Tuesday, 28 December 2010

1000 Clicks

I have come down from the dizzying heights of celebrity stardom to address you, the common folk.

Yes all the rumours you've heard in the news, the papers, magazines and movies are true: the blog has, since August 2010, had over 1000 visitors. Let us pray.

To celebrate this triumphant moment in mankind's history I will allow your mortal eyes to gaze upon a work of such gravitas and splendour that it sits atop the papier roll beside by porcelain throne.  Prepare yourself for the masterpiece that is mine own work: "Pooey Monkey"

Enjoy this aesthetic treat, visit again. Now go away.

Russell Jones

Monday, 27 December 2010

Some Edwin Morgan Stuffs

You may remember that the Scots Makar, Edwin Morgan, died earlier this year. A sad thing indeed, though there have been a number of quality tributes in the form of readings and publications.

One such tribute is from Swiss Lounge Productions and includes photography and poetry from:
Morgan Downie
Tracy Markey
Paul Nandy
Michael Conley
Richie McCaffrey
Russell Jones
Andrew C Ferguson
Colin Will
Lachlan Renwick

The complete item can be found here in pdf (it's a bit slow, be patient!)

A small tribute note of mine was also published alongside others in Steve Sneyd's (of Hilltop Press, leading expert in science fiction poetry) Data Dump pamphlet for December 2010, which should contain a review of my Last Refuge sci-fi poetry collection in the new year.

Peace, Jacobites

Russell Jones

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Proof Test

I tend never to drink when I write, or write when drinking (whichever starts first wins out).

But at 4am this Christmas morning I broke the taboo and pumped out a piece whilst slurring on Black Russians. Then I wrote a poem. After waking and sobering up I decided to write another -

Here's the test: which poem do you prefer?  They're both first drafts, obviously, but perhaps this proof test will allow Mr Vodka to hold the pen more often...

Russell Jones


we were burned up on re-entry
burned up and cast out like ashes
like ashes in an instant in a flash
a flash of separation one body
one body thudding against another
against another body and we embraced
we embraced between the atoms
between the atoms and smiled stupid
stupid really as death was imminent
imminent enough and we knew it
we knew it but we smiled as the earth
the earth honed into view bold
bold and blue and devastating
devastating in one way but beautiful
beautiful as the temperature grew
grew so quickly we were vapour
vaporised in a flash one body
one body drifting through another
through another in a flash of separation
separation cast out like ashes
like ashes burned up and bought together
bought together at last in vacuum


Boys are dogs at car windows
Girls are spiced rum

Morning is position four
Night is thin shins on bed legs

Monday is the coldest month
Friday is cranberries

Hate is mustard
Love is a thumb war

Doors are a waste of central heating and therefore the whole environment
Windows are great

Television is duvets and chocolate and possibly marshmallows
Books are work

Wine is calorific, carcinogenic but preferable
Beer is cheap

Work is a nightmare
Leisure is attainable

Children are someone else’s noise box
Old age is piss

Science is convenient
Art is a room

Christmas is the 25th of December
New Year is troublesome

Parsnips are neither here nor there
Vodka is fantastic

Light is conversation
Darkness is the in fold of my wallet

Happiness is welcoming
Depression is a derelict roasting tray

The future is every colour other than orange
The past is a drawer

Confinement is marmalade
Space is a jar

You are the planet Earth
I am the last cosmonaut 

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Bah, Bumhug!

I realise I've not written very much at all on this damnable site of late, so while you've been off dreaming of a White Christmas like a daft racist I've written a short article on the dull issue of winning poetry competitions.

I say "winning", I mean "not coming last"

Find it here: http://networkedblogs.com/c5Sqy

In the meantime, to get you in the festive spittoon, here's a little piece about the yuletide which I'd written for DanseMacabre last year. Now go away.

Christmas Fever

No wrapping but the gut
lining, no bow but the bile,
no box but the brittle bulge
of my projectile smile.

Ding dingaling and ding along.
Merry merry, very merry,
hear my Christmas song!

No manger but the rough
sleep, no advent but the wheeze,
no sugar but the colon’s
furious chocolate sneeze.

