Back to the NeverMind
Ford Prefect is a man of heart and passion. He was also a lot of fun when I knew him. These days he's one of the old marrieds. Let's tell him what we think! Here are the poems and vignettes he posted on the NeverMind. But fair warniing, most of them are pretty dark:
Adam a true and poignant tale, I'll Be Fine, untitled, Broken Hands An Epic Adventure showing his talent, co-authored poem, Epic not for the timid about street-living and acid-tripping, untitled, Soft Shelled Demons, Untitled, Ascension, GODHOOD, a poem about a dream he had, untitled childhood, Someone, Poetry Poem, untitled, She Walks, The Impatient Glow of Memory
Praying for Giving
God, give me eyes that I may see,
the work that can be done by me
God,give me ears that I may hear
the cry of those who need me near
God,give me lips that I may speak,
comfort and peace to all that seek.
God,give me hands that I may do,
some large or simple task for you.
And this one thing,all else above:
God,give me a heart that I may love.
---Martin Buxbaum

Tuesday 04/23/91 01:53:30 AM From [put yer clothes back on] ford prefect


If you walked outside at about nine o'clock tonight, a little past sunset, you could not have missed the deep violet sky; a scattering of clouds was pierced by bright, friendly stars, but there was only the shaving of a moon to light the empty streets. A sentient wind was blowing, that pressed against your back and eased you along your way, or just let you know it was there. But the main thing you would have noticed was the smell. the aroma of spring; a fiesty, heady scent that hung over the city like invisible and infinitely comforting mother's arms, that rushed in with sensual tendrils to the deepest part of your nose and you couldn't help but take a chest-expanding breath. you could feel the liquid spring envelope your chest and fill your diaphragm and force your sides out. a calming, soothing scent that will always, for you, mean winter's over, and spring is here, and summer's hotly racing up the hill on an ageless, rusting ten-speed.
you walk outside after calling a few boards, to stand under the streetlight or wander around the grassy lot next door, or stroll through the tree-lined park at the end of the block, but there you couldn't see the stars since they have the baseball diamonds floodlit, and don't turn them off until midnight. It's a night of promise, full of magic. where you could do no wrong and people were deep-down good, and the night could go on for hours unabated by chemicals, alcohol - or mental illness.
Adam and i had endless fun in the park, in the mystical early evening hours of childhood. we went to the same school, sneaked candy from the same store, made a fort out of the same briars. We lay back on the grassy knoll at the east end of the park and talked of the things boys talked about before they discovered girls - video games (we each had pong), bizarre science fiction fantasies, and whose mother was the nicest (or sometimes, meanest). Or just pretend the clouds were what they looked like: 'my dog's peeing on your haystack' was the cruelest dual make-believe between best friends. We scoured illicit nude magazines together, rode each other's bicycles, and switched off vacations with the other's families. He was older than I by a couple years, but he could have been god or a brother and I would have respected him no less.

It was on a hot april day that I noticed his pale, unoriginal features on a lanky frame, sitting across from me on the bus. our eyes locked for several moments before I ventured to speak. 'Adam?' His glossy eyes faltered for a moment, and he looked away. he smiled slowly and warily at first, but then he said my name and grasped my hand warmly. When the initial shock of recognition passed, I sat back in the comfortable ease of reliving yesteryear. I told him i had moved away from home just three years ago, but due to financial difficulties was forced to temporarily move back. He said that he was living in a psychiatric halfway house, and had for a year. I asked him if he was living at the same place I was going right now. He said yes. His hands, shaking slightly already, flapped desperately and he clasped them firmly together. 'How did you know?'
'I have a friend who lives there, I'm going to visit her now. She just moved in.' He smiled wanly, and seemed slightly relieved. We talked more, I found out about how the voices had forced him to destroy his mother's apartment and after graduation, his nervous breakdown sent him to the hospital and then to where he is now. His composure had been ruined; he spoke about the fright and nervousness due to going into public, about anxiety, and the hari krishnas who supported him with their mantras and meditation. Throughout the bus ride I could sense his reluctance and apprehension in his actions and his speech; how difficult it was for him to find the words to describe his emotions. We talked of other things: how wonderful it had been as a child, what the neighborhood was like, and yes, how spring seemed to settle on the park like a delectable aroma. 'I particularly liked going on your dad's boat,' he said.
I reminisced for a moment. 'Yeah, that was fun. We had to sell it though, to pay for dad's brain surgery seven years ago.' He smiled, more easily.
'How long has it been?' he asked.
'Ten years, i guess.'
After visiting with my friend, I passed Adam in the hall and we stopped. 'Ii hope you come up a lot, Alan,' he said.
'You can expect it. It's really great to see you again, Adam.' I gave him a gud through clenched eyes.
I turned back, as I was leaving the building. I saw Adam in the window, a glazed look as he watched me go. I raised a hand in a salute, and he moved his hand a little. I could see the tears on his cheek.

Now, a couple days later, I stand with my pencil and tablet, leaning against the lightpoles, the sodium arc lights that illuminate the small park. The lights make a strange ghost shadow out of the ancient weeping willow tree, make the grassy knoll into a huge technicolor jujube that was argued over in a movie theatre, by two small boys. But then midnight comes, the lights snap off with an audible 'pop' and evening is over. Night takes its rightful place once again. The inescapable silence of sentiment and nostalgia settles over the park, making more noticeable the rich scent of spring in the air, making more noticeable the high-pitched laughter of two young friends, and the quiet sobbing of one grown man.

alan payne, april 1991 [note- this is a work of non-fiction.]

