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J D Cully

of

Heath and Reach, Bedfordshire, UK

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The Mark of Kane #2

by

J D Cully

The angry woman surveys her native land
Sees ignorance and heads buried in the sand
You told of a city suddenly exploding into war
Of how one rape and rape camps have the same foul core
Fleet Street's stormtroopers tore you to the heart
As they revived the Nazi law of degenerate art
But the Gate recognised your talent and thanks to your good friends
You raised your broken wings to fly again

Did you ever realise how beautiful you were?
Ever realise that you were loved?

Your warmth and rage would brilliantly combine
Your unique voice will never cease to shine
You sang with compassion for the desperate, the lonely and abused
With plays as topical as tomorrow's news
You followed your heart's call and seized the hour
But all too soon love faded and turned sour
You wrote your emotions out so well, how brightly your star shone
But just a few months later you were gone
Oh yes, you stood defiant, you stood bold
Your faith in expression was lovely to behold
Poet of exquisite tenderness with sharp observant eyes
And a vision that none could ever compromise

Did you ever realise how beautiful you were?
Ever realise that you were loved?


One Step From Heaven

by

J D Cully

for Sarah Swidenbank

In reverie now
I know between us there was something electric
All our time together
For love or the Eurovision Song Contest
And a kiss on a cold Essex night
Told us and the DJs that this was right
But as we waved to the last train leaving
We never mentioned it

All my hobbies today
Can never replace you completely
I've stopped watching Neighbours
'Cause I miss so many people who've left now
And your carpets of claret and brown
Cast a shadow all over the town
But as the bridesmaids all do the Twist
I'll wish you both well

Love was all around
During Romania versus Switzerland
But the moment soon passed
And they don't sell blackcurrant and liquorice drink any more
Now you are a co-habitee
Do you still cherish the sweet memory
Or is the love we had forever sleeping
With the canaries?


The Ballad of E15

by

J D Cully

inspired by a song by Gareth Williams

Those loving couples in the pubs and parks
When you see them, make you want to spew
So look the other way and think of England
That's the only thing that you can do
'Cause you just heard news of her out of the blue
She's found someone, and doing very nicely too
Seven years of hurt finally stopped you dreaming

No-one's ever going to live with you
You'll never buy two theatre tickets - just one
Pick up your pen, get her all out again
While you've the spirit you'll still have some fun

Though you still have that letter from her
It seems unreal somehow
And you might as well write your Fantasy team
On the back of it now
You can be complete on your own
Paint the town red at weekends
Be a poet, be a playwright
Look around at your great friends

Don't define yourself in terms of her
Remember it always rains in Manchester
Forget nine in a row, or even ten
When you see your sister you'll smile again

No-one's ever going to say 'I do'
No hand on yours to cut a three tiered cake
Remember some live unhappy ever after
Call that a risk that you won't have to take


Young At Heart

by

J D Cully

for Ann

A fun run in the sun
And in the foyer we talked our lunchtimes away
We shared our Double Deckers in December
In the common room, a joke and a smoke
And doing the Timewarp at endless parties
Is heaven when you're 18
But don't eat the sausage rolls

Now we're older and we look at the town
While the rat race swings our friends up and down
We sit back in our chairs with a beer
And watch the wheels go round

Let me look at you, sister
Still you have the prettiest eyes
One unique 4th of December
Two dozen 23rd of Julys
Unfurl the Jolly Roger, sister
Tell me we will have happy times
And I'll see you by the majestic Solent
We'll sing the Chimes

'93, you're at the Library
We'd meet in a busy High Street and just sit outside
The Nationwide
I had to leave old Gosport town
So in the Trafalgar we drank one more time
As on the juke box Neil Sedaka sang
We said goodbye

That something's still there when I see you weekends
And you tell me stories of all your friends
It's still in your letters today
And never ends

Now I hear your name, sister
Mentioned down at the Village Home
Always a smile for each other
So, you see, we're never alone
We've sung each other our lives and loves
And watched them flow under the Hard
Take a little look at me, sister
Tell me you enjoyed my postcard


On The Square #2

by

J D Cully

It's of four and twenty Freemasons my story I will tell
As they gather in the theatre to say the last farewell

Harold leads the service on the Square
But as the brothers all pay their respects there
They forget that we too should have had our chance

People keep telling me 'Never mind'
They must be stupid, they must be blind
As if we could all join hands in a Floral Dance

You must let the fans say their goodbyes
Like Miss Springfield's friends, you must be wise
The importance of being Ernest is clear now

To mourn her in silence away we must go
Sweet St Anne, say it isn't so
There's a famous theatre that looks different somehow

It's a decade since the Soviet Union fell
But right there blat is alive and well
As the undeserving critic's an honoured guest there

While Strophe stands outside in the rain
And I go to Wycombe to hide my pain
His freeloading butt squeezes into a sacred chair


Lady Day

by

J D Cully

Got home from the burger bar late on Lady Day
In the telly corner a spewed-out videotape lay
On the eighth day machine went up the creek
The broken bells ring down the curtain
Yield day to night, black, brass and bleak
For now the game's gone for a burton
Hey DJ, play me a night of fed-up songs

Talk of buying comedy tapes or a box of chocs
Can't turn up a ruby in this myriad of rocks
And I wish I was eating burnt black toast
Or travelling National Express to the Dorset coast
Face up to the truth, Mrs Jenny Wren
The Celebrations aren't coming back again
Hey DJ, play me 'If I had a 14lb lump hammer'

Bye bye Ms Millennium Dome
Drove my Cherry to the ferry but nobody was home
Moping around like a garden gnome
Singing 'This ol' road'll never reach Rome'


Memorial

by

J D Cully

Stood in the park on Sunday
Down by the old memorial
I was thinking about nothing much
And sucking a Werther's Original
When I heard footsteps behind me
And a voice I used to know
Said 'Hi, I'm Sally' with a smile
Just like all those years ago

I gave her my last Werther
She handed me an After Eight
For over an hour we reminisced
About our second date
And the long weekend in Switzerland
Our nights at Liverpool shows
The time we set the sheets on fire
And when she typed me a rose

Our eyes met, we fell silent
Everything seemed to rhyme
And as we drew out the moment
I just stopped myself in time
From leaning forward and puckering up
To kiss those lips again
Then she took out a cigarette
And asked if I'd seen News at Ten

