Tossers is a surreal pointless play first presented by Michael Kelligan as part of the On the Edge series of script held performances at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff. The play includes three poems one of which is included in the extract below. Continue reading
There go by the engines
The engines there go by
But they can’t put mine out
So they needn’t try
There they go again now
Racing from the hill
They’ve put out that fire
But mine is burning still
The memory was sparked off by the smell of a grass fire alongside the motorway. I saw the smoke first, smudging the spring-blue sky above the road ahead, I thought it might be mist or fog, but it was too dry and too late in the day for that. Then the sweet-acrid smell of a grass fire seeped into the car through the sun-roof – tilted open to compensate for the non-functioning electric windows. I love the car, it’s an environmental baddie, an old Rover Vitesse Turbo; it drives like a confident oil-baron and swallows a hundred miles of motorway without taking a breath, but it’s done nearly 200,000 miles and it’s disintegrating. Continue reading
There’s a calendar on the desk in this office. One of those ones that show just one day. You’re supposed to rip a page off every day – and display it in a position that can be viewed from all angles. Just in case you forget what day it is. But this one shows yesterday’s day and date which happens to be APRIL 7 WEDNESDAY. Now there’s a thing it doesn’t show the year. What the fuck year is it?
Should one worm,
stop me eating peaches,
for the rest of my life?
It all started years ago
There is a picture
There is me
and my family
on a summer
The peach was lush
On July the twenty-fourth
the world will end.
If not then,
then certainly in the year two-thousand,
when the New Age dawns.
All from all time will have to account
for their behaviour, and will be judged
according to their ability.
So only the dull will enter,
the gates of the Abattoir,
and become Angel fodder.
Time and Space, here and then
will be gone as if,
they were only
ripples on the divine mind
But for George and Tim,
and Mary and Louise,
the World ended in 1998,
when they died,
from cars or cancer.
It’s no big deal,
the end of the World,
just another statistic,
but no-one there,
to record it.
The days are different. Each day is different than any other day that has gone before – significantly different. Certain things are the same on many days but even those things are different when you zoom in on them. What does this mean? OK – elaborate. You can go into your (or any other) garden, or a park or a field, or I suppose, go and look at a roadside hedge. Choose a leaf. Study it. Go back the next day, at the same time if you like, and it will be different. It will have grown, or decomposed, or become wetter, or drier, or droopier, or perkier – and that’s just one leaf – even a rock – even a diamond will be different from one moment to the next. Some things will require a higher zoom, some things will be obvious, some things will cease to exist between one day and the next, and some things will come into existence. What does that mean? Time is the path through the tangled mess that is the universe – inner and outer (what a fucking cliché – sorry). Life is awareness, life is best when it is simply lived. Age comes to us, we move towards it – we are actually time travellers – we think we can only go in one direction – forward – but how do we know that? Answer – because we remember what has happened before and we can’t see what will happen in the future. But maybe that’s only because of the direction we’re looking in.
Rolling around – being blown – blowing – blown. I am blown through the universe – buffering – buffeting, being buffeted, blown and buffeted – through a universe of song and colour – everything – all of it, a glimpse, a snap, a snip a flash of breath, a spark, a one of them, too many clichés and the meaning is lost – too many words the same – There is, this is – a Time Space cubicle – it is in this cubicle and in the cube or is it a sphere – a ball, a world – a planet, and there under a blade of grass a chiv of life, light, feeling, and the light, the light the right, it’s all there here round and down and up and spherically shaped – – – – – – there is nothing to wait for to look for to hope for – it is here – now – the time space bubble bauble – inside and everywhere and then and now and then of course it is of course and you know it – you have to – no – should – should will – in the end discover – unearth find it always gleaming dreaming and worlds and planets and galaxies and universes and inside, deep inside – the light – the truth + time to learn and time to be and it is a start to finish / in between. So there so there it is it is there – Look.