Wednesday 12/26/90 00:05:35 AM From [another one from] ford prefect

'I'll Be Fine'

In the deepest pit
Of darkest night
You have pushed me to
There is no hope
There is no light
Nothing to pull me through

Your contemptuous voice
Thin as pain
Said that you were leaving
Leaving ice
And freezing rain
And me with tears and grieving

So I sit alone
Only wrath and fear
Share this bottle of wine
I wept for you
A harsh, bitter tear
But someday I'll be fine

That was last night
And now the morning
Shines on me, grim and sad
Though you're not dead
I'll still be mourning
The happiness we had

Then one day soon
I'll see a light
That newly shines for me
Beaming face,
Eyes shining bright
A love that's given free

So I sit alone
Only wrath and fear
Share this bottle of wine
I wept for you
A harsh, bitter tear
But someday I'll be fine

alan payne 12/25/90

Thursday 04/25/91 01:13:47 AM From [running for my life] ford prefect


there are angry things done in the absence of the sun
by the men who long for love
the poison'd brain tales weave bizarre details
hidden from heaven above

this is the song of a legend left along
a dusty springtime trail
dropped behind like a sock or a pretty, painted rock
in quest for some other holy grail

'who needs a friend?' the man cried again
'who needs any ambition?'
stay true to the end, your reward i will send
in the form of strange obsession'

red scars on your wrists attributed to trysts
while your knees grow damp in the grass
howl long at the sky, ask God Himself why
you still love, and why it won't pass

now.. i'm..
chasing hollow banners, perfecting ancient manners
running after fires, fueling hot desires
not really living at all
driving cars on empty, holding stars you sent me
burning my hands when they fell

they called me a friend, though they hardly knew me
it was a joke, a sad joke they threw me
they laughter that killed, the taunts they shot to me
they called me a friend, but they finally slew me..

alan payne april 22 11.30 am 1991

There is a road, my love
The road leads to you
I will follow that road, my love
Until I reach you

There is a forest, my love
Beyond the forest is you
I will go through the forest, my love
Until I reach you

There is a bridge that crosses a stream, my love
On the other side is you
It wasn't like it was in my dream, my love
But still I'll reach you

And there are times when I know trouble
The madness washes through my life
But you were there to comfort me
Someday I will make you my wife

When I pass the well of my dreams, my love
There was only a reflection of me
You had claimed to share in our dreams, my love
You've done nothing that I can see

Why haven't you come to meet me
It's so hard for me to know
There's too many walls between us
And nowhere else for me to go

There was a road, my love
But it's not for me to take
We'll let somebody else, my love
And i'll be on my way

Alan Payne, Apr 16, 1989

Broken Hands

Stanza one

The Horror

The searchlights pierce the sky
Making patterns on the clouds
I hear gunshots off in the distance
Shouts and screams running down the street
My window is cracked
Stained with blood
Yet from my broken hands
I feel no pain

My friends have all left
To me it matters not
Whether they are alive
Or lie dying in agony
I can see mud running in gutters
Feel the insanity in the city
The four cold walls embrace me
Afraid to leave this isolation
But again I must see
Again understand what life is

The faces on the street reflect
The dirt, the sewers
Like rain, the anguish of existence
Soaks to my skin
I go to the park where I once had a dream
There's nothing left for me here

I stand on the edge
Of a rocky clifftop
I sing of torment, of malice
The beauty of my song masked by
The tears on my face
"Yearning to be free
"I wish to sail beyond the sunset
"To bathe in the glory of all the western stars"
I reach for the horizon
Where dreams become known
Broken souls repaired

The wind sways my body
My willowy spirit flitters
The song reaches crescendo
I dive

Falling through inky blackness
The scream twists my mind
Sweeping past bright yellow,
Oddly shaped flat stars streaming
Past my eyes
The lines of reality blur

The Night

I settle on rainbow-colored iridescent grass
The huge sky intimidating above
In crystal moonlight
The song of invisible souls
Gather around me
They play with my face
They sing of greater and greatness

Ask the wisps of identity
Of the former world; who, what
Without immediate reply
They sing of a thousand worlds
Tell me of beauty, of glory
Of far-off exotics, and mystic journeys

Their song is striking chords
The mist swirls around us
The spirits sing louder
My own confusion grows
"Dance" they sing
"Drink of lethe, and dance"
I scream and wail
The dance spins, whirls
Leave me, I cry

The soft blur of the dance fades
The music eases away
A few solitary apparitions remain
Staring at my upturned hands
What now? I ask the spirits
"What are your expectations?"
Three or four voices, unison
Lost, I whisper, confused
"Guidance, direction, care"
They murmur
"Follow your feet
"Where you stop, there will your home be"
In the intimidating sky, a spotlight
Shone in the smoky air
The spirits drifted upwards
Leaving me with my thoughts
And the shine of the stream

I cannot say how long I stayed
Staring at my navel
Hours, days, millenia
Time, like life, has no apparent meaning
And still reason eludes me
I gather my wits
Resigned to face whatever befalls me
On this, the beginning of my journey

Stanza two

The Journey

I follow lethe, due to the lack of
Monuments on which to set my sights
Silver-blue forms mill in the ebbs,
An occasional jump, and muted splash
Illuminate the grassy, overhanging banks
The stars overhead minutely trudge
Along their measured path, ad infinitum
I stare at the sparkly dots as I walk
When I look down, I am no longer alone

"Inshallah" the form speaks
Matching stride, breaths
Like a twirling, blowing snowstorm
A dull white glow shrouds my companion
We walk in silence
You are not a spirit, say I
"No," he agrees, "but one
"Whose has walked like you,
"Tormented and sad knowing not what will transpire"

