Friday, 12 December 2014

Christmas crackers 2014

holly top right
holly top left


hi Q

in the name of all get out
look down on this work
& call a bad job well done

bells & holly

beware the boatman trailer

should you believe stuff like
supernatural superhumans
live the afterlife of goodies
& hell for evil doers or
that runaway girls are bed'n'boarded
by cuddly bears in deep forests

you won't need reminding the shift
from life to death's a homeward journey
strange as fact
a silvery groat
that sticks in the black
river mud of your throat

or should you believe in stuffing
like a full English breakfast
followed by naked
lunch sur l'herbe
then Xmas dinner at Woolworth's cafeteria with
paper crowns glass of plonk & all the trimmings

you will hardly need reminding
that to leave Santa a cute note
2 mince pies &
glass of milk
scores you a caped action crusader
with eyes that glow red in the dark

bells & holly

al Q

shirtlifters caught with i-dolls
will be shaken down
blindfold & cut to the quick

bells & holly

back to the furniture

while a wicca van
white as the driven man

crosses a hill
for the annual kill

dark clouds hasten
ravens home to their haven

bells & holly

buy Q

jingo balls buy jingo balls
at all the best malls
buy jingo balls jingo balls

bells & holly

not great expectations again

the burnished bronze
of their doorknobs
turned me jealous

a little voice said
unscrew & steal
them as scrap

another recommended
I wedded their big
brass daughter

bells & holly

middle Q

all who've read Hilton Coalfield's
Gotcha In The Wry
will know what this means by now

bells & holly


stuck on this planet
not a hitch in sight
not a stitch in the whole warp & weft of time
oh ho ho my perfect Ford
how on earth will I chill
out the next 2 millennia

bells & holly

lo Q

frozen monkeys not from here
type facetiously
random stabs at Shakespeare's Lear

bells & holly

safety in numbers

nobody's gonna top six mill
not this side of Armageddon

Stalin did come pretty close they say
above a gross snuffed out on his watch
but starvation & neglect don't egg the custard
like bullets in heads & nudes in gas chambers

no Adolf's on safe ground with his ½ doz
apart from a few discreditable deniers
casting aspersions on the history world

even those old spiders of Mars
won't count if they bloody show up
close encounters with death rays
only Google into acts of god

bells & holly

non Q

so come all ye faithful
the time to hesitate is through
the back door and down the fire escape
holly bottom leftholly bottom right
sock puppeteer with holly
Let us bray!

Monday, 1 December 2014

Ali Baba's Pop Art Mart

found work on canvas

#1 - Trad BritArt

Incs. free del..

Not to be consumed ashore.

Disc. for Equestrian Order mmbrs.

#2 - Mod BritArt

Comes w/out Health Warning.

Call for Smoked Option.

Sold Out.

#3 - Non BritArt

El Greco
Alc % by vol may vary.

Try with Snickers or Flake.

Dissidents may contain pork.

Sock Puppeteer
Never Sold

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Blood of an Englishman

Pull The Other One
Well, at least we can say Jeremy Clarkson has done it all now. If there is anything left for him to trash after his latest African fiasco, it will be hippo-posthumous with a capital H.

Ey-up, Johnnie boy, what ARE you on about?

Well, first of all, he invents Abongoland, one racist stereotype of a failed state if ever there was. Then he peoples its capital, Ezroibii, with modern Arab slave traders & belly dancers of dubious gender. I ask you! He pollutes a flipping great river, the A'bongo, which is another fibble, with crap from Chinese miners. He insults the Krauts by buying a souped-up Mercedes convertible sporting... would you believe... the Legs of Mann for a logo. And when he sets out in the said motor, to cross a 400 mile stretch of desert, he has the whole thing filmed in the Australian outback.

Oh you mean that Jeremy Clarkson? I thought you were talking about the car wash twit on Channel Fork. You mean the chauffeur twit on the Other Side.

