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Saturday, November 12, 2005

BANG 

I hear an explosion going on
an innovation bomb based upon
the rearrangement of the Atoms
that everything is made from.

The usual unholy trinity
of corporations, governments and the military
are promising the largest artillery
of rapid technological change
since Michealangelo and the rennaissance
unlocked the designs of God..

Imagine: the vastness of BANG
Bits Atoms Neurons Genes
the basic pixels of existence
pressed into service by The Machine.

Right now Washington technocrats
are going at it like pistons
to create a new operating system
where matter knowledge, life and mind
can be redefined and broken down
into standard molecular components
redesigned and kicked around,
recorded as code,
to be reordered and controlled
by the biggest corporate assholes on the planet..

I'm recommending PANIC (People ANIhilating Corporations)
in response to BANG
(also known as CTEKS, NBIC
and in jocular slang:'The Singularity'.)

For added clarity: check the back of cereal packets
and the usual media outlets
who have written all about it
but not its conclusion
while NGO's activists and trade unions
are too lost in confusion
to notice the the ticking timebomb of
the next industrial revolution,

barely aware of the pitter patter (BANG) of Smart Dust
tiny sensors sprinkled across battlefields (and maybe us..)

or (BANG)Craig Venter building artificial Bacterium:
botulism meets Capitalism..

or(BANG) Swiss pilots with brian/machine interfaces
flying planes by thought traces

The mind races so let me explain it calmly:

The next technological tsunami is already happening.
Its not science fiction - its venture capitalism.
watch as elites insert new mechanisms
of control into the structure and soul of tomorrow's technoprisons
a conspiracy? no. listen:

Winston Churchill once said:
"We make our buildings and then our buildings make us"
Wise.
well corporations make our technologies which in turn disrupt our
lives, communities, bodies and dreams
until we can no longer trust
even the bits atoms neurons and genes
that are the dust and blueprint of our reality.

Its a disaster
and I've had enough - Ya Basta!

This is a call for
a Peoples Technology Movement that
will take back our
life, cultures and soul.

The future IS under attack
but if the human spirit is still intact
there might yet be space for us to act
against the technologies of corporate control

and if you can believe in that
well then:
wahey baby... lets roll!

El Nido 12/11/05

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Slamifesto! 

There doesn't have to be a microphone
or even a stage.
Arbitrarily, we chalk out this space for unpaged poetry forms
walking together in an oral democracy, unwritten
without the pharisees of the grand literary traditions to
edit selecta, cut down choice.
We call this a democracy, not because we vote
But because every voice counts
and we do – we actually count
we assign numbers to words.
Which sounds absurd - ‘till you hear.
We take back the power of judgement
and hand it to our peers.

We are a community passing around pictures of our hearts , our ideas
in free verse,
spat from our own tongues,
spoken in our own rhythms
wrapped in our own rhymes
we get 3 minutes of time to summarise our lives,
and offer them
like freshly pressed wine
“would you like a sip
of being me,
being you,
being us…
I trust you.”

And we can remake this space anywhere.. we can!
i've seen performance poetry in off licences and outside kebab vans
impromptu slams on street corners with spontaneous crowds
applauding and giving it loud to a woman using
only the language that she always
- that we all always -
carry around.
Maybe in this way
We can fill our public spaces
With eloquent and meaningful
wordplay
and the erotic treat
of voices unzipped of artifice
walking naked down the high street
strewing stanzas.
I long for a day when sharing poetry with strangers
is as easy as discussing East Enders.

Me, I wanna see a slow word movement
slow as in slow food.
language to be chewed over,
savoured like a good meal
until the flavour, taste and feel of edible syllables
is rrrrollin on our tongue
trickling warmly along our throat
and it doesn't actually have to be slow.
yo.. i'm down with those flow poets who know
how to kick hip hop patois and pop
dropping lyrical props, clip clopping
on the cochlear full stop of your shell-like
right!– that’s top stuff,
but i'm simply offering a light metaphor
because i think there is nothing better for
a community than to gather together for
feasting and talking
and good wines
so why not feast on talking
and good lines.

It begins here..
my tongue, your ear,
this sharing of hopes and fears, politics and ideas
we choose
slam poetry and scores really as an excuse
to tell each other more honestly what we are like
and if we can make a space
for human beings just talking openly
face to face
well..
we can take apart the stage
and
fuck it
we’ll throw away the mic.

jt 13/11/04

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Good times.. 

