MY TRUSTY COMPANION

featured in the poetry forum September 18, 2018  :: 0 comments

Another Friday night and home alone
Beer by my side whilst my mind contemplates
Just one more smoke as tonight don’t feel
Like one of those nights; It’s too bright
Outside as solstice means it’ll stay like this for
At least a fair while longer and I can’t be
Dealing, not tonight, with dragging my
Weary old body down the road to get a
Drink on so tonight, I sit home alone with
A beer by my side, my trusty companion.

editors note: If you can count the friends you have on one hand, holding a beer guarantees at least one. - mh clay

GOTTA LOVE THIS TOWN

featured in the poetry forum July 21, 2018  :: 0 comments

The other day I was due at work but in town
A nightmare awoke and stalked
Me all day, a nightmare of insanity and it all started
As I walked the usual walk I
Take, bored of these streets
Knowing every other beggar out there
And every other thing I pass
That was until when I approach my
Regular for a pre-work caffeine blast
When I see a guy lying prone on the
Pavement and he don’t seem good
As the hordes walk on by I simply
Approach and check his breathing
It’s slight so I reach for his pulse
And it is weak, so so weak and as
I look around the people keep on
Passing, ignoring this poor guy’s
Plight, near death and none caring so
I call an ambulance and sometime
Later it arrives and they wheel the guy
Out as the people continue to pass,
Simply ignoring making me think
Can I really love this town?

I got my blast sorted and was
Blazing away on my last nicotine
For a few hours when a homeless
Mad woman saw me enjoying the
Last moments of freedom I was to
Experience and simply shouted
‘Give me a fucking lighter!’
I look nervously over, our store has
Previous with this demented she-devil
Who’s into the really bad stuff and
Has called the pavement outside my shop
Home for at least two years by my last
Reckoning, I only noticed because at first
I thought her a bit of a looker, a good-looking
Near beautiful dyed red-head, I
Pass the lighter over as she scrunches
Over hiding the last remnants of a
Previously disposed cigarette butt
Desperate for the nicotine to take
Away the desire for her next proper
Fix, the one that is seeming like a
Lifetime away as she sits cowering
Coming down as she finally gets a spark
She passes the lighter back and I
Hurry on in to work for the first time in years.

The first couple of hours pass quietly until
Some tough guy turns up with two really
Tough looking guys in sunglasses and the
Same matching outfits, and the square-off starts as
The tough guy, quietly at first, discusses
Business and I can only guess that this here
Is pure and simple, Mr Big, the boss who
Runs those distribution lines, and suddenly all
Hell breaks loose, it’s like a fight scene in a bar
From some old cowboy movie as bodies are
Pummelled, no one screams though and
Soon we are left with one against the two
Toughest guys and unbelievably they back
Down and go on home. The police arrive
Eventually by which point everything is fine and
The deal has been done and they’ve gone off
To the shooting gallery around the back.

Another couple of hours pass peacefully
Enough and then, with half the road outside
Shut whilst they re-build it again a lone
Homeless derelict drunk in the middle of the
Street, he wasn’t alone, there he was frolicking
With his dog he blocked the traffic up for the
Rest of my shift and I have to admit it made
Me smile, reminding me of the wild freedom
We had not that long ago before we got trapped
Here in this damn gentrifying town, in this
Damnable horrible room in this terraced
House that no one would ever want to find.

editors note: A day in the life; your life, your town, your difference... - mh clay

JAZZ ROYALTY

featured in the poetry forum May 15, 2018  :: 1 comment

Miles smiles his way in on this
Saturday evening, coming to remind me
That tonight would have been the time
I’d be out searching, that elusive good
Time that could be mine here
Deep in the heart of a damp
October night in seedy old Brighton
Town that is probably still
Teeming with those undiscouragable
Visitors down from the smoke

But now I sit here with Lester blaring
From my speakers and I know
That what I need isn’t available
Not here, not in this town
Not outside this room anyway
Where I can dance, smoke and
Drink whatever I damn well like
But the walls are thin
So I can’t raise a holler in
Adoration of a time I never knew
When all the kings and queens of
Jazz would have been my royalty.

editors note: Their majesties, Davis and Young, making proclamations palatable to a stranger in a strange land. - mh clay

FIVE DAYS AS LONG-TERM RESIDENT

featured in the poetry forum February 18, 2018  :: 0 comments

It seems like a lifetime ago now
A time when it seemed fine to blow my wad
Enough to last a week now just on books
In a legendary shop in this town
Where I was apparently living as a long-term resident

It all started as things often did back then
One of confusion as I navigated streets
I’d never walked all the way from
Oakland to the infamous North Beach
And a hotel of ill-repute

When I’d booked it the only thing that mattered
Where location and the amount of $$ and this place
Fitted in perfectly as it didn’t cost much
But as I walked up Columbus I viewed
The entrance and other places made of legend

Walking in I noticed the cage at the end of the corridor
That apparently was the reception so up I walked
And introduced myself only to be shocked by the response
“Oh yes, our new long-term guest” the guy stated
And I thought that was odd as I was only staying five nights
And then I saw it, a notice that told me
There were rooms for an hour.

editors note: All seek long-term residence; but, ultimately, pay by the hour. - mh clay

SOFTER AND SOFTER

featured in the poetry forum November 27, 2017  :: 0 comments

I grow weak with comforts in this life
A heater means I no longer need my laptop on to stay warm in the winter months
And too many chocolate treats mean my waistline expands
So now I’ve got to cut it all out
Get back some vigour by doing something visceral
More real than sitting at home stuffing chocolate into my big fat mouth
I grow sick because of this life of comfort
And sadly all it means is I get softer and softer

editors note: Reason to be thankful? Loaded with the tankful, nowhere to go. - mh clay

MAKING PLANS

featured in the poetry forum September 21, 2017  :: 0 comments

The phone rang and I picked it up
From the other end came a near hysterical female voice
I thought, fuck who have I pissed off now?
But this one turned out to be another of those damn automated calls
She told me in no uncertain terms that according to her records
I hadn’t arranged a much-needed funeral plan!

