The PK Featured Poet 12 – Mick Moss

"Most of what I write is garbage. It's like cigarettes, they do me no good but I just can't give up. " - Mick Moss

Mick Moss has had considerable success in the past year with his songs on-line. In October he took a lyric and produced a song which went on to top three charts and was No1 over Christmas 2001. He has recently topped charts twice more. Successful as that was, this is about the other Mick Moss, the poet who says he wrote poetry to attract girls and then could not give it up. Who posts his poetry to an internet list and doesn't bother to revise it, but who produces some excellent work in the process. (Jim Bennett)

Featured Poet 12 – Mick Moss


Mick Moss is a 48 year old art school graduate and music industry drop out. Currently doing an MA in Screenwriting at Liverpool John Moores University. His ambitions are: To get his scripts made into films, to travel the world, and maybe one day to meet Mz Right, because, he hasn't yet, despite a few near Mrs.

How/when did you start writing?

 They made me do it., when I was at primary school. I first started writing poems aged around 13 when I attempted something that began with - "Summer air, is what the wind is made of..." A piece of hippy dippy lyrical nonsense inspired by, I believe, a Donovan song! It's been going downhill ever since.

Was there anything that particularly influenced you?

Rock and roll songs, the beat poets / writers, that Scouse bunch, some nasally kid from Duluth. But most importantly I discovered early on that if I wrote a girl a love poem, she would think I was a sensitive soul and I'd get laid. It didn't always work, but I did build up a catalogue trying.

After a visit to Grosvenor Square in 1968 as part of the Lewisham and Elthan Anarchist Faction, I began setting the world to rights by writing "serious" political poems - like one of my earliest ones,  "Julius and Ethel Rosenberg". They were turbulent times. How could a young man not be influenced by the events going on all around him?

 I used to like to read lyrics on album covers, some of which were beautiful poems, though most were not.  And I thought - "well if they can do it..."

How do you write? Do you have any particular method for writing - time of day?

Initially in my head. If it stays there it means its fighting for life in the 3D so I write it down. If I forget it (usually) it means it can't be bothered, so I can't be either. I used to keep a notebook / diary / journal, but as my handwriting is illegible I could never read those all important inspirational notes, so now I don't.

Physical movement seems to get me going, on trains and busses, and even walking. But also in the half wake/sleep time just before my bladder forces me out of bed.
A lot of my stuff started out as song lyrics. If I didn't have the music they became "poems".

 Why do you write poetry?   

I can't help it. It's an addiction which I've been trying to kick ever since women figured out my subterfuge. Plus, I'm a self opinionated little arsehole, and I just can't help adding my two pennies worth about issues that interest me.

 I write films, and writing poetry is a bit like writing a script. The difference between a film and a novel is similar to the difference between prose and poetry. You have to chop it down to the bones but keep the essential story, a process which I find fascinating.

  Is there anything else you would like to add?

Most of what I write is garbage. It's like cigarettes, they do me no good but I just can't give up. These days the poems that don't get binned are immediately posted to the PK list. Bang, they're out there, it's no longer my problem after that, they either live or die. They're not precious to me. I rarely rewrite or edit, and it probably shows.

I don't consider myself a "poet", and being on the PK list amongst such a lot of very good writers sometimes feels like I've gatecrashed a party I would never be invited to. Being asked to be the featured poet made me think - "you cheecky bastard, you've got away with it".

You can hear some of Micks songs and read more of his poems at -


This one's about bigotry and  guilt.

When we were Kids

When we were Kids
a new boy came to our school
he spoke funny
and lived in a caravan
on the wasteland
by the old factory

Ours was the third school
he'd been to that year
he told us his dad was
a mechanic and a builder
and a car dealer
and always carried
a big wad

We beat him up
kicked his guts in
flattened his nose
loosened some teeth
and crushed his goolies
we stood around him
in a circle
with stinging knuckles
and scuffed shoes

He didn't cry
just laid there
curled up in a ball
we felt shit

Berlin was at the centre of 20th century history. You can't help but get a sense of it when you go there.


Crossing the old border for the first time
without Charlie checking my points
or the Stasi giving the once over
at least twice
I walked through the Brandenburg gate
and felt the weight of history
that wore these flagstones smooth
the ebb and flow of shiny boots
marching along Unter den Linden
from Paris to Moscow
and back
the only army now
a rag tag band of displaced persons
scraping a living
from misplaced Russian gear
in reclaimed no mans land
Dollars? - he asked
Deutschmarks - I said handing them over
and waiting for change that never came
the hat didn't fit
but I considered it a bargain

We live in a mad world which won't change unless we make an effort.