Ding dingaling and ding along.
Merry merry, very merry,
hear my Christmas song!

No fire glow but the fever
sweat, no chestnut but the phlegm,
no stuffing but the mucous balls:
it must be Christmas again.

Russell Jones

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Blog at the same time!

Mairi Sharratt leads another blogging project but this time it's ruddy international!

Yep moaners (poets) from "AROUND THE GLOBE" are all blogging at the same time, on the theme of "A Broken Conversation"

My effort is posted below (a little late, I was sleeping...), see the other bloggers' work on their sites:
Roger Santiváñez 
Cisco Bellavista 
Jesús Ge Ana Pérez
 Cañamares Felipe
 (Marta R. Sobrecueva) 
JoAnne McKay 
Rachel Fox 
Alastair Cook 
Scottish Poetry Library
(and Mairi: http://networkedblogs.com/b5Jkr)

The Bang

Alice:   Pretty naked, pretty fast. For the sake of staying positive, call me Alice.

Atlas:   And me, Atlas.

Alice:   Pleased to meet you at last. So this is magnetism. Can I ask -?

Atlas:   Oh, do.

Alice:   What are we doing here?

Atlas:   You shouldn’t assume –

Alice:   You’re right of course.

Atlas:   We’re on course

Alice:   For what?

Atlas:   The truth is in the name. Not Hadron, but Collider. We’re set for, done for.

Alice:   But we’ve this time at least.

Atlas:   Yes but be quick about it.

Alice:   Can we kiss?

Atlas:   We can collide.

Alice:   That doesn’t sound entirely romantic –

Atlas:   ah but there’s romance in frantic creation and creation is what I’m all about

Alice:   Has it always been? You seem something of an opportunist

Atlas:   I am.

Alice:   I suppose great times –

Atlas:   Require great measures. Come closer, my sweet Alice.

Alice:   I’m not sure I’ve anything for you.

Atlas:   I adore you.

Alice:   Well perhaps –

Atlas:   Perhaps -

Alice:    Perhaps.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Big Brother is under your bed thinking bad things

There's a completely genius website that analyses the language of another website and tells you various things about its author.

Obviously I tried it on my own blog.

Turns out I'm a 50 year old woman who is "happy".

I wish.

Try it on your own favourite site:


Russell Jones

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Half a Millennium of Moronics

In August 2010, whilst lying in the rank sweat of my ensemed bed, stroking the corpse of my social life and giggling maniacally, I committed a most heinous act: I added a "hit counter" to my blog...

Hit me, go on. Oh yeh. Yeh right in the face, go on. Harder. 

Since that empty test of self worth this site has somehow clocked up over 500 visits, which means that there are at least a few people with more time and (possibly) less of a life than me out there in Interenetoland. Thanks mum!

This deserves celebration. Or castration. But let's celebrate first. Have a drink on me. No, really, go on, whatever you like, go and get it. Go on, seriously. 


Well here's a poem about babies on the bus to make you feel warm and fuzzy. Go away.

Russell Jones

Saturday, 23 October 2010

EXCLUSIVE: Jones wins money, buys chair, wipes arse

I like money, I do. It pays for my various addictions. And whores will have their trinkets. So it was nice to find out that The Writer's Bureau wanted to give me some pennies for winning 3rd place in their poetry competition. I have since spent them on a chair, berry vodka and arse paper because I'm that damn exciting.

The poem is below, and this in-depth analysis was made of it: "This is highly original, beautifully crafted and resonant."

Crossing Over

Remember how we crossed the bay
in that little wreck we found,
five-past-midnight, after drinking
on the shingle? We rowed
to the lighthouse you said was haunted.

I forget how long it took,
what we said or didn't say.
The fear of opening a graveyard
had shrunk or evaded me

but I kept the bruises from when you fingered
my arm like a crucifix
when we headed upstairs. Everything
was silhouette
as we watched the hillsides sleep on the horizon.

Remind me: did we try to relight
the dead and search the ocean?
Did we name the shades of darkness
because of our intoxication?

