Thursday, 30 October 2008

'Ancient Chinese Proverb'

"Bicycles and testicles are
not mutually compatible."

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

'Johnny Thunders'

They found his body

beneath the bed
bent double like a discarded
paper clip
in a New Orleans flop-house.

Tell the people:
the original NY Doll
the Heartbreaker
the gypsy king who was born too loose
is dead and gone.

Rigor mortis set in and
so did the conspiracy theories.
The roaches were out the wood-work
each with a different version of the same story.
But all I know is

when they carried
out his pale corpse
the body bag was
three feet in length;
and all his guitars were gone.

It’s true what he said:
‘You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory’
but believe me, that night,
high or straight,
each of us tried.

Taken from

Monday, 27 October 2008

It's Monday, I'm writing this.

As it hits its 1ooth installment my iconoclastic Axl Rose poetry novel appears to be gaining more attention. Thanks to Caught By The River for the coverage.

College Music Unlimited (who I forgot I used to be a columnist for) meanwhile had this to say about it:

AXL ROSE REMEMBERED THROUGH POETRY So, we draw ever closer to that moment no man, woman or child ever believed could happen - the release of Guns N' Roses' 'Chinese Democracy'. But how did this momentous occasion come about? Well, I'm not quite sure, but I have been very much enjoying former CMU columnist Ben Myers' re-imagining of the life of Axl Rose from smalltown boy to world famous rock star via the medium of poetry, entitled 'I Axl: An American Dream'.

With Axl's (I've given up calling them Guns N' Roses) new album now ear-marked for release I shall be striving to spread the word on it even further.

In other news I also reviewed the new album by The King Blues, who have made a few appearances no this blog of late. The review is for The Quietus.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Tuesday, 21 October 2008



Capital letters
at the start
of sentences.

Born: the birth of the written language.
Died: circa 2008.

~ "Gone but not forgotten" ~

Monday, 20 October 2008

A heartfelt plea to Americans to save themselves

I'm excited because it's looking highly likely
that America may soon have Barack Obama
as president. I am genuinely excited. If he
gets in I might actually cry. I'm not being sarcastic.

If you're American and you're reading this,
then I think you should make the effort to
vote for him rather than the horrendous,
out of touch Bush-lite Republican guy.

The reason I might cry is because I think the
world will be saved. And also my 5 year boycott
of visiting the States will over. And because for
once the good guy will win and my faith in humanity,
which is waning greatly, will be restored.

But mainly because Obama is smart, educated,
a writer and quite clearly the man for the job.

Just check his CV on wikipedia if you're in doubt.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Ray Lowry RIP.

Some sad news: the artist/illustrator Ray Lowry has died. I like his work a lot.

A brief interlude: early this year I was surprised to receive an e-mail from offering congratulations for "your Clash book". What Clash book?, I wondered. It turned out that some DVD sleevenotes I had written for a Clash documentary made by a (it turned out) highly unscrupulous company who have already ripped off a number of writer colleagues had been re-packaged as part of a book about The Clash. Having not even been informed by the company that they were recycling my words, I was initially pissed off - until I saw a copy of the book, that is, which was actually based on the sketches Ray Lowry did as "war correspondent" for The Clash at the height of their career - touring the US promoting London Calling. Sketches I had already spent many an hour marvelling over over the past decade or so.

I was pleased just to be sharing the same pages with such amazing work and with the co-author (along with Johnny Green) of A Riot Of Our Own Night And Day With The Clash - still, in my opinion, one of the best rock 'n' roll read out there, a book I read and then re-read while drinking vodka in my squat in South London, circa 1997, and many times since. It's a great book. And who cares about money anyway when you're involved in something creative and exciting.

Ray's book for which I provided some words is called The Clash: Rock Retrospectives - I definitely recommend reading it for Ray Lowry's (who I never got to meet) masterful, spirited drawings.

Visit Ray's site here.