And that's where he'll be right now. In his last episode, he roars out of Ezroibii followed by a swarm of surveillance drones. A couple of distressed white totters are chained up in the rear of the motor, their headgear fluttering in the breeze. Throughout the episode, they say not one word on camera. Meanwhile, the Mercs, like the drones, is bristling with mikes & lenses, into which Clarkson moans about the heat, the flies, the stink of camel poo and prices at all the Little Chefs en route. Pretty soon, with the incomplete road system they has got over there, the magnificent Boulevard of King Abdullah Al Malarky peters out into a delta of meaningless tributaries. And thereafter, in a kind of de-mirage, the higgledy piggledy towers of Ezroibii disappear in Clarkson's rear view mirror. This is all c/o CGI, one supposes. After that, our mad dog Englishman has nothing for guidance but the midday sun and a state of the art GPS system.

I am with you, just. Still in the land of Oz, are we?

Quite. Well the GPS packs up after the first bend. Then there's a bit of whirlwind, which has yer man stopping to close the roof. Of course, with all that sand flying about, it soon gets jammed and he has to carry on driving with the roof neither up nor down, half blinded and with a scarf whipped round his bonce. Next off, he ploughs into a cloud of dreaded locust, splatting the windscreen and clogging up the wiper blade. Even a couple of drones are bought down by the insects, making an extended action sequence of excellent family viewing. Apart from the language.

Did you take a copy, then?

Funny you should ask... what the hell d'you think this is? So Clarkson stops to ask some slitty-eyed Berbers – very suspicious looking mob - the road to Mandalay, but they are more interested in pulling his human cargo than putting him on the right track. As a result, he roars off again, leaving a great cloud of dust – through which the galloping of camel hooves and musket shots are heard. If that sounds a bit Lawrence of Arabia, what happens next is ah Eighth bloody Pillar of Wisdom. Out of the shimmering horizon an authentic Disney oasis emerges, complete with palm trees, poolside loungers, hoochie-coochie music and cocktail bar. In less than five minutes, Jeremy has pulled up in the mercs, ordered cool beverages, had them served on board, imbibed, then he's straight off again, swerving to avoid the scrub.

Oh, I don't buy that - “swerving to avoid the scrub”? The real old Jeremy wouldn't swerve to avoid the blooming scrubbers, never mind save the bloody scrub.

Quite right, too. But tragedy, of course, is about to befall our intrepid motoring correspondent. With only the blistering sun for guidance, (“Child's play!" - he cries - "By keeping the overhead sun to my right, I must be heading either North-South or East-West.”) he fails to spot a single proper road. And since there are no petrol stations on any of these tracks, by four o'clock in the afternoon his little two litre Kompressor is running on vapour.

Well that's a load of bollocks for a start. There ain't no such thing as diesel vapour. And, speaking of which, I see we're out out of fags.

It's your round, anyroad. See what they got behind the bar. Well, the Mercs comes to a rest under the only tree to be had for miles. It's one of them whatchamacallit trees.

I know the type you mean. David Attenborough has them in his garden.

I'll come to Sir David's part in the story presently. So Jeremy is still quite cool, basking in the shade of the tree and chatting to the totters (who keep schtum). However, there's a tiger, sorry coupla tigers, also lounging under the tree who are not too keen on sharing it with a Mercs, even one with Jerry Clarkson at the helm.

Oh, I get it. He does the old Tarzan act.

Sort of. Well, when the female gets up and snarls at him, Jeremy's not a bit phased. He just reaches into the glove compartment and pulls out a handy banana, which he throws in her direction. That really flummoxes the old lion, she sort of sniffs at it and then gives him a dirty look.

A dirty look? I thought you said they were tigers?

Tigers? In Africa? Who d'you think I am, William Reece Burroughs? The lioness then leaps at the car. Jeremy, in a sly move, opens the driver door on her side while slipping out on the passenger's. He takes off as fast as his legs will go. Having quite long legs this is not exactly slow. But the lioness is not fooled by the door for long. Pretty soon she has bounded after him, brought him down and pinned him to the desert floor.

I bet some viewers enjoyed that part.

Too right, they did. Doing Mexican waves from the hills of Patagonia to the shores of the Arctic Circle, they were. The tigress, sorry, the big feline... female... holds him down until up strolls her old man. Now the game of cat and mouse really begins. The King of the Jungle lets Clarkson get to his feet, but every time he tries to move off, bounds upon him again. The beast even seems quite friendly, puts one paw round his back and starts licking him.

They love their food.

