Just a Toe Dip

Rat Stew excerpt, Pete justifying his demise.


I always wondered why people did terrible things. I know now, it’s not a choice. The guy who killed tens of kids at that school in America, he didn’t have a choice, Hitler didn’t have a choice, Bin Laden didn’t have a choice, Pol Pot, no choice. When we’re safe in our little homes with our central heating and electric amenities we only see one version of events. We lift our fingers and say- ‘that guy’s a bastard’ ‘she needs torturing’ ‘he needs a twenty inch dildo up his arse’. But it’s not so simple. Things escalate. The people around us build up one terrible thing that’s happened in vengeance or spite and they make that thing us, so much so we have to live it. We fulfil what they’ve made us.

Listen, I’m not saying those guys aren’t evil and twisted and all kinds of fucked up, because they are, I’m just saying, once they dipped their toe, they got dragged in. There was no way Hitler could turn around in the middle of the war and say, ‘release the Jews and apologise for all our atrocious acts.’ Because that Nazi scumfucker was too damn deep.

And I’m not comparing myself to Hitler, believe me, I’ve never so much as harmed a fly, but I want you all to know, I’m aware the protest isn’t sweet. Organising some huge fucked up rally with the guarantee of mass violence and destruction, is not flying straight. But you have to understand, this is just a toe dip. I’ve brought nobody along for the ride. Nobody in this god forsaken town knows anything about the organiser. In fact I haven’t even had to organise anything, I just knocked up some fliers and slipped them through a few doors.




So You Want to be a Writer?

Nobody says it better than a man who’s been there. Here’s another poem for writers, written by a man who says it how it is.


if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.


Charles Bukowski, 1920-94.

Winners and Losers

I love people who love. These are the folks who more often than not, end up winning.

We live in a world chewed up in success by numbers. The more money we have the better we are, the more adept we appear, the more intelligent we seem.

It’s horse. Love that will take you further.

Whenever I see small businesses, restaurants, shops, bars, take-aways and the rest of it, it’s apparent who’s in it for the money, and who’s in it for the love of their passion.

These are the winners. These are the guys who warm your bones when they welcome you inside, these are the people who just want to share. It might not make them a fortune in the short-term, but life’s a long game. And their businesses thrive through the years, quite often they pass them down.

It’s no different for art too. Authors, poets, artists, photographers, the world can see who’s in it because they think it will make them rich. We know when you’re on an ego trip or clawing for accolades and attention.

We want the shopkeeper who sells two hundred different types of honey, from two hundred different breeds of bee. Because when he’s not selling, he’s thinking about it, he’s loving it, he’s eating it. It doesn’t matter if he’s competing against giant shopping centre competition, it doesn’t matter if only 2% of the population actually even like honey. He’ll win sooner or later.