Inheritance

I write now with my father’s pen
Old steel has assumed my
Ragged pencil’s place
Smooth and worn in my
Calloused fingers.
Daughter at my breast
I remember my father’s stories
As my own swirl and foment
Beneath the creased brow
That is my other inheritance.
Not a gentle man, nor a good one
But a crafter of careful lines
Who spoke limited truth
To lasting effect.
What of him remains
But my own comfortable lies
Sweeter than fact, more palatable
Harder to deny than the
Elusive verisimilitude
Of others.

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Hollywood Rap

Push me to places
I ain’t seen before
I’ll paint on some faces
To look like your whore

But deep in my mind
There’s so little you see
I keep it locked tight
Holding onto what’s me

The terrible things
That we do in this world
Are only a symptom
We pass off – absurd

So I’ll do my worst
‘Til I’m hailed as the best
You’d think we were cursed
But we’re just like the rest

And I can breathe magic
Just give me the word
It smells rather tragic
But haven’t you heard

The twisting of sisters
And mothers and misters
Is brotherly love
With a burning that blisters

It’s time for my act
So get ready to listen
My mould has been cracked
I’m the last one to glisten

With genuine feeling
That’s cheap by the dozen
You’re welcome to healing
But no kissing your cousin

I’ll take you to heights
Just to jump off the top
And tell you of sights
‘Til you beg me to stop

There’s nothing to do here
And less I can build
But I’ll keep my mind clear
And my body filled

With poisonous substance
That’s hardly substantial
You’ve really no beef
The whole thing’s circumstantial

It doesn’t make sense
When I come from this background
But who cares for pence
When you’re far from the fair ground

The going was rough
I thought I was a goner
But nothing says tough
Like a second-hand Doner

I don’t mean to pry
But why are you still reading
When you could be flying
And fucking and speeding

Nobody cares
So what if I get careless
I’m doing my thing
And it’s none of their business

You just keep paying
The price of my ticket
It’s cheaper than praying
And you know you can stick it

I Dun No Public More a Lie Tee

Make your mark
Then make them pay
For the joy
And for the peace

Of you trotting
On your way
Buoyed with cash
Of slow release

One might struggle
Protest long
Keep spinning out
An oft-tried ruse

That this moment
They are wrung
Well out of readies,
Truth, Good News.

But this just means
There’s something there
That’s worth the trouble
Every time

So do, persist
Without a care
For what was theirs
Will soon be thine

And groans, protesting
Empty purse
Aren’t like to foil
A seasoned pro

Imagination’s
Always worse
They’ll come around
Before you know

And where it seems
A stalemate stands
Increase the pressure
Of your grip

Upon their senses
Underhand
It’s no great trial
To play a trick

The argument
That less is more
Impress on them
Who’s number one

A pocket finger –
(Pen-knife-gun?!)
Will trump their greed
And you’ll have won

Street Scene

Stroll down any dusty thoroughfare
From Maida Vale to scruffy Shepherd’s Bush
They’ll ambush you on pavement then and there
Relieve you of your digits, prod and push.

Foot soldiers, armed with clipboards and ambition
Will tug at strings that tie the heart to purse
Their target: the conversion to commission
Of less-than-living wages as you curse.

The haves that make up half the knotty problem
Are touched for cash by those who live below
Embarrassed by their wealth, some may endure them
While others just ignore them as they go.

With one foot on the ladder of ascension
The other in the bucket of distress
They’ll tell you of the horrors one won’t mention
To try to hold attention and impress.

The passers-by whose means are independent
Whose social conscience privilege must prick
Are rarely found donating rent or pension
Confronted daily, skin must be quite thick.

While those who swallow pride and do the needful
Are debited directly for their pains
Their duty to society a creed. Full
Of charitable empathy and claims.

Press Night

The show must go on
As if pain were so much motley
Your costume for the close of Act One
Calls for something jolly

The lighting grid that follows closely
Every tiny truth
Is signalling for sequence two
So hit your marker, move!

No tears may fall upon your cheek
For make-up will no secrets keep
And running down your chin to seep
Through dry-clean-only, borrowed, cheap

Steal hope for critic’s mild misgivings
Drowning in depressing clippings
Uglified by wig and ribbons
Pantomime with all the trimmings

Make dumb show and mime for laughs
How things are fine – they’ve rung the half
Don’t let us down, we’ve paid to see
Up close, what’s not reality