John Cooper Clarke, evidently

I’m not writing a lot at the moment. Work is getting in the way. But I am soaking up a lot of youtube material.

I’ve been catching up on John Cooper Clarke, and will post some of his stuff here over the next weeks.

“there’s not anyone that’s much more credible in the world than John Cooper Clarke”

“if you’re any sort of a groovy dude, you’d know who John Cooper Clarke is”

“he’s like a kind of a animated stick insect”

“It wasn’t like a poetry reading that you’d ever seen before”

If you don’t know much about him, here’s a trailer from the film “Evidently”:

Doing the “I’m Self Righteous” – Feedback Please

What’s the old saying? “Never piss off a writer”.

So here’s a new piece, second draft, and written as an experiment in rhymes and half-rhymes.

I’m really keen on getting feedback on it – critical suggestions of ways to improve it, lines which you think work, or don’t work.  Not just “I like it” or “I don’t like it”, but specifics.

If you have time, please leave a comment. Or if you’d prefer to do it more discreetly, email me (you can find my email in the “about mistakenforarealpoet’ page at the top of the screen).

If I get significant feedback, I’ll post a summary, and the next version of the poem.

Doing the “I’m self righteous”

So he meets her in the café

and he lets her buy the coffee

and he does the “I’m self righteous”

and she does the “I done wrong”


He’s kept a mental tally

and he’s working up this theory

that she only wants his money

and he’s laying sanctimony

on his outraged acrimony

and his heart is cold and brittle

for he’s found that she is fickle


He thinks of times together

How she showed him how to love her

How she proffered him her body

How she led him to believe her

yet was sleeping with another

and she hid the other lover

It was easy to deceive him


so he does the “I’m self righteous”

and she does the “I done wrong”


And he knows this final meeting

she might think his heart is bleeding

but he’ll cover up his needing

he refuses this competing

with another man she’s cheating

and even though he’s yearning

for her touch his skin is burning


and he sensed that she was changing

but was caught up in his courting

so he couldn’t see the markings

yet it only took one question

‘til she whispered her confession

and it hit him in his stomach

like a hammer blow or gunshot


Did you do something you regret?

Yes I took a man to my bed

She’d been feeling sad and needy

The words slipped from her easy

In drunken stupor lusting

For a man she’d known before him

and she knew the price that she’d pay


So he meets her in the café

and he lets her buy the coffee

for he’s kept a mental tally

and they play their roles precisely

he whips up his indignation

and seeking vindication

leaves her sitting in stunned silence


yes he’s feeling  so self righteous

and she’s feeling so damned wrong

Hip-Hop Obsession II – Luka Lesson

Luka Lesson came over to Adelaide from Melbourne recently to perform and to present a workshop (which was great by the way). A lovely man as well as a huge talent. He performed this piece at the end of the workshop.  This video is from his tour of the U.S.A, and shows him wowing the crowd at the Nuyorican club with his astonishing piece “May your Pen Grace the Page”.  I love the way the audience is involved in the poem – they loudly declare their admiration for his words.

What a man, and what a great message.

Luka’s web site is at:

Hip-Hop Obsession

Luka Lesson has put me onto a Muslim Hip-Hop poet called Amir Sulaiman.  This man is addictive, though not to everyone’s taste of course. But even if you don’t like his words or his style, marvel at his energy and creativity.

Plenty of his stuff on Youtube. Here’s an example:

And if you do like him, you can download his album for free from:

Short and Very Twisted

My prose poem, “The Collector”, has just been published in the very handsome looking collection “Short and Twisted 2012”.

It is, without doubt, the weirdest poem I’ve ever written. The sort of poem you wouldn’t want your mother to read.

It came to me after running into someone I hadn’t seen for a long time. When I asked her what she was doing these days, she told me she was analysing tissue samples from men with prostate cancer. That, I stress, is where fact ends and weird imagination takes over.

The Collector

I should have seen it coming. She told me she worked in a laboratory, collecting  tissue samples from prostate patients. We hit it off. Went out. Then it started. Innocently at first. An offer to give me a haircut, then a manicure, and a pedicure. After we first slept together she said she preferred circumcised men. Offered to do it for me. I was shocked and resistant but I didn’t want to lose her. She was a trained nurse, could get some gas. I could trust her, and  actually, she did a good job. Neat and clean, no infection. Our sex got even better. But in the kitchen one night, showing me how to slice mangoes, she took the end off my finger. No need for  hospital, she said. Stitched it herself. A week later, looking for ice cubes. I found the fingertip in her freezer, along with my foreskin. And in her chest of drawers, all my hair and nail clippings, neatly dated and labelled. I confronted her over dinner. She admitted it all. Yes, she was a collector. No, she didn’t love me. Yes, she only wanted me for my body. And she would get it. The next thing I knew I was up here on her mantelpiece. A disembodied talking head, alongside half a dozen others. Other parts of me in the salad crisper of her industrial sized Frigidaire. And probably various bits and pieces providing blood and bone to her vegetable patch. So that’s my story. How did you end up here?