Saturday, December 29, 2018

--because of Paul C├ęzanne 
Well earthed 
the paintings tossed into the orchard 
wind sharp as branches, 
dust and mold drunk on oils, 
thick leaves exhaust their greens, 
sometimes fruit expires  
and then one afternoon, 
the artist returns, 
harvests her work, 
scarred and colorful, 
wind injured and wonderful, 
takes them inside, 
fills empty stomachs. 

Walk through the palace of no return, 
spread a thread across the sphere, 
break one rule everyday
and open the gate to the kingdom 
of hail and large stones. 
Early Monday 
blue air blue ice blue wind 
time enough to avoid the mob scene of shadow.
Grass lifts its face to the sun 
Can gladness be murder? What is fun? 
A force to wind. A rush to run.
White haired stalks of winter grass:

Michael H. Brownstein

Monday, December 17, 2018

faced with a choice
i'm old enough now
to know the end is
much closer than i
want to believe
that one of these
days the breaths
will be harder to
the alcohol won't
go down as smoothly
and i'll be faced
with a choice
take my own life
or let time take me
with it
considering the pain
i feel now and i'm
only in my early
there won't be much
of a choice at all
suicide will be
my last attempt
at finding mercy
in this cruel world
disposable souls
stuck in a world
full of disposable
i can always
look back and
say if
fuck if
my life is at the
point where if
needs a little
more fucking
now, imagine
if the world
thought the
same thing
when the drugs stop working
i often wonder what
my mother will do
when the drugs stop
i see her now and then
looking over at my bar
i tell her to go ahead
and take the pills
with vodka
there's no way it's
going to get worse
besides, if you drink
the pain takes care
of itself
threatened me with a good time and a better tomorrow

i remember all 
my lovers like 
it was yesterday

the ones in it 
for the money

the ones who 
would only fuck 
in the dark

the ones who 
liked to laugh

the ones who 
wanted to run
away with me

the one who 
probably would
have made the 
best wife

the one who 
became unbelievably
sexy when listening 
to prince

of course, she's 
into women now

the one who would 
dance in my poems 
and always bring me 
a sense of warmth
and acceptance

the one that promised 
an affair and then moved 
a couple thousand miles 

the one who promised to 
murder me in my sleep

all of them have threatened 
me with a good time and 
a better tomorrow

all of them found something 
better before ever giving me 
the chance or second chance 
or in one rare one, a third 

so be it

the next one is going to 
be the luckiest woman 
silence and impending doom
lonely man on a lake
just his thoughts
silence and
impending doom
no family still around
same with friends
he visits more graves
in a week than bars
he constantly wonders
why he keeps hanging
he feels a tug on the
fishing line
another little one
he'll sit for hours
catching next to
no ambition to find
a better lake
with better fish
and something other
than a gravel road
my plan of apathy
i voted for
the first time
since god
knows when
this year
it has become
quite obvious
that my plan
of apathy just
wasn't fucking
so now, i guess
it's time to fuck
it all up from
J.J. Campbell

So here it is, a moment I thought would
Never come around, sitting here now
Trying to express how it feels to have
Finally reached this milestone, with who
Knows how many more to come. 

That first night I sat at home, drank beer
& Smoked weed just like tonight really, I
Struggled on in, words long lost by now,
And wrote, just for the pleasure of seeing
New words on a bit of paper.

Tonight though I sit here writing this,
Ever come to this?  I guess its down to
All the drink that's been drunk as well
As all the smoke that's been smoked.


Life often revolves around the routine
Or at least this one does but of late
Mine has been thrown all of a flummox
As I often sit here waiting...

Waiting for another damn nano-blast
From the smoke alarm out of reach
Attached to my high ceiling leaving me

Is it my actual smoke?  If so, how come
Just like now I've smoked one in here
In the last ten hours and that was nearly
An hour ago now...

Is it just another test as it goes off again
Another test sent for me to conquer
In this life of mine or does it mean
The damn thing is dying?

But that would bring about another damn
Philosophical question to difficult
For this sleep deprived brain of mine
To deal with

Since I began writing these words it's
Gone off four times and I don't know
What to do except hope another large
Mug of wine and a final joint will help

Cos right now I need it, a good one
Restful nights sleep but what chance
Is there of that if I got a blast coming
Every so often, seemingly whenever it wants...


I sit at home, alone
Free at last from the dreaded infernal beep
And now the only thing to distract me
Well, tonight at any rate,
Is the radio droning on
And on, bad news coming from everywhere.
The world is going to end it screams
Whether it be through some false diplomacy
From across the pond, which as the nukes
Are launched will be greeted with cries
Of ‘fake news’, or the idea that soon we
Will all be homeless as we lose
Control of this planet due to seismic
Climate changes.
Even when I switch over to sports radio
The bad news keeps coming back and
It really feels like the end of the world.
Millwall are losing, yet again, and right
Now I pray for a drunken Donald to
Live his dream, press the button and put
Me out of my misery!

Fortunately, things in life of late, have
Been not too bad, the week since I
Reclaimed this room from the dreaded
Infernal beep I’ve slept and drank and
Read and smoked in between those times
I had to be at work and those, still
Hoping it remains as such for all my time
To come, have pass in a dream of unforgettable
Ease in the friendliest retail environment
I’ve ever had to experience.

