Three Poems



Imagine that you are chewing a piece of gum. Chew it. Focus on the thought of it. You might chew it on one side of your mouth, then the other. Now the gum is expanding. Really work on it. The thought of it. The gum of the thought. Now the gum is made of an idea. Focus on the thought of the gum of the thought. The idea is heavy, it’s scratching at the roof of your mouth. It’s as if there are feathers in the gum. Crows feathers. Chew it. Now the gum is made of crow. You might feel a beak complaining against one side of your mouth, then the other. Now the gum is a crow. Focus on the thought of it. There might be blood. The crow might want to screech, and you can let it, just keep chewing. Really work on it. Now the crow is expanding. Your jaw muscles should be good and warm now. Spit out the crow. Think about what you’ve done.





to take the edge off

we say, like an excuse

or an incantation,


across the bar

at each other

or to no one in particular


drinking in rounds

until all our edges

are piled up on the carpet


like how girls put their bags

in the middle of the dancefloor

of Lloyds Bar at the weekend


until we’re standing there

with no edges at all

all colour and warmth


bleeding into the night

like petrol skirting the surface

of the water in the gutter





sometimes a while

after I’ve flicked you

off the end of my fag

part of you will land

on the crook of skin

that joins my thumb

and index finger

having been carried

by the breeze

up in little spirals

and down again

to land on me

and I want to jump up

like our dog Libby

when she was just a puppy

seeing her first snowfall

trying to catch each

slow-falling flake

in her mouth


sometimes part of you

will land in my coffee

and I will drink it anyway.

yes  sometimes it’s raining

and you fall quickly

encased in a drop

of water and make a small

mud pie on the brick

of the front yard

sometimes you collect

in little piles at the foot

of Grandma’s chair

or else bruise her small

patch of sky above

Bramcote Crematorium


other times you will land

on my jumper or shirt

which are usually grey already

and when I try to wipe you away

you will hang on

and make a smudge  a line

as if I am a charcoal drawing

of myself and you are making space

for the blank page underneath

to represent light hitting me


always  though  I think

you land where you are

meant to  something about

it makes me think of how

an old  old song can hit you

exactly where you are

and fill you with light

and I think of Libby lying

in her box by the fireplace

resting  now  in the form of ash


is a poet and editor from Nottingham. His work has appeared in publications such as Magma, The North and Brittle Star. He is currently working on the manuscript for his debut pamphlet, which is to be entitled Lad.



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