Thursday, 25 November 2010

Imp or Giant

Sat there alone, I saw this...
In the bar's safe corner where no one else sits,
away from the giants, their laughter like grit,
away from catty dwarves’ cruel chitter-chat-chit,
away from wafer thin willo the wisps
fingering magazines between vodka sips,
I chewed my shaking nails like half eaten bags of crisps
watching this cackling, barefoot Imp.

I watched it. Barefoot. Waving round its shoes.
Acting like it invented feet.
Cackling up to the jukebox din
through the crowd so thick with their talk so thin.
No one even gave it a glance.
Sheltering behind my fat finger mask
I thought, ‘One- two- one- two- one- breathe’,
turned my ears away from its barefoot beat.

Imp flitted forward, cheeks and teeth,
elbows jabbed a staccato jig.
Too wrapped up in its own bare feet,
Accidentally... knocked over
...a Giant's... full



Giant's face... engorged.
Cherry red... eyes glaced.
Lager danced down his mountainous shirt,
rumbaed to the valley of his lap.
Giant’s knuckle hair rose like spears.
Imp- bare faced- had no fears.
I thought, ‘One- two- one- two- one- breathe.’
As my fingers hugged my beer I felt myself freeze.

Drenched and deranged, Giant leapt with a roar,
slammed down fists, a fight, or more
and Imp... waltzed away,
oblivious... free.
Seemingly unseen
grinned relentlessly.
The crowd hadn’t flinched, their natter bobbing along.
Giant sat down. The night sailed on.

‘One- two- one- two’ still could see
Giant's massive muscle, Imp's barefoot glee.
In my safe bar corner where no one else breathes
the air got sticky like someone spilled the breeze.
I thought, ‘One- two- one- two-’ to ease
as I bit nails deep, tasted them bleed,
Panic attacked on the count of


I would do anything to be bigger
or smaller
than me.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010


Medusa's hands have got ingrowing nails.
Sat behind the check-out till she chews at her gnarled fingers.
Customers tut.
Tsk! Tsk!
One day, she stopped painting them,
realised she'd got more nail in her than out,
an inside out pin cushion,
spiky Medusa chewing.

Six minutes past two.
Two hours and fifty four minutes to go.

She loves collections of porcelain shoes,
used to wear bracelets heavy with runes,
never had kids but sponsored a unicorn,
wishes her flat had a fireplace.

One day, woke up with ingrowing hair,
hissing migraines and head-full of cobras.
Felt like an atlas had cracked in her skull,
felt like she'd swallowed the weather.
Got two months away from the shop
then Doctor said she was better.
Confided her eyes still twisted of serpents
but Doctor said she was better.

He told her to smile,
take the bandages offered for her internal bleeding.
Cheap incentives.
Counterfeit concern.
Minimum rest keeps her stressed
python knotted shoulders tort,
chest crushed tight.

She wishes
she could turn more than his heart
to stone.

She must


and never


in public

Medusa's face is ingrowing.
Check-out till stranded,
struggling to smile,
hold those bloated eyes in.

"Hold my eyes in, keep my eyes in,
smile and thank who I'm despising.
Venom swills against scraped nerves
until I can’t shake off their words,
words that make my heartbeat flicker
pumping poison through me quicker."

Lumps of fear, chunks of doubt
feed the snakes she can’t carve out.

Monday, 22 November 2010

A new poem looking at Wizard's past, 'Hero'.

A bit of Wizard's back story...


Once-upon-a-time, a barman worshipped the Sun.
Worked nights so didn’t see much of it
but in his head he’d got stories of
the Fire God supreme
vanquishing monsters who'd eat out your dreams.

He called the Sun ‘Hero’,
believed it had six pairs of arms,
giant wings of flame
and the handsomest nose in the galaxy.
Made moons blush,
giggle their names.

His Sun was a Hero who rescued smiles
and fed them ideas 'til they were fat with luck.
Faster than a speeding comet,
could see around corners, rewrite destiny,
didn’t break promises,
could even rewire a star.
gave songs to orphans, faith to minstrels,
had the kind of hug you couldn’t touch
but kept
underneath your skin.

Barman knew his Sun would come
one day,
teach him the Hero's Way.
He could be the Sun’s wise-cracking side kick.
Might even get his own light saber!
On long, lantern lit night shifts
washing drip trays,
watching drips
getting wasted,
Barman kept faith that Sun would come.

