Monday, February 22, 2016

Five Poems By Grant Tarbard

Grant Tarbard is the former editor of The Screech Owl, co-founder of Resurgant Press, a reviewer and on Three Drops From A Cauldron’s staff. He has worked as a journalist, a contributor to magazines, an interviewer and a proof reader.

His first chapbook 'Yellow Wolf’ was published by WK Press and his first full collection published by Lapwing are out now and a collection published by Platypus Press will be available later in the year.

With a Sea I Pour

My heart is a weapon, a chrysalis 
enclosing her hand that grows with creeper
and berries in autumn’s cloud which kisses
spring in salvos of June, a scent of her.
My head is a nest chock full of whicker 
spectres that bellow in baritone with stretched  
gum that rounds the equator’s grey whisker,
on the back streets other side I am etched.
My lungs are a spinning plate that smashes 
into ash, fag ends stubbed out on the floor.
The old blood congeals to sawdust, gnashes
ankles of fair girls kept in a drawer.
My kidneys are sailors drifting from shore 
in a paper boat with a sea I pour.

Mosaic of Rooms

Dissolve the ceiling away
to beneath, a mosaic of rooms
which make the imagery
of the underneath.
Mounting the stairs,
descend the banister, 
capture the soft notes of the sofa.

Your twisting scent is nailed 
to this stage play of cinder,
melting the witch of concrete,
subjacent to the loam of grubs,
drifting down to Poseidon of the sewers.
The absence of silence here
is photographed in stages,

run the scenes without music;
this world is imagined 
and creeps fully realised 
into my blush mouth.
My wheeze rattles against tea candle holders
in the costume ball of cushions,
lost packages and old British coins,

as empty as the pocket they fell from,
upon the lunatic needle poke of carpet.

Kidd the Revenant

I gathered free men for old coin, 
a wink of skeletons for crew 
who would have sheared their beards 
for the tarnished gold underneath their flesh.
A crooked geography gathered in the nooks
and crannies of my coat, wary of sea monsters. 
Our ship was as black as rum and cordial, 
a funnel of storms smashing through the gates 
of Saint Peter. We could have out ran the Devil.
How many ghosts have these battered timbers held?
Bruised fig corpses with baggy breeches 
that held an ocean up each leg, beholden
with the dandelion Moon that blew
into the superstitious stars.

If I slowed 
the crows would have picked my carcass clean.

White Witch

Pale boy
between fur coats,
wire hangar for a spine.
She offers plump Turkish Delight
and sleep.


The gauze 
ties around me,
the tissue of my leg
feels the loose milky fibres fasten
to blood.

The blood
flows from the stem
of my jackrabbit pith.
I see Death in his pale coat, he 
counts thumps.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Roo Bardookie You're the One

Roo Bardookie

The God Spoon

Now I am going to drink coffee, and if you don’t mind will you indulge me and let me tell you about the man that drank some Coors in 6th grade, and just finished up on Thursday with some dark beers from Whole Foods?  I passed out some good cheeses, some good for you jalapeno chips, and poured the dark beers for my “friends” at the DHTC. 

I drank from 1976-2015.  Wait a minute, I thought that was when I was a championship tennis player.  40 years it was winning in singles and doubles, mixed and teams, medals and trophies, gold ball I gave to mom, silver and a gumball machine I gave to my friend’s kid.

No you stupid bastard, it was 40 years of drinking.  And what else did you spoon on?  Cigarettes, cigars, chew tobacco, marijuana, hash, speed, crank, cocaine, LSD, mushrooms, Everclear, vodka, valium, ecstasy, Jagermeister, wine, and tequila.  How about some liqueurs?

But, you helped kids.  You coached.  You taught.  You mentored.  You got them jobs, you taught them how to succeed, you gave away your trophies.

You went to church, you raised a daughter, you never forgot the family, you prayed, you got degrees, you got certified to teach and coach, you married and took care of old folks and special needs kids, and animals.

I think I wore a mask, so that you could not see the monster me, the real me.  The wormy eyed, black soul thing, that lurked just behind the mask of volunteers, the mask of giving, the mask of caring, the mask of sharing, the mask of do-gooder, of hero, of healer, wheeler-dealer, standing at the edge about to jump.  Have faith, have faith my friend.

