John G. Hall
Manchester UK born
Editor of Citizen32 (Launching October 2004)
Writes plays, short story and poetry, Political activist 1979-90,
Member of the South Manchester Poetry Group during the 70's.
Regular reader at 'The Why Not Pub"-Liverpool during the 80's.
Attended Lancaster University, Reading Social History, in the 90's.
Poetic influence William Blake and Robert Creeley.
Now writing a Sc-fi novel called "The Drowning fish".
My silver screen full of your shadows
my touching merely the touch of keys
my plastic locket unfolded carefully
my light blinked under the grey Atlantic
my secret Morse tapped to Baltimore
my replies mixed with breakfast & porn
my language falling silently a continent away
my words burning black on the white shore
my cheap after shave is drifting inside your room
my sea shell is listening to your words blow me blue
my chalk dust pressed under your loose strings
my Mingus still calm before the storm.
Your conspiracy was kindness
your riot was laughter ,
your act of terror unselfish
your illusions shattered ,
your coffin lined with tenderness
your passions massacred,
your heart stitched battle-dress
your disguise that did not flatter,
your schemes a summer days adventure
your journeys in tatters,
your cherub love by Michelangelo
your cursed nerve by Alexander,
your life built in spite of spite
your conspiracy was kindness.
The blue of ink is penned & paper shredded
my work dust coded & perfumed by the sticky
syrup left in coke-cans, the moon is mid night
mind making for home feeling along my rope
hand over hand pulling in the swaddling sheets
waking lost by its waiting for sleeps exhaustion
dark victory laps the hours achieving nothing
but the shiny white bead of me rolled in cotton.
The hiss inside my head persists inwards
towards the hollow eardrum driving madness
outward as if a gagged nightingale lay choked,
the world observing meaning in its silence.
The fears beneath my feet take the steps
from my journeys, a thousand miles of loss.
While inside the map the ink refills the compass
fingers stained blue on the warnings of rocks.
Last night I drank to one too many pretty women.
Last night I fed on a feast of friends.
This morning my mind is filled with lip-stick
and my memory is fat from remembering,
that the world can be piss stained and glorious
at the same time as the kind earth's head
be black-bagged and hung with hempen rope
like a black American found guilty of being poor.
Last night I kicked a door down to get to you.
Last night I picked you up so easily.
This morning you stink my room out,
an editors corpse drunk dry and returned,
the words downed by one shot.
Where can a poet go now but out into the streets?
Petrol bomb poured, zip lighter cocked
flame flickering, the wick cool and blue
like the soul inside a burning monk.
Today you poured out one too few drinks.
Today you starved on a famine of loves.
This evening your heart is empty of kisses
and your dreams are thin from forgetting
that the moon can be fog bound and mysterious
at the same time as the cruel seas open and wide.
Be white winged and free on the soft warm blows,
like an African pearl asleep in the black tide.
Today you rapped on my mind like a top ten.
Today you picked me up so slowly.
This evening you scent my hiding place,
A writers thirst sobered up and hidden,
the words found by your eyes.
Where can a poet be now but inside the moment?
Double whiskey singular, ice cubes floating
heat haze rising, the liquid red and black
like the bonfire of our love letters in Autumn.
Tomorrow I will fill up one too many places.
Tomorrow I will gorge on a banquet of hates.
In this future my mind is full of faces
and my regrets are stuffed from promises.
That the sun will forever burn towards it's end,
at the same time as the kind earth opens it's hands.
Be black coal spinning in the hard cold of space,
like an American soldier at peace in a white desert.
Tomorrow you will calm me down like King Cole.
Tomorrow you will put me down so hard, that evening
you will leave me losing everything, a writer's secrets
made obvious, the words written by your listens.
Where can a poet be then but outside futurity ?
Cards dog eared, hot thoughts gambled
cold dice rolled, my falling cuts left bleeding here,
like the snakeskin of your devil hanging on my bedpost.
Some words are placed for audience
the gravestone , the eviction notice.
The competition winning anthology
of prescription , recipe and warning.
Some words are placed for effect
the 'fuck you' tattoo, the Oxfam badge.
The affirmation of self-deluded nihilism
of manifesto, ego and sex less sex.
Some words are placed for safe-keeping
the priests forgiveness, the cops note-book.
The forgotten slip of the souls tongue
of loose lips , oaths and public prisons.
Some words are placed for pain
the gun manual, the lovers guide.
The powerful squeeze of male fingers
of triggers , truth's and nervous kisses.
Some words are placed for minding
the boy abused, the woman raped
The unfurling terror of king & queen
of chains , soft whispers and hard fists.
Some words are placed in secret
the damp earth , the poets grave.
The poet's poem the ground disturbed
by letters, paper and the shovel of words .
My mother brings my fathers god to him
in a small leather bag every Sunday morning.
God travels the road snagged in her pocket
smuggled passed betting shop & doctors office.
He travels through streets holy incognito
freshly cooked, dreaming of tasty souls
grace wriggling amongst her shopping.
A last meal served by a mother to some
other mothers son, a-ring-a-roses of Pietas.
God undressed, a white poppy rolled in flour
is eaten unseasoned by snaked tongues, power
and glory, going going gone! She turns the sack
inside out in case a piece of Jesus has hung back,
then tucks gods carrion bag in her top draw along
with her sympathy cards & the comfort of crumbs.
The dancing cat fell, Mars making
soft tracks in space, while my hand
unclasped from you. Shadows of
lovers shaped across black
by yellow light, while my love made
rabbit legs behind my back.Pistol songs
banged from the jukebox, pierced tongues
bite for bite. But the safety of freedom
flops, cigarettes burn, electric shocks,
heaven deeper than submarines can drop,
while hell closed for freezing over, we floated out
into the cool Manchester blues of night. Mars
left floating cold, a sodden cat in a city cut.
Mingus' music waited in the strings'
jump, dust sat down and prayed
for fingers, thumbs and hits.
Loose gone tight , tight gone loose
blue loops gave him the notes to play
wrapped around him like girls hips.
Dots like lost continents amongst the waves
drops of black and white paying dues to Africa,
Jesus! Even billy-clubs in the darkness worshiped.
After the booze the jazzed rage slid along
the hallelujah ropes , angel licking his soul ,
devil clipping his wings, man shining-up his shoes.Yet
the sounds sat it out , patiently waiting like death
until the storm before the calm poured down his gift,
Mingus music weighted in the string's.