Loved reading this thread. My songs start like poems, sometimes they stay like that but sometimes
the music takes over. here’s a recent one that’s more of a poem ore maybe just a rant with music accompanying it rather than a real song… many obscure UK references so dunno if people will get this.


When the water catches fire what do you use to put it out? (title stolen from one of the interviews in Second Hand Time by Svetlana Alexievich)

How dare you run away when you should be manning your posts,
all swimming like rats from the sinking ship of state.
Once you were the future, now you’ve abandoned us to our fate.

You should have known: a Referendum’s never about what it says it’s about.
When the water catches fire what do you use to put it out?

The sentiments, seething like worms beneath the country’s crust…
Scapegoats and predjudices crawl to the surface, setting neighbour against
neighbour, father against son. Look at what you achieved: are you happy now?

I feel stateless in my own country, a refugee. Where to flee? Maybe
the future lies up North, Hit the North, Sheffield, Doncaster,
Scotland, Orkney, Shetland or Faeroe - We’ve got to go further North and faster.

You can have my passport back,
on second thoughts I’d like to burn it myself
Along with your Union Jack.
You know when it’s going badly
by the amount of flags waving about madly.

The country split into two’s: north and south,
east and west, rich and poor,
old and young, left and right.
True Blood against New Blood.
Don’t give me that Nazi shite,
Check your DNA, man!
when it comes down to it, we’re all African.

Interesting Times my friend,
You’ll all fight each other in the end.
There’ll be no room for debate or time to scream and shout -
When the water catches fire what do you use to put it out?

How dare you gamble, as you did, with our future?
Using PoundLand emotions to divide us and conquer?
Divide and run for the bloody hills more like.

Go on, scurry off into your dark corners, your luxury townhouses, awaiting
that new job, perhaps advising arms dealers or some dodgy foreign power.
Ask Tony, he sure knows how to set that one up.

But mark my words, there will be a reckoning.
When it comes, less of a revolution than a Civil War,
you will be the first.
They won’t wait for a public inquiry, that’s for sure.

Interesting Times my friend, You’ll all fight each other in the end.
There’ll be no time for words, or even to scream and shout -
When the water catches fire what do you use to put it out?

x gus

This is probably one of my more popular poems, it doesn’t have a title but my friends just call it “the Claire Danes poem.”

Who is Claire Danes? why is that name
so familiar has she always sold medical products

is she some kind of specialist of these products

no I don’t trust her, I wouldn’t say that
questioning my self
but it’s easy to be led in
by a close-up of a pretty face
and those blond half-curls she smiles so surely
but I’ve already forgotten what she was selling

but I probably wouldn’t buy it anyway
I think it had to do with eyes
but my eyes
are fine
I mean medically at the least
I have nice lashes I’ve been told
and I do wear glasses but right now they’re in a case
they change my appearance and I’m not sure when I should to wear them

well I won’t know now
the commercials ended and it’s soaps
I don’t control the remote so please don’t think I want to watch them
I just looked up and
there they were on the clinic TV
I can’t control these things

if I could I’d rather watch cartoons I prefer Hanna-Barbera to Warner Brothers
because the character variety is nice like Huckleberry Hound
and Quick Draw McGraw and for the longest time
I couldn’t tell he was supposed to be a horse I wonder
why he was drawn with such ambiguity and
what makes someone stop drawing a cartoon now there’s
more medication on TV something about calcium
for women
so much TV

so much help being advertised with tiny words
on the bottom and the side effects of people turning maybe into skeletons
they look so much like skeletons
it’s a wonder they sell anything I would never remember
to ask my doctor about them
unless maybe they know Claire Danes and then they can help me find her
because I’d like to know how her eyes got so pretty

it’s just that I don’t care about fish oil for my heart

where’s Claire Danes so
she can make me pretty again?



yall should check out my monome poem app


Waiting on hex flash…
to automatic’ly probe
where bugs lurk, leering


Not my pome, but one that really moved me when I heard Roger Waters read it today.

