The Big Job by Ian Lewis Copestick

The Big Job

Well, I’ve got my gang
I’ve got my sawn off
I’ve got my plans
They’re all drawn up
I know the day
I know the time
When the benefits are paid
When the money arrives
We’ve got a van we stole
About a month ago
Hidden in a lock up
That nobody knows
The chassis number has
Been ground away
Now it cones around
It’s our pay day
We’ve got a Merc, a B.M.W.
A Golf G.T.I.
If it comes on top
We’ve got to fly
You gotta keep every
Piece screwed down
You wouldn’t believe the
Grasses in this town
Every guy who supplies
You with a motor
You can’t let them know
What it’s gonna be used for
Or else he’s giving it the big
man in all the pubs
And you might as well
Just give up.
All the stress builds and builds
Too much and it can make you ill
I can’t let my plans screw up
Spent too long planning this job
I can’t take another stretch inside
I’d top myself first, just from pride
My wife would disown me too
By the time I got out
The kids would be leaving school
I can’t let this job go wrong
I’m the big man, I gotta be strong

Well, today’s the day
My bowels are loose
I’ve got the shooters
And the boiler suits
The ski masks and latex gloves
Are in the B.M.’s boot
I don’t want to, but if
I have to I’ll shoot.

Now it’s 12 hours later
And I’m on the run
Dumped the boiler suits, ski
Masks and most of the guns
The Golf G.T.I., well
It just broke down
There’s two security guards
In the hospital down town
I don’t dare think about
My missus and kids
I don’t want to think about
What we just did
When shotgun pellets
Hit human skin
The blood and flesh flies
Your Head it spins
I know the pigs are
Hot on my trail
I can’t face another
10 years in jail
I put the sawn off
Shotgun to my lips
I hear a police loud hailer
And my finger slips

Nitrous Oxide by Ian Lewis Copestick

Nitrous Oxide

Everywhere I go I
see tiny, empty gas
canisters lying in
the gutter. They look
like the ones that my
uncle used to put the
fizz into his home-brewed
lager, except they were
green, where these
ones are bright silver.
Someone told me
that they are laughing
gas canisters.
Apparently, nitrous
oxide is the latest cool
drug for hipsters to
take. Where they buy
it from, or how they
use it, I do not know.
But, for all of these
two, or three inch
long silver tin things
that I keep seeing
everywhere, I never
seem to see anyone
laughing.

Just A Dream? by Ian Lewis Copestick

PhotoFunia-1590567085Just A Dream ?

I know I’m getting older,
what once was fury, is
now just sadness.
Where my blood would
boil, and I’d grind my
teeth, now I just shake
my head in disbelief.
I suppose you just get
used to people letting
you down. At one time
I’d shout, now I just
frown. Nearly all of my
idealism has been
beaten out of me, both
metaphorically, and
physically. It’s the last
thing I want to be, a
cynical, old shit, but
it’s where life has led
me, I can’t deny it.

I really wish someone
would prove me wrong.
Instead of selling out, be
pure and strong. Show
that socialism isn’t just
a nice dream, but a
workable, practical
scheme. Show that
money isn’t the only
deity, that we can have
a fair, equal society.
One race, the human
race, one people, one
blood. If one hurts, we,
all hurt. Universal love.

Yes, I’m a dreamer, but
I’m not the only one. Yes,
this is the world that we
could live upon.

John Wisniewski interviews Dominic Adler

41+WWTnmZPL._SY346_How did your career of being a law enforcement officer aid you in your writing, Dominic?

We all have a hinterland, and mine was 25 years in the Metropolitan Police. London’s a genuine metropolis and I rubbed shoulders with some incredible characters, a gift for any writer. For example, my first novel, ‘The Ninth Circle’ was partly-inspired by a stint working on the Alexander Litvinenko murder investigation. One of the lines in the book comes from a Russian I came across (“where’s the only place you find free cheese? In a mousetrap”). As a thriller writer, it’s not a bad primer; the police taught me how to handle firearms, drive fast cars, follow someone without them knowing – sexy stuff which I wasn’t remotely gifted at. I was happier talking to people, which I like to think is a more important skill for a detective.

