I want to share a poem my sister wrote. She’s the woman who inspired my poem Mother of Squalor. With all its bizarre grammar and madness it is the truest thing thing I’ve read in awhile, with her in mind, and her permission, hobo



im a hobo a hobo and im doing it solo

ive got boxes and boxes and holes in my shoes

im homeless but that dont mean im gonna lose

im here alive this isnt a life that you just chose


my den is my haven its under a bridge

u dont need money to feel this rich

im happy and peacful full of dreams

i just wish i had a can of beans


ive got rats there multiplying

and i cant take no more

there chewing holes in my carboard home

oh i wish they would leave me alone


my carboard den is unreal such a frill

the joys of building a mobile home

its so much fun an i have no bills

its small and cold and i love being alone


at nightime i sit in the window of shops

begging and begging for a pound in my box

but these little bastards always bring me something hot

but all i want is a tenner to bye some pot


i love getting high smoking pot

it chills me out and helps me sleep

helps the pain when the rats chew my feet

theyve had two toes already they think im a piece of meat


ive set up traps with my boxes

but them little rats are smart

i even tryed to get them eaten by foxes

but the fox didnt wanna take part


if only the people who look down at me

would give me a pound so i can buy rat killer

to kill these pests so i can rest happily

but fuck it thats life such a shame i dont have a knife


im a hobo im a hobo and im happy this way

it sounds like hell but its all i need

im gonna go busking now see if i can get someone to pay

to get some pot and brighten my day



The Drinker’s Fallacy

Pub where Poet John Berryman (C) is talking to other customers. (Photo by Terrence Spencer/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

I might need to apologise in the morning, but…


Is this a poem? –


I stood in my kitchen staring at the floor,

so many gatherings happened here,

and now I am hungry

and the kitchen is empty.


Or just a sentence that has fallen down a stair case? Splitting a sentence up over several lines does not make a poem.

The above is original but it is an example of a lot of stuff that is out there at the moment. It is why I have failed to enjoy poetry when I have tried. I have, for some unknown reason to myself (as I am a novelist at heart), started writing the stuff. I don’t think poetry needs to sit in the romantic teenage angst corner of the literary world, but it is hard for the stoic amongst us to find our way in. I love words, and I think poetry is well suited to them, but the above is just a pointless cop-out.

There is a satisfying cadence to the English language that can be showcased with poetry. Breaking up sentences and pretending it is art is an insult to that. Write better.




The Beaten Ream

Roald Dahl qoute

Enter Solitude

Stare into its face

Scream into its abyss


Grab your pen

Tear through the paper

Force ink into existence


Rake out your heart

There lies nothingness

Dying to bleed out and be


Your mind churns

Scraping against your skull

Cough and sweat those words


Piss into the glass

Whisky is your remedy

You hollow tired hack of a writer


Better is the world you view

You can’t see it from the inside

Solitude provides the high ground


Walk Between the Rain (a short Haiku story)


A man in a coat

Poured whisky into a glass

Trapped in by the rain


The bar was crowded

All around him people talked

Hunched over his drink


He glanced to his right

The rain pounded the window

He refilled his drink


The barman knew him

He lets him keep the bottle

Only when it rains


The rain keeps him in

So he drowns himself in booze

The sun dries him out


The rain keeps, he stands

Leaves fifteen quid and a tip

Walks between the rain

New to Haiku


And now; a haiku

Five syllables, seven, five

The rules are simple


I need a subject

So I can give this haiku

Some needed substance


Haiku’s stand alone

Three pithy lines and no more

But I like stories


Good, I think that’s it

Haiku’s are pretty easy

I am a turtle


And now I’ve had a practice I’ll turn my hand to the dark and horrid world my writing normally inhabits – Walk Between the Rain (a short Haiku story)

Expunging Life


Here comes the awful thing.

It was stuck, but now it’s free.

Trapped in the silk.


The paper colony, wasted

A city of would-be men

In a crumpled page


Flush the city of worms

The tadpole manly things

Searching the U-bend


No eggs in there my friends

Death to the millions

That could be anything


Except people. Or much else.

