Shooting from the Hip #2 (Blues Bar)

Man, I had the best time at 20
- I didn't care what anyone thought.
I asked, "You've changed since then?"
No; if I had, I'd've gone mental,
been thrown in hospital,
therapy and all that, I tell you

one thing: I fucking hate Woody Allen.

- Photograph by Sharp Noir, August 2010


Shooting from the Hip #1

At The George Tavern, Whitechapel,
I saw a young man slung
with a Rickenbacker
who struck
a good Jean Paul Belmondo;
behind him, she looked like Jean Seberg
with a mischievous journalist,
in a frivolous romance,
to take his place,

- Photograph by Sharp Noir, August 2010


Dressed to Kill

Tell Me Now

You’re only as good as your last work;
you're not sleeping until you’re laying in the dirt;
you’ll never love until you know what it’s worth;
you’ll only bleed if you cry out that you’re hurt;
tell me now, in all your days:
what have you learnt?

You’re going nowhere unless you know where you’ve been;
you’ll never win unless you know how to cheat;
you’ll win friends if you know the enemies you keep;
you’ve grown successful when you harvest jealousy;
tell me now, in all your days:
what do you believe?

You don’t need belief if you know the truth;
you can be sure of anything if you have the proof;
you’re only old if you never think anything new;
you’ll never set sail unless you’re one of the crew;
tell me now, in all your days:
what have you got to lose?

You tell me you ‘sleep, perchance to dream,’
– you can’t act unless you’re in the right scene;
you can’t hold up a candle without striking a match;
you can’t walk through her door if I’ve dropped the latch;
tell me now, in all your days:
have you ever shown your hand?


Untitled, September 3rd - I Tell You

I tell you I’ll never enlist
to cook up poppy seeds;
I see the high water rising,
threatening foreign policy.
Who’s going to lobby a million
farmers and their children?
Be damn sure the only dotted
line I’ll sign is a pay-slip.

Don’t get hung up
on your counterfeit ideals
– You don’t need faith
with nothing to believe in.
You’d be hard-pressed
to find the soul of an altruist
it’s spread so thin.
Virtue only exists in
the absolute morality
of the individual
– identity is retained
in logic and reason alone.

Confiscate all the bows
and arrows, teach peace
to the conquered?
– With a gun to their heads,
they can’t help
but love one-another.
I’ve met every casting call
with a grim expression;
to each admissions board,
I’ve read my poem
and, second verse,
they said, “Shut up talkin’,
you ain’t W.H. Auden.”

I’m not waiting around
to be a great man after the fact;
those iconic pen-smith
memories have grown cataract.
I want my face on the cover;
I’ll keep my sponsors fat.
If, like a rebel of the past,
I can steal a couple column inches,
I fear being branded a plagiarist
at best, with impeccable taste,
or a martyr, at the very least,
with much time wasted.