The stream widened into a river, of sorts
The everchanging constellations dim
As the mist fogs my vision
"Have you drunk of lethe yet?"
My companion asks
No, I think to myself
As I ask him why
"Then you remember
"And you needn't..."
I tell him of my distinct lack of knowledge
And he says he can answer my questions
Without any particular thoughts,
We walk again in silence

I notice in the mist ahead
A warm glow, a soft orange
It grows, turning red, and shoots past
Leaving only pixie dust
I look at my partner
Answer my question now
"What that was" he begins, "will be an afrit
"A sprite, a djinn
"Once-human spirit returning to earth unconventionally"
I smiled falsely, briefly as we continue

The river fed into a huge, sparkling sea
Calm like glass, stars reflecting
Serenity flowing through my body
Yet suffused anger resides below
"Before we go any further," he says
"We might as well get acquainted"
Call me Carter
"You may know me as Porter"
He shows me his countenance
Battle scars grace his disturbingly familiar features
We wait by the drifting shore

The long flat skiff shoots across a freezing sea
Slicing waves like a bullet through flesh
Its old, rugged, wind-scarred pilot
Insanely babbles at his charges
After an eternity of chilled breaths and rubbed hands
We reach the black bulk of the other shore
Drooling and snarling our skipper steers
Until we jolt against the weathered rocks
With his paddle he pushes us off
And glides away

The Tower

In front of us the tower is ominous
Ruby red light flashes warningly
Do we enter? I needn't ask
The blighted dying trees
Line a gravelled path
I glance at Porter
Grim determination frozen on his face

Approach the huge oak doors
Lift the heavy brass knocker
The doors swing open before any sound
We walk in the torchlit entryway
Deep bass chords sound at every step
A wide shallow staircase is a centerpiece
Step by step we scale the heights

The noises grow as we ascend
Chintzy-sweet, untrained sad voices
The stairs end at a balcony overlooking a flat plain
I ask my guide what it is
He smiles widely "Nowhere,"
"I'll only tell you once, and only here
"This is the land between worlds, the land between lives,
"The land of dreams
"Where doves go to die, and where butterflies go when it rains"
The voices shift their sound; baroque chambermusic fills the air
A bright, shimmering green door appears floating
Just barely out of reach
Porter lifts me so I can open it
White light shines as it cracks
Illuminating us in its glare

"It is time for you to leave me;
"Only one can take this path"
"Go" he sternly reproaches me
"You must continue your journey"
What about you?
"I'm content" he murmurs

Tears streaming from my eyes
I leap through the gate
Wantonly falling on my face
I cry for my loneliness
For my emptiness
My tomorrow

Stanza three


A spear of light burns my neck
I raise my head from weeping
Large white throne shining down at me
Shielding my eyes I turn my back
A huge deep voice asaults me

I glare at the abomination that addresses me;
A huge reptillian creature, fringed human,
Claws for arms and hoofed feet
Minos, I say
I detest him on sight and sound
"Someone has to tell you what's up,
"Tell you where to stuff yourself"
A butcherknife-sized fingernail disappears in a flattened nostril

"You've got to acquire the true meaning of self
And then you will be free"
Fucking poetic, say I
Learn first who I am, then what I can do?
I need not your crazed hollow words
"You twisted fool, figure it out on your own"
He points at a buttressed hall
"Begone, scum"
I gladly race away

The hall fades, replaced by a rock canyon
I slow to a walk, disturbed by Minos' ravings
The city wouldn't be to hard to find,
I thought, as I ascended a small hill
Suddenly a cliff drops in front of me
I have a nice view
Like a thousand jewels, the city
Shines nestled in the canyon

The City

A blood red dragon on a field of green
Imprinted on the huge iron gates
As it creaks, the bizarre music reaches me again
The city, labyrinthine, difficult to traverse
I follow it between jewel studded buildings
It seems to have no source

Dead souls lie scattered as if thrown
Perched on window ledges
Uncomfortable against buildings
Lying dazed on the ground
This is where the music is from
A million different tortured souls
Each with a tortured song

I can see blood running in gutters
A girl runs to me
"Join me" she screams, holding a blood-filled syringe
"Let's party"
Another voice is ridden with insane laughs
"It only hurts for a short while"
He says as he draws a razor across his throat
His laughter stops abruptly
I stand stunned and horrified as I watch
A man my age leap from a window ledge
The unforgettable thud racks my brain

I'm not like this, I scream
I don't belong here
"Yes you do," the voices yell
"We are all aspects of your eternal soul
"This is what life is"
No! It's not, life isn't about
Pain and suffering, torment and malice
A sobbing boy with long steel needles through his palms
Screams as he plunges one through his foreskin
The voices continue
"You must agree
"Life is like this for you"
A tall man rakes his fingernails in long furrows down his cheeks
My sobs are deep and hallowed as I feel the pain

I fall to my knees
Bloody hands cover my face
"If you don't want to be like this
"Then change it" the voices grow softer
"Dwell not on your misfortune
"Worry not about others
"Search out beauty and love"
"There will your home be"

In the dark silence I raise my fists
Anger and resolve fused into one
I plunge my hands into the ground
Throwing mud in all directions
I turn, away from this nonsense
And cry softly at life itself

Stanza four

The Ascent

Words long past come to me
As if from a lifetime long past
"At the end of the day, there's
Only you"
Right, I think to myself
Only me, and the insanity I create

In front of me, there is a light
Neon blue, it frightens me
As the spectre kneels before me
"You have need of guidance?"
No shit, I respond
"Maybe then, I can help you as well"
What about my song?
Continuing my journey by myself?
"You need never be alone"

