A warm splat of lips to cheek
is his greeting: feels like a bird
shat on my face at close range.

I’m dying to wipe his slobber gone:
even though it’s not the done thing
at such a genteel gathering.

Fretted flowerbeds and fingernails
frosted to shimmer like pink sweets,
pretty pedicures in peep-toes
that pinch and heels that plunge
deep into the host’s lauded lawn,
but it’s too posh a do for us to kick
off shoes. Great Aunts and cousins:
sometimes distant for a reason.

We perch and chat nice-nothings,
clink china beneath trees that smirk
down loose leaves in our careful hair.

He sidles closer on the picnic bench:
long time, no see – how I’ve blossomed,
apparently. His hairline is sidling away

and my instinct is to follow as it flees,
though I fear it’d not be quick enough,
so I’ve no choice than to stay,

arching my body away, a contortionist’s
stretch, a talent I never knew I possessed:
any other day, I’d be quite impressed.

The tablecloth drags with his sliding knee:
linen wrinkling disapproval under plates
of swollen scones and I have to steady
my tea from spilling. His elbow winks
blithe to my side, his hip creeps sly
up to mine, polyester trouser-heat
gluing sweat to my thigh.

I edge, none to subtle,
to the end of the seat. Any nearer
and he’ll be slap-bang in my lap,
like a grabby toddler, demanding

a lick of my cream: I’ll have to pierce
his testicles with a cake fork to make
my point and escape, throw my tea
hot in his crotch, or topple my body,
as if Pimms-pissed and heat-stricken
into the laughing hydrangeas:
there’s no way on this earth

he’s getting his jammy paws
on me. Sometimes, like I say,
we’re distant for a very good reason.

Publication News – HCE Magazine!

Happy days!

The fab HCE (Here Comes Everyone) magazine have published my new poem, “Territory” (which has not appeared here on the blog) in their “Disgust” themed issue. It’s on page 43, but I highly recommend you check out the mag as a whole as there’s oodles of brilliance in there – I am feeling quite starstruck!



No Confessional

No Confessional

If you really must know, she’ll satisfy
your prurient curiosity, co-operate
with your prying enquiries,
humour your pesky questions.
Her whereabouts at the time
of that very unfortunate incident:
well – it’s quite clear if you read
between those lines. Read it right.
Never was at the scene of that crime.
No alibi: truth lies on no-one’s shelf.
Still now, completely elsewhere,
the unabridged version strung out.
Her own Gone Girl; pulp-cornered,
cream-lipped and replete
she dangles and swings
in their cattiest cradle.
Always just out of reach.
Her fable complete. At first
they hooked her in by her eye
on those quick-turned pages
and clutched her tight in the spine.
Captured: a marker, in her place.
No ransom is demanded,
for who would care to pay?
Though she could make you…
But no, in actuality,
she is already released.
No Stockholm. She is free.
You cannot read her here.

Hot Tar

Hot Tar

He’s running barefoot, zagging the street.
Tender soles slapping noon-baked tarmac.
That hot clogging smell. He is barefoot,
on the wrong street, where she isn’t
and she isn’t slapping him down,
his tender soul, like she used to,
like he wants her to.
She used to want him too;
love like raw friction burns
to his never-crossed palm,
their fictitious addiction.
She isn’t slapping him down,
like crumpled twenties on the bar,
the hot tar burning in his stomach.
Feet burning his trail, burning his soles
‘til he doesn’t feel the burning anymore
on the wrong street, where he shouldn’t be.

“The Writing Process” Blog Tour

This is quite a departure from my usual “poetry only” policy on the blog, but it’s good to do something different sometimes.

Marvelous poet Claire Walker has invited me to take part in “The Writing Process” Blog Tour. Now, WordPress isn’t letting me do that clever linky thing that people do (or I’m just being thick – which is just as likely), so I’ll just invite you to click on the one below to visit Claire’s page… Please do – she’s fab.


Now, the Blog Tour asks writers of all genres to  answer a few questions about what we do and why we do it. Me, I’m a bit of a “socially awkward” poet (Ahem!) – never quite sure what to say to folk if they ask about my work and I tend to end up either completely tongue-tied or mumbling something incoherent along the lines of, “Ummm, yeah, I write, um… stuff… about, um, things…”. But maybe that’s exactly why this is such a good challenge for me. So, here goes….

What am I working on?

I’m working on two main projects at the moment. A gathering together of poems for a possible pamphlet… before a lot of heavy edits (I’m never quite sure when something is finished!) and a prose fiction project that is very much in its infancy – in fact, it’s barely a ball of cells in the womb as yet.

Aside from that, I’m writing one off pieces to submit to various places or to pop up here on the blog.

How does my work differ from others of my genre?

This might seem a bit of a cop-out answer, but I think that’s something that only readers can decide! I believe that over time we all develop our own individual “voice” or style and this is something that happens in an unconscious way. I’d say in an “organic” way, but that makes me sound like a parsnip. My aim is for the words to snag and intrigue readers enough that they want to read more.

