Thursday, 31 December 2009

'When I'm dead you can turn me into catfood'

Bury my bones in plywood
And set my box ablaze;
Then cast me free
On the open seas,
So I may finally take my ease
And drift to where I damn well please:
A beacon for forgotten days.

Bury my bones in plywood
And scrape my skeleton clean;
So feline things
Can feast like kings
On brains and brawn and crackerlings.
Then stick the labels on the theatre wings
To remember where I’ve been.

Bury my bones in plywood,
Or maybe MDF;
Then hammer me in
With nails of tin,
My face composed in a rictus grin,
Or stick my corpse in a compost bin:
A happy, slow, productive death.

Russell J Turner - December 2009

Monday, 7 December 2009

The Devil is Dead

December 6th 1865. The Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution is adopted, abolishing slavery.

Ding, dong, the Devil's in pain,
The Devil's in pain, the Devil's in pain:
They burnt his whip and broke his chains.
At least, that's what they're saying.

Ding, dong, the Devil is dead,
The Devil is dead, the Devil is dead:
They beat him and cut off his head.
At least, that's what I read.

Ding, dong, the Devil is gone,
The Devil is gone, the Devil is gone:
The children sing a freedom song.
But his hatred lingers on.

Russell J Turner - December 2009

Love is the Law

December 5th 2005. The Civil Partnership Act comes into force in the United Kingdom.

Love who you can,
Not who they plan;
Love who you may,
Not who they say;
Love who you will,
For good or ill;
Love who you would,
When love feels good.

And love for love's sake,
Not for propriety
Or the wisdom of ages,
But for the love of what is true.

Russell J Turner - December 2009

There was a Jeremiah

December 4th 1639. Jeremiah Horrocks makes the first known observation of a transit of Venus.

There was a Jeremiah in the Bible
Who drove his truck to Israel and Judah;
Who warned of false Gods, false Prophets
And the true wrath of the Lord.
Who for his pains was beaten, imprisoned, threatened with death
And thrown into a cistern.

But you prophesied beauty,
And watched as love drove her carriage across the sun.
And for your pains you died an early death, an incalculable loss,
And were forgotten.

Russell J Turner - December 2009

Thursday, 3 December 2009

For Denise

December 3rd 1967. Christiaan Barnard performs the first human-to-human heart transplant.

I lost my heart to Christiaan,
He took it with a smile,
Then passed it on to Louis,
Who kept it for a while.
I lost my mind in Cape Town,
Whilst laid out on the rack;
I left my heart in Cape Town
And will never get it back.

Russell J Turner - December 2009

The Axeman Cometh

December 2nd 1942. The first man-made nuclear chain reaction is achieved in Chicago.

When Leo and Enrico come to play,
The other boys and girls all run away;
It's not rackets that they're after,
But the sound of insane laughter,
As the predatory birds begin to pray.

When Leo and Enrico fetch their axe,
There's no time for anybody to relax;
The other kids all scram,
And it's wham, bam, thank you ma'am,
As the fat controller fills in all the cracks.

When Leo and Enrico take the field,
You know that they will be the first to yield;
The other children weep,
The other children sleep,
Behind the promise of a poisoned shield.

Russell J Turner - December 2009

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

South of Sixty

December 1st 1959. Twelve countries sign the Antarctic Treaty.

South of sixty, north of ninety:
Where no birds fly and no whales blow,
But for the betterment of all, they said,
But for the betterment of twelve.

Springmelt for a cold, cold conflict:
Beyond the reach of practice,
Into the realms of theory,
Into the jaws of jurisprudence.

And six hundred moons since:
The ice has thawed,
The ice has broken,
The ice has frozen.

Russell J Turner - December 2009

Monday, 30 November 2009

No Country For Young Women

I am a gardener.
But not your common variety:
More of a haughty culturalist,
An autocratic arborist,
A green-eyed jailhouse jardinier.

I sow and reap and reap and sow,
And plant gardens in the east;
I dig unnamed watercourses,
And give away all I grow,
Hedged around with conditions.

This is no country for young women:
Begotten, born and back-broken,
Amongst the fields, amongst the seed;
I fence the trees that they may need,
And curse the fruit, the fruit, the fruit.

