Alternative lyrics: Everything’s Not Lost


With my list of lists and reasons,

Holding unpaid bills of cost:

I’ll be counting out my demons,

Knowing everything’s not lost.



It always seemed a terrible shame that Chris never bothered to make that chorus even half-rhyme, properly. 




Letters to Felice



There shan’t be softer hurts in life than these.

The pages crack from tears, dried yellow-white.

There are no longer Letters to Felice:

We lack the love and fear to letter-write.




Shame in the Blood


Shame: shame in the blood.

The ghost in my veins of

The man before you, and

The man before him, and

The death in between.

Ghosts: shame in the blood.


Rich with impurity,

Lead in the pipes that

Drove an empire mad.

Madness: shame in the blood.


Rot in the thick, ripe

Root, is the coppery

Taste as I say it.

Rot: shame in the blood.


By a curse afflicted,

By the itch that hands can

No longer scratch:

Itch: shame in the blood.


Leper without bells. Pariah

Without town walls. Dark red

Mark in the veins, of the

Man before you, and the

Man before him: the death in between.

Shame: shame, in the blood.






They kept a world for us: look, here it is,

With cocktail bars kicking-out, bare bulbs, exposed

Brickwork. Steel surfaces, now wiped down.

The town was built for our disasters.

They peppered the streets with signs of former

Passers-by, streetlights closing their red eyes

This morning-after, blinking out our night.

Fine jewellers open up, white crystalline,

Advertising the hope of perfect theft.

They lined the walls with posters, pasted down,

Peeled lovingly over time for pale

Authenticity, begging us to attend

A band who filed for bankruptcy, years ago.

By the looks of things, it must have been quite the show.

All the while, you stagger like a villain,

Your pockets jangle the change of tenners

Ripped apart for booze and petty cash.

Sharp as a blade, though artlessly held,

You swing like vengeance round a traffic light

And observe the world they left for us: here it is.

They left it for us.





People watching


I cannot be persuaded that time is linear.

This afternoon, I saw Dale and Laura ordering

Soya lattes in a local place: only to find

That they were another, innocent pair, Dale

And Laura having died in another city

Unknown years before. There is a pattern for these,

For the Dales of life to encounter their Laura

In tucked-away coffee places, ordering

Obtusely-milked drinks, blissfully; while I,

Onlooking, tea leaves stuck between my teeth,

In circles and forever, watch them die.