REFLECTIONS ON SPRING 2005
LAST THOUGHTS REGARDING MY ANUS
Spring, meteorologists will be aware, is something of a transitory
season. A tiny township lodged between two intensely charismatic
cities. Folks wander from Winter to Summer and scarcely notice the
For sure, plenty poets, artists, assorted bohemian layabouts have
waxed on and off about rebirth and about dawn and about sheep
getting filthy and so on and so fourth, but for the most part,
Spring tends to stand at the back of the room, is what.
It don’t make no fuss, hardly says a word, except for maybe the odd
delightful quip to ladies walking past in pursuit of a decent
drink, for fucks sakes, or maybe a line of speed plundered from out
the pulsing chasms of a needle-boned debutante’s pocket. Spring
doesn’t need to start hollering out loud about socialism or why the
new pope is a fascist fuck. It leaves all that to summer.
Summer, you’ll be aware, is a loud-mouthed bastard, bounding
drunkenly onto table tops, spilling drinks left and right in a bid
to get noticed.
Spring just wanders in when it’s supposed to, takes a look around,
maybe sits with a book, maybe My Last Breath by Luis Bunuel, and
then it leaves, having stirred some sort of anticipation by doing
nothing more than arriving on time.
Spring and autumn are the quiet types. Probably they spend their
days writing songs about Marx and loneliness, looking up now and
again for to grab a glimmer of inspiration from a girl with a cool
beret, or from a muse bathed in savage purple, or from a fella with
a beard that challenges every belief held by western civilisation.
Spring and Autumn pen the ballads that Summer and Winter will later
defile over a karaoke backing track.
(Mind you, here in The Northern Ireland, Summer and Winter tend to
get all Godard on occasion, tend to trade places quite a bit, fuck
with the continuity and the like.)
Who knows why, when it all boils down and so on, but for some
inexplicable reason, this Spring, being the Spring of 2005, it took
a look about the place, took stock of all those calendar pages torn
and discarded throughout January and February, noted the fall of
every sheet, every biro-amendment about “Some Birthday Or Other” or
“Check – Should Be Bleeding By Now”, it shed a tear or five for the
pitiful mess those days ended up in, and decided something along
the lines of no, I will not allow my time on this earth to become
so much redundant paper.
Sweet fuck, thought Spring, I will make use of my time here.
In other words;
This year, Spring and me bumped into one another at exactly the
right fucking moment, with the result being something along the
lines of yes, I have enjoyed every second in your company, Spring
Hey Spring, I probably said. I’m a bit fed-up, to be honest, a bit
lonely and so on, maybe we could hang out and read some Chuck
Palahniuk or some shit? Some Nietzsche, even? Fuck it, I don’t care.
I know how you been feeling, Spring. Tell you what, let’s make some
sort of deal of some kind. I promise to pay attention to your every
whisper, your every subtle flourish, and you maybe help me reach
some sort of conclusion of some sort about where the fuck I am, or
fuck it, even if ain’t no conclusions to be reached, maybe just
help make the finding-out stage that bit more memorable.
Let’s me and you go on an expedition of some kind.
This Spring has left a dent, is the truth of the facts of it all. A
motherfucker of a dent, is what. The kinda dent could get a fella
on Disability Living Allowance no questions asked. What the fuck
questions wouldn’t be answered by the spring-shaped dent on a
fella's very guts? The kinda dent folks could see from Mars, I’m
guessing, if they weren’t so busy fucking with Arnold
The girl in the savage purple with the eyes burning out the frame,
she starts laughing, knocking a fella’s train of thought the fuck
off the rails, a loada thought-filled carriages flung left and
“HUNDREDS DEAD. . . STOP . . . LIMBS AKIMBO. SOMETHING CONCERNING
SPRING . . . STOP. . . GUTS HANGING FROM SENTENCES CONCERNING THE
NEW RYAN ADAMS RECORD. . . STOP. . . UNSPEAKABLE SATANIC
DEVASTATION. . . STOP”
This was supposed to be an article concerning Salvador Dali, she
What could I do but take hold her hand and say, yeah, but look,
ain't no way or no how I can relate a sentence with regards that
fabulous old fucker now, now that an introductory paragraph about
springtime has gone and wrapped its legs around my every pondering.
