –
phlegm is expelled at a flat rate of tonnes:
i know that’s disgusting, but i feel that it’s right
that you join in the process whilst I’m feeling shite
i’m on four hours’ sleep (and that’s since Sunday)
when i manage to drift off, i’m dreaming that one day
soon i’ll wake up and be able to speak
my sore throat will be gone; my fever peaked,
i won’t stink of sickness; my hands won’t be clammy,
my mouth will taste normal; my hair won’t be greasy,
my skin will recover; i’ll be able to walk
my throat won’t feel like i’ve swallowed dry chalk –
but the end of that tunnel feels miles away
i’m hot, then i’m cold, the dry tickling of hay
at the back of my pharynx is driving me mad
it’s the worst fucking cough that i’ve ever had
a repeat of a shit film last night made me cry
my red, puffy eyes make me look like i’m high
i’m chucking back syrup and blowing my nose
the river of snot won’t respond to the dose
it just keeps pouring out at a steady rate,
my face looks more like a monster’s of late
or a small child, an old man, a tired old hag
i reckon it’s high time i gave up the fags
and the booze, i just keep getting so sick
i’ve got to kick this virus – and quick
i’m missing my work; i’m missing my friends
i’ll kill for the day i’m finally on the mend
i’m pretty sure the sofa has a groove for my ass
i’ve increased tenfold my bodily mass
i need to get up; i need to get out
this tickling cough has got way too much clout.