Neil Coppen

writings/ plays/ poetry/musings/travel journals and newspaper columns



Jesus jumped off my bathroom wall this morning. Cracked his sacred heart. Last night there was a police helly hovering over my head woke to the sound of chopper blades like a marathon runner’s heart a smugglers pulse at a particularly tenuous border crossing search light spotting something frantic through foliage and into windows of little sleeping suburbanites must be a fugitive from the westville prison he said rolling over back to sleep but I couldnt so lay awake counting butterflies with blades for wings while remembering how last week that truck carrying tons of sun flower oil on the freeway by my house caught fire sending neighbours breaking telephones and bending ears with news that revolutionaries had taken the local bridge. Hoards of us brave enough gathered on the bank to learn the actual cause but more I feel to feel the furnace on insensate skin. Mrs Jacobs banged her bible as flames that smelled of popcorn swirled around her head.The mouth of hell fell open but not one of us went in

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Petulant Petals on a Mourning Mountain


There was an uprising on the mountain side yesterday, just over the decrepit old fence with its rusted barbs and rotten wood poles, on the slope beneath the black shadow of the cloud.The field of fierce yellow flowers curled into my palms with the seduction of a kitten. They coyly brushed their petals against my cheek and coaxed me into lying amongst their long green stems.

Then with all the petulance its petals could muster one stared me deep in the eyes and spat at me, at my kind. I took it by the throat, between my two fingers and threatened to snap it at the veiny top of its stem. It wept drops of dewy sap before I let it free, and it shook hard the remains of my fingerprints.

We are fighting she whispered, her yellow companions nodded emphatically in the wind. The war against mankind, against your kind. We have mustered up our defenses of barbed acacia and prickly pear, we have spoken to the rivers and babbled with the brooks. We have conversed with the messengers of the skies and signaled to the insects to prepare their defenses. Such a pretty flower had seen one to many a companion, picked and fondled, plucked and fingered, stroked and straightened to brighten up the vase of dull living room.

I pulled the burnt scabs of old bark off dead tree stumps, the limbless trunks, the mutilated black licked wood , gray and soulless. Waiting to burn in the stone cottage fire place.I felt the dying warmth of daylight on the rocks blunt ugly faces, I kissed their gnarled lips and wondered why my head was not as a peculiar shape as theirs.I exchanged my pain on that mountain beneath the black cloud shadow, I listened and they listened, crouched in their density, peering over my ridiculous web of stupidity

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I am a pregnancy test gone bad


I am a random coincidence

A pregnancy test gone bad

I am the result of an accidental collision

The meeting of bodies

The greeting of bodies

the excretion of bodies

I am fluids spilt in the name of procreation

Emancipated in the name of recreation.

I am the culmination of banging bed posts

thrashing hair

the agony and ecstasy

Sweat and calamity .

I’m lack of protection, imperfection

Conceived in drunkenness

born in awkwardness.

I’m the lucky dip

The crinkled chip

The dancing DNA strain.

I am generations of insecurity and joy .People that died alone, those that died happy.

The current’s of two collaborating streams

in flood and drought.

A luggage lugged

A baton grasped and passed in the sweaty palm of history

I am genetic procrastination, the anti evolution.

Question mark? The cul de ‘ball’ sac (or T junction) to another’s realm.

In possession of this, this suitcase of ghosts, bursting at the buckles -history ailing. Memories wailing

To be recalled. Vicarious and precarious .

A thousand years of neuroses, loss ,gain.

A culmination- devastation, celebration

a pin prick of pain .

Both dog and semi enlightened being

otherwise a shit fly. (For which I’m thankful I’m not)

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Oh India



India –a love poem


I fell in love with a woman so vast

Her head rests in the heights of the Himalayas

And her toes in the waters of the Indian

Men can only ogle her full tragedy

Her resplendid beauty

Her epic daily unfoldings

From satellite dishes


She rides a scooter

wearing Sari, Sunglasses and high heels

Baby balanced on one shoulder

Cell phone in the other


She makes love to me

then leaves before I wake

 –with my wallet-


Kisses my hands

Then cuts them off

Hands me a crutch

Makes me beg for her



Feeds me with feasts

That make me shit for a week

Opens my eyes

Then sweeps dirt in them

Sings me to sleep in palace beds

Lets me wake in the gutters

She likes to stare

 to make a ridiculous spectacle of herself

Celebrates life and death

And if there was no distinction between the two 


‘Bolly would

 if she could

But she couldn’t

So she slept in the slums and dreamt of the stars’


She is a million scents

One minute piss the next minute petals

Saffron and sulphur

I no not the difference


Brash, brazen, bold, stupid

Sultry, intoxicating, seductive



Her body a map

 bruised and divided by history

 Her veins -holy rivers and tributaries

Consecrated and desecrated

A countenance

Battered but smiling


Divorced from her ex colonel lover


And pursuing ruthless custody

Over reluctant child



Nursing not her pride

But bastard children

In shadows of shame


Her head pushed into a new age

Whilst her heart resides in the old

Indelible and Incredible

Adorned and adored

(So the brochures promised) 

Abhorred and abashed

(Some details were emitted)


