Friday, 6 August 2010

Lizard Poetry Society

Today is the day that Pookas metamorphosed (back) into Lizards. Come one, come all. Here's a blurb for your delectation:

The Lizard Poetry Society is a new Newcastle-based poetry collective. These are indeed early days for us, and our initial goal is to involve as many people as possible in an exchange of thoughts and ideas about poetry (our own writing and poetry in general), and about poetry in Newcastle, a city with a proud heritage in that field.

Phase 1: “Words + Cake”, an informal though focused weekly meeting (see Events, above) in the centre of town, centred on sharing our words and imaginations (and on eating cake), but also incorporating any and all grander schemes that occur to us.

Phase 2: Well… please come along and help us work out the finer details. Poetry Readings. Miscellaneous Publications. This blog. Startling Multimedia Adventures. Etc. Etc. All ideas are welcome, indeed encouraged, as the Lizard Poetry Society is ultimately a means by which to gather together the poets and poetry lovers of the city, the region, and for that matter anywhere else in the universe, to enjoy, encourage and share in all things poetic.

Join us if you can, and/or get in touch here, via email (, or via our Facebook group (just search for Lizard Poetry Society).

Peace To You All,

The Universal Lizard

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

The Woman that was while reading

The Woman that was while reading
emerged from moments with momentum
of honesty and trying trying
at keeping the mess encased
in shells (I like to compliment myself)
of self-compliments, -congratulation
a hectoring voice
and it is the grasping
we never knew a single thing about -
so it was the inside felt general presence of
the maybe that when removed, removed
that left me - prompted by a hangover
and a conviction confused on the confusion -

Tuesday, 19 January 2010


Fishy Slume
Fushy Slime,
Fushy Salt,

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Late Night in the Hotel, Weekend One

Late Night in the Hotel, unedited

Night 1

“Why do you think he was like that?”
“Holden pal, why was he like that?”
I, I don’t know.
The woman in the pink dress has tried to convince me that I’m going to be nice to her, that she needs a party, that her daughter has cancer, has brain cancer, died 8 months ago. She’s only here for a weekend from abroad, she hasn’t seen her friends for a long time, she needs this party. She lives a long way away. In Paisley. She’s a nurse, a Psychiatric nurse. She’s about 38.
Her friend wants to distract me with catcher in the rye. I’ve found her in the nude.
I knocked on the door,
Unless these unauthorised people leave the building I am going to have to ask you to vacate the room.
“Will you give me half an hour?”
I’ll give you five minutes.
“Aww son don’t be like that.”
Five minutes.
I wait five minutes.
Knock knock knock knock knock knock knock.
I need to come in to check the room now.
“But I’m not wearing any knickers.”
I tried not to check, but she wasn’t wearing any knickers. She had a black slip on. I didn’t look again.

The Cunt is asleep on the floor on his front drooling into the carpet – I ask him to wake up “Could you wake up Sir. Could you wake up. Could you wake up mate. Could you wake up pal. Wake up. Sit up. Get up. Up. Wake up you shit. Wake up you cunt. Cunt. Cunt. Cunt.”

And then the fire alarm goes off.

The Cunt sleeps on.

Night 2

You held a knife to our eldest’s head.
That was you.
Fuck was it, it was you.
Nah nah.
It was five years ago!
That was you.
You're only free because you made me lie in court.

Polis: could it be argued that he was restraining her, rather than assaulting her?
I suppose it could.
Polis: thank you. We may need to call you at a later date.
Thank you.
Polis: have a good night.

Monday, 4 May 2009

they've to got it got through before he returns

I would not be telling the truth if I tried to suggest that people do not communicate. Certainly there are people quiet with each other, like those two young people. She with thin shoes and skinny jeans and her legs crossed and holding onto a iced fruit drink, those ones everyone mocks from Starbucks. And I a little too old for her, she wears no make up and will grow up unattractive; but right now perfect. And him picking pieces of something out of his sandwich for a thing to mention, they don’t speak, have they fallen out, are they bored with each other. Have they just broken up, are they at the beginning or at the end of something or the middle are they waiting for someone, perhaps they will kiss for something to do, or no. cynic. because there is nothing else to do but kiss. He wears a rugby shirt in blue and yellow and she wears a band logoed hooded jumper, no they just look like that, hers actually says Annie 08 and his says Fiji and he probably doesn’t play rugby though he is quite tall and his back is very long.

