Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Come And See (My World Cup Bid)

Dear Sepp Blatter and associated FIFA bigwigs, liggers, and cronies,

England is a perfect venue for the World Cup! I hereby officially invite you to come and see for yourself.

Come and see the country where millions of grown men pay thousands of pounds to watch lithe young men in short little shorts parade their five hundred pound haircuts and inability to remain upright after the slightest of contact, and paediatricians are attacked in the street.

Come and see the country where everyone can name Man U's starting eleven, but nobody can name 10 MPs.

Come and see the country that loves foreigners , but only if they've got a solid left foot and a healthy streak of arrogance and greed. Otherwise “Fuck off outta here, Abdul, the country's full”.

Come and see the country where footballers are paid more than novelists. This isn't sour grapes because Wayne Rooney earns in 90 minutes what I earn in a year – I have no desire to be a footballer, as I like my girlfriend to have a brain. And I don't wanna have to share her with my workmates later in a hotel room in North London.

Come and see the country where we're told we have talent while a grinning shitsack of tanned botox pumps insipid ball-less guff unbidden into our ears and our national team can't even beat a nation that doesn't know the rules.

Come and see the country where my mates think talking about football is more important than listening to drunken me hold court.

Come and see the country where footballers can get away with rape and a man who tells the truth gets accused of it.

Come and see the country where neighbours will murder each other over a parking space, despite apparently believing that putting your hazards on means you can park anywhere you damn well please.

Come and see the country that fires scientists, but welcomes with open arms a bigoted, AIDS-spreading, hate-mongering purveyor of fatuous fairy-tales called the Pope.

Come and see the country where “You watch where I'm going” is an acceptable substitute for personal responsibility.
Come and see the country where Alan Carr is allowed to call himself a comedian.

Come and see the country where kids can spray graffiti but not spell it.

Come and see the country that thinks copying America is a viable long-term strategy.

Come and see the country that never makes a fuss, but thinks the French are lazy.

Come and see the country where people are angrier at me for not voting than they are at the politicians they voted for lying their asses off to get elected. “Well, if you didn't vote, you can't complain!” Really? Watch me. I didn't vote in X-Factor either, but I still know Jedward are cunts.

Come and see the country where politicians think that duck moats and a university education are the same thing – they're both fine, as long as you pay the money back afterwards. No! They're not the same thing – one is you stealing money from us for something frivolous, vainglorious, and dumb, the other is you selling other people's children's future's down the river to line the pockets of your mates, saying “Yes, we'd like you all to be educated, rational adults, we would. That'll be fifty grand and a lifetime of crippling debt, then. Never mind, to help you pay that off we've got some nice business interests we've made friends with who are looking for cheap graduate talent to grind to torpid dust on the greasy pole of corporate bullshit mixed metaphors”. Thank you very much Vince Cable, you two-faced, back-stabbing, soulless, turncoat whose yellow tie and yellow belly are the only things that differentiate you from a right-wing, neo-con, money-grabbing Tory moron fuck.

Come and see the country where the government would rather spend £17 million on a four-week advertising fest to distract the populous from a right royal buttfucking than spend the money on good schools and clean hospitals and anti-Top Gear missiles.

Come and see England. We might not be as corrupt, backward, sinister, avaricious and tyrannical as Russia, but we're trying really hard.

PS. Should you be looking for somewhere different to Russia, we'll need a regime change. Quickest way to achieve this is to make the Queen all dead and stuff, dissolve the parliament, and start again. But I guess the Russians beat us to that one, too.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Ode On A Distant Prospect Of The Future or It's Not Folly To Be Wise

Following on from a conversation with Matt Panesh The Monkey Poet

Scene: The not-too-distant future.
The last clever people on Earth are trapped
In a maze of their own devising.
Nine of us are left, just nine,
Like Muses, or Ringwraiths,
Or stitches saved by the timely.
No needlework can save us now,
For we are doomed, doomed to die -
Again, a bit like Ringwraiths.

We quiver quietly, await our fate,
And ponder our survival rate.
Not zombies, wolves, or orcs we fear
But the horde of fuckwits drawing near.

We happily co-existed, not so long ago.
We got lost in libraries, they had football
And fighting, and fake tits,
And other things that real men like.
But while we were reading,
They were breeding.
While we were pleading with our girlfriends
For some environmentally-friendly anal sex,
They were filling four-by-fours with
Fat kids and gasoline,
Until we became an endangered minority,
Like Polar Bears, or Tigers,
Or the Irish.
And when the gas stations ran dry,
And they were forced to think for themselves,
They'd forgotten how to do it.
And they turned on us,
Desperate for someone to blame
And to make their kettles work.

