Fake Jive

It's just a painting, it's just a song, 

wonderous plate, miraculous rag on

holding the promise of happiness high,

beauteous speck in a dilated eye,

O you draw yourself a little leaner

and you sing like somebody meaner than you are, don't you tiger

of paper? A many false windowed thing,

A kite in a lecturing wind

awaiting intellectual strike, cast the pens down in the dome tonight.

Have you read the poets lately?

They don't get a weekly, monthly, bi-annual,

Now you may cry but I doubt you will.


Ten years is all it took, ten years in thrall to a lickspittle crook,

now you don't know the crooked lay of the land,

you don't trust any man to shake your hand without

taking a thumb or a finger,

how the vilest scent will linger while the sweetest

pass away so swiftly.

On this patriot day sound the national band,

sweep the plain you sunburnt and bland,

And I'll pollute the perfect stanza for music

in a deft show of hubris unplanned,

Hitch a skiff with a dusky daughter,

sail down a river of grey water musics,

Keeping the drain alive with all this fake jive.


Life is a painting, life is a song, it holds the promise of happiness.

I could tell you where it goes wrong

as good as tell you why the longing long,

you the poor painter, average singer,

maybe you never went through the ringer enough,

or loved it so you came out wrung.

Like a cracked bell I continue to tell

the same sad tale and toll all my failures to hold any note

or I quaver and cast about for the bluest port

in a black and white storm,

O I've got lots of advice, never listen to any advice,

be a pole, hoist your own flaming petard,

and when you blow, blow hard.


Mephistopheles Perverted

(Or Goethe for the Times) - Kenneth Slessor, courtesy of the Slessor Estate

Once long ago there lived a Flea

Who kept such a fine, fat King,

Not that he held with royalty,

But the appearance of the thing,

And gave his Majesty to hold

(Such pageantries are far too few)

A sword of ruby-hilted gold

That might hack a cheese in two;

But lest this glory might begin

To prove the regency too far,

His thunderbolt they made of tin,

And changed his godship for another Star.

Thus when the Monarch drove abroad,

With stars like buttons round his chest, 

God-fearing Fleas would all applaud,

And grudging Lice be so impressed.

Such relics every Flea must flaunt,

If only as the final trump

That mocks Materialism's taunt,

There’s more to life than Suck and Jump 

Once long ago—but not so long—

A King went curing scrofula . . .

The chorus of this charming song,

is Ha, Ha, Ha. 


The Third Drink

The third man is a film revered

And a very well regarded scent

The third eye is a heavy heavy brow

On a Hindu cow in a worship tent

But the third drink

Is a prick in the universe

Anchor and balloon

Fierce flame and a cold spoon

A Guarded moment

At the change of guards 

Which ushers in the imp, and the whispers, and the weeping bards

(singing Two Minutes to Midnight)


And asks of the senses derange

Be unbound and

Ripple and be above all strange

Unserious now, do frolic, 

Improvise, vivid alcoholic.

The third drink is chaperone 

To the flood

Who, once asked to dance

Gives more whim than any fool

Ought chance

The third man suffers not

Over time it only grows its plot

The third eye reads bovinely polyglot,

The third drink gets me into troubles

A lot


Oh the third drink

Is a prick in the universe

Anchor and balloon

And the wire in between on fire with a dying tune

we’re gonna blitz it all, leaving only a black tawdry mark

The third drink is a light, leads me into the dark


The Long Wait and See

In the rose bowl, rose petal water,

Long gone poison,

I’ll drink it if you will.


Handsome women, hand me down clothes,

But I’ve heard you walk on the billionaire rows,

They are cocks and crow

“There’s nothing to fear!”


Stop what you’re doing and come outside the house,

It’s forty two degrees, it’s eight PM 

or thereabouts,

It isn’t the end, just the Long Wait and See,

And nobody knows just how long or how terrible it will be.


Oh you unborn, stay as you are,

Will them that rut, pull away, before it goes so far -

An unpopular art no?


