Slam Poet

I am not a slam poet:
I do not slam,
I cannot ram
My words
Down your throat.

I do not pout
Or drool,
I cannot shout
And sway
With tree-like arms
And snapped off sounds

I have no charms
For you baying hounds,
I am sorry,
Oh so sorry,

For you.

© andrew rossiter 2011

The Bicycle Repair Man

I rage,
I am raging,
Not white hot,
Not roaring,
But a cold
                   Of rage
Held closely
To my breast

It keeps me young
This rage
Without stamping feet
Or hammered fists
Or shouted words
It keens my eyes
And blades my tongue
With bile

And the object
Of my bile?

He has kidnapped
My bike,
Holding it hostage
Against an unknown ransom
Which he hasn’t yet decided
Because the bike is not
A good hostage
It has not
With the kidnappers
It has not
A Stockholm syndrome
(Or, perhaps
       it has
       They are in
It is costing him time
Which will cost me

My rage
Hands me a list
Of possibilities
Of lawyers visited
Letters written
Of complaints made
At the highest level
But what keeps
My rage
Alive and curdled
Is the sure sight of me
Nodding dumbly at
             The bill.

© andrew rossiter 2011

Lazy Writing

I wrote short stories
Because I was too lazy
To write a novel.

I wrote poetry
Because I was too lazy
To write a story

I tweeted Haikus
Because I was too lazy
To write a poem

I am writing a novel
Because Haikus
Are much too much work.

© andrew rossiter 2011

Killing Thoughts

The radio clatters on,
As if it had something to say,
Oblivious to the fact
That God has been put to sleep:
A rocket shot
Through his heart,
And a man put on the moon

And if that wasn’t enough,
The politicians
Have turned their cold gaze
On thought itself
And are hugely pleased
To see it too,
Shrivel and die
At their giggling funeral pyre

Perhaps they shouldn’t be
So pleased with themselves:
Poor thought is a fragile thing
Easily stamped upon
Just for the sake of it,
Her diaphanous wings
Easily torn and snapped
In ignorance.

© andrew rossiter 2011

White Christmas

The world got all puffed up
In her boisterous colours,
Parading and twirling
In her lush garments,
Like a vapid diva
Or that naked Emperor

Until God, sullenly slumped
In his uncomfortable throne,
Suddenly decided to give her
A lick of cold white paint
To muffle her unnatural

And sighed heavily
As all his animals,
Treading tentatively
On her new fluffy lining,
Declared it a wonder
And began to dance.

So, with a grunt,
He invented Christmas instead.

© andrew rossiter 2010


The toy boy in tie,
Angle poised hand
Propping the greying tooth
Of the cubicle door
Open, peers over
Crunched shoulders
At the rippled puddle
Of card chopped crystals.

Heaving and sighing
To and fro,
Quivering little kids
Lined up at the poolside,
Keeping their flickering eyes,
And jostling feet,
As they nakedly wait for the whistle,
And the cold splash of powder.

Braying donkey head
Thrown back, he snorts
And gags,
The acrid, powdered sentiment
Throwing a fist at his throat.

Glass eyes rolling
A lurid smile,
He dashes for the bar,
Settling the kick
With a champagne swish,
As a gabbling gander
Struts away with his mouth

Babbling down
At the next bright smile,
Decorating an elongated limb
And clapping haw haws
Of tinsel laughter,
While a stray hand
Warms itself
On hob hot promises.

But the night’s
Twists and turns,
And yelps and sighs,
Leave them bewildered
As to why the cough and sneeze
Of the bleak morning light
Had to break its promise;
But that bitter taste
Will just have to wait
Until the next wash of the bars.

© andrew rossiter 2010

Little Girl Lost

The spray of her sneeze
Drowns in the spray of the sea,
As it gnaws at the cavities
And caves of the rotting cliff:
One more tooth waiting to fall
Into the roiling mass
Of the spitting grey maw.

And the water roars
At the paddling tourists,
Poured fresh from the bus,
Tickling its salty tongue
With their wriggling feet,
Squealing like pigs
Crying for slaughter.

And the lifeguard,
All courage in red,
Curls up his tongue
At the reckless wave
Leaping in insolence
For the house on the summit,
And thinks of his supper,
And that little girl’s hand.

