Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Killing kids softly (with his smoke)


I saw him smoke near children,
I saw him light his fag,
So I went up to tell him:
He was a Scallywag,

And he was there this fat bloke,
puffing loud and strong,

CHORUS:
Numbing the pain of his shit life,
Coughing scum up on the street.
Killing kids softly with his smoke.
killing them softly, with his smoke.
Coughing his guts out, on their lives.
Killing them softly, with his smoke.
#

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

stinks and rats

every word is a choice
and every silence
every absence of a word
even the definite articles before nouns
you don’t have to use them
every capital letter or lower case
but you can
every dot and comma
every gesture with a finger or two fingers or a hand
every kiss or lick
every give,
and steal

most glorious you!
come speak your world with me!

our lives are poems,
wrought from the smell and taste and touch of words,
the smile in the eyes of a child,
the order you put them in,
the deliberate mistakes,
and stinks
and rats:
associations that shake and shape
and map and make,
the touch and move of it,
watching it flow by and through

the world is whispering to us
over and over:
we are all authors
of our own context

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Telling you what to think

A poetic crime even more evil than using too many abstract nouns is “Telling The Reader What To Think” For example: if I say that sitting next to me is an “old revolting tramp lady” I have given you my judgement about the lady. I have therefore “Told You What To Think”. This is bad. I bet you hate me! However: if I say that sitting next to me is “a lady with a lined face who stinks of piss” I have instead evoked in you the experience of being here, and I am allowing you to think as you please. This is much better. I bet you like me again now. However: It might just possibly be the case that I didn’t tell about the old revolting tramp lady because I wanted you to know about the old revolting tramp lady. Perhaps I told about the old revolting tramp lady because I wanted you to know … about … me. In which case perhaps you had better pause a little bit longer before you come to too many hasty conclusions about what must or must not go into a poem. A worser crime than telling a reader what to think is telling a poem what it is allowed to say.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Partly I am an animal

Partly I am an animal
And I know this
because of sex and food and illness

And partly I am a thing
And i know this
because of chairs and cutlery and bruises

And partly I am a conversation
And I know this
because of maths and boring books

And partly I am a fool
And I know this
because of suffering

And partly I am a dream
And I know this
because of love and poetry

But partly I am
not any of these things
And I know this by a process of elimination
because when I take away
all of the things i can think of that I am

there is still something left.

xxx

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

the cure

the cure 
for having your heart broken
is having your heart broken again

eventually your heart is in so many pieces
that it stops hurting

once this has happened
gather up all the pieces
and burn them

if you listen carefully
and wait for long enough
you may hear among the desicant
the tiny pulsing smile
of a new heart

Friday, 23 September 2011

There used to be a poem here

There used to be a
poem here. Reward offered
for its safe return.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The ONE essential pre-requisite of a poem

The ONE essential pre-requisite of a poem is that is says something which needs saying. Nothing else matters as much. It can be beautiful, or funny, or scary. But unless it says something that needs saying, then regardless of how beautifully it is crafted, it is still going to be unnecessary wordage.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Salsa lessons

(1)

It is not as though over there
is more important than over here.

The only reason that we went over there was
so that we could have fun coming back over here.

It turns out that the dance is more entertaining
if you keep changing your mind.

(2)

It is not as though close together
is better than further apart.

If we hadn't moved apart we couldn't
have come together.

It turns out that the dance is more entertaining
if you keep changing your mind.

Whereas

Whereas compared to
non-existence, anything
is a bonus, huh?

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Plotting the mathematical function of x-girlfriends [Gf(x)]



Girlfriend x plus one
tends to get subjected
to the ornamental and furniture tastes
of girlfriend x
and the fashion choices
of girlfriend x minus one.

Girlfriend x had a smaller circumference,
possibly owing to the fact that she had a lower value for pie.

However girlfriend x plus one
has a much higher x-rating.

Perhaps we are three terms of an infinite yet bounded series:
an arithmetic progression
with an ever-smaller determinant.

We tend towards a place marked on our x-axes,
but our infinitesimals never quite add up
to the perfect integral of our thighs.

Although there is a limit
to the curve of their breasts,
we will only arrive there
when "why" tends to infinity.

The limit exists as an imaginary number:
the un-square root of minus one;
sometimes it is written as "i";

a point in Euclidean space
where love initially seems
to not be equal to anything,

but later
it turns out
that it is
equal to something
after all.