We sang a snatch of 'Lay Down Sally' -
"Oh yes, that was our tune!"
I genuinely wished her well
When she said she'd be married soon
But I thought it rich of her to say
"Don't just give your love to your friends"
I sat there thinking "Well, why not?"
She didn't want it in the end

Then we shook hands and said goodbye
It seemed over so quick
And as she walked back to her car
I strangely felt seasick
I watched her set of for the M11
With my hand over my heart
Then slowly made my way back home
To listen to the Network Chart


Don't Have Him

by

J D Cully

(answer to the Beautiful South song 'Don't Marry Her')

To him you're just the outside
Of a trouser sausage roll
A break in between Special Brews
So take my heart and soul
I'll never get so fat and smelly
That is plain to see
Don't have him, marry me

And your love life tastes of flat Coke
And there's sparkle in your eyes
The only thing that interests him
Is right between your thighs
He'll dump his dirty socks
Right in front of your TV
Don't have him, marry me

And you see a bad moon rising over Sutton and Cheam
And you realise it's just a Saturday night's dream
Why be just a ride?
You'd make a lovely bride
Don't have him, marry me

At night your cries of passion
Are fit to wake the dead
When morning comes his bottom burps
Have stunk out all the bed
And then he leaves you lying there
While he goes on the spree
Don't have him, marry me

You're an English rose with honours
You've the bearing of a queen
He's an MSc in slobbing
He's a casual sex machine
He'll suck out all the juice
Then throw you back into the sea
Don't have him, marry me

And you see a bad moon rising over Sutton and Cheam
And you realise it's just a Saturday night's dream
Why be just a ride?
You'd make a lovely bride
Don't have him, marry me


Song For My 1990 Lover

by

J D Cully

And now in the sunshine
I sip a cool black Virgin Cola and wonder
Another summer without you

When 'Young, Free and Single' was my catchphrase
You found me on your way back from the bar
First a flirt and a photo session
Then a ride to the pantomime
Some time around the Superbowl
Cupid drew back that blasted bow
And we were hooked

I guess most of the time
I'm happy in moderation,
On cloud seven;
But sometimes I miss you
When I crack open a bottle of wine
I miss you when I'm walking
Across Waterloo Station
Heading home for the weekend
And lazing on a Sunday afternoon
Mulling over hairs in the Microwave
I miss your arm draped gently over me

The homely grey brick of the Grove
Is silent now
And in the Lord Henniker they don't seem to know your name
Yet I took the bus to Woolworth's
Like so many days before
And glanced across at the tower blocks
Still they overlook South Woodford
Like the three Grey Sisters
And then my stop arrived
But through that well-rehearsed process
Of drawing out another ten quid
Behind all this muddled up routine
Of clocking on and off every day
I can still see the twisting path
The notice board and the dinner hall queue
And your first floor room
Where once you lay with me

Send me postcards from Spain
As I thank you
For us parting friends
For a phone call from the family war zone
For the thought of you walking to work on a December morning
Your white top keeping out the cold;
They say 'mature love is even sweeter'
If you return
Why don't we see if that's true?
Take this poem for now
And keep smiling.


Fair Lass o' Hermon Hill

by

J D Cully

She went to seek her fortune in NZ one summer night;
If only she had paused awhile,
And remembered when we shared a winning city smile.
Beneath the sign of the Lamb and Flag
When she said she had to be away
I thought she spoke of a two week holiday in Denmark or Spain.
I still have the card where she wrote her phone number
The night she told me of the hero from Manchester,
When the HMV Sisters sang
And we knew that we would always be there,
Stars in our eyes, with the Mile End lights, for ever.
Amid the events of that year she played her part,
Partly thanks to her I was the Sweet Swan of E3
And even apart in summer her mark was still made,
She earned her vote of thanks well
For the debut of my magazine.
Warwick Road, Goldsmith Road, once great floods of shiny happy party people,
And another lovely lass I still fondly recall,
While Alf my devoted fan spoke of trans-love energies.
And though the wild years can never return
Yet I never thought I'd feel nostalgia for 01 numbers
Or for our Friday nights in a bedlam student bar.
Now as the bush telegraph tells me
Of another of those remembered faces getting married
I hope she's finally found the Holy Grail
Twelve thousand miles away,
And wish there was some way
For her to see each new poem and enjoy.


Leicester Square

by

J D Cully

Oxford Street in the afternoon
Looking up at the Christmas lights
I remember another yuletide when
We shared a beer and we watched Vic Reeves
Walking down the Edgware Road
I had a Travelcard to the Promised Land

And Mariah Carey singing on the radio
Reminds me of what we used to know
I stop to buy some pretty paper
The sky turns black and the lights are shining
Turn into a cafe for a mayonnaise bap
Sit on an empty bench and wish you were there

So here's a glass to auld lang syne
And Mavis and Emma's Valentines
Oh how I would have loved to go
To four weddings and a funeral this year
Should auld acquaintance be forgot so soon?

And Clare Ashford chatting on the radio
Reminds me of who I used to know
When she made mince pies in her dressing gown
When I was Partridge House's favourite bard

So now I drink to you alone
In a crowded pub in Leicester Square
And here's a glass to auld lang syne
And all the girls now left behind
And it's Christmas


Wedding Day

by

J D Cully

"The sun shone bright when first we met
Upon our wedding day
But woe is me, the press gang came
And took my love away"

Love was in the airwaves
In the days of 98
And hopefuls in their hundreds looked
Towards the nuptial date

He was taken by her sexy voice
And she was under his spell
They joked about a millennium child
And we all wished them well

As clerics raged and critics sneered
Upon the wedding day
I prayed their love would shut those mouths
A wild card to play

Their honeymoon was wonderful
But rows and strife were the tale
Concocted by the scavengers
Determined to see them fail

With whines of cruelty and callousness
His ex-lover came to claim
Her thirty pieces of silver
And her fifteen minutes of fame

In the back of a car, overcome with stress
See the weary couple go
Into a million newsagents' tills
See the blood money flow

Then came the news they were to part
We blinked back tears of rage
At the smug and sanctimonious sermons
On the accursed page

The scribes they bowled us underarms
Two hearts to ruin fell
Now they have both found love again
We can but wish them well

In the snow on the cricket square
A bride's bouquet lies forlorn
My sorrows I'll drown in 6X
By Birmingham clock in the morn


Ballad No. 7

by

J D Cully

Watching the athletics
With Jane Hoffen and the dietetics
Would have been a better option on the sly
Throwaway attitudes prevail
When switch-it-off approaches fail
All you get for your troubles is a bitter sny

Cogito ergo miser sum
I'm the ghost of New Year yet to come
I'm a mess of stress and there's Jonah Jinx in the air
I met a bunch of strangers
But they all supported Glasgow Rangers
Please will some fair carry me off to Sussex fair?

