Three B-Sides

In a Similar Style

People look to God in times of need
but Hitler is my God: my Chinese crested dog,
dressed in his homemade Nazi coat,
blames my obsession on mental health issues.

I am mesmerised by the swastika, Hitler
my whole life not a hobby. Spent
two months knitting the wool-lined beige,
thrown out of Asda for parades in the aisles.

Saddened to see images of me and my dog,
Holocaust survivors bear scars
and could do without my antics;
Albie doesn’t mind and I’m proud of it,

if I regretted Asda I wouldn’t be doing this.
I have a Facebook and a struggle for sanity,
six children who my wife won’t allow
to worship, when we march as Hitler’s men.

His Exalted Level

Jorge Yao was the first to break 4000 trophies
leaving everyone else on the planet gasping to keep up.
Videos of his rampages on other villages went viral,
if he made a mistake he’d punish for 48 hours straight.
He took his iPad to the bathroom, rising before dawn,
playing all accounts at the same time. At one point
he was bringing five iPads to the shower,
wrapped in a plastic bag: he cannot go inactive.
He hates his job. He tried going out after work
but do you talk to girls about mortgage laws?
Dominating the leaderboard costs $250 a week.
The game is called Clash of Clans:
someone you see in real life is raiding
with a name like “Bill the Skullcrusher”.
By the wonder of borderless interconnectivity
you can bring home coveted trophies and loot;
I donate a few troops to a clan in Australia
and a child in Syria does that for me.

Softbank, a Japanese telecommunications company
paid $1.5 billion in October for a 51%
stake in the developer Supercell.

A Pool of Liquid Poems

Came in a workshop and hoped I would die,
the poems worse than childbirth. Couldn’t pee,
lost control of literature’s function,
my taste on and off to a tap.

I woke at five to pass its pure brown water,
novel to not know which end belonged to the toilet:
I managed to perch half on, jaw on the sink
while the poems blew both ends.

Each time I tried to read another master
my own work would rocket, force out within minutes.
Even a sip of Shakespeare soared through me tenfold,
hosepipe mode through my anus.

Later I made the error of reading Sylvia
having felt notionally better.
There was blood owed to the strain it takes out:
normal when you wreck your bowels. But it scared me.

Poetry ejects poetry. Read when your audience cries for it.
Clean everything after. Burn the bandages,
disinfect underwear, bathe between each verse.
Treat it like a fever that has to be driven.

I struggle to make movement now, brood once a month
keeping clear of experts this award season.
Living on my own it was all very difficult;
my muse was never itself.

These three poems are experiments (idea in: poem out) with found/adapted poetry, a playful aside to the altogether more composed, but similarly themed, poems I’ve been writing and not getting published of late. ‘B-Sides’ then. They use and twist words at the following pages, and obviously I am indebted to the original authors:

Cambridge’s Paul Dutton enlists his dog to dress like a Nazi too (Cambridge Evening News)

Master of His Virtual Domain (Matt Bai – The New York Times)

The NHS Guide to Norovirus (Comments)


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