I think my old job had a technical impact on how I approach my writing too – I would prepare intelligence reports, statements and requests for stuff like surveillance or financial investigations or forensic support. It helped develop an eye for detail, structure and working to deadlines. And the UK police five-part statement model is a solid way of presenting a story. I’ve used it to clarify scenes, writing the same incident from different points-of-view. As a writing exercise, it’s solid.

Lastly, after a quarter of a century in that world I developed a decent contacts book. It’s full of weird and wonderful people to ask questions if I need to.

When did you begin writing? 

When I was nine or ten. I’d hammer out adventures for role-playing games on my dad’s typewriter (Gary Gygax, co-author of ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ was my earliest literary influence). As a teenager I started my own twisted humour magazine called ‘Swamp’ (circulation – about six of my friends). At college I was a student journalist, writing a scabrous gossip column and movie reviews. Eventually the itch to write my own novel really, really needed to be scratched. I started one on an A4 pad, scribbling in biro, when I was a young patrol officer. I remember trying to describe what it was like to work night-shifts, about what a special place London became after dark. Of course, it was awful, but you have to start somewhere.

Any favourite suspense/crime authors?

I’ll give you two of my favourite crime writers. The first is Philip Kerr (for his Bernie Gunther detective thrillers, set in Nazi Germany). Bernie is probably my favourite character in fiction – a decent man in a fucked-up world, someone who can’t help but end up with blood on his hands, but prepared to pay the price for his sins. The second is Mark Timlin, whose late 80s / early 90s Nick Sharman books are hard-boiled gems set in south London: Cocaine. Threesomes with strippers. Sharp suits. Gun porn. Car chases in souped-up Sierra Cosworths. Rock stars. And did I mention LONDON! Read them now, especially if you like a walk on the wild side – Timlin was a roadie for rock bands before he became a writer. I’ll admit to being heavily influenced by Timlin when writing the Cal Winter thrillers. If he ever reads this, I hope he gets in touch and I’ll buy him a disgracefully boozy lunch (you choose where, Mark). Maybe with bang-bang chicken, one of Sharman’s favourites.

How does your interest in military history and technology in warfare affect your writing?

I did a History degree and was an army reservist. I think my obsession with military history helps when writing military characters – you quickly realise soldiers are very tribal. Cal Winter’s an ex-army officer and even though he’s cashiered in disgrace, he needs the balm of camaraderie as much as the buzz of action. To give another example of how real-world history inspires me, my latest book (Timberwolf), is a crazy science-fantasy set in a world analogous to the 1940s. One of the key scenes is based on the German airborne assault on Eben-Emael. If I wasn’t a history geek, I would never have heard of it.

As for technology, I love gadgets and toys. Oh, and tanks. I love tanks. Personally I blame watching too many Bond movies as a kid (except for tanks, unless we’re talking about Pierce Brosnan driving a T-55 in Goldeneye). Then, towards the end of my career, I became an online investigator. I was exposed to social engineering methodologies and what the military would call ‘information warfare’. I got completely hooked on how the Internet was becoming a battlefield domain. That led to me writing ‘The Saint Jude Rules’, which I didn’t realise was actually me, oracle-like, partially shadowing the world of shit that is 2020. See? I was an information warfare hipster, back before it was cool.

41TnZ5v0saL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Could you tell us about writing “The Devil’s Work“? What inspired this novel?

‘The Devil’s Work’ is the second Cal Winter novel. I wanted to write an over-the-top action thriller based on movies like ‘The Wild Geese’ and ‘Where Eagles Dare’, but set in the 21st Century. A story with impossible commando raids and double-crosses. I’d also read about how China was buying up vast chunks of Africa, which I thought made for an interesting back-story.