The doctor's diagnosis
Was 4.48 psychosis
Drink your corporation coffee and take a paper from the shelf
Annie wasn't getting any
So she went out and she killed Kenny
And as they carted her away I sat and wondered to myself:

Cogito ergo miser sum
There's no flavour left in my gum
I'm the heir of her sorrows and I'm going slightly mad
I'm in the sin bin for five or ten
La, la, la, pancakes again
And I'm REALLY sorry if this sounds a little sad


Brentford & Barnet

by

J D Cully

I'm going back to the south some day
Where the chips are divine and the barmaids smile all day
Where the sisters meet and the children start to play

I stood drinking ale by Memorial Wall
As my friends rode away I waved to them all
That was on a sunny day back in '93
But since then the pigeons are all that I see
In the little church I pray they'll return
Hear the Trained Bands say "he's never going to learn"
On May Day I pledged with a friend old and dear
To meet for the first time in more than a year
So when Monday came I used all of the soap
And went into the city with a soul full of hope

But she never showed though I waited an hour in the rain
We said next week and then the same thing happened again

Still the elders give me the same self-righteous whine
A crack on the head and they all fall into line
My merry band has been hacked into decline
In Brentford and Barnet the sun continues to shine

Then on four different days from Ascension Eve
Coat over my nightshirt and heart on my sleeve
Every time my soul sank like a stone
At the words "she can't come to the phone"
Now I'm eating fudge till I'm gorged and stuffed
'Cause it seems nine years just isn't enough
Some say it's her work, some say she's in love

Whatever it is I just can't be sure
The truth is as vague as her reason's obscure
I work on the railway, she sits on her a$
"Save up for the summer and never miss Mass"
Thus spake the priest when they all set sail
And then he went home to his ale

But when she and her boyfriend eat their Christmas pud
Will she remember that once we had something good?
Left to send my verse to my sister
My dominatrix and my bride
And to go out this Lammastide
Hoping to be Shanghaied


No Ticket Blues

by

J D Cully

Three o'clock's fast approaching
And I'm looking round the room
At the lizarded paintwork on the walls
And dreaming of Anna Blume
Coming from some corner
Is the cricking of a cricket
It's hard when you're out of gumption
And caught without a ticket.
Marconi plays the stylophone
What a way to end
Stuck inside of Newham
With the no ticket blues again.

Sat here like a suet pudding
Blasting on my trombone
It's one thing being forced to live
75 miles from home
But beside all that malarkey
What really gives me gyp
Is being shut out of what would
Have been my local trip.
And there's no Lady Windermere
With a helping hand to lend
I'm stuck inside of Newham
With the no ticket blues again.

The German guy from upstairs
Spends an hour in the shower
Someone else is popping out
For some self raising flour
The girl upstairs plays music (loud)
Singing as she goes
The elderly handyman comes
Stubs his fag and smokes his toes.
I'm tuned in to the wireless
Going slightly round the bend
Stuck inside of Newham
With the no ticket blues again.

Nowhere to go, nothing to see
No grub, no cigs, no drink
Nothing to do but sit here
In this stinking room and stink
Occasionally hum a tune
By Lloyd Cole or Johnny Nash
Just glued to the radio
Waiting for a news flash.
What a thing to happen
Left without a friend
And stuck inside of Newham
With the no ticket blues again.

The afternoon is over now
The bottomless pit looms clear
There's no delight on a moonlight night
The season of next year
No, there won't be any parties
When next I do the rounds
You never can enjoy yourself
On dilapidated grounds.
Like a hard candy Easter
The good times had to end
I'm stuck inside of Newham
With the no ticket blues again.

My cardboard boxes are all packed
And I've said my farewells
Yes, tomorrow I'll be moving on
From this place I know so well
That's ruined me in many ways
And made me want to croak
Is this the final comedown
Or just somebody's sick joke?
I'm facing British Summer Time
With a pound fifteen to spend
Stuck inside of Newham
With the no ticket blues again.


Soggy Socks

by

J D Cully

Little darling,
It's going to be a long and lonely summer
Since you're gone
I can't see the sense
In the long walk to the Link machine
Or stopping for a newspaper

Love is all around me
And so the agony grows
I see your face before me
On the Top Thirty show
Now as I sit
Reading a Bill Bryson book
Or taking a long ride
On a short train
You swim before my eyes
So attractive in your jade and black halves

Turning the dial
I don't hear Radio Ga Ga
Just, sometimes rasping, sometimes soothing,
Your Lancashire tones

For you honey
I would walk the length of Brentford
In the rain
In my old shoes with the split in
And as the water lapped around my foot
In the shadow of the M4
I'd whistle a Troggs song
Knowing you loved me
Even with soggy socks

The brightest moon of any month
On a mellow summer night
Could not describe
What it would be to have your love now
But this ain't some kind of wonderful
It's life with the lions

But I'll keep on rolling up
Ten bob or a quid
Five times a year just for you
Watching you the only way I can
As, even wrapped in A5 envelopes,
My love remains
What it was in the middle of May
And as vibrant as the carnival
On play-off final day.


No Mercia

by

J D Cully

I'm full of esprit de l'escalier
So I answer in verse as it's the only way
Yammering about how you tell people
To get up and get on with it
Do you honestly imagine
That I'll ever agree one bit?

You give me that sick smile and say you're hard
But you're just a piece of monkey cr@p to this bard

A leftward step, a rightward tack
Every time you circle back
Your religion sucks and your face is set
How many months did the Chinese get?
You're a bozo mother and a bozo wife
And I want none of your bulldozer life

Proud to be a harpie, most relentlessly
If you want to cheer me up then you'd better hurry up
And walk a thousand miles from me
I'd need an AK47 to tap into your brain
You're welcome to the Grim Bears...
I'm sticking with Miss Kane.