Now, I am going to drink coffee, eat my wife’s vegan meals, exercise and talk to God again.  Without my mask.  And by the way, I am going to do these role modeling things, these hero things, these leader things, differently.  How so?

I took off my mask.  And The Who asked, “Can you see the real me?  Can you? Can You?  Can you see the real me?”

I cut the string, and threw the mask away today.

The Escort & Jihane Mossalim 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Innovative Poetry By Clive Gresswell

Clive Gresswell is an innovative poet working from Luton in Bedfordshire, England. He used to be a journalist but he doesn't do that anymore having gone to university after being made redundant to follow his creative writing and poetry. He is a regular member of a group of poets who meet monthly in London known as Writers Forum (New Series) and is also proud to be a friend of Victor Clevenger.

exchange, derange, alter, view, war, eclipse, savage, hunter, declare, debase, soundbite, victory,  cities, scramble, preamble, negotiate, negate, invert, insert, envelop, castigate, bomb, converse, convert, christianity, white, pleasure, measure, disenfranchised, defenestration, border, disorder, reorder, recorder, justice, plagued, ink, dripped, mind, tricked, oil, define, bounced, cheque, reflect, cause, effect, damage, huddle, hospitals, disabled, demanded, confined, warped, memory, history, troops, grounded, surround, embolden, headlines, blush, sympathisers, marginal, statue, salute, converge, emerge, regroup, parliamentarian, spoke, rope, pulled, trigger, detonate, encapsulate, adverb, noun, riot, applause, paranoid, propaganda, enemy, eyes, lobby, territory, educate, brainwash, denote, remote, demote, class, diamond, penetrate, steel, factory, arm, torso, sell, slaves, home, migrate, punctuate, disengage, starve, network, rework, mix, remix, integrate, infiltrate, papers, photographs, stars, kill, butcher, suture, graph, ignite, chemical, blister, wound, rewind,  interrogate, state, monopolise, chill, sunrise, draw, redraw, dress, redress, balanced, maps, outline, determine, nation, proclaim, withdraw, encapsulate, isolate, boundaries, language, bleed, violence, predetermine, pronoun, identity, split, spit, shit, tone, rephrase, geography, granite, gesticulate, anger, pain, puke, book, wisdom, dispute, torture, hitler, dream, market, remake, outline, derive, prescribe, multiply, manufacture, distract, discipline, disciple, copy, paste, viewpoint, alert, compare, write, customize, euthanasia, break, apart, simplistic, annihilation, animation, clinical, appropriate,

ignite imperfections of lines in collapsed                                city of music
& where corpses sang the dead-pan (OK then) chorus
hobnailed defective meanings –
we half-expected you he said compliant with/radio
of course he was asked to leave
thrown against the hearse                                                               slumped drunk into a taxi
or it could have equally been
a completely different morning
no-one gives a shit apart from death-ray sparrows
kenneth goldsmith as pure concept
& birds torn
society is drowning in ever-increasing nouns may or may not be a thing
bricked up flats
was his being ever established apart from the slight lisp
& the remnants of his ear
bloody & gouged us risky fellows
licking at burning language

he told me black was your colour
but the day after  newspapers wrote ‘black is not a colour.’
my tongue gargled paint –spiting venom – ah  godhead fountains again

he unfurls his = unfamiliar
tense & retrograde slim-volumes
drew                                                                          +++  yesterday’s

familiar representations
his tooth bites down on a shit society

laps of gods
launched amid his own mythology
& when they walked into this bar

an irony of secretly unemployed
festers in its absurd representations
hunger & thirst: the vowels

howling dark winds chastity
the recording loops

his trail of shit
crawls across
piano keys

death disquiet
temper heads raised/conquest
he leaves the room tip-toes
on gorillas

lines on his face echo
a disturbing
monograph culled

inside dreams
continue revolting instruments
the eurovision


+ song contest
bland appetite for
flailing words

a paper bag of jarring rhythms
flesh the bleed-shot ear
outside this hotel

motorways dissect

that’s reality of urban landscapes
for you
a kind of truth in this vile dust

in the vestibule

he tremors in sunshine
walks with a plastic limp
rays of rain/shards glass

temptress’s tall buildings
squat across muddy maps
enticing bodily fluid


poster-paint iniquity +  load his gun
= streamlines his outrage

it’s a knitting pattern
pearl one, stitch 2,

In the buttercup field is it true they pull out your eyes……..