I spoke to a couple of friends who know Africa well about world-building, then spoke with an ex-SBS guy over a pint about how you’d drop a RIB from a helicopter… and the rest fell into place from there. The scene where Cal meets a journalist in a flyblown African bar was more or less pilfered from a bloke I know who was a warzone news cameraman. Then I needed to create a bunch of gnarly mercenaries to join Cal and his sidekick Oz. They were inspired by tough-guy movies like ‘The Dirty Dozen’ and ‘Con Air’ (you’ve got no heart if you don’t love that movie) – I ended up with a dread-locked Scottish ex-paratrooper, gangster twins from East London who served in the Foreign Legion and a Russian-American sniper who comes along for the ride.

Funny story: I was working in a Criminal Intelligence unit when I wrote the book, so was required to submit the script for vetting. As the book features a troubled SIS (MI6) team, my bosses decided to send it over to Vauxhall Cross for the spooks to take a look. As it happens, SIS wanted me to change one tiny thing – and this is the most British thing ever – they just asked politelyThere was no suggestion of an order, just a “would you mind awfully, old chap?” Who was I to disobey Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service? I’m not allowed to say what it was, so I won’t, except it had nothing to do with their reputation. I thought, all things being equal, they were cool about it.

What will your next novel be about?

I wear two writing hats (I’m such a rebel) – Thrillers and Speculative Fiction. On the thriller front I’m toying with a fourth Cal Winter story and I’ve also got 40,000 words down on a story about police corruption. It’s set on the Thames Estuary where London meets Kent – smuggling country. An ex-anti-corruption cop joins forces with a gangster’s widow to take down a criminal gang, who themselves are in the shit with the Albanian mafia (the Amazon-meets-Uber of European organised crime). Think ‘The Departed’ meets ‘The Long Good Friday’, with counter-espionage and the Isle of Sheppey. I do love glamorous locations. On the speculative fiction front, I’m also writing a sequel to ‘Timberwolf’. It’s got some good reviews and I really enjoyed writing it.

Any suspense/foreign intrigue movies that you like?

Okay you asked… Heat, Ronin, The Dirty Dozen, LA Confidential, Hanna, all of the ‘Bourne’ movies (even the dodgy one with Jeremy Renner), John Wick 1-400, Man on Fire (of course Chris Walken gets the best line: a man can be an artist… in anything, food, whatever. It depends on how good he is at it. Creasy’s art is death. He’s about to paint his masterpiece), Nikita, Reservoir Dogs, Die Hard, The Last Boy Scout, Way of the Gun, Snatch, In Bruges, Get Carter, The Long Good Friday, Layer Cake, No Country for Old Men, virtually any Bond movie, Leon, The Long Kiss Goodnight. I could go on, I devour this stuff whenever I can. And some great TV? Altered Carbon (first series), The Man in the High Castle, Babylon Berlin, The Boys, The Punisher, Fauda and The Bureau.

How do you create your characters?

They pop into my head semi-formed, then I start writing detailed profiles in my trusty notebook. Eventually, if I’m lucky, a character emerges. For others I open my mental rolodex of people I met at work, there are thousands of ‘em. Obviously, they’re heavily disguised, or composites. I think writing is a privilege and I hate bullying or betraying confidences – even for people I don’t like.

Link to Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/ Dominic-Adler/e/B00EYKGN26? ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid= 1572852445&sr=1-1

Link to Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/ Dominic-Adler/e/B00EYKGN26% 3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

Link to website www.dominicadler.net

Link to Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ dominic.adler.90

51blOzLEuVL._SY346_

Self-Preservation by Ian Lewis Copestick

PhotoFunia-1590567085 Self-Preservation

It’s a Friday night, in mid July,
and the young lads are out in gangs
of ten or more. When they swagger
past, I just look at the ground. Or is it
safer to look them in the eyes, to show
that you’re not scared ? I don’t know.
I play it as it comes, as fifteen more
go by. I hear an “Oi!” I keep on walking
at a steady pace. I’m not going to run
until I really have to, and I don’t want
to draw attention to myself. It’s happened
before, and I know from experience I
can take out one or two, but when they
travel in such big mobs, there’s not much
that you can do. So, on I walk, keeping
my head down, or trying to stare them
out. When you are my age, and on
your own, your self preservation skills
take control.