And this is just a taste of things to come.
manx cat with leg
What did the lad have to say for himself, before the inevitable?

A-hem. At this point I should bring in David Attenborough, whose animals they were.

As pets, like?

Well, he had them mike'd and camera'd up for a documentary he was making. The whole thing was captured from the lions' point of view.

That must have been a bit of a scoop. So what did Clarkson have to say for himself? Any contrite morsels of comfort for his victims?

That's the dreadful thing. Every single word had to be censored. Right up to the moment his neck was broke and legs bitten off, it was facking bleep this, facking bleep that, quite shocking I thought.

I bet there were a few complaints to the Beeb (the BBC) about his language?

Got the Board of Governors out of bed on a Sunday morning.

Strewth, just goes to prove, you can't please all the punters all the time, now can you?

Filched the words right out of my mouth. Your round, I believe?
Clarkson as Puppeteer
TT for now!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Turning Amateur

cafe of horlicks wind attempt

Turning Amateur

As hits on downwritefiction finally pass 10k, the proprietor summons his front of house staff. They assemble at a conference suite on the seventeenth floor of Sock Puppet House, expecting Lee to make an historic announcement. Peeled-back necks of vintage Champagne bottles stand erect in ice buckets. Sideboards belly dance with trays of canap├ęs, fancy cakes & Belgian liqueur chocolates. Hundreds of coloured balloons, tied in rude bouquets, waft gently in the breeze. Several windows have been left open. As the crowd of employees roll in, faint honks of traffic from the boulevard below can be heard above loud whispers and excited giggles. Suddenly Philip Lee appears in person, raises his hand and opens his gob,

Now hear this. Yr ironies be darned, I'm sick to death of the lot of you, bloody shower of frauds, pseudos & time wasters. You're all sacked. Pack yr shit & leave.

Gasps, sobs, shrieks & bellows rebound from his words. A bevvy of St John's Ambulance men ferry out the faint of heart. Staff members queueing to leap from the windows are ignored by snotty security guards too busy helping themselves from the buffet. Hardened Ehacks, huddled in corners, give head to vapour fags & gabble into Moby Dicks. Champagne is passed hand-to-mouth by stack-heeled receptionists and lowdown office pros, swigging straight from the bottle. Balloons burst spontaneously. The sweet sickly pong of high end vomit mingles with a sharp stench of acetone as bewildered executives neck vials of pink nail varnish remover.

Meanwhile Lee has left the building. Exiting via service lift and back door, the former CEO and proprietor is disguised as a municipal dog catcher. In green cap and overalls he carries lasso pole and gunny sack slung over his shoulder. The streets are hot tho' not bothered, lazy sirens of ambulance, fire & police have converged too late to offer much succour to the dead or shocked onlookers. Lee ducks into an underpass that takes him to the far side of Punchnose Lane. He disappears into the district of all night wedding parlours and oldman early morning diners.

What's it to be, fella?

Two hash brownies, scoup of beans and eggs over easy. Gimme a coffee, there, too, matey. Oh, and a hunk of apple pie with molten cheese food.

Coming right up, sir. Sit yourself down & take the weight off.

This is the Cafe of Horlicks Wind Attempt stuck in the year 1974, patronised by homeless schmucks that nurse empty tea mugs, smoke Old Holborn butts and scratch. Radio cackles, too faint to make out tune or word, just the hiss & fry of distant galaxies. Yesterday's newspapers are marked & folded, phelgm chawed, yawns let out raw. Unemployment is kept alive here & flaunted like leprosy, women who enter abandon all hope, naked lunch boys shiver in long white trench coats, the letters FBI stencilled on their backs.

Incessant whirrs of Horlicks machines emanate from behind the steaming counter. Lee swills coffee and wipes his mouth with the back of a filthy glove. He eats slow with fork & spoon, paying with luncheon vouchers and tipping the waiter with fake chocolate money. As he makes his move for the door, a rent boy, old before his time, rises in unison. The blue skinned boy opens his jaw but before speaking, drops to the floor like a broken scarecrow. Purple smoke emits from the pockets and cuffs of his trousers. Somewhere out of shot, a cinema audience writhes in toothache boredom.

Back on the street the chase proceeds. A huntman's horn blares out as Lee hails a passing taxi,

Follow that hearse!

