Paul Relf
How To Open The Arm From The Inner Elbow To The Wrist by Paul Francis Relf© (2014)

How To Open The Arm From The Inner Elbow To The Wrist.

I wrapped myself in blackness
Closer and closer came
Darkness blankets blurring
Every friendship I ever made. 

Tightropes I groped
Through spectral void 
My genius glowing 
Red on my arm where it spilt.

The blade can be sharp
Or dull with rust 
And the poetry does not sing 
But flashes in the brain.

I held aloft the candle
And incense burning danced
Across the sick sad carpet
Into no ones arms.

White silk powder 
Chopped in my reflection
Erase myself with credit cards
And bow to the crooked king.

Bottles bent like plastic
Melting in an unkind sun
For the sun is the most unkind
Searing gods on to the iris.

A 20 year old cancelled
The reducement of the self
Ellipsis of my name
Plaster cast and halted.

Blotted as in out
Disappear into walls
A smile could not catch 
A frown where it falls.

Music was all for funerals
To burst my heart into bubbles
A shaking epileptic fit
Where no stillness sits.

Sixteen a self-harmer
Razors were my guns
Nail varnished words
Adorned electric guitars.

LOST in marker pen
Across my knuckles
Mascara running 
A horrible smile.

The crying scratching
LOVE carved into flesh
What did I know of it?
This heart less stone more brick.

White shirts of blood
At parties drunk
I was dangerous,
Stupid and young.

My hair fell across my face
Only framing the grimace
As I sunk into abuse
Strange, cryptic, obtuse.

No day to make a date
Not through choice or cheer
Stuff the turkey glutton
Life is always near.

A retching gasp escapes
In slashed tyre pomp
Where the holy Indian rug 
Was burnt by gods weed.

Each seed was beautiful
Every branch a child
In my blood a psalm was writ
In scrapbooks with long titles.

Terror formed the curl
Where lips lay flat 
An electric dance in fires 
In forests of the city lit.

A horrific sneer appeared
On faces of friends
Carrion to the scavengers
Of toast and eggs.

St. Augustine, he wept,
I lay on my bed on my back
With the wind at the window
Wild wailing,weather to attack.

If a star can grant a wish
All universes would be true
With dreams and hopes fulfilled
Not damp failure in the dew.

Conspiracies shaped my brain
Where the drugs did rush
And love was an abstract noun;
A thing I could not touch.

Headlines of sordidness 
Made imprints on my skin 
And I looked into the eyes 
Of a mirrors mirrors mirror.

Help this wretched boy,
I cried in my sleep,
I woke up from nightmares
Crawling, crowing in my bones.

It is the death of soul
That truly forms the spirit
Where creativity is born
Where greatness is spewed forth. 

That red skinned daemon
That grinning beast
And his acolytes and cohorts
Each from greed to deceit. 

I had become stagnant
Foul with impotent rage
Then later no interest
Almost in anything at all.

I thank him for showing me
The blackened charred page
In adversity eventually
I found the will to escape.

I used to plead to god
To take away my talents
To spear that evil goat
Let me find some happiness.

Painting pages of Christ
Hung up on the cross
Using my own blood
To colour every cut.

Lonely and sad and bitter
A life not lived but just
Seen from afar
A silent movie with one scene.

I clasped a hand across my mouth
That gaping shock of pink
Embedded with white tombstones
I hardly dread to think.

That fallen angel cocky
Flushed with power lust
Schopenhauer was here
All was futile all was fucked.

Tragedies Shakespearean 
In marbled mouthed oblivion
Were twice the man I was
And thrice the man I were.

Catacombs of spiders webs
I tangled myself further
Neurons firing like fireworks
No, like First World War artillery.

Areas of gold were seen
But beyond my reach
A halo of satellites 
Above a charcoal beach.

Access to a mainframe
Super encrypted
It would take a 1000 years
A 1000 hackers to breach.

Scrolls of misery
Was one long poem
A whole notebook
Of biro and sin.

The Silver Aged Book Of Time
Was really Styrchnnine Jazz Sonatas
And that too was as long
As the dark dim tunnels I wandered.