A Community by Ian Lewis Copestick

PhotoFunia-1590565538A Community

I really enjoy feeling like
I’m part of a community,
I know all the workers in the local shops,
and of course, they all know me.

It’s such a big, yet such a little thing,
it doesn’t cost you a penny.
When you’re depressed and lonely
it’s advantages are many.

Just someone to say  ” Hello”
and  “How are you doing, Ian ?”
Let’s you know you’re not alone
and you ARE a human being.

Of course, it’s really obvious,
people need to be connected
But modern life makes you nervous,
and you lose all your perspective.

Back when I was younger,
with an underdeveloped brain
I automatically thought others wouldn’t understand my existential pain.

I thank God that I’ve grown up,
and somehow matured.
I deserved to be hung up,
and covered in manure.

Thinking I was somehow better
than my fellow man.
Thank God I learned that lesson,
that I finally understand.

That we each have our own different gifts,

all individual, yet all alike.
Unique snowflakes, blown into a snowdrift.
Trying to cope with this thing called “life .”

Six Poems by Mark McConville

PhotoFunia-1590832754Strange Times Indeed.

Battlegrounds everywhere

In a city smothered by hypocrisy and a death toll

The thin try to eat and the overweight become thin

Strange times indeed.

 

The slender arms of a child

Become weightless as she sleeps on her mother’s belly

This is unity in the most heartbreaking fashion

This is a mother crying as her baby begins to flinch

Nightmares burst into the mind.

 

Shredding the world into pieces

Might be the best way to eradicate the desolation

Burning it into scraps of charcoal as the animals scream

No one deserves this depravity, these aren’t degenerate people,

Shadows or rigid silhouettes, they’re breathing the same smoke as you,

Their hearts beat for a comforting smile and graceful hand from someone,

Not carrying burdens.

 

One dies, two cough and sputter,

Fear attacks the senses

Heaps of energy sapped from breaking bodies

The city’s teeth discolored by nicotine and its abdomen

Hungry for economy and a rebuild.

 

Disease roams like cattle,

Flowers decide to die, their vibrancy,

A figment of the imagination,

Color trapped in grey, houses crumbling,

Woodworm eating through the work of a carpenter,

Who gave his all too building beauty when beauty gleamed in

The eyes of strong people.

 

A Bell Rings In My Head.

A bell rings in my head

A realization that dreams are for the hungry

The driven, the artists, the readers,

And the weaver of words.

 

Emotions are high

I wish my name was in the sky

A banner of authority and truth

People would see it and cheer

For my disenchanted self.

 

The pavements laced in chewing gum

Offer me a route to the dark underworld

Where emotions are high

And people die of unnatural causes

They’re bound to each-other

Like they’re strapped to a leash

Dogs of winter, dogs of war.

 

The snowflakes are colossal reminders,

Of an incoming force

Winter beckons and these unruly children,

Become like wolves, scavengers.

 

Covered in a blanket of snow

A bell rings in my head

A realization that dreams are for the noble.

Die Loudly.

Broken glass reflects bloodied faces

Prayers are needed here

Hope trips the lights and is now engulfed in darkness

Dreamers disregard their chances of swapping this life for days in paradise.

 

Angels talk up this place, this land which has conformity,

They have sprinkled white magic all over books of truth

Books that explain to us why violence is fundamental

To staying alive in a world inconclusive.

