Robbie Taylor

My dad had a Toyota Catharsis and it was a terrible ride, so I write for the simple reason that writing is easy, writing is a bumpless road paved with good inflections… once you don’t concern yourself with quality… or critique… or self-awareness… manage that, and writing is easy, honestly, so simple that even I can do it. Plays are hard though, as in technically, as in remembering who said what and to whom, that sort of thing, and poems, poems are hard, not just the rhyming, but the non-rhyming ones as well, and novels, they are sooooooo long and you have to be careful you don’t forget what they are about, and short stories are really hard, harder than novels because you have to say as much but not write as much… yeah, writing is really easy, really, really easy.

ALL THE THINGS I NEVER WANTED

He opened the door to his cave full of man stuff,
in his Grateful Dead t-shirt, dotted with dandruff,
come on down, he said, I've got some puff,
so I followed him down the stairs.

He got out the coasters and passed me a can,
we sat beneath posters of superman,
and Pamela Andersen with her Baywatch tan,
comfy chat in comfier chairs.

He asked if I'd seen Lord of the Rings,
and I said I'd seen a lot of things,
yes he replied, we live like kings,
we're royalty he sneers.

He leans over and puts the needle down,
Thin Lizzy's boys are back in town,
he passes the joint that's turning brown,
washing it down with foreign beers.

We talk about songs we've never sung,
and all the things we've never done,
and he told me then about a blackened lung,
don't you dare, he said, no tears.

He said he knew that God didn't exist,
so why would he spare an atheist,
death's an inconvenience and that's all it is,
there are other things to fear.

He put on Paradise City, by Guns'n' Roses,
and laughed at radiation and diagnosis,
and stiff armed crucifixion poses,
saying never trust their pinky swears

We remembered when times seemed kinder,
when good old Gazza had played a blinder,
laughing together watching Minder,
making improvements and repairs

The needle scratched on an empty groove,
neither of us could be bothered to move,
the going was rough but the buzz was smooth,
last call for midnight truth or dares.

He said that life can be lived too fast,
that's why we surround ourselves with the past,
that we are only as deep as the shadows we cast,
that life isn't ours, we just buy shares.
He said we're only true to ourselves when we're asleep,
and I tell him a shadow on the lung is pretty deep,
just another memento he says, for me to keep,
he tells me philosophy is cheap,
that philosophy is just remembering other people's quotes,
it's dinner party chit chat and anecdotes,
because we're all just guests who are taking down notes,
and a philosophers only original words,
are the noises made when they clear their throats,
he says all philosophers are hairdressers splitting hairs..

I look at the boxes of old L.P'S and 45's,
and hidden magazines full of naughty wives,
relics of the lengthening of time and stunted lives,
with their echoes of dull excuses and sharpened knives,
for beneath the gentle touch of a shroud of dust,
sleep the forgotten songs and rotting lust,
where once sat the kings of stick or bust,
not saying the words which are the ones we must.

I reach over and grab an empty beer.
Cheers, I toast,
to the empty chair.
And I smell smoke that isn't there,
hearing the laughter beneath posters of Superman,
and the fading Pamela with her Baywatch tan,
smiling back, as only a sad man can.

You can have all this, he had said, when I'm gone,
every midnight dare and favourite song,
and I couldn't tell him that he was wrong,
that I  would never listen to the Grateful Dead or Guns'n' Roses,
without hearing the needle scratch of diagnosis,
remembering that life's too small in bigger doses,
he had told me to take whatever death brings ,
because all life is, is stuff and things.

Yes, I reply, into the empty air,
and tip my can to the empty chair,
I close my eyes, and in the darkness,
I realise all the things I never wanted,
are everywhere.

SPLIT.

Sometimes,
when no one's in,
I like to pretend,
I'm the other twin,
the one they like .
Sometimes,
I wear her dress
and pretend to be the twin,
that they like best,
and comb my hair one hundred times,
just like mother does, to hers.
Sometimes,
they say they love us both the same,
but that's not really good enough,
their stand on that is lame, a bluff,
and they only say it,
because they have to.
And I try to be good, I do,
because I'm not the evil twin per se,
I couldn't live with myself, if I was so cliche,
but mother knows,
mother knows I'm not the pretty one,
the kind one
the clever one
and a mother's never, ever, wrong.
Sometimes, when I wear her dress,
I hate her more,
and love them less,
and I dream of standing in the rain,
beside their graves,
twinless, but finally connected,
once more in darkness, together again.
Sometimes, I wear her dress,
and feel my hand slip beneath the underwear,
and imagine what she feels, when she feels under there,
and sometimes when I'm done,
I tidy up and put away,
just like a good son,
like a good twin.
Some people, think love is what matters most,
what is needed most.
But only loved people think that.
Not me. I think love is a hollow shell,
an empty boast,
and sometimes when I wear her dress,
I put on her make up as well,
and smile her pretty smile and blink her pretty eyes.
"I love you", I purr into the empty shell,
a hollow boast, these words,when said by her.
Sometimes,
when no one's in,
I am happy just to rip their house apart,
and blame the other twin.

CIRCUS TOWN

This is my town, my town.......this is Circus Town.
Bricks built high to hold us down
red brick brown brick black brick cream
Lego brick Lego brick Lego brick dream
build and flatten and build again,
wash fields and meadows down the drain
chop trees chop sticks chop socky chop suey
green belt black belt Hong Kong Phooey
follow the yellow brick road to benefit street
visit the benefit of the doubt and the benefit cheat
big men little dogs big chips little boxes
the urban sprawl of urban foxes
scroungers loungers opportunity wasters
thirsty thieves and squirty cheese tasters
the salt in the blood of the salt of the earth
salt in the wounds from the assault of birth
family lines run on family lies
Jeremy Kyle and family ties
incest inbred intermission
look at me I'm on television
ringmaster whipmaster entertainer
juggler acrobat lion tamer
DNA tests on DIY lives
beating chests and cheating wives
punch bag punch out punch up drunk
smack crack brown and green and skunk
pop pills pop pills poptastic sweeties
fat face fat arse diabetes
ringmaster ringmaster whip crack whip
faster double portions faster double dip
deep vein deep fried deep pan sizzlers
gobble gobble gobble turkey twizzlers
one potato two potato three potato four
pitstop at the chip shop and ask for more
cook a fresh batch in my remains
coz I've got Circus Town in my veins
eat now die later live more die greater
nuclear family impersonator
tick tock tick tock bailiff's knock
broken Britain broken lock
broken lives broken bones
brand new trainers brand new phones
teenage pregnancy teenage kicks
knitted booties needle pricks
one gram two gram three gram four
rock the cradle lock  the door
midwife good life bad life thug
class clown classless class A drug
skivers divers lodgers dodgers
Union Jacks and Jolly Rogers
fly the flag and launch the ship
tie the bag and staunch the drip
learn the ropes and both the three R's
apprenticeships in stealing cars
stolen moments stolen pleasures
hold on tight to golden treasures
red brick brown brick black brick cream
dying to get out and living the dream
the price is right so come on down
for this is my town, my town,
...this is Circus Town.

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