Friday, November 18, 2016


Walking home last night and I caught the eye
The sad tortured look of a man beaten by life
Desperate to escape, sell up and get out of town
The man who runs the place I used to go in order to forget
Now it looks like all he wants is to just forget everything himself
The women, the patrons and their massive bar tabs including mine
That will remain unpaid until he has gone because then, and only then,
Can I return to the place I used to love
Because now, well, I just can’t return; it’s just been too long
And the fact I have developed a thing for his ex doesn’t bode too well
The ex who left him and caused his mind to unravel
Followed very soon by his sorry excuse for a boozer
When will he go?  I just don’t know but I hope it’s soon as then, I hope
Everything will return to normal and her mood will better and
Maybe I can grow up and tell her those words desperate to be spoken.


When she ain’t here I just sit and write
Missing her lovely body, her beautiful mind
All the fun we’ve had so far and hopefully
All the time we’ve got ahead as this feels
Like something I thought was dead
Because when we talk I just can’t believe
That from such disparate positions
How our lives have crossed similar paths
The mad years of the drug fuelled craziness
Have mainly come and gone because now
Well it’s just a bit of weed and a bottle of decent red
And we’re chatting about stuff I can’t with
Anyone else and the thought returns that
Maybe, after all these years, this could be real
This could be the one I’ve been waiting for...


I sit here stoned on a Friday night
And as usual no one has called but for once
I’m just grateful to be left in peace
As this week has been testing and hard
In all the wrong ways as flat adventures went awry
And the possibility of living in Hove
Came and went in the blink of an eye


It was just another night deep in the heart of addiction and I was out of my mind
Drunk, stoned but out on the town
Almost all my money had gone to the bar but unfortunately I still wanted more
So I stood up and staggered out, sad that my time in the house of fun had ended before I’d obliterated all my brain cells
On the way home I decided to stop off and get a couple of bottles from the nearby convenience
And I stumbled in and told the man behind the desk what I wanted
The cheapest, the strongest beer I could afford but this time, shocked I was when he said NO
I was aghast as this place is open all night long and often sells to people who drink out on the street
And I’d never heard any tales of them refusing to serve anyone
But eventually I made it home and fell into my bed
The next morning exploded in a blaze of a raging hangover as I ran to my sink to get the night out of my system
I went back to bed as my head really ached and my stomach threw shapes that made me feel queasy
Later that day I managed to claw my way out and back out on the street
And the first thing I did was go back to that shop, the place of my embarrassment, and thank the guy for refusing to sell me any more
As the hangover finally began to subside and life slowly returned to its stoned-out normal state


I never thought this day would come around again
The day when I began writing imaginary letters of resignations
Because the job I have I can no longer handle
I hate it, I hate it, I hate it
Do you get my point or do you need me to say it again?
I hate it pure and simple

The other week, you know the one when I almost died
And then dragged my half-dead arse back to my check-out
Not sure what would happen because, put simply, I was a mess
Cleaning up my act after all these years and glad
Only to discover that come payday, that most joyous of days
We no longer get sick pay for the first three days

I had barely left my house during those days, lying in bed
Feeling closer to death than I ever have
And now, with rent going up and the short-fall in my pay
Well, my boss tells me, there ain’t nothing we can do
So what you’re saying is basically I’m screwed and not in a good way
If I had splurged like I did in the old days I’d be homeless right now

And then what would they have done?
Let me sleep in the locker room after I get evicted for non-payment of my rent
Which those three days pay could have prevented but hey they would say
You are easily replaced as there are thousands in this town desperate to work
With no safety net and no benefits and barely enough money to pay for anything except rent
Which this month ain’t even going to be covered because, put simply, this country is totally and utterly fucked!


There are some people who crave the suburban life and with age I think I see their point
But for me it’d be about the privacy and a place to think rather than a white-picket fence utopian dream
Just enough space to spread out all my stuff that’s been clogging up my flat and my mind for so long now
Right now though I’d take one I could simply afford but on my job the pay ain’t great
And the suburban landlords don’t really like those of us who have to claim help in order to pay them
So what should I do? Well it looks like I got to stay here or get a new job or just fuck off back to London
The poorest areas there are even worse than living here and what’s more they cost so much, way more than here

Suburban living costs a lot and that ain’t something I really got much of
To save a deposit and find a good one in time are a virtual impossibility
So life right now is all about staying in and trying to keep my account climbing up
Or is it just a reflection of my boredom of this town, having nothing to do with saving?
I simply don’t know; if this town bores me what would life be like in suburbia, could it be even worse?

At least out there I’d get some peace away from the kids on a party weekend.

Bradford Middleton

Monday, November 7, 2016

Capitalism Rampant
Simple questions should require
simple answers from government,
but are mostly obfuscated
by elected officials
who dance the dance of politics,
as they shelter the wealthy
from economic mistakes
the public always pays for.

Crushing corporate failures
cost the nation jobs and homes,
yet rewarded those who caused collapse
who were quick to abandon
the faltering ship
with golden parachutes.

As lending institutions
lend too much to be repaid.
the makers of disaster
huddle on super-yachts,
ask congress to rescue them
and spare the punishment
for harm caused to the people,
while they still indulge
in extravagant pleasures.

Endangered Republic
Instead of proceeding
to a glorious future,
the republic of dreams
painfully faltered,
blindly confusing
the hope of control
of the turbulent world
in the constant confrontation
with stubborn resistance.
Mired in debt, foreign wars,
the threat of terror,
the loss of homes, jobs,
symptoms of decay
that could be arrested
by science and invention,
if we haven't lost the hunger
for rapacious achievement.

Degree of Difference
White collar crime
was never considered
worse than violent crime,
since injuries were unseen
and blood was not shed.
Yet economic harm
inflicted on the victims
by ambassadors of greed
has affected so many
and certainly requires
drastic punishment.

Torturous Tomorrows

Once when our country still made things
people believed in the future,
looking forward to tomorrow
and the rewards for their efforts.
Somehow our land went astray,
perhaps betrayed by the wealthy
who sent their capital abroad
in the quest for greater profits,
perhaps deceived by our leaders
who placed personal ambition
above the public well-being,
perhaps squandered by  our people
when we lost raw vitality
that once built opportunity.
The future will determine
whether we emerge from torpor,
or submerge in the second world.


A people may endure
long after their nation
loses its vitality,
but are forever changed.
Gone is enthusiasm,
urgency, anticipation,
hunger for accomplishment,
leaving a drab residue
of day to day existence,
diminished expectations,
a dreary struggle to survive
a desolate destiny
we fear will befall
our imperiled country.

Gary Beck/Blossoms Of Decay

Helpless I do not know if good intentions prevail among the elected, among the appointed, leaving me apprehensive that the fate ...