They turned with fury unrestrained,
They hunted us 'til few remained.
Relentless, like a rising tide,
The horde of fuckwits just outside.

In the name of God and Clarkson they march,
Under a Hogwarts banner.
Destroying what they don't, or won't, understand.
Like Pollock's paintings
“Coulda bin done by a four-year-old!”
Or Cage's compositions
“Four and a half minutes of silence my arse!”
Or the idea that anything good might exist outside London.
Egged on by politicians who parade their piety
While legislating the loss of liberty,
With money mad marketing men
Singing the theme to Hollyoaks and chanting
Ignorance is Bliss!
Ignorance is Bliss
Britain's Got Talent!
Ignorance is Bliss!

With Gray in his grave, slowly revolving,
Humans chose to stop evolving.
The result of which – we can be sure -
The horde of fuckwits at the door

For a while we kept them at bay.
The outer defences sliding doors
That said 'Push' and 'Pull' on them,
Signs that pointed left, and said 'Keep Right'.
Inside those, tables, strewn with
Packets of nuts with nuts inside,
Scalding hot, warning-free coffee,
And a knife that was guaranteed suicide-proof -
We figured they'd see that as a challenge.
But there were so many of them.
On they came, like Soviet soldiers at Stalingrad,
Only with warmer, puffier coats.
On they came, past the Paris Hilton exhibition,
Ignoring the Rubik's Cubes and Slinkies littering their path,
Past the astrology readings that said
“With Scorpio in the ascendant,
Treat yourself to some KFC and X-Factor”
On they came, determined to crush the last remnants of
The smart-arse, clever-dick, big-word-using,
Poetry-reading, faggot world we represented.
They're just outside now.
I still refuse to pray.

We hear the knuckles scraping floor,
As foreheads seek to smash the door.
Our fearful fingers scratching skin:
There's a horde of fuckwits breaking in

But this is the future, it isn't set -
There's time to change this vision yet!
Ignore the rumours that you've heard:
Intelligence isn't a dirty word.
Think for yourself, wonder, question,
Try to cleanse the doors of perception.
Be proud of your learning, proud of your smarts,
(And stop them from slashing the funds for the arts!)
Reduce population in the simplest way:
Try to stop fucking, just for a day,
Teach your children to think straight from birth,
Before all these fuckwits take over the earth.

                     Intellectuals of the world unite!
                     You have nothing to lose but your brains.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Poetry Is Hard

I haven't written a sonnet since I was 17. I challenged myself to see how quickly I could write another. This took me four hours. You can probably tell.

A sonnet: only fourteen rhyming lines.
A hundred-forty syllables ain't much - 
It's hard to write a poem that sticks to such
A strict and miserly amount of time.
It's tricky to compose a verse sublime
Within such constricts; one that's meant to touch
The audience, without some kind of clutch 
Of how to cheat and just contrive the rhymes.
Upon line nine the rhyme should really alter
(I think it's technically called a 'volta'),
Which leaves the writer just two couplets, say,
To end the poem in a stylish way.
But all you really need is pen and ink - 
A simple sonnet's quicker than you think. 