What about these three, a middle aged man a grey haired old woman and old man probably his parents, they are pension able. When he (the middle aged man) is there they don’t seem to say anything, nothing of any length enough to be concern of anyone. But then the man goes to the bathroom (the middle aged man) and the parents (we think) talk to each other, they discuss, they have a discussion and it looks furtive and important. Then the son (we think) returns and the father (we think) goes to the bathroom. The mother (we think) and the son (we think) have a quick argument, fast, they’ve to got it got through before he returns, perhaps she is thinking [thank god father (we think)’s piles are bad at the moment] and son (we think) is thinking [I hope father (we think)’s piles aren’t bad at the moment], or perhaps it is the other way around – piles are a very writerly way to adjust the narrative don’t you think? They seem practiced, they mirror each other’s movements closely, comfortable, managed, measured. The father (we think) and the son (we think) are never alone together and now they are all gone, jackets and mobile phones (or umbrellas) in hand and we will never know.

There were other people in the café but I have not mentioned them. And we're all just waiting for a reaction from on high.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Dusty Old Annabel Lee Is Me

I wish that I were Annabel Lee,
While I'm busily wishing that you were me -
I could be gone and without a sound
While you wait to be with dusty old me in the ground.

Might look into expanding this at some stage, but I currently feel neither the need nor the inclination.

Monday, 16 February 2009

a meeting

A stranger was approaching from the left side room -- though everyone else seemed to not notice him in a very deliberative manner. He was graceful without care, with instead a grace of purpose. He exchanged a polite 'good evening' with P in a drawl. He stood affront of them carefully leaning on an unplugged fruit machine with his legs crossed and his arse on the ledge above the cash chute.

His age was difficult even though we must know it within a year --- most likely between thirty and forty though it must be between sixteen and seventeen. He gave an impression of age and his hair seemed deliberately rifled with charcoal. His cloathing, corduroy brown, brown cord with the cords worn back to their skin tight base. They were too flared below the knees and the hems were low for P’s taste and the velvet of his jacket, with its too large lapels and cloth covered buttons a good 20 years out of fashion. L (for it was he what wore it) looked confused at the presence of P. P wished to continue to waste time by describing more of L. when L. himself asked (what is that in his hand?)

“What, is that, in y o u r hand?” He even pointed at the hand as he did it. P. hadn’t been aware, at that moment, of having anything in his hand, but it was true, there was something there. He looked at it to discover what it was, the interruption had thrown him.

- Why.

Interrupt. “Why is a different question.”

- Sorry, uueehe, it is a book on steamships. A book on steamships!

“Why do you have it?”

- I was reading it on the Metro.

“Are you sure that was wise.”

- I didn’t seem to have anything else to read.

“If you didn’t want to read it, then you shouldn’t have taken it with you.”

- I didn’t seem to have a choice; my choice was made for me.

“You had a cake and your cake was eaten for you?”

- Yes, I was placed on the Metro, I don’t know how long ago, but not the Budapest Metro, with a book on steamships and when I got here I was here.

“Remarkable! I didn’t realise people still spoke the way I am doing.”

- That is the most remarkable thing about it? By your reckoning? I could also smell WD40 throughout the whole trip, though how I could tell it from turps I don’t know.

You was wearing a dark, olive-green with egg-shell blue, shirt, undone at the wrists and tight at the neck. The collar was worn bare and dirtied yellow if it was white but it is a grass-green a cloth coloured bodey green. A loose tab sweltered and drooped behind his ear; but despite all this P knew he was in the presence of a gentleman. The easy almost drunk and oozing expression and manner of slump was ascertainedly of one who, intellectually, was used to being in the right; or fashionably incorrect. This mingling of half-stare shaffyshab and the serene flavour of grace was unmistakably musical; from what he knew of the set he was not surprised to hear the inducement from without,

“Herr L, P.. Herr P., L.. Please.”

- P reached a hand out to shake right hands; L proffered his left femininely,

“Where are you manners?”

P took the hand gently, the nails were long but the skin surrounding them was ruinous, bitten down in uneven patterns and the long nails, the whites of them, were stained to sellotape. P. felt the testing atmosphere and carefully pursed and pressed his chapped lips against the back of that cold white hand. He closed his eyes and blushed. When he opened them he could see another pair, R’s rolling and small smirks rippling across the group.

L took him to one side and began to explain things… he began with a question.

“Where have you been? We were failing to exist without you.

- I was outside.

“Without eh? And did you enjoy it?”

- Well it was a short walk, downhill,

“Short you say? Short yes, short, usually a good omen, a short walk. Downhill too. Pleasant?”

- Sorry?

“Pleasant was it P., this s h o r t walk?”

- Oh yes, as far as these things go.

