Acts of play




Known enemies of the state
were reported in acts of play
with two named as ‘mama’
and ‘papa.’

‘Mama’ and ‘papa’ expressed
positive reinforcement and
during said acts of play, they

A pre-emptive strike was deemed
necessary to degrade these soft
targets and stifle said acts
of play.

Said targets were serviced in
surgically precise strikes.
Collateral damage, friendly fire:

Said acts of play have ceased,
and the wellness potential of all
involved is zero. Operation play:

Barcelona #1




A guitar strumming sub-70s Stones.
Is a tune as sad in sandals and socks?

On cooking my first Catalan dish: “Peasant
food,” he said, chomping on McDonalds.

A guitar strumming in sandals and socks
Is a Happy Meal a sign of happiness?

His cats slipping off the air-con unit
into the neighbour’s garden once again.

A guitar string breaking, harsh muttered words.
Were the flea-ridden fleeing an ex-pat curse?

The Queen-ordained BBC, impartial
gardening, and all her true condiments.

A guitar strumming sub-70s Stones.
God save the Queen and all that malarkey.

Buds in jars, ciggie burns, wine-stained mugs,
well-thumbed papers in a leather satchel,

and a guitar strumming sub-70s Stones.

Jazz Club: Tubby Hayes

Originally posted on Century 121:

Dick Jones

The chunter of the bass,
a ruminant, chewing the
syllables over the heft
and shuffle of the drums.
A hi-hat sneeze, a pebble-
dash across the snare.
Eyes closed, strap-hanging
in rhythm like a passenger,
he nurses the tenor, cheek
nuzzled against the curve
of mouthpiece, waiting.

We huddle round the table,
heads swinging, on the nod
inside blue fumes. I see us
across the room – two
impasto vagabonds, skinny
chancers, callow, untried,
painted by Soutine, in blues
and blacks; two grotesques
trapped in a box of shadows.

And then there’s voltage.
First it’s the shock of a
clicking relay: a press-roll,
a rim-shot, a four-bar hiatus.
And then he’s bucking like
a great bull waking out of
a dream, his horn fighting
the thick air, spilling a
tumbling mess of wisdom,
blown out of light and
into the dark on a long
unfurling breath, the tale

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