[Gf(x+1)]

[OfGf(x+1)=Gf(x)]

[FaGf(x+1)=Gf(x-1)]


[CGf(x) < CGf(x+1)]


Thursday, 17 March 2011

In brackets

Not any of these words belong to us,
not even that comma is really ours.
Nor that full stop.

I’m not sure who they do belong to;
perhaps the dictionary
or people who win poetry competitions
or layer upon layer of dead people.

In any case they inhabit us,
words of others’ choosing,
sentences of others’ design.

A horizonless grammar determining every moment
how we should think about everything,
even how to think about the grammar itself.

Secretly there is a horizon;
out beyond the edge of the wordable,
there are new lands of ecstasy that we have never before explored.

Come with me!
Set a trap,
designed so you cannot avoid understanding!

While no one is looking
see if you can’t squeeze a sentence in sideways.

Cut off the escape routes!
Then stick your foot in
and let the barbs tear the flesh from the bone!

If the trap works,
you will not have so much
to say about it.

Friday, 11 February 2011

The big advantage

The big advantage
that being alive has
over being dead
is that you can Do Things.

Dead people cannot speak for themselves,
and because the present moment (now)
[I mean this present moment (now)
not that present moment (now) i.e. then]
is in many ways unpredictable,
it is a real benefit to be able to act in this present moment (now)
rather than having to anticipate all future present moments (thence)
(when I will be dead)
and take action now
with respect to them.

For example this poem
may very well no longer be
something I would wish to have my name associated with
by the time You get around to reading it.

But despite this
I confidently predict:
readers will still be saying,
"ah, yes! Bonkers Bindon."

Sunday, 6 February 2011

About a bird (or two)

[A fourty-four year-old body skips up Mellstock Avenue
just like it skipped down Mellstock Avenue
holding it’s mother’s hand
when it was a four year-old body.]

[I say "just like" ...
I mean, obviously the body is bigger and bulkier
but it is the same choreography
the same dance step;
the spring in each is the same joy;
a memory of how to make joyousness
imprinted onto it's flesh.]

For a moment I am insanely happy for no reason;
I try to think of a reason:
certainly I have every reason for being happy
(the boiler man only charged me twenty-five quid for a call-out)
but also every reason for being sad
(I just split up with my Very Attractive Girl-friend – quite possibly the prettiest girl I ever dated)

Somehow none of the reasons it can think of provide
sufficient explanation for my mood;

Glancing upwards at the dull grey 4 oclock clouds
plausibly seeking an answer from somewhere
outside itself
I gasp:

a huge multi-faceted flock of some bird
suddenly filling the February sky
as far as the next street on each side
coming together
breaking apart
composed of vast sub-flocks
a myriad of flapping nodes refract in all directions
while becoming the same direction
waves on a choppy sea
perhaps orchestrated by a professor of mathematics
they deliberately attempt to explicate
the principles of complexity theory

[It skips a little faster and little higher]
then I notice the adolescent girl
coming down the street towards me
and remembering fourty-four
[it slows into a brisk walk].

Probably
like your drunk uncle at a wedding
(drunk on being)
[in his mind he is dancing majestically
but he looks ridiculous
to everyone
else].

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Open letter to God

Lord, I pray,
please don't make me have to make
too many moral choices.

Don't make me have to choose
between the life of the mother and the unborn

Don't make me have to choose
between love and duty
or love and pleasure
or different kinds of love

Don't make me have to choose
between my son and my daughter

Don't make me have to choose
between courage and integrity

Lord, I pray,
I know it makes good television,
but couldn't you just spare me
some of the moral choices?

With love,
from your disobedient servant.
xxx

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Of course I'm fucking depressed (a sonnet)

Of course
I'm fucking depressed;
my life is shit.

Does that mean I need to be medicated?
No!
It means
I need

a less shit
life.



(Join me on the fight back against psychiatry!)

Monday, 3 January 2011

Badly written poem

So as it turned out
I gave up all the good things in life
for the sake of a poem

and a badly written one, at that.

Monday, 15 November 2010

A future that's worth not fighting for

(this is a poem by Andrew Bindon from the collection "Ecstatic union - our own fantasy in preference to someone else's" - 2nd Edition is out on Friday.
Here is a link to the text on PoetBay: A future that's worth not fighting for - On Remembrance Day
)

On Remembrance Day,
I remember the civilians who had bombs dropped on them
I remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki and napalm
I remember the children who lost their parents
and the parents who lost their children
I remember the justifications and lies told by politicians:
old lies, new lies,
from “dulce et decorum est” to “weapons of mass destruction”,
all flavours of lie, new lies for a new generation,
lies for every occasion,
whatever kind of lie takes your fancy.

