FTMT's Favourite Five Top Tenets

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Jack the Knife

Winter wonderland

A lorry jack knifed on the A9
With a cargo of cigarettes rolled in a factory in Russia
Virginia slim pickings for Highlanders and the displaced of Indo-China
90 degrees in the winter road way, cut by a jack knife
And some thing else to explain to the wife
This is Jack and this is your life.
So the cars queued and the blue lights flashed
Bright hi-viz jackets and a quiz
About what you did wrong.
Too fast, too greedy
Too much, too needy
And the driver swore to himself and thought about what might happen next
To him and his vehicle and his load
90 degree turn around in winter on the grey and slippery road.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A lonely place

Lonely Place

Men fight over land only to be buried in it or to have their ashes scattered over it. Men fight over ideas as if they were measurable and meaningful only for those ideas to be misunderstood, written down and then burned on bonfires. Men make laws to control situations only to find that they never did really understand the situation in the first place. People go out for a drink after work to chat and make friends and climb social and business ladders and each one appreciates the pretence and the posturing and then they all go home alone. Lonely people put advertisements in the paper or on the web so that they can meet other lonely people, then they will at least share their loneliness with some one else. Confused people go to churches or join religious or political groups looking for answers. Some answers are satisfactory; some not so, some require a certain suspension of belief or rational thought. Some call for a commitment that is heavy and unreasonable but some people take this on gladly, for they have found a reason. Some people learn to Salsa and have fun, these people are quite lucky. Some people make a cup of coffee, light up a cigar and blow smoke into a clear sky while their internal processes and thought connections rest and recuperate. These things are sent to try us.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Greater expectations of a gold, silver and diamond digger.

Sweet potato and chicken curry.
Pinot Grigio
Working your way through a fat city.
Taking in a flight to Dublin.
Trouble in.

Walk talk cigar, big cock.
Stroll around the block.
Make it and shake it.
Stepping into how it feels.
Red high heels.

Sweet and sour expectations.
Indifferent vibrations.
The wealth and sweat of the nations.
Here comes a vague opportunity.
Give it to me.

Cheese grater expectations.
Garlic bread revelations.
Bleak house of Oliver pasta twist.
Show what you could resist.
The pain that didn’t quite exist.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Cat photo

Vegetarian Manifesto

The animals were created and named and like the fresh clay and crumb and butterscotch that they were formed from, craved a free life. They fled the confines of swirling imagination to inhabit this wide, green world. Crawling, running, flying, creeping, swimming, burrowing, trotting and slithering to it’s ends and beginnings. Some tasted good, some tasted bad, some were poison, some wriggled too much, some needed a good deal of seasoning, some needed a jar of Uncle Ben’s. So creation rung it’s earnest bell loudly across the land and bonfires were duly lit to celebrate. Barbeques were the next big invention as well as sharp things to cut logs. Women and few men grew to love their fur coats, however fish scale coats and ant-skin shoes never caught on, but fashion is a fickle and petulant mistress, mark my words.

By the time the sons of Adam had opened their first restaurant a buzz was beginning. At first the bees were blamed but as it turned out it was other people from over the hills that nobody had ever bothered to tell the brothers about. As the first to benefit from a customer charter, these good people enjoyed the fine wine and fresh meats the brothers had killed and prepared. No one around the table ever dreamed that they were sitting in the spot that would one day be Poland. The early geographers were of course only learning the basics of their trade at this point.

I’m not sure but once the first meat course was eaten, it seems that a fellow from Nod decided that a dish of salad would be nice, as an alternative to the goose and pineapple curry. Of course the fresh salad, plucked from the slopes of the slowly forming Himalayas and washed in icy waterfalls was a roaring success, especially as it was served upon a marvellous crocodile skin platter. The diners were lost for words and the brothers never looked back.

It was the kangaroo god who first wrote down this tale, as a warning, a lesson and a piece of romantic food and drink fiction. If a god had to start writing about anything it might as well be food – most other topics are a bit tedious. So keep the masses well fed and a little in debt and they are far less likely to man the barricades or hit the cobbles. Why only the other century a hot-dog stand in East Berlin was closed down due to public health concerns and other various but unproven complaints about cooked meats and hard bread rolls. Nothing to do with a cat photo either.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Keeping Mum


I’ve stopped trying to figure when things first went wrong
When the rails were ripped up and trains stopped running
When the holidays still happened but passed me by
When the wars ended but replayed on in a endless loop
When the tiny becomes huge and the valuable is squandered.

So you’re stuck in 1939 or in the Empire Hotel or somewhere
A world so small you have to crawl to get around
Those Sunday school picnics and crowded harbours
Scrapping and watching and seeing the passages of time.

Exhibitions viewed dimly through wire rimmed glasses
And no sense of worth because of their education
Systems that were corrupt but better than nothing
No sense of loss or ever real expectation.

Inside a hollow place of butcher’s boys and loaves and bicycles
Living in a village and trapped in a bottle.
The blame’s in the name and the crushing thumbs
Of elders and betters and ministers and nuns.