Where then shall we go?
I thought my life would end here;
Since this is what I make for myself
"This is true, although you might do better
"For yourself, which is why I came"
I pull myself up
Rising once more from the city
This time there is no looking back
I plan on never to return

We fly, shooting upwards
From the city
Black clouds sting my eyes,
Clothing grows damp and uncomfortable
Soon the stars fall behind us
And the night takes on a different light
My companion is confidant, and I sense urgency
The universe swirls all around us
Twisting, spinning
All is a blur
And I have nowhere to stand

The Dawn

The rocks we are perched on are cold,
Regardless of the fires that burn around us
There is a field in front, of ice and freezing snow
Unmelting with the huge bonfires that dot it's surface
"It is here," my guide speaks,
"Here you will sing your song
"And here you will find your answers"
I look at him, stunned
Alone again? Will I ever find love?
"Some never do,"
He answers cryptically
"May your world be calm,
"And may your god lift up your heart
"You are windblown, but you are timeless"

I watch the dawn alone
Dark blue slowly gives way to pink and orange
I start my unfinished song,
Rising tone blending with
Indifferent harmony
As the curtain of night draws away
My voice, my own voice
Loud in singularity

"Can I find love by myself?" I sing
"Will there be happiness in distinction?"
I find the answers culminating in my mind
"Maybe somebody will worry for me
"Maybe somebody will feel the pain I ignore"
Other voices joining in
Ringing across the land
The stars wink out, one by one
As the sky, brighter now,
Illuminates the land

Stanza five


The beauty in my song
No longer pitched in sorrow
No longer anguish-filled
Calms me, soothes
And I feel stronger, more alive

"When the darkness
"Makes my mind wander"
Whenever that? I think
"I can fight it
"By singing loudly"

The dawn has risen
And I find a new day
The flowers, almost desperately beautiful,
Bloom in a array of color,
I'd never appreciated before
The trees and streams, waterfalls and forests
Appear to my eyes
Out of the slowly rising steam

"When there was a time,
"Long ago,
"When madness ruled my life"
White rolling clouds journey across the sky
"If I can not cure it
"Then maybe I can ignore it
"I expect it will go away"

I look at my creation
I feel the life bursting around me
Gone is the ice, the rocks,
The fire
Gone with the night, the insanity
The horror
And I think to myself
Is it really that good?

Yet soon,
The darkness falls
Night approaches
"I will not fear you,"
Say I
"For in my mind I had created you
"And there is no terror in your threat"
I feel strong in my ways,
And it is good


The years fly by
And night takes its toll
There can be no happiness, I
Have learned
There is only contentment
And creation

Yet, the mud made by water
Helps me appreciate the sky
The insanity I once was
Shows me the life I now am
And will it ever change?

I am tired now, and need rest
But I shan't complain
For the life I had lead
Is possibly done
These broken hands
Are mended, and still
The pain in them resides
To this day

I will soon close my eyes
For what will be the last time
And when I am gone
I would like for you to say
"If he at one time had
"Not the greatest life
"He at least tried
"To make it his own"
And I will be happy.

Alan Payne, May 20, 1990

From [please do not disturb] ford prefect [any further]

this one was started months ago but like i said on mocha, co-authored poems rarely get farther than the first couple lines.

for SKA

what is it that you dream of
when you go to sleep at night
do you dream of far-off vistas
beneath an other-worldly light?

do you dream of floating softly
through a galaxy of sight
where the wind blows brilliant stars around
two moons that shine so bright?

do you dream of peaceful beauty
where there is no tearful fright
where the pleasures of the day outweigh
the horrors of the night?

could that star that winks so softly
have a plant circling round
with strange, tall grass and friendly creatures
inhabiting the ground?

where in the air the multi-colored
birds would dance and play
they would sing of dragon's wings
to keep them far away

would you dream of being there
among the flowers of beauty
the fine, soft air gently blowing your hair
away from toil and duty?

the sweet music of the night
that flows through your mind consistant
is not from earth, nor bound by dirt
but from that planet distant

if you should choose to see this place
it would take a thousand years
but i wish you luck in your journey
away from this land of tears

please don't forget, when you get
to this world of peace and light
we will miss you but don't regret
we love you, it's all right

you are our music of the night
you are our music of the night
you are our music of the night..

february 13 4.30 am

these darkened nights

a darkened night
after the rain
somewhere a piercing scream
goes streaking through the night
along a misty London street
are bodies dragged through mud
I've gone insane

the whoring girls
cheap at the inn
the poor and drunken men
circle singing at the fire
and all of them are simple, happy
with comfort in their ways
they see the blood
they know the dead
but can they truly comprehend
my needs in this black age
I've got to see

night after night
I draw the blade across her neck
and she has that one last dying scream

as the blood dries
on her body, cold and stiffening
what's done is done
but is it wrong
I cannot change the things
I've got to do
I've gone insane
I'm gone

Alan Payne



All is dark
Slowly my brain awakens
The objects spinning around the room
Whirl into nothing
My head pounds
Ny breaths long
I gather my senses
There seems reality
Pulling on clothes
Its time to cruise
Leather bomber jacket, and keys
Evening for everyone else

Garbage lines the streets
My friends too
Subculture of unwanted
Intelligence unused
Conversation with razorgirls
Meaningless yet strangely full
Loud yells, hollow screams
Lighted cigarette
Dangles unsmoked from thin lips
I have to be this way
Hatred lies with other paths
Except artificial acceptance

She appears from nowhere
Wind blowing the trees
Long black hair flying
She reaches inside me
Makes my heart beat faster
Other streetpunks disappear
We are alone
Silent island of two
Squinting into her eyes
She stretches up to kiss me
Presses the pretty blue pill into my hand