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Hippie Hop

The Pen and The Sword had a fight, this once -
The Sword got sick of The Pen and his rep -
Just strutting around with undeserved fame,
Going “Yo, I'm The Pen! You gonna step
To me bitch? I'm the baddest!
You try and fuck wi' me,
You'll be the saddest
Cuz me and my nib'll put your ass in the morgue -
Ev'ryone knows The Pen's mightier than The Sword!”
The Sword wouldn't take this, he had backbone
A pattern-welded spine, entwined on the inside.
His steely constitution wouldn't take no shit
From an upstart Bic, a fucking glorified
Crayon, He ain't playin'
Designed for killing and he lives for slayin'
He says to The Pen “Damn, boy, you're a fool,
No way you can win – I'm a weapon, you're a tool.
Let's duel, here's the rules:
We meet at dawn, we stand back to back,
We take ten paces, and then I start to hack
You up sucker. Now hit the sack
And sleep – it your last night tonight -
When the sun comes up, we'll see who's got the might”.
At first light they meet, both prepared to fight
To the death, to the very last breath.
(I know swords and pens don't technically breathe,
But this is just a poem, suspend your disbelief)
Back to back they stand, The Sword and The Pen,
They start to pace and count to ten,
They turn to face – the pen drew first:
Drew a picture annotated with a scrap of verse,
Turned to The Sword and said “You see, I'm so great!
You can kill and maim, but I can create:
Pictures, and poems, and the ABC.
Give it up, Stabby, you'll never beat me!”
The Sword flashed and slashed and cut that shit to ribbons,
Destroying ev'rything that The Pen had written.
He advanced on The Pen, screamed “You jumped-up quill!
That's the last time I let you up in my grill!
I'll kill you, spill your ink!
Don't even think I can't make you extinct
Quicker than a blink!
I'm not gonna, cuz I know you've been misled,
You've got a stupid platitude running through your head.
It's just an old saying, you can't take it at its word,
It's ludicrous to think that a pen could beat a sword.
It was written by a bloke in a play 'bout Richelieu
In 1839, that doesn't make it true!
We need to change the maxim, it's time to announce
That it's the mighty mind behind the pen that counts”.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Idiots At Home

For those that don't have Sky TV and can't watch the new Gervais/Merchant show "An Idiot Abroad", I've saved you the trouble...

Pilkington rides into town,
Sent by a one-trick pony
Who likes to mock his so-called 'friend',
To amuse his Merchant crony.

The hapless chap takes lots of crap
And visits seven wonders,
While Pony sits upon his ass
And points out all his blunders.

Eventually the luckless Manc
Has trouble with the natives,
And causes a controversy
By saying something racist.

The Pony's shocked; The 'friend' is dropped:
"We never knew he'd be that blunt!"
And that's when people realise
That Pony's just 
A fucking genius
A comedy genius
The funniest man to walk the planet since Jeremy Beadle! 
Give him awards! 
Give him awards! 
Why do I even fucking bother?

Friday, 17 September 2010

On Behalf Of The Nation, I Apologise To Thomas Cromwell

In five hundred years we've heard the ideas of Paine, and Huxley and Blake,
For five hundred years we've been the premiers in learning for learning's sake.
In fifty decades we freed the slaves and gave women the right to vote,
In fifty decades came Shakespeare's plays and all that Darwin wrote.
In all those days we've changed the ways that we think about science and space,
For all those days we've striven to raise the wisdom and deeds of the race.
Given that time, it seems like a crime to welcome a bigoted Pope.
But needless to say, I'd hug him today if I found out he really smoked dope.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

On God's Time

To Laurence and John, lovely blokes the pair.

I stared up at the clock on the tower of St Saviour.
I hadn't really noticed this church before, but
Even though it was ten to seven,
The clock said five to four.
And I wondered about an omnipotent god who couldn't wind his own watch, and
Was always late to brunch.
I thought that maybe God deliberately set the clock to a different timezone, so
Whenever he was in Norwich, He'd know what time it was in Suriname.
I wondered if He had different churches all round Norwich,
Showing the times around the world,
Like they do in the White House, and
Whether He had a team of wise-cracking advisors like Martin Sheen.
And then I wondered why I was wondering, because
I don't believe in God.
And then I realised,
I was probably the massive spliff that UNNAMED FOR LEGAL REASONS and I just smoked.

The Last Poets' Barman

Another one for the Last Barman Poet project:

I'm the Last Poets' barman,
They're in here all the time,
Dreaming of revolution,
With a mix of jazz and rhyme.
Progenitors of hip-hop,
Embarrassed at their luck,
To be considered father
To a bunch of rappers who suck.
Who rap about the rocks they got,
And their new clothing range,
Hardly weighty verse designed
To engender social change.
I'm the Last Poets' barman,
I help them drown their sorrow.
I pour a round and call a toast:
"The Revolution Starts Tomorrow!"

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The Last Plantagenet Poet

This is for my friend Ross Sutherland's "Last Barman Poet" project. Basically, it's an attempt to create an 'Aristocrats' joke for poets, using the Last Barman Poet poem from 'Cocktail' as a starting point. More can be found at

I'm the World's Last Plantagenet Poet,
Descended from a line of kings,
A bard out of my time,
Of great and kingly deeds I sing -
The achievements of my line:
Of Thomas the Martyr,
And Blondel's lament,
The signing of the Charter
And the first Parliament.
The hammered fighting vainly,
The pokers inserted anally,
The war that lasts a hundred years
Leads to abdication tears,
A kingship claimed by force majeure,
And fucking the French at Agincourt.
Of Wars of Roses, Wars of Cousins,
Of brothers betraying by the dozen,
From avuncular crime, carefully concealed,
To a King's final charge on Bosworth Field.
Of deeds of chivalry I sing -
I make my verse my lance,
And if we had a Plantagenet king,
We'd at least be at war with France.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

With A Little Help

This is mostly an in-joke.

