Monday, 30 September 2019

more cack in the attic

the Netflix treatment

Agent Ooks is way beyond the best
mass disruptor Gee has ever met
shook his hand with just a brush of skin
dry as a gin

cocktail speaks in British English like
Dr Watson’s chappie whatsis name
did for half the crooks on London Fields
geek with the cap

Ooks meanwhile puts crime where it belongs
knows a thing or two about the mind
criminals or terrorists from mad
women to men

name your favourite type of villain he'll
goad them on to greater evil deeds
dips inside the masonry of hood to raise
one to the top

when he has a deviant in place
plays the devil till it screws them up
then he’ll pounce you see his role's a cat
rustler at heart


Agent Ooks has walked out on the job
fifty times too many slings his hook
just when things are hotting up he slinks
off on a drunk

cold as an owl curried pizza box
Ooks will dig in deep a second fault
totally forgets his cover third
spoiler of plots

why they never fire him on the spot
heaven knows the holy ghost gives up
half its days off signing chits to get
him out of holes

still without this Ooks we'd never have
won the war on rock'n'roll or gout
writes a mean old postcard too a gent's
toilet of doubt

shags in fourteen different languages
did the Kama Sutra till divorce
bagged him seven hip hop dancing girls
drills on the twerk


well remunerated though he works
on & off the bank cannot keep track
lives from rags to riches by the hour
sleeps in a sack

barrow down the Old Kent Rd his shirts
Saville Row with underpants from Jock
Strap prefers to crawl than take a bus
barked at by dogs

never clocks himself in mirrors chucks
rotten eggs at Lord Mayor’s carriages
ladybirds undo their marriages
Ooks gets around

Gee is jealous if the truth were told
sold him down the river countless times
still he never ducks which makes things worse
Ooks is his curse

episodes for sale or rent enquire
face-to-face or here on-line my rates
astronomical no wasters please
Ooks is the best

Dirty Hole

past the scenic route this beauty spot
nestles under Todger's Vale & sores
needles' eyes all along down along

lads & lasses bent on trekking there
do beware its reputation shun
heaven's bells don't come a cropper turn
over in fun

hope abandoned mars the entrance but
plugging in & pressing on no doubt
drives the folks who choose to sod the map
till they pull out

all the stops commit themselves veer
headlong through on satan's parachute
I Tiresias who pioneered
gender dispute

stumbled on it many years ago
tie yr helmet down before you try
buckle up & bend that trusty bow
needless to die

flight 2019

crawling cross this map of Europe by
plane who knows what folks have made of it
Roman roads still visible & towns
ancient or new

forests lakes & mountains dominate
our ascent though clouds obscure some parts
making patterns of their own till fields
broaden the ground

one enormous river snaking south
joined by tributaries from the east
waters thousand-acre grain box plots
broken by strip

agriculture far as I can tell
then a bank of nimbus blocks my view
cotton budding far below the wings
glimpses of hills

false horizons white & grey on blue
wisps of vapour pass the portholes fast
while above us roars the sparkling great
darkness of space


having woken up the clouds are gone
now the river flowing north with towns
nestling on its banks at bends decants
seawards I guess

greens & browns replace the cornfield sands
woods obscured by narrow strands of cloud
tiny windmills stitch the chequered ground
railways abound

still the coast is some way off as yet
see-through gases hang above the ends
pocket airports bricks & mortar towns
parcel the plain

cross The Channel in another doze
London snags the Thames on stilts a vast
reservoir of dirty puddles bask
flat in the glare

rushing downwards left & right we pass
neat estates or scarfaced quarries new
industries & farmsteads roads canals
England at last


no it’s not a holiday I try
claiming things to sort out folks to see
course I'd rather drive & take my stuff
back on the roof

navigating half a dozen states
paying tolls explaining here & there
how I have compunctions not to leave
heirlooms behind

but there’s precious chance of such a step
plan it though I do from time to time
stead of which I fry the planet fly
budget airlines