Tape cassettes piled up
Of songs like magic
That appeared crippled
And are out there somewhere still.

The 21/22 Trilogy
Kept me occupied 
With guitar tunings
Of immortal sadness.

I sung in a low voice
To match my mood
Stoned under red light
After work in the afternoons.

Ill, I coped with colds
Constant sickness panic
Heart beating thunder
Frozen electric to my toes.

Eerie voices spoke in rhymes
Scraped the case clean
Holy marijuana prayers
I binged until I was gone.

Each pill from a bag
Kris had lots to spare
Crush and snort them 
A hole from my nose to my hair.

If I rohypnoled myself
It was self medicating
Like the booze and the dope
And the e’s and the coke.

I looked up ways to die
A warm bath at night
Opening the wrists 
Letting the blood mix with the water.

Anger turned inwards
In that warm bath cutting my thighs
Work was a humiliation
Sexuality a dire masturbation.

None of it was easy
Well, some of it was
But not for my friends 
And not for my family.

Terror fashioned itself
Out of clips of toenails
And one good rib
The clone was a weak cunt.

It’s stamina was inferior
And it’s ego megalomaniacal
If the mirror was a gun
It would’ve been shot in the face.

So each spell, each cantation
Summoned strength
To ease the pain
And fight the contagion.

I killed the clone
Stabbed him through his throat 
Watched the red black life force
Seeping sickly slow.

The moon was hot air
Anchored to the earth
My skies were cancer
Black and suffocating.

A sharpened pencil
Stabbed into skin
A warm bath waiting
For my body to slip in.

A plastic bag over the head
The belt on the shower rail
I could have lived instead
And I did.

They say you cannot return
From the deepest pits of hell
From the belly of the beast
From the hole into which you fell.

But there is nonsense
And stupidity,
Ignorance unparalleled
Is held in high regard.

I was awash in seas
Of unforgiveness
Of indecision
And calamity.

I was treading the water
Yet it was up to my neck
The saltiness stung the tongue
The wind cracked my lips.

When there was a wing
To lift me up above
I could soar in the heavens
Or plummet to the depths. 

I rose from the ashes
From the pool of blood
From the wreckage 
Of the car crash air disaster.

The holy unholy self murder
The teenager forever
The adult mind in tatters
The fear of normalcy.

But what is normal
But disorder 
A mental illness 
Should be treated.

I self-medicated
And then self-harmed
And then self-killed
And then reincarnated.

Shakyamuni also 
All the bodhisattvas 
Life is suffering
But there is no such thing. 

Be positive
Be negative
Be nothing
Be everything


Even with the cigarette
Stubbed out on the flesh
Even with the knife embedded
Even with the price well paid.

Even with the arm
Open from the elbow to wrist
Even with a heart that’s loved
And lips lucky enough to be kissed

It is but a shadow overtaking.

Paul Francis Relf
April 2014

Written and performed by Paul Francis Relf (©poorlypaulymusic2014)
I wrote and recorded this this morning at home. All tracks were recorded in one take each. Peace and Love.


From my 2013 ep ‘Boomerangutan’.
Written and performed by Paul Francis Relf (©poorlypaulymusic2013)

Enjoy a song from my latest ep! I’m extremely prolific but you only need to listen to one. One this morning anyhow…
This ones about interrogation…,..

'POW!' (2013) collage by Paul Francis Relf. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

'POW!' (2013) collage by Paul Francis Relf. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

My collage ‘Exiting The Garden Of No Exits’ (2012) used as the front cover artwork for the 2012 album ‘Majestic’ by Those Gin Soaked Rags.
©Paul Francis Relf.

My collage ‘Exiting The Garden Of No Exits’ (2012) used as the front cover artwork for the 2012 album ‘Majestic’ by Those Gin Soaked Rags.

©Paul Francis Relf.


paulrelfofficial: My oddball poem: enjoy!

Tom Thumb On A Hairpin

……and then the magician
saw the woman in half,
the audience in whole applauded.
A child gave birth to a giraffe,
Backstage the rituals are sordid.