Crystal clear brooks, by Roger Waters
When the time comes
And the last day dawns
And the air of the piper warms
The high crags of the old country
When the holy writ blows
Like burned paper away
And wise men concede
That there’s more than one way
More than one path
More than one book
More than one fisherman
More than one hook
When the cats have been skinned
And the fish have been hooked
When the masters of war
Are our masters no more
When old friends take their whiskey
Outside on the porch
We will have done well
If we’re able to say
As the sun settles down
On that final day
That we never gave in
That we did all we could
So the kids could go fishing
In crystal clear brooks.

1 Like

[quote=“jasonw22, post:27, topic:3465”]
And wise men concede
That there’s more than one way
'Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.
Jalaluddin Rumi


cool thread. here’s a thing i call ragnarok:

, am
i the root of all your constant withering
stemming from meiosis and conjectures differing, I
wait to witness your wilt, turn
turgid embroidered w/ guilt, as
nine test tubes broke, nixed breathing, ‘cause
i am ashamed of breeding, the
error in airs relating to depth
riddle me depressed - my name is death

, and
you’ve been bound in bark by Yggdrasil, break a
branch that found itself submerged in ash
w/ its pith still intact, and
you lust for freya’s fill
i think I’ve figured out why, it’s
“i cant stand to look at myself,” as
“we used to be alright” cause
you vowed to serve nidhogg

, through
facts, contrasts, and stories told in “pasts,” I
ran from the cracks in the looking glass, but
now, the desperate drake, tore itself, apart from you, and
i struck - cut with quartz - through all of our names, w/
insides intact minus the nine black stones amassed

, but
váli’s blood in my veins - seething, and
gefjun’s in your brain - bleeding, and if
daisy drinks diseases
what ziggurat “pleases,” is that
ive been reduced to pray, and i
had been reduced to pray for you

i had until
you tore yourself apart - liturgy, so
you could learn to love somebody else, this
panopticon as is is an artifice
and that’s why we’ll never be alright

build yourself tae that bee, so
you can learn to love someone

1 Like

my first attempt to translate a poem of mine (just wrote it while listening to the canto ostinato piece posted in the ‘what are you listening to’ thread). no doubt there will be strange sentences or words, but wanted to share it anyway.

canto spection

sadness at the intersection of beauty
the beauty of sadness
of the depth of life

water continues to flow_
rivers continue to meander through the landscape_
mountains continue to rest
stars continue to shine

the sun rises and sets
the seasons
cold and turned inwards
followed by new life and new openings
the interplay of light and dark

whatever__needs to be felt will arise
at its own rhythm and strength
with its own color and depth

sometimes sharp and sometimes blurred_
our perception of ourselves
the world around us
beauty sometimes gone
then again visible in something small
the light on a twig

from moment to moment
from loving to receiving

51 percent giving to the world
49 getting back

the particular way in which each person
oneself is
completely oneself
and carries deep wisdom within

edit: strange things happening with the lines ___


I write words daily (mostly), ofttimes in a coffee shop or on a walk.

in the desert
in the software
in the way, touch my hand

i can feel
my electric
in the aether, in the wind

just begin
in the margin
sloppy pen man, show restraint

in the doing
in the flow
ill come over, drop the hint

animations, static fear

glowing face
more elipses
write some more, write some more


I myself committed a couple of poems and continue to contribute to songs. One of the books I find most inspiring in terms of poetry but also any other creative activity is ‘Letters to a young poet’ by Rilke (translation by Stephen Mitchell is the best).

It’s one of those books that’s worth rereading every now and again. Someone I know actually has a stack of them at home and gives them away to the visitors.


in almost any story,
we can just say-
40 years later…
and everything’s different

I like writing haiku, mostly for the challenge of phrasing an observation within 17 syllables. So the results aren’t “proper” haiku in terms of discussing nature.