Do you Believe in the World?

Because sometimes I don't
Sometimes I have to make it up

I make believe that all my problems are solved
I pretend that I don't have to get involved
I wish that I could just sit here in my chair
and suddenly there would be peace in the world everywhere

There comes a time in everyone's existence
when the flow that makes you grow meets some resistance
they say that all there is, is a reflection of my mind
So I check myself in the mirror, and increasingly I find
I don't believe in the world.

It took three attempts to kill Ethel Rosenberg in the electric chair, it should have been Joe McCarthy.

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

East and West are shaking down the cold war road
keep it all a secret or the balance overloads
Hide away the facts and figures
but keep those fingers on those triggers
....Don't want no reds eating our hamburgers
....No Julius and Ethel Rosenburgers
Death in the sky at the speed of sound
and there's a busy little mole working underground
East and West are shaking down to desolation row
but there's no more secrets now the bad guys know
....Don't want no reds eating our hamburgers
....No Julius and Ethel Rosenburgers
In the land of the free in the dead of the night
there's a knock on the door, it`s the FBI
in the land of the brave in the cold morning air
it`s three steps to heaven in the electric chair
for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
....Now there is no red meat in our hamburgers
....No Julius and Ethel Rosenburgers



I consider this to be the best poem I've ever written


Push - slap - waahh
mamma - dadda

pop - clothes - pills
second hand car

job - rent - bills
wife - brats

prostrate gland
write a will

It's a Sufi tale.... OK it's not, it's just an excuse for a cheap joke.

The Tiniest Bit

Even the tiniest bit
of men
that was still useful to women
no longer is

- I don't know their gender
but I have my suspicions -
have discovered that an egg
can be fertilised by any old cell
not just a sperm

I phoned my mate
to talk about this alarming development
he sent me this joke to cheer me up:

"The man said - Shall we try a different position tonight?
His wife said - That's a good idea, you stand doing the ironing
while I sit on the sofa and fart."

I went to Adrian Henri's funeral, it was a great gig.

Funeral of a Dead Good Poet

When your light had gone
we came to see you off
at the great red sand stone edifice
battered by a bitter wind
and cold as death inside

the mock gothic vaulted cavernous space
echoed with appropriately poetic words
as poet followed writer followed poet
with tales of a life lived large
eulogy for a fat boy bullied
but creative and curious
who wanted to paint everything
even the paving slabs in Canning Street
who believed that communication was bigger
than the limitations of language

A trumpeter played a muted blues
the last jazz rites
and I thought of angry young men
rule breakers and risk takers
a generation who were among the first
to say "fuck you"
only eloquently

I misread the programme and could have sworn
"commendation" read "comedian"
one wouldn't have been out of place
as top turn after top turn read or played or sang
I wasn't the only one of the capacity crowd
who felt a desire to applaud
Roger McGough reminded us that Dylan Thomas begged us
not to go quietly when our light goes

I came away feeling
like I always do after a funeral
That they are not for the dead
nor about death
but for the living
and about life

This was written for a very special person. God bless her.


I feel the need
like a Vampire feels the hunger
like a swimmer who goes under
gasping for a breath of life
I feel it in my soul
an empty hole
that needs filling
and I`m willing
I feel
the need
I need to feel
surround me with your heat
your hot, wet, heat
jump me
pump me
squeeze me and please me
I need to feel me
inside you
to hear you coming
gasping and panting
I need to feel I make
you feel
I feel the need.
a lost soul searching
in the heat of passion.
You make me feel real
real good
I ache
for you.


Like a lot of the stuff I write, this was done after a trip to the pub.

Quiz Night

In strange surroundings
surrounded by unfamiliar people
wracking my brains for answers
to familiar dumb questions
called by the bingo caller
in a criss cross quiz
you pressed your thigh up close to mine
and shot me a silent smile
that spoke volumes
a moment of covert tenderness
in a public place
that made me want you
even more than usual
there and then.
You won me a T shirt
and re-captured my heart
for the umpteenth time.
We dropped off your ex-lover
at his cozy flat
because it was too cold to walk
I remembered you told me once
that you wanted to make love in the open air
because you'd never done that
"let's go to the park" I suggested
"and make love on the back seat"
"I still haven`t made love outside"
you said after saying "No"
It`s strange how we often think alike.....