Pop Catchy (2022)

Side 1
Johnny Bizarre
Boulevard Way
Butterflies (It’s alright)
Cigarette Break during Filming
Parents’ Evening
Side 2
Johnny Pop Art
Viciousmas Circle
person x
The Posh People v. Ian Dury
Body Politik
Sleepy Head

Side 1

Johnny Bizarre

Post office posts his collage faces
to random names and places.
When he’s not inspired he’s out of sorts
but when he is, he posts all kinds from his multi-faceted fort.

He gets upset cos he can’t tell the difference
between a compliment and an insult
and has mood swings like a child in a playground
as he blames himself cos it’s everyone else’s fault.

Talks to himself loud enough so everyone can hear in his imaginary supermarket
but whispers top secret thoughts to himself in private
and to not give anything away , reserves his right to silence
much to his psychiatrist’s annoyance.

Stands on his bed balcony
with his cuckoo clock
and shouts out the time
every evening at six o’clock cos doors lock.

Boulevard Way

A pauper can’t let the penny drop.
It’s dark with the lights out when things stop.
Nobody has anything worth moaning about.
Everybody shows something to cover it up
in a vicious invisible circle on boulevard way
while on to the next street and the next day.

Butterflies (It’s alright)

Music purists with a mess in their veins
spew out needle-injected words from their precious brains.
Blabbing-about-nothing and soon-to-be forgettable socialites
dodgem-car roll at smoky jokes that waft off to canned laughter into noisy nights.

If anything gets heavy,
it’s alright ‘cos it’s only temporary
and butterflies in a belly
beep faint signs of life by the hospital’s bedside telly.

Into the small hours, and revising memories for the next day,
swotters and blotters sit a 24-hour test of time that won’t last anyway.
Hot-air balloon and on-the-pull blow-up dolls and action men
randomly float away by mistake to a disco of karma and zen.

If anything gets too light,
It’s alright ‘cos it’ll fall with all its might
and butterflies in a belly
beep faint signs of life by the hospital’s bedside telly.

Cigarette Break during Filming

We both go outside
during the break for a cigarette.
Look at each other and you give a quick nod upwards
Meaning ‘You got anything to say yet?’

In the film since I would have played my role:
walked towards you, taken a drag
and said something useful
looking into your eyes as you draw on your fag.

Yet I give a quick nod upwards too
knowing it’s a kind of silent sign to discover.
We finish smoking without a word
and go back in with the break over.

In the film since we played out roles.
Every scene played out with what was meant.
It’s a long time ago but fresh in the memory
like smoke from cigarettes past and present.


I’m a mythomaniac.
I’ve got no empathy with facts.
I make up things to not crack.
I’ve got a devil’s tongue on my shoulder for pacts.

I’m a mythomaniac.
I’ve got a shallow grave for yakety yak.
I make up things for what I lack.
I’ve got an angel on my shoulder
whispering sweet nothings to wing it with my quack.

I’m a mythomaniac.
I’m a legend with a tall tale to stack.
I make up things to clickety clack.
I’ve got a grave digger to cover my tracks.

I’m a mythomaniac.
I’ve got truths and lies holding back.
I make up things in my shack.
I’ve only got myself to attack.
I ignore it if I give myself flack.


The club is ok. I’m feeling it distantly.
If you have my contact numbers
could u forward them onto me?
Thanks. The no feeling club is called ‘Numbers’

Feeling a buzz is what gets us on our knees.
Feeling the birds and the bees.
That message you sent was so rash.
You hated it but I’d give it a bash.

Parents’ Evening

Once quietly brilliant.
Now brilliantly quiet.
‘While amateurs fit characters to plots
professionals fit plots to characters’.

There’s something going on.
Something going wrong?
This term’s work has been erratic.
Long-term may stick.

Is everything ok at home?
Seems distant at times and a long way away.
Just like a cat that wants to roam
while flattening down 100 blades of grass where it’ll lay.