Some were contrived Victorian
And cherry cola Korean,
Quirky up and coming chameleons,
Assorted criminals too.

My twitter come say hi!

From my 2013 ep ‘Boomerangutan’.
Written and performed by Paul Francis Relf (©poorlypaulymusic2013)

'May I be well, happy and peaceful, may my family and friends be well, happy and peaceful' (2014) Paul Francis Relf.

'May I be well, happy and peaceful, may my family and friends be well, happy and peaceful' (2014) Paul Francis Relf.

Unboundedness. - A Short Word On Meditation For The Curious and The Skeptics.-
- A Short Word On Meditation For The Curious and The Skeptics.-

I learnt TM a year ago in February 2013 and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. It didn’t cost a fortune. I paid £300 for a four evening course and you have free check–ups, advice and group meditation for LIFE anywhere in the world. How is that a rip off? 

You pay to learn a language, you pay to learn to drive, so why wouldn’t you pay to learn to meditate? 
I occasionally practice other meditations too, like the types that are used in Buddhism to complement my TM. You can learn various Buddhist meditation techniques for free or at least for a small donation at Buddhist centres and if you don’t like the idea of TM but like the idea of meditation I would suggest going to these. 
For some TM is the go-to meditation because there is no religous attachments, except for the offering before you learn which is a symbolic ritual giving thanks for the knowledge you are about to learn.  Also, you if you are religious, Chritsian, Muslim, Hindu, Satanist, whatever, you can learn TM and use it to complement your own faith. It has no spiritual connotations BUT it will make you more spiritual if you want that.  Possibly even if you don’t!
There are many other meditation techniques too, ones you can learn from books or guided cd’s, on dvd or youtube.
You can meditate on your own without instruction but from my own experience of practising self-taught meditation for years, you need to be taught by someone. It’s amazing and eye-opening the difference it can make. 
Meditation in general has made my life better because it helped me, myself, to make my life better. It is a part of changing habits and moulding your life to be the life you want it it to be. Making your heart, soul and mind be what you feel they should be and not what you have let them become over the years through the daily grind and upsets. 
The Japanese have a word ‘ Kokoro’ that is often translated as ‘heart’ but really is untranslateable into English and means something more like ‘heart and mind’, the heart and mind intertwined, working together as one. 
This is what meditation does for me. It brings the heart and mind closer and in turn my world becomes truly mine. 
There are many meditation techniques on offer, ones you can learn from books or cd’s,  on dvd or online (there’s plenty of great guided meditations on Youtube), there are retreats where you can go, monasteries, clubs, meditation is everywhere.
In the end, whether you learn TM, a Buddhist meditation or any other form, I urge you to try it.
Turn off your laptop and put your phone on silent. 
Sit, close your eyes, listen….. and maybe your world can truly become yours.
Paul Francis Relf
26th January 2014

On the web:;jsessionid=Yx0wnX5usFf+W1wfZIiCH5UX.undefined
Clay Statute Of The Nation (2012) a poem by Paul Francis Relf.

Clay Statute Of The Nation.

Hail, father Christmas
And Bohemian Grove
Spats and a suit and a traffic cone

Come all ye spiteful
A spitfire wing
Crashed in the desert
What a wonderful thing

Tragic skin you leather and crease
Our youth is just to rust
Thick steel to a thin sheet

Goodbye my brothers
So long
A man can only endure so much
So long my brothers
So long
I can feel that shroud enveloping
My heart is no longer mine alone.

The clock has begun to slow
To a .

Ghost Land (A poem by Paul Francis Relf 2013)

Ghost Land

They swam in the streets through air
Car crash Peruvian pills
Eyes of a dead paramedic
And waistcoats unbuttoned.

Factory of vultures;
The killing ceiling is.

I smell their incontinent fear,
Is it any wonder?
There is murder here.

Spiral Bound Hymns: Notes On The Making Of The 21/22 Trilogy.

Spiral Bound Hymns: 

Notes On The Making Of The 21/22 Trilogy. 