© andrew rossiter 2010

An Old Man and his Balcony

Across the way, in the flat
Opposite mine, stands an old man
On his flower lined balcony,
Clutching an angry fag
In cruel fingers, watching his days
Pass by, watching me
Haunting my window.

But I have nothing to offer,
Apart from my belches and my farts,
Lost in the void between us.
We never wave, for fear
Of breaching the bleak beauty
Of our grass greened gulf
Filling it with smells,
And unwanted noises.

© andrew rossiter 2010

Drumming in Ashiyagawa

I experienced strange things in Japan:
I went to a small school where four people
Learnt Turkish drumming, taught by a tired man
And he turned me into mister DJ,
Making me start and stop a selection
Of music according to his own rhyme;
The others, too, struck their drums to his whim
And I was pleased to be able to help;
I even drank some tea and ate some cake,
But, still, the drums maintained their innocence.

© andrew rossiter 2010

Dreams of a Dead Man

Unbeknown to our sniggering faces,
A widow’s legacy hung on the walls,
Staring at us as we skated around the rooms,
All clicking tongues and rolling eyes,
While the kids played tag,
Among the dull window panes
To a dead man’s dreams;
Not that the kids cared.

Arrest came through intervention
At the behest of the earnest
Old widow, pleading the diligence
Of the deceased, as he toiled:
Fifteen hours a day, everyday
Until an untimely, paint filled death,
At the spiteful age of sixty one.
We looked at our toes and didn’t ask why…

But managed to exchange a few niceties,
Together with some pleasantries, but no cash.
The careening children came to rest,
After a sharp bark or two,
And, as a mark of respect, peered at the woman
As if she might be a work of art,
And we shut up our sniggering ‘til outside
But the dead man’s dreams remained just dreams.

© andrew rossiter 2010

Go to Japan, Go to Ikea, Eat Hotdog, and Buy a Blue Bag

The other week I flew
All the way to Japan,
To Kobe, to meet a friend.

We went to Ikea,
Ten minutes from Sannomiya,
Ate hotdogs, and

Drank tepid coffee
After buying a desk,
A few knick knacks, and

Most importantly, a bright blue bag.
If that is not profound,
Then I don’t know what is.

© andrew rossiter 2010

Pat’s Place

Shuffling jam-packed saucepans,
Crammed on a hob of glowering sunsets,
With your long, skinny arms,
Yelling at the twitching shawl,
“Grub’s up, darlin’!”

The grim old shawl nods slowly,
A grey claw reaches out from beneath,
Snatches the sweating plate of steam
From your outstretched hand;
Her coins are as hot as your stove.

The pan smiles like an evil cat,
The insects rustle as the yoke breaks,
A marauding sea of yellow slammed
Between two fat chunks of frothy white bread,
And the cry: “One egg sani, comin’ up!”

Tipping and stirring, scraping
And tossing, you the plughole to this
Caterwauling maelstrom
Of eggs, chips and peas,
Fried slices and two teas.

A mouth breaking yawn cracks the day,
Work steamed eyes peer tiredly
From under grease permed hair,
Your apron hangs dejectedly at shift’s end;
You wave a limp “Cheerio,” with your thin hand.

© andrew rossiter 2010


Stooped, was what she was,
As we passed on by, looking the other way,
Stooped over a battered litter bin,
Pulling out a crumpled plastic bottle,
Carefully wiping off the smeared detritus,
And placing it in the bottle bulging bag
Hanging from her brawny arm
Wrapped in a dirty Macintosh
That had seen better days than this.

An errant seagull tittered meanly overhead,
And a dog of a wind licked lasciviously
At the torn hem of her dress,
A fetching blue Formica floral pattern,
Which she fussily patted down
With an old man’s wrinkled hand
Hanging from the wrinkled Mac
Like an obdurate squatter
Waiting to be evicted.

And then, bugger me, he caught my eye,
Smiled like a wide trousered salesman, saying:
“Ich war ein Manager, ich bin ja schuld.”
A peaked policeman strolling past,
Officiously bundled him off,
And we stood there gawping,
As he quietly trundled away,
Gobstoppered bags bursting
From under his arms.

A passerby, all wrapped in fur, asked,
“How could he be so fucking brazen?”
Stooped, indeed.