His yellow cab, lasso pole sticking from passenger window and followed by a pack of red-tailed vixens, pulls into the grim afternoon traffic.


Monday, 1 September 2014

Meeting Herr Mann

New Short Fiction by Philip Lee
Without Apologies

Diane, the very image of Punk Diva, stares into the eyes of Fanny Geezer,
Got no probs with kinky for inst. Hands on hips, white fingers bursting from black lace mitts, she pouts, You tie, I tie, all the same to me. A girl gone mental to be pierced in unusual ways, she wears a jewelled padlock on platinum necklace. Though the accent is half-borrowed, you can tell she half-believes all that way-out crap, You should see my regulars having their 'Specials'. She winks, Whereas you, my darling, will be on the house.
Manfred smiles, as the joke is pretty telling of her: staking a claim on his rent-boy arse, then fishing for a spot of the old barter. Very witty. Cast your eyes on her sluttish poise: Carnaby Street written all over it. Clearly this young femme means to GET THE LOT DONE before her last stab at fatale is carted from the building.
Picture me in a boy scout's outfit?
Manfred takes a sidelong glance. Her eyes, like a puppet's, slot away. She giggles,
He mirrors her far-gone look before answering. The long lip which follows really shows how much his feelings are meshed. Truth is, he's thinking, no pull should be this easy,
Aw, love-a-duck, not another bloody 'virgin'. How many ways there are to lose it these days? Still, I adore your taste in clothes, Sweetness. Certainly, you may come to the ball! Let me welcome you with this little peck. He kisses her primly on the cheek, But I'm afraid there is one itsy-bitsy issue. He takes two Gaulois from the crush pack, lights both and hands her the snout, I can't offer you the complete pleasure dome chez-moi.
Diane gulps down the smoke, bringing a dilation to her pupils. She almost twigs,
Oh my gosh, is someone waiting up for you?
And Manfred all but misses the beat, only to recover by tossing his quiff and speaking in rapid fire,
Er... No impediment on that socre, ducky. Even if I had some great hunk of a fella waiting on me - which I'm not saying I hain't - it would be no business of his anyroad, would it? So what about yours?
The answer catches in her throat,
My... what?
Manfred peers into her false-coloured eyes. She tries again,
My boyfriend? I ain't got one.
He tuts,
Silly darling. Couldn't face another threesome tonight, not with these nerves. What I meant to say was, can we stage this little tryst in your place rather than mine?


Di pretends to mull over the scenario, before committing to the inevitable. Which once settled, an empty bench-seat presents itself. They sit down like awkward sisters, sucking on their ciggies in silence.
To pull someone at a gig is great fun. Going round to theirs – especially a stranger's – even more so. Lately, she's seen enough of her own gaff in Victoria. To dive into any old hole would be preferable to kicking the stray unmentionables under her bed. But the last tube won't wait for a better catch. At least, now the deal has been brokered, she can relax and slip exploring fingers under that to-kill-for blue velvet jacket.
Brut mingles with patchouli, cool lips brush ticklish throat. The fine stubble of his cheek sends little shudders up and down her Lumbar vertebrae. Not that different really.