count the cost a benefit of sorts
time to ponder where I stand between
continents & faiths as well as lands
baggage on hold

weighting in the wings suspended thoughts
take the wider view of time & place
better not to burn my boats but sail
head in the past

more cack in the attic

Shakespeare’s watch & phablet auctioned well
fifty universities outbid
one another till the offers climbed
over 10 bill

then some oligarchs stepped in & priced
Willy's privates into outer space
after which his priceless works of art
quit planet Earth

having left it up to Them to save
humankind from losing precious face
books prevailed a compromise was made
Portia & Lear

liked Elton Husk's idea of sending his
hidden files to server clouds on Mars
where in future scholars could repair
studying there

on a scholarship endowment scheme
meanwhile back in Stratford plans were laid
Shakespeare’s bones would one day be returned
from their new grave

the upside of down

eider ducked the question if it was
better in a former life to be
human & come back as something else
than disappear

altogether daft of me to ask
birds have never sat about & had
existential thoughts considered not
plucking their breasts

reincarnation's a question no
one can answer least of all a quack
quack perhaps a frog from spending years
under a stone

having time to think might put you wise
if the secrets of the universe
come to those who sit & hold their whist
or getting pissed

sleeping off the deepest darkest hang
over with an eiderdown to dream
under when it's cold outside a bird
brain ain’t so thick

Not for sale!

Monday, 2 September 2019

chit chat

up Knight Street

chit chat 

are these people talking to themselves
some of them look odd enough to be
day release inhabitants of wards

mental illness used to be a thing
now it's all community response
able bodied means can use a phone

what is cracking up these days yourself
or your line to them who’s handling you
swear that person is avoiding us

talking on their Moby Dick it’s sick
someone should have words with them not me
half a mind to but I’m misconstrued

every time I try to make a point
feel as though I’m speaking out of turn
be the words I use are out of date

waiting for the Magic

conspiracy theory

Newton was an apple scrumping hound
Galileo stole the telescope
Einstein pulled a fast one Edison's
phonograph stank

Jesus had a circus act did good
business till he copped a spear plans
plans the best of mice & men what’s new
under the sun

King Canute kipped on the sand to prove
Superman was not his middle name
though he didn’t live a thousand years
still going strong

fame it's all a muggin's game as the
actress said to Unctuous the Umpteenth
let us pray you want me on all fours
wiggle of bum

who invented sex now there's yer man
patent leather’s out of copyright
DNA on snakes & ladders play
god for a night

down Myrtle Street

on air 

oh the onus of that red
light the cellos leant astride
double basses hugged like tubs

big & small take five asides
horns & woodwind hold their fire
timpani & cymbals count
empty beats

just the chirpy cor anglais
playing rustic catch-me-ups
swoop of lark in dizzy flight

what’s the maestro doing now
harmonious scratch of head
bum & better left unsaid
god that’s lame

still they clash in unison
every instrument as one
time to prosecute that long
pent-up fart

 Never let on!

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Down Your Nose

...we shall see in 2020...”

Special Reports from The Ox-Fools

No Tinned Sardines at Tiffin

Towing the UK out into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, where it could be left to sink into the Central Canyon, would be expensive, cruel and unsustainable - but not outside the bounds of feasibility. A German plan to do just this was under serious consideration during the Battle of Britain, though the use of yellow submarines would not have been cricket.

Curse of the Self-peeling Banana.”

Not two decades from the turn of the millennium, downing milk of water-buffalo to the strains of Radio Fork, we stumble across this saga of genetic manipulation in downtown Turnaround Town.

Orthodox science tells us bananas were never meant to self-peel. But the boffins who created this embarrassment were faceless ciphers, white-coated scone-heads dedicated to blurring the edges of technology. The question who on the planet needed bananas that could peel themselves went simply unasked. Blinkered by biology, they blundered into the work, never pondering why such flagrant autonomy should favour the semi-tropical fruit.

