The Best Joke

Have you washed your hands?
she asks as if it is the best joke ever when you have
an obsession, but these no longer exist,

now that Tommy and Les
are gone – and Boyle’s are more an
evisceration of complacency.

I could scrub until my hands are raw
quips the cleaner to his manager, he guffawing
at the platitudes of the poor.

The virus was meant to be the
great leveller, yet playing fields are still mowed
to their inherited perfections,

and getting rid of it
has become the cash-cow for the
already wealthy.

It was always with us, the joke
on most of us, the hand-washing the simplest ruse
to convince us that all was easy,

lying how they were reasonable people:
just as long as those who didn’t really need it
weren’t asking for soap.

Boris’ Moonshot

The moon does
have its own pull, more poetic lore
than its iron core

and a gravity formed
from the debris of its astronomical
birth; more like

another mutant
on the block of hopeless metaphor.
We have been there before

because it is,
and within a shot as achievable
as that is too:

I mean,
phenomenal. So this terrestrial aim
is no more than name in

being unfeasible,
more like a photo op than an orbit
to attain, more Luna

than the tic
tock of a countdown that will fail;
poetry that rhymes

just for how it sounds.
There is no fury, and the basic bore
is just this.

The Rule of Six

A new magic,
the rhetoric of an argument
without foresight

but repeated
again and again and again and again
and again and again

as if enough –
magic like feeding with loaves and fish,
a diet of faith

where there is none.
Hands / hands / face / face / space / space:
if we double up

to double down.
It is all podium talk when they cannot
walk the walk, and

it is just a list.
Rules are there for the forsaking,
as are the dead.

The Apple

The apple with blueberry farewell
The apple I ate for lunch
The apple that tastes like candy
The apple I left for wasps
The apple with blood from gums
The apple with inner snow
The apple that fell in wind
The apple with blood from sin
The apple that picked my hand
The apple with a core of good
The apple on teacher’s desk
The apple with the vestige of myth
The apple between blossom and bruise
The apple with poppycock and bushwa
The apple without bitter gall
The apple touched by disease
The apple for alcohol
The apple sprouting leaves
The apple inside its pie
The apple Ray called an apple
The apple with Sodom’s ash
The apple inside its roundness
The apple in a spray of death
The apples in Eve’s caress
The apple dressing pork
The apple with Adam’s choke
The apple without a tree
The apple in French glaze
The apple no student gave to me
My apple

Do Borg Lives Matter?


When you have a mantra this well known, there is no need – ironically – to repeat. Wilfred Owen had his better empathy for that word. Assimilation as acquiescence: it is easier to blend in than fight for an identity with bullets in its back. On the upside, at the interminable New Year’s Eve party, there’s no need to join hands when they are all already ONE. The downside is the interminable subjugation. Apathy in defeat. Where futility is living in the culture that adapts to serviceability. As collective as greed. The darkest irony: it is as integration, as adjustment, as accommodation, not as the one of being – so where/when do we resist?


living with an adjustment to bullets
when do we resist

to already fight in acquiescence
where do we resist

as upside is the downside
when do we resist

if subjugation’s the darkest empathy
where do we resist


Is irony better than all the other when it
adapts to a collective blend, accommodation
of the downside for an upside? Or do we
resist as a New Year’s Eve come not to repeat
but be a culture of serviceability – this the
darkest assimilation of being easier: bullets
inside as an adjustment to living; integration
as an interminable mantra. To join in is as
one identity. Here at the Subjugation Word
, empathy is no more than a word, so it
is defeat. Acquiescence to futility resists
this as the culture blends to all our being in
the where for apathy / the when for greed /
the where for living / the when for need.

Mutant Algorithm

Boris Johnson makes so many continuous mistakes – I’m being polite – that his subsequent attempts at revisionism (those re-framing euphemisms, for example, to try and lesson the original disastrous expressions/promises/assurances) are now legendary drivel. This one is simply inaccurate because we know the algorithm was designed to produce the inequalities and injustices it did! Also, the application of the algorithm was employed to prevent teacher assessment being used, this an ideological intervention that had nothing to do with awarding the most accurate assessments in complex times and everything to do with suppressing professional input.