Day 2 Poem

Today’s was to do a poem in the style of a recipe I have sort of done that. Check out the prompt here:


I make toad in the hole from be-ro cookbook

My step-fahter learned how to make scones from

There are sausages in the fridge and

I am trying to give the kind of sense memory

That can only come from a meal you have eaten

Cooked and known your whole life


I wake Mother from her nap to ask what

A ‘’hot oven’’ means this cook book in

Black and white predates Celsius and gas marks

I set the oven and the ceramic dish with oil

To heat up while I make the batter


less trouble there an egg is always an egg

I worry over my toad that it will not rise

Will come out rubbery and thin

Set the timer set into the oven and wait


It comes out perfectly risen and golden

And he finds it delicious with onions and gravy


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Naprowrimo Day 1

Starting the Napowrimo journey again! Didn’t fancy the prompt so just wrote.


I cannot understand so many unkindnesses

Feeling intensely brings both poetry and pain

There was no rain today the sun hurt my eyes

I have been taking zopiclone to bring sleep

wake from endless dreams tasting metal



I can understand what a sewing machine tells me

How to rethread it so the thread will not break

A long straight seam is meditative like putting

One foot in front of another like pedalling a bike

A stitch and a breath a stitch and a breath

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Advice for Today


Truths for today

it is hard to give a shit about anything when it is raining in your flat

it is hard to give a shit about anything after four hours sleep and extra Susie Q

poetry matters however hard the sedatives make it to push this pen I have to keep it moving it insists on writing

women’s poetry matters women’s stories about their broken minds matter the stories your broken mind tells matter

it is hard to give a shit about anything when you think you have skin cancer and your face will not stop fucking tingling and let you sleep

you are a hypochondriac who avoids the Dr

you have spent more hours raising your cortisol levels by worrying than you have spent smoking and you used to have an ashtray next to your bed

traffic noise does not despoil the trees or mask birdsong entirely

wear your sunglasses it is better to look weird in winter than feel like a mole with peephole eyes

the heaviest books are guaranteed to be of the least use

feeling mud on your heels makes you feel the thaw of winter there is sun there is mud there is change

you can write

self doubt wastes everyone’s time

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Flim Night Die Hard Tryptych

I did three sculpted poems for tonight’s Flim, a cabaret night where a film is retold in various artforms. In my usual mode I sculpted these poems from film reviews by Roger Ebert.

DIE HARD (1988) 2 star review Rated R 132 minutes|  Roger Ebert July 15, 1988   |

The idea has a certain allure to it: He is all that stands between them and their brains and a personality, and you’ve got a movie. shortly after makes his surprise entrance well-dressed and has a neatly trimmed beard and talks like an intellectual and thinks he is superior to the riffraff he has to associate with. He has a plan that has been devised with clockwork precision On a technical level, there’s a lot to be It’s when we get to some of the unnecessary adornments. As nearly as I can tell, only one purpose: to be consistently wrong at every step of the way. Thrillers like this need to be well-oiled machines, with not a single wasted moment. Inappropriate and wrongheaded interruptions reveal the fragile nature of the plot and prevent it from working.With him, it’s a mess, and that’s a shame, Here’s a suggestion for thrillermakers: You can’t go wrong if all of the characters in your movie are at least as intelligent as most of the characters in your audience.

DIE HARD 2: DIE HARDER (1990) 4 and ½ stars Rated R 124 minutes |  Roger Ebert July 3, 1990   |

enters in a decathlon of violence, and he places first in every event, including fighting with the authorities., that I categorize as Bruised Forearm Movies, because when the movie is over your forearm is black-and-blue from where your date has grabbed it during the moments of suspense. Maybe because he combines a relatively athletic physique with the appearance and manner of Everyman. Here is a man who will not give up, who will not admit defeat, who doggedly carries on in the face of adversity., there is no choice. After all: “My wife is on that plane’’ so skillfully constructed   develops a momentum that carries it past several credibility gaps. Would anyone have the means Even if he does bear an uncanny resemblance to Fidel Castro? On the other hand, I don’t care. during a summer when violence and mayhem are allowed to substitute for imagination and good writing, this is an especially well-crafted picture. It tells a story we can identify with, has a lot of interesting supporting characters, handles the action sequences with calm precision, and has a couple of scenes that are worth writing home about. This is a feature that will be severely edited before it becomes an in-flight movie. Watching the plane burst into flames on a runway, I knew intellectually that I was watching special effects, probably a fairly large and detailed model photographed in slow motion. But no matter. love it when a director finds a new way to show me something. has taken Hollywood commercial moviemaking, shaken it and given it new energy. They did the right thing: This is terrific entertainment.

DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE (1995) Rated R For Strong Violence and Pervasive Strong Language 130 minutes |  Roger Ebert May 19, 1995   |  3 stars

Now there are movies that are essentially nothing but sensational stunt sequences, one after another, each one a feat of staging, until we’re reeling in our seats from input overload. the kind of movie where, toward the end, you start looking for the kitchen sink. “Does this mean I’m back on active duty?” I heard knowledgeable chuckles in the audience from those who appreciate the fine old traditions, such as that all hero cops are rogues who are either under suspension or heading for it. ordering him to stand on a Harlem street corner wearing a sandwich board bearing a motto that one would particularly hope not to be wearing in Harlem. seems to be everywhere and see everything, He has a purpose behind his behavior, it turns out he has a motive for singling out even has to decide which wires to snip. (There could be a little film festival on one of the cable channels, consisting of scenes where experts defuse bombs.) The motivation is ingenious, and I will not discuss it, uses a certain clipped precision of speech that makes everything he says sound basically a wind-up action toy, cleverly made, and delivered with high energy. That seems to me like a sane response.



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A Poem in Spite of Things

The upstairs flat’s bathroom has sprung two leaks again

and later at the university water falls from up above

I can only think I am an urban water nymph and my

volume of tears has brought forth water from plaster

cycling here the rain from the sky which lightly misted

and as it warmed on my face it fell and joined the fog

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The Living World Workshop Part Two

The following are poems that I wrote during yesterday’s workshop. They need further editing/line breaks/punctuation but that will happen.Full workshop will be available on the Stirred Blog soon.


12th September 2016

I take up the knitting I put down months ago and am surprised my hands remember the action unfaltering  my eyes return to the film without looking at them the simple way I spool out the black yarn like a good writing day when I wake and can find the words in bed without my stopping them it will be a headband the hair shorn by myself needs it always a late decision to take up the scissors in the bathroom in the moon mirror I can’t see the moon from there the door is open as I live there is only a street lamp visible in the window I am taking up knitting, a small project to be finished quickly a sense of accomplishment as it gives my hands something to do other than chew them worried at by my lack of employment and deadlines If I had forgotten how to hold the yarn create the tension it could be unpicked mistakes can be undone by my own hands unlike outside and regrets like poetry it can be picked up at any time I think of the roads outside their potholes that are never fixed and the drivers who are all haste and no mind when I am on my bike this city is anxious making the road is often all I can focus on shards of glass and laughing gas canisters are puncture fears I get agitated by the selfishness of those drunk on the obvious and summer who fling these items on tarmac and forget what heavier vehicles and sunlight will do I want to ride on smooth roads and look up at the changing tree canopies like spooling wool into scarves like writing on a good day.




















August a Month Riven

I spent half of August travelling to an office in Bramhall

to talk to strangers on the telephone about things I know nothing of

nearly an hour to kill before my shift I riffled charity shops, new shoes

in the box donated by a richer woman smart/casual that rubbed raw my heels

hefting my bike on the short journey to have it there at both ends get home fast

the small sainsburys where I parked it, the kind where people buy meals deals

on their break had half price cherry brandy I drank alone with coke grey-bored

the rest in Norfolk I camped by the sea the wind on land was intolerable it blew

clouds fast across on the often empty beach we carried a bucket with cava and

chambord there was smoke and plastic flutes of bubbles were raised in toast

to unbothered seals and the ever changing sky scape the dog-walking waterproof

from my step-father was whipped on and off left a bottle opener and sand in the pocket


















Girl Takes Photographs


the weather changes in minutes

sun largely persists


I am wearing a long dress

I will only wear it here


in my city life

it would catch in the gears


of my bike it’s digital

snake print scrambled by oil


I load a camera older than I am

with film clumsy


mum remembered it when I packed

but not the shutter saw


if it was Dad or her who clicked

more than thirty years ago


when I make the film spool

back on itself


my friends are spooled back

by the analogue sound of it


I don’t know when I will develop it

or where anymore


I had a thought while looking at

the endless sky through the viewfinder


I took these only to

anchor myself in the memory


not to see the prints

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Sculpted Poem Flim Nite Titanic

You can find out more about Flim Nite here

It is a monthly cabaret where performers of all stripes retell a film.

Last month was Titanic I did my usual routine of using a review or interview and deleting words in order to create a new poem.

December 19, 1997   | Roger Ebert Five Star Review ‘’It is flawlessly crafted, intelligently constructed, strongly acted and spellbinding’’


Like a great iron Sphinx on the ocean floor, faces still toward the West, interrupted forever on its only voyage. We see it encrusted with the silt of 85 years; a remote-controlled TV camera snakes its way inside, down corridors and through doorways, showing us staterooms built for millionaires and inherited by crustaceans. Calls from its grave for its story to be told, smoke and mirrors. She was “the largest moving work of man in all history,” neatly dismissing the Pyramids and the Great Wall. until an iceberg made an irrefutable reply.We know that certain things must happen. be convinced we are looking at a real human story–probably a romance-. a subplot involving arrogance and perhaps courage and dignity. Everyone had time to know what was happening, and to consider their actions. pistons as tall as churches, He seeks precious jewels but finds a nude drawing of a young girl. “I can still smell the fresh paint”). the story can focus on the characters. How everyone behaves The image has haunted me, ever since I first read the story. The night sea was quiet enough so that cries for help carried easily across the water Still dressed up in the latest fashions, hundreds froze and drowned. What an extraordinary position to find yourself in after spending all that money for a ticket on an unsinkable ship.

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