“And ooeih, we have you there. How far do these things, when they do, supposing they do, what did you see, go?”

- I have certainly seen something worth seeing.

“Easy dull praise when the seeing of me is worth such a long walk. They will build a statue of me, of us perhaps, I suppose, and this will be a place of pilgrimage. Our inheritors with trim their flights and aim their wishes at us. You will write it, I can see you too devout for greatness without effort, and it would be ridiculous for a man to write his own chronicle. I never would wash my mouth with mine own praise for mine own deeds, afeart of getting a breath that stincks.”

Roisin: “But you’d eat your own shit.

L.: “touchĂ©”.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Purple (A Poem About Purple)

A poem about purple called




(was a poem about

Monday, 26 January 2009


It was violetblack like blackjack so
he popped the beetle into his mouth,
it melted in his mouth to an acrid fluid
which burnt his tongue and he spat.
He mauled at the inside of his lips with
his tongue but no saliva would come.
And he pumped his throat for sputum,
but a cold weld had set across his tonsils.
He stepped and looked and stepped,
and into the garden he fell, onto the path.
Caught upon his hands and his elbows and
his nose was grazed against the ground,
in front of his eyes on the pavestone there were snails,
everywhere he looked there were snails
and they stretched their eyes into the distance,
He saw that they didn’t get any smaller as they receded into the distance,
and he lay prone in an amphitheatre
of ever increasing snails.
They all sat at corners.
The patch at the centre of his gaze was a corner
And the little patch of grease where his nose had touched was a corner
He could now see the millions of ever decreasing snails
that were extruding from the pores of the tip of his nose
and dropping into that patch of grease.
And he stayed there, elbows bent,
tips of toes stretched, neck straining, laughing.

Saturday, 17 January 2009



andpleesestaynow, youmakenewyerns

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

A Kafka-esque Treatise On Jam

(This is a very high-brow work of European Literature of international import.)

Jam Sam

A strange little boy here; his name was Sam,
Sam woke one morning to find his hands made of Jam.
So he licked a finger, a thumb, and was deeply disturbed
at his ten chubby digits made of gooseberry preserve.

His parents and grandparents and sister despaired,
Sam was a bad boy, he stole - stood on chairs -
from cupboards and sideboards and the very top shelf
jars of peanut butter and honey and anything else

he could get his sticky hands on,
with Sam around, like that! it was gone.
And with such jammy hands there was nowhere to hide.
But now he remembered his mother, and she hadn't lied,
You'll turn into Jam, I promise you son
of all your Jam stealing no good will come,
best stick to veg and the odd tattie scone
Jam all the day and you wont last long.
He rolled out of bed, sticky prints on the sheets,
and quietly headed for the door, his family were asleep,
but the handle slipped through his jellied nails
and Sam sat on the floor and started to wail.

He looked at his green palm with orange peel veins
and Sam promised never to eat jam again.
Then quick as a flash he was sat up in bed
a raspberry jam sandwich on the back of his head.

Friday, 2 January 2009

January Poem

Smoking through my broken face,
Left side feels like the inside feels,
Got no eyes to see you now,
Can't hear you now,
You're not here now.

Stuck inside a splintered skull,
Stuck inside a churning brain,
Got no eyes to see you now,
Can't hear you now,
You're not here now.

Wish the skin would peel away,
Leave the flesh to get its due,
Got no eyes to see you now,
Can't hear you now,
You're not here now.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

The problem with doing anything, and why we don't.

