Times New Roman

This is the reply to this letter.

Dear Times New Roman,

The dust settles on your,
suited shoulders.
Years of dandruff and carcasses
of small dead insects fall from
your dusty, miserable ceiling.

When I first met you, your
grace and charm was like a
regal procession through the
streets of a regency Spa town
Within that Spa town reside residents who
Give their children
names like, Tarquin
and Esmeralda and Priscilla, watched
your stiff and uniform, movements
as you grandly made us all realise
you were in fact,
boring.

Every Friday your ‘boil-in-the-bag’ cod,
Every Tuesday you watch re-runs of
Yes, Minister
with a small tin of
Boiled sweets on the right hand
and a mug of Horlicks on the left.

Every single book in your house has
been catalogued and dusted every Wednesday
as you work through the letters of the alphabet
giving new meanings to words
that have already been discovered,
just because the original meanings
might not necessarily be exacting
to the modern world of today.

But you’re not modern. You’re old.
And not in that cool way that
Space Hoppers and chopper bikes are cool.
You’re. Not. Cool.

You try to be,
Oh you tried.
You reinvented yourself as
Trebuchet.  Positioning yourself
Miles away.
From
Your former self.

The sad thing is that your
Plastic surgery addiction hasn’t helped
You just look like some sort of demented elf.

You need help.
So please.
Stop ringing me,
Stop writing me.
Please piss off and stop
Telling Word to default to you
When it doesn’t know what else
To use.  He’s older than you
And losing his marbles,
Stop taking advantage of
Such an old program.

And please,
Don’t try to start that whole
‘It was so much better in Word 97’
Line because it is not 1997 anymore.

Its 2016. You need to stop living
On the ground and
get with the in-cloud.

I’ve written a letter to my solicitor.
Guess what font I’m using?

Kind Regards,
Comic Sans

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Bagging Are’ya OR A silly poem about the complexities of Self Services Machines

Please put your item  in the bagging area,
If you don’t the assistant
might stare at ya’
And if they are pissed off,
he might even glare at ‘ya
Because you’ve not put your item in the
bagging area.

The unexpected item in the bagging area,
Fills shoppers with that dread,
Like being bitten by a terrier,
On the derrier,

Its enough to make a grown man cry
And even scarier,
You might get an assistant that is even
larier
than the other one.

“Excuse me…Sorry…Hi, can I just…excu…Hi…”

The assistant asks ‘ya
Why haven’t you put your item in the bagging area??

“Well you see I did, but this stupid machine
Has just taken a disliking to me…
Oh thank you, sorry, I never have much luck with these machines”

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Bog

This space is hallowed.
There are rules to be followed.

The air is loud with smells that interrupt.
No voices, just a quiet
grunt of acknowledgement.
You can only hear the shuffle of feet,
the clink of a belt buckle.
Outside the rumble of the buildings
mutter to themselves, traffic
and life pass by,
ignoring the Toilets.

In the cubicles
Where there is never enough space
Cubicle Hoppers check each one
For the cleanest seat before committing to it.
The Tissue Landers line their seat, regardless.
A lone courtesy hook on the
back of each door offering

Some wish to be forgotten here,
Hiding
From the day.
From the world.
Not just evacuating bowels
But evacuating themselves
from the chaos.

Others
Chat but rarely make
Eye contact.
Awkwardly making conversation,
But only at the sinks.

And then there is
The cleaner. Who just pops
Through and tops up the
Loo rolls.

They have seen everything,
Men at their most vulnerable,
Found things, beyond imagination,
Too terrible to utter.

The vow of silence each cleaner takes
Gives them distance between themselves
And the inhabitants of this room.

When the cakes are cut,
When the loo rolls are topped up,
The sinks shine in song,
In tune to the spontaneous
Chorus of the urinals.

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Exeter Poetry Slam 2015

Another write-up of the Exeter Poetry Slam…

RAZZ.