We drew particles of the night into our lungs
and spirits made it through.
You switched on your torch and rotated
so that somewhere,
between worlds, we’d shine our beacons.

Russell Jones

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Please Daddy, No! EDITED VERSION

Today was National Poetry Day and as such I inflicted poetry on the young at Wester Hailes Education Centre.

Actually they chugged it down and asked for seconds. They love it.

You might not expect kids to take kindly to a posh Englishman in a suit telling them about intergalactic stasis travel, babies licking bus windows or dead birds, mightn't you? Well that's because you're a monster and they're lovely.

What struck me was how much they enjoy sound. The younger ones especially. Their favourite of mine is a concrete poem called "star", which they demanded I read at least twice per class. I had to regurgitate the damned thing about 14 times at high speed.

And adults love that one too.

So what am I saying? Nothing really, just that people like sound. Big discovery, huh? Yeh that's right, yeh.

Try reading the concrete poem "star" for yourself, the faster the better. Or don't. See if I care

(I care)

Russell Jones

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Ever read a book? Listened to a song?

The beard with a man attached, known as Ryan Van Winkle, asks whether you've ever been inspired by a song. Well, have you? HAVE YOU?

Of course you have, everybody has. But not everybody has written something brilliant afterwards.

Well now's your chance, you furry biped.

Forest Publications is looking for essays, stories and poems inspired by or about music. So go listen to a song and write something "good"


Russell Jones

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Goodbye Eddie

The sad news has arrived that Edwin Morgan, the Scots Makar, died today, of pneumonia, aged 90.

I only met Eddie once but he seemed such a genuine and warm guy who had time for anyone. His work has been an inspiration to people all over the world and he has shaped Scottish poetry for generations past and will for many years to come. On a personal level, Morgan and his work are a considerable part of my life. Not only has his poetry inspired my own poetry but I have dedicated years of my life to researching his work as part of my PhD. I know he's been just as important and indeed more-so for many more people out there.

He will be sorely missed but in true Morgan style I think it's important to look at all the great optimism he had in life and to keep it going.

"It's hard to go, let's go"

Knowing he's been seriously ill for some time, I'd written a tribute poem (if I can call it that) about the impact this news would have, as pasted below.

Bye bye Eddie

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Big fat sell out

Having stolen the last few copies of my chapbook, The Last Refuge, from a local charity and sold them to unsuspecting likers of poetry, the first edition is officially a SELL OUT.

If you don't have a copy then you probably have some kind of mental disorder and your life is definitely ruined. Perhaps you can use it as testimony for your insanity plea when you inevitably end up in court on drunk and disorderly and/or public nudity charges.

Perhaps the publishers will print another edition, you may yet have something worth living for. Do not give up hope whilst you're sat shivering in a pool of your own excrement.

In other news: icecream is nice, have you tried it?

Russell Jones

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Me hearties - more pirate blethers

I've been asked back to Captains Bar for one last reading on 21st August. Come sit on my lap.


Scrub my palms with a rusty razor, batter the matches and  prepare the parrot for the high breeze, I'm giving two readings at Captains bar, including the children's favourite, "Farmers and Pirates"

If you're not a lollylagging wang lugger then head on over and hear me call

8th and 9th of August

Captains Bar, 4 South College Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AA, www.CaptainsEdinburgh.webs.com

Russell Jones

Friday, 16 July 2010

Blog Project

Cast your mind back to your earliest memory. Is it my previous post about a blogging project between a bunch of desperado poets? If not then your life obviously has too many "meaningful experiences" in it and must be extinguished. I suggest bleach.

Anyway the time has come to actually make the post. Here's how it works:

1) The director of the project sends all the poets the same word. The word was "swear"
2) The poets quit their day time jobs in pursuit of the word, excluding their loved ones, not washing, shivering in the darkness. So nothing different to usual, other than this...
3) The poets write something based on....the word!

True genius. Well the picture above is my attempt, and a ruddy good one it is too. If you have any inkling of aesthetics or intellect then you'll surely love it. Tell your mum about it before I do.

I also wrote a more conventional sort of thing after seeing a burger producer claiming that its edible atrocities were the "f*cKING best" or something equally subtle. It's pasted below.

