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Steven Waling


“BE CRAZY & STUPID” (Kenneth Koch)

A book changes       as time goes on
it sounds fun indeed     marvellous
crazy                    if it surprises me

stupid          and don’t get me started
on how it says things     I didn’t realise
making outrageous statements     away

from sense     leave it over there     written
how my old stuff makes me want to barf
and I can’t revise much          it unravels

you can’t make it new without     breaking
the usual way     that is a good line
on my new old stuff                      and if

new stuff isn’t freaking you out
be abandoned           then move on



You’re another world a marvel
you’re a galaxy a constellation
endlessly in an infinite stream

of inner space and outer
in my little room a rocket
squeaking in his metal-insect

voyage to the top of the stairs
head full of starlight you’re
the visitor who puts the milk out

flunking homework in my
shiny steel portal bristling
with illusory worlds of blatant

alien life force antenna’ed and
tuned to a multiverse
for the cat who reveals himself

to be an ironical commentator
on a world without end-terraces
poor backward and largely

concrete grey uniforms classrooms
where I don’t do homework
and old men have their prayers

answered you get me in trouble
blue door undistinguished wood
panels on a perilous adventure

locked when the dark matter
of homework comes up which is
certainly in the megaton range with

latin declensions declined
problems in maths unsolved
a non-stop tour-de-force where

odd in a world of same
I’ll drop in from the moon
the nuts and bolts of time

for the lonely or some out
there colony of the fantastic
till I sell all those worlds
twisting in slow transversal rotation
for a fiver seeking a different
freedom from the little streets

I was never at home in fly
at full throttle to the
enormous carcass of the future



A smile from my door to yours
           today started well
then someone handed me a leaflet
           they’re always shoving
                      their god in your head
           as if yours were worthless

On the news this morning
           they recommended acupuncture
                      don’t see the point
myself              ha ha
                                yeah they
said there was evidence

You really have to
                      really try to

                        No new notes
everything just               repetition
we all get the Christmas
we deserve       all that enforced
bonhomie          but it’s a week
           then new year’s

yes I see that
                      don’t you think

I resolve every year
                      not to make
                                 the flood
was just God over-reacting
as usual
           I make one resolution
then break it
           with a bottle of port

All over the place           a lump
of pure copper
                      my thoughts today
are in at least
                      10 languages




it’s the 70’s

Marc and I

                       walk to school sing
            children of the revolution
aliens on Top of the Pops


what’s her name     waiting in the sky
there’s a Starman     Vermillion Sands

             what is that     boy/girl/fish
             what’s he wearing     on her face

Wherever I am
            whatever I’m from
                        it’s not here

radio streams from my head
in angles and curves

             does anyone know the way
                        from this town
            there’s got to be a way
                        ain’t big enough

             so beam me up Scotty
from this planet of grey socks
& uniforms     beam me up
from cobblestone hearts &
millstone heads

to my silver foil moonbase
with boots to match

              where they quaff pink drinks
in perpetual starlight

            Bisexual days
where the weather changed sex

I’m working to earn
a seat on the rocket
with my name on it

school’s been blown to
            jet boots flying cars

             a denim guitar &
a synthesised beat

                         on the planet
where no-one remembers
the rain



Copyright © Steven Waling, 2015.