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CONTENT VOL 2
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy to be sent out to you free of charge.
Greek Street Tragedy
She’s down on her luck
She’s weighed down and played
She’s the most twisted, warped record
That’s ever been DJ’d
She’s got quilts, pillow
But somehow her bed just wasn’t made
Living in 70s, Mud, Sweet, Bay City Rollers
Now she’s just Slade
Rudolph in a mess, one dancer in her vicious vicinity
Don’t 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 dhe’s 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 it’s a while till I meet Mr. Dastardly Death
I believe introductions are made just after last breath
Only then you find out if you’re doing the lagging or working the cellar
But I’m a last twat me, not working for any fellar
Or if you can’t wait to find out go and see a fortune teller
Because there wasn’t a job for me, I’m a boy from the white stuff
Never liked the work clothes me, I prefer the buff
Coz this attire still doesn’t stop sting from my nettle of notoriety
I wonder if and when it will come when I succumb to society
My thoughts, my life’s ups and downs, all encapsulated in a box
Written into history are the happy times, but more so the times my life’s hit the rocks
My life stood still, staring looking at the time, waiting for ticks and tocks
When I read it over again I don’t know whether I should be hit with stix or put in stox
The dangerous places when you think he’d have gone off the rails till someone then on the blocks
You see I’m 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, I’m on a diet, away with your cheating chocs
I didn’t get anywhere with my old way of thinking
Now I just use Spock’s.
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
It’s 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 you’re 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
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
I’m 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 it’s 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. That’s 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.. It’s 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.
It’s 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 it’s 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 I’ll 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 I’ve 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. They’re angry deep down, and they’ll 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. It’s 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 I’m 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 bag’s 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 I’ll get it into basic shape. Then I’ll leave it for a week, just look at it now and again, and finish off the fine work on the others.
I don’t 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. It’s funny, but until about a month ago I’d 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 I’d 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. It’s on Sophie’s mantelpiece. She put a candle behind it. She’s probably sitting looking at it now, a heart glowing red in a dark room.
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