Month: October 2016


I would get everything
from a bookshop if I were able.
The food on my table

would come from there.
I would dine on tartts and flanns,
chocolate baudelaires,

lead a life of pi and dahl,
rice and flat tortillas,
accompanied by greenes.

They would all arrive
upon the scene
on gleaming sylvia platters. ​

The environment matters
so I would buy products
to suit eco-friendly homes,

like organic biographies,
and recycled tomes
with which to paper walls.

Wildely, I’d buy a painting
to hang in the attic or hall,
next to a looking-glass

(to admire my unchanging looks).
I’d build a coffee table
out of coffee table books.

I would buy my clothes there.
Dust jackets, ragged trousers,
experimental novel underwear.

But no, instead it’s the bore
of the supermarket, the mall,
the soulless online store

that try to take me in my prime
and leave me searching
for lost time.

But they can shelve
their plans for me.
I shall ignore all their displays.

I am piling up
these reference books
to make a bookshop barricade.

On Spending National Poetry Day Waiting for the Dishwasher to be Fixed

It is on days like these
that I wonder if other poets
are just better at covering up
the daily drudgery of life,

domesticity’s endless tugging
upon unironed shirt-sleeves,
as the unwashed mugs
gather sadly in the sink.

Yes, I can imagine Larkin
in some grim launderette,
his specs reflecting back
in a washing machine door

but the others? Hard to think
of Auden elbow-deep in soap suds
or Betjeman wrestling
with bin bags. But I could be wrong.

Maybe the person from Porlock
disturbed poor Coleridge
as he was going hard at it
with a sink plunger.

Perhaps Plath was a dab hand
with a Black and Decker.
Likewise, Heaney with his hoover.
Eliot and his mop.

More likely they just swept
it all under the carpet.
Took up their squat pens
to escape from the squalid,

not drag themselves
further down. But enough
of such melancholic reveries,
I must go now

for the dishwasher repair man is here.

New Research Suggests

New research suggests that eighty people hold half the world’s wealth.
New research suggests that death may be harmful to your health.
New research suggests that 9 in 10 people will suffer from suffering.
New research suggests that the greatest cause of stress is buffering.
New research suggests that there is no link between Shostakovich and bleach.
New research suggests that the average life expectancy is one life each.
New research suggests that poetry may be harmless.
New research suggests that tank tops may be armless.
New research suggests that Donald Trump may lead to complications in the bile duct.
New research suggests that happiness is an artificial construct.
New research suggests that artificial constructs can make you happy.
New research suggests that the ancient Egyptians invented acne.
New research suggests that Van Gogh’s cat painted Starry Night.
New research suggests that there may be life on Marmite.
New research suggests that hobnobs are better than digestives.
New research suggests that new research can be suggestive.
New research suggests that Elvis is dead.
New research suggests that I should stay in bed.