They try to incinerate her on the pyre

Throw her sturdy hips to the Ganjess fish 

but she is stronger then fire

She can only rise




 Kali wrecks havoc on a surfboard and monstrous waves

But she is stronger then water

She can only Swim




A fairy tale princess

Pursued by

Kings and princes

Politicians and demons

Possessing such beauty and horror

That mirrors and men’s hearts


When they gaze upon her 


She has no happy ending

Only an endless beginning


My India

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A data diet

Microsoft fix

Easy money

loveless sex

To rubber love

Dolls and dicks


coherency and consistency

prophecy and fallacy

La di da and tra la la


the pretentious and contentious

dictionaries of meaningless words

wordless meanings


nothing making ‘sense’

and ‘sense’ making nothing of it’s predicament


creative bankruptcy

loaned ideas


and wanking


the borrowers and the wheelers

the stealers

and the dealers

that offer us the opportunity

(for a fee of course)

to piss

our bliss

from a window

on the top floor


The playful and wishful

The dreamer

and constructive schemer


the ranger changer

who rides about the planet with a pistol of love attached to his hip


finally educating ‘sense’

that the world is indeed a more ‘sensible’ place

when viewed from upside down


oh fuck! and luck

quiet nights of solitude

in the dark , alone and cold

and happy


sharing beds

and banging heads

till there’s blood in the eyes


the unpredictable




The remains of mystery

still existing in our overrated

over written histories


the newly formed restrictions

placed on my contradictions

currently informing me

I’m no longer allowed to change my mind

Or size, or weight, or height



the recurring nightmares

and fears

blank pages, arid pens

empty ideas


hippies and hip peas

and peas with hip displacements


growing old with increasing folds

and retreating hairlines


organs that surrender

after growing impatient with the heart and brains on going quarrels


labels and lapels

sown to my chest

printed with my name

face with a frame on


the bizarre and macabre

the senseless and absurd


the idea and the herb

the sentence and the word

for aiding me in this glorious

and profoundly

stupid expression

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Ballad of -Frankie da Bum goes to Bollywood


From a road side stall-midnight-

I see my destiny reflected in a cold cuppa chai

You’ve been given the wings Frankie (I mutter to myself….prophetically …..pathetically)

It’s time Kiddo for you ta fly!

Now it seems, that dreams

can make a sane man do desperate things

‘Whats it all worth? Eh fuck it’ (I mutter)

and quickly collect my things

Thumb a ride

with a Punjabi Truck Driver

who swings open the door and utters

‘Well Sah, what you waiting for

Why don’t cha hop inside?’

‘Which way ya heading?’ …. the driver enquires

as I sip casually on a cigarette

(inhale)ahh to the land of all my dreams

(exhale) to quench the thirst of all desires

He turns the Key

ahhhhhhh Mumbai, that’s a little outta your neighborhood!

I nod

The engine roars

and soon were shooting through the veins of Bollywood

Rushing through the electric chaos

Touching the interminable void

Sipping on sweet cocktails

of sin and celluloid

Bright light -skin tight -thug fight

Hold on tight….

(This might shake you up a little)

I only got twenty bucks in my pocket

but already I’m soaring like a rocket

Through the stars-to become one

never looking back

Bought me a fancy second hand suit for a few dirty Rupees

Act like I care

Brylcream my hair

I’m a super star now

No longer the groupie!

Waiting -with midnight cowboy cool-

under this Mumbai street lamp

Feeling all swanky

though I smell like a tramp…

But I don’t give a shit

Cause just you wait till I hit

bolding like a giant across them movie screens

took my own advice

rolled the knowing dice

Now I can’t turn my back

on my Bombay dreams

No I can’t turn my back

on my Bombay dreams

But cars (as they do) come and go

with no money men

or eager agents

coughing up the contracts

let alone da dough

No dream makers

Only dream takers

Celebrity fakers -like myself

Lining up with the whores along the sticky Bombay boulevard

Residing in the lost

….never found

Here no one asks me ta do my Pacino..


…my Deniro ?

I can play the all singing, all dancing lover boy

I can be your Chandelier dangling hero

But they brush past this future Bogart

nonchalantly slouched out on the street

Then an old lady takes some pity

You poor sad thing! she says

and tosses a few rupees at my feet

The sun sinks down

as the coins tinkle on the ground

and another star crashes and burns on this lonely Bombay sidewalk

like a cigarette-stumped-

-gone out-

but still smokin

and this ‘wanna be’-'look at me’-'Just you wait an see!’

calls it a night

and finally packs his hope in

Turning his back on his Bollywood dreams

Turning his back on his Bollywood dreams

I slowly and sadly fold away my pair of wings

What’s it all worth? Eh fuck it (I mutter)

and quickly collect my things

Thumb a ride

With a Punjabi Truck driver

Who swings open the door and utters

‘Well sah what cha waiting for

Why don’t you hop inside?’

‘Which way you heading ,Sah?’

The driver beams

but I tell him there’s been a little change a plan

I’m going in search of new pair of dreams

How I didn’t find fame

Only shame

On those streets of Bollywood.

but take heart to know

There’s a lamp post and a second hand suit

waiting for me down in ol Hollywood.




Coca cola Buddhism


New found Vegetarianism
New wave Humanitarianism
Coca- Cola Buddhism

Studying palms
Graft on self sustainable farms

I’ve heard organic veggies reach supernatural sizes!
Feed the monkeys
Kick the misers

Comb the stars
then slouch in bars

find love in Buddha
-and the back of parked cars

Finger yoga on my remote control
Wash in dirty water
to cleanse a dirty soul

Open your book
your legs
your mind

… excavate the find

Converse with god
then gutter dogs

Preach the light
Pray in shadows
kiss the step
I may not kneel upon

live my faith
with hidden face

- forgotten-

Sing the praise
and gag on cotton

Free Tibet -(where’s that?) on my bumper sticker

Levitate on dope
Meditate on liquor

and I wonder
can natural healing?
Stop internal bleeding?

Or restore the loss of feeling?
to these fingertips?        

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