These are the good times, these May days
And nights -
Adrift on play, community and easy lovin'
Possibility is being born in every
slam poem
night time mission
lazy afternoon.
We’re gathering speed and joy
- soon to go interstellar.
These times are the easy times, springtime
Stepping up to the game with her bluebells ringing reggae
Untroubled
Unharrased
Undecided.
The early morning is pregnant with
Variety, kisses and bad exuberant singing
while the earth is pregnant with
Potato plants
and summer.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Gregors Poem 

If you can see him
he is
all trunk

he is not
2 missing legs
seven fingers
no thumbs
he is not
wrists protruding from
elbowless arms
a wheelchair of black leather
and dirty chrome

if you can see him
he is
a bit unkempt
and he is
a prophet
and he is an
obnoxious,
unapologetic,
revolutionary
(in an un-jesuslike way)
less black than martin
less handsome than che
less humble than mahatma
less eloquent than marcos
but nonetheless

standing tall
on the two feet he doesn’t have
calling until his voice is hoarse
he is calling them
“my people”
weeping for a holocaust.

My people: the various in body, diverse in mind
all the uncommon forms of humankind

“my people “ he says
“are shut away in institutions: hospitals , psychiatric wards
“my people are shut out of institutions, education,science, the media, law
“my people” he says
“ are the poorest, the worst educated, the most unemployed , oppressed”
“ my people are being killed – by pre natal screening , drugs, neglect.”
And if you could see him
if you weren’t wondering where to look, anxious that somehow he could be “fixed “
and if you weren’t fidgeting embarrassed , wishing he just didn’t exist
if you were able to see him
angry
overflowing with pain.
you would see blue eyes widen, wetten , wince
and close again.

My people: the armless, the sightless, the shrunken, the withdrawn
- diffuse millions , differently born

“my people” he says
“are defined daily by their defects
by the condescension of strangers
the exclusion of steps,
of doorways, of buses, of the internet
My people are boxed into a medical model of
Disease and cure,
deformity, mutation
and poor little johnny
And bleeding hearts

He starts
To clench a fist

My people are being redefined as unwanted genes
on kinky chromosomes, fair game to be
edited out before birth,
I am an excuse for an abortion
I am the argument for euthanasia
I am a societal burden
or worse:

he starts
to grit his teeth,curse, draw breath

every day he says I am dealing with my own death

and that of My people: continuosly redefined as not people,
dismembered from society
human beings united by their diversity.

And if you could see him
Teasing or parenting or swinging himself through a window on his strong arm
Up all night in the bar, dissecting ethics, full of beery charm
If you can see him…

Ralph Ellison taught us that the black man is invisible in a society that doesn’t want him there
Well he’s not half as invisible as a man in a wheelchair

“My people are the ultimate physical bulwark
against conformity
And a creeping norm
that requires first two legs then, perfect skin
A compliant mind, sculpted breasts, square chin
My people give humanity back its biodiversity
And you laugh at that notion
because you just cannot see

The subtlety of the blind,
the strength of the dismembered
The cultures of the deaf , The fine
elegance and beauty in the forms

Of my people, we
Who are after all only people
If only you were able to see
How dare you call me
Dis-abled.”

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Lullaby (for dubyas vist..) 

The war on terror is about modified starch
Its about soy flour, soy protein
Corn syrup and fast food burger buns
All padded with wheat
Its about whey powder, maltodextrin
sugar and sweet
Sticky snacks between breakfast and dinner time
It’s a war between the expanding waistline of America
And a primetime army of nesquik, get fit,
Low fat, burn back
Nutrasweet flavour crackpot
Dietary products plastered with lies
(and uncle sam is playing both sides)

Because the war on terror is a doubleglazing salesman
Selling america extra insulation
And Hollowfibre duvets
For hollowfibre lives
polyester fleece protections
- all togg 25
togged up in anthrax resistant vacuum bags
to smother that nagging suspicion that
there is something more than saggy middles
and Hollywood lives.

But hey! the war on terror is a four disc surround sound HIFi system
It’s the latest upgradeof windows XP with the interesting
Free game. Its text messages that say nothing again and again and again.
It’s the trivial gain
Of meaningless consumption bleeding you of gumption
The war on terror is a single message in one perpetual drone
People of America you are surrounded
stay in your comfort zone!
Stay in your comfort zone!