Hurrying home under a bludgeoned moon
he’d hum a tune made from
downing flaggons and flying dragons,
nights filled with what-would-be’s!
Adventures! Dichotomies!
Unlocking his flat’s door

at 4am
he’d get ready for bed,
every time dreaming he’d just stay awake
long enough to see

Thursday, 18 November 2010

The Elders Song

In this 'Wizard' poem, Wizard gets a letter from the Elders of his world questioning the severity of his mental illness. Wizard has previously been given money to live as he has been considered too ill to work. Now the Elders are reconsidering their decision...

The Elders’ Song

(spoken by THE ELDERS)

“Dear Mister... insert-name-in-this-space.
We are writing to conclude on your case.
You ‘say’ you’re... ill... Your words are misplaced.
Sometimes we all get a little sad.
Yours isn’t the only form we’ve had.

Lose that frown and dressing gown.
Let’s get our statistics down.
Hey, hey, hey! Earn your play!
Live to work another day.

You say you’re too ill to go outside.
We said where therapists were. We tried!
You wouldn’t go! You just stayed inside!
Have you thought we might suspect your sneaking?
Is this just attention seeking?

You said you panic. We heard your call.
With our pills, you’d feel nothing at all.
You wouldn’t take them! Of all the gall!
Have you thought we might suspect your faking
easy way of money making?

Lose that frown and dressing gown.
Let’s get our statistics down.
We’ll clear up all this mess and fuss
though no-one ever says thanks to us."

(spoken by WIZARD)
“I said I would work. I’d work from home.
I’d work quite happily left on my own.”

(spoken by THE ELDERS)
“Well, how could you find work with that tone?
Have you thought about our budget’s cuts?
Now, please, no more ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’,

lose that frown and dressing gown.
Let’s get our statistics down.
Hey, hey, hey! Earn your play!
Live to work another day.

Lose that frown and dressing gown.
Let’s get our statistics down.
We’ll clear up all this mess and fuss
though no-one ever says thanks to us.”

Monday, 25 October 2010

Most recent 'Wizard' poem... GORGONS


“Steel your nerve adventurer,
be dexterous and wise.
Make haste to the Supermarket...
The tea bags are in aisle five.

Watch out! Milk spill, aisle three,
a fat white ocean wide.
Steer your trolley deftly lest
you wake the gremlin inside.

Should your trolley veer harsh left
you’ve just upset its gremlin.
I gift to you one SLEEPWAX spell
to soothe those wheels a-trembling.

Beyond baked bean tin avalanche,
behold- our goal- our tea!
But yet, beware the check out tills,
sat there are sisters three.

Foul Supermarket gorgon hags!
Their hook clawed nails forebode.
Spit fire if you pay with change
or buy food with no bar code.

I swear to you – one look could kill!
O mortal man-hate frown.
So judging should you shop barefoot
or in your dressing gown

whispering ‘Weird!’ and ‘Paranoid!’
with spindly fingery glee.
Can you survive these devil’s crones
to bring back milk and tea?”

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Another 'Wizard' poem- this one's called 'Tea'

Brew for me a cuppa tea.
Fill to brim my mug.
Warm our bodies, brains and speech.
Internal, liquid hug.

Every word I form began
an undug thought to free,
each like an acorn in my skull
to feed and wet with tea.

You and me, together,
sharing tea, the world goes mute.
I hear a rumbling in my head,
our tea wet words take root

and grow, a thousand words tower tall
all branching inspiration.
Kettle’s boiled, tend our talk
with tea’s sweet irrigation.

Sheltered by these evergreen boughs
let's make another brew.
My mind’s a forest of great calm chat
with cups of tea and you.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

First draft of a new 'Wizard' poem

*Snap* *Click* *Thwack!*
My heart armour... is intact.
Mission target sighted!
There is NO turning back...

It is a quest to retrieve
the most awesome treasure.
Most power-reaping life spark!
-yet most quiescent pleasure.
For its lure, a king could murder,
forsake riches, live in rags!
It's legend is sung in many lands tongue.
The magic of...


Pyramid ones are preferable,
though square or circular's fine.
No nobler elixir flows
within your land or mine.
Without tea, I turn wild as wolf,
tea's name, I howl and bark it.
Tea can save if we can brave
the trials of...