  The 21/22 Trilogy were the first albums I made that I was happy with. (21/22 refers to my age during the recording of the albums). They were the first albums I made that I felt sounded like me. Even though they don’t sound like me now and didn’t sound like me then. Together, along with their accompanying ep’s of out-takes (‘Looking To Oaxaca’,’Crossfingered For The Change’ and ‘Daggers For Leaves’) they stand apart from everything else I have recorded. 

  I recorded and compiled them over half a year in 2004. I never questioned what I was doing, I just wrote and sung in desperation, awe and disbelief. They were my visions. 

I saw angels in alleyways, diamonds in back seats of cars, drug paraphernalia-paranoia, ghosts killing themselves over and over, poisoning of the pure heart,  Buddha weeping in the chapels of Christ as Mozart’s Requiem Mass blared.

  All the songs lyrics were based on an ink spill of poetic outpourings. All or almost all were chorus-less, maybe even verse-less. Born of despair and candle light, red eyed in the midnight supernaturalness.

  I was working a morning shift at the time and would be home by 12.30 pm. In the afternoons I would write and record until the beers and everything had ruined me. Poetry was always good to write in this state but singing and playing guitar soon became a chore. And thus the albums were made in swirls of smoke and the mirage of bedroom vastness.

  I filled notebook after notebook.  Dropped ash and spilt beer on the pages. 

  I was hung up on a girl at work, of course, unreciprocated. I was deeply unhappy around this time but i played the martyr well, with a broken guitar as a makeshift crucifix and old strings for my crown of thorns.

  Occasionally I’d be away for a long weekend or a week on tour with The Inbreds (The UK heavy rock band; we recorded and released our debut album that year, 2004) and I always longed to be back in the introverted introspection of my childhood bedroom where my cacti waited, green and growing. 

  All the songs were recorded on a Fostex 4-track, which I used to record around 1000 songs between late 1998 and 2006. 

  To my memory none of the trilogy’s songs are in standard tuning on the guitar. I had long been fixated on making up strange open tunings or borrowing cool ones from songs  I liked. This gives the songs a strange dream like quality, a drone note building in reverb and all the notes and scuffs echoing into one pulse. 

  When I came to transferring The original C-90 tape cassettes to digital in 2008, I found they had warped slightly; They play slower than they should. This means my vocals and guitars are a lower key  than when I sang them. It sounds strange, though I think better than the originals. They are much more ghostly wounded and oddball.

  The albums are built upon hypnotic acoustic trance riffs in cyclic repetition and mostly non-rhyming free form poetry that began with what would become the bulk of  ‘Crossing The Shadowline’, a reference to Joseph Conrad’s book. This first album is probably the most straight forwardly normal of the three and has more of a standard song flow. 

  Although the albums weren’t planned out, a form emerged as I wrote and recorded and tracklists fell into place. The 2nd, ‘Cognac Prayers’ focuses on the place between the dream world and reality and highlights an indignant fed up attitude of wanting the reality AND the dream. But really wanting neither and actually getting neither. 

  The 3rd album in the trilogy ‘Victoria In A Bad Liver’ is about unrequited love and self-medication-abuse but in an abstract language that doesn’t tell you this is what the album is about. - The hieroglyph as song.

  When I listen to the albums now I feel like something is pushing down on my shoulders. Some spirit aura. Neither friend nor enemy, an inquisitive visitor who may or may not be a threat.

  All those years ago at night when I listened back to the songs I had recorded in the afternoon, I would be washed in the blood of a lamb that represented my rebirth and resurrection from this day to the next, to begin again the time loop through the holy drug and the shamanic mantra of song in spectral Bexleyheath.

I was gone.

And so was the music…..

In a good way.

Paul Francis Relf

December 2013

The link below takes you to The 21-22 Trilogy playlist in which there is one song from each album and each accompanying e.p.

The Riff. by Paul Francis Relf (November 2013)

The Riff.