Madame le Borbier

by

J D Cully

Madame le Borbier caught my eye
When she was a sixth form nymphet
Under the beckoning Twin Towers
I had the romantic scene set
But at 10:07 up she flew
Smashed the cup down from my lip
'76 Claret tastes bitter when
You never even get to sip

So the summer of Love Is All Around
Left my heart smashed up on the floor
It was easier when I'd heard no news
Of her for a year or more
I collected my post just the other day
Flicked through a fanzine and soon
Saw her unmistakable writing style
It seemed to blacken out the moon

Madame le Borbier, the story said
Had found her heart's own wish
For sure he's beauty to her eyes
But to me he stinks of fish
She writes page upon page of how happy she is
Telling humorous tales of her bloke
She says his heart is the heart of a lion
While mine is an artichoke

So with 'Madame le Borbier' on my lips
Sitting alone in the pub
I think of joining the Rosicrucians
Or the E1 Poetry Club
And a minstrel plays on his wurzel-stick
Singing that song by Joe
But for the happy pair there'll be a show
They'll have music wherever they go


Stanley Avenue

by

J D Cully

She looks through the shutters and stares at all
The things she can't afford in the shopping mall
An old drunk p1sses up the wall
In Stanley Avenue

You've tried that juke box far too long
It keeps on playing the wrong song
Feels like you just don't belong
In Stanley Avenue

A girl of 14 drinks vodka on the rocks
Ladders in her tights and holes in her socks
Outside kids set fire to a pillar box
In Stanley Avenue

Sarah's getting carried face down
Out of the New Inn
Davey and his girlfriend
Are having a quiet night in

A young wife opens a Special Brew
To go with her tin of Irish stew
Her husband's stuck in bed with flu
In Stanley Avenue

At home with the radio, that was me
Thanking God for LBC
A ba$tard lovely place to be
In Stanley Avenue

Nights like this are a bl--dy strife
Lying there thinking of my ex-wife
But always look on the bright side of life
In Stanley Avenue


***k Violence

by

J D Cully

I knew being abrupt with him
had been a mistake
as the aggression poured out of his eyes
and he demanded:
"do you want to take me on?"

not being a fighting man
all I could do was freeze
like a rabbit staring
into the headlights of the oncoming car

and round a table
recalling the incident years later
the patronising
"I just forget about it straight away -
it's a shame you can't"
sounds rich
coming from someone
who has never ever
been on the receiving end
in his life

and he and thousands more
act as though it were the normal way
but we are not fooled
violence is bankrupt
a borrowing from the animals
the last refuge
of the moronic arrogant male
who has no other weapon
in his armoury

and the only difference is degree
between incidents like this
and Bosnia
Chechnya
Rwanda
everyone who transforms an argument
into a fight
is another Radovan Karadzic
they all leave ***ked-up victims
in their wake

I have a dream
that we knock down the whole stinking lot
and start again so that
a) we're socialist
b) we're European
c) we're more female-dominated
d) we look out for each other
e) we settle disputes like human beings
and
***k violence into the sewer
where it belongs


Ghost Train

by

J D Cully

Remember, remember the 5th of November
Nightmare on railway tracks
A postscript of tears to so many years
Of papering over the cracks

A man with something of the night about him
Cheerfully says things that are no help now
Though a woman of few words puts him in his place
Berkhamsted and Tring become the slough
Conversations fade as resignation fills the air
Our dead slow progress steadily chokes the chimes
A faceless voice monotones a hollow apology
Then smashes the dream when he reads out the times
Coffee drinkers left to stand in the corridor
Mutter every curse you ever knew and more
I talk to a trainspotter in a Dome jumper
Welcome to the Ghost Train

And you wonder, what's that girl over there's story?
Will that guy ever reach his destination?
Still we're cattle-prodded in and shovelled out
And in the end just dumped on any old station
And all will turn their faces away
From us poor s*ds who picked the wrong day
We cross the bridge and it starts to rain
It's the day we caught the Ghost Train


Sussex Rain

by

J D Cully

It started in the sun
with all my sisters banging on the windows of the bus
a round of applause
for me and my Rivaldo shirt

and it seemed a breeze back then
even beat the fuel crisis
though perhaps spending forced me into mistakes
but Only Fools and Horses felt like a good deal

October
the unfriendly patrons of Wembley
though the Scouse House washed out their vile taste
my hope then began to drown in the Sussex rain
November
more wasted journeys
still the Micawbers kept me on the road
December, sweet Mary Hull
foiled the weather once
but the very next week
tasted what seemed that real, final pain
Jennifer shone me a gratefully seized light

but January came the end
and there was no-one there

I still love you, Mary Hull.


Fall Out

by

J D Cully

No celebration day in May for me
no hugs and toasts from elated friends
no speech at the launch party
no 15 minutes of fame
no meeting Hells-Bells
no glorious summer spent
feet up in front of the Europeans
smiling at the recollection of an odyssey well accomplished
no looking with pride at the completed wall chart
no lovingly patting the folder full of programmes

instead days and nights
minging in my chair
left to watch Eurosport
eat a large Doner kebab
and descant on mine own fall flat on my face

the champagne is still in the fridge


Ellie's Song

by

J D Cully

No, I'm not doing well at all
Reached for the sky on wings of freedom
But took a fall

Never thought it would all go wrong
But when a weatherchange called my name
It stopped the song

Yes, I was flying for the top
But the trains came to a dead stop
And the 34 Club fell down
It'll never come back around

They're not singing when they're women any more

Now my angel's lost her wings
All my friends and supporters have moved on
To other things

I can't win and it's not right
Just another dead hope washed away
On a lonely night

It's over for the Grand Tour
For the vision I was living for
Sweet city of my dreams fell down
And she's never coming back to town

They're not singing when they're women any more


Marathon

by

J D Cully

That evening in the cafe never leaves me
A decade's service gone with a vanished friend.
Lost messages and useless answers assail me,
Knowing the final lucid light is snuffed.

2 become 1
1 lost without her

A tired voice rambles in the background
Recycling suggestions already rejected
Eventually I close my eyes and think of Vectis Road.

Silently as a Sunday
Her name froze on the winter air
I watch the London Marathon and sigh.
Tomorrow the weather might be fine.