O... ...Supermarket
where the happiest heart could crack.
For tea, I don my heart armour,
*Snap* *Click* *Thwack!*

O... ...Supermarket
enslaves her worker’s dreams.
Promised opportunity.
Most will never leave.

Supermarket gives her drones
a few loose pennies to hold
whilst hoarding for herself great piles
of diamonds, rubies, gold.
Supermarket's clones accept,
blind follow their leader's call.
If they didn't take her pennies, well...
they might have nothing at all.

Their withering queen, deflowering thought,
dictates when they should eat,
when they should rest, when they should smile,
free will is obsolete.
This isn't life.
These drones exist in undead misery.
How I fear their zombie touch
when I want to buy tea.

Watch flaking hopes decay,
fall wasted to the floor.
A zombie touch could shrivel your soul.

I can't go there no more.

Their stares en-flare fears I can't share,
shoot shivers through my blood.
One touch could shatter my heart armour,
*slash* *smash* *thud*

Friend, hero, valiant knight,
heart armour firm as metal,
survive these Supermarket ghouls
and I'll put on the kettle.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010



wish I hadn't gone.
Saw a different side to Earth that day,
ugly as coffin splinters.
No spring buds warm promise or flower tips lit that grass.
Earth had nothing to give me.
Quiet as monsters claw tapping under the bed
it came.

Still can't taste anything.
Feel drunk on absence,
a hollowing spirit
shaking my legs like chains
cursed numb my tongue,
double shot my words dead.
I don't believe in them anyway.
My words were only ever the ghosts
of someone else's thoughts.

My thoughts are all wrapped up together,
haunting sheets of guilt
can't untie them,
this guilt holds closed a body so full of nothing
opening up could shatter any heart
under its empty weight.
My heart has sucked space inside out.
I've got the vacuum of the universe in my gut.
People ask questions,
they don't want me to share,
I'm sick of hearing their honey and mud.

Wish I hadn't gone.
Wish I hadn't seen Earth so hungry,
scavenger scheming,
whistling maggots, slobbering soil.
Before that day the Earth I knew just
grew fruits,
shared roots,
I'd never seen it eating.
Earth doesn't eat fruits.
Earth eats death
and grieving.
Feasts on grieving.

That day, Earth opened up,
cold, dry gums parted,
gaping, lipless mouth crumbling
as men I'd never met before
fed it the left-overs of your body.

Wish I hadn't gone.

I stood silent as Earth devoured your scraps,
toothless jaw closing over your bones
to never let go.

Wanted to kick ground,
yell in its face,
punch out these fists so tightly plunged
in black jacket pocket
but didn't.
I did nothing.
Listened to strangers talk like that was you down there
falling apart in Earth's full belly.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Spoken Word All-Stars at Contact

Hey ho, hi dee hi and general happy greetings from my good self, the poet dominic. Cheers for reading! I've been writing this blog for a bit now (infrequently, i know) and have thus far used it exclusively for my poetry. Well, today is the grand unveiling of a blog that is NOT a poem (gasp!) but.... a blog about upcoming poetry nights!! Big evolution yes i know :)

tomorrow i'm very excited about going to watch SPOKEN WORD ALL STARS at Contact theatre on Manchester's Oxford Road. SPOKEN WORD ALL STARS is exactly what it says on the tin: a stellar cast of talent from the UK's live poetry scene, performing an original live show alongside one globally acclaimed musician - the sophisticated saxman, Jason Yarde.


El Crisis - his unique style combines a hypnotic mixture of rap, spoken word, song and chant.

OneNess - spoken word soulsista from Grenada.

Kat Francois - slamtastic, superphysical storyteller.

Ventriloquist - wordsmith wizard from the west.

Kate Tempest - hellfiery powerhouse of socio-poetry

and of course Jason Yarde - the king of improv sax.

The SPOKEN WORD ALL STARS National Original Tour - will be winding it's way across the country, September through to the end of the year, and there are more dates coming up in 2011.

But Dominic, I telepathically hear you cry, where can we hear your work next in this fine city of Manchesterford?

The following day, Friday 1st October, half seven at An Outlet on Dale St, I will be co hosting the prize poetry open mic POETRY PILLOW with the marvellous Cathy Bryant, who will be performing a guest set of work from her imminent debut poetry collection. £3/2 in. If you would like a slot on the open mic, it is first come first on so just get down nice and early and you'll be all good. The venue is right in the middle of where they're filming the new Captain America movie but us poets are special and will be let through the sets in order to express our inner demons and the like.