Anyway, this year I’m trying to write a haiku each day as a kind of journal but my most popular poems have been alcohol reviews.


something is oddly
loosening to the spirit
writing with constraints


I just discovered this thread and I’m looking forward to contributing. I play with poetry sometimes as an exercise in control of language, playing with unusual poetry forms. I also enjoy writing flippant haiku that replace nature with technology or other topics, which I suppose violate the traditional rules because I don’t talk about crows perching on dead branches or flower petals falling into wells…

In keeping with the original theme of this website, I shall introduce myself with a spontaneous monome haiku! Ahem:

one dead LED
seventh column, seventh row
a glimpse of the Void

1 Like

a pantoum by Mr. Spiral
June 8 2017

The moment before the music begins,
A blessed silence falls upon the studio.
Anticipation, an intake of breath,
Before the inspiration comes.

A blessed silence falls upon the studio
As infinite possibilities prepare to become certainty,
Before the inspiration comes
And all is made manifest.

As infinite possibilities prepare to become certainty,
Electricity flows in neurons and cables alike
And all is made manifest
In the blossoming of blessed sound.

Electricity flows in neurons and cables alike,
Ideas waiting to become real, becoming real
In the blossoming of blessed sound…
All of this awaits its time in the shimmering air.

Ideas waiting to become real, becoming real…
Anticipation, an intake of breath…
All of this awaits its time in the shimmering air,
The moment before the music begins.

1 Like

It makes me nervous to spread my poetry around. “Sin of their youth” sounds right. But I miss writing and I love that this thread exists too much not to contribute. My favorite poet has always been Czeslaw Milosz who I can’t even dream of emulating. But if you have a chance, find and read a copy of Unattainable Earth.

This is an old piece from 2010 which I probably never named:

I remember having words and
never knowing whence they came.
I often stumbled into them, embarassing myself
before greater edifices to literature.
Though I had no hope of greatness, of poetry,
I miss that corpus into which I could pour:
childish thoughts and old desperation,
longings and abstract hopes for things
I even still cannot name.

Where did my words all run off to?
I used to fit into them so nicely.
A bit of my foot in this one, a leg in that one.
Even a nice place for my fingers to keep me
from grasping at everything, insatiable.
I wore them around proudly, pointing to each
in turn and saying, “Look! Here. This is who I am.”

But these days I am naked and scared to venture outdoors.
I still run into words sometimes.
A few in the sink with the dirty dishes,
others left in a coat pocket with a crumpled bill.
Yet it is only by accident we are in the same place.
My words are on fire and that’s how I’ve been.

1 Like

Oh wow, here is a thread for that! :hole::ticket::wind_chime::full_moon_with_face:

W eather went wet,
it’s an eve of event.
If fountain didn’t find
neither hate nor necessity,
instance of fence wouldn’t dress so fancy.
d a n c i n g sense is hard to catch,
outer cages almost empty.
Must’ve mistaken most moist monsters
for ten-feet poster of a hostess
during vast visit to museum of Westerns
steer these terrors to spies’ spot
spicey pudding? put on Sputnik
dirge was staged, crows & bats
did acrobatics; poetess — choreography
Bit of asking: parents lowered at the part of the gang
Why? didn’t parents inform them: in front of
similar circumstances their offspring won’t do it again
The terrace isn’t trance
while your stress is entrance
transport stopped moving,
metro & sport
don’t go well together,
as a goal
isn’t gathered
yet by our peasants,
appearance of grizzly bears
on the river
still means
they retrieve us
the Fish.

An anthology of poems written in source code.


This is pretty cool!
It makes so much sense, that the poetics of programming would be explored this way. Yet it never occurred to me. I love when that happens! The experience of this sort of revelation.
Sort of unlocking this whole new dimension to the relationship between words/language and implied/implicit meanings or function of it.
Makes me want to cut and paste the HTML ones into browser to “see” the other plane of those texts. But I also love the idea of these poems being committed to paper.
Anyway: am loving everything about it.
Thank you for sharing this!


OK, I also just want to buy and have this book in my hand… where can I buy this?