Saturday, July 01, 2006

This poem is sponsored by...

The new collection of radical anti- corporate poetry which I edited is now out!

This groundbreaking collection celebrates the first ten years of Corporate Watch, the radical research group based in Oxford, UK.

Corporate Watch drags the corrupt links between business and power, economics and politics into the spotlight. As part of the growing anti-corporate movement springing up around the world, Corporate Watch supports campaigns which are increasingly successful in forcing corporations to back down.

Corporate Watch has informed and inspired journalists, activists, artists, policy-makers ... and even poets.

This collection brings together radical anti-corporate poetry from over 60 talented poets. Dip into this book and you will find poems to be performed at rallies, and ongs to sing while locked onto the gates of a nuclear power station, poems with punch and power that shout loud and proud with brazen razor wit and barefaced cheek.

The anthology includes a CD featuring performances of 19 poems 'never before seen or heard on TV', including my 'Steal this Poem'.

Other poets featured in the book are:

Adrian Mitchell, Alan Buckley, Alan McClure, Alisdair Noon, Alistair Stewart, Aoife Mannix, Atilla the Stockbroker, Ben Mellor, B. R. Dyonisius, Cath Morris, Charlie Harvey, Christian Zorka, Claire Fauset, Danny Chivers, Dave Morgan, David Bateman, David Rovics, Ebele, Elvis Mcgonnegall, Emma Lee, Emma Phillips, Ewuare X. Osayande, Geoff Allnutt, George Roberts, Gregg Mosson, Heather Taylor, Heidi Greco, Helen Moore, Helen Thomas, Janet Vickers, Janis Butler Holm, Jim Thomas, John Hoggett, Josh Ekroy, K. Simpson, Kate Evans, Ken Champion, Kevin Higgins, Luke Wright, M. T. C. Cronin, Marc Jones, Marie Berry, Mario Petrucci, Mark Gunnery, Mark Gwynne Jones, Merrick, Michelle Green, Nick Toczek, Paul Maltby, Paul Spencer, Penny Broadhurst, Philip Jeays, Rachel Pantechnicon, Rapunzel Wizard, Rob Gee, Rosemary Harris, Sheena Salmon, Spencer Cooke, Spoz, Steve Larkin, Steve Tasane, T Troughton, Todd swift, Vincent Tinguely, Will Holloway

It's £7 and you can order it online here.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Let the poem do the talking

This page is my page.
Read it and use
your mind not your eye.
Tell me how it moves you,
how it sticks to your shoes
with the blues,
how it makes you cry
out loud in a crowded room.
This poem's got some thoughts behind
you should take time to find.

This is my page and this is my mic.
Got one hand on my clit when I write.
And I'm down on my knees tonight,
to love and fuck and spit and guide you.
Do you feel this inside you?
Can I make this come when I do
without it choking in my throat?
I don't like poets cheap sleaze for fat scores
Won't line women up on stage like whores.
But is my poem braver than yours?
What will you give for this public masturbation?
A six point nine or a standing ovation?

This is my mic and this is my stage.
Sometimes my poems are brighter than brave.
But I wanna tell you about how I misbehave and I fight.
There's been an execution tonight.
Cos like the vote some folks died for this light.
Ken Saro Wiwa hung tight.
Mikey Smith got beaten down.
Some other, somewhere, somehow.
Am I feelin the rage? LORD right.
So I'm takin the stage tonight

This is your page and your stage and your mic.
Are you feeling the love tonight?
Are you feeling the words tonight?
Can you feel what you've heard tonight?
Are you raising your voice tonight?
Well if you've got this (heart)
Then you've gotta use this (voice)
Because this page, this stage, this mic, this world
got room for your

download audio file (2.3MB MP3)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

And now a word from our sponsors...

This poem was written for the Art not Oil exhibition, a project put together by London Rising Tide.
For some reason I find it works best in performance with a really nasty American accent.

This poem is sponsored by BP.
The company is delighted to be collaborating on this project,
continuing its commitment to education and the arts,
as part of its corporate social responsibility programme.

This poem is sponsored by BP.
Trees will be planted to offset the greenhouse gas emissions
that the poet farted whilst composing this piece.

This poem is sponsored by BP
There will be no mention of spills, rigs or drills.
The words 'Colombia' and 'death squads' will not appear in the same sentence.
'Petroleum' will feature only when accompanied by the word 'Beyond'.

This poem is sponsored by BP.
Please take one of our brochures.
We have many exciting initiatives in our pipelines.
Please read our 'Tips on Greener Motoring'.
Remember, big companies are doing what they can,
but its down to the consumer to drive the market towards sustainability.

This poem is sponsored by BP.
It will present a clean, friendly image.
There will be no dark corners.
A wash of green will be liberally applied.

This poem is sponsored by BP.
Dont you get it?
There's nothing to see.
Move along.
Everything's just fine.

download audio file (1.7MB MP3)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Why do I still do this every day?

