Version

I liked her when she recited ‘the sidewinder sleeps tonight’.

I liked her when she decided she was in the wrong place,

and took a plane out.

I liked her when she decided not to steal fifty grand from a dealer.

I liked her when she decided not to bother asking for real names.

I liked her when she made friends on the internet

and made friends in RL.

I like when she stood and spoke ,all gowned up.

I like when her friends smeared fake blood on themselves,

best birthday ever.

I like when she dumped the seemingly, perfect bloke.

I liked her.

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Week 2: Journeys

The nurse swipes a card and the door opens

I see a view of Oxford I hate through the window.

Its not fair.

I summon the lift

and a small dumpy woman appears.

The lift is open and I press the button

The woman asks me where i’m going

‘out’ I say.

She sighs.

Apparently G isn’t what I want,

I’m on LG2,

I want 0

she tells me,

she’s just off for a coffee.

I remember holding the door earlier for her

without looking back.

I’m embarrassed and say

I’ve only been here twice,

she says,

It’s just the beginning for her.

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Pat my arse phillip Schofield

I bought a book with prompts , I’m late to the party but here goes:

Resolutions are bullshit in a world of downward spiral.

My tax credits will not match triple inflation,

my white face won’t reassure a woman in a hijab,

men are more likely to call me a cunt than a comrade.

I should do yoga,

lose weight, tone, get some collegen,

eat raw, eat like a refugee, eat live de  Asda,

pat my arse Philip Schofield,

I didn’t buy prosecco this year.

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Deadly, Delicate- Poems by Kate Garrett.

15443206_10210560938554692_7104936065643844330_oDeadly , Delicate is a new release from Kate Garrett , a Sheffield poet who founded a motley crew of a webzine called Picaroon. The subject matter therefore is about historical pirates, specifically Women pirates.Anne Bonny and Grace O’Malley  amongst others are richly brought to life in a readable ,transparent  fashion.

Readable, because there’s no fancy language, we are transported from what happened , to a moment which Garrett imagines  changed their lives.

Transparent , because at the end of the book there is a glossary , appendix and notes on some of the peoms at the back and full disclosure that she is an amatuer historian on the subject.

Who doesn’t like historical pirates? The imagining of freedom and camaraderie against the forces of ‘legalisation’?The outsider that goes for it despite the odds?

I’m no expert on poetry at all, but I’d gladly give this collection to a poetry shy friend.

Buy Deadly , Delicate here

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The Battle

An invisible anaconda took hold of me around 4.30pm

It was sneaky.

I ignored it and carried on with the ironing

until I could no longer deny that

the anaconda was squeezing me at

regular intervals,

every five minutes.

It pressed on whilst doctors talked,

midwives hushed

and ten trainee doctors gawped.

The anaconda bit away rational thought

as it prepared its finally assault.

In a final bid to dull the beast,

I breathed in gas and air

the beast struck back by

ejecting the contents of my stomach

wrapping itself around my body

squeezing ever harder until

my body violently twitched

arms striking out,

mouth,shouting profanities.

The snake then shot through my body like

lightening and exited

and left my body with the nose of a wolf,

the cunning of a fox

and the strength of a bear.

My hands shake with adrenaline

as I wash off the blood.

my breasts contract and leak out milk

when I hear primal battle cries from the rooms.

The nurse urges me to take the brown pills

but the drug is no match for my body.

A tattoo begins to hum through me;

Where’s the baby? Where’s the baby?’.

The nurse relents and points the way

to a special room full of

babies that look like wizened old men

hooked up to machines.

My new wolf nose sniffs her out.

My cunning heart tells me

not to love her yet.

My body moves of its own accord

every day up the hill

brain is frozen

bland smile for the nurses

breasts squeezed and pumped

by an old fashioned machine.

The baby is in a glass case.

Fingers itch to touch her

but brain says no, not yet.

Other Mums cry

but the tears won’t come until

the end

of this ordeal.

Brain orders these visits

into four hour shifts of

climb,

pump,

sit.

Stomach has shrunk back to size

no-one can tell of the ordeal.

A blur of time passes.

and then then it’s time

to sync body to brain

and take the baby home

and start to love it.

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Remember, Remember,

The filth of November,

cheap deals on fireworks at Asda

and telling your kids,

no, we can’t go to the fireworks,

cos it costs to much.

Gunpowder paid for by you,

thanks to corporate welfare.

Your time is worth nothing

and the revolution has been

euthanized .

Sanitized,

so we all look the same,

a  white bloke with a moustache.

A mask they manufacture

in suicide dormitories in China.

But we’re united they say,

and pull up on reddit threds.

They fail to see what masks are for.

 

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Review: Burning Down The House By Evangeline Jennings.

burning-down-the-house-kindle-cover-promo

I’m no stranger to the work (or piece of work) that is/of Evangeline Jennings. I’ve rode shotgun through the maze of the macho, gunslinging and revenge of the Bride. I first came across Jennings when I reviewed an anthology called Cars&Girls back in 2013, back then I scoured the website to see if Pankhearst (the writing collective press Jennings is a part of) gave a shit, I was rewarded with the review being retweeted with the legend, ‘She get’s it’.

Women writers /reviewers/readers need ‘to get each other’, especially in these times of rightwing religious fervour. I face being in post-brexit Britain, Jennings and millions of others face being in a Trump led America.We can laugh all we like at Trump but if the racist Farage can win in the Motherland, then Trump has a chance in the Land of the Free and that is what this story is about.

We start with a familiar character from ‘No Xmas’ a miracle baby, a teenager and the polar vortex , the story ticks along like a Toyota hybrid, soundless but you see it’s going somewhere, but then it crashes, crashes like it hits speed bumps too quick, not too much damage done until it finally crashes into a wall.The speed bumps are chaptered as years and stop signs are the various degrees of the warnings from history. Let me explain.

I was in the pub earlier talking to my French colleague about this book (she’s seriously worried about Brexit)I said if we could ever imagine being a Woman in 1970’s Iran this book would explain the process. How does she feel about the government closing down the borders and essentially pissing on the right of movement of her own people.The scrolling news in the beer garden said a 19 year old had been arrested  outside the tube in North London, she asked ‘why’ . Money,and the necessity to find meaning in this shitty life which basically revolves around what you have , not what you can give, I said.

Jennings is a great writer because she writes half a second forward from the truth, this dystopia is believable because its ugly, no-one is pretty, people do ugly things to survive and the truth of this books world and quite rightly turns the miracle baby into a monster.

The evil men do.

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