But just now news comes through of an
Equaliser, an early second-half penalty,
So maybe it ain’t all lost, not tonight
Anyway as this fickle football fan
Turns his thoughts to possible positive


Today has passed in a flurry of words
As the muse returns; my brain lucid at last
To frame these words into a new verse.

This here being today’s number eight;
An incredible day for the creative self
That’s been locked away for three weeks now.

Tomorrow may bring more or it could
Mean a nice long walk, maybe if the sun
Shines a stroll taken down the coast, I guess
I’ll have to wait and see.


The nights of this last week have gone in the blink of an eye
As, at last, sleep comes easily and with comfort as at last I've
Moved on and gone and landed myself a futon mattress; a lovely
Comforting beauty that I get to lie on for hours at end.

Sleep comes easily now and can last, it can really last
As, at last, I remember my very favourite place where I
Can spend hours and not wake feeling like death
Here in the confines of my lovely wonderful bed.

Before this beauty arrived I was forced to sleep on a
Flimsy pale excuse of a sofabed that made my back
Ache like the old man I now hope of becoming, it
Got so bad that I'd walk pass one of the homeless masses

Out there on our streets and some of them would have
Better, more comforting, places that they could sleep
Than I could back here in my room.   But now, well I've
At last found peace and would like to thank whoever it
Was that invented the futon and generous friends.


With Willie Nelson playing a song
And a fresh mug of wine poured
I get around to rolling and with that
There is nothing left to say
Except 'good night'...

But maybe not just yet as the rolling
Is still to be done and it still ain't 1
And the alarm ain't gone off for a while
So maybe we'll see if this'll turn into
Another of those eight poem nights.
 Bradford Middleton

For a majority of his time,
from early on he’d known
institutions, children’s
homes, youth detention
centres, prisons,
temporary hostels but one
time he rented his own
pad and he kept it
exquisitely beautiful,
he also dealt drugs and
protection; the paintings
that adorned his walls
captured me first
glance: bright, alive,
moving portraits of
landscapes and
people: ‘I painted
them’ he told me;
‘I painted them in
prison’ he said:
a gangster that had
smashed several faces
with a knuckle-duster,
shattered knee-caps
and supplying misery
in cellophane wraps
and now he sits
motionless in a chair,
talking gibberish and
doesn’t know what
fucking day it is,
has no awareness or
memory of his
childhood, friends
or lovers,
completely robbed
of the vicious images of
the pain and suffering
he caused for so many.

                                             THE LONGEST ROUTE
I took the longest,
the hardest and
toughest route
and that’s what I
write about:
it wasn’t a
deliberated decision
to take the bumpy
road, that shit
just happened,
there was no fate,
dream or plan
with anything
at all: nothing I
was reaching for,
I threw myself into
what was there in
front of me and
found other worlds
and places within
them, most of them
brutal and
harrowing, self-
explosive and
ignorant and I came
to love,
to love them all
and that’s what I
write about.

                                             LISTEN, SPEAK, LISTEN
Learn to listen,
learn to speak,
and then,
learn to listen again,
most stop
at the 2nd lesson.

I’d hustled my way into a
college trip to London:
although we weren’t
lovers, Stephanie and I
were very close and
wanted to be lovers:
we were in Covent
Garden when I saw him,
6ft, wearing a crumpled
black suit and eye-liner,
holding a sheaf of stapled
pamphlets of poetry
titled ‘Beauty and the
‘Poetry for sale’! he
cried out in a north
american accent:
I approached and
asked how much:
through a booze breath
‘Whatever you can give’
said Matthew H Lares,
selling his life on the
streets, hip beatnik
poetry: I admired his
presence and kept his
zeal and inspiration
and his pamphlet but
Stephanie has gone from
my life, another tale
beauty and the beast.

‘Shall we mark this one down as
a future success’ I said to my
colleague as we drove away:
‘Fuck!, he was like ‘Wolverine’
fingernails and toenails like
talons, he could never put on
a pair of gloves or shoes’ I
he was 6ft, overweight, late
30’s, long thin black hair
with strands dyed pink, blue
and green, a long thin scraggly
beard, unwashed for weeks,
kills his time 24/7 watching
t.v. on his parents sofa: no
motivation or interest in
life: never known romance
or friendship, a virgin
for shit-sure, never worked,
never drank, smoked or
swallowed, never taken
any kind of responsibility
for life’s needs, completely
dependent on mummy
and daddy for his every
‘Have you seen the movie,
‘Papillon’ I asked my
colleague : ‘No’ she
replied: I briefly outlined
the film, before, ‘Steve McQueen
becomes feverishly ill, he’s
hallucinating: he’s staggering
through a desert when
suddenly, before him, are 12
wig wearing judges sat
behind a semi circle of desks
and they collectively point
their fingers at McQueen
and simultaneously announce
that he is ‘Guilty of a
wasted life’: McQueen nods
his head, that asshole we’ve
just seen would nod his head’
she nodded her head and
smiled and then asked ‘Shall
I drop you at the liquor store?’
I nodded my head.

John D Robinson

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