Kerching!

My Nan always said

“Keep some cash under your bed son.

Coz you know that

Cash is King.”

And the Car Boot Man,

sells what he can.

Quickly and Quietly 

from the back of his van.

He knows,

Cash is King.

Whilst the boy on the bus,

Who makes such a fuss.

As the crap 

payment app

on his not so smart phone

refuses to talk

to the Oyster machine

Remembers

Cash is King.

And when the power goes down

in a run down town,

Unhappy shoppers,

lacking the readys,

slink off home

empty handed.

Cursing the card.

Cash is King.

And all the Wheelers

and Dealers,

Bribers and Squealers

and generous grans

with purses in hands, 

Smile

and remind you,

Cash is King.

Whilst Contactless payments

and silent transactions

will silently lead us

to contactless lives.

Hello Money.

Cash is King.

War Dancer

We used to dance on the streets

Used to dance on the tables.

Danced all night long

When chemically enabled.

Danced the sunset down

in dry dusty fields

and watched the new sun rise

as we all came down.

Rode the back of a milkfloat

On the long way home.

Met a girl on nightbus but she never phoned.

Slept in doorways and strange strange gardens.

Crashed the after afterparty

And then woke up in the cells.

Broke a rib in the moshpit

Ruined shoes in a stagedive

And came home with just the sleeve

of that shirt she gave me

Used to dance at the Palais

and the Locomotion,

Whilst the bands played loud

or the DJ ruled.

Now we sit at tables

Get sent home by Ten.

I will see you down the front

I just dont when

Dance.

Big Shop Bill

 

I met him through an App

that  a friend had recommended.

I told him of my needs

And he offered me a price.

He even sent me photos

of himself

with others.

I liked what i saw

I would not be thinking twice.

 

I asked him when and where.

He suggested the local park

and as I typed my protestations

he replied

“Don’t worry,

Tuesday, by the bandstand

Just as its getting dark.”

 

Sweating and fretting

on the bandstand steps

I sat and waited for the sun to set.

And there he was

smiling from the drivers seat

of the park keepers van

as it pulled up by my side.

He winked and said

“Parks closing soon sir. Can I offer you a ride?”

Nervously I climbed up

and slid into the van.

“Five minutes” he said

” I’ll lock the gates and we will be alone”

He had every detail planned.

 

Gates Locked and Lights Out.

He said ” Are you ready?”

“Shall we climb into the back?”

Dry mouth, Sweaty palms

and slightly shaky knees

I followed him inside

And pulled the door behind.

Click went the switch

On the light on his headband.

Buzz went the clippers

In one hand.

The other hand on my shoulder.

“Number five all over and a razor parting

on the left?”

He asked for my affirmation.

But it was exactly as we planned.

 

Twenty minutes later

feeling sharp

and satisfied

I gave him fifty pounds

no haggling and

no debating.

And whilst i wanted to bathe

awhile

in this happy afterglow

he said “Fuck Off

I’ve got a Newsreader

and Politician waiting.”

 

Super Heinz

When you have nothing left

To lose.

Everything’s a win.

 

That twenty you tap a mate for…

A result.

 

That barmaids smile

When you get a round in…

Puts a spring in your step.

 

That tip from someone

In the know…

A stroke of luck.

 

The roar of the other punters

When the hounds chase the hare…

A comforting sense of belonging.

 

And when all the racings over

All the betting done

The last bus been and gone.

As you walk home slowly

In the rain

You smile.

As you know tomorrow

You wont be alone.

The bailiffs will call

And will listen

As you take your time to explain.

JOAN

 

Stratford at Sunset

Gone

The Avenue of a thousand smells.

Replaced

By A Temple

Of a thousand discounts

And a 24hr Casino.

 

An artwork unwanted,

Becomes

A most expensive

Helter Skelter.

Imaginary Postcodes

Become Real

And the word AFFORDABLE

Becomes meaningless.

Fings

Aint what they used to be.

Snakes and Ladders

A year ago

A hotel was built

At the top of the road.

Still stands empty,

Never opened,

Casts a shadow

Over the skinny girl

With no home, no hope

Who begs

Outside the station.

Spends her nights

In the disabled toilet

at the dark end

of the station carpark.

Has a Radar key

Gifted

By a friendly station assistant

For her 

This is

As good as it gets

 

Then my Landlord came

To turf us out

Inherited so much property

She cant afford

The tax bill

What can we do

We move on

 

Whilst the people 

I grew up with

All bought

Council homes

then a second 

a buy to let

Then blame foreigners

When their kids

Never leave

The family home

Too high the property prices

Too high the private rent

The council homes all gone

 

Mattresses in subways

Tents in doorways

Encampments in the woods

Property snakes

And Property Ladders

 

Meet Me At The Big Shops

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Meet me at the Big Shops
Near the Chip shop and the Off’y
Bring your Dole money
And I,
I will bring mine.
Then we will plan
Our great escape
From this suffocating estate
Without the need for us
To turn
To petty crime.
And if the only result of this
Is
We’ve helped each other cope
Then I wont think
This evening’s been
A waste of time
Meet me at the Big Shops
Near the Chip shop and the Off’y
Bring your dreams
And I will bring mine.

Station of the Cross

Empty Houses ,

When there are people sleeping on the streets.

Empty Stomachs,

When every day

The Supermarkets

Destroy more food

Than you or I will ever eat.

And Empty Promises

From Part Time Politicians

Who ask us to make a choice,

Then change the terms

and the bloody conditions.

And they’ll sneak in another Prime Minister

Who hasn’t been elected.

Whilst bangin’ on about democracy

Being honoured and respected.

But who am I to question them?

I only have myself to blame.

Because when  I put a cross into that box,

I gave them power in my name.

In Between

I knew a bank robber
And a drug dealer
A car thief and a scene stealer.
I was just the in-betweener,
In-between jobs
And in-between girls.

I knew every early house
Every late bar and lock in.
Where to eat cheap,
And who to tap for money.
Every alley you could piss in,
Or disappear from trouble.
I knew every barmaid by name,
I knew every villain by sight,
I knew who was in-between bets
And who was in-between fights.

I clung to the shadows
and the railings.
Staggered the long way home every night.
Fell face first on the bed
Always slept in my clothes
In between meals
And signing on days.

I love the way
The sky turns to grey
To let me know
Rain is imminent.
I just wish there had been signs
On some other times
In big bold letters saying
TAKE ONE STEP BACKWARDS
When I was in-between minds
And in between hells.