© andrew rossiter 2010

Gym Workout

The reek of the unwashed,
Puts two long fingers up your nose,
And your elbows creak,
To the whine of the weighted pulleys,
Slowly extricating,
Tired arms from aching sockets,
And you shower in salted tears,
Lathered with ugly groans,
Pumiced with gritted teeth.

A heaving pause and the gym,
rolls in on its telling mirrors,
Stories of pummelled flesh,
Tautly singing and flabbily guffawing,
Pushed and pulled with grunts and sighs,
Bodies tied to wracking machines,
Like some medieval poorhouse,
turning the wheel,
grinding the stone.

From the left, the thump
Of the running machine,
From the right, the canned strains
Of emaciated notes toiling,
In their stereoed concentration camps,
And the wheeze of their chubby cheerleader,
Sex struts on by in a burst of hope,
Death helplessly giggles in the corner,
As we try to avoid his gnomic advances,
By running on the spot.

© andrew rossiter 2010

A Professor with his Student

He rambles, braced by the solidity
Of the building marking his position
With a plastic plaque on his office door;
It buys him his verdant, woolly freedom,
In which he can romp to his heart’s delight,
For as long as his student’s eye is scratched
By sonorous wool, and shivering awe.

To hide this, and more, they lounge in a bar,
Sipping cheap wine and rustling smudged papers
Back and forth, playing an elaborate
Game of cards, the hand dealt always sleighted
Against the student, legs crossed, toes tapping,
Clothed in bright cloth playing a pair of shoes;
Hope bright eyes pleading for sufficient mark.

And I watch, commiserate and labour,
To put them out of their unwholesome misery,
My words a tombstone to their nervous play,
As I put their stuttering scene to death,
Scratch by black scratch, mortified in white fields.
A blind old professor, who failed to see,
What was happening to his lamed pupil,
Withering before him, struck by the strokes
Of my pen, and the bite of his vapid
critique, is likewise embalmed, encased and lost.

© andrew rossiter 2009

Kafka’s Vigil

Turn, and turn again as the pillow bites
Back; colours dance behind closed doors.
Twist, and cry once more as the sheets strangle
Sleep; and wayward thoughts bully serenity.

Count, and count again as muscles spasm
Awake; old friend pain plays his thudding song.
Soothe, preach calm to grating jaws crumbling
Teeth, and a tired heart bitterly pounding.

Read, and turn the page away from its mocking
Words; while Europe sleeps, we must hold our vigil.
Hollow vigil, lost in the mutterings
Of the sleepless damned. I cannot sleep.

© andrew rossiter 2009

I Spy

To what do we owe this fleeting pleasure?
With twenty houses lined along the street.
Twenty pairs of twitching eyes that treasure,
As cold insect eyes swivel on their stalks,
Peering impassively as Jack stabs Joe.
“But at least we caught the little bastard,”
Cries the copper at Joe’s tear stained Mum,
Who strikes him hard, shouting, “but where’s my son?”

And the cameras turn, and nod their heads
At the louts slugging in the shout loud streets,
Who raise their fingers in dismal salute,
Just for us to see, safe at home, on TV.
Faces marked, and asbos served, they’ll go down,
To be followed by friends and family,
Who’ll make sure we’ll have our weekend repeat,
and not spoil this grimy little industry.

Yet to delve one deeper, to peer behind,
There, the camera’s little eyes just stare
They tape the pleas, but as if they’re blind,
And so they watch the things fall and degrade;
A sightless excuse for doing nothing,
As they see the terrorist and his bomb,
Blankly record the blast, telling no-one,
For that would spoil the game, and take its fun.

So, do videos of concrete labyrinths,
Haunts of hooded boys with sharp little toys,
Their scifi laser looks erasing all,
Really solve sad Joe’s untimely demise?
Or, let things fester in some dark, blind spot,
Ignoring the plight of those less well done,
As cameras turn heads the other way,
while we more fortunate, run wild and play?

© andrew rossiter 2009

Amateur Opera

A glass of rich wine being poured,
The auditorium slowly fills,
With gaily coloured scarfs and handbags,
held delicately in all too dainty hands.
Stems of warm wine,
Stalk nervous communion,
In flighty smiles and diminutive discourse.

