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Content is a collection of poetry and short stories from The Spider Project in Liverpool. Here is a sample of some of the content of Content. You can pick up a free copy at News From Nowhere on Bold St, Liverpool or email phil@spiderproject.org for a copy to be sent out to you free of charge.



Damien Kelly


Greek Street Tragedy


Shes down on her luck

Shes weighed down and played

Shes the most twisted, warped record

Thats ever been DJd

Shes got quilts, pillow

But somehow her bed just wasnt made

Living in 70s, Mud, Sweet, Bay City Rollers

Now shes just Slade 

Rudolph in a mess, one dancer in her vicious vicinity

Dont you dare doubt her diva like divinity

Cached in her catacomb of her crank like credibility

So she relays the performance with astute hostility

Avert your mucky gaze for dhes carefree and clean

When the music stops, back to debilitated and obscene

On her own and from the world she wants to wean

Free that girl, answer her scream

Dig a grave for the dancing has been.



Ode To An Abode


You clipped my wings, you were my antisocial security

You bedded me in well, designating me to the denizens of obscurity

Hung, still-born and slaughtered and impaled upon impurity

As long as I was with you, you became my unsure surety

You witnessed such nights, scenes of wild abandon and utter debauchery

When daylight came you morphed into my mausoleum, my bricks and mortuary.



Boy From The White Stuff


I hope its a while till I meet Mr. Dastardly Death

I believe introductions are made just after last breath

Only then you find out if youre doing the lagging or working the cellar

But Im a last twat me, not working for any fellar

Or if you cant wait to find out go and see a fortune teller

Because there wasnt a job for me, Im a boy from the white stuff

Never liked the work clothes me, I prefer the buff

Coz this attire still doesnt stop sting from my nettle of notoriety

I wonder if and when it will come when I succumb to society





My thoughts, my lifes ups and downs, all encapsulated in a box

Written into history are the happy times, but more so the times my lifes hit the rocks

My life stood still, staring looking at the time, waiting for ticks and tocks

When I read it over again I dont know whether I should be hit with stix or put in stox

The dangerous places when you think hed have gone off the rails till someone then on the blocks

You see Im a fully paid up member and traguated from the school of hard knocks

Iron out the kinks and creases with my own brand of Botox

Fuck off Ginger, Im on a diet, away with your cheating chocs

I didnt get anywhere with my old way of thinking

Now I just use Spocks.


Becky Ryan


Dancefloor Current


Shaking, twitching, fidgeting hands

Electricity running through

Short-circuiting from consciousness

Trying to tap some sanity on face


But the Morse code is misunderstood

And the May Day call is lost

The brain has stopped to function

And the soul and smiled confused


Its gonna take a time bomb

Or a miracle for sure

To intercept this current

That surged from a dancefloor


It began with a bright spark

And a bow-wrapped gift

That drained the life force from you

Replaced it with the twitch


The dance continues without music

In this freakyish, comforting tap

That reminds you youre still thinking

Each time you repeat the route


The faster the thought keep running

Do your fingers tap their beat

Unaware of the movement

Just the internal mantra relief


I pray for peace to find you

And the charge inside is diffused inside

The jerkiness to leave you

And the shady dancefloor current to subside



Ruth Dillon


Hope St

My brains don't fit inside my head
my thoughts stick out like nails

And if I were religious
 I'd swear jesus was in jail

Imprisoned with the blind man
for reading him the psalms

And a man still stands on hope st
 waiting for the pains to leave his arms

An embezzler stands right next to him
trying to outshine with psycho charm

Wooing with his tales of greed
with a nonchalent alarm

And trying to distract said man
 is another dressed in blue

An eyebrow sprawled across his eyes
and a nose that splits in two

A fiddler stands across the street
tossing notes into the air

And a plague of upright citizens
 try rudely not to stare

While pain and wit and cunning guile preside upon Hope st
One question I shall leave with you,
where do your ethics and morals meet?

Do you take them out each day
and pay with them lip service?

or pin them to your sunday suit
for the fashion victim type of airing,

Or do you live right by your words
where actions are the proof

Or do you steal another's thoughts
yet swear that it's your truth

And as you leave this place today
could you grant that man a smile

And recognise the pain within
 as he is a friend of mine 




Adrian Bailey




Im sitting on a bench hunched up against the wind and the sharp rain. Through the slits in my eyelids the shore, the sea, the sky make one thick black horizon.  The wind eases and I sip the coffee I got from the van. Behind me the sky is perfect blue, and over my head its a foam of white and grey and  bruise coloured cloud. Apart from a few lonely vehicles in the carpark, I have the place to myself. Thats how I like it.

       The sky is huge and the earth is flat. there are cranes and docks and ships, and a promenade and  icecream vans. Just behind me the wind is whistling through the antenna of the Coastguard Station. Crosby. 993. Falling. Moderate. Gales later.  Wind and light. The sun spears through the oily clouds now and then, and the mudflats glisten, a pool of sea is illuminates. The sculptor, Gormley, pulls the crowds though not this stormy November day. His life-sized iron statues, 150 of them over two miles of foreshore, iron men cast from his own body.  The wind and light wrap them in change, and the sea covers them, they are rusting and barnacled, colonised by lichen and seaweeds, covered in grafitti or clothes people have added; my favourite was the one bound in blue rope. Never the same,  never still, always another place.. Its no place.