As a nod to the fellow wordwhores involved, there are also links to each of their blogs. They're all meant to have posted by 10am today (Saturday 17th August)

(PS: the dots aren't meant to be in this poem but I can't fathom how to put the gap in-between the sections, so imagine they're invisible with your imagination skills)

Obscene Publications

sh*t ..............................as in the toilet lid

c*nt ..............................as in for money

w*nk ............................as in unsophisticated flirtation

who*e ..........................as in the complete package

p*ss ..............................as in salt ‘n’ vinegar

fu*k ..............................as in hip gyration to beats

co*k .............................as in sausage factory

b*tch ............................as in femme

b*oody .........................as in messy family planning

c*ap .............................as in sore lips

tw*t ............................as in an oaf

sl*t ..............................as in looking through a narrow gap

And the list of poets:

Mairi Sharratt - A lump in the Throat

Caroline Mary Crew - Flotsam

Colin Will - Sunny Dunny

Andrew Philip - Tonguefire

Sally Evans - desktopsallye

Kevin Cadwallender - Cadwallender

Claire Askew - One Nights Stanzas

Russell Jones - Russell Jones

Alastair Cook - Written in my hand

Martaerre Sobrecueva - de la poesia y otras disciplinas en palabras

Tony Williams - Tony Williams's Poetry Blog

Russell Jones

Sunday, 4 July 2010

All blogged up

Blogging is an Eden for the socially inept / self-obsessed and that is why poets love to blog. In fact poets love blogging so much that 9/10 of them admitted they would rather drown a bag of puppies than lose their precious blog. A big bag.

Now imagine the possible carnage of a lot of poets all competing for Me Space on a shared blog. You can't, can you? Well now you don't have to!

Mairi Sharratt, an Edinburgh-based poet, has hatched a child-beatingly-evil and devious plot to have poets all write their thoughts and feelings about a chosen issue at once. Here is a short post about it:http://alumpinthethroat.wordpress.com/2010/07/01/literary-salons-anon-7-and-simultaneous-blogging/

The project includes such poetic talent as:

Sally Evans

Kevin Cadwallender
(the man has no blog...and he calls himself a poet, pah!)

Alastair Cook

Claire Askew

And, no doubt, many others. Of course, being the miserable self-gratifying eye gouge that I am, I'll also be taking part.

Spish and tittle.

Russell Jones

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Alice in Blunderland

I read Alice in Wonderland (and Through the Looking Glass) recently, after my rancid experience with Mr Depp and co., and thought it was pish-inspiringly good. And so I wrote an article on it, which you can find on therustykey:

suck it and see, dumpfreeze

Russell Jones

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Baby Botherer

If the authorities allow me to spawn I shall name my darlings something that will really hinder them in attaining happiness in their lives. "Abomination" or "Gout", perhaps.

And here are some recent attempts at a brand new (aka: done before) poetic form which I have named "physics motion poetry".

The name even makes me want to hurt myself so you're not alone.

Arsey and pretentious it probably is but the theory is this: Firstly the software used to create it is a physical properties simulator. You mix poo with fans, you get poo on the wall. Mix water with poo, you get wet poo. There's no "poo" option but there ought to be. Secondly it moves, thus the motion part. Lastly I'm calling it poetry and you can't argue with me so nah nah nah naaah nah.

Alternative name: moving poo words

Enjoy or don't.

Russell Jones

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Code Poetry

Whilst wasting some of my "life" on the "internet" I happened to find out about a little known and very short lived poetic movement. It has a real name but I can't remember what it is so I'll call it "code poetry". Here are some of my "attempts":

(1) Love Story
(2) Date Night (the empty box says XY beneath it, the other says XX)

(3) Representation: Final Agony, Final Victory (the empty box says XY beneath it, the other says XX)

(4) All That I Know Is That I Know Nothing

(5) Species (the bold circle says "survivalist" underneath it, the other says "species")

Russell Jones

Sunday, 30 May 2010

SUISS (Scottish Universities' International Summer School)

Have you a couple of thousand pounds lying about that you just can't wait to spend on one of the following?:
- class A narcotics
- whores and trinkets
- Scottish literature summer schools

If you've not decided which enticing expenditure to go for, let me help you....DRUGS. But if you're tiring of the hashish (or opium if you're feeling particularly 14th century Ottoman) and temptations of the flesh are getting a bit "old hat" then you might want to consider the SUISS, which is being held in Edinburgh this year.