How can you not know that a few miles away other things were happening?
Farmers were working sixteen hour days; coal miners were black and trapped
Mills ground down men and machines, hot rivets popped and cracked
Journalists with Brylcream and cigarettes tried to capture it all in their best learned English, with ink.
Starched politicians of the hour blinked at brown box cameras and blind, foggy lenses.

No work or mixing or anything for over fifty years
A growing disconnection and a deepening illusion
Here come the home helps and carers
Here comes the doctor, the nurse and pall-bearers.

The shock of the new washes over you
The shock of the new magnifies you
The shame of the past cripples you
The tiny fragments of steel live in you.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Blind Faith

As tall as a young god

The kangaroo god is puzzled today. In a letter written in 1969 a young student from London, England, has drawn together a powerful case for saying that the hitherto unreleased "Gospel According to Barnabus le Shark" is in fact an early version of the second side of the Beatles LP Abbey Road. Barnabus le Shark it seems has written credible versions of “She came in thru the bathroom window” and “Carry that weight” that can now both be dated back to the first century AD. Quite how the drumming of Ringo Starr and the guitar work of L’Angelo de Mysterioso can be recognised I’m not sure. I strikes me as a very similar set of circumstances to those highlighted by Wee Willie Harris in 1964. He claimed to have written the “Heartbreaker” guitar solo on Led Zeppelin II following a vision, a good telling off and an envelope he’d received from the Angel Gabriel. The kangaroo god remains puzzled by all these heavy matters. Knowing everything and seeing everything is all very well but age-induced memory loss can cause the fudging of certain issues and the blurring of visionary boundaries.

The young girl featured on the Blind Faith album cover was causing yet another dilemma for kangaroo god today. Was she really discovered in a taxi or was she an evil spirit released to savagely undermine the album cover design culture and the newly emerging rocket and star ship science of the late sixties? Another question that perplexed nearly everybody on the team was “who had been the tallest member of Blind Faith?” Not really a pub quiz favourite but a profound question none the less,
(The answer is or may be below*).

The Cinderellas were, by now fed up with the lack of progress being made and fully expected a new initiative to begin. Indeed there were plans to get them hitched but unfortunately no budget or proper allocation of funds had been made. This led to a number of handsome princes heading over to Russia with a view to obtaining their own princess who would, without the burden of finding a costly dowry, be more readily available . The course of true love seldom runs smoothly or so much out of steam.

When Western culture meets Eastern culture it is common practice for men to build a canal.

*Ginger Baker.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Queue for God

A dispute over forever

As usual I’m trying to get kangaroo god to listen to me and provide advice. Today of all days, he’s on some state visit to a neighbouring heaven, shaking hands, drinking ambrosia and opening old people’s homes. The minister, never usually friendly towards me, has agreed that I can wait in an anti-room and read magazines and talk to the others in the queue until he returns.

The magazines were not very interesting; their main subject matter was about hobbies and celebrities in heaven. The administration had a real enough situation here, living forever and staying “on message” was altogether a problem. The early Cinderellas had been fine, they were few in number, knew one another and pretty much towed the party line. However a few hundred years ago a more argumentative and feisty group had entered. Whilst they participated in all the basic chants, dances, worshiping and candle-lighting things they did them with a less than perfect attitude. Some said that they had become bored with their duties and were, despite their exhaulted position looking for a little more to do. It seems that early on, perhaps in a moment of weakness, kangaroo god had promised them some responsibilities. They wanted to rule over something, they wanted a little more power.

In response the kangaroo god had increased the worship schedules to take up the slack within the day and introduced religious hobbies as a diversion and a means of control. It worked with some but others, a small minority, felt they were not being fully utilised or actualised in their promised roles. This group would complain about always being expected to peer down into hell to watch friends and relatives squirming and in pain when they could be controlling them, they’d also moan about the clothing allowance and the climate. Kangaroo god was fed up with them. “Why on earth do they take things so literally? I didn’t promise all that stuff did I?”

I busied myself with the magazines while the Cinderellas bickered on amongst themselves about what seemed to me to be trivial matters, candlesticks, hair, make-up, torture and purgatory. I was naturally much more concerned about the entropy of the universe, sun spots and the great Australian volcano. I had made up a list of substantial things for urgent action.

Of course when the big cheese returned from the neighbours he was in no mood to talk about anything, it turned out he had a headache and the gifts he’d been given were, as he put it “total, thoughtless, glitzy crap”. His office door slammed and I slid the magazine down from in front of my face and placed it neatly in the rack. Some of the Cinderellas were very upset; some were in tears, others puffed out their cheeks in a red and pink rage. A few handsome princes arrived but really it was beyond their limited abilities to do anything. We’d all have to wait till tomorrow, which in the scale of forever isn’t really so bad, it’s just a shame that the Cinderellas had managed to lose all concept of time when they signed up for heaven.

I shuffled out of the office and down the pale corridor, their cries ringing in my ears. Funny how despite planned and apparent peace, harmony and perfection, just getting a little undivided attention can cause so much of an atmosphere and disquiet.