And don’t even begin to imagine there’s a world that doesn’t need shoes
Nevermind they don’t need Gucci, calvin klein, names whose only value
Is that we told you to value then
We repeatedly spoon fed ya them
We made them part of the payasyou go Land
-scape of your comfort zone
Now stay in you comfort zone damn it
Stay in your comfort zone!

And the war on terror is a war on any kind of insight
That might incite you to move your fat arse too far
Its cosmo magazine and fashion tips, and the seven deadly ways to get between her hips
It’s the drip drip drip drip of sexual inadequacies whispered into your ear
The supplanting of boredom with the fear of not having a
Boyfriend/girlfriend/committed relationship/enuff sex/wedding ring/ baby/ beautiful home
And all of them available if you just stay in your comfort zone
If you just model your self on j-lo
And if not strive… strive to be like her, or to buy like her
Or to buy the things she touched
because the good patriot won’t add up to much
Unless she is keeping the cash registers flush and ringing
It’s a war out there dammit and we are singing
in god and walmart we trust
And we have operators standing by just
to take your orders by phone
So you don’t have to leave any comfort zone whatsoever.

And really you can’t understand
why would anyone in Afghanistan
choose to live in caves
I mean that’s sooo stone age
And squatting out in the scorching desserts of iraq?
We feel sorry for those Moslem/ arab/black
Whatever the hell they are backward third world peoples
They are backwoods or wide desert or open sky people
They are fresh air, tightmuscles, quick witted peoples
Those living life not buying it people..
“I haven’t got time to live life today”
Cos a hairdressers appointment, kids from school, fees to pay
Means breathe when you can catch a breath
But otherwise catch
friends, the osbournes, oprah ,lets
Count the ways we find distraction , yes
Ignore the direct action and the direct appeals
And we’ve got Ritalin and prozac just in case it feels
Just in case you feel
Angry, violated, alone
America keeping in your comfort zone

Or we’ll admit you to a comfort zone
where the war against terror can be hooked up to your wrist
Synthesized by glaxo welcome, fed drip by drip
By fox news, time warner and medicare
Because the war on terror is best administered where
no terrorist Will ever be able to breach and that is intraveneously
Injected on wards with only the TV
Singing To the bedridden, the frightened and scared
Hush now America , don’t say a word
Papa’s gonna buy you a mocking bird…

19th Nov 03

Monday, September 08, 2003

Satellite Song
For Ilona's wedding - 5th Sept 2003

First we walk
and then a bus and then an airplane
and then its a coach and then a train
and then a car
and then we rest again.
And life is a lot like this.
For we are traveling people, Ilona
And life is logistics.
We are global traveling people, Ilona
And life is bus stops and air tickets.
And we are global living people, Ilona
And life is a play against many backdrops.
For we are global players
And we dance like chess pieces.
We dance
around the map of the world you always had above your bed
around the map of the world you gave me to put beside mine
We dance
around the map of the world we are constructing in our heads
out of emails and snippets of communication in time:
Queen to pawn four, rook to bishop nine,
airplane to Angola, postcard to the argentine…
Emma’s gone to Mexico, Edds gone to China
I’m in Sri Lanka, you’re in England,
I’m in California you’re in Mozambique
I’m in Australia you’re in Angola,
I’m in Belgium you’re in South Africa
I’m in South Africa you’re in Germany,
now Israel, now New Zealand, now Brazil
now France, now Japan, now Mongolia
now Bohol…
Traveler to mission control.
This is mission control
Is everything fine?
Everything is fine..

And we are a network of satellites, each in different times -
In different landscapes and different orbits
checking the signs.
Sending our regular signals,
carefully monitoring each others swiftly moving lives.
We are a strung out ecology of souls
sharing stories, trying out different roles,
occasionally calling and needing to collide.
Traveler to mission control.. I need to collide.

And then
it’s a car and then it’s a bus and then it’s a train ride
Its a plane, another plane, it’s a bus journey and so
Maybe its Portugal, maybe its San Francisco
Maybe Neuengronau or Maputo
or some arbitrary interesting context. But I know
there aren’t national borders high enough
or plane tickets expensive enough
that we can’t duck past them,
clamber over them,
shrink the world in a day,
stamp passports with the same stamp
and stand in the same geographic space.

