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John Turner

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Updated: Mon, 6 Dec 2010 09:42:34 pm

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Born and raised in Liverpool. Moved to Burnley. Moved back to Liverpool. Moved to Rugby. Turned 30 Oct 09. Mid-life crisis meltdown since I was around 21. 30 sort of compounded it. A few friends but not really on my wavelength. Wish they were or that I was with theirs. The rest are just chaff: mere acquaintances. (9-5) I appear to exist but the jury's still deliberating. Bring in the petri dish and you can cultivate me into a better sort of toad. Always looking at the power of expression and how far it can reach the hearts of others, as well as how ineffective it can be. Teacher. Teach the teacher for he realises the limits of his own minature pearls of wisdom. Plato or Seneca he ain't. A composer of many diatribes. One day he will find peace. Maybe. Likely not.


I remember the blue screen
Though it was curdled with cancer, it was exotic

The first time for me was Embassy
She was thick on the lungs and full-figured
The event took place at the stairwell of the nursing home
I was not yet sixteen; she was just out of the packet

During my sissy period there was Silk Cut
And I remember the adverts, before the ASA interfered

I remember Russ Abbot and those cigars
And I remember how every cigar I’ve ever had, including Cuban

has been as foul as the one before

On the count of remembering things, I remember there used to be a time
When there was no such thing as a ‘friend request’ from somebody
a) you barely know
b) you barely like
c) is a ‘mutual friend’ of somebody you
barely know and
barely like

And I remember a time when the lines on my face weren’t so deep
And I remember a time when the lines of my face weren’t on my face

And I remember the scene where Sharon Stone crosses her legs
And inhales on the little white stick seductively

Now please, please don’t bother me with your own nostalgia
Because this is a selfish exercise for me; it is my time not yours

We may share similar experiences, or you may never have smoked
One of us may have cancer
(I don't care who)

In conclusion:
Do not like or dislike these words I have strung together
How about ambivalence?

There is a blue screen waiting to happen
On the counter there is a cigarette

Light it, smoke it…
And stop worrying about tomorrow
Nor care about the past.
Left Overs
There are crumbs on the side of your mouth
You never told me your appetite was back
I thought you were sick and bedridden
Who bought the meal? Not you, I suspect.

Oh by the way, did I forget to mention?
I was going to take you to Skylon in London
Because there was an offer on
in the paper; included free champagne
Perhaps my cheapness is a novelty
Why not rub it into your gums as one does cocaine?
I guarantee the thrill will be short-lived.

When you’re ‘making love’ to another man
Do you finger count the lovers you’ve had...
then run out of hands?
Before you stick your finger up his arse
Now that happened once, but I didn’t like it
She was the thirty-four year old pervert
Who stole my virginity.

When I’m window shopping, sometimes I catch sight of
the reflection I refuse to recognise
I don’t like him
I think he’s out to get me
I think he’ll stick the knife in
Because he's sure it’s better that I die
Than to suffer for my ‘art.’

I drew her carelessly
I drew her with thought
She was my blue period, my comedown
From the high that was too short.

Is every poem wrapped up in the scent of a woman?
Is every war the cause of man?

Never mind, just remove your vicious master plan
to overthrow and leave me for dead.

And endlessly, more words are said
(like these ones you’re reading now)
Speaking into the corners of blank spaces
Whispering into strangers’ ears
Only for those same said strangers to turn away
Or to congratulate because they relate
to the sorts of words you’re reading now...

What good is that?

Once more, I doubt it matters
Whether there be crumbs or dust
Or whether there be l()ve.

The Seedling (beta version)
S/he isn't weathered yet
The blood still dashes to her lips; then blushes
Neither needs application
Like the tarts do before they entangle men;
lose a bet of who gets the best

looking one.

Make do.

I need no lipstick collar
I shall not utter chat-up line nor holler
like the men-slags do before they're entangled
by the roving arms of those tarts.

S/he is but a seedling
S/he is not weathered yet
S/he is freshest and s/he is sweetest
S/he is adorably naive

When the monsters play
When they drink and shag their lives away
Here sit I, as good as condemning these words to pages which decay
As soon as a real life task comes along:
Wash up, clear off, or pay.