 

There are people lost in disposition

Their love songs only play out in shoddy bars

Those angels come and go

Switching on the lights may let them in

At a blink of an eye, they’ll truthfully tell you if,

This is the end.

 

She’s next to you, flapping her hands,

You’re in her line of sight

Dropping glasses of dispirit all over the wooden floor

Speaking to the walls, wishing they’d tell that you’re allowed to,

Die loudly.

 

Mystified by your response to these paper-thin walls

She drags you aside, peppering you with optimistic monologues,

Of why you should live peacefully, aborting all poisons and,

All these memories which you conceal under the dome in your head.

 

The theater of wingless drunks

Is on its last order

You quickly consume with all your repose,

The last drink of the night.

 

Tear Drops On Cheeks As Pale As A Winter’s Day.

She’s stretching out for her mother

But her mother is caught up, tangled in a drunken daze,

Profoundly stuck in a loop of mundanity.

 

Oh God, she wishes, to stick to her mother again,

Wrapped up in the umbilical cord

A warming embrace when she’s born again

But we can’t be born again, we can’t relive the tender moments,

We grow up and try to make sense of the world.

 

She feels suffocated when her mother seems free

Singing karaoke in a local bar

Drinking spirits when her daughter is out of spirit

Drinking hops and barley, when a starving girl is,

Wasting away, barely hanging onto the teddy bear her late father,

Gave her.

‘Honey this is yours, hug it when you feel uninspired and when your mother is

Disconnected from you and the world’

 

The home is colder than a day in the snow

The electric blanket doesn’t heat the bones

The young girl splashes water on the face of her hungover mother

There’s no response, no anger or repent.

 

Flicking the switches in the kitchen

There’s no electricity surging through

Just a feeling of tension at the pit of a hungry stomach

A swollen cloud of black rain hovering over her

She wishes to tower over all of this

Create sparks and wishes, but magic isn’t,

Real?

 

The tap leaks dirty water,

The milk is sour in the fridge

The emptiness is gathering space

And hopelessness seems to darken the room

She’s powerless and her mother is shadow of her former self.

 

A ticking watch is all she has

Temptation to walk away is a potent feeling

In a young mind, pushed to grow up,

But she loves the woman sleeping away the haze.

 

Hazy Nights.

Screaming for solace

Inside a cage we call home

The lucky and free

Walk the streets with their heads held high

And their wallets bursting from the seams.

 

The room is a reminder of hazy nights

Grasping onto the t shirt of a lover

Who quickly departed with the aromas of sex?

Swirling around the stench of the ashtray.

 

The thick smoke of cigarettes

Shrouds beautiful faces

They’re there writing down tales

Of yesterday

While out of mind.

 

It’s exhausting

Looking at drunken eyes

Which flicker a hundred times

There’s no answers from the mouth of this,

Rebel who wishes for a better life.

 

And we sit amongst the disenchanted

In a small compartment in an apartment block

Someone is singing hopeful lyrics

From a song as sickening as a restless heartbeat.

 

This night is longer than most

The clock has stopped

People urge me to sleep

I can’t,

I can’t count sheep.

 

The Flicker Of Lighters.

Freedom seems miles off

As the rumbling of thunder in my mind

Becomes frequent.

 

I walk the streets

Trying to curve the strain of mixed emotions

Homeless women come to me

Asking for miracles when I need a miracle

They’re hungry, and desperate,

I have nothing to offer but memories

Of a bashful crash into a state of disrepair.

 

They leave me to walk

They rummage for thoughts

Taking drags of cigarette ends

And the dregs of a bottom of a bottle

Drunk unsophisticatedly.

 

Why should they stray into darkened voids?

And alleyways, undesirable territories,

Where masked strangers steal innocence,

And everything they’ve ever fought for.

 

I observe mass gatherings of people in despair

Drawn to the flicker of lighters

They’re certain to meet the end

No bright lights to guide them homeward.