Two principles, Lambton asserted in his cosmography, were in perpetual conflict for possession of the world, sphincter and explosion, magic and dullness, rot and purification, the fermentation is never-ending. He knew enough to invoke Asia and the more common European philosophers, and in this manner drew Penshaw deeper into thrall. The fermentation, he insisted, is the key; it stands in opposition to rebellion. In rebellion we have only death, we burn the land and celebrate the new, untrained and untutored growth that comes out of it. It is a false revolution, every revolution is co-opted by hope. Revolutions have always started in ideas and ended in fanaticisms of hope. Grandfather, Mr. Squashed Fly Biscuit, had docked beneath the burial place of our ancient kings in a river swimming with coal dust, and where had it got him? Hope cannot elide into despair, despite the time it takes. No, sincere hope of a reasonable strength in a stable person of reasonable intellect either bewilders or drives into irrationality. The perpetual cynic will survive the revolutions with an iron steadfastness. And it is difficult to argue with architecture. So I must ask, my reader, that you suspend your hope and allow us to continue in a perfectly practical manner.
Pretty Rosin almost choked on her dry roasted peanuts and laughed beyond all measure, the room brushed the hair out of its eyes and glanced over.
Lambton began to talk of his early life, that is to say, he talked about how he would view the things he was currently doing at the various future points he planned to judge himself from. Twenty one is unimportant. At the age of 24 he would find himself frivolous, and blush at the thought of occasionally affecting a cravat and stippled leather shoes, he expected that he would still smoke rolled-up cigarettes for reasons of poverty, but that occasional mistresses would provide him with exotic brands of filter-less cigarettes from the various European destinations available via budget airlines. At the age of 27 he would be satisfied with himself at 16 (which of course is his age now though of course not then), though the torturous naming-parties and inward-analysis that he instigated were tedious at the time and in retrospect, but the 24 year old would have to go. He disdained both’s attitude to sex, the homosexual phase having been well worked out and now part of the furniture. He must take care of himself and the hepatitis. His limited edition prints had doubled in value over the last six months and one of the mistresses had not only become pregnant and disappeared to Ireland via the Port of Liverpool (specifically for the irony) in order to abort but also given birth and had a child christened Oliver in the anglo-Catholic tradition. At 34 he was feted with a desk at the Guardian, its no longer existing not interrupting the point of this exposition; he type onto a screen one day: Two principles are in perpetual conflict for the possession of my world, me, and my past. At 40 he would be down to a single lung and make a hasty conversion to Anglicanism for the sake of his mother and a hasty conversion to liquorice-root chewing from cigarette smoking for the sake of the lung.
Lambton continued thus throughout the rest of his life, and in different ways he achieved many different things. In all those that mattered, he achieved nothing.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Long Haired Cat

THE CAT WAS sitting on the cold platform licking its long black and white hair. The man sat down on the bench. It was a strange bench designed in a way that things imposed now rarely are; to last the length of the age. It was divided into three wide seats by decorative iron arm rests which were colder than the ground – the black and white long hair cat began its ritual for sitting on his lap. First it travelled in front of him whilst looking into the middle distance, its head raised proud -- he was sitting, as usual, in the middle of the three seats, this was right and proper. After passing in front of him it took great care in jumping onto the seat furthest from where it started. He opened a button on his jacket with great ceremony and the cat stepped into his lap. It extended its claws and mussed and fluffed his shirt where the material rested upon his stomach, preparing. The man widely drew his jacket around the cat gently, and it burrowed its head in under his armpit. The wind blew across his chest and he shivered, the cat’s hair was cold, and under his chilled hands it felt brittle, dry and coarse. The pads of its paws felt like soft blebs of ice and the ground glittered like sandpaper.

He remembered patterns from his childhood, a brown flower-patterned towel, thin rainbow striped wallpaper – remembered the brightness and specialness of individual objects in the accumulated and important poverty of everything else around, like polished stones sitting in dust. The cat made him think of people who throw things away; old things because they are messy; or have a room within which messiness is allowed to take place. These people terrify him – there is something in themselves that asks “W h y do we have t h e s e things?” Now he answers, "we have them because they anchor us to the ground, to places. They mark our territory, they prohibit us from leaving at short notice, they mean that someone cannot easily take our place; they mean that small provocations must be worked through, they are a commitment to specific time and specific space – they are at the very least a promise to return and organise, perhaps."

The man had lived his life carelessly, and was grateful for all the things he had lost. He gave away or missed, he never disposed of. The cat was asleep, but a train was approaching. He shifted his weight with his hips and crossed his legs, the cat stirred. He raised himself in the seat and the cat slid to his knees and stepped onto the ground.

Friday, 21 November 2008


I never eat them,
I just skit them across pavements
with the side of my feet.
I've got salt in the crook of my thumb

to lick and twist lips at and spute.
My thumb it has flour paste under the nail
like grout, I pick it out with my teeth
and spute it after the lemons.

On my head
I wear my heart-hat
like any of my other hats,
people are polite, "is that new?"

Themed radio takes too long to search and focus,
my legs begin to ache with flu
and the bed I will crawl to is empty and sour;
I bite the pithed lemon.

Monday, 17 November 2008


I've been on the other side of nihilism,
Found there was nothing there,
But I was in the middle of the earthquake, sweetie,
When I seen it on the telly;

Open-hearted's really nothing,
No more than asteroids or a sun,
Broken-hearted's really nothing
Outside of the mind;

God could be a Cup a Soup,
Nutritionally they're similar,
My fingers, though they're merely there,
Unzip your jeans quite freely;

I chop my limes up sweetly,
I've got sugar on my blade,
I hack at them in a frenzy
And I may not even eat them.