On Remembrance Day,
I remember the courage of those who have refused to take up arms;
the courage to face up to the stigma of cowardice.
I remember the conscripts who were shot for refusing to kill or refusing to walk into a blood bath
I remember the stupidity of generals
the ulterior motives
the attempt to control of the world’s resources
the complicity of religious leaders,
I remember the profiteering of arms manufacturers
I remember the evil perpetrated by people who were
"only following orders",
or just doing their nine-to-five to feed their families.

On Remembrance Day,
I remember the pomp and circumstance that makes it all seem so glamorous.
I remember the foolishness of young men,
who bought the latest marketing for state sponsored killing and world domination,
who got sucked in by slogans like, “U.N. peace-keepers”,
“global policemen”, “preventing genocide and preventing ethnic cleansing”,
“standing up for the weak against the powerful” (failing to notice that it is us who are the powerful, and them who are the weak)

I remember the naivety of teenagers
who always wanted to drive a tank or a jet fighter and didn't think about what they might have to use it for,
who watched Top Gun too many times when they were kids,
who came from a military family and no one ever taught them any better,
who couldn't think of anything better to do with their lives than join up and suffered from an education system that failed to help them find anything,
who instinctively knew that uniform equals pussy.

On Remembrance Day,
I remember the future we could have
if we all simply refused to kill
if we all simply refused to take part in the killing
if we only ever played violent games with people who had consented to play them with us
if we gave up the option of using our superior military strength to dominate the world's flow of wealth and resources
if we refused to rise to the terrorists’ bait
and refused to fall to terrorists’ level
if we refused to waste our lives getting sucked into petty fights over who has the best ideology
or the best brand of mythic god,
or the most right to a particular plot of land,
if we stopped trying to make up for our laziness and boneheaded inability to innovate,
by stealing other countries oil and other natural resources,
which if we only would put our minds to it we could quite happily live without.

On Remembrance Day,
I remember the courage it takes to oppose the status quo:
That unquestioned social agreement that dying in horribly painful ways while obeying orders merits honour and respect and gratitude,
when actually it only merits sympathy or compassion;
the unquestioned assertion that I and my community benefit from “freedoms” that exist by virtue of the sacrifices the ones who have died made;
the courage it takes to refuse to honour or respect soldiering or terrorism of any kind and certainly not when it is voluntary.
I remember how that marks me out to be ostracised and derided;
how our society is oriented around the blind acceptance that war may be a dirty job, but someone has to do it, and they should be respected for that.

It does not require courage to fight;
it only requires our collective stupidity.
What requires courage is refusing to fight,
and refusing to honour people who do.
It requires courage to stand for the resolution of conflict
without recourse to violence,
when everyone around you is saying that is not possible.
Real courage requires facing up to the risk of vulnerability.
Real courage is something that the world is rarely witness to.
But every now and then
somebody, somewhere, adds their name
to the list of the truly courageous,
and puts their life on the line not to beat an enemy,
but to take a chance on the possibility of a new world.

So:

On Remembrance Day,
I remember what we could do with our lives if we lived in a world where violence only occurred between consenting adults.
I remember what could be possible if we used our creativity to make the world a better place.

And I remember a future that is worth not fighting for.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Dulce Et Decorum Est - Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!---An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime...
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Right and wrong

For a while you thought you were right.
But then you realized that you were wrong.
But then you realized that you were wrong to think that you were wrong.
And then you realized that you were wrong when you thought you were wrong to think that you were wrong.
These days you have no idea what to think.
But that’s alright.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Theory and Practice

When Arthur realised he could experimentally prove or disprove
Albert's theory (that space-time is bent by the gravitational field of objects that lie within it)
by photographing (during an eclipse)
the light from a distant star as it bends round the sun,
he set off to Príncipe – an island off the coast of Africa,
to take the pictures.

Then he compared the same part of the night sky
when the sun was not there.

The greatest experimental physicist of his day
proving the theory of the greatest theoretician.

Practice and theory,
coming perfectly together.

So: that she
wants to get married in a balloon,
although I am terrified of heights,
makes complete sense to me.