Look about you, I say. Take note of the muscle where the walls
Since you been here a while, since we got friendly, since I tried
to touch your leg and you approached the situation with a dignified
calm and an understanding for which I’ll be forever grateful, I
feel it only right that you should know;
We ain’t anyplace you should ever have to be.
The entry to The Duke’s Arse, I say, all apologetically, we passed
it around 1,600 words ago.
In fact, I’ve done led you so far up my arse I don’t believe we’ll
ever find a way out, certainly not in this weather.
I didn’t mean to, man, it ain’t The Duke’s fault, I swear on all
And all the while Spring sitting there with its cigarette dangling
from tween its lips, lost in quiet gratitude.
Sometimes around March, what occurred was I woke up one morning and
found myself sat in the back garden with The 120 Days Of Sodom in
one hand and a notebook in the other, an acoustic guitar propped
against brick and Grafton Street eyes burning behind my own.
As far as the snow and the wind and the rain might be concerned,
the previous winter had been one of the mildest in years.
Up here in the furthest reaches of The Duke’s Arse, though, that
winter gets painted all shades of metaphorical, and metaphorically,
it was the harshest winter a motherfucker ever endured. The kinda
winter when a fella ends up face-down in the snow, ends up getting
poked with sticks for to see if he’s still breathing, and then next
thing anyone knows it’s the sheriff and the county coroner looking
down on a fella’s face and laughing.
Sweet Jesus, boy, we done thought you’d died.
Yes. But I’m much better now. Think I passed out someplace around
the prostate, but heading towards the light right now, sir.
The light reeks of 24-Hour Reality TV. Big Brother, online, on
satellite, highlights every night at ten, vote on a Wednesday,
watch the votes come in on a Friday.
Big Brother. The annual trek from mid-spring to mid-summer, and all
in the company of 12 conceited yet fascinating culture whores, or
13 conceited yet fascinating culture whores as was the case this
13 faces, 26 eyes all alive with the possibility of magazine
covers, shampoo adverts, radio phone-in’s with her off of that show
about a buncha folks fight over the pasta for two months.
I fucking adore Big Brother.
Watching these telly people wander around arguing and fighting and
dry-humping, a fella can’t help but feel intoxicated with the kinda
vengeful Old Testament zest known only to a select group of madmen
And The Lord said something long the lines of “Entertain me, and
the gifts will be plentiful. Manna the likes of which you never
saw, lining every shelf on every newsagent in the land, and all
with your yap smeared cross the front.”
But woe to the yap what bores me!
For you? You’ll be lucky if your novelty Euro-disco number ever
sees the light of promotional vinyl.
Spring, it has plenty gifts to give, an Big Brother is just one of
Alongside inappropriate erections and the promise of a blinding
debut record from Babyshambles; hidden away amidst the hint of a
smile in the savage purple and the threat of no, ain’t no smile to
be had for you, ya big fruit; in the haze of a literary binge of
unspeakable depravity, dancing with St Augustine and De Sade and
Burroughs and Thompson, with Bunuel and Dali and GG Allin
applauding from the sidelines; with all this clinging to the hide
of Spring 2005, who even notices Big Brother?
But it’s there, all the while, reflecting the gaze and justifying
And then, when all thoughts regarding Big Brother are spent for the
“I drank too much” says a fella from back in the day. “I think I’m
gonna puke my fucking balls out.”
He was 17 or thereabouts, and battering an electric guitar in front
of a roomful of disinterested bikers, and I to the right, and
behind us a fella hammering away on a drum-kit bought from an Elvis
Impersonator with Loyalist sympathies.
A Memory, is what it all boils down to, one simmering to the
surface of the skull-gunk this past month, and all concerning a
There’s a Billy Bragg lyric which goes something along the lines of;
“People ask me, when will you grow up to be a man?
But all the girls I loved in school are already pushing prams.”
I can relate to that right there, but truth be told, the girls I
loved in school were pushing prams before they ever left the
fucking place. Kids popping from bellies left and right for that
final year, was the basic crux of the situation.
What worries me more is something along the lines of;
“All my friends from school are already pushing prams.”