       So, easy to be no mind. My head, statue head, no skull, no place, wind and rain blowing through, darkness and splinters of light. Squawks of gulls, white pulses of life, held stationary by a wall of wind then, released, and swooping together in wheeling parabola against the black sky, trailing random screeches and squeals, sound shapes of rise and fall,  waves swelling and  dying upon the shore.

       Its here in me, this no place: the summer crowds, the fishermen, the young bucks from the estates, the children, the old folk in their cars looking seaward lonely, the runners and cyclists, prams, photographers, strollers, wheelchairs, dogs, kite fliers, teenagers drinking in the dunes, lovers, loners;  here too my own summers and winters all here now in the wind and the rain and the shifting light, in this no place, no time. I can take a straight line to a memory, of course,  walk the time straight as a promenade, flood into wet pleasure times or howl in stormy sorrow times, but its kind of restful, like now, being no place, no time, blowing about.


       Still, I have things to do. The horizon has pink in the darkness, and there is some sun on my face as I walk, into the wind, north along the rocky beach. The rock is rubble, dumped here to fight the erosion. Land which was here a century ago is now a couple of hundred metres away beneath the water. So it goes.

       The shore is covered with debris from the land. Old rusted cars, hundreds of plastic bottles, rubbish, junk, eerily a doll with staring eyes and turning seaweed green. Stuff dumped here, hundreds of black plastic binbags full of whatever. Maybe body parts. There have been bodies washed up here, and last month a foot still in a training shoe. All sorts washed in on the tide, barrels, bits of lifeboats, hypodermics, crates, bouys, strands  and coils of orange or blue rope, trees from up the coast, trees from America, bloated sheep, and once I found a wooden leg. Rubber contraceptives are like a colony of anaemic jellyfish, from sea and land, as if they have been spilled from the sky. Flotsam from the sea meets rubbish from the land, and sea and land are dissolving into each other, and I walk through this in between place, a place which is not a place and not a time because it is strewn with so many times, walk through it in a straight line.

       I spend a couple of hours collecting. Absorbed totally in the task, time has no meaning. I find maybe fifty smallish pieces, and when my backpack is too heavy to collect more, I turn away from the beach. Most of it will end up in the heap at the back of the shed, but Ill select maybe three or four to work on. Some of the wood has already been smoothed by the sea. One piece, a curve of bow from a boat is already machined.

       The train back is full, and apart from the schoolkids who are lively and full of energy, most of the other passengers look like they are carrying news of some terrible disaster. It always hits me like this, when Ive been in my own space for a while, seeing the normal gloom of normal people.  A lot of them look like they are on their way to get revenge for some great crime against them. Theyre angry deep down, and theyll never get revenge for what has happened to them. But I soon turn away and look out the window as the sun, now golden, sinks low and floods the dockland and highrises and box houses among the wastelands and stumps of history. As the train bends towards the tunnel, there is a sudden view of the new buildings, the glossy office blocks and apartments,  testimonies to the eternal order of glittering power rising from the silt and dregs of devoured lives.

       I  get off after half an hour, and there is enough light left in the woods by the station to come across a beautiful piece of wind-torn tree, just lying on the path, one better than anything I gathered earlier, and though it is large, I carry it with me. Its like it was waiting for me to find it, and bring out its hidden shape. The depression I had in the tube of people pulled along tracks to where they began  lifts, and Im unaware of the chipshops and off-licences, convenience stores and suntan salons I pass, walking home, already working.

       Straight to the shed, I dump the whole of the bags contents onto the pile at the back. Maybe in a month or two I will look through the pile and find some to work on, and throw most of it away. But the one new piece, I leave on the table. There are some things nearly finished, a couple just waiting for a final coat of varnish, but I know that I will give all my time to this one new piece. Tomorrow, I will chisel away the rough notches and knots, then using a finer chisel Ill get it into basic shape. Then Ill leave it for a week, just look at it now and again, and finish off the fine work on the others.

       I dont know how, but  leaving it and just looking at it occasionally, rather than thinking hard, always seems to work. The shape it wants to be has nothing to do with me. My hands are guided.

       In the house, I have a bath, then settle down with a drink. There is just the small table lamp on, and sleet is slapping against the windows. I feel good. Its funny, but until about a month ago Id gone a year without touching any of it. I got back into it when I was given a piece of red glass shaped a bit like a heart. A piece of seaglass, smoothed by the tides, picked from the same place Id been today. I had found the wood that wanted the heart in the local park. When I finished it was about nine inches tall, and I drilled out a space to insert the heart,  and mounted it on a base. Its on Sophies mantelpiece. She put a candle behind it. Shes probably sitting looking at it now,  a heart glowing red in a dark room.






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