A typical banana of the Last Century would scarcely have dreamt of going naked into the negotiating chamber. But as they neared maturity, the first unsuspecting fruit were sold down the river into laboratories innocuously disguised as ripening sheds. Others were loaded onto eponymous banana boats. There they were subjected to degrading experiments, soaked in hormone rich baths, sprayed with libidinous chemicals, or even suspended in vapour-filled chambers to absorb the involuntary reflexives. A young, tender banana would then be laid voluptuously upon a ceramic or metal plate and left to expose itself.

Once effective methods of impregnation were successfully duplicated, small consignments of self-peeling 'nanas were released onto unsuspecting markets. The results were unequivocal. Ripe hands began exposing themselves in public and private venues throughout the target areas. In malls, shocked customers watched in helpless outrage as lithe young bananas eased themselves out of their skins to lie provocatively on counters. In homes, bowls of fruit assortment became the scene of lewd encounters as apples, quince and even greengages blushed in response to the spontaneous stripping of their elongated yellow colleagues. Schools and works canteens were not spared the shame brought on by batches of nude provocateurs.

Though many naked bananas were immediately consumed by shameless primates; others languished for a short time, browning off where they lay, glistening in the atmosphere and giving out a digestive stink. The temptation to gobble up these languid examples proved too much for even the most staid and hesitant feeders. Few indeed of the skinless bodies were allowed to turn black, even on hot and sultry days. And though payment was occasionally deferred, the guilty pleasures of most went hand-in-hand with token exchanges. Indeed, the way these treated bananas offered themselves up appeared to excite increased interest in the Musa genus; soon enough the entire first crop had disappeared, only the limp skins remaining where they had so flagrantly been discarded.

Having established first principles, the mad boffins turned their attention to the timing of a banana's strip. What should be the trigger? A variety of stimuli was applied: music and other audio signals, human proximity: odours such as sweat, perfume or after-shave; time of day, weather conditions, casting of suggestive shadows. Finally, the application of artificial intelligence was deployed, any given banana assessing the local conditions for itself to decide when, where and how to perform the act of lewd exposure.

Self-peeling bananas went on general release before an unsuspecting public with earth-shattering results. Traffic on a busy street in downtown Turnaround Town came to a halt when a truck shed its load of self-peelers. Crowds formed outside greengrocer shop windows. Matrons shrieked on wards. Schoolkids fretted over lunchboxes. Volvos skedaddled and collided with horse-drawn carts. Lone picnickers ran from park benches. Questions were asked in both Houses and the Prime Minister was summoned to The Embassy.

Large cooking bananas were not immune to the infection. Hard-boiled plantains, normally the butch and recalcitrant bedfellows of okra and sweet potatoes, proudly emerged from their thick green jackets to protrude from baskets of multi-coloured peppers, eggplants and tomatoes. The revolution was beginning to spread. Somehow, coconuts learned to eject their own milk. Peas turned self-shooters. Carrots, mandrake-like, leapt from the ground. Figs and strawberries swapped underwear. Ears of wheat, barley and rye threshed each other to the buzz of hayfever attacks. Thousands of pumpkins grinned in the fields, the twinkle of their candle-lit eyes shimmering in the cool evening breeze of Autumn.

Halloween was drawing on. With the infection fully out, the question had to be asked: what new Great Beast was about to be born?


the farce that sank a thousand ships

Once described as a musical without music, it's the show that has twice defied the critics to run and run like an open wound on the face of Boredway. It stars no one but himself, has them creasing in the aisles, snorting in the lavs and blocking the spittoons with false teeth & gum. Sawdust sprinkles from ceilings as rodents and woodworm roar on cue. Beamed live into homes & dugouts throughout the country, especially loved by the intellectually, emotionally and psychologically challenged: Cheeseboat - the triumph of crass over craft, of submarine over pondskater, the first brand of soap powder to challenge Oxymoron. Public fountains beware!