I am the sole harvester
Of a dim-remembered age;
The lonesome arbiter
Of thyme and sage, because
I am the gardener.

Russell J Turner – November 2009

the buck starts here

i remember the eyes of children
strung out on wires
i remember the thighs of mothers
feeding the fires
i remember the sighs of fathers
gathering the bones of their families in hessian sacks
stumbling through the graveyards of europe
paying passage to the promised land
with their wits and their mouths and their memories
with barely a dollar to rub together
for a cup of cold comfort coffee
because the buck starts here

Russell J Turner – March 2009

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Chester Street II (edit)

Standing on a tree stump
Smoking like a giant
Swinging like a dancer
Burning like a drunkard

Tissue paper purple
Cling film for a band aid
A breach of the horizon
Hazardous to aircraft

Watching from a tree stump
Smoking like a titan
Bathing in the thunder
Breathing in the cordite

Bonfires and remembrance
The mundane and the madness
A sickness for the suburbs
A tonic for the troops

Russell J Turner - November 2009

Monday, 10 August 2009

You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve

Don Letts once said that this track gave him a hard on. I know what he means: joyous, cynical, sexy, uplifting, dirty - what more could you need?

Johnny Boy - 'Shoes' (Birdienumnums' edit)

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Subway Sect

'For about 3 weeks in 1977, The Subway Sect were the best group in the history of music, then Bernard Rhodes went and fucked everything up.'

Subway Sect - 'Nobody's Scared'

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Books What I Have Read

January to June 2009

The Yiddish Policeman's Union - Michael Chabon
Gentlemen of the Road - Michael Chabon
Extraordinary Engines - Nick Gevers
The Gargoyle - Andrew Davidson
Foucault's Pendulum - Umberto Eco
Religion and the Decline of Magic - Keith Thomas
The Rape of Nanking - Iris Chang
Virginia Woolf - Nigel Nicholson
Tokyo - Mo Hayder
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept - Elizabeth Smart
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - Michael Chabon
Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks - Christopher Brookmyre
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
Dictionary of the Khazars - Milorad Pavic
Hunger - Knut Hamsun
Pirate Utopias - Peter Lamborn Wilson
A Snowball in Hell - Christopher Brookmyre
A Defence of Masochism - Anita Phillips
Forgotten Fatherland - Ben Macintyre
The Passionate Nomad - Isabelle Eberhardt & Nina de Voogd
The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch - Anne Enright
Come Before Christ and Murder Love - Stewart Home
The Man Who Was Thursday - G K Chesterton

Friday, 17 July 2009

'Reclaiming Cunt'

I call it cunt. I've reclaimed it,
"cunt." I really like it. "Cunt."

Listen to it."Cunt."

C C. Ca Ca.
Cavern, cackle, clit,
cute, come-closed c-closed inside, inside ca

then u
then cu--
then curvy, inviting sharkskin u-uniform,
ugh, ugh, u

then n
then cun--
snug letters fitting perfectly together--
always depth,
always round in upper case,
cun-n a jagged wicked electrical pulse-nnnnnn

then soft n--
warm n--

then t--
then sharp certain tangy t--
tell me,
tell me
say it,
tell me



Eve Ensler

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Touch Me I'm Sick

You call a cab, I walk you home,
nobody wants to be alone,
nobody wants to face the sun
with nobody and nothing done.
I hold you tight, you hold me light,
just two rag dolls against the night.
The razor’s sharp, the razor’s slick:
touch me, touch me, touch me, I’m sick.

The razor’s sharp, the razor bites
deep into long and lonely nights,
deep into what the hearts desire
of love and sex and blood and fire.
Lick me, suck me, bite me, fuck me,
play me slowly, play me quick:
Touch me, touch me, touch me, I’m sick.

You come, I come, the passion’s done.
I come, you come, the passion’s fun.
You cry, I cry, the passion’s dry.
I cry, you cry, the passion’s high.
The passion is what makes us tick:
Please, please, please, please love me, I’m sick.