The seedling; s/he is just a thought
A vision of something that does not wither
S/he shall not bleed
For I have instructed it to be so
then it shall be.

Here is the broken pottery
the empty vessels whose carved-out interiors allows them to echo the loudest
Here is the vomit of a chat-up line
and the seedling planted from a one night stand.

And s/he will develop
S/he will grow and follow by example.

She is as dangerous as Artemis
Do not admire her bare beauty
He is the flower named Narcissus
You think the seedling is his but how could it be?
When his sideward glance was caused only by the breeze.

He'd fuck you then leave...
only if you're lucky.

You are the seedling, child
You are above thirty but less than that barren age
When a woman loses her right
Given that men steal most of them anyway

You are the seedling, you are but the imagination
of this combination of fingers and a semi-prying mind (a subhuman kind)

You are the second thought, the youthful one
Where the first thought is birth
You are planted in the softest earth
before your roots are torn and cursed

by the breath of the close-up one
admiring your dainty spade-like leaves
He's been drinking again
He will pluck you bare, behold!

Seedling, there is no summer to sustain you
You are here but you do not grow
You are nothing more than a stagnant vision
to be dismembered with the rest.

You are brown and dotted with disease
You are worms or less than these
You are the potted plant;
the indigent pest

and I am your creator.
That red apple on the table on the stage
has somehow turned green
I wonder if they'll notice or care
Painted and glazed by a stagehand who
offered her services for free
Now that's what I call creative integrity
But even she did not note the change.
Why not?

Two poor players fret their hours
as the candles burn (metaphorically?)
But despite solilquy after soliloquy
nothing is gained

No understanding
No crisis resolution

and when one Poor Player forgets his lines and is fed
the topic sentence from a voice in the wings
the fourth wall loses vigor

The apple was green was not red

So to the utterances, to the dried flowers by
the headstone that will rest above your head
there need be no confession or revelation

Nor climax for those watching
who haven't had the courtesy to notice
that that apple was not red

Oh, you critics
Oh spectators
Why must you take it so damn seriously?
When essentially, and we know it:

Art is weak; is powerless

and God is dead. (?)
Not with the C but the K
And if not, would it matter?
So the meaning is: 'to cause a change'
Do you think you can deal with that?
Has there been magick in your life?
Was there magick when you told your first lie?
The first syllable was the card trick, si?
The middle syllable was the double lift, oui?
The last syllable was their gasps...
because you successfully fooled them
But that was magic with a C not magick with a K
We must not confuse the difference
Now repeat:
Not the C but the K
No, what you did was merely lie
Like poor Eve did; the victim
She deceived and has been paying for it ever since
I've heard it's why men beat women
I've heard it was the making of Andrea DworCin
She wrote ChiCCen Soup for the Soul
She suggested the drowning of men in hot soup
(with krutons)
She suggested it was theraputic
Or am I misleading you?
Not the C but the K
So, you devious one
You klever one with your props
Make a change
Make time stop
Go ahead and do it
Like the red light or dot, if you will
When the fools stop
When what they should do is KrAsH
For a Krash is preferable to slow demise
Plus I prefer the onomatopoeiaK solution
Not the C but the K
You know, this language we poets use to entice
Like the way cats are drawn to mice
These linguistic toys with which we play
MuChas graCias, s'il vous plait
Not the C but the K...
I think it's all bullshit
Not magick at all
And your response, oh enigmatic one?
Ah ha, you respond with a riddle!
Like so many poets do
Just as magicians hide gimmiKKs up their sleeves
And there is no change
And there is no one who believes
And there is no truthful way.
Not the C.
Not the K.
A mountain hill top
Beware: more comparisons
Will silence not do?

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

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Janet Ramsden

Tue 2nd Nov 2010 21:53

Hi, just here to let you know i've removed some of my older comments on your profile as they are back in the spotlight since you updated it. Hope you are well ;-)

John Togher

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Tue 13th Apr 2010 22:25

Hiya John, yes, that is my email below. Get in touch and we'll work something out.

Pete Crompton

Sat 3rd Apr 2010 15:47

John, try leavin a message on his profile, im sure his email was ''
hoping all is well with you, been too long

hanah hewes

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Wed 24th Feb 2010 00:20

Just thought I'd comment to say I read your poetry and thoroughly enjoyed it! Especially The Seedling and Letting Go of the Lotus Flower. Thanks for sharing!

