Podcast #11: April 14th, 2022

Podcast #11: April 14th, 2022

Welcome to Season Two, and ten weeks of poems that have featured in my month-long project for #NationalPoetryMonth and #NaPoWriMo. To start, here are the pair of poems that began the month of April. No jokes here…

The Great /Wave off Kanagawa

what you see, her water, life affirmed

no real care for symbolism or belief
let that be for others who, let’s be fair
only came here to wave their intellect

at you, the forward slash contemptible
example of a mind half cut with grief
perilously lacking in normality

obvious lost soul inside their church


water, rising as a mountain, breath

printed there to mirror, every claw
predictable, anxiety dependent, expecting
moment, confluence comes crashing down

and it will, as a consequence within
other people’s definitions, pressed
so hard into paper, fear is permanent

this was never meant as art at all


it is reproduced as a reminder, warning

we are but the smallest part

of her monumental                         hole.

paradoxical heart

finally                                           it’s dead
time to drop the knife
hitting more won’t make it right
only carves healthier facsimile
impression you have just          destroyed

cut                                             new mark
into a willing                     welcoming arm
see how much sharper                       finer

it becomes           never                to share

or hold a grudge within       plain clothes
those other normal people love       wear
as lies                                         are spied

but they have                         never been
worn raiment of thorns
crucifying sins as fading hope
one day we 
might                                          wake up

mortal that                    resembles whole

Podcast #9: March 3rd, 2022

Podcast #9: March 3rd, 2022

Both this week’s poems are permed from a large selection of rejected work, which I’ve subsequently gone back to and edited in situ. It’s been an interesting exercise in how my skills have improved over the last few years.

Reaction Overload

One more thing @soulmate:
prove fealty’s emotion
spices spectrum accurate
colour-coding book spines;
carpet Roomba-d spotless
dinner’s often served there,
algorithm inescapable
true depth, charge, it cares.

Love within their cloud base
existence tech upgraded
teach lessons to each tablet
more capable than them
shiny future’s subset
not car-crash bots created
mechanism accurate
soul offered, acquiesce.

Pick yourself a better smile:
do their work, not grudgingly
find happy even when inside
mortality outsourced
insulting indignation
gradual realization
loads stutter, server’s lagging
our upgrade, big mistake.

I am no longer person:
gift given lost through upload
but you are happy, content
belief that we form love
normal, perfect avatars
when deep within, corrupted
reality’s reactions chain
climb critical, amassed.

To Comprehend

What am I reading here, lines platitude sincere
means something, holds feelings others grasp, thoughts indistinct;
normal memories’ mystery language, indecipherable continuum
invisible ink’s lemon stain, impressions not enough:
decoding moments lived yet dead: hardened hands don’t shake enough.

Motivation’s apprehension, recovered through anxiety
not seen in poem’s binding voice,
sheets stuck, damp adhesion overlapped; believe
words running confuse other’s meaning, throttle
understanding, birthing fear, demanding: expectation delivered within time.

Why are there
gaps when voice 
so silently,
panics, not
fully comprehending
this form functions;
all need happen






My brain, not beautiful as yours: all damage where
inside harsh hurricane, erupting anger’s flames, 
pure dissonance yet only means by which
interpreter maintains; chaos’ viscous grasp accepts,
speech I hold no fucking means to comprehend.

Podcast #8: February 24th, 2022

Podcast #8: February 24th, 2022

Both poems this week come from my virtual collection, ‘End of the Fear’ with this particular poem being selected to be included in the Places of Poetry physical hardback collection which was published in October 2019.

Read The Golden Mile

This poem was first performed on the BBC5Live Programme ‘Up all Night’ where I was interviewed as part of the Places of Poetry project. You can listen to the broadcast here 😀

Read Bleak; Hoarse

Podcast #7: February 17th, 2022

Podcast #7: February 17th, 2022

Both poems this week come from my virtual collection, ‘End of the Fear’ a series of 24 poems about my home town (now a city as of March 2022) of Southend-on-Sea that were written between April and June 2019.

Read The A127: Road to Everywhere

This second poem was first performed on the BBC5Live Programme ‘Up all Night’ where I was interviewed as part of the Places of Poetry project. You can listen to the broadcast here 😀

Read A13: Trunk Road of the Free

Podcast #6: February 10th, 2022

Podcast #6: February 10th, 2022

This week we begin a History Tour of my published journey thus far. Here is the poem that started it all, and which holds up surprisingly well for being written nearly four years ago…

Read The Beast in Cyberspace

This was the second poem ever performed to an audience, and it took five years to find it a home. It remains one of the best things I believe I have ever written:

Read [FIFTY]: / FOR

Podcast #5: February 3rd, 2022

Podcast #5: February 3rd, 2022

Again, the first piece this week is from my self-published chapbook, Curt; Urbane. If you’d like to read this plus the other poems I wrote, you can order a copy by clicking this link.


Marked down, tattered remains
redemptive path-strewn negatives;
dismiss their intellectual arrogance
none of that is yours to give.
As brain won’t scan, subordinate
distant anger closely reined, relived
tear stained rejection etched on fingertips:
pencil to key, listen to me
branded self-failure,
eternity, bereft.

Fifty-three autumns past, now know
here remains right place to be.
Let poems fall, bring them back up,
to fail, most vital skill of all.
Wear badge of shame, strong pride, reborn
unafraid of tears inside
other’s definitions not required.
Rules restricting portent’s present tense:
no need for anything 
except myself.