Lady Chancellor

by

J D Cully

I was 21 years when I sent this e-mail
They say it's good to talk - but you're doomed to fail
She hoped the news would carry on
But I just turned around and she was gone

Ten years we brought the news from every shore
But our proud track record is no more
Frazzled to a cinder in cyberspace
She never wanted to leave this place

For all their special offers and their jolly talk
Inside an itchy trigger continues to stalk
It'll have you for a mug
Wish I could get her back somehow
Though Y2K is over now
I'm buggered by a bug

So hatless now I hum a bitter little ditty
Listening to the boy from the big bad city
Hanging round Sloane Square and South Kensington stations
Mulling about some of her relations

And the helpdesk makes you wish you were dead
They send the answer to something else instead
Somehow please let them get put in their place
Melissa, come back - feast on their data base!


Wish

by

J D Cully

to be a published writer
to be loved by the sisters
to be amused by the Christmas lights
to travel to a different town every week
to watch TV late at night in hotel rooms
to share all my memories and anecdotes
to meet women
to occasionally crave one of them
to hear the singing
to eat Burger King meals on the train
to be the subject of light-hearted newspaper articles
to be somebody
to get lifts to the station from well-wishers
to receive friendly waves from the girls who remember me
to drink in the clubhouses
to ask my way through the city streets
to eat bagels on the way there
to listen to Blink 182 on my personal stereo on the way back
to take the tube home in the dark
to write up my notes
to be given a cordial reception
to record humorous comments

to make it


Vindicated

by

J D Cully

Those autumn days
when the warning chimes flashed
all I heard
was "worry about it if and when it happens"
so remained without a coping strategy
and now I've spent the last three fucking months
crawling around on my hands and knees
looking for one.


Chloe

by

J D Cully

Chloe, take care of yourself
Enjoy your football and be sure to have some fun.
May the city take her in its arms
As she lies in bed, let her always feel at home.
Please don't tell her that I failed
Or if she knows, then blame it on the trains.
You see, she is so young and pretty
I hope if she remembers me
That it won't bring her down,
For though now there'll be no book
Don't let it hurt her, if she thinks of me at all.

Chloe, now that the millennium's gone,
I played the field and lost and now I'm all alone,
When I make love to your memory in the dark
Can't keep from mulling on what could have been,
What should have been a beautiful year
Crumbled like my birthday cake
And if ever I needed her, it is today.
But I'll never regret, and never forget,
Though I can't hug her memory on a cold and lonely night,
And I wash these dead dreams from my shoes
But can't wash away the traces of 34 blues.

Chloe, take care of yourself,
Have a drink for me if you remember me at all.
Sweet city, take her in your arms
As she lies in bed, may she always feel at home.


17 Sundays

by

J D Cully

My notebooks are neglected
My Millennium pens are dry
The Year Planner's in the bin
I'm so bitter I could cry
All the festive anecdotes
will never now be shared
If only I'd chosen last year
If only someone cared

Could've been a best seller
Could've had some fun
Could've been a legend
Could've been someone.

The memories of my travels
Still linger everywhere
The echoes of seventeen Sundays
Slowly die upon the air
And though I'll always love those books
They bring me down somehow
Every page a reminder
of what I never will have now

Could've been a beautiful year
Could've been a new life
Could've been the Millennium
Could've found a wife.


Untitled

by

J D Cully

Surfing through the stations, just turning the dial
I hate four out of every five of them yet somehow raise a smile
Staying here in my room the day's been slow and low
For the first time in months there's been nowhere to go

In the Golden 2000 I order a meal
The telly on the counter reflects how I feel
Much as I love this place I didn't want it this way
Should have been celebration one evening in May

What a way to end, my hopes were flying high
Now I'm drowning in the suburbs with nobody close by

Well I'm lonely as hell, and the message is clear
So I'll be going back to the wrestling and the beer
The girl in the corner gives me a sympathetic smile
I buy another Pepsi and sit back for a while

So I'll get on the bus and stay up until late
With a tub of Full Vermonty and NOW 48
What a way to end, my wish has burned down
Like the burnt-out bus shelter at Berkhamsted Town.


Rising Damp

by

J D Cully

When she stood upon the soapbox
England clean and England strong
We railed at her, some laughed at her
With her small army marching on
Now as the masquerade is cancelled
Rigsby takes the stage instead
She's pooped the party one last time
Lay, Lady Jay, across my bed

The President's wife is missing
On a liner she did go
But whose arms is she sailing to?
Is it Brian? Now we won't know
For no web sites give the answer
None revives the memory
Forget the brain and the walnut whole
And just send her to me

Sweet Louise, pray tell me
For when I was twelve years old
You were goddess of my Sunday nights
A satiric woman of gold
Sweet Louise, do you remember
The words you made her say?
End my despair and bring a kiss
Upon your West End play


Redbridge Farewell

by

J D Cully

From the motorway I would see them on the skyline clear
A beautiful sight signalling that journey's end was near
As they heralded another term, back then they seemed ideal
But they're no longer wanted, says the Provost now, says he
To mark the new millennium demolished they shall be
While down at Mile End they're building Golgothex Cross for real

Three grey sisters in their bosoms held us all
Three grey sisters recording the rise and fall
Of every undergraduate passing through in pudding time
Now it's in with the new in cold white and blue
And onto the District Line

Safe in their arms we would sit late into the night
Looking through a window at the M11 lights
They watched over us as we lay, my first love and I
We starry-eyed kids thought the time would last
But like a Tube train it went by too fast
Now the Provost with his Village plan decrees that they must die

Three grey sisters, it's all up with you
The Chirgwin Bar, the cheese and wines, Pooley and Lynden too
Home to wild, wild women and groovoid guys
As you raised your majestic heads to the skies
Now it's say farewell to the whistles and bells
Get your brand new college ties

To the three grey sisters as waiting bulldozers sit
The motorway bridge poet blows a parting kiss


House Arrest

by

J D Cully

Dragging days in a bed-sit in Leytonstone
Solitary confinement with a stinking cold
Getting addicted to ancient detective shows
Mopping down Lemsips and feeling like mould

In the coach station they're rolling up for the night ride
But this heart-sick tifoso is rotting in bed
While the 2am people buy burgers in Birmingham
The Sapphires are blue, but noses are red

The symptoms of this virus are so heavy
But the withdrawal symptoms ache even more
While out on the pitch the ladies make history
Here I am honking behind the green door

It's cold being cooped up all day in a warm room
Where the telephone call brings the sickest joke
Wishing you'd bought the crossword companion
While the cost of your tickets goes up in smoke


