I write poems. For the past four years I’ve done a project called 100 Poems In A Day, where I write 100 poems in a single day, taking title suggestions from people and posting the poems online as I write them. I also created a thing called the Poetry Takeaway (with a lot of help from Tom Searle of Show + Tell), where punters can request a poem on any subject, then return 15 minutes later for a performance and a free copy to take away, open or wrapped. I’ve written 100s of bespoke poems on the Poetry Takeaway, for all sorts of people from all different walks of life on lots of different subjects.
Since I’m apt to procrastinate if given the opportunity, I thought I’d commit to posting a weekly poem on the site. Admittedly, this is more for my benefit than yours – a way of keeping the cogs churning – but you might find it interesting to see some new material, in the raw as it were. I’m pretty sure there’s nowhere else on the internet where you can read substandard poetry.
Some of the poems I post here might be first drafts of new performance pieces, some might be random splurges and experiments (with all the concommitant cringeworthyness such efforts imply), and some – hopefully – will be commissions.
Which is to say, if you’ve got a subject you’d like me to write a poem about, or a title, or any sort of poetic request (apart from ‘please stop’) then drop a comment in the box below or, even better, email me using the ‘Contact Me’ link on the right, and let me know a bit of context plus the request. I’ll do my best to get through as many as I can, at the rate of a one-a-week.
Sound good? Good. This first poem is in response to a request from Catriona Simons for a poem titled ‘I’ve Got A Vintage Pop-Up Shop’.
I’ve Got A Vintage Pop-Up Shop
The book hinges open; the python unhasps her jaws,
racks of frocks and pea-coats rising like a chimney demolition in reverse.
A paper salesclerk swings to attention beside the cash register,
a paragon of symmetry. A sleep crease splits him from scalp to crotch.
From above, the shop is a smattering of chevrons.
The world around us spreads in massy sloth:
the beggar with the loamy scurf purling round his chops,
the girl with the three-dimensional wrists
and the cud of heart disease gnashing in her thinning arteries.
from certain angles, we are invisible.
Blood sluices past our windows. We watch the fattened devas
prink and primp; if they could see us,
they’d slash us to butcher’s strips quick as blink.
Sign up here for free exclusive poems, mp3s, album giveaways and info on my tour dates.*
(*I promise to never send more than 1 email a month, and it’s a great way to show your support.)