Place the derm to the tongue
Acid burns the roof of my mouth
She works her identical pill
Smile plays on her lips
She takes my hand we walk
To the view of the city
A small park, above the freeway
Unreal, strongly majestic
The city looms before us
I sit on the bench
She sits on my lap miniskirt flared
Small strings of light
Burn through my veins
Then it hits


My eyes shut tight
Teeth clenched against the scream
She wrapped around me
Dull roar in my ears
Patterns take shape in my eyelids
One hundred million pinpricks on my skin
I open my eyes
Leaves turn to monsters
Rocks lurch and sneer
Her face drips onto my lap
Screaming at the wave

Illuster takes control
Flux is only stable
Soft hands of creational force
Drag me upwards from the city
Looking down, wanting not to go
The bright city, dark waters
Sea of empty lights careless people
Minds shifting with the tide
The land draws away
I turn my head
Shining planes changing color
I see her face, translucent
Against the starry background
Her lips move
I can't hear what she says

An immaculate hallway
Marble makes no sound
Doors on either side
Deathly inhuman screams
Unnatural laughter dies into crying
She beside me
Flowing white gown
It's not her
The last door straight ahead
Opens on its own
Glimpses into insanity
Swirling anger mixing memories with fantasy
I reach out to touch it
Through the door
The hall, her, all disappears

On a cold planet
Stars burn, eternal night
Curl under a rock wall
Unable to sleep
I watch god at work
Supernovas explode impossibly distant
As if it were next to me
Planets and stars appear
Spin off to respective places
The hand of god moves slow
Rainbow laced with sleek black power
The universe' ceiling
God's mind construct

I streak across a newly created sky
Speed turns everything into a blur
The universe constantly changing
Beauty shocks my head
See things no man could live through
Anger bubbles through my body
Hatred fills my soul

I curse god
Weak religion
Nonsense to those intelligent
Rules for no reason
Reason with no logic
Humanity seems confused enough
Anger boils off in steam
God appears in my mind
Magic calm forced me to slow
Piercing eyes sit me down
She explains the magic of life

I don't want to know
Or care
Why the creator is so unconfident
Life is comfort for her
She has no rest
Makes her own
No self-respect
Forces others to worship
She takes my hand
Strength pours up my arm
We fly
Pulling back from the rest of the universe
I see the darkness
And the light

As I watch
Disliking infinite comfort
The universe expands
Stretches impossibly
Pulls outward
Till the last of her strength is gone
Slowly it snaps back
I hear the screams of humanity
Sparkles of light fly from the edges
The end draws near
To the other end
Quickly racing toward each other
Like god and man
Speeding up
About to hit


The white insanity of the universe
Explodes in my mind
I fall from her
Into the blackness of nothing
My limp form grows tiny
A speck falling forever
Softly wishing for oblivion
My eyes grow dim
All sound fades
Until I am nothing again


My brain hurts like never before
Trails of grit
Chafing through dry veins
The sunlight burning through
My eyelids peeling away
The trees menacing brown
Smell of urine, stale beer
The cold hard bench
Every bump inlaid on my back
Thin layer of slime
Coats my skin

The memory of last night
Surreal in retrospect
Pounds through my body
I stand up shaking
Her form on the ground
Uncomfortable against the bench
Something's wrong
She's not breathing
Panic grips the mind
Hieroglyphs travel across
My field of vision
Madness bubbles through my soul
I stumble screaming
Running with dawn

From my vantage I sit
I can see the entire world
True beauty never existed
Poisoned minds
Warp the big picture
Where there is light shadows will arise
Where there is good madness is the undertow
Life too short for working
Too long for nothing
Senseless system
School work die
Our children slaves to what we want
What we think is best

I try to turn off my brain
Forced to remember forever
Places man never goes
From inside his mind
To exotic high palaces
If society falls
These streets are empty
Will true peace be found
With isolation?

Alan Payne, Oct 10 1989

let the slave grinding at the mill
run out into the field
let him look out into the heav'ns
and laugh in the bright air
let the enchained soul
shut up in darkness and in sighing
whose face has never seen
a smile in thirty weary years
rise and look up
these chains are loosed
his dungeon doors are opened
and let his wife and children return
from the oppressor's scourge
they look behind
at every step

'the sun has left his blackness and
has found a fresher morning
and the pale moon rejoices
in the clear and cloudless sky
the empire is no more, and gone
the light and book shall see
for everything that lives is holy'

what is the price of experience?
men buy it for a song -
wisdom for a dance in the streets?
it is bought with the price
of all that a man has
his house, his wife, his children
wisdom is sold in the desolate markets
where none come to buy
and in the withered field where the farmer
plows for bread in vain

it is an easy thing to triumph
in the summer sun, and in the vintage
and to sing on the wagon loaded with corn
it is an easy thing to talk
of patience to the afflicted
to speak the laws of prudence
to the houseless wanderer
to listen to the hungry ravens cry
in wint'ry season
when the red blood is filled with wine
and the marrow of lambs
it is an easy thing to laugh
at lawful elements
to hear the dog howl at the wint'ry door
the ox in the slaughterhouse moan
to see a god on every wind
and a blessing on every blast
to hear sounds of lvoe inthe thunderstorm
that destroys our enemy's house
to rejoice inthe blight that
covers his field
and the sickness that cuts off his children
while our olive and vine sing and laugh
'round our door
and our children bring fruit and flowers
and the groan and dollar are quite forgotten
and the slave grinding at the mill
and the captive in chains
and the poor in prison
and the soldier in the filed
where the shattered bone
hath laid him groaning amond the happier dead
it is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents
of prosperity
thus what i sing
and thus rejoice!
it is not so with me..

