Sunday, 9 December 2007

'Modern Life is Rubbish'

If anything is a definiton of why 'Modern Life is Rubbish' it is Hollyoaks. From the title sequence that neglects any notion of subtlety, to the incest obsessed storyboarders who wouldn't know how to deal with a 'sensitive issue' if it unfolded itself within the womb of a recently aborted child pregnancy - the show represents everything that is wrong with my life. When one of these 'writers' wives turns round and actually says 'John, I've got cancer,' I bet his first idea is how to issue a character with the disease and 'highlight' the issue in a garish, melodramatic way. While throwing in some more incest of course. 'That pretty girl MUST don the bald cap.' It's got to that point where everything has become too fast. There isn't enough pleasure in speed anymore. Survival doesn't seem the best way to exist, when everything blocks and streams into pavements.

We're constantly surrounded by or have become survivors. People who just, well, survive. Live their life in a state of bank balanced persecution, sucking on the tit of unemployment one minute then sucking the cock of retail the next. It's the cancer of modern life that there isn't a single moment to examine a period of bliss.... 'I want ten good years at the end of my life.' We want this in the present, for the rest of our lives. Our lives have now been tinged with an expectation that can never truely be fulfilled. Love isn't necessarily the initial yearn of our existence, because being 'respected/better than your neighbour' is an easier reality. Fame, infamy, respect, call it whatever, it's the desire because it is now obtainable, within reach, a reach that could settle you forever.

London is the hotbed for the worst fractured kinds; wandering around without a talented pubic bone, who have once sipped the curdled milkshake of instant gratification. Rotten bands have rotten musicians, have inturn rotten wanderers who breed forgettable patterns of a recycled non-fiction that has become something of an unreachable fiction born out of something only touchable with tal..... time.



I slip down the slipstream in austere parchment when it's just so much easier to sleep.

Sunday, 25 November 2007


You can only drivel away in soul destroying worlds for so long - there is only so much ignorant banter you can take, shocked of all intelligence, acquiring books for esteem peasants in the SELF HELP section. If the books were Mars Bars it'd be called Tesco's. I look into the faces of the fractured libido's that buy 'The Game' and freeze. The degregation for sex via confidence via the deconstruction of any potential sparks/feelings. The disability in following Paul McKenna. He can make us all a rich, popular, happy, non-smoking, non-wanking grey teapot of neutrality. Diet yourelf a smile, FATTY. Sew lips together and breed over Voderman's Detox expertise. Shit in bins for months. Conspiracy Theorists devour David Icke. The Illuminati, the delegation of a higher power, when the Queen is a like? Are you an Anti-Semite? Questions, Question, Answer, Book Not On Shelf. Moved. Misplaced. Tarot yourself a future. Psychic's will help you to manage your past in a comfort hug of easy solutions. Easy now. And maybe religion isn't your evil. Maybe ignorance never tires. But saves, in giant NIV.

I get hit by a bus and I get left for 10 minutes, the letter....

To Whom it May Concern,

On Sunday the 28th of October around 17:35pm I was struck down by a bus turning into what I believe was Gate C at Catford Bus Garage. I am writing this letter to confirm the details of what happened in hope to receive some answers and information regarding the aftermath of the incident.

As I was walking past the entrance on my way towards the bus stop next to the retail park where I would have got a 171 into Central London, a bus coming from the direction of Lewisham indicated to turn right into the entrance. As it stayed still and had no intention of moving I began to cross past the entrance and was struck on my right side by a single decked bus coming from the Downham direction as it swung speedily turning left into the entrance. I was knocked to the ground where I received injuries to my hand, arm and leg. This incident was witnessed obviously by the driver of the single decked bus that stuck me and should have most definitely been witnessed by the driver of the other bus I thought initially would be turning into the bus garage.

On being hit the driver parked his bus and came to inquire about my injuries. He then called the emergency services and disappeared for between 5-10 minutes while I lay stricken, now inside the bus garage entrance, with possible serious injuries. The other bus driver who initially indicated drove straight past me and into the bus garage.