Soap Fountain Arrests

You snivelling little morons! Call yourselves hooligans? Can't you think of anything better to vandalise than a harmless urban water feature? Take them down and set them to work gumming up cracks in the pavements. Next case!

...and now, Down Your... Pan

Eee by gum, let's hoof it to the foot of our stairs, life's a rum & cloves affair, there's nowt so queer as folklore, and that bloody Nora....

As far as rabbits go, I've got little to say bar this: wouldn't chase one with a shotgun, and neither of our dogs could catch a wet stick let alone a furry animal. So when it comes to Alice tumbling into Wonderland, I'm with her in spirit only. Tumbling into bed at night is about all I can manage, and if I ever have trouble sleeping it's not sheep I'm counting, fingers drumming on the mattress, rain dripping from the chicken-house roof. What a July it's been! So, what does August augur?
No Say Cheese!

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

1919 & all that jazz

inverse eyes @2020 look
back thru tainted goggles Frenchies Brits
Yanks & sundry lesser outfits caught
Germany off

guard the wicket stuck on Old Regime
petty fours to shouts of six we bowled
turtle soup from mobster plot tureens
Nero cuisine

put Trimalchio's repast to shame
nymphos served injust desserts on tec
tonic plates of messe de pottage camp
fires burned unchecked

burps & hiccoughs slurps of brandy smoke
Louis quinze looked down in effigy
aprés moi you deli cats he urged
who is dese folks

fête accomplis paid on credit so
what the cost or if decorum lost
ten not out to help your bloody selves
in for a dig


Mr Churchill button-holed our host
puis-je demand au vernaculaire
de cette table oh fermez les Bosch
cried Clemenceau

Wilson not to be dishonoured pulled
out his gun & popped a serving man
just for fun now never say we Yanks
don't know our tropes

Lennon whose invitation got smudged
in the post was there by telegram
Molotov with cocktail poised said stop
me & buy one

spliced of course with Chaplin Charles but worse
was to come beyond the trampled gates
Germany impersonated by
Korporal Von Klot

wagon wheels exploding bells & hell's
balls a-swinging from his lugs remained
shaking at the knees forgive his French
encore mein twat


by the morning of the night before
no one knew quite who had said just what
wrapped in table cloths we bagged our loot
swaggering off

some had homes to go to others not
those with silver candlesticks & plates
made for bishoprics & sovereign states
pleased with their lot

several gathered victuals reasoning
hungry jaws would snicker as they snuck
by so cake to trade as bread was wise
knowing Versailles

knives & forks embroidered serviettes
ringed with gilt were favoured by the few
who professed a souvenir would do
journeys that long

lastly ready-handed spilled the lost
generation hordes whose wits were shot
grateful for our lives we hit the streets
pairs of left feet


still the bunfight raged on soldiers' pay
tilting stragglers reached their promised lands
singing by the boat load train or push
cart in the rain

officers & men with kitbags new
packing hairlock pistols bayonets
pomegranates gramophones & old
Exchange & Marts

even those who’d never stepped abroad
claimed rewards in borrowed uniforms
boasting like heroes that zeros had
stuck to their guns

speeches we endured in county town
halls profane the words of praise to face
no man's land had been a better place
peaceful at times

when the gin kicked in it made one think
soldiering did have its qualities
knew your enemies but civvies were
good for a drink


Scott Fitzgerald wrote his novel then
Proust coughed up the biscuit of research
Switzerland had held a nest of such
confidence men

bankrupts all their credit sunk in art
speculation dada tigers who
cheerio’d down chiaroscuro streets
curtsied like fools

time to face the bloody music act
brave & play concertos with both hands
tied behind the back abandon truth
chapter & verse

show they hadn’t sung in castle vaults
silently from rooftops playing rag
requiems for chums who'd drowned in mud
innocence hung

out to dry in Voltaire cafés where
prohibition played straight into gang
land scenarios took some resolve
totalled on tea


hic twas claimed that war kicked off in smoke
rooms or homebrew joints for every gun
toting patriot the God squad read
Satan on hooch

did great wonders for the smugglers' trade
surely not don’t take my word we Yanks
banned it very morning after world
peace was declared

that’s absurd you said it Brother like
blaming rape on women who dress up
war was down to men who'd had too much
Dutch here’s the catch

logic doesn’t mix with politics
in democracy the lowest twits
pitch their wits beneath the belt then watch
God do the rest

pull the other Sister thought of that
bloodshed does attract a deal of bull
title fights aren't won by halves it's drink
up or shut up