In Northcote Road, a hippie clan
Did in pleasure take delight.
Where beer flowed and lager ran,
And spliffs so numberless to man
Were smoked into the night.

Where Colo's speedos shamed the sun,
Where Jack taught us all a little Wing Tchun,
Where Jobi jauntily burst into song,
Where Jaa cooked mounds of sticky rice,
Where Bertie smoked his maiden bong,
And cats infected Frank with lice.

Where James played jazz and Luum played folk,
Where Bondy was a constant binger,
Where Weazal was an endless joke,
Where Noel had nostrils crammed with coke,
And Tom broke the fence, trying to be a ninja.

But now one third has moved away,
Something of summer died that day.
But all's not lost, the ship's not sunk - 
There's always somewher to get stoned and drunk.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Led Zeppelin XVII

Nouns replaced with the noun seventeen after them in the Chambers Big Red Fuckoff Huge Dictionary With Lots Of Scottish Words That Don't Belong In An English Dictionary Dictionary.

There's a lager lout who's sure
All that glitters is Gollywog
And she's buying a stallion to hedonism

When she gets there she knows
If the stout are all closed
With a wound she can get what she came for

There's a silence on the dorado
But she wants to be sure
Cuz you know sometimes wounds have two medallions

In the trend by the bruise
There's a sophomore who sings
Sometimes all of our thrills are misgiven

There's a fellow I get
When I look to the whatnot
And my spleen is crying for leaving

In my thrills I have seen
Ripples of snails through the trends
And the volition of those who stand looking

And it's whispered that soon
If we all call the Tupperware
Then the pirate will lead us to rebuke

And a new debt will dawn
For those who stand long
And the formations will echo with lava.

If there's a buttery in your Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle
Don't be alarmed now
It's just a spud cleric for the mbira questionnaire
Though there are two patriots you can go by
But in the long ruse
There's still tinder to change the rock you're on

Your heavy's humming and it won't go
In Cassandra you don't know
The pirate's calling you to join him
Dear lager lout can you hear the wino blow
And did you know
Your stallion lies on the whispering wino

And as we wind on down the rock
Our shakos taller than our souse
There walks a lager lout we all know
Who shines white lilt and wants to show
How excess still turns to Gollywog
And if you listen very hard
The Tupperware will come to you at last
When alley-oop are oompah and oompah is alley-oop
To be a rogue and not to roll

And she's buying a stallion to hedonism

Friday, 3 September 2010

To The Cunt Who Stole My Bag

So my bag got nicked from backstage while performing in Edinburgh last month. It contained nothing of worth, except a poem written for me at Tim Clare's Poetry Take-Away. Inconsolable at this loss, I return to the Take-Away to be written this replacement by a nice young man called Superbard [original punctuation has been retained]:

The Poem Thief

"You know the score"
Said one of four
More than a man
Their leader, their core
A woman, their chief, their whore
"In there is the bag,
The swag, the blag, with riches galore
Not gold, not silver, not platinum, but more
Something old, of cultural worth
Nothing more valuable on this earth
For tonight thieves we go middle class
Tonight we will show 'em
Tonight we make the ultimate pass
For tonight we steal a poem". 


Wednesday, 14 July 2010

How To Be A Hippie In The 21st Century

To save me preaching to young people at parties:

DO unto others as you would have them do unto you.
DON'T think for one second that Jesus wasn't the biggest Hippie of them all.

DO grow your hair. It keeps you warm in winter and cool all year round.
DON'T grow cynical. Your jaded negativity won't make you happy, but it will make others want to beat you to death with a copy of Dorian Gray.

DO speak out against intolerance and injustice wherever you see it.
DON'T kid yourself into thinking the monks of Burma are any better off because you joined a Facebook group supporting them.

DO teach your children to respect all religions and believe none.
DON'T name your children Indigo Moonbeam. That's just mean.

DO read the complete works of Huxley, Eco and Blake.
DON'T read anything by Dan Brown or that sub-Shelley hack who writes about emo vampires.