Sagging jumpers pulled too long,
Pencil thin trousers stretched too tight,
An overcoat dribbles carelessly onto the ground.
Two professors pontificate Iran,
In their traditional baggy pants,
While performers, smartly groomed,
Tap their tidy feet nervously.

Callously claimed chairs,
Are scraped, scuffled and shuffled.
Tweaks of conversation flutter
In the air, a hovering hum.
Eyes wide with attempted witticism,
Minds dull with angry affectations,
Peer, as performers scramble to the stage.

Above it all, the conductor sniffs,
And raises her thin arms,
To greet the ensuing hush.
A sunbeam rushes to catch a face,
Rapt in a single sonorous note,
Cleaving the beguiled audience,
From their singular vanities.

© andrew rossiter 2009


A finger lickin’, stainless, shimmering surface
Is my goal, its shine my pride, its glance my solace.
Ceramic white, scrubbed to blinding;
Tiles twinkling to their chamois rub.
Dust devoured in the roaring vacuum;
A black greasy rim, routed from that tired old tub.
And, sweat pouring, I scrub and scrub and scrub.

To what neuroses am I driven
As hate fills my scrub numbed skull?
At little Jenny with her sticky fingers,
At industrious John with his dirty drill.
At the empty household that screams at me,
As I desperately seek dust drunk crannies long forgot,
On which to work my ire, as dismal thoughts run free.

Exhausted I sink within the couch,
To sup my cup of tea,
And nibble quietly at my other joy,
A toasted crumpet, with late afternoon TV.
Till my beloved dirt blind children charge home,
Shouting, smudging and besoiling, to ensure sufficient toil for me.
Likewise, an earnest hubby, who asks, “good day today, honey?”

© andrew rossiter 2009

Childhood Years

Testing taunts and jeers,
were the meat of our
raging childhood years.

Gobstoppers and dares,
Fuelled those tiny,
Wild insanities

Horns blared at chicken
Runs, skateboard chiseled,
Grit bitten knees, hurt.

Street corner fight grounds,
Flashing little fists,
Tugged hair and mean kicks.

Lookouts for the boys,
Smashed glass, in and out,
Tales for school, not Mum.

Sweetshop raid, distract
The man, hungry hands
Grab the booty, out!

Angry words, biting laughs,
Death and friendship,
Ran hand in hand.

Tom hates Jimmy,
Jimmy hits Pat,
He tells tales, the rat.

Then teatime called us,
Running home to Mum,
God, we were happy.

© andrew rossiter 2009

Rock Fuck

Strutted long legged walk, swivelled hips swing,
Easy guttural beats, words fucked senseless,
Touched, the crowd vibrates as the rock fuck sings,
Impaled, they writhe in strange caterpillar
Sex, in their lovely, lonely gang bang, kings.

© andrew rossiter 2009


Breath, wide mouthed, gasp snatched,
Lead clothed lung heaving tart mist,
Steel braids silkened, breathe.

© andrew rossiter 2009


Red rawed nose tickles,
Steep stepped breaths tilt aching head,
Band snapped nose spewed splash.

© andrew rossiter 2009


Body so stiff and
midriff thick with too much
beer, just one thing for it
A round of yoga with
my personal trainer.

Honey toned, digital
abs, she entices me
to stretch, to touch, to bend,
again and again and
again, my pushy Wii.

Oh woe is me, poor Wii
has died. One stretch too far
her circuitry done for,
a single sigh, that was all,
now she’s gone, I’m off t’ bar.

© andrew rossiter 2009


A gaggle of students,
Macs at hand, phones to ear,
Laughter their symphony.

A single lone woman,
Bright young face frown furrowed,
Eyes in a book burrowed.

Tell me, did we do this?
Books, once revered and precious,
Today, sold by the pound.

Have you paid enough?
Knowledge, one time priceless,
Now, bartered to the hounds.

Are you vapid enough?
Reading so much googling,
analysis tweeted.

No worksheet on Ezra?
Simplicity is the rule,
The cud of Enlightenment.

Or was it always so?
Complexities of knowledge,
Kept enshrined for the few.

© andrew rossiter 2009

Selling Points

Fluttered flyer, flipped chart and gilded card,
Shake, hand, shake, nod and smile,
Twist, beg and barter, pin striped leg with hollow laughter,
Product segmented, customer profiled, contract closed, customer beguiled.