'for everything that lives is holy
for everything that lives is holy
for everything that lives is holy..'

Thursday 11/15/90 03:18:12 AM From [Longing my] ford prefect [life away]

thank you. poem about fire. i don't know if it's finished or not. don't know if i want to do any more to it.

'Soft Shelled Demons'

Soft shelled demons dance
On the wall beside my bed
Flickering reflections of my cigarette
In the opressive hungry darkness
of matte-black night

Ashes fall to the floor
Followed by the cheap glass ashtray
When my drunken stiff hand
Slams the bottle down

Anger, fear, frustration
In my head the pounding visions
flash, bursts of symbolism
Tear me apart
Chew small holes in my immortal soul

Tiny flames lick at the stained blanket
Significance doesn't register
As I gouge rage-filled crosses
Out of the table

But soon the flames grow higher
I hear the sizzle of my foot before
I feel the pain
Rolling out of bed
Shards of glass bite and rip
Into my arms and back
But I'm frozen by
Two insane green eyes
Staring out of the flames

The slow and heavy sound
Of worlds colliding
Impact steadily against my ears

The lady in black rises
With ceiling-high flames
Her auburn hair, green eyes, sensual body
Do not mask determination and strength

She pulls me into the fire
I can see my hands melting
Bone marrow ignite
Yet I feel no pain
As fear shuts down my brain
We descend into Hell
-- alan payne

Friday 02/08/91 18:41:05 PM From [eli, eli] ford prefect [lama sabachthani]

don't have a title for this one.

hope it makes SOME kind of sense.

what is all this? / i don't understand
the horrors that descend / across the land
the lonely birds cry / for shelter and heat
a pack of wild dogs / attack them for meat
where troubl'd maidens / weep softly for morn
their tears are met / with injustice and scorn
embittered and helpless / lovers will howl
where the mark of their lonliness / shows naught but a scowl
and turns a dry cheek / to hide scheming most foul

the ghosts of past ages / haunt wint'ry moors
tapping barred window panes / grasping closed doors
the wine-blooded weaklings / that pose as real men
fight tired battles / again and again
until at last / their bluff is called
their tumultous end / cannot be forestalled
they fight for laziness / cheap lives to withhold
against the legacies / the legends long told
of men of a different time / honest and bold

the fires of uncaring / burn in the fields
where echoes of lawlessness / once fought the shields
and on stormy seas / pettiness had no place
strong hearted men / had seen the face
of God on each windblown / white-capped wave
and had returned home / alive and unscathed
where the faithful and loving / family had waited
their hearts in their throats / their fears unabated
for their hero to return / as it had been fated

But Now..

there is no place / for me to find mercy
no welcoming arms / no vision of charity
the nonsense that snakes / from every tongue
is appalling, inherint / in old as in young
the hatred and anger / that peaks 'cross the land
shows in raised gun / in every closed hand
the poor and downtrodden / wrestle for food
while the rich settle back / in a drunken mood
and the stone-hearted poets / reflect and brood

i weep bitter tears / for the return of the sun
i cry for freedom / where there once was none
i long for compassion / in their eyes to be sprung
and from their hearts / some love can be wrung
i search for some light / in this still darkened day
i hope a new god / would show me a way
put an end to this life / of eternal test
find me a champion that i could best
or carry me off to eternal rest

i'm sure that warm / bright and summ'ry season
will put an end / to this anguished reason
and as spring dawns / 'cross the land
my meloncholy brain / would understand
the meaning of life / of victory and chivalry
i would respect / my lonely man's destiny
if it is to make clear / the dark side of man
with triumphant hour / i'll do all that i can
with my heart in my fist / i'll announce as i stand

'Glory to God, but Most Holy is Man!'

february 6, 5.30am 1991 ford prefect


Sometimes I think
It's not that hard/real/different

But the passion flares again through the immortal mighty pen wielded by
heavy-handed moralists in total coalition against ME.

and you.

there's nothing we could choose
to change the right in this way of life
in the deathly whiteness the pale attitudes and stemmed rosethorns
piercing our veins in an escapist attempt for reality.

Who knows

up, higher and higher, through the ceiling of clouds the dirty oppressive
disgust that filters into our brains

Have and to hold you

It's an eternal battle for life and death
struggle for righteousness and power
more more more money more sound more LIFE.

To see the world dancing on the head of a pin the demon-djinn in a two-penny
whiskey bottles
as the city burns around you flickering on your white washed walls
with the echoing of a million tormented souls

But you rise in the honor of all self-inflicted pain recognised in the stree
heloved in the media and

you and i

fighting, struggling, blazing an upward spiral of glory searing our way to a
total control of life and epicurean animal savage strife until we have reached


from ford prefect

we'll remember you forever
with the efforts that you made
before in front of us all you bade

he was not a good man
it's not that we could not stand
his being around
if he made us feel strange
our emotions he could rearrange
we did look down

soon he was unnoticed
the wounds that went unpoulticed
were painfully obscure
he tried to seem a good friend
but he felt it had to end
how were we so unaware?

he took his life in a thousand ways
the painful memories of his last days
are engraved in the minds of the few
who knew

nothing was done about
the loss of a life
he was undoubtedly insane
and if we leapt for his hands
we met with rage and reprimands
his hands, his broken hands

there were many flowers on his grave
the tears came and went in waves
the black bands across the arms
he ridiculed religion in his life
he said it caused anger and strife
but the minister read the bible's charms

and now that this is done
he will rest
we will go on
it would be best
if we thought no more about it

he took his life in a thousand ways
the painful memories of his last days
are engraved in the minds of the few
who knew

february 12 2.30 am

Wednesday September 26, 1990. 12:04 PM From ford prefect [Budayeen]

I thought about putting this in 'dreamscape' because it was a dream of mine, that I dreamed, but I thought it would look and feel and have a better effect in a poem, so i did it in a poem.