Yesterday we took to Tate Britain to see the Francis Bacon
exhibition. It was pretty staggering. Like too much cheese
and a long dark disturbed sleep, followed by a very angry
orgasm and an skull-scratching, edgy hangover - but in a
public place with marble floors, good lighting and touroids.

Afterwards all we could do was reel throughthe streets of
Pimlico, the passing traffic a muted parp that barely
pricked the black bubble of London, the afternoon sun
a thousand spears raining down upon us.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

October Stimuli

I've been writing lots.

I did a music-related feature for ShortList, I did something non-music related for Bizarre magazine, I did some stuff for Mojo, some advertising copy for a big company, I did a blog about doo-wop for The Guardian and also one about The Icelandic Sagas for the same publication. I'm also doing something for 3AM, but I haven't written that yet.

Some of these pieces aren't out yet, so I'm being deliberately vague about them in case I get in trouble from respective editors. Suffice to say most of them will be available to read in magazines, printed on actual paper apart from the online stuff and the advertising copy, which appears in shop windows and catalogues.

And that.

Here's what I've been enjoying of late:

The Farm by Richard Benson (book)
My Brother Is An Only Child (film)
The new album by The Bronx (album, obviously)
Where Are The Rebels? by Joseph Ridgwell (book)
The Bobby McGees and The Noughts & Crosses Band live @ Twee As Fuck last week
Save The World, Get The Girl by The King Blues (album)
British Sea Power live @ The Roundhouse this week
Down & Out On Murder Mile by Tony O'Neill (book), pic below, w/ Slash and Vanessa
Songs They Never Play On The Radio by James Young (book)
Future Days by Can (album)
old Rough Trade obscurities, especially from circa 1979-1981
my friend Graeme joining Laura Marling's band
Radio 4
my bike
the downfall of capitalism.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Poem Written In 60 Seconds

'Unknown Other'

I want to see the sea.

I want to throw
fish heads to the gulls
from a pier
made from kelp
sink ankle deep in
seven million
grains of sand
rub my backside on barnacles
lick salt from her lips
man the gunwale
and dive head first
into unchartered waters,
a golden dagger between
my teeth and seaweed
around my ankles
then float on my back
wiggling my toes
at the passing tourists
who can’t decide
whether I’m man
or beast or

unknown other.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

New Words For 2009














Tuesday, 7 October 2008

'Valley Girl'

I added a new poem to my
Axl Rose blog. It's called
Valley Girl. I was quite
pleased with this one.

For those who don't know
the 'Axl Rose blog' is a
poetic novelisation of the
life, time and hair crimes

of Axl Rose, proprietor
and creator of the world-
beating brand and rockun
roll band Guns N' Roses.

Sunday, 5 October 2008


I know they're a bit hip and a bit nu-ravey
but I really like this video by Late Of The Pier.
It's really daft and gimpy and I like that.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Kansas versus drilling versus do-wop

The 'literary jam' that I took place in on
is now online. The idea was for ten writers to collaborate
on a story. The story is called What's So Special About
. I like that title. I also happen to like all the
writers involved. It's like a 'Who's who' of writers who
I know online, and sometimes in person too. In fact,
including myself, I've met 50% of them. They are:
Matthew Coleman, Darran Anderson,
Chris Killen,
Paul Kavanagh, Tony O'Neill, Steve Finbow,

Lee Rourke, Jenn Ashworth and Paul Ewen.

You can read What's So Special About Kansas? here.

Today I have tried to write an article about do-wop
but a workman was drilling next door for many hours.

It's hard to write about do-wop when all you can
hear is drilling. Drilling is the antithesis of do-wop.

If do-wop is here
drilling is..........................................................>here.

Last night I went for a late night sauna. Peckham,
South London is the only place I've been to in the
world where it's more chaotic and edgy in the sauna
at 9pm than it is out on the street. On the upside,
there's nowhere for anyone to hide a knife in the sauna.

Nevertheless I still sweated twice as hard.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

'Mechanical Poem'

A poem is a machine made
from many intricate parts and
in noting this I pass on all the
greasy tools a modern mechanic
might need to fix this non-starter.