Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Ode To Bob Dylan

May 30, 2014

Dylan getting medal harness

“Just bite down on that metal bit, I’ll saddle ye up in a minute, good boy!”



first he makes a Superbowl TV commercial for cars, then he gets a medal from the Prez. A Facebook friend posted a picture from this ceremony recently which prompted me to recall a quote I attributed to Jean Cocteau but now can’t seem to find any mention of despite doing quite a bit of Internet searching. I always end up with a similiar but actually completely different quote from Ghandi.

(*Any readers who recognize my paraphrase and know the correct attribution, do get in touch.)

It goes something like this:

“There are three ways the establishment tries to suppress the revolutionary artist: first they ignore him, then they ridicule him, and when all else fails they heap him with honours.”

If it was Cocteau, then he probably didn’t use the word “establishment”, that’s a rather 60s terminology, but then again, particularly apropos in the given context.

So coincidentally, just a few days later, while doing a bit of poetry archaeology (otherwise known as randomly digging through boxes of old journals in search of surprises) I came across this “Ode to Dylan” written back in 2006. Not really a poem, more of a polemic really. It’s tempting to revise it, edit it, make it better, but I resisted and not just out of laziness, but because I thought the subject and the content matched the “rough draft spew” feel o the piece.

Had no memory of ever having written such a thing and don’t know what prompted it. I don’t think about Bob Dylan a lot really.

Ode to Bob Dylan (09/04/06)

Of all the many things

that have been written or said about Dylan

Very little has been spoken or writ

about how fucking lucky he was

genius? sure so what

don’t genius scrub floors every day

trying to milk a meal

from an eked-out wage?


Dylan was lucky


he was the boy with the goods

who happened to stumble into the marketplace

on the day all the other sellers had the same old merch


but today

oh today

could it happen again?

could some wild balladeer

break past the empty-headed

superficial McDonna infested

crapburger emporium of glitzy shit

of gilded gem-encrusted rancid turds

could milk and honey ambrosia

ever sate the twisted appetite

of hordes raised on sour poison curds?


i think not

i’m sorry

i’m a bummer

do i bore you?


well forgive me and remember

there’s always t.v.

which you can switch on and off

unlike, i’m sorry, me


others were 21 and precocious once

but culture didn’t give em

their Dylan chance

and the poets i knew

who inspired with the deep grey expanse

of their knowing eyes

have mostly died

or moved to Amsterdam

to slyly disintegrate or at least disappear

better than bowing to the man

i guess


but what sweet caressses were


in their wayward words

their ways / their weird

their woes

i heard it all

and i say


Dylan was fucking lucky

that he got listeners


for the poet with no receptive ears

is like a stag with no deers

like a frog with no pond

a palm tree with only a trunk

and no fronds

to wave

it’s like half an equasion

an evasion

an incomplete…

and it has driven poets mad


(why do you think so many of em

sleep / in the street?)


this is a crass age

an aeon of fakes

a full-time temporary circus

of freaks

Food Fat millionaires broadcast

televised plastic surgeries

and run contests to find their next

disposable stooges


Eat Eat Eat Eat Eat Eat Eat

then let ‘em cut away your meat

flog it on eBay

be notorious for a day


oh Dylan



I love you

but seriously

you didn’t have to deal with this shit

my man!


those were innocent times

when your innocent rhymes

could blow people’s minds


what’s your angle

your gimmick

your marketing strategy?

no they never asked those of the holy thee

did they?


no they sold you

as is

you were free to


i think you may even have dressed


what no stylist?

Leaping Lizards

call an ambulance!


No you were left

to be yourself

and never to my knowledge

past the age of 20 anyway

did you have to wait tables


i keep slipping into the 2nd person

when I want to stay in the third


I meant to say “he”

and not “you”


because Dylan isn’t listening


after all these years of being heard



in a crystal castle

encased in a legend

sculpted in marble

emblazoned with the honour brand

that stamped him as


the irony is of course

that now

Dylan is not among us


His friends, his heirs

even I would venture

some of his superiors

are all kept securely

behind the barriers


of fame


that special distance

people crave and hate

it is the mark of success

and the curse of this same fate

once you reach the spotlight

hit centre stage

You can’t turn around

and be friends with the rough trade


the people on whose floors

once you kipped

are nonentities now

and not unless you slip

back into obscurity

will you even remember the old phone numbers of these

old nobodies


Cruel aint it?

well so then don’t go for it

oh but baby you know you want it

want to have it / so you can despise it


Maybe Dylan wasn’t so lucky after all







The difficulty in achieving decorum whilst dancing on a grave

May 8, 2011

You don’t have to be the Dalai Lama
to dislike the way that Barack Obama
announced the demise of Bin Laden, Osama
cheerfully chirpy like Bananarama
the suddenly smarmy once-charming Obama.

It’s starting to look like a well-scripted drama
The acting’s not great but what’s real is the trauma…

…Imagine the life of an opium farmer
In a world that needs morphine to keep patient’s calmer
But what about Big Bucks for bully Big Pharma?
Whose suiticals strengthen their financial armour
By making in labs from here to Yokohama
What’s wild in the land of the “desert llama”

If you don’t believe me then go ask your Mama
It just isn’t nice, maybe even bad karma
As clueless as taunting a well-known self-harmer
To celebrate death like you’re havin’ a Pajama
Party – It’s sick! Not to be an alarmer
But never trust no one especially a charmer…

Angry Mob by Peter Clarke, available at Deviant Art

Why the Souls of the Dead Turn Into Stars

September 25, 2010

Knowing our bright souls will perish

In a minute vivid display

In a merry ring

Skip to the death

But shall not fade away…

…something remains

A glimmer

A spark

Shining for evermore

So that others who come

If others there be

Will know others have been here before

Womens’ Magazine Dating Advice

September 9, 2010

Never trust a man who doesn’t get on with his Mater
He’ll either be a woman-hater
Or a chronic masturbator
If he says he’ll ring you up just say you’ll text him
Then take the next outgoing flight to the equator!
There, sitting on the sunny sands, enjoy a glass of rum.
Be glad you didn’t spend your days with a man ‘oo ‘ates ‘is mum.
It’s likely that he lacks the skills required to make you cum.
And probable he will expect

( Author’s note about recitation:  one must imagine the bulk of the poem delivered in a stiff RP, switching, at the 4th line from the bottom, to an exaggerated mockney accent, whilst the final line is to be sung in the fashion of an old umpety-tumpety music hall band, such as used to play in the Victorian seaside bandstands of England, reaching its climactic finale.)

Sign #4 General Election Polling Station UK 2010

May 6, 2010

Posted on Guardian Web site

Now I don’t normally read The Sun
But one finds them, when someone is done,
On the seat of a train
When it’s starting to rain
So one reads it as some guilty fun

Oh how titillating!
Oh how scandalous!
Like a teenager pushing a pram!

The Liberal Democrats secretly plot
To make London look like Amsterdam!

Legalised brothels and spliffer’s cafés!
MPs who don’t go to church!
Stickers on sausages!
No CCTV peering down at you from every perch!

It’s outrageous and shocking!
They want to allow folks to gather
In Parliament Square!

They demand a fair trial
The right to stay quiet
And insist that a jury is there

So I got off the train, by the sea
Thanking whatever twat he may be
For leaving The Sun
Once, of course, he was done
Checking out the bare flesh on Page Three

It’s so obvious!
I’m convinced of it!
Though I felt awfully puzzled before

I’m giving my vote
To the pushers and pimps!

(Though they’ve got as much chance as a Gore…)