We are 
Load up
Get high.
We are
Duct tape.
We are
We are
tyre flapping
The petrol pump.
Coffee coffee coffee coffee.
We are
Record company backstabbing.
We are
The cash machine in reverse.
We are
'What is it?'
We are
Jaegermeister endorsement
Contract burning
'Is that mine?'
Marijuana Marijuana Marijuana.
We are
Test tubes crushed
We are
We are
Clown shoes
Ham sandwiches
We are
Guitars smashed
Amps blown
Piss bottles.
Miles miles miles miles.
We are
Vocal cords torn
Livers wrecked.
We are
Gums bleeding
We are
Muscles aching
Card playing.
Kitchens kitchens kitchens kitchens.
We are
Bones fractured
Fingers sore.
We are
Food throwing.
We are
Hearts beating
Motorway motorway motorway
We are
We are
We are
We are
Self harm
Trinity Place
Waiting waiting waiting waiting.
We are
We are 
Magic mushrooms
We are
Dog vitamins.
We are
We are
Cat swinging
Bass Exploding.
We are
Stage Diving
Hello girls.
We are
Breast signing.
Backstage backstage backstage.
We are 
Alcohol poisoning
Violent puking.
We are
Demo recording
Lyric writing.
We are
Song title 
We are
'No mincing'
'Cheep cheep!'
We are
We are 
Exhaust pipe falling
Tripping on stage.
We are 
Hair flying.
We are 
Teeth kicked
Gruba meschersmhit.
Cymbals cymbals cymbals cymbals.
We are
Stupid hats
We are
Hello boys.
We are
Strangling Kojack.
We are
We are
Silly dancing
We are
No audience
All audience
We are
Beers beers beers beers.
We are.
We are
We are
Urinal cubes
Merch table selling.
We are
Mosh pit.
We are
We are
Clackett lane
We are
Men’s mags.
Echo echo echo.
We are
We are
We are
Ash trays
Goldie Liegh
We are
We are
Black walls
Toilet cubicles.
We are
Rolled notes
We are
Debut Album
We are
Soundcheck Soundcheck soundcheck soundcheck.
We are
We are
We are
We are
Sleeping bags.
We are
Smoke machines
Line up changes
Ears ringing.
We are 
Guest list.
We are
Snare snare snare snare.
We are 
We are 
We are
Self released 
Fire extinguisher
Shattered mirrors.
We are
The riff.
We are
Hotels hotels hotels hotels.

I am Merlin,
Distortion and feedback.

Written by Paul Francis Relf (November 2013)

Holy Shots For The C-90 Tape Cassette Junkies

Holy Shots For The C-90 Tape Cassette Junkies; 

The story of The Earp Tapes and the birth of Those Gin Soaked Rags.

Matthew Froud and me had played together in various bands and he had always been my lead guitarist/co-songwriter/drinking buddy. At this point none of the bands I had been in had ever recorded a single song, apart from the odd handheld or tripod camera footage. I, on the other hand, was already an extremely prolific songwriter and had recorded around 200 of the 300 odd songs I had written between 1997 and 2000.  These were all recorded on C-90 tape cassettes straight into a small tape player that I believe was actually my sisters. I wish I still had that thing…. 

    Here or somewhere thereabouts in 2001 is where the story of T.G.S.R really begins. I was an awful singer back then and my songwriting was occasionally questionable too. When I was good I was great, when I was bad then it could be laughable, but I’m still very fond of those bad ones. 

  Stoned and drunk, 18 years old, nerdy, grungy, awkward and shy, lost in a world of spinning cassette wheels, poetry,  note books, depression and self harm. Making music with a friend was very good for me, I could be sociable but still introverted, I could be a stadium selling rock star and an award winning songwriter without leaving my own bedroom and that was enough and fine by me.  

  It was music night in my bedroom with Matt, high, we decide to make, under the moniker Wyatt Earp (AKA The Earps) a loose concept album called ‘Coffee, fags, booze and blues’ by The Drunken Blues Players.  We would write the best songs we could and record them to 4-track cassette. 12 songs was the target.  Somehow we ended up 6 years later with 8 C-90 tape cassettes full on both sides with hundreds of songs. There is even more still, uncompiled, that are lost in the shoeboxes of original master tapes in the cupboard upstairs in my old bedroom in my parents house.