By the way, hope you enjoyed the previous poem I posted on this blog, the 'Snail' one- that's the first of the poems completed for my current Arts Council funded development project malarkey. Watch this space- more to follow...

Love and light,

Dominic x



When Rain calls the snail out
of sleepy, snail dreams,
sliding out a restful place
no human eye has seen,
silent Snail calls to Rain
'Let's wash this city clean'...
Trail wraps paving cracks
and litter in between.

Rain is calling Snail
through the greying of the street,
through a swollen puddle
stretching out its concrete seat,
to a green-red apple,
naked core torn indiscreet...
Apples travel half the world
to fall, crushed under feet.

I sit, dry, inside my flat
as Rain calls out to Snail.
People caught out in the storm
will curse the sleet and hail.
Flail back to brick high homes,
locked strong against the gale...
Trapped inside big, brick shells,
so wrapped in our own trail.

Watch the green-red apple,
tender innards battered, split.
and watch Snail call the Rain
then face the apple pip.
So easily killed. A small life spilled
by just one similar hit...
This snail braves the rain's call
whilst my warm shell I can't quit.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Time Travellers

Jocelyn Brown,
Jazz Cafe, Camden, 2008,
teleport... here,
ear to ear,
roof to floor,
the air's gone solid with bass
- bm - t-t-t,
bm bm bm t-t-t,
bm bm bm t-t-t,
bm bm
and the crowd's turned liquid.
We've had to!
Everyone's melted into one sweaty, sing-a-long throng
bubbling song.
Simmering lips and shimmering hips
slip slide between
the tightest slices in concrete sound.
Funk bound.
We are profound dancers,
barely touch ground,
too important for 'ground'!
Jocelyn sings 'Keep On Jumping',
you and me, keep jumping,
my heart, you've tugged it to pieces,
when i jump bits hit walls like jelly.
...I'm steaming,
heart's all wibbly and everywhere,
splish splash crash
our arms collide,
your tongue
on mine.

Salford, 2006,
teleport... here.
Homo home owner, DIY.
I always wanted a man who could hold nails in his teeth
and you look dead sexy holding nails in your teeth.
You know how hammers work,
understand screw drivers.
Your arms... strong enough to lift me when
I fall apart in Tescos,
sat crying in the biscuit aisle,
my chewed up nails spiking my teeth,
screaming fat, ugly tears,
don't know why,
just Panic...
Just Panic.
You're a man who can hold nails in his teeth
but never tries to mend me.
I'll never make sense like spirit levels make sense.
My wood and bubbles are all wrong.
Sometimes I'd love to twist how I stand,
pretend I'm right angles, proper straight
but you love me crooked, weird and bent.
I don't look great with nails in my teeth
but I do look dead sexy in fishnets.

longsight, 2003,
haven't met you yet,
*don't* teleport here...
This universe is divided in two:
outside and inside my flat.
I chose the wrong side.
Outside, people put their hands on each other
in ways I don't get.
Don't yet believe any man could love someone who
owns more than six albums by
Kiki Dee
...and listens to them
...all the time.
"Call me camp again and I'll gouge your fucking eyes out."
I do have some anger issues
and only glance in mirrors.

Anywhere else, anywhere else,
streets emptied, 2010.
Teleport... here,
dead night, sky numb, stars gone,
you, me, outside, yelling
broken words, broken yelling,
Stupid words, breaking,
not while I'm yelling!
My sentences are punctured, commas puss,
i've severed colons...
I'm talking shit.
You look like the sky, open, still,
Why was I yelling?
Do people yell in Kent?
You used to be from Kent
but we've rewritten our pasts
so now I've known you since forever.
You tell me that Kent would love a good yell,
to connect so heavy it don't make sense
but Kent can't touch without apologising,
can't just let us be us all sexy and loving and yelling!
We've yelled so hard
we've erased Kent from time and space!
It never was. Never will be.