North Terrace Blues

by

J D Cully

They gave me two corporation complimentaries
Finished up with no-one to go with
Sat next to an empty space feeling a nana
Shouting 'Marry me' at Kelly Smith
Looking back on a sister's tangled e-mail trail
Never imagined that her confidence would fail
They just shrug and go on swimming in denial
But will she come up and see me?
Don't make me smile

Sing me a lullaby, Melanie B
Which way you going, sweet Marie?
Don't be mistaken, don't be misled
My heart's not in Gosport, it's in Birkenhead

Turning sadly away from the dustbin
A lumpen voice persists that it doesn't matter
Someone hands me last week's local paper
But now I can no longer take the batter
And Caesar and his wife will reluctantly learn
The colonial boy has no desire to return
The Sunday sun shone down on Trafalgar Bay
But somewhere near St Petersburg
I felt her slide away

And there's Bad Girls on TV soon
Videos ready for May and June
While we exiled old punks celebrate
The place where some of us just can't get a date


Independence Day

by

J D Cully

He delivered the rebuke
With both eyes fixed on the TV
Probably meant as tough love
But it still looks stained to me
I bit my tongue until it bled
Just like down through the years
The room pregnant with history
Of violence, blasts and fears

The heel champion always wins
Doesn't follow his own rules
But while he might look down on us
He can't play us for fools
Even now its 'don't do as I do,
just as I say'
Strange way to light the tortured path
To Independence Day

He says 'don't ask advice,
it's not appropriate today'
But think back and remember
Whose fault it is anyway
And the juicing still continues
About my situation
Still sees no irony in that
While raping my conversation

We are the children of the Moon
To us they turn shut eyes
And so we tend to please ourselves
Mate under midnight skies
But better that than live a lie
Lick honey from our fingers
So as we go for the last time
We'll just say 'kinda lingers'


Diarydump

by

J D Cully

It started one night, we were in a flurry online
Surfed onto the site, I liked her page, she liked mine
She liked my slang, loved me 'cause I was a Brit
But when I got robbed my venting sent her in a snit
She won't read me at all, took me off her favourites list
So I'm lurking now, how can she treat me like this?

She made me believe that I was Millennium Man
But since I got robbed she's just an impatient ex-fan
My mild criticism of the 'there's people worse off' attitude
Must have hit a raw nerve, but she didn't have to be this rude
What wound her up so much that I'm gone with just one click?
Why is it then that she cuts so much slack for The Mick?

So this is the end, my diary's no fun to her now
The Blackadder song, my catharsis, made her have a cow
And it's plain to see she's a snide right wing nobody
She's on the site now reading somebody else not me
And her guestbook fills up with girly girls and horny boys
She's in her little white socks, laughing and making a noise


Satellite

by

J D Cully

Satellite Man won't learn that charging in in hob nail boots
Will gash the wound wide open not mend it
And I'm wondering now how the Duchess of Fife
Can sit there and blindly defend it
Because this went way beyond short fuse
It was just obscene
I waited for him to give it a bloody rest
Then swore in Slovene

Satellite Man, so many years of giving us no choice
How can you be surprised we haven't yet found our true voice?

'Cause the girl from France and the girl next door
Took me higher than anyone before
Alas, soon all my sisters I must leave
So cut me some damn slack and let me grieve
If I play along with the circus of application
He'll treat me well
If I speak how I feel about the situation
He'll give me hell

There's nothing I can say before the dunce's mighty hand
Satellite Man, you can't understand

Does he honestly think we'll be different when he's done?
Saying it with a bunch of fives not flowers?
"The sun will shine tomorrow" - so his daily credo runs
And then instead of sunshine we get showers
He may chant the classified ads at me
And smile to see a compliant spouse
Foul words on female lips are nothing
To if I told the truth about This House

Satellite Man, you'll never know what's going down
You're my number one reason for not moving back to town


Mrs Brandywine

by

J D Cully

Mrs Brandywine is obstinately out of time
She's saying how she doesn't like talking shop
One moment tells me things are fine
The next she leaps over the line
But then she never did know when to stop
And it's Saturday and I've just watched the British Lions lose
What do we Black Knights do?
Caught out in the crossfire and left singing the blues
What can we Children of the Desert do?

Mrs Brandywine keeps on jumping to conclusions
Muddled up rantings on holidays and cars
Black card situation, snapping for no reason
She's got the kick that sends me foul on the grass
And she spits out how she feels like she's in court
What do we Black Knights do?
The best she can manage is a tired 'I thought'
What can we Children of the Desert do?

My sister ate seven brandy snaps on Sunday evening
We laughed with our Dad about Buff the Stuff
Next morning Mrs Brandywine acts normal as she's leaving
As if the turning of the clock was enough
She really still believes that I can just forget
What do we Black Knights do?
While all around the blood from my wounds does flow red
What can we Children of the Desert do?

Submit a poem for analysis.

Dublin

by

J D Cully

Does she think just what it led to when she left me with zip
Eating KFC on Barking station
A wasted holiday and a fruitless Dublin trip
And the Wonder Stuff are scant consolation
Gathering the clans for tentative wedding plans
Of the couple I sat next to on the plane
Navigator, navigator, step on down the escalator
And haul your luggage onto the train

So I'm brooding along by the Solent
While she's warming house with her girl
So much for seizing the moment
I think I'll get plastered and hurl

And on this Thursday night, while brightly shine the Bees
Down at the Hammersmith Apollo
With the coaches from Bournemouth, the T-shirts and CDs
I'll be in Victoria feeling hollow
A hundred and twenty blown, I'm manning the telephone
In the land where sickies aren't allowed
Welcome home, I'm back on the site again
Just look at those bloody black clouds

And I'm brooding alone in the Sheepwalk
An Irish song masking the pain
Things can only get bitter
Mel and Tracey won't re-form again

No-one waiting in the car
Took so long to get this far
Cancellation broke my heart
Put the blame on Niki R

And the site's incompetent czar

Man On The Moon

by

J D Cully

To form the 8.13 to Eastleigh
They put another in front of my train
And the very first thing that I knew was
Twenty minutes waiting in vain
And at Havant the buses are waiting
Again they're engineering the track
I'm on first name terms now with the ticket clerk
The control room staff say 'Sod you, Jack'.

