A Modern Parable

Posted: October 12, 2016 in Articles

Never take your eye off your beer. Especially not to Tweet about how much you like your beer (because irony tastes bitter)…


When you go to purchase a student bus pass, you have to show them the exact start and finish days of your degree. My MA in Writing lasts from 5th October 2015 to 5th October 2016. The student bus pass I was given went from September to July. Personally, I think they need to re-think bus passes for post-grad students, since our courses carry on over the whole summer. But ah well.
I’m pretty skint, so I considered not getting another bus pass to cover me over the summer. But then I thought, what if I need to go back and forth from uni a lot? That’s going to add up. So I bought a 2-month student pass.


£56 it cost me. I’ve travelled to uni only once since buying it.
That one return journey would have cost me £4 in tickets. So, if I want to get my money’s worth before this bus pass expires on Saturday, I need to make at least 13 return journeys over the next four days. If I want to be WINNING (and who we kidding, of course I do!), I need to take at least 27 buses over the next four days.
The good news is, I like writing and reading on buses. The bad news is I get lost easily, so I need to think this through. What do you reckon? Can I beat the buses…?


UPDATE: Nope, I did not beat the buses. I made sixteen bus journeys in two days but then had a few beers too many in Leamington with a friend,  misread the timetable, missed the last bus and had to get a taxi all the way back to Coventry. That set me back over £30. What a moron. Ah well.


Employee of the Century

Posted: June 1, 2016 in Poetry
he. does not.
precious. resources.
time. in the. staffroom.
consuming. sandwiches.
time. panicking.
how to. cover. up.
errors. does not. make. errors.
follows. the programme.
initiative. zero.
sick days. zero.
holidays. zero.
demands for. increase.
of pay. zero.
complaints. zero.
dedication. affirmed.
rate of. output.
is. standardised.
interpersonal. relations.                  doubtful.



Poetry Prompt: What Nobody Knows

Posted: May 31, 2016 in Poetry
Garage block
what nobody knew
except the kids
was round the back
of the garage block
existed another world
an assault                          course
on the imagination
we called it
The Adventure
new arrivals
on the estate
were put to the test
how willing?
how fast?
how nervous?
could they hurdle
paving slab gravestone
jutting from the ground
like a single fang
would the stained mattress
have to break their fall
shifting floor
littered with
restless stones
beer cans
discarded packaging
did the overgrown gate lead
would they dare
to scale
its rusted heights
would they believe
the shed snakeskin
was a shed snakeskin
(none of us were sure)
and run faster
just in case
(none of us went
Adventuring at night
just in case)
behind the garage block
was shaded dark enough
on sunlit days
to ignore the gardens
lining the other side
belonging to people
who lived in houses
they could afford to own
another world
beyond our world

Guest Speaker

Posted: May 23, 2016 in Poetry
People talk in abstractions,
PowerPointed modes of thought.
What is The Guardian looking after,
Do I have a responsibility to protect it too?
Puppies chase their own discursive tales
While the elders smile tolerance, bemused;
Throw them a ball, hoping they’ll catch on.
Stomachs rumble, tongues wag, nobody’s listening.
When did you last write a poem about Iraq?
Who’s tidying up the aftermath?
Rhetoric. Questions.
Answers elude us between the lines.
Fetch the Tip-ex, tie us up in red tape,
Cut the ribbon, cut the cord to the parachute.
What’s this, trailing? Apron strings?
Oh no, another question
Lobbed like a grenade.
Duck and dodge and lose the will to live.
Some war zones appear deceptively civil.


Step In

Posted: April 26, 2016 in Poetry
normally I cannot tell
my two keys apart
in the dark, but this drug-fuzzed morning
Front Door gleams like silver
like something worth having
like one step away from the warmth of walls
four walls and a ceiling and a door
that lets you shut out all the judgement
– I mean, all the people –
a nest you didn’t even have to build
with your own two paws
yet here you are, stumbling inside
like you own the place
barely able to stand
on your own two legs


Scumball Machine

Posted: April 18, 2016 in Poetry
silver handed down
crosses palms
put money in
force a twist-
-ed turn
of events
instant output

the masses
look different
but their tears taste pretty much
the same