delve, shelf, require, desire, burst, open, door, jar, squeeze, disease, sick, ill, pill, swill, pig, fig, cops, distrust, belly, fluff,  motion, notion, notation, explanation, write, comb, bald, truth, black, white, stripe, strip, search, broad, church, hail, exhale, morning, mail, letter, better, fatter, slimmer, glimmer, harmonize, lies, cauterize,  burn, yearn, live, learn, present, past, future, tense, sensory, implication, extermination, cultural, exchange, european, lean, mean, esteem, enhance, trance, hypnotize, galvanise, party, ties, jealous, eyes, sink, low, pink, glow, mud, bath, joy, laugh, trial, beguile, judge, jury, shot, fury, swear, wear, wig, ligature, literature, dark, smart, replace, headline, news, views, abuse, refuse, redefine, his, mine, yours, daughter, ritual, slaughter, hand, made, old maid, displayed, disintegrate, united, states, big, guns, atomic, kittens, leopard, mittens, misprint, print, section, election, electron, erection, statue, glue, social, hostelry, gathering, smothering, smooth, riot, gear, fear, gas, masks, set, tasks, equation, exclusion, lowest, set, re-let, relent, compensate, state, educate, delineate,  order, border, disorder, chaos, supermarket, flow, real, slow, pitch, control, invade, home, tv, audio, visual, chorus, metamorphosis, columbo, mumbo-jumbo, nonsense, sentence, context, reflex, reflect, subject, object, index

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Poems and Photography By David J. Thompson

It Would Be Like Poetry

Watcha reading? he asks.
I look down from  my porch
to the sidewalk. It’s the old guy
who lives down the street.
He always wears a Tigers cap,
lives, I think, with his daughter
and her family down the street.
Oh, I say and hold up the book.
It’s a biography of an English writer
named Rupert Brooke. He cocked
his head, put his hands on his hips.
Yeah, he said slowly, grinning, nodding.
I heard of him. His granddaughter was a whore
in Papaeete. She had pictures of him
all over her room. Good looking guy.
I fucked her once. Everybody on ship said
it would be like poetry. I guess it was a joke.
I didn’t think she was that great.
He shook his head, put his hands
in his pockets. Take it easy, he said,
gotta get home for dinner, and walked away.
I think he started to whistle.

"Hominy" photograph by David J. Thompson

The Silence She Left Me

In the weeks before she moved out for good,
we were fighting about everything – bills,
housework, families- even Ike and Tina Turner.
I said that Ike was the real genius behind them,
she said that he was nothing without Tina’s talent.
And besides, she’d yell from another room,
Ike was a real dickhead. He used to beat Tina up.
I’d mute the ballgame I was watching and say
real loud, No wonder. Do you think Tina was easy
to live with all those years? That always shut her up.
She’d turn the vacuum or the dishwasher back on,
and I’d go back to watching football.

All I found was a short note saying she’d had enough
of my bullshit, not to try to call her anytime soon.
I loosened my tie, started wondering right out loud why
the hell that crazy bitch would ever leave me while
I took the last Pabst from the fridge. I sagged my way back
to the table, kept on asking the empty kitchen if I was
really some kind of abusive asshole like Ike Turner
until I realized all my beer was gone, and the silence
she left me was the answer I couldn’t stand to hear.

"Bulldog" photograph by David J. Thompson

The Top Of The Ride

I can’t believe how friggin’ early it gets dark now,
one of the guys said as they walked out of the plant
into the gray parking lot. Goddamn cold, too,
one of them added as they separated toward their cars.
Take it easy, man, they said, or More OT next week,
and waved stiff-armed good-byes, heads bent
against the wind. He got in his little Toyota truck,
started it up, and rubbed his gloves for a few seconds
in front of the steering wheel as if that would help.
He turned on a Springsteen tape, and told himself,
even if it was Friday night and he was tired as hell,
positively no beer till he got all the way home.

