RIOT

Chris R-1-220

Image by Christine Renney

Chance sways from rope
Frayed by these
The hungry mob
The angry child
Narcissists with fake skin telling lies

The arrow they wouldn’t let
The star they wouldn’t let
The flame they wouldn’t let

Fill in the blanks
Bleat about fate
But someone must pay

THE COUNTRY & WESTERN ROCK ‘N’ ROLL SINGER

Chris R-1-219

Image by Christine Renney

Chanting
All eyes on the piano stool toting murderer
A hundred wooden splintered shards at his feet
Sun days he’d rocked and rolled, 1957
Where had the motherfuckers been then?
Leather jacketed greasy long hairs
They looked like girls
But not his kind of girls
Ferridays, pretty girls dancing
Sweaty
Big legged
In tight summer dresses
Wickedly guiding
Tongue and teeth
Hands and hips
Putting the Devil in his head and in his hands
Pumping Country songs
Any kind of songs
Even Church songs
Unstoppable
Unfettered
Behind him sulking
Whispering in his ear
Unrelenting
He swung his head back and
Laughed and leered
Giving them what they wanted

SOMETHIING TO MEND

Chris R-1-149

Image by Christine Renney

It’s in the gut
Pacing
The postponement
And when it sees
And it hears
It fades

It’s not now
That awful anticipation
It’s full blown
And not at all
Regular

It’s in an unexampled action
The methodical destruction
Of hand
And bookcase
Blood smeared splinters
And skin in the carpet

Something to mend and
To clean and
To rebuild
Like a lovebite
A bruise
Something to hide

HER BLUES

Chris R-1-99

Image by Christine Renney

In the beginning she danced
And he watched trancelike
Following from a distance
Mesmerised until
Awakened by the reverence
Surrounding him
A colourful array
Itinerant troupe
Spectators agape
He faced a forbidding
Grey suited austerity
Words storing in his head
Building the rhythm
That pulled him to her
Unbidden he called her name
Inside a thrashing tent
And she ran from the promises
The white marquee asked of her
Away to dance
In the Mill Town dust
With a man who offered no more
Than a fascination for her blues

MEMPHIS ’68

Chris R-1110409

Image by Christine Renney

Looking down
Wearied

Another ceremony
Jetlag

Another award
Rush hour traffic

Far from home
He felt old
Why?

Another audience
Unfamiliar sights

Red buses
Tottering precariously

Busy people with destinations
Jobs to do

Rain turned to red
Wet black concrete
To blind white dust

Objective faces
To anger

People mourning
Appalled, astounded

His audience then
A man with a dream
Murdered

Pulling himself from
The window seat with a grunt

His rasp, his voice
Echoing in the empty hotel room

He had a job to do

THE DRUG OF CHOICE

Chris R-1-88

Image by Christine Renney

There’s a new drug on the market but it’s exclusive. You can’t buy it from the Runners – you have to seek out the Supplier. Both he and his place are an integral part of the trip or so I have heard. It isn’t something you can take away in a phial or tablet form and whilst that is certainly a part of it there is more but along with the Supplier that something remains elusive.

I keep to the Sector. It is highly likely that the Supplier and his place are on the outside but I would be far too conspicuous there. Anyhow, in order to locate the Supplier I need to find one of his clients. Anyone who has paid for the privilege and taken advantage of the product. A user and almost everyone in the Sector is a user. The law of averages suggest that eventually I will run up against the information I desire.

The subs money isn’t great but I have a cell and I am clean, have been for almost a year and I am able to save. As I roam from Enclave to Enclave I have come to realise that the people here rarely move. They tend to stay put and the Sector is rife with rumour and conjecture and wherever I go the perspective on this particular story is a little different. Everyone is having their say and it is difficult to glean anything solid. But on a couple of factors at least all are agreed; that a visit to this particular Supplier is a very singular experience and for those who can afford it, it is the drug of choice. Although expensive it is rare that anyone needs to indulge more than once. It is literally the trip of a lifetime.

I keep moving from first light until after dark. I return to my cell when possible but mostly I sleep rough. Settling down wherever I find myself and as long as I am clear of the Communals I am able to rest easy.
I do find myself constantly checking the money – counting it and re-counting it, moving it about my body. Not because I am concerned that it will be stolen but rather that I might lose it. Surprisingly, money isn’t really a part of the equation here in the Sector. We have our subs and those who can be bothered make a little from scavenging. But it is all destined for the Sector’s epicentre.

The Communals are an Enclave of long since disused cell blocks. Gutted and most of them roofless, it is maze like and a murderous place. Business there is violent and bloody, guns and knives are prevalent and the decisions are made there as to what will be available in the Sector at any given time and how much it will cost. The Runners deliver the product ever day without fail and it is critical that the Sector’s citizens are able to get high and that they can afford to do so.

News of the new drug has reached the Communals and the Runners are asking questions. It is obvious they are acting upon instructions and they are both bemused and amused and clearly consider themselves above such a wild goose chase and resent the task. But they are merely henchmen and I wonder who is pulling their strings.

It seemed impossible a year ago that I would be able to save the money. And now I am sure that I have it but yet I am no closer to reaching my objective. I have taken to tailing the Runners, dogging their every move, which mostly consists of standing still, lurking in doorways or loitering on the pavement and doing my best to appear nonchalant. I am growing restless; my frustration is rapidly worsening. It would be so much easier if I was high.

It has been so long since I scored but I don’t even need to talk. I hold out the money and the Runner takes it. I look down at the derms in their cellophane bundle and they look so delicate and so precious

THROUGH THE SLOTS

Chris R-1-87

Image by Christine Renney

There’s shelter on the wharf inside the arcade
but you can stand at the end of the pier
and look out to the life through the slots
the old, craving for quiet nights with a glass
and the young, drawn to the lights
ardent high spirits
all on the same path
passing the gaps where
old newspapers and cardboard lie
children craving for ice cream
stains on the pavement
no salt sea air
no spirit can wash

There’s the bowl by the vending machine
craving for change and
you can watch the gulls
swooping ashore for stale bread
behind the hot dog stand
where young and old huddle
around silver steam
craving for warmth