Music seems to be the way to go.
While lost in it, tends to find focus.
The other day there was a moment
when singing to Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear + detention = (ed) what it meant.

Side 2

Johnny Pop Art

He wanted to be a brand
but couldn’t sell for toffee.
Had a girlfriend he got in the sales.
Gave him a discount to be.

Thought he was quite ha ha ha andy
and hee hee hee indy.
Took drugs cos stealing was in his DNA
and worked in a dead end night job by day.

A price tag at the tip of his tongue,
signed unsold photos of himself weighing pound coins on scales.
Splattered baked bean tins with tomato sauce.
Called it art at car boot sales.

Thought he was quite ha ha ha andy
and hee hee hee indy.
Took drugs cos stealing was in his DNA
and worked in a dead end night job by day.

Was a walking commercial
who sandwich board bored.
He was always out of pocket.
Dreamed of making a market of himself
no-one normal well-to-do could ever afford.

Viciousmas Circle

Looking at the Xmas masses
late-minute shopping or shoplifting
Class acts busk entertaining the classes
as they freeze-wrap up begging to those Xmas gifting.

A Santa Claus round every corner
ready for a conveyor belt of cloned kids
hides behind a beard for a shift yawner
and can’t wait to get some Xmas cheer to lift drooping eyelids.

Messages fly around from social media nests
wishing loved ones a slurring sleigh of a day
while stalkers and drunken pests
get doubly dangerous or bussed-up sexting away.

As the religiously forgotten celebrate
the birth of their saviour
advertisers remind consumers of deadline dates
for not-to-be-missed-offers ‘til next year.

person x

this is the gathering of the masses
for person x all alone
shouting out above beeping mastermind passes
fetching a stick licking dog ‘n’ bone.

person x love at first sight
lifelong vision towards real love
hope hap happy happens
when a hand in a million fits the glove

stand out behind anonymous
ride the bus hiding from the bus seats
person x don’t say hello
to anyone person x meets

The Posh People v. Ian Dury or Why the ruling classes won’t ever let anyone else rule

Got a pill for every hang up.
Got a hang up for every pill.
Being clever dicks with cannonballs
their blow-up knights in bouncy castles
are delivered by royal mail in letter bomb parcels
to detonate on University Challenge
just as Ian Dury buzzes What a Waste
thus undermining any chance
another class could ever take their place

Body Politik

If children ruled the country
there’d be a crowned head
and a crayoned in face all smiley
blue, yellow and red.

Chocolate dripping down its mouth.
Neck as fat as a rhino’s as long as a giraffe’s.
Superhero and heroine health
would burst out of its breastplate with a felt tip logo of choice for a laugh.

They’d be twenty starfish arms long and short
and ten octopus legs hanging down
to a brown seabed in a sea as dense as yoghurt
and a purple sky above with orange stars all around.

If children ruled the country
the body politic would swing
from ecstatic happiness to sudden moody
and its little out-of-tune people would nursery rhyme national anthem sing.


Frogmarch myself to what I sort of know
can only end in tears for me.
If things are going too well, time to get low,
and laugh if things are going badly.

I’m in two minds as to whether
I’ve got a split personality or not
but it’s just trying to prove a point I’m clever
when it’d be easier to admit I know jack shit.

I must confess I don’t want to own up.
The day I tell myself the truth will be the day I lie.
I want to be a good person and the spirit is willing
but gods don’t talk straight and duck the big why.

Say 10 Hail Marys and 10 Our Fathers.
Keep the faith. Don’t think too much.
Listen to good music.
Try to not lose touch.

Sleepy Head

Sleepyhead, shake a leg!
Do some of those things you said
before you peg it.
Baby, time to believe in yourself and beg.

The siesta sun is baking
your fried egg face on the bonnet.
You’re waiting for an awakening
but make excuses to sleep on it.

Do you wake up and smell the coffee too late?
Do you just cross off days or will you actually circle a date?
Is what you want to be just beyond you, mate?
These and other questions after the break.

All poems and collages by John Di Girolamo

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