He bought a 6 pack of Miller Lite on sale and a bag
of Doritos at the gas station that overlooked the river.
He didn’t hesitate to pop one open before he was out
of the parking lot, took a long swallow, then another.
He finished it about halfway across the bridge, just
when the heat finally started to kick in.  He started
to sing along with Springsteen’s Tunnel of Love,
wondered how far down below the Hudson was,
what it would be like in the truck - suspended, whirling -
before it crashed into the ice, and reached for another beer.

Stopped at the light across from the county fairgrounds,
he pulled another can from the ring. He looked out
into the darkness, fresh beer at his lips, thought about
riding the ferris wheel there with his high school girlfriend,
a month after they graduated - her hair, her smile, tanned legs –
and the taste of Juicy Fruit gum while kissing her at the top
of the ride while passengers were loaded until the car lurched
and started to descend. He put his forehead against the cool window,
closed his eyes, heard her laughter spinning in the summer night.

As he pulled away through the intersection, he remembered how
she stopped answering his phone calls in October when she went
away to college, and then he got the letter that said she needed
some space, hoped they would always be friends. He speeded up
when he hit the four-lane highway, wondered where she might be
these days. Last he heard she was divorced and living with a cop
and his kids down near Boca Raton. Nice fucking space, he said
to himself as he groped around on the passenger seat for the bag
of chips. God damnit. Where is it?  he asked aloud, but it had fallen
to the floor, somewhere down there in the dark just out of his reach.

"Read More" photograph by David J. Thompson

Monday, February 15, 2016

Outlaw Poetry By Victor Clevenger

Victor Clevenger spends his days in a Madhouse and his nights writing poetry and short stories from the kitchen table of his ex-wife's home.  His latest collection is titled, In All These Naked Pictures Of Us.  Selected pieces of his work have appeared in print or online in, Chiron Review; The Beatnik Cowboy; Eleventh Transmission; Crab Fat Literature; NEAT; Dead Snakes; Blink Ink; and coming soon to Poetry Pacific; Your One Phone Call; BAD ACID LABORATORIES, INC.; and the Poems-For-All project. Victor’s work has also appeared in anthologies published by Lady Chaos Press.

It Sounds Worse Than It Really Is
There are times
that I stumble
backwards from
her might, and
there are times
that I get
a real good feel
of her tits—
right palm / left nipple
left palm / right nipple,
and nothing has
changed; the
pushes still come
to shoves, but they
are never hard
enough to
completely ruin
love—just hard
enough to make
a good fuck-night
impossible when
we are sober.

The Day Before My 35th Birthday
The Red Sea inside of me is bottled in
Modesto; it rolls over each morning as the
bottoms of my feet hit the stained cut pile.
God is catching a catnap under the couch
cushions.  I peel bananas for three-year-old
children and try to shake her awake.
My lips are substitutes for fingertips in all
of my dreams.  The first pot of coffee is
never strong enough, the second pot of coffee
is always stronger, but I’m bored with coffee
by that point.  I drink beer.  There is a jewel
inside the stomach of my desire.
Wake up, God, they are gonna riot soon, but
I’m sure you already knew that, right? . . . and a
machine gun in my sister’s hands may be my
ultimate demise, but things can only get better
from here . . .  I'm never certain though, just
human, and intrigued by the possibilities. 

In the pauses, I sat with
rolled tobacco, lit and
burning much quicker
than the lead was dulling
and disappearing.   
A pencil in my hand. 
A cock in my hand.
Possession.  I dropped one,
the cock; it was mine. 
I ran my wet lips softly
across the rolling hills, and then
down to the valleys that my
knuckles and the spaces between
them made; it looked just like I
was kissing myself, but I was not. 
I was not that tough. I knew a
man though that was tough and
kissed himself for comfort—
kissed himself from his fingertips
all the way up into his armpits.
The women loved him for it,
and he always got the good
drinks for entertaining (from the
wives, the sister,
the cousins, the daughters).
On the nights when the women
were not around, he took a few
good fists in the back alley
(from the husbands, the brothers,
the cousins, the fathers)
for being such a strange fuck,
but the fists never broke him
like they did most other men in
the back alley. 
He would just stumble back
inside, wipe the blood away with
a napkin, and then lick his lips before
kissing himself again. He never
once kissed himself with dry lips.
I took a last slow puff from the
butt and dropped it into a cup of
water. It sunk to the bottom and I
picked my cock up again,
shook it a bit more,
and then dropped it once again—
all for good measure, I suppose.