Let my eyes see your eyes
Let your hug feel my hug
Let my story chime with your story

We show each other pictures of the state of our hearts.
Find an actual place upon the earth
Sit with our back to the wind and start
to talk things over:
to laugh and carry each other over…

For we are global, carry-each-other-over people, Ilona
Even just you and I have crossed continents, oceans and more.
We have carried each other across rivers and dance floors,
Met at the edge of the world, the heart of darkness, the bright lights.
We check in, we reflect and see everything is all right,
Offer words and ways that carry us through our far flung lives

And these are the words and these are the ways we carry on through our
far flung lives

Its in moments like this. Where context and geographies dissolve
and Satellites decide to collide. We help each other across thresholds.

And then, (after brunch)

There’ll be a car,
and then a train and then a coach, a plane a bus a bike
There’ll be dozens of satellites blinking goodbye into the global night
Sending emails and snapshots from India, Africa, Bohol
Traveler to mission control .
This is mission control.
Is everything fine?
Yeah Ilona.. cheers!
Everything is
just fine.

JT 23rd Aug 03


Thursday, July 17, 2003

I wanna make trade fair
I wanna make fair trade with you
I wanna make fair trade the whole night through
I want to fairly trade my bananas
For your coconuts and
The sweated toil of your lands
I’ll be grateful for the skillful work of your hands,
my African partner, my latino, asian exchanger
Of bountiful goods
and hot exotic flavours
I wanna savour your coffee ,
As you slurp my tea,
trade my honey for your sugar and sweet
spread your red palm oil
spread your legendary spices
I’ll be nibbling on your jasmine rices and cinammon sticks
Gather your fruit and my nuts into one tropical mix
Sweet Trading partner: let me handle your fabrics
Respectfully…
Now, I don’t want one of those unhealthy relationships
All take take take and looting
as you shake shake shake your booty..
liberally surrendering your beauty
to cowboy nations,
who tie you up with tariffs and duty
Let me undo your strings
and properly value your everything
then you and I we’ll begin
to make trade just the way you like it
we’ll make trade fair and just – the way you like it.

Saturday, May 31, 2003

Advice when falling?
Find ground

Find firm unyielding ground
And when you find it
Kiss it and hold it.

Advice when falling?
Find life

Find real life
And when you find that
Kiss it and hold it

Find lips
Find them fresh or bleeding,
salty or sweet
but when you find them
Kiss them

Find breath
warm and moist
And when you breathe it
hungrily
hold it

find flesh
softly yielding
velvet and electric and
like dough.
And when you find it
Kiss it and kiss it and hold it

And find touch
Find leaves.. find people.. find stones to touch
Find the tissue-soft tickling of pleasure
And the drumming rain of massage
And when you do
With all of your thousand fingers
Then let your body kiss each one and hold them

And then let go

Find water
Ya gotta find cool water

Ya gotta find cool truth
something as
simple as it is.

And then

find a smile
And find more smiles,
And find them bubbling, playful
Find them erupting all over your face
And your breathing giggling skin
tickle them
and you’ll
Find laughter
You’ll find it in your eyes
You’ll find it in
your mouth
your ears,
its on the nighttime streets
its out in the fields
Laughter.. its in your kitchen
Its in your bedroom
And when you find it
Tipsy and coy
Swaying and happy
Go dancing with it

Find music
You know, theres a song that you make
Its there when the breeze
plays against your skin
its like a drum
Or maybe its a penny whistle
And when you find it
whistle it
out loud
its your own
Croon it
Here beneath the streetlight
Or better the moonlight or better the starlight
Or sunlight
You’ll find it
reflected off cheeks or
playing with the dew

until til ya find morning
find nothing more beautiful than
The morning

find a brand new day
reaching for the corner
or the suns rays
Or the swiftly moving clouds
running against the blue
You’ll be the last acheing muscle flexing
You’ll be the last little stretch, stretching

Until suddenly you

find yourself
arms wider than your eyes
Wider than the skies
Or even your heart can open

Reaching just that extra reach
beyond your ordinary reach
lifting from the earth
For just one catching moment

And when you do (catch it..)
Kiss it
And then..

Hold it.

Jt. 30 may 03

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Android

I have sat
in the back rows
of enuff poetry shows
to know
That nobody gets up on stage
unless they're feeling the rage of being
blacklesbiancrippled indiginous poor gay woman in this day and age
and if that’s not the case,
if’s not about race or class
then its about some bit of loving arse
they want or they can't have
and they want to confuse you and seduce you with smart rhyme
until you are crying into their beer with heartache
(or a heart that they can take home with them)
but honestly
I'm not like that.