Russell J Turner - February 2007

'Touch me I'm Sick' - The Workshop, Norwich, Feb 2009

Sixteen Photographs

After the Chinese city of Nanking fell to the Japanese in December 1937, the Imperial Army embarked on a six week orgy of rape, murder, arson and looting almost unparalleled in modern warfare. When the protagonists were brought to trial one of the most important exhibits was an album of sixteen photographs of atrocities. This was hidden in the wall of a bathroom; secreted under a statue of the Buddha; passed from hand to hand. People risked their lives possessing it: one man even fled Nanking and wandered from city to city for years like a fugitive, simply because of this small album.

Photograph One
General Matsui Iwane salutes his victorious troops as he enters the walled city of Nanking. He is mounted on a magnificent chestnut horse.

Photograph Two
A female corpse lies in the street. Clothing covers the body from the waist up and the knees down. The vagina has been split to enable easier access and a bamboo stick has been inserted, mimicking a phallus.

Photograph Three
A man is beheaded with a sword. We see the actual moment of the victim's decapitation.

Photograph Four
The head of a Chinese soldier balances on a barbed-wire barricade. A cigarette has been inserted between the soldier's lips.

Photograph Five
This woman barely escapes rape, fighting off three Japanese soldiers armed with bayonets. Seven months pregnant during the attack, she has suffered a miscarriage in the hospital.

Photograph Six
A teenage boy lies in the hospital, his head charred black after being doused with gasoline and set on fire.

Photograph Seven
The doctor examines a gang-rape victim whose head has been almost severed by repeated bayonet thrusts.

Photograph Eight
Two Japanese soldiers pose nonchalantly for a newspaper cameraman. They are engaged in a contest to see who can be the first to behead one hundred Chinese prisoners. The accompanying article describes the two men as being 'neck and neck'.

Photograph Nine
Portrait of the German businessman John Rabe: balding and bespectacled, he wears a formal dress suit and has his hands clasped across his groin. This Living Buddha of Nanking helped save the lives of two hundred thousand people. He wears his Nazi regalia with pride.

Photograph Ten
Portrait of the American missionary Minnie Vautrin: elegantly coiffured, she looks thoughtfully into the middle distance. This Living Goddess of Nanking helped save the lives of two hundred thousand people. Three years later she will seal the windows and doors of her home with tape and turn on the gas.

Photograph Eleven
A young woman has been bound to a chair, with her legs spread open to encourage repeated attacks. A thin black strip has been placed across the bottom of the photograph to protect the viewers' sensibilities.

Photograph Twelve
A Buddhist monk has been ordered at gunpoint to rape an elderly woman. When the monk refuses he is castrated and left to bleed to death.

Photograph Thirteen
The Japanese cannot find enough bodies of dead and dying Chinese soldiers to fill these trenches to allow tanks to pass over them, so they shoot nearby residents and throw them in as well.

Photograph Fourteen
A Chinese soldier is stripped naked and buried up to his waist. Dogs are released on the man, ripping open his belly and jerking out the intestines along the ground.

Photograph Fifteen
The body of an eleven-year-old girl who has died after being raped continuously for two days. According to eyewitness reports ‘the blood-stained, swollen and ruptured area between the girl’s legs creates a disgusting scene difficult for anyone to look at directly’.

Photograph Sixteen
A shopkeeper is forced to sodomise his wife and two young daughters in front of laughing Japanese soldiers. The entire family kill themselves by drowning in the Yangtze river.

Photograph Seventeen
Twin jets of blood gush from a severed neck. Blood and dried semen stain the corpse. Blood and dried semen you fuckers. You fuckers. You cunts.

Russell J Turner and Iris Chang – May 2009

Monday, 13 July 2009

Breaking the Fourth Wall

A love song

I will freely admit that I am a fictional construct:
merely a player on this stage, a shadow
here confined by you, within these walls;
if you will do the same.

I will speak to the crowd but speak only for you:
sing to the balcony a slow soft song,
a dance to the secret music of mime;
if you will do the same.

I will play the games that men and women play:
rewriting rule books with the day-bright
symbols of a long-neglected alphabet;
if you will do the same.

I will snap the chains of some simple propriety:
my head held high in the face of ridicule,
declaring, knee-bent, our everlasting love;
if you will do the same.

Russell J Turner - July 2009

Friday, 10 July 2009

Leave Dada!

