Spam Gambling

If you gamble
you might find your clothes
around the outside of the plane.

I wouldn’t.

I’ve read
plenty of stories and even my
little brother won’t stuff bubble wrap

inside to help.

But you’d be fine
not gambling: be a friend of error
codes and stick some on your problems.

Fly with it.


Spam Suffering


we suffer because
we ignore love
and refuse to love

and are adorned
by the artists
who are the ones

who destroy beauty
painted for love
for the display

who are the truth
because we suffer
and refuse to love


Years ago I acquired a large haul of highly literate email spam and I have used this over subsequent years to find ‘spam’ poems from within, enjoying immensely that finding and crafting into new writing [and some can be seen and read through this link].

But I exhausted this source and certainly haven’t received anything like the same level and quality of email spam since – though I do have a sequence of sexual invites sent personally from a range of exotic offerings to one day craft into a short story.

However, I did a few days ago check out comments on this blog and found a range of spam I hadn’t noticed before. This is more random than previously received, and some quite unusable [just boring – little is off-limits, so to speak], but I have managed to find a few re-workings which I am putting here: today’s above and one I posted yesterday. I think I have just a few more to discover.

Spam God

Singing reward songs
in church is
the funnest worship.
It’s fun being with God.
A very bad worshipping
is to make up
a song called Jesus Tune.
Jesus is so cool
and died for worshipping
so it is badly cute
making up songs.
Gods are.
We discuss collectively how
great it is he died for
God likes when we love
one another
and Jesus.
I could make up what the best
issues are about worship
like Being with God,
or hearing people say how sensible
good is.
Jesus died for hearing good.
God hears good too.
The sermon on Sunday is called

Top Fifty 28: Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced, 1967

[Originally posted May 2011]


Jimi asked his question in 1967 and, aged 14, I clearly wasn’t. However, learning to explore and have those experiences would have its catalyst from the moment I purchased this seminal album in that same year, newly arrived in England, and Axis Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland would add multi-colourings and 3D texture to the aural and other journeys of those later years.

It’s hardly a surprise to place this album in a top fifty and I’m not going to compete with the thousands of reviews and commentaries already out there. The psychedelic was also already out there in the latter 60s but Hendix defined it for my generation and me with the extra-terrestrial sound of his guitar playing as well as his super-cool appearance and demeanour. His lyrics added further momentum to the incomprehensible but palpable swirl of growing up at this time.

My original vinyl was spirited away by someone who also enjoyed the ‘open-door’ spirit to my country cottage that I megaphoned to anyone I met from 1971 onwards: friends, friends of friends, people in pubs, people who gave me lifts as I hitch-hiked home or away to gigs/festivals. Losing that record wasn’t what I meant by the genuine if naive attitude to sharing I emanated so freely at the time. I do have my replacement American vinyl edition [small picture below] and you are not welcome to help yourself. I now use the locks on my doors.

I also have original posters of Hendrix from the time, as well as concert reproductions. I just wish I hadn’t stuck his albums to the wall alongside these: Axis Bold as Love is one of the supreme gatefold psychedelic covers, and the outside of mine is still glossy and far-out after all these years. Shame about the inside and those long ragged sellotape tears. As a teenager you’re not thinking of future vinyl value – just those artistic dreams adding their hues of hope for different futures on bedroom walls.


‘hilda doolittle’s carl jung t-shirt’ by Charlie Baylis – erbacce-press


Charlie’s got a girlfriend
Charlie’s got a girlfriend

you hear the others singing – taunting – but he doesn’t care and keeps on writing the love poems, imagining the morning sun shines a light on romanticism, eventually.

But first, the sun gets all surreal, as everyone calls it these days – the apocalypse of any exciting experience. For Charlie Baylis and Pink champagne at the pony club, it’s a girl in leather boots who is carrying a daisy chain to wrap around the nuns and Jesuits, and while he tries to ‘stay in the now’, we have strayed into a world where much is new and interesting.

In Jamie’s got blue eyes there is great delight in the mischief of a beach that ‘does not stop raining from rudeness’ or where on

‘…a clear day we see the mermaids play
all of the boys and all of the girls
you are alive in every line I write’

In the title poem it is as if the Yellow Submarine animation is spelling its bright and boldly coloured words all over the page when we hear

‘I lost my Oyster card in an octopus’s garden
in the shade, all the hens stumble sideways
and I can’t remember the next line’

and in the right-on #metoo world since these poems were written, we hope his apology will be accepted for the honest truth it is

‘but I don’t want to stare for fear I’ll offend you

(as you may think I’m looking at your breasts)
which I am but I don’t mean to’

In Stones, the poetry, for a moment, takes on a radiance of semi(let’s go with the qualifier)-formal description

‘Purple blossom of star-fall over Sierra Nevada
tropical storms, elephants coated with glitter
Leticia Egea, your uncle, companion of shadows

left in the black sky’s loom over black sand’

and this beauty is defined as

‘all my vowels hang from a cherry tree.
When I think of you the spring turns blue’

Such continues in the following poem F.S.

‘…the larva of ghosts. Satin brushes your eyelashes
all night in the star-burst, fairies of the velvet moss
pause on the trickle of memory’

That is a false distinction if you take it as a distinction. There is simply this notable breadth and embrace of variety in the writing, and I enjoy that.

In from the litanies of Charlotte there is a list poem of warnings which again delight it its mischief and madness and mirroring, for example

‘Beware Nancy Reagan’s death the year before she died’


‘Beware the unhealthy glow of fashionable young novelists
trading insults on expensive sofas’


‘Beware of me and all of my answers’

Finally, if you have ever wondered why this and hiss sound exactly the same but are spelt differently you might not score particularly well on a current Key Stage 2 GPS [Grammar, punctuation and spelling] test* but you could read the poem my name has only one s

*your parents should have withdrawn you from school anyway

You can purchase this wonderful chapbook here [but don’t ask what ‘Frames’ are or you will get a reply from Gertrude Stein]