So why have I,
six foot four and a million tonnes
of white male well-educated
specimen,
got up on the mic tonight
when you can hear my sorry BBC voice
on any TeeVee station if you just
stayed at home for a session rather than pay the admission
its because... I have a confession:
I am an android
And I’m taking over the world
and I hate it.

No this isn’t some cute lost in space metaphor
That’ll be better for an electronic colonic and a fit of histrionics on stage..
No, This is about meaning and humanity and,
being in full control of my sanity,
understanding my complicity or rather
history’s complicity in me
understanding how generations of ignoring the singing and rape
of women and slaves
has got so I can’t just can't turn off the tape
I just can't log off
That these broad shoulders just can't shrug off
The baggage that they always carry into a room
Which is that when this voice booms
It does so with the sound of my great grandfather
Who made capital on empire
And my mind, even while it rhymes, descends from others
Who built the atom bomb and digitised time
And I was brought up in a school
That taught me how to keep order
and how to give orders
and how to build order
in the new world order.
And how to be an android
Whether I like it or not.

You see as an android
I move easily through time and space
thats partly a function of breeding and gender and race
knowing my graces and my p’s and q’s
knowing who to be polite to
who to say ‘alright’ to.
following cues
and refashioning myself to a string of information
that best suits the economic health of the nation
I’m data..
I move effortlessly across borders
and bounce between 2 passports, 3 bank accounts
4 phone numbers and god knows how many email addresses
I’m bathed in access
I perfectly match the
psychological requirements
Of neoliberal multinational hypercapitalism
We are the same, capitalism and I,
we operate in the same mode
I have microsoft windows of opportunity
hardwired into my genetic code
I share the same basic processors and logic gates
as Hitler, Marx and the WTO
I am an android whether I like it or not...


And if you take me to a dinner party – this android knows what to wear
And if you give me a fancy wall street job I can probably operate there
And if you ask me to speak with businessmen, judges, lawyers, politicians I have all the appropriate software,
I have the access codes to vote, speak in the media or organise a demonstration
But nothing too serious or beyond assimilation
Just enuff to make democracy look “healthy”
Not enough to upset the technocrats and the wealthy
Not enough to upset the basic situation
Which is that basically everything is being digitised and stored as information
to be better replaced with imitations
Clonable Controllable Transgenic automatons
Like meeee…… androids

And probably you as well as me
Since we are all to some degree
Plugged into this new technological matrix
Unwilling to face its
Rapacious harvesting of human energy and our natural home
only this time it won’t be Keanu Reaves with a Nokia phone
and a couple of kung fu kicks to do the trick –
We’ve been rewiring your DNA
We’ve got your profiled on database
We know exactly what makes you tick, Mr Anderson...
and better than that - We own it.

So if you're that
blacklesbianqueermuslimasianpoorcrippleindiginous woman
who doesn’t quite fit the appropriate database fields and economic equations...
If your joy or your loving or your singing isn’t quite efficient enuff for best trade relations...
If your deviant diversity is an annoying weed in the monoculture fields of a perfect economic liberalisation..

If once the mathmatics have been done
and the models have been run
and the operating systems have all been unified as one...

If somehow you don’t operate ???

why, its a simple cut,
edit,
replace...

With an android.
With an android.
With an android.

JT Apr 02

The poem about the war

My ancestors carried rocks
Left upon graves to stand
As deposits of hard grief
That marked the land
with misery made visible and more
Carried in pockets and weathered hands
They placed these stones -each on each- like cairns
and this is why
this is why I
cannot write the poem about the war

The poem about the war
is unutterably sorrowful
,it’s lodged in my soul and I’ve
no sentiment to shift it
My pockets are already full
of collected stones
that my shoulders groan under
-a friend’s father with cancer,
- The loss of tongues and cultures
- The repeated and defeated end of nature
and the shape of loveless and alone
My coat so heavy I can barely lift it

If I waded into the torrent with the poem about the war
to also weigh me down
I would drown beneath it.

I cannot write the poem about the war
To do so is to expose it to fresh air or
oxygen but it is
Fissile material badly stored
magnesium plutonium uranium
Have nothing on the pure reactive rage within
The mineral deposits from which I’d mine
The poem about the war
It would ignite on contact with simple elements
Such as justice, love and common sense
It would scatter in a shrapnel of invective
Scorning fear, oil, terror and recompense
Those hot stones would light the tens
Of thousands of wells of anger
- against corporate greed and structural violence
- against technopower and complicit silence
that I contain with such contrivance inside
yet bubble under every cadence
If I unearthed even a sentence of the poem about the war
It would be so volatile and tense
I would explode.

