:: Article

We Are The Brutalists – Fuck You


By Adelle Stripe

Rumours of Pauline
(the Tad Bike)
– and these are only
what I’ve heard over the years
trapped in my four walls
of London town

she cuts her own hair
with a pudding bowl
on top of her head

she propositioned two boys
in the Jackdaw one night
flopping her flabby
leopard printed tit sacks
out on the table

balancing a pint on each
uttering the words
“me fanny’s really wet yer know”

the boys ran off
into the distance
(never to be seen again)

you can probably find her on
but she almost definitely
has threesomes
with the curtains

so that wanking
junkie postmen
can catch a glimpse
of her
getting the once over
from two men at once
on their daily rounds

not only that
she hangs round with Crystal
the Gipton Gloyt
picking up
pissed Tad lads
on the last bus home
charging £20
for a backseat quickie
to pay for her next bag of brown

as for the truth
all I know is this:
she lives in
a cul-de-sac
somewhere off Stutton Rd

The Willy Watcher
By Ben Myers

the first time I had
with a
as opposed to my
i laid down my
coat on the grass
of a
behind a
in a north-east

then we did
right there and
right then
and it was
and it was
and it was
pretty good
because I’d been
and I came like

and afterwards
as we hoisted
up our
while in reasonably
a figure suddenly
from the
from the

a grubby little
from the mental
a toilet lurker
a willy watcher
with a misshapen
and he
for me
reaching out
a hand
and going
the police are coming,
the police are coming,

and i thought
i bet they are
you cunt
but what i
said was
back the fuck
and jumped at
with my
because now I was
protect their
and men
leap at other
with their fists

act first
think later
that’s what men
isn’t it?
and now i
was one
and now I had
a new role
to play

only I didn’t
consciously know this
as the pervert
retracted back
into the
like a gimp on
a leash
and we skipped
back to the pub
fucking hell!
my cock
and finally worthy
of the

Piss Town
By Tony O’Neill

going back
through institutional corridors
and overgrown secret paths
which cut across the backs of the hospital
like surgery scars on desolate hills
up the winding stone staircase
to an industrial ground-zero
of abandoned refrigerators
and dripping chimneys spewing
thick, grey chemical smoke
to the blackened wall
where I wrote the inscription
“Joy Division” in silver paint
sometime around 1992

when I close my eyes
the images play out
against the lids
a travelogue of childhood flashes:
piss town.

from a secluded path where
an acne scarred girl charged one cigarette
for a hand-job and a glimpse of tit
to the crumbling, faux-Victorian pub
were I was served my first beer
and the old, beaten up whores
of Clayton Street, lurking in the shadows
of the lumber yards and the gas works
waiting for trade to stumble drunkenly
from the twinkling lights of the pubs and clubs

the frozen image of a sad-eyed young girl
staring out window of a terraced house
and then stolen away in a flutter of net curtains
and a girl I once knew, half dead now,
crushed with poverty and port wine
two incubator babies and her insides
dumped into hospital bins before she turned thirty:
piss town.

I served my time
in dusty world war two bedrooms
you wrote your name in childlike letters
on a box of forgotten papers
in a stifling attic

I severed my ties
bled from my hands, my mouth,
my pen
all of the others still locked behind
a sturdy steel door of drunken recollection
preserved in amber
hand frozen over a glass of bitter
forever wired on pink amphetamines
brutalized by the intervening years
some killed by work, some by knives,
or women,
and some by the steady
passage of time:

piss town

on the news
the US secretary of state
waving from the town hall steps
with the local MP (who lives in Whitehall)
both smiling stiffly beneath
the Sunday skies
how fitting – Basra, Gaza
and now here…

while in The Swan those driven insane
by the brutal drudgery of it all
drink cider and whiskey to forget
to speed up time’s monotonous progression
desperate to skip ahead
to the final act
a misty churchyard
a handful of mourners
it was a lovely service
just lovely:

piss town

but sometimes, alone
underneath the crumbling architecture
of Queen Park hospital
looking down from my spot on the wall
at the empty bottles of Zeppelin and White Lightening
discarded bras and dosser’s blankets
I’d close my eyes and listen
to the Imam’s call to prayer
floating up from Audley Range
a welcome interloper from some inaccessible continent
the feel of the light, July wind
on my face, and I concede
there is something special here
hidden away from prying eyes

something private, odd,
neither from the council estates of Higher Croft
nor the abandoned terraces of Shakeshaft Street
something that appears at dusk
during stolen moments of peace like this
before it is inevitably carried away
from me again:

piss town


Adelle Stripe is a performance poet/fiction writer from Tadcaster, UK. Her work has appeared in Full Moon Empty Sports Bag, Laura Hird, 3:AM, Vomit In The Mainstream, Rising Poetry, Scarecrow, and Savage Kick. She edits the definitive Brutalist weblog, Straight From The Fridge and will one day release her secrets to the world in paperback under the banner “Things I Never Told Anyone”. Adelle hopes to retire to the country and become the only female professional rat catcher in the north, sometime before her 35th birthday.

Ben Myers is a published author and poet. He has published many books including a collection of journalism, a number of biographies and one acclaimed debut novel The Book Of Fuck (Wrecking Ball Press), collectively published in five languages. Ben was born in Durham and currently resides in London, UK. He has been publicly beaten up three times in his adult life. Another three times it was ‘a draw.’

Tony O’Neill is the author of the autobiographical novel Digging The Vein (Contemporary Press/Wrecking Ball Press), the short story collection Seizure Wet Dreams (Social Disease), and an upcoming collection of poetry Songs From The Shooting Gallery (Burning Shore Press). He was born in Blackburn, Lancashire and currently resides in New York City. He is currently hung over and listening to Suicide’s ‘Dream Baby Dream’.


The Brutalists were formed by writers Tony O’Neill, Adelle Stripe and Ben Myers during the long record-breaking heatwave summer of 2006. All are active members of the literary underground, publishing their work via a plethora of books, anthologies, fanzines, websites, readings and weblogs. They are as influenced by music as they are writers, citing shared (but disparate) influences such as punk and post-punk, Dan Fante, ragga, jazz, Velvet Underground, Billy Childish, Black Flag, Herbert Hunke, Joy Division (and countless others)…

Brutalism calls for writing that touches upon levels of raw honesty that is a lacking form most mainstream fiction. We cannot simply sit around waiting to be discovered — we would rather do it ourselves. Total control, total creativity. The Brutalists see ourselves as a band who have put down their instruments and picked up their pens and scalpels instead.

The only maxim we adhere to is an old punk belief, which we have bastardised for our own means: Here’s a laptop. Here’s a spell-check. Now write a novel.

Brutalist writing is open to anyone who shares similar ideas about the role of literature.

The debut Brutalist work is Brutalism #1, due for publication Feb/March 2007. It will feature six poems from each writer, each tackling their respective Northern town where they grew up (Blackburn, Durham and Tadcaster respectively).

We’re here to take scalps.

For more information please contact: www.myspace/com/brutalists


(Adelle photos by Zan)

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Sunday, January 21st, 2007.