Last night I dreamed
i pulled Jesus from the cross
Wrapped him in sheets
I carried him down
Along the path that
Leads past the temple
Down into the gravelly ravine
I set him down in he
Shallow of the stream
And poured cool water Over his wounds
He was still alive

HE showed me that the stream
Will take him
Into Hell itself
And I must
The stream poured into a cave
Ominous, orange light in the distance

And I must
Believe tha he is God
I said I can't\
I will believe you can do
Whatever you want
But you cannot save me
A troubled expression
Crossed his features
As I gently poured water on his forehead
I love you
He whispered
so that I could barely hear
And then he was gone

The dream shifted
like dreams often do
A street fair, a carnival
I felt naked, alone
I saw a man surrounded by people
Reading the shepherd's Psalm
'Yea, though I trudge through the
Valley of death
For years and years
I will fear no evil'

While trying to read
The man was ignoring a group of children
Taunting him
And throwing stones
Circling, circling
He, too, was bleeding
Leave him alone!
I shouted ,
Kicking at the children
You may not agree
With what he says
But let him say it!
I screamed, I pushed, I cried
Tears welling up in my eyes
I looked straight at the man
He looked like the Christ

He stared back at me
His eyes held, for me, an infinite sadness
I cried, I howled
I looked up to the skies
The stars
The heavens
And poured out my soul
In tears
I cried for all I was worth
The darkness engulfed me
The evil I was so afraid of
Attacked me
I felt a hand on my shoulder
Piercing red eyes on my neck
and I ran

alan payne, 1990

Monday Oct 1 1990 12:25:42 PM From ford prefect

When I was a little boy
I'd stand upon the seashore
And dream of sailing far away
I'd think of maybe, Oregon
I'd think it was so far

The years went by, I 'm older now
My girlfriend lives on the other side
Of the nation
I'd look up in the sky
And dream of her beauty
Interlaced with the stars

A married man, a family man
For business I'd fly 'round the world
In a couple of days
I'd dream of planets far away
The galaxies, the white hot suns
And think of how much rent they'd pay

The beauty in the stars
Reflected in the cold sea-water
The tinkling music I have heard
Is her shining tearful laughter
And when I have gone
She'll be with me ever after

And old man now My time is gone
A few saddened years
My dreams are long since over
I have no wants and few desires
But I still go down to the sea
And dream how different life would be

The beauty in the stars
Reflected in the cold sea-water
The tinkling music I have heard
Is her shining tearful laughter
And when I have gone
She'll be with me ever after

that last one c) alan payne 1990

Thursday 04/25/91 01:24:47 AM From [running for my life] ford prefect


overhead the albatross
flies slow above the burning cross
reminding daily of our loss
of greed and pain and soul-bled death

to struggle through the weeds and mire
with eyes transfixed upon the fire
epitome of strange desire
closer to the goal with every breath

but no one sings me lullabies
and no one holds me when i cry
or tells me when to close my eyes
so i hide behind my black disguise

finding reasons still i drink
perched treacherously on the brink
i have no time or need to think
my spirit pushed me to the fall

you stood before me arms folded
your face was drawn as you scolded
me for the monster i had molded
bore no resemblance to me at all

and no one told me when to run
and no one hid me from the sun
i broke in two when plans undone
threw away the battle i had won

a beauty like no other seen
that's sadly hid behind a screen
a mystic, ageless, burning scene
of unfounded, concrete, driving fears

my shoulders aching from the load
i carry down this moonlit road
unheedingly to warnings bode
unhelped by slipping on my tears

and no one hears my story told
and no one comes for me to hold
and no one wonders if i'm bold
will anyone care when i am old?

there's one young man who seems to care
he always seems to be right there
he will hold me and caress my hair
i know his intentions are fair

he listens to me when i speak
and understands when i feel weak
believes i'll overcome this streak
of waves of emptiness that peak

but no one gives me flowers to smell
and no one draws me from this well
that threatens to drop me into hell
they all forgot me when i fell

the netted windows in this room
destroy the intent of spring's bloom
and i smother in this scent of doom
in sterile bouts of nurse's games

the misery i long to shed
molasses sea which is my bed
deep resignation that i fed
with knives and tears and misplaced blames

but someone soon will hear my cry
and someone will see me where i lie
and he won't ever let me die
he'll help me learn again to fly

sunlight will stream into my heart
and rain will cleanse my guilty part
i'll make another healthy start
and know that he'll be by my side

"i'd like to help you on your way
and let you see the shining day
when everything's better than 'okay'
when you do things in which you take pride"

and someone sings me lullabies
and someone holds me when i cry
and tells me when to close my eyes
and removes again my black disguise

alan payne april 2 2.15 am 1991

glues your soul together
wears dynamite shoes
it's the spittle on the mirror
wears nothing but the blues

it's the mongoloid gargoyle
that falls from the cathedral
to land on the crown of the queen

grab it while you can, it's the magical needle
it's bitter sixteen and it's
flesh is bright green

glues your soul together
wears dynamite shoes
is the spittle on the mirror
wears nothing but the blues

nixon hasn't got it but there's plenty in fidel
strap your straight rifle on my sewing machine

drink it while you can it's a remote control visage
it blows you away, damndest thing you've ever seen

glues your soul together
wears dynamite shoes
is the spittle on the mirror
wears nothing but the blues

a poet is a man who runs a brothel at a loss
shares his christmas pudding with jesus on the cross
bends to take a knighthood when, just for a laugh
the queen draws the sword back
and chops him in half

so sing it right
and get your cash on the night
onward, upward
be frank and be fabled
and if you do all right
you keep your bread on the table
and life your life over night after night'

a small white rose
immaculate crystal beauty
gently waving in the wind
aching desire
motives for want
knowing what will be destroyed
to keep it
to pluck it from the stem
have it in a dirty jar
stained water