Most coveted part of the knowing animal,

That makes its own hell…


Stop what you’re doing and come into the yard,

There’s smoke on the horizon and the wind is blowing hard,

It isn’t only fire and foulness of the air

But the many people dying and I don’t think I could care.


The Heaviest Stone

It’s the heaviest stone to throw

Being told that it’s nearly time to go

When you know that just beyond the shroud

There’s a gala going on but you’re not allowed


For the first time in your life

It’s the last time in your life


It’s the heaviest stone to throw

How many ways can the world say no?

When all your tickets got punched long ago

There’s little left but your ego


All the women do the government

While the men disappear in the fundament


The bold and courageous thoughts of youth

Seem silly and ridiculous beside the truth

But when you gather up to do the sum

They’re better than nothing now you’re having none


Rash and reckless boy

Temerarious young man


Everybody gets a sunset

Everybody gets ruined

Everybody gets to fall apart upon the stage

But you rarely if ever get to choose when…


It’s the heaviest stone to throw

When you can’t even laugh on the gallows

When none of it was worth it and they really let you know

You barely even cast a shadow

You never really cast a shadow



You’ll die and be not happy,

This has ever been the score,

Some of you for want of nothing,

Some of you for wanting more…


Little boots did bind my painted toes

I coddled your devotions,

Now I’ve nightly conversations with the mountains and the oceans…


I’m the lake, I am the loon,

I’ll take your eye with a spoon,

I have swords as well as islands

I can make you feel your dying, try me…


A perfume from a foul disease,

From here to there I walked the seas,

But even feats as bold as these

grow tiresome and dreary,


I have felt what love can do,

Love can’t mend a broken shoe,

O I don’t covet love from you,

You would better fear me…


We’re a scar that was a wound

and puckered too soon,

I have swords as well as islands

I can make you feel your dying, try me…


“I understand it all - that is my trouble.”


Bring the poets from their brew,

March them to me two by two,

Have them know the theme is death

Then let them sing it new -


the well of wisdom is a fast latrine,

The tree of love is sappy,

Have I told you ever darling

how men die and are not happy?


When the last holly blooms

I’ll fornicate with the moon,

I have swords as well as islands

I can make you feel your dying, try me…


When I Am Old

When I am old, Not if, but when, 

ailments will derail not end, 

laments will fail not to upend 

my later years which I will spend, 

alone, when I am old, alone - 

what is the male kind of crone?  

old lonely men dress for court on their own, 

nothing suggests I will not be alone when I'm old.


When I am old,

There will be no more lions

Only in prisons

Product of aeons of

bestial poems never told

Fire that does not rage is cold

Cold flames are the tongues that sing dying

There’s no point in lying about being 

old men dress for the mall in the morning

nothing suggests I will not be forlorn when I’m old


Not if, ifs and buts, but whens,

I’ll take a wood load at roughly ten, 

measure the hours by some Bushells blend, 

read the papers from start to end

alone, when I am old, alone - 

what is the male kind of crone?  

I’ll give the obituary special attention

Which of my neighbours has earned a mention


When I am old 

There will be no more whaling

Oh you cannot go whaling

When there are no more whales

in the tepid sea

my instincts have always been dull

Not that I ever listened at all

If I lay in a burning bed

I waited for the rain to fall 

Old men see what they’re leaving behind

and thank small mercies for going blind


When I am old

I will have no companion

No mouser no spaniel when

all I could do is 

to leave them behind

No spark to depend on my dithering lick

Sputtering sickly at candle’s end

No love to address

No missives to pen

When I am old 

I’ll take heroin.



The highlight of a low life in the city of rock and rain,

Being told by some new emperor how to better clothe my shame -

Six years to put it together, six more to pull it apart and 

I won’t go back but I haven’t left yet,

If you set your mind there’s many ways to get to…


It’s a hot headed mountain wears a cap of cooling snow,

An agent of calamity that stays the domino,

The ground is cold and stony here but I can make it grow something,

Happily no vision of me,

No rosy bed, no weed, no tree,

A calling of time on this branch of the line,

I hopped the train and shuffled down the lane to…


Nobody tells you which way to go,

Animals leap across your shadow,

Makes a change from the preening shallows where you’re lucky if you know

One son of a gun among the sons of bitches,

One white witch in the coven of witches

Who won’t tell me what I deserve to get,

Who’ve bought my shoes but haven’t paid for them yet,

Or walked a metre let alone a mile,

Who chose to thieve, I chose exile.