$4.99 Books from the Dollar General
One Night Stands and Lost Weekends
I finished the story
Frozen Stiff
by Lawrence Block and
started reading
Hate Goes Courting
when she asked me,
"If you could rename the seasons, would you?"
"I don't know?" I told her,
"It's possible. I might."
She sat quiet as I finished
Hate Goes Courting
and as I turned the page to begin reading
I Don't Fool Around
she looked over my shoulder. 
She smelled like a city sidewalk after a 
like wet dirt
and pulpy paper. 
I closed the book.
"Why did you do that?" she asked and I told her,
"I think I fuck better when the roses are blooming 
outside. The blood flows to my balls better."
Her cat meowed at my feet
and somewhere at that same moment in this city,
I'm sure,
someone has just finished
I Don't Fool Around
and turned the page to
Just Window Shopping.

There was
left showing in my terror,
or in
My hands were stained with
he said, and the Integrated Automated Fingerprint 
Identification System 
can’t trace the chance impression
on the pipe bomb kisses
are so
passionate that the lips swallow lips and the front teeth 
crash, clank, clangor.
Your women must be thoroughly pleased I told him
you talk
like you got goals.
Myself, I just
get pussy when
I can
There isn’t much explosion, or intrigue,
I mean
unless you count the
occasional squish, or squash, or the one time
I had a
fart and
laugh, because she thought it jiggled my testicles.
I don’t mess with women anymore
he said as he sat my lunch plate on a napkin
I’m a Domestic Love Terrorist
there are fourteen other men
in our secret cell—
in an underground
bedroom plotting attacks on what remains of traditionalism.
Do you wanna come to the next meeting?
How do you know I’m not a fat cop, undercover and
trying to pump you for information, I asked him.
He smiled. Oh well
he said,
gay sex isn’t a crime these days, Sir.
And, he forgot to put the sour pickles
on the side of the steaming
hot plate like I had asked him to, but it was ok.
that I could over-look it all.

Join the Kokomo Oralists Outsider Poetry Slam team

A Letter to the Editor
You are full of shit.  Your brain is a swollen sac; a spider’s nest.  You poke that fat finger inside of your ear and wiggle it around with a squint-eyed smirk like you have just stuck your finger between the mid-morning spread-open thighs of a woman who doesn’t fear her asshole being rubbed.  I don't like you much.  I blame it on your infested head most days, but anyway, are you still accepting poems?  If so, here are three more poems that I wrote last night after supper, before I got drunk and shaved the hair off of my balls.  I shaved it in the bathtub and it only took about ten minutes.  I got the idea from Michelle.  I shave her legs with caution and strawberry shampoo; she trusts me with the blade, even near her cunt. We finger fuck in the shower and then soon afterwards I scramble eggs with what’s left of a hard-on before I kiss her off to work.  She leaves and I take a short nap, then I clean up the pieces of fallen eggshell from the floor around eleven o’clock before pouring myself a drink and sitting down to write. I usually don’t write much in the daytime, I just waste the day watching this city snarl through the living room windows.  I can see Sixth Street from here and it’s a rough strip of hardball; the punks and pussies stroll it doing stick-ups.   Well, I hope you enjoy the poems that I sent and I’m sorry for not liking you much.  It’s just that I don’t like many editors, but I respect them and I guess in a way that means I respect you too.  We have to exist together somehow. 
Sheboygan Syllablists poetry slam team
Hard-Boiled Eggs Again
She called one evening at dinnertime to tell me that she 
was laying on a bed in a hotel room in Oklahoma. “Jesus Christ, 
that is like six, or seven hours away,” I told her. 
“I had some things to take care of," she told me—she was 
slightly younger than I was, and had rib bones along her 
stomach that I could feel with my lips. 
My stomach was bloated, and she had never attempted to 
kiss my sides when we had spent nights together in hotel 
rooms much closer than Oklahoma.
"Are you alone?" I asked her.  “Yes,” she replied.  “Are 
you drinking?” she asked me.  (I was always drinking and 
she knew this)  "I wish you were here with me,” she said.
"In Oklahoma?" I asked her.  "Yes, in Oklahoma,” she 
laughed.  "Shit. I have work tomorrow," I told her.  "They 
have nice showers down here,” she said.  "Do they?" 
"Oh yes,” she replied, “I am going to play with my pussy in 
there tonight."  "Sounds pleasant, two fingers?" "Oh yes, 
two fingers," she laughed again. 
"I cut one of my fingers on a knife today,” I told her.  "Oh, 
sweetie,” she stopped laughing and asked, “Did it bleed 
much?”  "It bled; it stained me red like I had smashed a fat
bed bug between my fingertips, but it is fine now,” I told 
her.  "I'm bored,” she said.  "I'm hungry," I replied.  "Is it 
dinner time yet?" she asked. 
"Yes, I'm going to eat something,” I told her, “Call me back 
later."  "I will call you back tomorrow,” she said, “It is 
supposed to be eighty-degrees here tomorrow.  I'm going to
wear a dress."  "Okay,” I told her; we hung up the phones, 
and I finished the beer that I was drinking when she called.  
I walked over to the cooled boiling pot, reached in and
pulled out a hard-boiled egg.  I peeled it and sat down at the 
table with another beer.  She only owned black dresses.  I 
opened the beer up and sat there thinking about how lucky 