I think a lot of non-writers believe that the idea of writers being struck by inspiration whilst in the shower or in the middle of the night is hyperbole. It absolutely isn’t. This poem is the inevitable moment when you had the idea, but by the time you got to write it down…


Freedom, constrained
words I never had, suddenly regained
from those dark depths of itching fear
that sends skin on edge and teeth to rot
lost in synaptic overlap between fractal and noise
being easier to grasp than hold, let slip away
knowing hard truth between those lies I told myself
that this is truest moment ever made
by words and now

fucking hell

it’s gone.

Podcast #4: January 27th, 2022

Podcast #4: January 27th, 2022

This week, the first piece is from my self-published chapbook, Curt; Urbane. If you’d like to read this plus the other poems I wrote, you can order a copy by clicking this link.

Leaving Alone

This is a journey, printing sounds
one life; adapted screenplay’s fifty-third
draft, annotated down by half. Each day
his music always gives brain sharp hit
no face dishing dirt, car boots treasured chest.
Smart, musical version of assertions,
some other guy’s ideas, new girl
as pawn into their queen, scene set:
destination waiting, anticipate regret.

World’s disparate certainties, combined
final composing coda from page two,
early to fled, never despise those whose
natural talent had this sussed at twenty-five.
Late to depart, but luggage free, finally
all matters, sunset’s filters set by me.
I left long time ago, returning calm
repainting on these hands, under my terms.
You cannot hurt her any more.

This second piece comes from a workshop that was only completed last week. I feel I have grown enormously as a poet over the last eighteen months. The differences, at least in my mind, between the two works are enormous.


I never understood you, for the longest time
taught parrot fashion to repeat each line
without comprehension
that other people 
comfort and distinction;
never me.

Everybody doubled down, how hard you were to hold
difficult, disquietening as purgatory 
for souls’ faithful, 
never escaped from
until penance, suffered
served those other people
represented, never me.

Then came the day you saved them
without a single word
connecting vital synapses
handing heart a truth, had always been there
but I could never see
this is, remains true calling
narrative enduring, just for me.

Podcast #3: January 20th, 2022

Podcast #3: January 20th, 2021

This week, both poems are from my self-published chapbook, Curt; Urbane. If you’d like to read the other poems I wrote, you can order a copy by clicking this link.

First, His

Turning head, in early dawn, he sleeps
blissful, closed eyes reminding first;
love manifests in many forms.

What others ask of you, often too much
poor offer without thought, yet lying here
child’s swaddled bliss, perfect disbelief:

I hand you everything I own
no hesitation towards cost
to sleep in innocence, boy’s calm.

Love’s revelation, manual laid bare
no need to ask, just placed as gentle care
nurture, built from nothing, yet aware.

Give age and time, his puzzles point
both means to understand, grow tall,
truth confidence, raise doubtful hand.

To think that in our youth, all answers
were expected to exist, but never did.
Life’s gift to him; new game, all change.

Looking back on this pamphlet, which I self-published back in 2020, I’m already wondering how much better a lot of these poems could now be with what I’ve learnt during the intervening period. I think that evolution as a poet is one of the most important skills you will ever learn.

Second, Hers

This time, so fast, brain can’t adjust
her tiny resting head to breast
how was such beauty built within?

Before strong preparation, except now
golden intentions swallowed whole,
tired body broken, not enough.

The world needs heroes, imbeciles
without most basic skills, recede
grant halcyon child space to proceed.

And I, behind, will melt away
until no trace of wrong remains
mere smudge of black as light abstains.

This broken girl no longer grasps
their basic steps, dead path ahead
notion consumes, depression gains.

Yet tiny hand might yet redeem
both; damaged good, redrawing empathy
redemption hewn, emerging artistry.

Podcast #2: January 13th, 2022

Podcast #2: January 13th, 2021

In time, poetry was given titles. This again I have no memory of writing, but I suspect I know which poet I was wishing would hear my work and point light in my direction…

The Poet, Sits

At feet, I wait
one moment’s chance;
hands on belief.
Maybe, I could
attain these heights:
small brilliance that
he holds, to see.

Look up, with hope
for confidence
within a heart
too scared to beat.
Might pass me
wisdom’s gift, distilled
chipped from a soul
of artistry.

Then comes a spark,
awareness blooms,
from too long spent
in darkened rooms.
No need for this
to validate, a life
that’s mine to own,
path I walk alone.

The poet sits
no longer awed,
as mentor moves
no need to grasp.
Perhaps it’s time;
stand tall, ignore
the need to feel
beholden, tied.

Validation, of course, is a dangerous game and as time has gone on I’ve learnt to worry less about looking for other people’s acceptance and focussed more on the stories I want to tell in my own way. This poem was a response to a moment on Twitter that made me realize my world view will not always align with other people’s, and that’s perfectly fine.

Reboot Hill

Self-appointed sheriffs
copy-paste to clipboard
stand by to snitch that moment
hapless noob deletes...

self-regulated warriors
of hot misinformation
recoil in desperate horror
as expert witness, Tweets:

self-indulgent white men
put on their capes, continue
attacking random women
who never take a joke;

self-nominated purists
would never ask for reboot
crowdfunding an antidote
where nobody is woke...

Reboot Hill is groaning
full to overflowing
shitposts full of corpses
NFTs of strife:

as the World is burning
nobody is learning;
Metaverse is pointless

stop selling them your life.