Alan Payne

Saturday 03/30/91 01:25:29 AM From [i think i heard you laughing] ford prefect [i think i heard you sing]

she walks on little cat feet
with wine-colored lines tracing
sillouhetted form
a driving rain washing
matte-black sinewy

speaking words of nonsense
struggling in molasses
she dries a tear that
threatens to drown

her sorrows boulderlike
run her to the ground
in desperation she
plys safety for
knowledge and

juggling guilt and anger
quietly hating
flesh of flesh
blood of blood
the maternal entity
that strikes and smothers
yet dies fragile
in a wheelchair

when the sunshine
flows through netted windows
a glimpse of the moon
brightens frightened nights
to see the elderly and infirm
a blue-lighted room
in a frozen, uncaring

march 29, 4 pm 1991

Tuesday 05/07/91 13:09:19 PM From [nothing you have said] ford prefect [is

The Impatient Glow of Memory

the impatient glow of memory
holds tragic childhood
in a faded cats-paw grasp
a scene unfolds, syrupy autumn afternoon

dust rises with the congregation
to drone hazel-brown hymns
and worship the stained glass
dead human
bored child, going through the motions

they sold a fairy story
for collection plate nickels
to abuse, confuse a child's mind
with jesus' love and compassion
or god's anger and jealousy

we learned - as children
the pretty tales of magic and wonder
sexless, neutral, safe
sermons and fishes / friendly patriarchs / noble young soldiers

jezebel was no painted hussy
met her doom with dignity
david was a lustful man
whose madness killed unrepentant
wise solomon preached gold and jewels
what morality found abhorant
what examples can we draw?


the crazy, cyclic era returns
to where we started
our mirrored visage shows no horror
only the glazed din of relief


jesus triumphed over death
to promote the loss of life
for who shall worship now
if our eternal reward is after?
preaching love and bovine contentment
his clones have twisted the gospel
until nothing is left
but the swirling smoke-clouds
of witchburnings and incense

include in the ashes
of feast-fires in pagan rituals
sweaty deflowering held ritual
and three-headed beast gods
were pleased in bloody torches


universe wheel spins
faster, quicker, anxious and rabid
stars boiling in heated sexual hunger
but only to return
from whence we started


cradle your children
o mother of races
your divinity-filled breasts
where masses would drink
open your legs
for we shall crawl iun
to be born again

the holy, soft mother's arms
are pounded with spikes
quilled with nails, pins
flowing breasts
charcoal-painted with angry black faces

zachariah was correct -
a man cannot re-enter his mother's womb


racial memory is long
i remember millenia ago
beneath a hallowed, wild moon
we gathered around the fire

in bitter half-words
singing songs of lament
we feared and we feared
death was so common
no thought for grief, worry
wondering why the body lies still

wonder why the sun makes the rocks feel hot
burn our fingers on the fire
of love, lust, desire
grunting, sweating, our hairy bodies
strong and so agonised
knowledge hidden from us
nothing ever really changes


the song plays over and over
repeated in early morning
half-remembered dreams
sing of the untouched forest
of unfamiliar stars
of nude, unfriendly bodies dancing
the scarlet, erotic hunger dance
to rythmic shaking of death rattles

the stars spun around the heavens
like our dance whirling around the fire
we followed the fleeing moon
across silver meadows in our abandon
ridding ourselves of hte veils
to return again
right where we started


the sun can blaze so hot
yet instantly wink out
night comes so suddenly
to screams of shuddering fuck-sex
honoring the she-goddess
worshipping the genesis
as creation abounds throughout
erupting volcanos in tune with
prehistoric ejaculations

to touch the glimmer of light
that faint candle flame
in unholy darkness
to live before thought, before knowledge
to survive
to touch the very first spark
of life

when the chaotic wheel slows down
we recognise our faces
coming from the other side
relief comes from knowing
there is no ending
but a new

alan payne may 7 2.;30 am 1991

two raccoons at night
courting in hate
ignoring my flashlight
in anger they mate

circling slowly
lashing out violently
droplets of blood
quick bursts of insanity

i watch all amazed
the metaphor runs
consummation of beasts
before rising sun

closer and nearer
yet dangerously wary
her hissing is subtle
his howls are daring

dear lord, is this real
or dishonest vision?
do men and beasts race
as one, to collision?

he bites with a snarl
as she tears at his eyes
their spinning and whirling
with the sun's early rise

hold me.. hold me..

the lovers and haters
are wrestling as one
their song reaches climax
as passions are done

oh GOD!

as quickly as started
the howls are silenced
glazed eyes walk away
so soon after triumph

now what will they know
and what have they learned
will they go licking their wounds
as memory burns?

will the passionate night
that they spent so alive
be erased from their minds
or will it survive?

the raccoons return
once every year
to destroy once again
my grasp of fear

i always watch
their courting agonies
as amour and morbidity
fills me with tragedy

hold me.. hold me..

alan payne march 13 1991 3.30 am

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