Oklahoma was.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Outlaw Poetry By Paul Tristram

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography
published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids
instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight; this too may pass, yet.
Buy his books ‘Scribblings Of A Madman’ (Lit Fest Press)
‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at
And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope
You can also read his poems and stories here!

Party Gone Bad

I was walking out of Neath General Hospital,
one cold, wet miserable Saturday night,
with a busted right hand and fractured cheekbone
from fighting some other drunken arsehole in town.
When an ambulance screeched to a halt in front of me
and they wheeled out a woman on a stretcher
who had both hands up tentatively touching at her face,
which was covered and running with blood
over a complexion which resembled chopped liver.
She was screaming “I can’t see a fucking thing?
She glassed me in the face, this is a nightmare!
Why won’t someone please tell me what I look like?”
I turned and walked away as they wheeled her inside
with her friend who was walking silently beside her.

© Paul Tristram 2015

I’m A Lover And A Fighter

“I’m a Lover and a Fighter!”
she said, half-cut and smiling
through the smoke of a Marlboro Red.
Wearing brass knuckles 
with kisses stamped into them
upon her scuffed and bloodied fingers,
where lesser mortals balance under
engagement and wedding rings.
“I’d go 5 rounds with you, no problemo 
but then there’d be nothing solid
left to fuck afterwards!” she winked, wickedly.
“You’re both erotic and unsettling
at exactly the same time!” I stated, fascinated.
As she mouth-opened two more beer bottles
and slid one over to me whilst slipping 
the Barmaid her number with the tip.
“Go buy some rubbers and grab your coat
you’ve pulled…you lucky Bastard!”
She said with a cock-sure growl
as she finished off both our bourbons.
I smiled and to my own amazement
I got up and did exactly as I was told.

© Paul Tristram 2015

Sleazy Low-Life, Gutter Street Punk

She had scraped those letters painfully
into her own 17 year old forehead
with a ‘I Dig Drunk Chicks’ pin badge,
after first shaving herself a Mohawk. 
Then walked to the pretty Church
where her older, respectable Sister was 
getting Married…they never forgave her.
Now, she’s 49 years old and lives alone
with her 2 cats ‘Flotsam & Jetsam’ 
in an old peoples Council bungalow.
Stuck often to a kidney dialysis machine,
has part brain damage from a decade
of glue sniffing, which has also left her
almost blind and taken away completely
her sense of smell and she migraines always.
Her Carer comes at 10 and then again at 5
and she is not looking forward to Christmas.