On returning the bus driver began to berate me for ‘jumping in front of his bus.’ I have no death wish and considering I may have had broken limbs and I was still on the floor I find this completely unacceptable. He was accompanied by another driver, possibly the driver of the initial bus, who began smirking while I tried to pull myself onto my feet and gain some composure until I became verbally angry at them for the situation.

A more senior worker then took me onto a bus to keep me out of the rain until an ambulance arrived, for which I was thankful for, and was moved into the ambulance where I made a police statement and refused hospital treatment.

Although the driver had plenty of time to look and brake (I was nearly across the entrance and struck by the front-right side of the bus), I understand that it may have been an accident and initially felt like I didn’t want to take further action. But what I demand to know is why I was left by myself for a critical period regarding a possible head injury, where I could have been seriously injured again if another bus driver used that entrance without looking? Why I was left pretty embarrassed in full visible view of the street as I lay on the floor, while another driver drives straight past me and another smirks at the fact I’ve been hit by a bus? I think this is completely ridiculous and disgusting and although I was told by the police there is no law regarding leaving someone helpless on private property, I am taking advice as to whether I can claim against some kind of negligence on the behalf of the responsible and the bus company.

I am on a temporary contract where I work at W*********’s and I have lost pay, which will now effect my rent payment. I also missed a gig I was playing in New Cross on the 29th also losing earnings due to the pain in my right arm. I haven’t been contacted by anyone at the bus garage regarding my health. I’m pretty sure nobody would like to be treated like I was after an incident that resulted in injury, shock and embarrassment.

I look forward to your response.

Matt Gilbert

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Lost Penguin (The End)

I think it was fitting to end it in such a shambolic way. Tears weren't particulary shed, there was no massive protest, there was no tour to publicise one final push for some acual cash.... Exactely how every band should end. Just stop. Bang. Finish.

I just hope people who saw the three of us perform realise how boring and formulaic most bands are live these days, how easy it is to make music you like and that being involved with people you love is far more important than working with/for musicians (maybe we can make you a hit single!). We rarely played with a band we actually liked or even respected for that matter and I hope they felt the same way about us. But what hurt me more than anything was to be initially bracketed with a handful of bands that had/still have the need in life to be IMPORTANT. That meeting with some dude at Universal I'm sure was nice, but seriously.... he's called the new intern.

This fast food music world is a world we didn't want to be part of anymore. We didn't care about selling out gigs, selling records or getting signed. It's a fact nobody really wanted to release us because we were pretty unreliable and didn't care, but we turned down management because we wanted to be able to do anything we wanted at anytime.

That is why we played art shows off the cuff. Played gigs for no money. Toured up North on a fucking Megabus, throwing up on it for 8 hours all the way back home. None of us can drive. It is why we are releasing our EP ourselves, making no profit.

Radiohead copied us.

We know we were maybe important to about a handful of people, but I hope people listen to us in the future and go, 'actually they weren't that bad,' and maybe they could start a band that is as loud and chaotic. Not a stupid electro/dance band in the name of 'punk.' You know who you are!

It was a blast.


Thursday, 23 August 2007

Uganda and Her Mouthful of Dust

I am wrapping Christmas presents
in pretty pink and gold paper,

like the plastic surgeon

I fold old skins from last year’s leftovers,
smooth my hands over creases,

trim off the excess fat

to stitch with vines
of cellotape taut to my shelf.

Over my shoulder

a girl’s lips and ears are missing,
hacked off by a boy of 12.

She looks unfinished,

not deformed or inhuman,
unreadable but for her eyes

big and brown,

her lashes erect
write words her mouth now cannot say.

If I could I’d sprout her lips with texture,

a kiwi’s skin, a feather,
coax them back with a peach’s fur,

or a kiss maybe

to dress them up in a pout of wild colour.
But I wrap boxes here, useless,

separated by pixels, a million miles of skin,

her eyes frozen in Uganda’s civil war,
she queues for a plastic surgeon

with a mouthful of dust.