Beautiful postcard of my poem and the original piece of graffiti. i'd love to get some of these printed up. Anyone got any spare cash?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Between the Lines

My lover is a poet
the verses written on her body tell a story that I am not close enough to understand
I read with my fingers
as the blind do
studying the scratched runes that bring her pain into relief

She is a magpie
drawn to shiny things
the flash of a blade
and her reflection in it
She parts the skin to form lips
from which she draws

Red ink flows down the sink to a cold clatter of steel against enamel.

I draw flowers and faces on her plasters.
Kiss the lines that ladder her arms and legs
the deep ancient verse between her breasts

She does not tell me why
and I know now not to ask
to read,
between the lines.

download audio file (1.7MB MP3)

Friday, July 15, 2005

Make Poetry History

I wanna make poverty history
but I wanna expose the hypocrisy
of the G8 wanting to give more aid
and lock it into unfair trade
No more debts to be repaid
but where's the trade of being made?

I wanna make poverty history
erase it from the dictionary
its the word of a missionary
change barbarity to christianity
I wanna make poverty history
erase it from the dictionary
find a phrase that better says
that poverty is political

I wanna make injustice history
And I'll break the law to do it
turn the legal system on its head
so people can see through it
expose Tony's lies and Nike's crimes
cos they think they're so above it
stick a spanner in the system
and tell them all where to shove it
expose our dead democracy
re create it and renew it
I wanna make injustice history
and I'll break the law to do it

I wanna make corporations history
because the we can do without them
I wanna make domination history
because the world's not just rich white men
I wanna make ecological devastation history
desparation and dehumanisation history
I wanna make privatisation history, colonisation history
I wanna make genetic modification, animal experimentation,
and female genital mutilation history
I wanna make lying history, spying history
low cost flying, and plausible denying
I wanna make borders history, orders history
I wanna make HIV and SUVs history
and BP, MPs, MEPs and SAPs history,
I wanna make the WTO and the DTI history,
and M16s, AK47s and D9s history.
I wanna make ID, DDT, WMD and PMT history
the NRA, the CIA
I wanna make the state history
I wanna make the G8 history

I wanna make history, make history, make her-story, make history,
make history, make our-story, make history, with me
yeah make history, make history, make history, with me
come on make history, make history, make history, with me

Shout out against the G8 on the hills and in the glens
in the streets, in the cities and in the police pens,
from cape wrath to auchterader
from grangemouth to faslane
from dungavel to gleneagles
from stirling to dunblane
Join the road block, or the woad block
or the clandestine insurgent clowns
or the people's golfing action
or the asylum seeker crowd
join the silver hill walkers
lighting beacons of dissent!
You're part of the system
so take back your consent.

Because our story isn't made by the rulers but the masses
by the ones who show up and get of their asses
by the ones that stand and act in solidarity
That's the only way that any of us will make history.

Steal This Poem

This poem is copy left.
You're free to distribute it and diffuse it,
re-write it and abuse it,
and use it.
For your own ends,
and with your own ending.

This is an open source poem
entering the public domain.
Here's the source code,
add a little salt and pepper if you like,
share it out amongst your friends.

Because I didn't write this poem,
I moulded it,
picked the lines out of a skip as I was walking on over here
took used up fragments of leftover ideas,
and put them to use.

Think about it,
I can't tell you anything new.
In all these millenia of human existence
there can only be a few new ideas to be thought through.
So do we treat them like rare commodities?
Plunder arctic reserves for new ideas buried deep beneath the permafrost,
suffocate them with patent protection
and junk the rest?
Or do we re-use and recycle them?
Pile our public spaces high with shared ideas beyond anyone's imagining.

So I steal a verse here and a line there
a riff there and a rhyme there
pass it on around the circle,
roll it up
add a joke
here have a toke
does it get you high?

This poem is indebted to Gil Scott Heron, Abbie Hoffman, Jim Thomas and Sarah Jones
This poem is indebted to all the words I've read and the voices I've known
This poem is a community of intellect, yours and mine,
This poem, is RIPPED OFF line after line after line

Because intellectual property is theft
and piracy is our only defence against the thought police.
The revolution
will be plagiarised!
The revolution will not happen if ideas are corporatised
So steal this poem
and use it
with your own ending and for your own ends.

This poem is copyleft
all rights are reversed

down load audio file (2.3MB MP3)

Graffiti Protection Squad

If you've ever travelled the M40
on the crawl to work or play
then you can't have missed this eight foot fence
saying 'Why do I do this every day?'

Eleven daring painters
Fifty tins of gloss
Bombing down the motorway
to the tune of Fraggle Rock
Eleven audacious pixies
painting til it's light
When battered, paint spattered
elated and shattered
they dispersed,
into the night.

Well if you think graffiti is mindless
then your forgetting the countless
people posing an existential question
as they sit through the congestion.

And if you think graffiti's a social blight
and should all be scrubbed away
then with our brushes and our spray cans
we will fight you all the way.

And if you think graffiti is criminal damage
then we don't care at all
because if bill boards can promote bombing
then we can paint a wall

And as I read once on a wall somewhere
emblazoned in silver spray
'If the world were to end tomorrow
then I'd still paint today'

Well three cheers for that Mr Pixie
With your brush in your hand you're a god
we're one hundred percent behind you
in the graffiti protection squad.

download audio file (1.6MB MP3)

True Love Waits

Here's a creed for the new generation
a call to the fucked up youth of today
its the big new thing
the latest craze
the hot new trend is...