I Woke Up In Borgolombardo

Only two short stops to average Melegnano

I had a house and a family and a yard

Though I did not know them and did not mow it but I lived somehow oh


I woke up in Borgolombardo

In a bed that I’d never made


There were saplings all down to the pretty rivulet

And fish in the cold water there

What freight of dread was my train of thought each new day in Borgolombardo


I woke up in Borgolombardo

Like a game I’d never played


What strange cordials propositioned me to taste

And whose underwear would circle my waist

And how would the shade seem to me when alone or when standing in it with my wife


Till I knew it was coming to me 

To awaken in the house next to mine

But not before living in many more houses

In many more times oh oh oh

over many more years inside many more feelings and in many more minds oh oh oh


I woke up in Borgolombardo

And I wasn’t the same anymore


For I was to live every life of every man who was strange like me oh oh oh

And how quickly the dizzying dread turned to glee

And I was untrapped and trapless as can be

Mountainously free

in Borgolombardo

Mountainously free

in Borgolombardo

Mountainously free

in Borgolombardo

And every day would have its own history


I Hurtle Back to a Conservative Locker

Cushioned, my hair, returns to a modest helmet

But always rough ridden with new hidden rents and tears

Inside is my toxic Bohemia, and nightly its rotten circus, tours its fetid underground, which is fairly enormous 

I feel I must be a sad nazi somehow

I feel I must be a sad nazi somehow


I see young mother nature, and I want to defrock her

I hurtle back, to a conservative locker

With pictures of Marine and Rand and Lady Thatcher

Blu-tacked to the door of my tinny dream catcher

I hurtle back, to a conservative locker

and sleep the sleep, of a stone cold winner.


All of my emails are from Russian females

They put me in mind

put me in a hard soul kind

of heart murmur

I get firmer when I give them my replies

None of my emails are from Asian shemales

If you will be mine

I will love you long time

If you will be mine

I will love you a long time


I hurtle back, to a conservative locker

I need an alpha, I need a beta blocker

All the booze and fags in the world

My playground keeps increasing

I hear death cries from the night skies

I don’t care what little lives are ceasing

I feel I must’ve arrived 

at the end of the race

Nobody can keep up with this alien pace

I feel I must’ve arrived at the end of the race

Nobody can keep up 

nobody can keep up


I hurtle back, to a conservative locker

I see young mother nature

And I want to defrock her

If you will be mine

If you will be mine

If you will be mine

opiano opiano opiano so divine


Bitter Clingerzz

Why don't we say it 'fingerrz'

Like other words like that?

the greasy glottal

On the g 

When others like it lay flat?

Like they got taken to

By some alphabat

Swinging ringer

Some bitter clinger

With an appetite for claptrap?


Someone sort it

Bring us fields of level


Replace the rover with a winger

like all the singing

Sounds the same

Like there’s a demon


Bells inside your skull

Till you're insane

Bitter ringing in your brain


The time is ripe

Hark the harbingeerrrrz

all good fellowzz

Do not linggeerrz

While you're at it

Imprison all the chingerrrz do

Or pretty soon there’ll be nothing left to cling to

For all you 

Bitter clingerzz


Marry principal

Lower your ring upon its fingeerrz

there it is!

Now clench and pray

It doesn’t make a fist

Oh the shrieking in the mist

of Pestilential Mire bringerrrz

Presidential plague slingerzz

Bitter clingerzz

Bitter clingerzz

Bitter clingerzz


Why don't we say it finggeerrzz

Like other words like that?

the greasy glottal

On the g 

When others like it lay flat?

Cos it's a finger and it's permanently raised

Are you so dumb you confused it for a thumb?



All lyrics by Glenn A Richards (Sony/ATV Music Publishing)