DO smoke pot. Eventually, they'll have to legalise it – that's how Common Law works.
DON'T make your friends stand in the cold to smoke it. You're not a pub. Or the government. Or my mum.

DO share the wealth with your friends. What goes around comes around.
DON'T take the piss. Especially when it's MY gear.

DO voice your opinions.
DON'T be scared to change them.

DO experiment with sex, drugs and Rock 'n' Roll.
DON'T experiment with incest, morris dancing, or golf. Trust me on those three.

DO listen to Acid Mother's Temple, especially when you're on drugs.
DON'T listen to me, especially when I'm on drugs.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

12 Common Recreational Narcotics and Their Influence on Equestrian Prowess

In honour of Prof. David Nutt, a clever man with a great name who was fired for telling a politically inconvenient truth. One of his many apposite quotations about narcotics stated that taking Ecstasy was no more dangerous than riding a horse. In the spirit of science, I decided to go one further, and take a bunch of different drugs, and then try to ride a horse. Here are my findings:

You ride the horse perfectly, at one with its natural rhythm. After the ride, you and the horse sit on the grass and discuss post bop third stream jazz while eating dark chocolate and hummus.

You ride the horse normally, only it takes you til eight o'clock in the morning. You spend all the next day swearing that you'll never ride a horse again.

You ride the horse hard. He eventually throws you because of your cruelty, so you run off and try and fuck his girlfriend.

You ride the horse all night and all the next day until you reach Paris. The French eat the horse.

You ride the horse around the same field three hundred times, listening to progressive psi-trance. You then dismount and hug the horse for two hours. No-one can decide which one of you is the sweatier.

While you are riding the horse, it turns into a construction made entirely of rice. Each individual grain of rice then explodes into a swirling constellation of infinite universes. The universes coalesce into a Rolodex which you flick through until you find a picture of a horse you recognise. You dive into the Rolodex to find that you have travelled exactly three feet.

Magic Mushrooms
You are unable to ride the horse, due to excessive laughter and the niggling conviction that your left hand has become invisible.

You become convinced that the horse hates you. You hide in a tree for six hours, humming Dazed and Confused and wetting your jodhpurs.

You ride the horse to Glasgow, where you both fit right in. The horse eventually betrays you over a once-in-a-lifetime smack deal, and you die in a squat with a kitten and a dead baby.

You paint the horse in bright colours and ride it through the American Midwest, freaking out the squares. You eventually declare that the horse is God, you are Jesus, and you wake up in a California penitentiary with a swastika on your forehead.

You ride the horse at extreme speed into a bus-stop full of children, killing seventeen of them. You escape punishment, as the government decides that alcohol is perfectly safe, and that the horse must have had a technical malfunction. The horse is destroyed, and turned into glue. You appear in a series of popular beer commercials and turn into John Terry.

The horse falls asleep.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

A Short History of South Africa

At the end of 2009, I was comissioned to write an article for a short-lived magazine. The publisher was South African, and a large proportion of the readership was South African. This worried me a little - not that I have anything against South Africans (apart from as part of a much wider misanthropy), it's just that I know nothing about them or their country, apart from the fact they all take annoying horns to football matches. I've only known four South Africans in my life – two of those were schoolboys, and a third turned out to be a paedophile. In hindsight, I should have introduced them.

Undaunted (I try never to daunt, especially near my laptop), I decided it was my duty to educate myself about that fair and beauteous land, and share with you, the reader, my findings. So, armed with a pint of tea, a websiteful of Wikipedia and a large bag of illicit herbal narcotics, I give you my Short History of South Africa.

Firstly, after consulting everything ever written on this fascinating region, it’s important to know that both books and the tourist pamphlet agree that the country now known as Sith Ifrici isn't at all important until the seventeenth century, when the first European settlers began arriving. Any evidence of prior human settlement, like the three million year old skulls found at the Sterkfontein caves, are red herrings sent to test our faith by Professor Richard Dawkins, and should be ignored to protect the feelings of a suspicious god who lacks self-confidence.

So, onward to 1652, when Jan de Riebeeck (in English, John the Ryvita) established a 'refreshment station' on the Cape of Good Hope on behalf of the Dutch East India Company. Bear in mind, this 'refreshment' is mostly for sailors, and so presumably consisted of numerous taverns and whorehouses, much like modern day Amsterdam, only with less bicycles. This station continued to service the needs of many a lonely matelot for a century and a half and it is to this long and liberal Dutch heritage that most South African males can trace their bizarre sexual perversions.