Leave your hearth and leave your home,
cross the Alps and conquer Rome.
Fly away! Fly away!
Join the circus, fly away.

Leave the city, leave the town,
burn the fucking temples down.
Fly away! Fly away!
Save your soul and fly away.

Leave the future, leave the past,
tie your children to the mast.
Fly away! Fly away!
Smell the coffee, fly away.

Leave the sunshine, leave the light,
walk in darkness and the night.
Fly away! Fly away!
Kill your king and fly away.

Leave the path and leave the trail,
go and dwell beyond the pale.
Fly away! Fly away!
Shoot the moon and fly away.

Leave your heart and leave your brain,
break your love on wheels of pain.
Fly away! Fly away!
Build a brothel, fly away.

Flog your horse and fly away,
sink your ships and fly away,
hang your gods and fly away,
God forgive you, fly away,
I forgive you, fly away,
I forgive you, please just stay.

Russell J Turner - July 2009

Thursday, 9 July 2009

'humiliation and stultification'

'The simplest surrealist act consists in going into the street with revolvers in your fist and shooting blindly into the crowd as much as possible. Anyone who has never felt the desire to deal thus with the current wretched principle of humiliation and stultification clearly belongs in this crowd himself with his belly at bullet height.'

André Breton

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

'drink, starvation, and mad females'

'The nine-to-five is one of the greatest atrocities sprung upon mankind. You give your life away to a function that doesn't interest you. This situation so repelled me that I was driven to drink, starvation, and mad females, simply as an alternative.'

Charles Bukowski


It is a sweet and pleasant thing to be ruled by whores:
to take your orders from the lips of dark angels
and suck your milk from powdered nipples.
To be brought to a struggling climax,
whilst the objects of your desire
languidly accept gifts from fools and hypocrites;
drinking their diseased cocks,
thin grey semen painting breasts and buttocks.
As stewards and servants fawn and fuss
and, behind forbidden curtains,
exotic, erotic intelligence plots the policy
of this empire of desire.

This empire of desire.
This monarchy of ecstasy,
this tyranny of ennui,
which demands nothing of its citizens
except obedience, reciprocation and an aesthetic sensibility:
sex and drugs as narrative and rhetoric.
Smoking hashish in velvet-lined boudoirs;
mahjong, masochism and MDMA.
Debating in detail the death of irony
and the breath of life as parody.

But my love dances to a different drum.
My love walks the candlelit corridors of power
and runs barefoot through the sunlit meadows.
My love swallows their seed, trousers their cash
and bathes in forest streams.
My love proscribes and is proscribed in turn,
but my love knows no bounds:
my love is the bound,
my love is the leap
and my love is the faith.

Russell J Turner - May 2009

half in love

half in love is half in pain and
half in pain is half in vain and
half in vain is half in hope and
half in hope is half a rope and
half a rope is half a drop and
half a drop is half a stop and
half a stop is half a start and
half a start is half a heart and
half a heart is half a head and
half a head is half a bed and
half a bed is half a breath and
half a breath is half a death and
half a death is half your days and
half your days are half your ways and
half your ways are half the map and
half the map is half the trap and
half the trap is half the kill and
half the kill is half the will and
half the will is half the win and
half the win is half-way in and
half-way in is half-way out and
half-way out is half in doubt and
half in doubt is half a fake and
half a fake is half a break and
half a break is half a bust and
half a bust is half in lust

Russell J Turner - March 2009

Sunday, 5 July 2009


Dedicated to all the fascists in the audience

Submission #1: For Sophie

Hold me, find me,
hold me, bind me;
I want to lose control,
I want to be your doll,
your slave, your dog, your whip-tied hog,
I want to lose control.

Hold me, still me,
hold me, thrill me;
I want to lose control,
let madness take its toll,
till all is just beauty and lust,
I long to lose control.

Hold me, kiss me,
hold me, miss me;
I want to lose control,
surrender up my soul
and subjugate me to your fate,
I need to lose control.

Submission #2: For Eliza

The face that launched a thousand ships
that made an empire strut and talk:
a thousand thousand busy lips,
a surgeon's girl from County Cork.

The face that launched a thousand songs
of lands of honey, lands of milk:
a thousand thousand righting wrongs,
a surgeon's daughter dressed in silk.