I told you it would work, Manfred. A dead cert every time. Des the Elder, provider of wisdom & snouts, proffers a No. 6 from his pack of ten, They're so curious they can't resist. You get loads of that sort down the old Drag Night. Didn't I tell the absolute?
It's only lunch-hour so our man, despite the fact he's having a drink, declines the cancer,
I feel a bloody fraud, and that's not the worst of it. This girl I got off with the week before last... She's called Diane... Well, we've taken to each other. I mean, she SAYS she's really into me. Meanwhile she happens to be the exact clever little sexpot I've been on the lookout for... forever...
So what's your problem?
Come on, Desmond. I'm serious and she thinks I'm a shirt-lifter. She hasn't even guessed I might be just another rag-and-bone merchant. So what if there's more to me than a quick mash-up of eel & pie? I am licked, mate. And it's all your fault.
For a few moments, Des seems to remain deep in thought, stroking his chin between deep puffs on the short cigarette. Actually, it's his round and probably the kitty is bare. He's spent the last ten minutes toying with an empty beer glass in hints that young Manfred – who's training to be something in the City - can finish the job. Surely, having scored on Des's sound advice, the winner should do the honours at least one more time? But this complication over the girl's assumption has queried the pitch. His frown seems to ask, what's her game, anyhow? Wait on, though, perhaps something is smouldering in there? Desmond smiles,
Easy-peasy! You GO STRAIGHT on her, my man. TURN HETERO. You say she's been a revelation. Tell her you're in love with a woman for the second time in your life. He drops his voice to a stage whisper, I take it she's worth the countdown?
Manfred's eyes go 5-4-3-2-1. Des winks,
That's sorted, then. Tell her you never thought tart could taste so sweet. Say she's cured you of the bug.
Manfred leans across the table and draws a cigarette out anyway,
Steady on, there, old fruit. Being gay is not an illness in the modern world. Besides... blimey, how shall I put this? I adapted certain mannerisms on that cabaret night which I just can't shake off without giving the game away.
Des shakes his head in disgust,
What d'you mean? Looking at men's bums and whistling? Sitting with your pins crossed?
Manfred stares down at his legs, which are thrust out in front of him. He draws up his knees,
I do that anyway. It's these little flicks of the head I've picked up, and the way I hold my torso... He sticks his chest out and rocks from side-to-side on the bones of his arse. Also I've been using camp phrases like, “Spectacular, Mrs Coward!” or “I'd give my left testicle for a pair like those!” I think she's even turned on by my Cliff Richard impression.
Stone the crows, sunshine, you are in a jar.

Manfred already knows Diane's hair is naturally light brown and red-wedged. In case the reader hasn't already sussed, we're in the late 1970s here, the very Zenit of original punk. Not that this archetypal dilemma isn't somehow outside of all time warps. But in those glorious days, the tyrannous era of women uprooting their privets is still some ways off. Diane's secret garden has been well explored: by touch in the dark recesses of The Lyceum and Camden Town's Electric Ballroom; and by sight, at her place in Victoria under the glare of lights on. So when he finally clocks her stepping off the District Line at Wimbledon tube, he is trebly gobbed. Firstly because she has dyed her top knots anything other than jet black. Secondish because she has somehow chosen that natural reddy brown of her own. Furthermore, the plank-in-the-eye truth is, she's wearing a green blazer, white skirt and tennis shoes without - and here's the clencher - socks. The pleated skirt is short and her long curvaceous pins are utterly bare. The whole effect is simply spectacular, Mrs Coward,
So you've changed, Diane, my pet.
I know. I look and feel completely ridiculous.
She doesn't look as if she feels ridiculous. Manfred puts a hand over his heart,
You could be the young Virginia Wade. So where's your tennis racquet?
Incredibly, and in spite of her complete switch of image, the green blazer carries something over from the military fetishes of yesterday's punk outfits. The girl is a true artist. He takes her arm, as chivalry seems to be the state of play,
You have done it again, haven't you?
Diane smiles innocently,
Have I? What have I done?
Never mind. I've forgotten what I was going to say in the first place.
As they turn out of the station and head towards the High Street, the object of beauty looks about her with relish. Despite living in London all her life, she claims she's never been to Wimbledon before,
So, Manfred, you're finally taking me back to your place?
He nods, having stuck his neck out on the phone to say that yes - purely on spec - a quick pop in and out was called for.
Can't wait for it! Quite posh round here, innit? Got any room-mates? 
She'll have to take him as found. Gives his hand a little squeeze in store. Her palm is already sopping. As soon as they're indoors, she'll expect to leap onto leather sofa, strip off and bonk each other's brains out. That sofa, what a dirty lie! And what will become of him, strutting indoors, arm-in-arm with this bare-legged smasher? For Pete's sake, she's dimpled behind the knees! What will she say when he leads her into the old family living room, sits her down on the settee and does the introductions,
Diane, my precious, this is the jolly old Mater and this smarmy-faced schoolboy is my brother Herman?
A suitable pause, then?
Herr Mann? Such a brilliant name? Charming place to be brought up? And jolly pleased to meet you, too, Mrs Noone? I'm afraid I've been dragged here under false pretences? The victim of a heartless conman? But enough of that, already? Herr Mann, don't squint at my legs, dear, you'll go blind. Tell me straight, how are your grades?