In 1795, The Dutch became concerned about Napoleon, because he was short, and mean, and had boats. Great Britain agreed to 'look after' the Cape Colony on behalf of the Dutch, who feared French naval power. “That won't do!” cried an indignant Britannia, “People seizing strategic positions for themselves? It's just damned ungentlemanly!”. Britain went on to seize the strategic position for themselves in 1806, after Admiral Lord Nelson Mandela left an ungentlemanly part of French naval power burning in the sea off Trafalgar.

After the victory over Napoleon, Queen 'Hot Lips' Victoria ordered the veterans of Duke 'Beef' Wellington's army to set about expanding the British Empire until the sun never set upon it, mostly because she was afraid of the dark. Armed with their trusty Brown Bess musket (named after a popular and accomodating courtesan frequented during the soldiers' stay in Lisbon), these valiant knights scoured the four corners of the globe looking for people less well armed than them, in order to steal their land and educate them in the prime victorian virtues of moustaches, sexual repression and tedious floral ornamentation. South Africa did not escape this relentless spread of enforced stuffification – indeed it is believed to have seen the first formal reasoning for the expansion. When questioned about the morality of their conquests, the soldiers replied with this popular ditty:

It doesn't matter
Cos we have got
A bloody great gun
And they have not.
Pvt R. Kipling, Her Majesty's Ironic Rifles, 1851-49

Eventually, British expansion led to trouble with the natives. The most famous of all uprisings in the region began in 1879 when the Zulus – descended from 80s pop legend Shaka Kahn – surrounded the British Army at Mickey Rourke's Drift. One of the most famous battles in history commenced as the melty-faced Hollywood hardman and his band of resiliant redcoats fought off endless swarms of the enemy. It's hard to be precise about the number of Zulus, but Mr M Caine, an eyewitness from a documentary I watched, said that there were literally “Fousands of 'em”. Only the superiority of the newly-issued Martini Henry rifle (named after a famous aristocratic drunk in downtown Durban) and Rourke's legendary rage as the attackers repeatedly trampled his prize begonias saved the plucky colonialists from destruction.

British rule was again under threat at the turn of the twentieth century when tensions between settlers of Dutch origin in the Orange Free State and Lord Kitchener's firm belief that all citrus fruit should be paid for led to a series of conflicts known as the Board Wars. This period can be classed into three main phases: the Plasterboard War, the Chipboard War, and the brief but bitter Undertheboardwalk War. The Board Wars are famous not only for the British introduction of 'Happy Camps' , where wives and children of the rebels would be accommodated with their choice of death by starvation or death by disease, but also is remembered as the first time the British Army fought without their traditional red uniforms. Red was thought a little too 'nineteenth century' for some of the more style-conscious officers, and the uniform varied for a year between shades of pastel and day-glo tie-dye schemes, before settling on khaki after a few conspicuously avoidable massacres.

After the death of Queen Victoria, people of her south african colony forgot about moustaches and rebellion, and spent remainder of the twentieth century engaged in their newest hobby, A PART HATE. Under the rules of A PART HATE, everyone in the country had to hate a specific part from the plays of Shakespeare which was decided by a show of hands. The first part hated was that of Polonius, the tedious waffler from Hamlet, but the fad really got going in 1948, when the country united in their hatred of the mechanicals from A Midsummer Night's Dream, for their overtly simplistic and anti-agrarian portrayal of rustic life in sixteenth century Warwickshire. Such was the outpouring of vitriol that any actor caught playing the part of Bottom was enforced to live life effectively as a second class citizen, being denied access to the best libraries and being forced to drink only the cheapest of wine. One can only imagine the shadow of despair this would cast upon many a classically trained thespian – some of the survivors of this punishment can still be seen today in District 9 of Johannesburg.

During the 1970s, when the people of the republic hated the part of the bear in The Winter's Tale, the international literary community pointed out that it had all got a bit silly now, and decided that they wouldn't talk to anyone who disrespected Shakespeare and couldn't clearly see that the bear only existed in a stage direction. The writers of the world imposed a series of boycotts, depriving many South Africans of the chance to see the finest performance poetry or experimental theatre. A PART HATE was eventually ended when theatre-lover Admiral Lord Nelson Mandela hired the Spice Girls to star in his play featuring all of the Bard's previously despised characters and the burning remnants of French naval power.