Uncle Brit & Auntie France why not
set our friends a great example give
back those empires show the world that peace
means business eh

what a neat idea take that down
here this pack of cigarettes is smoked
tell it at the Rose & Crown tonight
wonderful hoax

true in Blighty things ain't smelling rose
half these chaps have lost their jobs to fops
what will all the soldiers do we'll send
them out as cops

free the states it's got a ring to it
be elections soon Communism's
on the rise how about dominion
status for them

seriously Nuncle haven't they
earned the right to independence let
those who've fought for freedom off a bit
rule their own waves


talk like that is fit for Bolsheviks
ten to one we'll meet at Waterloo
everyone is waiting on a pax

with our European pals in crime
all the civilising countries know
just to give their colonies away
Dude isn’t due

off their bottle that's Amerikar
to a model T let’s see them quit
money first then litigation sex
for heaven's sake

slavery which took us long enough
white man's burden in a six-inch shell
he who fails to down his stirrup cup
see him in hell

mark my words if prohibition reigns
seven years they’ll drink then seven more
judging vices comes before a fall
Congress's call


jaw-jaw with a Mallampati score
high enough to end this war of wars
heard that somewhere before I suppose
me too here goes

everyone's invited to a bash
weekly on the promenade at lake
Wozzname grab a gal we'll have a blast
drinks on the house

talking shops are de rigeur these days
peace diplomacy & all that jive
best behaviour on the dance floor no
stepping on toes

cutting in will be allowed of course
modern dress & when the music stops
cabaret with all the latest acts

best of all it's international rules
what goes down in Switzerland will stay
there who’s not to love the best of both
worlds old & new


Gatsby where’s your country going hold
on Old Sport Chicago fix the World
Series for me will ya atta boy
Wolfie's a dream

you were saying never mind the girl's
got a hubby tail her to the far
side of paradise we'll rendezvous
there in the car

here we go again now try to keep
up you know he seldom drinks that's odd
figured him for a bootlegging hound
plays cricket though

there’s some truth in what you said before
damned if I remember let’s go home
party's over bar the shooting one
more for the road

right you are a cigarette my house
for a smoke this Russian whitey meets
Frenchie with a Limey on the road
to Monty Carl


O Daisy darl life's a car crash for
two no sorry you were great in bed
plus your money's oke but that’s not rich
gotta be orf

who'd’ve thought I’d utter life’s a bitch
can’t we go to Europe start afresh
sell this pile exchange East River for

live it up on two per cent of nix
you're forgetting something Major Gatz
destiny awaits us where we are
get out the car

you believe that stuff of course I do
liar but the French & Brits are thru
Germany will have its turn of peace
war & then us

girlfriend we could make it anywhere
what if I don’t want to tell you what
grab Manhattan first then take New York
state's on a plate


didn't Mrs Cody make it plain
can’t have happy endings all the time
principal has gotta take a fall
stroke of thirteen

made an art form outta hit & run
living fast & dying young the crime
ain't no loss of life it's breaking faith
rules of the game

rather stick around for best of both
such romantic notions sup your drink
poisoned chalice two to tango whoa
king for a day

sorry love the sun is setting I'll
miss the next I know it's asinine
hold my hand I'm dying like an oaf
partner in rhyme

kiss me darling blow that smoking gun
what an innings burst the palliasse
Siegfried's got a dame but lost his ring
fat lady sing

don't sign here!