Quick door openers, dark closed faces and tapping toes,
Perspiring palms, slickened presentations in short, quick breaths,
Sips of coffee, downward glances, papers whispering,
Wayward gazes, a tired cough, slam of a book, the next tired knock.

© andrew rossiter 2009

Man and Woman

In silence they lay, post coital, after
Play, uttering small noises, which can go
One way, or another. “Hush darling” said
The woman. “Your murmurs begin to make
Me tremble in anticipation of
What is to come. I wonder, will it break
Me? Or will your words soothe me and take me
Higher?” The man grunted and turned to rest
Upon his elbow, in that arrogant
Way that men often have. “Why, woman, dwell
You `pon this hankering for entrapping
Me in doubtful words and guileful phrases?
I, yes I, am a Man. And, as well you,
A woman, should by now know, as Man, I
Must be free. Do not overly weep, Woman,
For your loss my freedom means. Now go I!

“You return so soon? Is freedom so quick
To find?” asked the woman as she relaxed
In the shade of a low tree. Strided Man
Toward her, looking, to all intents, as
If he had some purpose within his mind.
“Wizened by my troubles, and though weary
Be, I thought. And in my thinking saw I
How merciless and cruel I had been
To you. For here, alone and uncertain
Have I left you, grieving in your loss of
Me. Thus have I returned, my heart with
mercy full. Together shall we go, freedom
Our goal.” “Oh” said the woman, with some doubt,
“Wouldn’t you rather come here and lie with
Me?” With mercy in his good heart Man smiled,
“Before we go, may take you, fill of me.”

“Woman!” boomed Man, “With sex you berate me
To stay. Tell you I, that these snares of your
Body will not long hold me. Now go I
In search of freedom. Stop me and I will
Beat you.” The woman looked at Man strangely.
“You will beat me?” She asked in a tired voice.
Man with laughter roared. “Yes, beat you I will!”
“Tell me, Man” she said “with what will you beat
Me?” “Woman, do not foolish be. With hands
Will I beat you. With feet will I kick you.
With teeth will I bite you. With sharp sword will
I cut you!” With that he strode toward her.
“Wait” she cried “Oh Man, you have no sword.”
“A quibble, I need it not. Male strength shall
In this matter prevail.” “Oh Man” cried the
Woman, “You cannot see what I speak of.”

Man halted in his tracks. “Of what can you speak
That I, Man, cannot see?” With gentle voice
Spoke she: “Dearest Man, you search for freedom
With no eyes to see. You travel so far
With no feet to walk. You hit so hard with
No hands to strike. But worst of all you chew
On words, with no teeth to bite. Though both you
And I may vociferous with seeming
Intent be, from where does our intent come,
And to where shall we go? We neither feel,
Nor think, but simply play on difference
found between words. Man and Woman are games,
Played in the funniest and saddest ways.
To strike in the name of Man, or Woman,
Is the saddest game of all.” Reasoning
Man said: “This is true. I will think on it,
And then write a great book, which you may read.”

© andrew rossiter 2009

Programmers and Businessmen

The Programmer worships,
the deaf Queen called Logic.
His prayer is convoluted,
and occasionally obscure,
but not without elegance
in its careful dance. It is
His syntax, his currency,
but his Queen plays a hard bargain,
And he must toil to please her.

The businessman, toe tapping
and unbelieving,
derides the old harridan’s charms,
and piles up his money,
amid the woeful cries
of the besotted Programmers.
But woe to the businessman,
who casts aside his atheism,
to delve into the mysteries
of the Programmers’ belief.
For his purse will soon be empty.

© andrew rossiter 2009

6 Responses to “poetry stuff”

  1. Your ‘Lazy Writing’ poem is very clever and very funny. I also very much like ‘Go to Japan’ and ‘Stooped’. (Found you via Twitter.)

    1. Thanks – glad you enjoyed them. Hope you like the twitter stuff too!

  2. I liked the first part of Old Man and His Balcony but you lost me with ‘fart’ lol

    Keep writing
    -Lady Jane

  3. evdo ebuzer Says:

    “Getting old” sounds uniquely promising!

    1. coffeepercolator Says:

      Thanks for the support. I’ll keep going.

  4. evdo ebuzer Says:

    good poem,
    shame about the rhyming

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