So my pal's on his way to the Final
While I take a low ticket punch
Sadly now pull out my mobile
And say there'll be one more for lunch
The wind's cool on my Fair Game T-shirt
Don't like the look of my home town
Hear some folk say it's a beautiful day
But everything here just looks brown

The neighbours relax in the garden
While I stand alone on the grass
A brief smile when Celtic beat Rangers
But now I'm bored out of my arse
Do someone a favour with spreadsheets
And brush up my Microsoft Word
Till it's only an hour till the Boat Race
And Charlton have won - so I've heard

I'm fed up of reading old papers
Won't see my love any time soon
All the people in this house act distant
Say they put a man on the moon
Those girls will NOT be at Manchester
So, Mrs Wren, please change your spin
And my cheque went flying out of my pocket
I'll go and spew up in a bin

1871 Suite

by

J D Cully

A leap year comes home and beers foam, and goodbye to the haul
But now there's only disappointment, nothing left at all
The dreams and hype they sold me have faded into drudge
Endless application forms and slogging through the sludge
Hoping that Electric Kate will phone and name the day
But it was only the receptionist saying 'Give your tickets away'
All right Jon - I'm still hanging on

In the doctor's waiting room the voice keeps us on track
As bland and blinkered optimists try to tell me to bounce back
The flower of England's beauty snuffed, and expectant eyes not met
As I arrange my calendar around jobs I'll never get
And while my oppo says his friend sends all her love to me
I doubt she'll ever think how I've been shafted royally
She's having fun in the 1871

Is that all that we came back for?
Rejections and Beatles - nothing more?
Welcome to the millennium town
Welcome to the Great Let Down

The taxi rank's no place to be on a Thursday night like this
And keep your instant platitudes, I deserve at least a kiss
Permanent weekends and marathon shifts were a curse
But giving up your jollies all for nothing is ten times worse
So shame on you, Electric Kate, you just led me a dance
I kept everything clear for you but you never gave me a chance
I have been binned by an idiot wind

The Coffee Table

by

J D Cully

I'm steaming at the coffee table
After phoning Meldrew's evil twin
A 13 minute geriatric barrage
Left me feeling fit for the bin
And since I pulled into the front desk
A repressionist bitch flaunts her power
Backed up by her anchor-faced sidekick
To fill the unforgiving hour.

Auntie Denise, your ethos is torn apart
If you saw the proceedings you'd cry
So I'll take my new best friend's advice and keep quiet
Repressionists, just fuck off and die.

They call it just another refusal
And there's no aftercare in sight
They simply baa "Don't take it personal"
And expect that to make it all right
Took me off into Room 101
And fed me on coffee and gyp
Smiled as they showed me a yellow
And warned me "Be loyal to the whip".

I'm brimming with impotent anger
As the bitch and her sidekick combine
They say "You don't know how his day's been"
But they don't give a damn about mine
One message, dishonourable ladies
Who condoned a concerted attack -
I'd love to see you take what I did
Then just shrug it off and bounce back.

We need Little Sister not Big Brother
'Cause we've had far too much of it
Of having your personal worth measured
By your capacity for eating shit
We need treating like people, not robots
We need listening to every voice
'Cause we're fed up with 'one size fits all'
And we have the right to a choice.

Red On Blue And White

by

J D Cully

When she wrote a soundtrack for my life she seemed sent from above
The pain of her loss can still split me in half
She had me afire with hope and optimism and love
The lockoutís not a worthy epitaph

We thought she was about to go champagne supernova
Anything seemed possible for our belle
But now the Sweet Marie days are all over
For our best sister died in Camberwell

Her popularity on the Continent moves me
But did it have to come at such a cost?
A word from Kate or John or Jessica soothes me
Though sometimes it sinks back home that sheís lost

A beautiful smile and a tiny glimpse of Madame Kane
But a photo and a couple of signed programmes are all that remain
If only there had been more moments like these for her and me
I wish that she were here to comment on reality TV

I was falling in love all over again with her Edinburgh lights
The conversations we won't have keep me awake on Monday nights
For four short years she brought the hope of a bright new dawn
A sweet lovely rose lies crushed upon the stinking lawn

We were meant to be brought together
But the miracle has vanished, thereís just a mess
The old crossroads is shrouded in foggy weather
Iíll always be searching for my Starlight Express

To Kim

by

J D Cully

You see men in Pompey shirts
You see wide boys who brag of certs
You see guys out for some serial fun
You don't see me

You see pretty boys in Gunwharf Quays
You see millionaires who want you on their knees
You see thirtysomethings in college-boy coats
You don't see me

You see short-haired geezers in Havant pubs
You see genial hosts in social clubs
You see beach boys on Friday night high streets
You don't see me

You tease Friends Reunited admirers
You still light as many bonfires
These days you get a little wistful
You don't see me

We could be doing some heavy breathing
Between South Today and parents' evening
But you just carry on looking
You don't see me

I want to lie there in your arms
To feel your skin and know your charms
In the Quay Saturday dawn but it won't be
You don't see me

Old School Tie

by

J D Cully

It's my sixteenth lonely Christmas
'Cause I don't have her to hold
One more carol then I'll shut the door
Before the hall goes cold

So I fetch a mince pie and reach for the Radio Times
Sit by the fireside with a solitary Waitrose wine
Though her footsteps are buried 'neath 21 winters' snows
All that I see is her face and how she could have been mine

The Friends Reunited dream is over
In the streets filled with shoppers we drift by
But the ladies on my unit won't care
We're just another old school tie

This evening is she watching the same programmes as me?
It's hard to be alone when a corporate star lights the sky
My mind wanders those twelve miles to where she is today
I hope she finds what she's looking for before another year goes by

But who is ever going to think about
Just another love that won't make it onto Late Night Wave?
As she fills stockings has she any thought
For the boy whom her beauty and spirit undimmed could save?

She didn't remember the days of the old school yard
As echoes fade and memories die
The football crowd in Oliver's won't care
We're just another old school tie

Lausanne

by

J D Cully

And so this is her 21st birthday
I truly loved the words she used to write
If only Iíd answered her tag that same day
ĎCause then the e-mails stopped overnight
She used to call me a pal but now itís gone
In Soho Square the music plays on

Our mutual listingís just a relic of the past
She wipes my comments off her journal now
I really believed our friendship would last
Wonít someone from the ring just tell me how?
I followed her across - then the bond was gone
Still Virgin Radio plays on

But will her betrayal jade these memories fond
Now that sheís cast me to the wind and weather?
On LJís blasted heath three sisters bond
But will they recall who brought them together?
A kiss from Lady Miss - but the Star Maidenís gone
For some people the life goes on

Iíd wish her happy returns but she doesnít care
As she walks on Switzerlandís languorous shores
Her student saga freezes on the air
Still I steal glances through the sliding doors
The weather reports wonít say why itís gone
Fairytale of New York plays on

Untitled

by

J D Cully

Big blue screen displaying your name
All that candy talk you gave to me
Thereís coffee and cakes and civic mugs waiting
But where are you tonight, sweet Marie?