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Wednesday, 22 August 2007

'The pair remained on good terms and on 30 May she picked him up from a party in Crosby and went back for drinks with friends at Mr Jones's house....'

I can finally see why people find it so hard to leave jail - to regain faith in a way of life now alien to them. I can also see why people begin to live inside their job, becoming a slave to an invisible bar that isn't entirely there.


You do this for money and nothing else.

I'm a barrel of contradictions. Before I quit I used to go into the job with some weird merge of 'fuck you I'm one of those creative souls destined for a greater destiny beyond the scanner' and 'hey, but what if I stick this out? I could create an envirOnment of stability in my life far beyond the financial arse-pit I'm currently in!' These two contradictions have been beaten into me from (the former) a poetry teacher I had at Uni and (the latter) my own flesh and blood red blood. They don't sit well.


It's a weird feeling of wanting to kill the new temp who actually does his work (a temp has a responsibility to do as little work as conceivably possible) and a need to sample praise for your scanning, just in case you swallow the colostomy bag of permanent employment and need for the feeling of that you can do THIS.

The two contradictions of creativity and stagnant cripple altering pain finally came to a head on Monday and I decided to quit. Not before I gave into the managers whine of 'too short a notice' and agreed to end today. That's 1 hour of internet bore saving, 2 hours of lunch and 13 hours of scanning. I'm bored of absently pleasing you.

I can now afford a new passport though, yay!

What bother's me most though, is that I have taken the high ground and chose to quit mind numbing jobs for fear of this mythical creativity and I'm still not entirely sure how I want to express it. The music is finished in October. Maybe I should re-start the poetry, dust off the quills and pen a magical thesis on pescatarianism. I hate poetry though. Or maybe I should make more music.... I can't be bothered to write about music this instant.

I can create music but I am in no way a musician. I'm a writer but in no-way I can write.

OOOoooooooooooooooo Big Brother's on.

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Monday, 4 June 2007

Your Mirror To Your Neon Self

Underage gigs are shit and are rotting the youth of today with neon propaganda.

Being young was about being bored, where you had the disassociation with your stars and idols, so much so that they were untouchable, rogue gods that made you want to be untouchable just like them. But now you can touch them at an early age. You can see the inevitable shit rise of a band and because adolescents get bored and aren't used to the statement, the idology of certain bands they haven't been exposed to, music becomes cheap, disinteresting and a place to dance championing saliva.

Underage gigs are good for bands to think they are actually a tiny bit important, because kids are so easily manipulated and haven't formed their opinions yet. How can you tell a good or shit band today? If they make you dance or not?

Playing guitar in front of a mirror was fun when I was a kid. Taking over that bands music, being that lead singer or guitarist is part of a ritual all future musicians should struggle through, without the tempting notion of seeing shit bands and realising, hey, music is fucking easy to play, I'll make people love us by writing shit lyrics to post-punk, danceable, electro music (We Smoke Fags etc etc).

It's become too easy.

The most fun I ever had was playing in front of the mirror.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

The Future is Unwritten

Watching the Joe Strummer documentary by Julien Temple made me realise what an amateurish, art school, melodramatic director the latter is and what a beautiful person Strummer actually was. I guess at least Temple got that across, between putting bizarre vaguely racist images of belly-dancers when it emerges Strummer once lived in Turkey during his early years, or putting weird animal cartoons in some subversive link they may have been saying about authority.

What was a joy was sitting there with a true Clash fan and a fan of the man Joe Strummer, so much so he has his face tattooed on his shoulder and the 'London Calling' album sleeve on his left arm. To see the unpeeling of Strummer before our eyes was a unique experience because it seemed to question the roles we were playing in society the more Strummer was exposed on the screen. Here was a man totally selfish, but totally selfish with seeing a greater future, maybe knowing he couldn't change it. The merge between 'punk' and Strummer was a strange one at times and was completely manufactured in the forming of The Clash by wanting to be this attitude, this stench in the air in the 70's, which at the time was The Sex Pistols. It's a weird contradiction but punk was never the spikey hair, the gobbing or pogo-ing, it was the belief to try and make something happen regardless of your social standing.