© Paul Tristram 2015

Meat Cleaver Decision

“I left the house party around 1.30am,
I was absolutely tamping.
He was necking Tania,
everyone knows how much I like her,
she’s not my girl, never has been.
She’s never led me on in that way at all,
only ever been friendly
but all the same, you know?
Him, well, I’ve hated him since school,
always had girlfriends 
whilst most of us others went without.
good looking, sickeningly interesting
and cool (Whatever the hell that is?)
I did the right thing at first,
stormed back to my bedsit,
layed down and chain-smoked 5 cigarettes.
But I was climbing the walls in torture,
wide awake and brutally naked and exposed
upon the wrong side of God.
I went to the kitchen and picked up
the heftiest knife almost without thinking. 
Sprinted the 3 streets in a blur,
thinking over and over in my screaming head
‘Make a cunt out of me will you?
I’ll show you who’s the cunt, cunt!’
I burst in the front door
and found him dancing in the living room.
I hit him exactly 7 times in his beautiful face, 
I had to hold him up after the first 2.
The last blow finished him off
and at the exact moment that it happened
everything changed, I went deaf to all
but a eerie mocking laughter coming from within.
My anger vanished immediately, 
along with every nice part of me that had ever existed, 
it was like finding your soul suddenly burgled.
And I knew emphatically 
that I had made the biggest mistake of my life
and that all the sorrys  and prayers 
in the world were never going to fix what I had done!”

© Paul Tristram 2015

Short Sharp Shock (Detention Centre)

My mate Skin came out of Husk D.C.
back in the late 1980’s.
I met him in the shelters
of Castle Gardens in Swansea,
to share a flagon and a catch up.
He was fit as a fiddle
after 3 months of physical circuits,
he stopped smiling and gave me a warning.

“One of the top Screws up there
is waiting on you coming in,
he’s got something special planned for you.
Claims that when you were running
with ‘The Melyn Bootboys’
his son was in ‘The Cimla Casuals’
And the two of you 
had a cricket bat disagreement,
which left him in traction for six weeks,
during that infamous Gnoll Gate Gang Riot.
That’s all he ever talks about, man,
I’m serious, he’s a-gunning for ya
and he’s a right Bastard and all!”

“Fuck him and his son!” 
I spat, cocky as ever.

A year later I was in a prison bus
pulling into Husk D.C.
dropping off prisoners 
on my way to the more notorious,
higher category,, Portland Borstal.
I looked through the window
and found the Screw
with the grey handlebar moustache
and waved two fingers as we pulled off,
he couldn’t touch me,
I was someone else’s fucking prisoner.

© Paul Tristram 2015

That’s Not The End Of The World You Can Hear,
It’s Just The Sound Of The Tristram’s ‘Kicking Back Drunk’

“Jesus Christ, was that a shotgun I just heard then?
It’s 2am and this is the 3rd night in a cowing row now,
I’ll be on valium at this rate, I swear to God, I will.
My poor John’s got work at 6am in the morning,
I keep hearing and seeing police and ambulances
but this horrible drunken debauchery is still going on, 
what’s that all about, eh, why can’t they stop them, Dai?”

“I know, Phyllis, one of the Fathers came out of prison
a few days ago and apparently it’s the only time 
that all of the males in the family have been out together 
at the very same time in over 2 decades or more.
The police keep telling them to keep the racket down
but they don’t, so they’re pulling out the most drunken 
aggressive ones, taking them to the station for an 8 hour 
sober up, then letting them go with cautions and warnings.
If they go in heavy-handed they’ll need the riot squad, 
there’s about 50 of them in there all together and being fair
the only violence that’s being caused is what they’re doing 
to each other, the only complaint really is the noise issue!”

“But that Christmas party they had a couple of years ago
went on until nearly May. They were throwing axes 
around in the back garden as the school kids came home
this afternoon and Stan at No. 43 said he saw 2 prostitute
looking rough skanks squatting down and peeing
in the middle of the street last night as he put the cat out,
it’s a disgrace, I need a bath just looking up the street!”

“I know, that’s why I’m out here smoking my Woodbines,
you never know what you might see and it’s much better
than watching TV, that’s for sure, it’s like Beirut out yuh!”

© Paul Tristram 2015