After all it is closer to the stars
from which the key ingredients of our viability came
and from which comes most of the energy on our thin planet.

When 14 billion years ago the universe started,
it was either because there wasn't anything better to do,
or because it couldn’t help it,
or for some other reason or absence of reason.

But now 14 billion years later
her and me are up in a balloon,
the fat pair of us, a couple of random lives,
considering whether to promise to love each other until death.

I would love her until death anyway,
but previously you only had my word for that, whereas up here in the balloon,
you also have the evidence that I face my greatest fears
(that massive objects really do bend space-time),
in order to prove or disprove the theory of our love.

The light of a star,
the heat of a burner,
the weight of a sun,
the strength of a basket,
the shadow of a moon,
theory and practice,
Arthur and Albert,
her and me.

At the turning point where the light from a distant star,
passes around the sun,
there is a moment of complete stillness
where all these things hang in balance,
waiting to be proved or disproved,
while light decides whether to go along with General Relativity,
or stick to Newtonian Mechanics.

But just maybe,
once in a lifetime,
if you are very, very lucky,
and you just happen to be on an African island that lies under the moon’s shadow,
the universe will conspire in your favour,
space-time will decide that she does like being curved after-all,
and she will say “I do”.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Maybe

Not merely being
a person but being a
particular person.
That is the extraordinary thing.

But now, one of my sentences is missing;
I used to have a thought
or a phrase
or at least there was a word,
(I’m sure of it).
There was a word that used to live:
between here …
and here.

Now there is only silence.

In a leap of faith
I attempt to refill the gap in my thoughts.

Sometimes
when you step out onto nothingness,
the ground beneath your feet
is created by your stepping.

And here as I step out onto the silence
I discover the word that I have forgotten.

A god-like word above all others:
a use-mention un-mistake:
it is the word: “maybe”.

Not just living in a universe,
but living in a particular universe.
That is the extraordinary thing.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Games of chance

The love of my life
broke up with me on Friday
then on Monday I won back her heart
in a game of dice.

You see, we like games of chance,
she and I.
And sometimes when we have had intractable arguments
we have settled them with “Pass The Pigs”.

She was playing to be rid of me,
I was playing to keep her.
She played terribly badly; I beat her three games to nothing.
Although I have to admit that luck was not on her side.

It always did seem to me,
that she is far more than I deserve:
I guess sometimes in life
you just get lucky.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Let's make god tonight!

What could god be?
If you were going to choose something for the word “god” to mean,
what would you choose?

What if “god” was a kind of relationship
that we could have with each other?
A kind of ecstatic union?

It may turn out to be the case that
making love
is more a work of art
than it is a work of science or philosophy.
Or at least as much art
as it is science.

I mean making love in the sense of:
making god.
I mean making god in the sense of:
“Lets make god tonight!”

When we make god,
when you and I make god with each other,
we become one with each other
we become as one with everything

This is why
despite how some philosopher’s like to tease us about it:
people like me tend to say that
god doesn’t exist until we make her
in our relationships.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Silenced

If you do what you’re meant to do
That is to say: if you have children
(I don’t mean that you’re Really Meant to have children obviously)
(or not obviously)
(because "Who says" what you're Meant to do ET CETERA nonsense)
(but really we know Who Says)
(they all everyone they all do)
(so we know that although you can say that and be nice, we know you're lying)
(we know what we're meant to do)
(just like we know we're not meant to be FAT)
(even though it's supposed to be "ok" or ET CETERA)

As I was saying
IF
You do what you’re Meant To Do
And Have Children
Then you don’t need to worry, do you!
God isn’t going to forsake you for following your biological imperative, now is she!
(I don’t really mean God obviously, because I don’t believe in God)
(or not obviously)
But anyway
As I was saying
IFFFFF
You do what you’re Meant To Do
And Have Children
(not Really what you’re meant to do but what our biological imperative requires of us)
(but if that isn’t what you’re meant to do then what is?)
(after all if your parents hadn’t done their duty then you wouldn’t even have the choice)
(not Really duty obviously, because how could love ever be a duty)
(or not obviously)
THEN
You don’t need to worry do you:

Although Having Children may not be the right thing to do
It is certainly not the wrong thing to do:
No God in her right mind (not that she exists) is going to burn you in hell for eternity
(not that hell exists)
For following your biological imperative
And anyway you are leaving a legacy in the lives of your descendants,
so you can die happy.
You die, but They Survive.
So you can die happy.
Can’t you!
Yes!
You can.
Well done.