The songwriting and jam sessions got out of control. We had fun. We laughed and cried. We got angry, we got happy. We got lost. We got found.        

      The original concept album idea was never actually dropped, we just kept writing new songs for it. We aimed high in artistic endeavour, bombed on weed and alcohol, we slowly, over the months and years added extras to the original slimline 12 song idea.

We had a loose spoken word, guitar accompaniment story song collection called The Ballad of Buttmunch and Skiffle Henry. 

Also the Tears In My Coffee Cup jams that ranged from 2 to 25 minutes, these alone could fill a triple album.  Some of the original early songs for the album were going to be ‘Soon’ ‘Carpet Burn’ ‘Legend Of Love’ ‘Firebird’ ‘A Lesson Learned’ ‘A Little Bad Advice’ ‘Can’t Get Out’ and ‘Fools Of Freedom’ (‘fools’ becoming a recurring theme, for no known reason, throughout T.G.S.R history)

    The introduction of James Holloway to The Earps was a wonderful ride. The drunken nights with candles and incense burning continued but now we had a third songwriter and singer who shared the same vision of indie country rock with a punk attitude and Beat Generation angel geniuses knowing. 

We played songs with more purpose now, songs written by me, songs written by James, songs written by the three of us. The wild rambling spontaneous off the cuff jams where we started playing and then sung in turn whatever came to our heads was something Matt and me had done in earlier years but now with James became a satori. (We would later reach an early apotheosis of this in our 2008 debut album ‘Roulette Father Son’ where virtually every song was spontaneously written and recorded from scratch once the record button was pressed.)  It was the pure brain in motion, the dream world car crashing into reality, a meditation mantra, the infinite being vibrating, in those moments we were and are one. It was and is transcendent.  

  Matt and me had dropped the band name Wyatt Earp and then dropped the name The Earps. We had instead just referred to what we did as ‘The Earp Tapes’ almost more like a project than a band. In a way it was more performance art. We were at once the performer and the audience. We had assassinated the middleman in cold blood. We had no need of promoter, talent scout, record producer, record company, critics. audience or fan base. We were everything ourselves. With James joining the rumpus we slowly started throwing around band name ideas. I don’t recall any of the suggestions but we talked about using The Earps again. In the end somehow we fell upon Those Gin Soaked Rags. Were we drinking gin? I don’t remember. I know we talked about London and the gin epidemic. Anyway, there it was. 

    The eighth and last Earp tape was a mix of songs written apart and songs written together. The end of the Earp Tapes can be attributed to a few things: the addition of James; The naming of the band and moving onto gigging; Actually finishing an ep with the choosing of three songs and artwork by me for the first TGSR release ‘Ragtime Ghosts’ in 2007. 

    But, as with a lot of modern age extinction, the actual nail in the coffin was, simply, technology. In late 2007 I had bought a digital 8track and found a new freedom of recording and that the sound was a multiverse compared to the 4track tape’s universe. So the tape stopped rolling………..The physical cassette tape at least but the heart and mind as one, what the Japanese call Kokoro, well, that’s still rolling like the eternal waters of the ocean of infinity, rolling rolling rolling rolling rolling rolling rolling on and on and on……………………….

Post-script- The Earp Tapes are unreleased in their complete form. Plans for a cd box set and mp3 format ‘Revealing The Secrets Of The Master Magicians - The Earp Tapes’ has been planned for a while but I can’t say if or when it will see the light of day. 

  I compiled a  two volume best of The Earp Tapes, released in 2009 on CD-R as part of The Inverted Smile Series, ‘The Pitfalls Of Being Strange; The best Of The Earp Tapes vol. 1’ and ‘Heroic Endeavours In Unheroic Times; The Best Of The Earp Tapes vol. 2’. Both of these are extremely rare. 

Thanks for reading. I’m popping out for a beer….and a couple of gins……………..

God Bless The Gin Club Boys.

Paul Francis Relf 

November 2013