Why do I write what I do?

I like to write fiction in poetry, setting up a character in an imagined situation and thinking “what if”. Hence some of my “darker” pieces. I’m definitely drawn to the murkier aspects of life and I try to explore those. I’ve also noticed that I have a developing cast of female characters – some likeable, some not so much, some downright murder-y – and I’d I think this group of ladies may have something to say about contemporary perceptions of “types” of women in society. I think I’ll need to talk to them more… Yes, I talk to my characters. Often aloud.

How does my writing process work?

My most productive times are spent tapping away at my keyboard in the dark. My handwriting is appalling so if I want to be able to read my drafts then I’m much better going direct to the PC. Which doesn’t sound very poetic, but it works for me. I work best in the evenings, or even the wee small hours, and try to fit in some form of writing or editing every day. It’s partly to enforce a little self-discipline on myself (not my strong suit!) and partly because I always feel so much better having written something – even if it’s only a tiny line edit or moving some commas around – as long as it’s worked, then I feel I’m getting somewhere!


That’s all from me! Now I’d like to hand the baton to…

Alison May - romantic novelist, short story writer and person who occasionally gets a bit ranty about Michael Gove…. (Which is all good in my opinion!)



Polly Robinson – poet, writing fairy-godmother and all round purveyor of loveliness.



Right. I’m going back behind my sofa and will no doubt reappear in my more “normal” form sometime very soon!

TTFN. xx

Pretty Crime – a love poem

Pretty Crime

Partners in crimes that pay
in breathless escapes
and hide-and-stays.
No need to seek
ever again.
We’ll lie low with cookies,
love-crumpled duvets
and our own new truths.
Bonnie and Clyde never
had things so good.
Didn’t they die?
That’s no reward.
You will always be
my Most Wanted.
Now, smile, say cheddar
for this mugshot cliché
You’re pretty, my sweet:
deal with it.

Do Your Worst

Do Your Worst

This is the last one.
I didn’t imagine I’d need
to write back again.

Thought, no, hoped
you’d got the message:
each envelope sealed
with wax and blood.

You’re persistent,
a faithful correspondent.

So, here’s an alternative,
a midnight invitation.
A duel
or a seduction.
I dare you to pick.

No need to R.S.V.P.
I know where you’ll be.

A Fable: The Wishing Well

The Wishing Well

Once upon a heartbreak-dawn,
the well yawned her name
like a lover, like a yearn.

She flipped a stolen coin and threw
the borrowed dancing shoes hard
across the dog-shit grass
of the playing field behind the park.

She’d fallen too many times,
over rocks and rabbit traps
and men and her own words.
Stumbled yet got back up,
teeth and knees gritted.
Palms pitted and cross-hatched
like anger-slashed love letters.
She was a bruise of a woman.

It was cold out, but it wasn’t dark
like it always was inside her head.
Her feet were numb with rust,
pockmarked roses blooming
all over. The plague
of all dancing wannabe princesses,
fated and slated ever to be chaste
little handmaids.
Never chased. Never sated.
Never sweet enough to warm
the marital bed.

She’d been spinning all night,
to far and too fast.
Off her axis.
Off her head.
Seeking out the best of sins.
Her liquor buzz now ebbing
thinner than her aching skin.
Goosebumps popped up
in a rash of over-exposure.

Grace had not been hers,
ever or then and still wasn’t
in the milk-skied new day.
She slithered her body up
to the mossy-dew lip.
No reflection bobbed in the water.
No image, so nothing could hurt.

Dip more than just a toe this time.
An Ophelia-bath to sooth her spine.
Eyelids scrolled shut and she muted
the birds to silence with her mind.
Or tried to.

She’d fold down, soft,
into the wishing well, sink
not swim, suck green weeds
down like communion and gin.
She’d never have to go
dancing or sinning again.



A funny shaped one, they say:
bulbous in unexpected places,
unconventional dimensions,
not quite the norm.

They study her in detail,
stark on their white-lit screens.
This unprecedented specimen:
she shouldn’t quite work.

Yet she functions,
pumping steady.
Her murmur
a constant love.

The Thing She Forgets (Corrosion)


She knows she’ll explode with the sheer
loathing she has for these people, these sad,
unenlightened people, who do not dare
to express themselves, who deny
and zip and repress themselves,
with all the words they tie their mouths
shut with, to all the lies and platitudes
they sweat, their pretend bonhomie
and make-believe self belief.

And maybe then she’ll remember
to breathe.

Why can’t they be real and spill
all their embittered bile and hurts
and fucked up gut-feelings?
Spit it free like rotten teeth.
Splatter it up the wall like
human graffiti.
Why do they keep it from her?
Why do they not blend their blood,
their tears, their unrequiteds and fail
together? She doesn’t want
to fail alone…

She hates them. She hates them.
She hates them for being not like her.
She hates them for seeming happy.
She hates them because
they keep it back,
they won’t share.
They’re so unfair.
She hates them because
it’s the one thing she knows how to do.

And she never forgets it.
Unlike the breathing.

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