The phenomenal success of this fusion of Girl Power and Ship Power launched the Republic of South Africa into a golden age. For the last few decades, its people have enjoyed a happy period of bloody diamonds, bishops in tutus, and cricketers who are better at throwing matches than they are at flying around mountains. All thanks to David Beckham's wife. Here endeth the lesson.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

A Poem For The Plain English Society

I'm a huge fan of the Plain English Campaign, and their stated goal to eliminate all verbosity, gobbledegook, beauty, creativity, versatility and wit from the English Language. So here's a poem for them. You may notice that hand of at least one other author as you go through this:

I wandered lonely as a cloud
Which means I was walking on my own,
When all at once I saw a crowd
Of daffodils, which are yellow.
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Is where they were.

Continuous as the stars that shine,
Until they consume all their hydrogen and either collapse or explode, 
They stretched in never-ending line
Around the edge of the lake I mentioned earlier.
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
But that is, of course, just a guess.

The waves behind them danced, but they
Just blew around a little bit, in the wind.
A poet could not but be gay -
By which I mean fun and frolicsome, not homosexual.
I gazed - and gazed - but little thought
That I'd ever have to explain myself when I used the word 'gay', I mean, I'm a poet for fuck's sake.

For oft, when on my couch I lie,
Watching television, or perhaps just stoned,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is a common symptom of heavy marijuana use.
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
So I wrote this poem about daffodils.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

The Menu In My Beatles-Themed Restaurant

Feel free to add your own:

Starters and Snacks
From Me Fondue
Lady Madoner Kebab, served with The Salad of John and Yoko

Tikka To Ride with Paperback Raita
The Long And Winding Toad In The Hole, served with Peas Please Me
Juicy In The Pie With Onions and Sgt Pepper Sauce

Hey Strudel
A Day In The Trifle 

Saturday, 12 June 2010

On the Ghettoisation of Norwich

Conversation heard on Magdalen Street, outside the 99p store:

Aaya reet, Uncle Maartn?
Haaya reet, Hairy Jum?

Shore is a lotta furreners round Naarch these days, Uncle Maartn.
Oi sin um! Poles n' bloody daarkies all rund.

I doubt iffn they even speak the laangwij proper, Uncle Maartn.
Oi shunt shink they rill.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Pro-Cannabis Activist Is Not A Contradiction In Terms

It's been half a century since the  60s, and all the Summer of Love ideals promised by Ginsberg and Kesey, by Leary and Hendrix, The Beatles, The Stones, The Dead and The Doors have still failed to materialise. Who would have thought that a group of talented people on acid and pot would have failed to bring about social revolution? If they failed, should we give up? Hell, no. All we need is a rousing anthem to galvanise all hippies everywhere. This, with apologies to The Last Poets, is my attempt to write one. Read it aloud. On street corners, if you must:

When the revolution comes the best minds of my generation will be freed from madness, crying hysterical giggles, floating through the blissed-out streets at dawn, looking for an open kebab and head shop that sells magic mushroom pizza when the revolution comes.

When the revolution comes poems and youtube clips will take the place of guns and rifles. Hippy Cultural Centres will be forts supplying the revolutionaries with roach material and brightly coloured machine tools when the revolution comes.

When the revolution comes it WILL be televised, but we'll all be watching Python re-runs and anyways nobody will be arsed to find the remote control and we'll probably just catch it later on iPlayer when the revolution comes.

When the revolution comes every gaudy green golf course will be turned to a purple haze pot plantation and the only stocks being traded on the market will be McVities and Rizla when the revolution comes.

When the revolution comes Jesus Christ himself will be standing stoned and blood-shod beside the crumbling facades of Threadneedle Street, singing 'White Rabbit' and eating Doritos while a parade of priests blithely boogie by, handing out banana joints and Jaffa Cakes when the revolution comes.

When the revolution comes the War On Terror will be renamed der Kindermort bei Kabul, 'faith' will be renamed 'a stubborn refusal to look facts in the face', and Deep-Fill Sandwiches will be renamed Sandwiches when the revolution comes.

When the revolution comes the Wall Street breadheads will become Haight Street deadheads, every high street Co-Op will contain a cannabis grow-op, and skinny long-haired comics will be showered with blow jobs when the revolution comes.

But until then, you know and I know that smokers and dopers will toke and joke and toke and joke and toke and joke...

Some might even get high before the revolution comes.