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Barney Ashton-Bullock



the poet

Barney Ashton-Bullock is the poet and librettist in the Andy Bell is Torsten music/theatre collective, as well as the narrator of his own verse on Downes Braide Association albums. Barney's poetry has been published in a wide range of cult poetry journals, the Avalanches In Poetry tribute anthology to Leonard Cohen, Broken Sleep Books' poetry tribute to Aphex Twin, and Pilot Press' Queer Anthology Of Healing and Soho Nights. His most recent books are Café Kaput!, F**kpig Zeitgeist! and Bucolicism.

the poems


00:00 / 01:56

            bicarbonate frenetics; the genesis?

            multi-generational, tape-to-tape

            deck dubs, their foamy flumes of

            playback hiss as rattly, miscued

            mixtapes mis-struck in bonkerz

            flanged brushstroke percussives

            of amp-max gated smash o’snare –

            metronomic melismatic wonk,

            polychromatic sub-glottal alien

            sprechgesang aligned to time

            signatures noodled in varispeed;

            in fraying flays o’dubsy drubbin’

            vectored beatz. nu-alt clubbin’

            zeroed in on decorous glitchin’

            and ad hoc, thereof, repeatings

            as if spiked reportage to mux

            a retro cha-cha stomp distort

            to crunching churns irradiate;

            to arcing, vaulting interference

            compacting in a vice of abstruse

            its apotheosis to gungey grunge –

            maced in such displace, an aura;

            billowed streaks astray in strobics,

            we all, thrift of light limb, aflail in


            Aphex et al in the cans, sofa-slothing

            in Glaxo infused confuse of veiled

            glissando drippage, arrhythmic

            mallow sonics of opaque,

            oracular, aural twistesse;

            irregular polygons transduced

            to audible, to choriambic

            vassals in vibrato sensoria,

            splice-spruced micro-loops,

            re-up sampled to peak infinities

            flippering as fractals in mid-air …


00:00 / 02:12

     These dew dashed Ballard Downs at dusk,

     Their flannelette filtered translucency,

     Their ethereally gust thwacked sparsity,

     Their muted refractions of wheatsheaves asway,

     Grainy as y’like in the drawn light;

     We, mere pinpoints a-prance,

     Free-styling in the flashlights

     ‘Midst their giddy levity …

     Our scruff of signature left in the stomped crops trample.

     We vortices of loneliness

     Eschew the coital co-substantiates

     Of a GPS iPhone app engineering freelove

     Betwixt such brittle strangers …

     Who melt for lust and pour for sex.

     The top road through which we, as e’er, shuffling exeunt

     To the 09.07 market day bus;

     The rusting hoops of stanchions of the withered

     Wreck of shelter in which ‘first time’ memories were made …

     Cigs, ket, stout, cide, hash, snog, blow, laid, vom, chuck.

     On that trusty bus immemorial, now, only e’er on a Thursday,

     Sometimes, silently, without word or intimation,

     Through the wanding wonk of cattle pong that sands the breeze,

     A youngster won’t return

     And an aged farmer’s wife in well-versed, mock concern

     Will glintily gliss ‘er tamps o’goss … 

     'Dreckly, all spuddlins hath ped off thru d’dimpsey of a yoretide eve

     Dey’ll match an’ hatch as t’were e’er thus; ’cordin’ t’dis eye, ’tis ne’er a goodbye!'

     As, in absentia, all flaxen fledglings were wont t’do

     As, in perpetu, all sylvan nestlings e’er ‘av and must …

     'Afore the byre’s been tromped to mere dander dust.'

inferno al forno
(impact +3 days)

00:00 / 01:55

            Cobalting cinders in soot-storms

            A blanketing-dust graphite

            Dead-black clinker spun

            Back into nightfall

            With no morn, nor star

            You said I was ‘telegenic’

            Until my taste for ash

            Until the bankrupt shop units

            Were hulled to make befilthed

            Lino lain concourses

            For various novelty vending machines

            Purveying massprod sundries of a sexual nature

            With a comedic saucy bent

            Until the rebellion, until the bootstomp

            Until the hefty cruciforms borne by looters

            Had wireless CCTV nailed to each axis

            Arcing each orifice

            Our wan limbs shackled by bracelet and anklet tags

            Our movement shadowed by weaponised tannoy drones

            I have no coins to spend or insert

            All long since smelt or dealt

            All pockets full of oxides …

            I’d rather have been pilloried and cook-pot quartered

            Than be in this scourge of rootless, retroid reminisce

            Recalling when urinals and not welted legs

            Were lacquered in perma-drip masticity of piss

            And your soul, and my soul,

            Miles adrift, miles apart,

            Cankered in a centrifuge of dead, dead sparks …

Publishing credits


  You’ve got so many machines, Richard! –

  An anthology of Aphex Twin poetry (Broken Sleep Books)

Village: Bucolicism: Alt-lite verse for a post-pastoral

  England (Cherry Red Records)

Inferno Al Forno (Impact +3 days): Response (Dreich)


S h a r e

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