#18 – ‘reflections’ [provisional title]


The world is surfaces
reflecting one another –
a row of whisky bottles
held in a tangle of light.

A girl looks at the light
her face reflects
onto the mirror
and spreads chemicals
onto her skin
to tint and blur it.

If the image in the glass
reflect the images
she sees in magazines
which show her
what they think she wants to see,
perhaps she can affect
the way the world
reflects herself at her.


#17 – ‘Eleven Ways of Looking at a Blackbird Killed by your Cat’

‘Eleven Ways of Looking at a Blackbird Killed by your Cat’


When a cat chews the skull of a mouse,
it makes the eyes pop out.


As Boris crouches down to stalk
the birds on the lawn,
he calls to them, low and inquiring.
Is he excited? playful?
Perhaps he hopes to talk them into his mouth.


A broken dragonfly
clattering on the floor
makes an excellent toy.


Delilah prances in, chirruping
through a mouthful of starling.
How pretty it is, in its spring plumage,
glossed with green and purple.
The little darts of white
are like a cartoon convict uniform.


This is the thirteenth young dead rat
in the last three days.
To the rat’s nest, Boris must seem
like a wrathful god.


If I was a cat, I wouldn’t be so quick
to stick my paw into dark holes
just to see what’s in them.


A furry thing underfoot;
cat toy, or dead mouse?


Posy, you have a spider leg
stuck on the side of your mouth.


If you


#16 – ‘This poem is so bad / it makes me sad’

‘This poem is so bad / it makes me sad’

O! my muse has gone away.
I can’t write a poem today.

I can’t find a rhyme
in time

the metre’s broken
and I ain’t jokin’

so this poem’s not great
and it’s half an hour late

as well.


I can only hope that this will represent the low point of the whole month.


#15 – ‘In Honour of Doctor Johnson’

In Honour of Doctor Johnson, and the Anniversary of the Publication of his Famous and Much-Admired Dictionary, a Poem Composed Entirely of such Words as Cannot be Found* in that Celebrated Volume

chipotle hamburger shemale Messerschmitt
tartrazine Tanzania underclass
skyscraper reggae bicarb retrofit
ufologist Joycean supergrass

*Probably. No copies of Johnson’s dictionary were consulted in the making of this poem.


A day late posting because Freezope was down again. Yesterday was the 250th anniversary of the publication of Johnson’s dictionary.


#14 – “Sexy Estuarians’ (unfinal title)

‘An Essex Pome’

Most poets lie, then claim that their ‘poetic truth’
subsumes the normal kind.

Not me. When I write that I stabbed a frog
so I could watch it die,
or that my father had a special belt
for punishment,
or that I paid my way through university
with blow-jobs,

every word is true. Even the little things,
the jays on the front of the house,
or the dolphin I saw in the Thames,
are true.

So when I tell you that I am the long-lost King
of Essex, you can know it is the truth.

I understand you’re sceptical,
so come and see the brown-stained vellum
with an Anglo-Saxon script
proclaiming Edwin Ruðe fford
the king of the East Saxons.
I have the family tattoo, as well,
the three entwisted eels of Essex.

My aims are modest; I don’t want to run
everything from Theydon Bois to Harwich.
I just want the ancient rights granted by the charter:
my weight in apples on All-Hallows Day,
first dibs on any whale or sturgeon stranded on the coast,
the right to drive a herd of sheep through Chigwell.


#13 – ‘Jays’


Jays are building their nest on the front of the house.
They are stucco-pink and chatter to each other.
Their wings have a flash of lucid blue.
Each time one swoops to or from the chestnut tree, the kitchen darkens.
Last time they built here, the fledgling fell from the nest.
It hopped around for three days before it was pecked to death by crows.