The face that launched a thousand guns
of iron worthier than gold:
a thousand thousand screaming sons,
a surgeon's daughter grown so cold.

The face that launched a thousand deaths
that kissed him at Cerro CorĂ¡:
a thousand thousand sighing breaths,
a surgeon's girl who went too far.

Submission #3: For Clara

Upside down on a meat hook,
you stole my heart away;
with the petrol fumes and the cigarettes,
the baying crowd and the suffragettes.
Upside down on a meat hook,
upside down on St Catherine’s day.

Upside down on a meat hook,
upside down in a history book;
upside down in a photograph,
upside down where the red girls laugh
and the black boys weep and the devils sleep
and life is noble, life is cheap.
Upside down on a meat hook,
where the dukes and the divas play.

Upside down on a meat hook,
upside down on St Catherine’s day;
with the Knave of Clubs and the King of Hearts,
your beauty fades in fits and starts.
Upside down on a meat hook,
you stole my mind away.

Russell J Turner - June 2009

Saturday, 4 July 2009

‘You know it’s been a shit night when you crawl in through the window and the only dry clothes you’re wearing are your knickers’

You stood me up, you cock,
you stood me up in the pouring rain.
You stood me up, you cock,
under neon lights in a state of shock.
Shaking, crying, worried sick,
but I forgive you now, you prick.
Though you fucking stood me up, you cock,
in the pissing, pouring rain.

You locked me out, you twat,
you locked me out in the pouring rain.
You locked me out, you twat,
like some mangy half-forgotten cat.
Fucked on weed and fucked on wine,
but I forgive you, one more time.
Though you locked me out, you fucking twat,
in the pissing, pouring rain.

You broke my heart, you cunt,
you broke my heart in the pouring rain.
You broke my heart, you cunt,
you fucked up, clueless, little runt.
But I forgive you, just relax,
while I fuck your brains out with an axe.
You broke my fucking heart, you cunt,
and you won’t do that again.

Russell J Turner - June 2009

Fugue State Penitentiary

I have been running since the day I was born:
grinding the cord between my gums,
spitting blood at the midwives
and cartwheeling down the corridors
of some suburban hospital.
With barely an inkling of the wolves at the door
and the slow affection of panthers.

I have been running since the day I fell in love
with a vision of half my days,
with an ideal of home and family,
with the passion that novelty nurtures
and experience extinguishes.
Blissfully ignorant that to stray too close to the sun
brings the sudden, swooping doom of Icarus.

I have been running since the day I first tasted
oblivion on the lips of dark angels,
on the lips of glass coffins:
forged with tongues of rage and pity,
forged in the fires of a one horse town.
Whilst hiding, shaking, in plain sight behind
the straw that broke this mammal's back.

I have been running since the day I woke up weeping
to discover myself in the same place,
to discover that I had travelled three feet
in thirty years of running, always running,
within this home that I call prison.
But liberated now in finding some small happiness
behind these bars. For a while at least.

Russell J Turner - June 2009

'Mine and Thine'

'For surely this particular property of mine and thine hath brought in all misery upon people. For first, it hath occasioned people to steal one from another. Secondly, it hath made laws to hang those that did steal. It tempts people to do an evil action, and then kills them for doing of it. Let all judge if this be not a great devil.'

Gerrard Winstanley

'Leave your children in the woods'

'Leave everything. Leave Dada. Leave your wife. Leave your mistress. Leave your hopes and fears. Leave your children in the woods. Leave the substance for the shadow. Leave your easy life, leave what you are given for the future. Set off on the roads.'

André Breton

'There's nothing left to die'

'There's nothing to mourn about death any more than there is to mourn about the growing of a flower. What is terrible is not death but the lives people live or don't live up until their death. They don't honor their own lives, they piss on their lives. They shit them away. Dumb fuckers. They concentrate too much on fucking, movies, money, family, fucking. Their minds are full of cotton. They swallow God without thinking, they swallow country without thinking. Soon they forget how to think, they let others think for them. Their brains are stuffed with cotton. They look ugly, they talk ugly, they walk ugly. Play them the great music of the centuries and they can't hear it. Most people's deaths are a sham. There's nothing left to die.'

Charles Bukowski