My point is that
IF
You do what you’re Meant To Do
And Have Children
THEN
You have the Smart Money on your side
Because Having Children is the Greased Shoot.
Why take that risk!
Why not just go ahead and do it!
Then you’re covered either way!
Either it doesn’t matter, in which case no problem.
Or it does matter, in which case you did What You Were Meant To Do.

It is those of us who Don’t Have Children who are the ones taking the risk
with their health and sanity and legacy.
They are the ones who really need to have their philosophy well worked out.
They are the ones who need Robust Philosophy,
because they are the ones who are swimming against the crowd.
No one is ever going to ask you to justify Having Children.
They will only ask you to justify Not Having Children.
So its the people who don't have them who need the Robust Philosophy.
See what I mean?

Because they are standing up against their biological imperative
(or else they are just Really Unattractive)
And refusing to breed
And what possible good reason is there for doing that!
I mean I ask you!
What possible reason could anyone have for Not Having Children!

Exactly.
Ok, yes, some of us just simply Are Really Unattractive,
And they should be forgiven – it’s not their fault, you see
But anyone who just isn’t breeding when they jolly well could be breeding
Is well
Is er
Is er well
What are they?
Remind me, can you?
What are they?

They are soon be become Silenced.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Restaurant notice board (haiku)

Thanks for lying and
saying the food was good. My
boss says I must ask.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

I hope I may be

I hope I may be
a poet. Probably I
am delusional.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Always the same poem

Although from time to time in my life,
I have told people I am a poet,
Whenever I have tried to write,
I only ever came up with One poem.

Its always the same poem,
same wretched poem,
same damned awful boring poem,
won’t leave me alone.

Says I haven’t got it right yet,
Needs another retelling,
Another new translation,
Into a different language.

Why it picked on me, I don’t know.
I hate it; I bare a lasting resentment.
Probably I should get counselling so the two of us can be reconciled.

I have a hunch I looked like an easy target,
When I was young, and all loved up.

It’s a stupid poem about everything, so no good for passing poetry exams:
They (the big they) always want poems about something:
S.T. in particular, S.T. very specific, as specific as possible, if not more so.
If you write about everything,

they never give you any gigs or prizes or slam trophies,
or readings on Radio 4 poetry please with Roger MgCough.
It’s a bit like life;
It starts with a dream, and ends with a choice.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Everything is (not) waiting for you

I was going to reproduce a poem by David Whyte and link to his web site, but then I saw on his web site that he would want to charge me $50 for doing so. (A poem or even an excerpt is $50.)

What the great man is! Oh well.

Not content with making thousands from his business lectures and poetry tours, he expects cash for even as much as a paragraph.

So if you want to read the David Whyte poem I was going to post (and it is worth at least $50), I would just go somewhere like here:
http://www.panhala.net/Archive/Everything_is_Waiting.html

Or in the mean time you can enjoy this completely free paragraph instead:

Everything is (not) waiting for you.

The price of our meeting
(not so much as a handshake):

fifty dollars.

Friday, 25 June 2010

There must be something

There must be something that is good about me;
no other explanation makes any sense;

it just doesn’t make any sense that I’m a complete waste of space.

Why would the universe go to all the bother of making me in the first place,
if there wasn’t something that I’m useful for?

… How to find out what it is?

Friday, 18 June 2010

I think that might be a pussy cat

I think that might be a pussy cat
sitting on the grass in the sunshine two thirds of the way up the lawn with its back to me
but then again it might be a bucket
(my eyesight is not so good these days).

The sun shining off its back (cat or bucket) is almost dazzling.

The tail of the cat, or handle of the bucket (as case may be)
curls round contentedly.
Not surprising if the bucket is in fact a cat,
but curious if the cat is in fact a bucket.

Either the cat or the bucket is sitting up straight,
which I suppose for a bucket is not extraordinary,
and for a cat not uncommon either.

The bucket, if it is a bucket, has an artifact,
in just the place that a cat (if it is a cat) might have an ear.
And of course, if in fact the bucket is a cat,
it is not surprising that the cat has an ear in that place.

In conclusion,
either the cat looks like a bucket,
or the bucket looks like a cat,
or the sunshine is dazzling,
or the garden is beautiful,
or my eyesight is a tragedy.

But does it matter if the cat is a bucket,
or the bucket is a cat?