I hung up immediately but suddenly felt my own mortality
At 44 am I already on the way out
And do they know something I don’t know about
On this gloomy, near death Thursday morning
When the only thing to look forward to now is work

editors note: When Death calls on auto dial, HANG UP! - mh clay

PRIMARY SCHOOL SHOE THROWER

featured in the poetry forum July 19, 2017  :: 0 comments

I was an incredibly angry young man
Those times at primary school were hell
Plagued by a restless energy and a sense
That I was never going to fit in
Not with these people; my contemporaries
Just left me wishing they were dead

I was always in trouble as classes never
Interested me and the playground
Was ruled by the football crazy sporty types
I was never going to be one of them
But there was too much time just hanging around
Until one day a new kid arrived
A fat bloated youth of my own age
And that first lunchtime we went at it
Fists and feet flying until both of us had enough
But by that point all the kids were watching
Cheering for the new kid making me realise that
‘Shit, they all hate me’

A few weeks later and I saw him again
Hanging with the sporty types and
Something deep down inside just clicked
And I lost it; I ripped my shoe off and
Flung it with all my might right at
The stupid fuckers empty head. It hit
Him hard and he fell to the floor and
Moments later I was in front of the Head
One shoe lost but still full of hatred and youthful
Exuberance realising that I hated school
Since then my hatred has blossomed but
Now I realise the price of shoes and the
Fact you can’t buy a single one, even as a replacement.

editors note: Fling hard words instead and keep your shoes on. (Happy Birthday to Bradford; today's his day!) - mh clay

MY OLD BODY

featured in the poetry forum April 29, 2017  :: 0 comments

I wake up all alone
And for once am grateful as
The muscles in my back
And arms hurt bad this morning
But at least I have peace
And time to ease my poor old
Body back into some kind of
Older state back when it could
Handle so much more than just
A night in bed all alone

editors note: Coming to grips, while loosening your grip. - mh clay

CAN’T WAIT FOR MONDAY MORNING

featured in the poetry forum February 27, 2017  :: 0 comments

I sit and contemplate as I look out the window
The darkness is amassing off the coast and for that I’m happy
Today I hope the beach will remain empty
Whilst town will come down after a weekend ravaged
By pointless consumerist binges of those with money
They’ll spend it on beer they see advertised on TV
And sparkling wine thinking its good champagne
Clothes from TK Maxx that’ll fall apart in a couple of months
Everything is set to break and be replaced
Just to keep the economic wheels turning

Today I want to walk the beach and see no one at all
As if it were winter when the beach can become my private playground
I’ll walk someway before stopping and sitting on the pebbles
In order to smoke a joint and take a contemplative moment
A quiet place I can actually sit and think
As round this way during the summer months all we get is noise, noise, noise
The noise of motorbikes being driven up and down
Desperate to pose and be seen as being cool
Loud obnoxious persons who take up the entire pavement
Whilst screaming at each other about what a great time they are having

I’ve seen young women walking through town on a Saturday afternoon
Carrying a huge inflatable penis and thinking they are having fun
I’ve seen young guys walking through town wearing Jimmy Saville masks
About a week after all the allegations came out and they think they are having fun
Neither of these are my idea of having fun
For me I like nothing more than sitting, quiet, and simply drinking
But round here these days there ain’t many places you can do that
What with music ruling all the pubs on St James’s Street
Whether it is country-blues or karaoke disco-pop it’s all here
But put simply on a Saturday night I don’t want to hear

If I want to listen to music I got enough of it at home to listen to
Sitting drinking and listening to The Stooges or Coltrane or some other lost classic
Whilst being able to do whatever I want, smoke, stare out my window or eat some food
And out there, in this town, are people who I want to avoid
Those screaming hen and stag people who very occasionally lay siege to my local
Before realising that here we like beer and spirits not Jaeger bombs and bloody cocktails
Then they suddenly realise that this ain’t a place for them
So they fuck off to West Street to pass on their STDs
And come Monday morning, a time I love as I never work, it feels as if town exhales
Farting the masses out of their weekend psychosis and back to their mundane little lives

editors note: Mundane Monday, so good to me... - mh clay

ODD TIMES

featured in the poetry forum December 2, 2016  :: 0 comments

The last few months have been a bit odd
Success has come in some form and now
Well, frankly, it’s all just been a bit odd
With happiness comes a failure of my muse
As I struggle to find the words to describe
How this feels and what it means to me
Because now, as I sit gazing out the much
Viewed window here in the last resort I know
I can no longer be miserable as
For the first time in a long time I actually
Have enough, or will soon do, to get out
But right now all I want to do is remain
As this place has been my world and
I worry that if I move on what will become
Of the muse who came to me in those
Mad, deranged, booze soaked, drug addled
Days when I’ve been stuck here living
This life in the last resort

With the idea of getting out and moving on
I worry as will me leaving here mean I can
No longer create the rough-hewn words I
Laid down here as life becomes
Just a little more comfortable and
With no misery and nothing to hate
What is left for me to do but write about the
Booze but now even that avenue
Down which flooded oceans of primo
Lager, gin, ale, whisky, rum and wine
Have dried up as I attempt to clean up
And survive a whole month without
Even a tipple, surely impossible!

So, if you don’t hear from me for a while
It’s because my muse has become infected
With clean-living, optimistic dreams of a
Life that may very well come real

editors note: Odd times beg the question: Does environment make the muse or, vice versa? - mh clay