We often try and kid ourselves, in the depths of teenage angst and an insatiable craving for individuality, that we have nothing in common with our parents. Especially not the one who makes desperately uncool jokes. God no! And then you go away to university and start inadvertently making those same jokes, and the flimsy tapestry of self-delusion unravels with a warm and fuzzy shrug.
Poem A Week #20: Big Heart
This one is about running, which used to be an enormous part of my life, but is something I’ve hitherto written very little about. There’s definitely a lot more to say, but at least I’m out of the blocks, as it were…
Poem A Week #19: The Real World
PAW #19 is about graduation, and all the magnificent shit people chat about the ‘real’ world…
Poem A Week #15: So You Want To Study English?
Be prepared for a lifetime of misery, heartbreak, and insufferable pedantry. Studying English is HARD…
Poem A Week #14: It’s difficult for children to pinpoint the exact moment they realise that nothing lasts forever, but rather it slides into view, like the silver wink of the sea as the family Astra rounds the bend of a Lincolnshire hill
PAW #14 is a very personal one, about the breakdown (and slow -ongoing- rebuild) of my family. About seeing your parents as 3D, fallible people for the first time. I hope there’s something in it for anyone whose folks have separated. The garden path to happiness is paved with truth, even if the bricks scratch your feet a little, even if it’s covered in weeds…or something like that.
Poem A Week #13: Data Retrieval
This poem means I’m a quarter of the way through my year of poems! If you’re enjoying them, please share them around.
Almost every device I own and use daily broke simultaneously recently, and – among other things – I lost all my laptop files. This is about the things that are really worth saving…
Poem A Week #12: Washing Cars with John Kennedy Toole
PAW #12 is about John Kennedy Toole, the ill-fated would-be novelist whose book A Confederacy of Dunces was repeatedly rejected by publishers throughout his life, which Toole prematurely ended when he gassed himself in his car in Mississippi, aged 31. The novel was later published when the gatekeepers realised the error of their ways and Toole won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in the 1980s. That’ll teach them.
Poem A Week #11: Those Three Words
This is a poem about telling someone you love them for the first time. Or, rather, about the build up to telling someone you love them for the first time. Inspired by a brilliant workshop from Andrew McMillan, and by the wonderful poem ‘Hyphen’ by Geoff Hattersley, I wanted to write something that throws itself off the edge of a narrative cliff, lemming-like, ending where another poem might begin.
Poem A Week #9: Barafundle Bundle
This one’s about memory, particularly those early childhood “memories” that are actually just stories you’ve been told over and over, until they solidify into memory. It’s about a really specific bit of Pembrokeshire, and it goes some way to explain why I’m such a touchy-feely weirdo. Lovely jubbly.
Poem A Week #8: London Not-To-Do List
This week’s PAW is all about trying not to completely lose yourself when moving to London, and comes complete with all the identity crises you’d expect
Poem A Week #7: A very tentative ‘like’ poem
Warning: contains mild romance
Poem A Week #6: It’s 9:32 in the Big Brother house
PAW #6 is a slightly surreal look at how bizarre even very recent past can seem. It’s about Ant, and Dec, and table tennis, and the fact that we never, ever, learn.