Thursday, 18 February 2010


I lie

Lip-reading the liquid crystal drumbeat.

Red slashes strafe the ceiling;

Hours minutes seconds,

The tick tock triptych

Flickers faces of a pulsebeat promenade,

A pageant scarred

From the egg-pan scraps and rancid lard

Of my life.

One by one they hide their whispers in the roar,

The crowdsourced maw

The thousand mouths

That pound and gouge

Their silent cries

Inside my skull,

Behind my eyes,



Repeating, repeating:


Freakshow plays a nightly Columbine zoetrope tamazepam blur, rejubilant slur, infinite whir, sleep now bullet-hole smack-rush joy lie there the deserving dead and never stir

Freakshow wears a wrist-slit wristlet of his meds, rosary recites and plucks each bead and tongues each name, each holy mother treat me beat me amen

Freakshow has fuck-dream fantasies of Mary Bell, folds her in a skin book blanket to protect her from a living hell

Freakshow prowls the corners of the pheromone cage he constructed in his own front room

Freakshow says if you don’t see the secrets of Gannymede, pulsars, galaxy dust beginnings striated out in Jack White’s riffs then what’s the point, and mashes grandma’s pumpkin chowder cool between air guitar fingers

Freakshow’s life is so important to your lace chintz gimp mask vibrator conscience you waterboard torture throttle each word before it leaves his throat

Freakshow finds stillness in the million iPod ears scrumming a chaos concertina; in the neon thrum the bass and drum, the car horn and hawker, the cortisol scent of slickers bonus-bent and rent boys, hookers, a thousand faces more lost than his in cardboard houses, peeking out from Prada blouses, empty, drawn, transparent, barely bulging the bubble of his self-absorption as they brush by towards their Waterloo nothing

Freakshow harvests cancer daydream sinews, tans and tenderises, chemo anaesthetises them with his keypad club till each page hollers at the star-pricked unpolluted sky grazing the night for kitten candy innocents to scrape, for stopped-up pelmet ears to rape

Freakshow needs a passport to leave the prison of his head, increasingly infrequently collects his border guard refusal stamps and shuffles back to his squalid camp to wait his patient turn

Freakshow lives in a candle joint hotel room darkness world, shrinking down to the wrinkled dragons beyond the body boundary of his collagen-culled and crippled skin

This sicked-on Soho sidewalk night slithers toward amaretto coffee dawn, turns off the torture porn of spooling self-derision, the prophecies, the visions, the pharmacy and fallout from a fissile life, and bares its wrists to the drab diazepam day,

The lithium grey

The fog, the fug, the cigarette-smoke grey

The sacred grey

The damnèd grey

This daylight veil

I wear like dust

This calico skin I push through the pores from an endlessly replenishing stuffcloth innards mind

Is me


Your border control, your lintel lychgate ash-filled heart

The skin that shrink wraps and vacuum packs you

The barcode that tracks you

The pudenda the sphincter that sucks in your boredom excretia

The white sand shore that laps on your drabness

That traps the flab and flaccid slab of your normality.

I’m the cock, the gash

The pox the rash

The stenching slash to your screaming throat, your pleading bleeding hands that wrote their foul graffiti on the wall, the great stone empty hall;

The echoes in your ears, the reflections in your tears, the flea bite fingers that pricktease your skin for eighty seven years



Repeating, repeating



  1. that was amazing. I couldn't write like you do, Dan.

  2. Love it. I think it really takes off when you reach the long lines. It reminds me a little of my Tango, but I think Freakshow is much better.

  3. '& bears its wrists to the drab diazepam day' - chockablock with top lines. Hope I catch this live.

  4. The skin that shrink wraps and vacuum packs you

    The barcode that tracks you -

    I love the raw graffiti of it, raw hurt and raw nerves and raw meat. Just ragged enough to gnaw yourself to death on.

    Love it all.

  5. Thank you - Sabina, you know I feel the same about the way you write.

    Pen, I'm going to time the set so you can hear it. Reading just isn't the same without you there to hear.

  6. Raw subconscious energy, my man, life-blood, death-blood thumping. Agree with PD Allen where it takes off. Definately bears repeating repeating reading, expands like an oil slick, sticks.

  7. Thank you - yes, I rather agree about where it kicks off - I wonder if there's a better way of introducing it. I have a feeling I'm still thinking too novelistically

  8. I am in awe of your writing abilities!

    This is so, so powerful.

    I learned something new to me, too. I looked up Mary Bell and read the horror of it all...

  9. Thank you :) Writing this left me feeling completely wrung out, and it needs a lot of polish, but I'm so glad people think there'll be something there when the polishing's through