Hi all.

Gary here.

I have just completed my first Half Marathon!!!

A big THANK YOU to Caitlin & Jacob for coming up with the idea, for anyone who helps facilitate things; for those who sent in prompts & to Christy, Bountiful Balcony Poet & Lauren for your positive comments.

I need to eat & sleep as performed yesterday and am performing again in 5 hours, but I shall endeavour to get to yours asap.

I have written things I would never have written under these circumstances or possibly even written at all, so well done to anyone else who has managed 12 or 24 and most definitely, see you next year.

All the best.



To the factory or sign on,

I chose boxes over tick boxes

bubble-wrap instead of hoops.


Through the drop down concertina

to shop-floor beyond

where sat a corner office man

in headphones so tight

they split his cork-screw perm

like a butterfly cake,

Fender copy on knee,

picking notes with

blue Elastoplast fingertips,

ignored my cv and instead

let Hey Joe recognition

win him over,

offering £33/wk

& all the vinyl

we could purloin.


But he didn’t warn me that

Radio 1 dumbed down 9-5

& Janis never kicked the boss’ Mercedes,

but we got to clean it.

Molly, Weirs & The Untameable

tell me the tale

that doesn’t feature

ballot boxes


crippling debt


innocent death

pavlova petrol

red diesel

tiger exhaustion

and TB times,



better days




and a drop of the black

no tan

the pull

of homeland

with each harp string

rub of the know

with every verse



white horses

dead donkeys



lambeg thrum

borstal hoolies

& dayglow rosaries

basalt steps

on plastic knees

gintonic smiles

of many heroes







corrupting fathers

beasting mothers



wire glasses

and cobbled palms

postal men

serve frankless treaties

white stone

red rust

and green green turf

bands forced up

thank feck

to make

your hair stand on end,

tell me that tale –


but it won’t be worth

a listen.


My neighbour irons nights at her first floor window

keeping one eye for Love Island, the other on me,

After 6 months she asked if I’d be buying curtains

with such conviction it sounded like

she’d witnessed something still to happen.


These unemployed years

she contents herself with the amusement of

someone gratefully retelling a witnessed car-crash,

logging my late night hours, remarking that

my tv still glows between pole & frame

and how, each time she gets up to relieve herself,

she thinks I must be a vampire.

Doubtless all the black doesn’t help.


Yet, yesterday I saw a girl so white

she blazed from the distance

a planning notice resonates,

cheek flesh the hardboiled hue of Cool Hand’s bet,

neck a counter slick of skimmed milk

butting two unsheathed reams of clavicles,

with a sternum of tripe pinned so tight

her cleavage shone like lid-clinging

home-brand, Greek yogurt,

limbs tapering into the sun,

ankles, wrists as Tippex bright

as her High Top toecaps.




no matter how much breath her

floating step, dancing hem

filleted from me,

I could not say a word,

for in the instant of eye-shift behind lens,

of lip-rise and drop again

I knew

that every kiss would leave her mauled

like a drowned girl in the morgue

been mapped for bruises.

Abdominal Tales

At my parents’

you don’t even get in the gate

(because there isn’t one)

before they swoop,

more Bat than Spider,

coming down as they do

from out of nowhere,

a shocked-skin-wisp at head height,

the gap in the conifers

booby trapped with trip wires

so provisional & finite

in the motion sensor

you should be ashamed of yourself,

the fuss you make

about the thoughts you have –

as if there’s ever hatched

a legion from an ear!

And by you

I mean I.                                                                                              

The Hayes’ Contention

There is a theory that He

is but a filtration of what once was,

where time’s taken out the peripheral, Factor A,

with Factor B, natural selection – both brutal and deft –

reducing Man to what one notorious exponent

described as “No more or less experiential than the chance of

surviving a sharp frost or unknowingly looking the right way at the

salient point – a lucky blow rather than martial

supremacy. Thus He is less science than incidental art.”


(NB: Line from Kung-Fu International by John Cooper Clarke)

Inside Out, Back to Front

Oh, you’d like that, wouldn’t you?

Be right up your street!

            Hey, It’s not my idea –

            but it is you know, kinda cute.

I’m onto you, little miss Smart Arse,

with your Johansson skin & your ‘Come here’ giggle,

and those perfect eyes all Helloooey & smiley,

that chin so proud & cuppable!

With that face always there, as though you mean it!

              I do! I do – though I’m not entirely sure

             what I do mean or in fact

             what I’ve done to make you act like this?

No? Yeah? ‘Not entirely sure’?

Like you don’t know,

with your niceness and instant wake-up positivity,

your weekend hips

and those, those

undefeatable things, all, just, all…

              What, these? Breasts? Mammaries?

               Boobs? Tits? Bazonkas? Fresh, wet, puppies?

Ah, I see what you’re doing now!

I see what’s going on!

Distracting me with an ambush grin!

Next you’ll be telling me that

you actually like me being around?

Start employing your  feminine gills


Gills! Ills! Wiles! And that girl power thing –

where you make me question if I should defend you

so if you got picked on

you’d do some of your special Kung Fu

and try not to laugh when I end up in casualty!

              You want to protect me?

              Bless! That’s sooo nice!

              But you don’t need to, honestly.

              I just…

What? What now ? I just’ what?

You waiting for me to confess?

Bare my soul? Tell you something

you prob’ly already know?

Tell you how I can’t live without you?

How my life’s got so much better

since you’ve put the rugs straight and

thrown the blown tins so I don’t get

another dose of food poisoning?

That I hate it when you go away

and when you do a big shop you take so long

I feel like my lungs’ve turned inside out?

That I only stop feeling sick when

I can hear you breathin’?

That I fucking Love You?

Is that it?

That what you wanna hear?

           Don’t be daft, honey –

           I know that already.

          You show me every day.

I do?

           You do.

Well, what are we talking about, then?

I really, really don’t know.                                                        

Exercising Duplicity

impossible speed challenge

for fingers more meant

to brutalise than nurture,

punch not quench


nothing delicate

has come from this,

it’s shaken not stirred,

a snapper of wrists


dogma of prowling,

hate & steal,

leading with the forehead,

keeping things real.


Liberated from actions

reasoning’s fine,

but why, tell me why

has it started to rhyme?


who set the default

to way back when?

pushed nursery remit

to the front again?


what if there’s no action

to make this stop?

Just beat it to death –

and bury the box.


On my knees, on my knees

hell-bent begging,

silent pleas

through eyes on fire

in desperate need

to staunch the dam

about to break,

gavel the rabble

into place,

gag the dissenters,

divert rubberneckers,

hostage youngsters

& negotiate

in neck-twist-burns

with the forces behind

bed-time, plate,

scream through a body

about to break,

all sweatpalmplastic,

arm up, heart out,

blood fall ache,

fingers spread

to red and black

C30, C60, C90

stretched & back,

ready to record

Top of The Pops

no matter what

has reached the spot –

cum on, feel the noize!


If she loves him that much

why watch him run,

like burning door trim

on a joyride car?


If he loves her that much

why make her rage,

like burning door trim

raining down spits?


If we love them that much

why let them fail,

like burning door trim

gassing our home?


If I love you that much

why give up,

like burning door trim

aging to rust?