The sixth annual Exeter Poetry Festival Slam took place in The Bike Shed Theatre on Sunday 4 October. Fourteen contestants gathered together to perform their poems for a chance to secure first prize and the title of slam champion.

Photo Credit: Christy Ku Photo Credit: Christy Ku

It was a mixed crowd, as people across the city and surrounding areas came to the intimate space of the theatre to hear an array of poetry, from humorous to confessional to just bizarre. Most of the performers and audience knew each other as the group of local poets are closely knit. They laughed and joked with each other, setting up a lovely atmosphere with only an edge of nervousness.

The slam was judged by three talented poets; Mantie Lister (Bard of Exeter), Alasdair Paterson (published poet and host of The Uncut Poets), and Robert Garnham (2012 Exeter Slam Winner). The judging worked like this: the poets…

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Propergander

So here is the poem that I performed at this year’s Exeter Poetry Slam.

Propergander

Let us take a proper gander,
At the propaganda
propagating
and perpetuating
across the
digital horizon.

The flood of subjectivity is
fuelling the proclivity to
view statistics
thrown around
by clickbait,
to inflame and
fuel race hate,

the mantra of the clickers
seems to be to twist their knickers
over things that have no
academic rigour or
even a footnote.

Immigrants are coming,
The immigrants are coming,
Quick, get out your
Zenophones,
THE ECONOMIC MIGRANTS ARE COMING.

And it takes a social media petition,

To get the
BBC
to address them as
refugees.

“They want to come,
To our hallowed shores
Because the pavements are
Covered in gold,”
That explanation is now so old,
Because some of us have stopped
believing what we are told.

The news ignores the human part
Because survival seems like such an art
And mostly about luck.
But it doesn’t matter
As the politicians do not give a fuck.

But wait, but wait
Isn’t this the fact
that only stories that inspire hate
will make the best clickbait?

Clicks means cash,
And it doesn’t matter

if in this
The truth turns to mash.

Our Facebook feeds,
are full of weeds

And the one thing that we all need
Is a top-up on our information literacy

We have to see through the lies,
Question the source
Look at the stats,
Examine the dates,
Filter out shit,
and all the race hate
Make up our minds,

free from a screen
And hold on to belief,

form an opinion
Avoid becoming,
Another brainwashed minion.

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The Slam! 2015 Review 04/10

…Solomon Doornails then criticised ‘brainwashed minions’ and people using their ‘xenophones’ to preach hate.

Exeter Poetry Festival

It is impossible to sum up this years poetry slam generally as the poets were all so diverse, the fact that each poem had a time limit of three minutes meant that there wouldn’t be much time waiting for a poem you liked. The event was a complete sell out with 53 audience members, 14 poets, 3 judges and 2 mediators.

I think a good place to start is by stating that the event was held at the Bike Shed Theatre. Now, if you haven’t been there before it’s an underground theatre and bar with old, unique arm chairs as decor. To continue the unique and interesting setting for the Slam! even the tickets were old Trivia question cards – mine mentioned the Soviet Union. This was the perfect setting to watch poets perform and a great introduction to poetry slams.

The mediators were Morwenna Griffiths and Tim King who…

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Dr Doornails completing in Exeter Poetry Slam 2015

Solomon Doornails performing at the 2011 Exeter Poetry SlamNow and again, I am let out of the small hole that I spend my life kept in.  The doors of the vast archive is opened and I managed to break free to a poetry event or two.  Recently they have been locked tight, but I have been able to open them for these evening as I take part in what is colloquially known as a Poetry Slam.

12 of Exeter’s finest poets will be pitted against themselves as they try to slam doors very very hard.  The winner is the one who can slam the door so hard that it falls off its hinges.

http://literatureworks.org.uk/event/exeter-poetry-festival-slam/

If you feel like joining me tonight in a Poetry Slam, be at The Bike Shed Theatre (I hear they have some wonderfully satisfyingly nice doors for slamming down there) at 7:30pm tonight.

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