I cannot write the poem about the war
And yet for years I’ve lived its lines
In every press release and soundbite
And the frantic hectic times
Every night time crop pulled
Every banner boldly hung
From diggers, from treetops
From the urgent gasping lungs
Of the land,
of these lands
Of the people who are these lands
We’ve made a flag of it,
We’ve passed it hand to hand
D-locked it with chains across corporate gates
hung it from the anchor and dumped it in the bay

There are others who are writing it with clearer things to say
4 million feet wrote it on the streets last Saturday
and the poem about the war will not be written anyway
it will be played out , it will slowly gather shape
from heart to heavy heart to hopeful straining heart
carrying our stones and leaving them set apart
each on each
until they all
start
to slide and like
an avalanche fall
to form a dyke
diverting history
and burying war.

To build peace
My ancestors carried rocks.

Jt 16.2.03



Mistletoe..


I want to tell you that
Right now my heart is shaped like tiny silver hands
That are tugging on the shirt tails of my attention
Somehow they are
Connected to green excitable feet
Unsteady with longing and distraction
Wide eyed, racing butterflies
Are coursing through my ..
Couples are kissing, everywhere and lovely.
And Christmas is full of mistletoe.

Somehow I want to admit to you that
Right now my lips are daring me to do bold and stupid things
more sensible than inconsequential reasons.
My mumbling is all made up of
String and bubbles and invitation cards
That I’m writing and throwing away,
Writing and throwing away
Writing and wishing away..
With every approaching stranger I’m bumping into you
If you looked back and smiled I would explode.

My hands right now would trace for you
the shape your gaze makes in this place
and look, it curls around woodland fingers
Your eyes
Bright white berries where the light rests
I sit beside because.
Somehow I find them
more interesting than ….
Suddenly my soul is awash with spring meadows and flowers
straining to be picked by you.


Jt 16/12/02

Touch the earth..

So (tap tap) I shall attempt to liberate the real
while data disappears under my fingers –
(these are words that don't exist.)
Here’s hoping language can
graze skin,
feel the warmth of a world bleeding
but alive..

In this technopolis metropolis is our snuggledown prison, m’dear -
It folds and envelops,
it stamps and franks us
whatever our state of address.
The communications network,
(postman and postmodernism,)
pulls us apart.
pre-patterned pixels,
puzzled n distinct..

And you and I can't commit to emotions
and its perfectly reasonable - atoms will become machines.
We’ll commodify the soil
We’ll commodify the oceans.

One day ..
You’re gonna even pay ..
for breathing.

till then,
cry ..

and fuck and laugh and love ..

whatever kicks against the code: Practice it.

Something out there is redesigning _life_

Lets touch the earth:
Lets make resistance fantastic.
(Jt99)

It grunts

It grunts
it rocks
And explodes like an audience
Roaring
Big it up now
and be loud
For the industrial sounds of
My parents snoring

Phlegm and catarhh
play percussion on the tonsils
while a honkytonk nose
is sounding the bass note
and simultaneously
whistling like a geezer
on one..
diva and tenor
mouths wide open
are clearing their throat
clearing their throats
ready to sing
ready to rumble…

they grumble
and like rockstars the whole ensemble snorts
trashing the hotel room silence
with their feedback and noise
the wheezing Hammond organ of their lungs
splutters in a
rough riff.
Their gravelly blues growl
bellows unexpectedly

music?
Forget music…
Behold the sound of mucus..
the sheets are alive
with the strains
of blocked pipes and bad breathing
chesty drums, coughing and sneezing
and in the storms eye I realize
Oh Shit that’s me then..

For I too have inherited
These melodious pipes
This whole oesophagal cacophony
Has been transferred wholesale
To me their beloved progeny
And by night
I too am this
infernal vocal ecology
pitched
like a distressed whale

I remember every sweet woman
Who just after making beautiful music together
In fleshcoloured moments of love and hugs
pushed me out into cold corridors
or reached for the earplugs
now, frozen into postcoital smiles,
I recall teeth gritted,
knowing they’ve just committed
to while away the night beside my bellows
I see them
smothering themselves
under painkillers, patience and pillows.