Pete Crompton

Sat 20th Feb 2010 18:51

John, looking forward to getting a slot for you at one of the Tudors Acoustic Nights, I shall contact John Togher. Yes, would love to download your new 12 piece collection.
hoping we can meet at a gig soon

John Turner

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Wed 17th Feb 2010 12:44

Also, I wouldn't necessarily bear in mind your suggestions for how I should view the work, as such an exercise is very much down to the critic and reader. :)

John Turner

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Wed 17th Feb 2010 12:43

Personally, I feel that iambic pentameter is a little outmoded anyway. Really, the final version of your poem, and the placement of everything, is down to you. I'm afraid I don't have enough time to do something indepth due to me being a busy f/t teacher. These dropped-in comments during breaks allow me a few moments but something larger would be a different thing altogether.

Janet Ramsden

Tue 16th Feb 2010 11:08

Hi John, thanks for looking at and commenting on my 'Metal Tiger Roars in' poem, and from a different angle too.
Although i don't take kindly to abrupt, harsh critique, i do appreciate and value the considered approach and comment on the structure and technical merits. I've only very recently started to practice with meter based on Stephen Fry's book i have to add. Most of my poetry is written after quiet meditation so i feel it is more spiritually guided. Even that appears flawed because the human element naturally takes over when writing the piece.

I see what you mean about the ending of the poem. I believe that even a tiger would have some vulnerability when injured, literally or in the metaphorical sense. :-)

Thanks again, I needed a comment like yours to spur me on. I worked hard on it and it's the longest piece i've ever written so good to know it didn't go lame.

ps. I like your bio, i can relate to some of it.

winston plowes

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Sat 13th Feb 2010 23:55

Hi John... Glad you liked H#4. I may well deploy it as you suggest. Win.

winston plowes

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Sun 7th Feb 2010 22:47

John... Just read again 'the seedling' in your samples. Some fantastic tracts in this one. Win

John Turner

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Sun 17th Jan 2010 11:03

Yeah, that's fine. I feel 'nowt' detracts from the power of the poem but as with all assessments, mine is as subjective (and as faulty) as the next person's.

chris stevenson

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Sun 17th Jan 2010 10:37

..thanks for the comment John...yes, I wrote it very quickly and so won't be changing any words (including 'nowt')..if you look at chris co's comment he advised lots of edits which I don't can't edit a sudden verbal outburst, so why this?..having said that I am re-assessing stuff I wrote in my 20s...but I wasn't so concerned with life's mistakes and errors then..!

Winston (Admin)

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Mon 11th Jan 2010 18:40

Hi John. Keep looking, keep blogging and we will keep reading.

John Turner

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Mon 11th Jan 2010 11:57

In the preview section on this site, the poem shows in a different format than what is actually published. I shortened 'your' to 'ur' so that the sentence fitted on the correct line. That said, I bet e.e. cummings (no caps needed) would probably be well into text spk, not to mention ur instead of your. So I'm allowed too! As regards whether this poem would work more as a blog, I disagree - my style of verse is often conversational and short on the usual poetic gestures. It's just how I tend to write. I suppose the more laboured ones will come across more immediately as 'poetic.' Many thanks for your comments. I will check out your work soon.

Ann Foxglove

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Mon 11th Jan 2010 09:47

Hi John. I didn't notice any cliches in Left Over. Maybe this poemwould make a good blogg? Somehow it seemed hard to comment on the one you chose as it seemed more of a statement. Is "ur vicious" etc right or should it be "your"? Anyway, good poem I thought. And welcome too.

John Turner

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Sun 10th Jan 2010 22:02

Hey. I'm not quite sure of the cliches you're speaking of but I will take another look. I composed the poem in about ten minutes and so perfection wasn't expected. I'll give it a re-edit at some point. Thanks for your comments.

Graham Sherwood

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Sun 10th Jan 2010 21:58

Hello John. WOL can't find friends for you but you'll certainly get some honest comments about the work you post up. There are some great lines in Left Over. Drop a few of the cliches and concentrate on your own strong words. Oh and welcome of course.

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