I'm not sure he even called for a revolution. It was more of a personal, single-minded revolution. I'm pretty sure he never believed he could change the world, he may have wanted to on some level but his journey was seeing how far he could go in reinvention, the constant test of oneself to test the boundaries. That's why he let The Clash get so famous, because what is playing underground venues or bleeting on about something to a small audience. That's why their songs are pop songs, angry pop songs, with lyrics almost hidden away under his groanful slur. That is 'punk' for me. Taking this shitty genre that has no disconcerable meaning and making people think they like 'punk,' they are 'punk,' when they are just really listening to a popular culture. It's laughable but shouldn't be lost.

Music's just music no matter how you dress it up.

He liked the infamy of people thinking he was doing something important. When that started to crack though, that's when his story started to become sad. The Clash became a parody at the end, members leaving/sacked etc etc and they became a huge punk cliche. What you saw after the split was a man broken and desperate for that importance he once held. I guess you could denounce it as sad, but to reach a point where no-one regards your ideals as the gospel and to venture into the distopia that was the capitalist 80's and 90's, must have been a shock. He was this old 'punk' doing the odd shitty movie appearance. His single mindedness had not moved with the Thatcher/Conservative era, an era which must've angered him more.

How do you reinvent yourself when nobody is really that angry at anything. How can you preach when nobody is following your church? He found peace in the end in the world, not as a fight against it. I think he may have realised how important he was to a generation and to one generation was enough to plant his seed for a future that is unwritten, but he could maybe, in passing CD's or conversation, influence.

I did cry a bit when him and Mick Jones played at the fireman's benefit. You think maybe they could've gone against every grain in left-ist idealism by getting back together, but I think it got raped enough at the end of its existence to try and reinvent The Clash. To do it off the cusp, as Jones said 'an inspirational moment,' made it thoroughly moving.

Temple's choice of celebrity Strummer endorsers made me feel a bit sick though. Yeah Bono's a cunt, has been ripping The Clash off for years while selling U2 to every organisation going for a few quid, but what the fuck were two of the Chilli Pepper's doing on it? 'They've made us progress and challenge people with our music' Flea said. Such cornerstones of challenging music, while having Hyde Park gigs for £50 a ticket? I guess that's how you sell films too though.

'Punk' for me isn't an attitude, a two fingered salute or a way of dressing, it's a strive to test the boundaries of personal authority and the challenge of invisible sysyems. It's an expression of talent, a way to force whatever you think is your opinion or art onto someone or something. It's just that maybe you need a so called 'punk' band to do it.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Unplanted Daffodils

The Daddy could hear the screams
but couldn’t quite place the fuss at first,
his hands between a traffic of new daffodil bulbs
unsure of their growth in this damn spring weather.
Then those hands at the banisters,
at the chipped paint of the baby’s door,
at the Mummy crazy above the cot
shaking the Blue Anna
with her own busy fingers,
trying to push her cries
into the tiny lungs
or swallow the Blue Anna back within the womb,
to start this mess again
ten months before.

The Blue Anna,
too delicate to wake,
ignorant of all this excitement –
the way the Mummy’s panic
made purple her arms,
the way the Daddy lit up, momentarily,
thinking maybe he could turn her on outside,
cradle her alive like the Mummy’s fickle fingers could not.

A bird digs noisily for worms,
inconsiderate but for the season’s schedule.
The patter of rain
as loud in the mud as
the Daddy’s handfuls of silence.

I Think I'm a Father

Leave in womb for 8 ½ months
at gas mark seven and remove.
Wrap in towel, add pink bow with
a twist of talcum powder and
serve with constant screaming and shitty nappies.

You are screaming as I’m writing this.