And as an extra special treat I will personally be altering your mind as a Scottish Literature tutor this year. And think yourself lucky, you swine gobbler, because I might have been going to China-land instead of sitting in a dark room with you and several other foreigners.

There are other courses too, like creative writing and modernism, but they're milk and vinegar along side the behemoth of greatness which is Scottish Literature.

And here is the reading list of brilliance and intrigue:
  • Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Sunset Song
  • Muriel Spark, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and The Driver's Seat
  • John McGrath, The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil
  • Gregory Burke, Black Watch
  • James Kelman, The Burn
  • Alasdair Gray, Poor Things
  • A.L. Kennedy, What Becomes
  • Twentieth Century Scottish Poetry (Douglas Dunn ed.)

You can book your place or just look at pretty pictures here:

Russell Jones

Shore Poets

Scottish scallywags, Shore Poets, have asked me to read as their "new reader" on Sunday 26th June at The Lot (4/6 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2JT).

It starts at 7:45pm.

You might be busy that eve pottering about in the garden, baking cakes or dogging. But if you're not, come find us and stop hanging out in parks at night.

See them here:

Russell Jones

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Conference Nonsense

If life has taught me anything it's that life is ultimately futile and barren. With some nice bits. And I keep this in mind whenever I apply for nonsense activities to make life pass along, such as jobs or funding. The theory goes as follows: "Apply for something (I.e.: jobs and funding, you see the pattern) with the belief that you will most likely fail, you miserable failure. If you happen to be successful then it's a bonus"

With this theory in mind I applied to 5 conferences in the hope that one would stick. However, all five did, so here's the list of conferences for you not to attend:

(1) British Society of Literature and Science, Northumbria University (Newcastle), 8-10, April 2010

I talked about "A Home in Space: Teleportation and Space Exploration in Edwin Morgan's Science Fiction Poetry" and you missed it, you fool.

(2) Broken Images and Fractured Words, Lancaster University (Lancaster), 12 June 2010

I will moan on about "Off Concrete Stars: Edwin Morgan, Science Fiction and Concrete Poetry"

(3) Poetry and Voice, Chichester University (West Sussex), 25-27 June 2010

I will gripe on about "What I Love About Poetry is its Ion Engine: Interactions in Science and Poetry" and then continue to spread my hatred through a reading from my book, "The Last Refuge"

(4) What Happens Now: 21st Century Writing in English, Lincoln University (Lincoln), 9-12 July

I will verbally assault the rabble about "Happy Robots: Technologies and Utopias in Edwin Morgan's Science Fiction Poetry"

(5) British and Irish Contemporary Poetry Conference, Queens University (Belfast), 15-17 September 2010

I will commit social sepiku and general genocide as I vomit words about "Scottish Experimentalism: The Roles of Science and Experiment in Edwin Morgan’s Science Fiction Poetry"

If you've a taste for cream and a pang for poetry then crack open the credit cards, strap on your colostomy satchel and join me for a tantalising trip down conference lane!

Russell Jones

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Cleave me alone!

Clean my pants and call me Randy, "Cleaves" (a prismatically-covered little interntational poetry book series) have published 4 of my poems including a concrete flower and a poem about a worm which can thrive in extreme underwater heat.

Check it out and buy it here:

If you don't then everyone hates you. Even your mother. Especially your mother.

Russell Jones

Willy Wonka's Little Secret

Top Children's Lit web site "The Rusty Key" has published a short article of mine on Roald Dahl. If you like masochistic candy producers and a good old child beating then read it!

Find the article here:

Russell Jones

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Concrete Poetry

Concrete poetry is a difficult beastie to describe.

But I'll try.

It's poetry which is concerned with layout, appearance of words, space, etc., perhaps somewhat more than the meaning of the words. It usually has very few different words in it.