I can hear the soft breathing of the one that I love
As she lies here beside me
Knackered and sleepless

How can I atone
For that atonal droning
That musta dragged on
Allnight wideawake
Making it into the mid morning
Coffeebreak gossip
when they say
“hey You look tired”
“Was he.. you know, good and horny?”
and she says “Oh yeah like a donkey,
Rolled over and
brayed like one till morning…”
I imagine ex-lovers filing suits against me
For nocturnal audio harrasment
Where the only perfect tone I can reach
Is that tone of embarrassment
in the morning
..
listen, I’m sorry
heres how it goes:

It grunts
And it rocks
And explodes like an audience roaring
I ask you big it up now
Be loud
cos ladies and gennleman this is one poet
sending out a warning
from an empty bed
and a truth painfully known
that while poems and laughter
may seduce and charm her
snore
and you’ll always sleep alone...

jt 23/12/02

Talkin tea..

I love it when you talk tea
When the first honey rooibos of the morning pours in
through our dark russian sleep.
and you, dry leaves between perforated sheets
of cotton, are dangled into a hot wet day on a slender string
and gently stir.

Teaspoons that we are together, we warm.
drawn from ceramic slumber
you burble,
mumble sweet twinings into my cupped ears,
whisper finely
“Formosan, darjeeling ,
gen micha gen micha,
ginger, jasmine tea”.

And I love it when you are talking tea -
when gently steaming,
becoming hot inside the china,
feeling saucy and round, fresh and boiling,
the water is hot
and you
infuse!
- letting go all your delicious flavours…

I love it when you talk tea.
I love your lips upon the rim,
your fingers around the handle
of this delicate porcelain
whose cool hardness we embrace in our hands.
I love the slurp of your tongue kissing
the brown taut surface of Formosan, Darjeeling,
gen micha, gen micha,
assam, honeybush,
gen micha gen micha
I love the spreading warmth, my lady grey,
head back, laughing, spout pouring away
splashing
from pot to cup to open mouth
Caffeine tingling across your singing body:
somewhere a kettle boils uncontrollably
-a whistle screams, releasing steam
as you lap up milk,
with honey, with ginger
with jasmine,
darjeeling assam
gen micha gen micha
rooibos, formosan, iron buddha
gen micha, honeybush, cammomile
orange pe-koe orange pe koh!

And I love it, I LOVE IT, I love it
when you talk tea


later
Smiling
into empty cups
stained with tannin
and soggy leaves,
you seize me and turn me upside down.
You spin me,
tap me 3 times.
and stare
into the shiningwide saucers of my grateful eyes
and with gypsy wisdom
and incantation
you tell me exactly where the future lies.

And I love it when you do.

26th May 2002 - JT

Cheese'n'chalk

Leaving you to sleep
I knew just what seemed right
so bearing love and chalks for you
I set out to annotate the night

With red chalk I
stretched on toes as far i might reach
and I scored a plimsol line to mark the height
my heart leaps each
time I see you.
Walking more I dusted the invisible cords
that drag me back to your front door
with blue chalk dust.
And the winds blew that chalk dust
into blue clouds that settled just around your doorstep
I annotated them with blues lyrics and blues melodies
and a sketch of Ella Fitzgerald singing the blues
- her chalky eyes looking
almost as beautiful as you.

I paced out how far it was between now and the next time i'd see you
and I wrote rhymes and IOU's in green chalk
under every paving stone where I thought you might walk
While I owed you more beautiful poems than these
I reckoned that, like the princess and the pea,
you would be able to detect my green words
even under stone and concrete
It was an exercise in playfulness.
I hoped your passing feet would be
tickled
by my chalk and cheesiness.

I took my chalks to all the local bars I knew.
and chalked up on the menus a cocktail to the memory of you
with a dash of lime
and a sliver of your smile
and a sweet cherry
I instructed all the barstuff to
serve them and be merry..
And when all the punters drank it
they took to the street dancing, laughing, trailing chalks
in mad designs, all down the roads and the sidewalks -
scribbling the night into one bright jackson pollock piece..
I framed it ,
I wrote you name in the corner
and sold it to a former lover of yours who
like me knew nothing warmer than the thought of your smile.
He and I took what chalks were left and by and by we spent a while
writing a list all over the night sky of your best qualities
right through until dawn broke all rosy and golden
and we could not decide which was more beautiful to behold then
- the start of a new day or the list of you?