Charlie Hillman


Charlie Hillman set off one day

He had nothing but a song and his own good name

He had no money, no house and no car

Just a road and an old guitar


His feet was saw now and the road was long

Three more steps and the sun was gone

He stood alone on an empty road

Nowhere to sleep and the night was cold


But Charlie was determined and wise and sure

He camped in the doorway of a local store

He slept while his fingers strummed a riff

It was a song about strife and defeating the rich


The sun was up now and Charlie was gone

A man silhouette against the heat of the sun

A one way journey to deliver his song

For in his jacket was concealed a gun


And in an office not far away

A meeting of suits was underway

“The profits are up now by 6 percent,

And we only had to fire thirty men”


The men they laughed and smoked cigars

They had nice suits and brand new cars

But in worn out shoes, not far away

Was a man who had nothing but something to say


Charlie arrived at the big HQ

The building was tall and it ruined the view

The receptionist said, “Hey, who are you?”

And Charlie said, “Nobody, just some dude.”


“Could you help me out, miss, where’s the lift?

I got some urgent business.”

She said, “I’m sorry, sir, you’re not booked in.”

He said, “Well, listen, you better call their next of kin”


On the top floor executive lounge

Men in suits just hung around

They seemed to be finding something quite funny

They’re pockets were full with piles of money


And there stood Charlie Hillman

He said, “I’ve come to kill you, you starved my children.”

“But before I do,” he said kinda sly,

“I’ll play you a song, it should explain why.”

Mother of Squalor

Mother of Squalor

She tipped her hat against the wind and squinted through the rain

Her life was a novella of pulp in a moonlit motion picture of class

Her high heels kicked through puddles that reflected street lights

The book in her bag was damp from intruding weather


Her coat held closed, her umbrella shielded her lipstick from the thunder

The lightning flashed, silhouetting her shadow against the passing cars

A busker stood against a wall emptying water from his guitar

A bottle of wine stood safe on her kitchen counter


The coke in her bag gave a clue to her hurried trot through the streets

The dwindling spring in her mind was racing to indulge some more

Men in pubs behind her spread rumours about her allure

Her legs were food for their hormonal hunger


At last she arrived home and discarded her twisted umbrella in the garden

She fished for her keys with dripping hands and unlocked the front door

Inside she fell against the wall and stumbled into her lounge

She paid the babysitter and put on a record


She carved out her last lines on an old record sleeve. It was a Bob Dylan vinyl

She laid back on her couch and fumbled with her backie to roll a cigarette

With no money left she used a straw to snort the last particles of white

She kicked off her shoes and pulled off her dress


Sprawled naked in the bath she let the hot shower rinse off her soiled elegance

A wine glass toiled between her fingers. She hummed a half remembered tune

She had the sense of mind to towel before she crawled to bed

She slept for an hour before her daughter cried her awake.


The Prince of the Skunks


Withered and wicked was the prince of the skunks

God damn his reputation in the pubs of the drunks

They knew him locally as the holder of the bar

His legend ran deeper than the depth of his scars

For which he had many


On the stage at the piano he pressed his keys

One by one, black and white, a fucked-up melody

Bewildered and confused, he was the minor freak

He used every musical quip to defend his sheep

For which he had none


Hat covering his eyes, stage light shielding nothing

Lyrics full of lies causing lips taught from bluffing

His life was far weirder than his fingers could say

But not one man could know what he loved or why

And neither could he


He sings to old whores, broken strings, and beaten lyrics

No shoes, the mad artist spoke in vitriolic polemics

People in the pub followed the movement of his jaws

But had no idea what a fucking vitriolic polemic was

Not one word


He coughed and laughed in the face of the gods

Beer in his veins and static in is heart

The breakdown of reason

Where are my shoes?

What is this mess?


An Art: the Rules of Which are Ambiguous and Hard to Dispute.


This is a poem.

Don”t believe me?

Prove it.


That’s the whole poem. Clever isn’t it? (he said sardonically). I was just going to upload the picture and that’s it but it didn’t seem like enough, so now I’m writing more words. Do you see them? Wow, that was a metaphysical  question. Can you see these words? You wouldn’t know a question was being posed if you couldn’t could you? The question answers itself simply by the act of being asked. But, well… Poems.

I even wrote the poem again right after the picture just in case you didn’t realise that was the whole blog post. But now there’s too many words and I’m not sure how to stop because I have nothing to actually say. I’ll tell you what, this poem stuff is pretty fun isn’t it? I haven’t shared any of them on facebook so none of my friends or family know I’ve written any (I think I would get lynched at the pub if anyone found out I was doing something so unmanly).

What I really need is friends that read. Or have some sort of interest in culture or art. I’m on my own out here. With my dirty rotten soul.

Anyway, while you’re down here, getting distracted by my bullshit;

This is a poem.

Don’t believe me?

Prove it.