My Dragonit is time again
it has been long coming
poking at my consciousness
in the night – asleep
or should be
but it nags
it is my dragon
I woke it
demanded its breath
said – let me lie
I am sleeping
I said – you are a dragon
not a dog
now it nags
The rush of existence, the crush of the game
Everything changes, it’s always the same
Open the basket, dig deep inside
Gorge on potatoes, boiled, mashed, and fried
Scrub up the carrots, dice up the swede
Add in the garlic, and that’s all you need
Wait for the winter, remember the snow
Laugh in the sunshine, relax in its glow
Works in Progress
The Shopthere’s a shop up in Albany Road
– a supermarket actually
it’s always rammed
students, suits and shirkers
academics, social workers
it’s too much for me
I’d rather be
in bed Continue reading
A Visit to Margam Steelworks(i) FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Meandering roads Giant Nostrils
Black noxious dust Railway tracks
Yellow jacks Distance
Sound Sight. # (ii) FAT FLIES
Fat flies in the portacabin office
flies with confident looks
licking their feet on
the mayonnaise roll Continue reading
he returns to his work
he takes his tool
(no – not that kind, you dirty-minded bugger)
he makes the marks
and starts to pare
more gently than before
softer than before
slower than before
the shape will come
it will be
what it’s meant to be
and he will be
what he is
because the rest
A series of poems (circa 1999)On a Broken, Worn Out, Cheap, Plastic, Cigarette Lighter. ( i )
Oil processed, metal mined,
Gas released, so refined;
Cog turning, flint burning;
Ergonomically designed. ( ii )
reflections on a cigarette lighter:
distorted – not much. ( iii )
Shall I compare it to a source of light?
Or shall I simply call it flaming junk?
When it was new it struck and lit all right.
But now it’s just a useless, lifeless hunk.
Of plastic, metal and of gas composed,
A man made thing to do the job of fire.
It might be clever if I juxtaposed,
The foundry’s rush and a heavenly choir.
Singing its song it lit up many nights,
But now it’s gone and ever will reside,
On the council tip with the other shite.
Silting the globe, why did it have to die?
Do not believe its life has been in vain,
‘Cos from the dump it will rise once again. ( iv )
The thing is like a stick of light.
It is a bite of frost.
Its lion’s roar, its breath so bright,
A broken beam, it’s lost. ( v )
Fruit of mans’ hand,
We don’t understand,
How much you demand. Continue reading
I was wounded first –
the blow caught me in the neck.
I couldn’t breathe,
with a whoosh of fire,
my mouth opened
and huge clouds of smoke fled out.
I didn’t realise I had such energy,
I smiled when I knew I was dying;
I always said I would go first.
You watched as I choked, incredulously,
not wanting to believe
in my mortality.
My belly shook, I retched and coughed,
but your strength,
the power of your gaze,
began to mend.
you were smacked in the chest;
a direct hit to your heart,
and you shuddered
but you didn’t scream;
there was no sound
That’s when I caught your eye;
that’s when I knew
we were both going to die.
In that silent lightless time
I watched, still wounded,
still breathing burning breath,
you deflated with a groan
that shook the world.
I stood, shocked, alone in emptiness
that spread like nothing
through the universe.
With no light left, I crumbled too;
we sighed together, merged –
in mounds of dirt.
I knew that love can never die
not even then, not in that place
where the world was witness
to our hurt.
a place to pause and be alone
Take it in your hand and stare
at nothing in particular
Rub it clean and roll it round
let it rest upon the ground
Chuck it, kick it, lob it high
watch it dropping from the sky
Let it rest, be on your way
thank it humbly for today
Tomorrow someone else will pause
and have their day, and think of yours.
if not their own a borrowed one.
The cat will sit and clean its fur,
wiggle its claws inside its ear,
stare at you from time to time,
sneer at your silly rhyme.
A poem from a few years back – playing with audio recordings
THIS HAS BEEN UPDATED AND MOVED TO
forty years ago I would have called him an old man
if I had noticed him at all
he would have slippered past me in the corridor
and smelled of pee
I would have held my breath
for a step or two