Under the pyramids you were as nice as pie
Said weíd have our pictures taken, you, she and I
The Frisbee throwers are chatting but Iím standing here alone
And now you tell your lackey boy to hang up the phone

Top five idol, queen of the range
Oh young lady, why did you change?
I believed the sweet voice that spoke to me was sound
When you want votes, I wonít be around

Is life always like Big Brother?
Cheers for one side, tears for the other
I tossed your picture behind me tonight
To Southampton harbour lights

Big blue screen, all that local fame
Now faded flowers lie on the balcony
Three months down the line and you never were coming
Where are you tonight, sweet Marie?

If you donít want to be my hometown heroine
Donít want to be anyoneís shooting star
I know someone who cares for her supporters
Iíll go see her and sheíll know what you are

She may not have your gold
She may be from another town
Hers is a magic that will never run cold
She will never let me down

Lady Pineda 37

by

J D Cully

How sad it was in Victoria
The signs began to grieve
Mariana would not switch on her phone
And so I had to leave.

Mariana, sitting in her office,
As there away she shied
She never thought of the pain 'twould bring
The day that Sarah died.

There were Fifteen Minutes' stars gazing
From Smith's newsagent's rack
As every new call made with blind hope
Came to her voicemail back.

I wandered all round the concourse
And up and down the aisles
While what had been friendship's sweet red bloom
Lay crushed upon the tiles.

And even Krispy Kreme's finest
Turned to ashes in my mouth
As a punctured and heavy-laden heart
Began the journey south.

Her talk is only of Oscars
She's like there'd never been
The double agony of a sad
And sorry London scene.

The Soho Square bond is broken
The morning's red-eyed truth
Is a lifetime now of clove cigarettes
Black T-shirts and vermouth.

A hawk is cut by a lily
But I will always miss
The beautiful heart that talked to me
And her Pandora kiss.

How sad it was in Victoria
The tiles began to cry
St Catherine, come, bend and bend the bells
And make them ring goodbye.

Midhaven

by

J D Cully

It little seemed to matter that I came after my time
Or that I'd left the Chronicles behind; the weather was calm
But the weals upon my fingers were an ill omen sign
Still no sooner had I taken a pew than came the call to arm

I never paid attention that 'twas an Egyptian day
But the first droplet back almost to the surface rose
The dame raised a querulous eyebrow but 'one more try' did say
And granted me my passage to the volunteer rows

A hungry chime of half past five sang faintly from next door
The clock face stared impassive without eyes
The unforgiving wind against the dreamscape battered sore
As the hapless Dame Pigmot tried me for size

When she'd toiled and tried a while and located my vein
She should have paused awhile since she knew that she would stray
With no thought for me or for the common weal or gain
She drove in Morton's Fork and went away

Dame Rose came to the rescue to essay her cotton wool
And worked the oracle while others gaped
Yet spake she that we still might not pass muster to the full
The mysterious words echoed : "It escaped"

Aye, though I tried with all my might, even drawing attention
From the potgirl at the adjacent bed
Still they all adjudged me at fault, and thwarted all redemption
When by my side a lamp lit cruel red

My time and effort vain, I sat up slowly, choked with tears
And from the broken bank made open plea
But Fortune or some hateful gnome had stopped the ladies' ears
As they to the grey walls discarded me

The North Sea heaved when I left the place
The grey skies wept upon the strand
Let all Midhaven know the sadness in my face
Let me go a wayfarer through the land

To her Manor House door my bruise's tale I'd bear
But the Lady had some other place to be
And all Midhaven knows my love and gold I'd share
With the one who'll mend my broken wings for me

Titanic Days

by

J D Cully

It started in the Spice of Life when I finally found the place
She greeted me like a sister with a song upon her face
The Asti flowed there as we sat with the Queens of the High Teas
She showed off her ringless hands and I sent her silent sympathies

N-n-n-n-nineteen, nineteen

A year later she descanted on her single state again
It brings me down to think how I never had the nerve to tell her then
Still we were all full of love and thanks for the Wise Old Woman of Twickers
And I wonder whether she knew my wish to get into her affections

N-n-n-n-nineteen, nineteen

She took up with our absentee music maestro by and by
Friends convinced me there was still a chance and kept my spirits high
I canít be sure if my Valentine was a howling great mistake
All that I know is sheís blocked me and itís just too hard to take

N-n-n-n-nineteen, nineteen

Some cover version blasts out and tells me that itís time for waking
But the number on the calendar leaves my poor heart doubly breaking
The words of eternal optimists are empty to the core
And out there I feel sad not to see her no more

N-n-n-n-nineteen, nineteen

Itíll be lonely this October when we pass that way again
íCause Iíll say hello with a chill in my heart and sheíll look straight through me then
And sheíll be always on my mind when we sing the Fairytale
In the middle of the party Iíll think only of a love that was doomed to fail

N-n-n-n-nineteen, nineteen

Time To Face The Bloody Music

by

J D Cully

Itís been building up
Now itís come back round
The time when every week we lay our troubles down
Every Saturday night
Pour drinks and dim the light
And gather round the hallowed screen, the circus is in town

The mediocre drudges
Will never meet the judges
Theyíre ditched in secret rounds held earlier
The deluded croon out of tune
The crazies shout or pose or moon
For your entertainment theyíre invited there

Fanfares and hype galore
To make us think thereís change in store
New faces take their places on our screens
With lovelies on the judging panel
And happy ads to lure us to their channel
But the puppet master still holds sway behind the scenes

Theyíll change the rules from day to day
So their Chosen Ones will get to stay
While some young hopefulís dreams get sent reeling
Everyone says itís a sin
Then next weekend they still tune in
The viewing and voting figures go through the ceiling

Itís time to face the music, time to face the bloody music
Donít you hate this time of year?
The resonant voice of the spirit guide
Announces "Who goes? YOU decide"
Until it almost sounds sincere