Yes abstinence makes the heart grow fonder.
Abstinence makes the world go around.
An abstention a day, keeps the doctor away.
All you need is... abstinence!

So keep your legs crossed
an your pants locked
keep his hands off,
an then run down the aisle before you're old enough
to drink champagne on your wedding night.

Never notice that these
frustrated lovers
teenage mothers
because no-one had the courage
to tell them about
safe sex
and great sex
and dare I say it GAY sex?

No. They say

Just keep your body pure my precious,
keep your body chaste,
keep your body holy,
till you husband gets this taste.
Keep your body pure my precious,
keep your body chaste.
Give your heart,
To Jesus!
And remember,
True Love... Waits

download audio file (1.4MB MP3)


We sat alone in the clinic, you and I,
and they tortured us with endless Shania Twain.
The gave me a nightie
and a sanitary towel.
And left me in a room full of other girls
with the same tearless expression on their faces.
I was the last to be wheeled out
and I never said goodbye to you
as the needle went in.

I woke and you were gone.
I wanted to see you.
I didn't know how big you were.
How you'd grown.

I imagined you pickled in a jar
curved and creamy white,
like a seahorse
in formaldehyde
with tiny grasping hands

download audio file (1.2MB MP3)

Break up poem

Last night waiting for you I had a brief but intense relationship with a cat
we indulged all the games of lovers
casual flirtation, playing hard to get, making concessions and taking chances,
and it struck me that cats would make excellent lovers
because their bodies tell me everything that I need to know about giving pleasure.

You wrote a poem across my body while I slept
and in the morning I awoke with your words
seeping into my skin
snaking around my thighs
their red lips on my hips
curling about my breasts
and tailing off with a goodbye.

and as I scrubbed myself clean I realised
that though its not just ink that I've left on your sheets
I never penetrated your skin with anything deeper than my nails
and for all the words you covered my body with
I only ever wanted saliva, semen, teeth that drew blood,
and fingers that made me follow their calling.

I did not want to be written but played,
with the instinct of a cat
rubbing its head against a fence post,
because it feels good.

Kill Your Babies

(Language is a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, when all the time we long to move the stars to pity. - Gustave Flaubert)

I can't rap
and I can rhyme
but I write in my own way
and I'll listen when your certain
what it is you want to say

give me an image that brings truth crawling in from all corners
give me a slice of your guts teased into a song

kill your babies
and leave that one line
that pulsates with meaning
that would move the stars to pity

Amy and Mark's Wedding Poem

There's nothing crazy
about our Amy
except one part
her love for Mark.

Because were you aware ladies and gentlemen
that my sister fell in love
when a hockey ball
like Newton's apple
fell on her from above.

So can we really trust her judgement?
Can we genuinely be sure
that she had all her wits about her
when her head was so sore?

And did Mark seek to capitalise
on her vulnerable mental state?
Did he seize this opportunity
to ask her for a date?

Now I'm not saying Mark took advantage
I'm not saying that at all
but are you really in your right mind
when hit by a hockey ball?

And I'm not saying Amy's crazy
or that her brain was on the blink,
but perhaps there's another reason
why she's marrying a shrink.

Now I'm being mean
it's just a joke
I'm over the moon for them both

So come drink and celebrate friends and family,
who'd have thought that you could find love with a sports injury.
Yes come drink and celebrate, let your hair down and dance.
Here's a toast, to my sister, and her hockey ball romance.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Human Rights Abuses

(One thing that really frsutratees me is the language of human rights being used to defend thing that are just plain wrong, corporations claiming human rights beign a case in point)

This is my house
I own it
it's mine
and I'll do with it what I like
because that's my human right
I'll leave it empty and unused
and I'll do what I please
because that's my human right you know,
that's my human right
It's my human right and its worth fighting for.

I've a right to own a car,
no tax on fuel it's just no just
I've a right to cheap oil, free parking, and speed
so get the hell outta the way of my SUV
and I'll fly around the world on £1.60 return
because that's my human right you know,
that's my human right
It's my human right and its worth fighting for.

I don't want no asylum centre built round here
It's my back yard they're living in
my back yard they'll steal from
my job they'll take, my house price they'll deflate,
and my road they'll want their mosque in.
because I have human rights too you know,
I have human rights too
I have human rights and they're worth fighting for.

And what about Nike?
Telling lies about its corporate crimes and then claiming the right to freedom of speech!
Well who cares if we gave a false impression
we have the right to freedom of expression!

Because corporations have human rights too you know
they've been granted them by law.
Corporations have human rights too, though they weren't human before.
Corporations have human rights too,
and they have the money to fight for them.

It's just a matter of time before corporations get the right to vote,
to claim asylum, to found a family to!
I wonder, when will corporations gain the right to life?
Where's an end to this corporate personhood insanity,
because if corporations have human rights,
then how do we define humanity.

Because they're our human rights you know,
for us living breathing and human
not for Nike Shell or CNN
They're our human rights
and we'll fight for them.