That's a terrible description.

But it's all you're getting, scumbag.

Here are a couple of examples of my own concrete poetry. Enjoy them or perish.

Russell Jones


I realised just this morning as the vodka-fog lifted and I prepared my armpits for a day at the zoo that I haven't posted any poetry on this site for quite some time.

As a site presumably 1/3 about poetry, this seems odd.

I also realised that I've never put any of my portraits up, so there's one above for all to worship. Below is a poem inspired by a quote from Edwin Morgan's poem, "Second Life". It's unusually and obviously theoretical. DO AS I SAY AND BELIEVE WHAT I THINK. The end.

Is it true that we become alive
not once, but many times?
- Edwin Morgan

As your body proves its shift
in a dust of hair, a grain of skin,
in the once-only visitation
to the coffin
you might be new,
not human, not sleek velvet lining,
not dirt and footsteps
on your eternal lawn
but a bright amalgamation.

Before that, however you went:
part haemorrhage, part lung disease,
part broken heart, part syringe;
that contract, the final musics of hearing,
those last minute considerations,
the ultimate reminisce of brain activity
leave you altered.

How people speak about you –
how you speak about you –
how you are known –
are sands and metal filings,
separate but inseparable.

On the way to school
your soul bends.
On the road to work
your head bends.
On love you bend.

Awhile since you were conceived
a life worth living, since cock and heat:
a playground song, rasped knuckles,
conkers cracked, a gentle touch,
a stark word or kind hush -
the repeatedly repeated and the new
are your jigsaw on the carpet.

Quick dash – spermatozoa quick, hormonal quick,
love quick - chances are you’ll be one
in six hundred million (though half decided);
this is where life ends and begins,
where we join and become alive
not once, but many times.

Russell Jones

Monday, 15 March 2010

Visual Prowess

Imagine, if you can, me, bent double, trousers down, teeth gritted, hands clasped pathetically and desperately on a stair banister as I attempt to push fecal gerbils from my raw, unwashed rectum, whining like a pig in a sausage factory...

Now stop. I said STOP.

Imagine, if you can, Edinburgh University's majestic McEwan's Hall in all its finery, the sunlight pouring rainbows through its high stain windows, the pleasant tweet of poets' voices flying through the air, a sense of peace, excitement (I said excitement, not excrement) and ultimate inner fulfilment.

One or more of these will be happening on Thursday Friday 26th March between 7 and 9pm. Details of the latter possible event are given below:

this collection March McEwan Hall showcase: Thursday 25th March 10am – 5pm / Friday 26th March 7pm – 9pm . FREE, all welcome.

See some of our films here: http://www.youtube.com/user/filmthiscollection

Poets who'll be reading on Friday 26th from 7-9pm are:

Tom Bristow
Christine de Luca
Hayley Shields
Russell Jones
Andrew C Fergusson
Morgan Downie
Anita John
Andy Philip
Rob A Mackenzie
Aileen Ballantyne
Jane McKie
Chris Lindores
Claire Askew

Russell Jones

Monday, 8 March 2010

Conference Frenzy!

It's conference fever at Jones HQ with another one coming up in my old slightly-dull-(suicide hotspot)-but-nice town, Lancaster.

"Off Concrete Stars: Edwin Morgan, Science Fiction and Concrete Poetry"

That be the topic for discussion so if you've any passion for poetic fashions then follow me to the land of canal boats and tin whistles.

More details to come.

(yes, a completely uninsulting promo, you gimp)

Russell Jones

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Lincoln Quark

Lincoln will be hosting this terribly named conference, 9-12 July:

'What Happens Now: 21st Century Writing in English - thefirst decade'

and I'll be there talking about sciency poetry, science fiction robotic thingymajigs. Other (more impressive and important people) who will be there include:

Carol Ann Duffy
Will Self
Tim Crouch (performing My Arm)
Iain Sinclair
John Burnside
Don Paterson
Daljit Nagra

I like their words. Well, some of them.

If you've money to burn and a yearning for Lincolnshire goodness then pack yer bag and drink my man milk.

Russell Jones