Recently, I couldn’t help notice, all the folks who used to sing in
my bands, or who used to help me sneak out the window in pursuit of
drunken fumbles that never materialised, or who would chortle as I
made prank phone-calls to the White House (requesting a tour on
behalf of the Pan-European Communist Party, a party which, to the
best of my knowledge, doesn’t exist), or who listened to tales of
lovelorn woe, all those people have seemingly crossed some line of
some kind, a barricade that separates them from me, and that
barricade, man, it’s fucking terrifying.
It says things like “Mortgage”. It says “Babies”. It says “Look
here, a ring. Where’s yours? Oh, sorry, forgot. If You See Her, Say
All around, the hounds of maturity howling with insane bloodlust.
You, The Duke, is what they say. These people have all moved on,
have done stuff, are doing stuff.
And The Duke sat there infatuated with the savage purple, and the
savage purple offering a hand, for sure, a beautiful, elegant hand
that not five minutes ago held a cigarette like the way they used
to hold cigarettes before they realised the damn things were raping
their lungs with noxious poison, but I can’t grip that hand, man.
It ain’t mine to grip.
And on and on. “These people are stepping out, The Duke, and where
they’re headed is a phone number listed under their own names and
Still, fuck it. I can spell ecclesiastical like a motherfucker.
Must count for somethin’.
So, Springtime says.
It says; Where does that leave us?
It says; I’m on my way. What the hell have you learned from it all,
And what I say is something along the lines of “I dunno. But in
your company I figured out some stuff, and I feel like I’ve moved
along a bit, and I got to read some great books and see some great
flicks and hear some beautiful music and see some transcendent
smiles bathed in savage purple.”
I say “Maybe I’ll only realise I learned something when it’s 2006
all of a sudden and I don’t recognise a word of this.”
Who the fuck learns things in this day and age?
But I know this; I know that yes, it is time for to leave my
I’ve came out the right side of addiction before, man, and an
addiction to the inside of ones anus can be conquered just as
surely as a human being can say “No, I will degrade myself no
longer with lashings of the whiskey / the brown / the novels about
vampires living amongst us.”
Hi, I’m The Duke and I’m a recovering self-obsessive.
I’m making a clear break towards the light.
What happened was, I got stuck up my own arse.
Heads nod knowingly. Eyes say, yes. I been there too,
Sometimes around February I started exploring, maybe just with half
an arm or a shoe at first, maybe a cautious half-hour or some such
before bedtime, but before I knew it, I was right up my
motherfucking arsehole, spending whole days in there, then
weekends, then months at a time.
Every now and again I’d reappear, maybe with some new song about Oh
I’m So Lonely And Also Kinda Tired, Truth Be Told, or maybe with
some rambling essay about precisely why I’m having trouble kipping,
about why she makes me want to mean something all of a sudden, and
then I’d be submerged anew.
The truth of the facts of the case are thus;
When a fella gets sufficiently bruised and battered, when he’s been
kicked in the teeth so often and with such ferocity that he finds
himself having to chew food through his ears, what often occurs is
that he turns to crime.
The Duke turned to crime, is what, possibly the worst crime that
can ever be committed by a fella with access to his arsehole and a
A heavy intake of collective breath. They know the score these
I got through it with the help of my sponsor, Spring 2005.
It’s now fast approaching July, Batman’s already hit theatres, Fuck
Forever by Babyshambles is less than a month from release, roughly
half of Big Brother has been and gone, the savage purple still
smiles at me.
And stood by Spring’s bedside, it hooked up to a machine that keeps
it stocked on Woody Guthrie tunes till it can finally leave, I say
about how it was the most amazing Spring ever, man.
Sitting on the carpet, I start to tell all about this theory for
how a man might safely take a journey to his arse without fear of
What it involves is being shrunk like in Inner Space, then injected
into the body of a male escort. The male escort then goes back in
time and makes filth with you from a fortnight ago. You shoot out
his extortionately-priced body and zoom around your arse from a
couple weeks back in a tiny space-craft type thingy.
Take in the sights. All those pretentious writings and songs and
thoughts safely tucked away in the rectal filing cabinets where no
one can ever find them.
Eventually you need to fly around to the filth-glands and convince
yourself to give one in return to the male escort.
This accomplished, he returns to the present, cracks one off into a
solvent-based fluid, and you should be back to normal before the
Spring just sighs.
Sweet Jesus, it says, I never in my fucking life craved Summer with
Fling The Duke An Email or Sign The Mondo Guestbook