And I took my last piece of pure white chalk and wrote
everything I had left to say as the morning broke
giving way to clouds whiter than my sentiments and then grey
and then the rain came
and then the rain came...

and then the rain came
and by the time you woke
it had washed every last sentence away...

jt 10/4/03

Big.

I'm a big guy
I got big arms
I got big legs
I got a big stomach
I got a big head
I got big eyes staring right at you
I have big thoughts
I wear big shoes
I got a big body in every single part
one of these days I'll have a big heart
to express my big feelings
with my big tongue
cos I've got big news to share -
it weighs a thousand tonnes.
I'm going big places
I have big ideas
I have a big picture view
and it gives me big fears
about our big human family
that I feel a big part
I see big problems coming
we gotta make a big start
I see a big urgency
I see a big emergency
I've got big power
but I got big indeterminancy
And I got a big feeling
that we're in big trouble
We gotta make big moves
We gotta make them on the double.
I'm using my big voice in a big way
I've got a big group of friends
who have this to say
We're in a
- big fucking mess -
thanks to big government
and big business
and big fat cats
from big banks with big loans
for big cars, big weapons
big dams, big homes
big schemes fuelled by big greed
big investment by big TNC's
big tobacco, big oil
big farmers, big pharma
They're making big holes
in our big funky karma
with big promises and big visions
that are big piles of bull-
-shit listen isn't it
clear that small is beautiful??
isn't it obvious that local is wonderful??

hasn't it yet been impressed upon you by folk tales
late night chats, propaganda and junkmail
from oxfam, friends of the earth and new internationalist
to undo all these big problem is really very simple its
just a matter of inverting it all
its just a matter of retreating to the very small..
its just a matter of celebrating the parochial
crossing out global and replacing it with local
kicking out leaders and replacing them the with folk who'll
quite happily make organic jam and not pass the village bounds
be a pillar of the community and focus on the town
who'll rediscover civic activism as happy as you like
throw away the car and get back on their bike
a small bike preferably
a foldaway bike
locked in the small cupboards
of their small energy effficient
cosy homes
furnished with beautiful small pieces
of art with small details
by small craftsmen
from small countries
sold in small fair trade shops
for small profits
to support small NGO's
running small projects
such as small hydro
and microcredit
for small scale farmers
on small plots of land
do ya get it?
And I'm not just talking about EF schumacher
I'm talking about a whole shift in culture
flipping our desires
from the large sized to the regular
but now we're getting wired
its heading to molecular
we got small start ups
making small claims
on small bits of genes and atoms and tissues in your brain
we got atomic force microscopes
arranging atoms one by one
we're building DNA and viruses into small smart guns and weapons
We've got mini nukes, and mini discs
and micro mechanical systems
we've got microwaves and mobile phones
GM food and nanocrystals
We got sensors in a speck of dust
and cameras on a cockroach
robots cloning forests
spider genes expressed in goats
we build motors from bacteria
write in molecules and lasers
real art is disappointing
but equations can amaze us
as fractals pull us deeper
into worlds forever smaller

You think bigs a problem?
well I want to call ya out on small

I wanna point out that its not all
about protecting the little people from the big people in the wings
increasingly its just about protecting people from the non-people things
from the machines and the systems and the corporations
run by algorithims, legal codes and differential equations
that cannot differentiate social value from the fiscal bottom line
that seeks to measuring and control every part of life and time
that seeks to take words like forever and wilderness and endless
cut them in to pieces leave them digitised and gutless
Its when we got frightened of the large and we tried to make things small
when we enclosed our open world thats when things begin to fall
cut the praries into fences and cattle into herds
music into notes and language into words
vision into pixels, knowledge into facts
making factions and fractions and now thats
the model for our fractured destination
our digitised and disembodied disunited nations
and if we are gonna fight back we're gonna have to smash the divisions
Walt whitman said it best, yes walt whitman surely knew:
he said:
"Do I contradict myself? so I contradict my self!
I am large. I contain multitudes!"

And I am also large
I've got large feet, large stomach, large hair, large shoes
I've got large hopes and i'm reaching for the larger view
I'm gonna live it large and contain larger multitudes
I'm gonna range large distances, I'm gonna feel large pain
I'm gonna love larger than life, I'm gonna catch all the rain
on my large surface and then all the sun and i will stretch and become one with the sky , continuos with the seas
larger and more real until we out evolve these
whirring mistakes of our frightened techno-nests
by being human
by being loving
and by showing largesse.

jt 20.4.03

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