One last time,
teleport here,
yes, here.
People say you look like Dr Who
so I know you can do this.
Show me Jocelyn Brown,
900 years old and still jumping.
Kiki Dee reuniting antimatter
and you can go the pub in pyjamas.
Kent can only exist if it wears a fez
and supermarkets have designated areas for Panic attacks,
little rooms where they play B-52s,
give you stuff to make with glitter, pritt stick and potatoes.
Show me mirrors.
Show me us old but still dead fit.
Show me younger gays seething jealous
cos we're fitter than them.
Immortal fit.
Make our love keep regenerating
and I've still got hair.
Immortal hair!
Show me youl love me beyond end of days and
I love you.
Show me we're forever.
This is Sci-fi epic love
where the heroes
will never die.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Playing Mortal Kombat Guarantees Your Inner Calm

It's an age of caged hostility
where Health & Safety forms and files
fry brains,
pry pains,
supposed source of securities see highs waned
and lives drained.
Cries contained *can't* scream through offices
*can't* rip through orifices
*can't* express a desk job's bubbling hate
and hurt
and harm.

But playing Mortal Kombat guarantees your inner calm.

Yes, playing Mortal Kombat guarantees your inner calm.
Maybe play as Jax and slice off someone's arm.
Be Mileena, eat your foes without a second qualm.
Or Kano's organ donor- burst hearts inside your palm.
Playing Mortal Kombat guarantees your inner calm.

Insurance claims and tax returns incite most deadly vows
but Sonya Blade's leg toss can never fail to arouse.
Funding forms leave hair-lines torn, they make us curse and hiss.
Sub Zero's spine cord rip will induce instant love and bliss.
Baraka's blades decapitate with almost cheeky charm.
Playing Mortal Kombat guarantees your inner calm.

Without Mortal Kombat I'd have murdered half my school
and every boss I've ever had- fatality by duel
but Mortal Kombat soothed my wrath, i felt my fury fade.
Let us respect the Rayden effect with a world wide parade!

Let's sing of Johnny Cage in hymns, perhaps I'll pen a psalm,
for playing Mortal Kombat guarantees your inner calm.

Sindel, my soul's sweet saviour- I salute you, ma'am,
for playing Mortal Kombat - it gave me inner calm.

Friday, 7 May 2010



She is not a real princess.
On the corner of Midnight and Spirit,
achingly sober,
shaved arm pits,
smile a bent moon beam,
to stand
and wait.

You could see she was no princess
in the snow white of her eye
when he told her,
"You are a princess."
when he told her,
"Show some thigh.
Flip that frown. Wake up, Beauty,
smell the coffee liqueur.
Half price booze!
We are open 'til four.
Shout it loud! Make me proud.
Show some shoulder. Lose that bra.
Bring our lads in. Fill my bar."

But she doesn't feel like a princess
on the corner of Midnight and Spilled Spirit Staining
fumbling out flyers.
She feels like an iceberg with an American accent,
an origami swan made from unpaid bills
to stand
and wait.

Unpaid bills.
She can't be a princess.
Debt overdrawn by a fat Crayola,
Skint Pink.

The world doesn't want her skills;
a Crystal Castle made of pasta and glue,
twelve ways to cheat at a Rubix Cube,
making up voices for pencils.
So she works for a bar
in a strapless bra
on the corner of Midnight and Empty.

And seven little men get too close.
Boozy, Schmoozy,Handsy, Shouty,
Licky, Pukey and Punch
say hello,

"Hi... ho!"

"Nice legs. When do they open?"
"D'you like chicken? This cock'll have you chokin'.''
"Don't put out your goods if you're not selling too."
"If you were my daughter, I would still be bathing you."

She knows she is not a princess.
Loyal to her boss, her Prince Harming,
she's faced these little men,
these mice disguised as stallions,
rodents wrapped in beer sticky manes.

"Neigh. Squeak! Neigh."

The customer isn't always bright

but she is.

Brighter than any crown.
Today, she walks away.

She walks away
and their taunts turn to fairy dust,
insults dissolve
like shadows clouding into candy floss.
She walks away,
body full of sunrise,
her skin a goose bump farm.
Honk! Honk!
Clear the road!
Rip down the corner of Midnight.
Spirit of Lionheart and twilight.
Wow - Wow - Wow through morning,
Spirit to Swift Wind,
blizzards of light hope quiver in her lungs.
Rubix cube squares flit free at her feet
like Billie Jean!

She might go and invent a rechargable biro.
Might bake the first daffodil pie.
She might become a princess...
or anything.