Eyes search like twin lighthouses
gunning for attention, lighting a
face full of odd numbers -
a pencil sharpener for a nose.
A fat undercooked puff pastry head,
dried in a light mane of cobwebs
a big hole for a mouth cut so endless,
only an idiot may fill.
Kicking in panic a fallen ladybird,
a bee I must have just pulled the wings off.
And why don’t you smile at me?
For you smile for my lover, your mother, your brother.
I talked of names when you were still dressed in lover’s womb,
still plugged in via umbilical cord,
but not one resembles your genderless bag of red blood cells.
You love the mother.
She can bring you happiness from her swollen B-cup that
no bottle bond can replicate.
She can clone more of you if I pass tomorrow,
I can’t if she hangs next week.
Even the toys get your smile!
Mr Bear can be your father.
I’ll bring him the adoption papers.
Six-pound skin wrapped microphone!
I click my fingers but no response.
I tell my lover you must have aspergers, a
dollop of autism or the obese midwife dropped you on
your fat head at birth.
Lover says it will pass.
The walkie-talkies hiss and spit steering me
unconscious in a drunken night train.
Even when they don’t we check
to ensure no cot death.
This cot laced with low flying suicide aeroplanes
and dream catchers of barbwire that trap you like a
prisoner of war porcelain doll,
scared to kiss as you might fracture and drown.
I’m a clumsy fool.
Lover says you have my eyes,
well you can keep them, as they are red and sighing.
Lover says you have her lips and if so,
‘bastard’ will be your first word.


To wrap you up in
cotton wool would be to kill
too many good sheep


I place a key between my knuckles,
curse the moon for turning on my race –

‘Whitey’ I hear from the crowd at the corner shop,
like time in the night,

shocking eyes with tick tock numbers.
The moon lays a carpet over pavement,

for my feet to see the broken bottles, shit
and needles, to show me the homeless I go blind to

in light,
but tonight,

I pass the estate where a fifteen-year old
has just been dismembered, she,

from my old school, raped, cut into pieces,
opposite the hospital of my birth, where

they still send Nan for shock therapy, where
they’ll take me hours before my hearse.

The mosque stands out like a sore fruit now,
a dull building of brick and little colour,

but it isn’t the architecture that dawns, but
the five letter word ‘ISLAM’ high above,

next to the petrol station, a war at peace in
Lewisham, because somebody needs to take

money from the religion of car.
Kebab shops Mecca the hungry drunk,

a Weatherspoon’s pub turns into an arena,
a coffee shop sells branded insomnia

where guns used to be sold,
legally, illegally, who cared?

We’re in South East London,
a bruise the size of a crater,

uncared for, un-plastered,
fists of skinheads canvas the old cinema,

spouting swastikas, listening to rap –
they breed noisily in this austere bone.

The key rests in my palm now like a stolen gem.
I’m nearly home – past the burnt-down estate,

Peter Pan’s Pond and artificial
lamps that dance,

buzz on and off,
more than the pylon-choked stars –

so burn this graveyard. This cemetery of heritage
is on its deathbed – 22 years and never one more.

Tide your Puberty

I hid my body in the back,
between the gutted skin of a coat,
under the oversized white shirt
that curled at my knees: ‘You’ll grow.’
Behind the shadows of gym doors.

Others watered their bud aloud,
proud to display patchwork secrets,
nervous hands cupping their age –
the ‘Queer!’ in a caught eye,
the sharp slap of a wet towel,
the chase with an erect penis.

Behind nature’s timetable,
I’d hide from those eyes.
Cower invisible in corners,
quiet in rehearsed dress,
muddy knees in trousers noisy in smell,
the stains from deodorant
sliding off sweat.

Sometimes the slow were culled,
the ones who couldn’t shield their
bald bodies with practice,
pathetic shapes discovered,
then stripped of their cotton blindness –
pulled into showers to view
border-less torso.
To understand why we knelt at night,

to wake with hair beneath our arms.