NaPoWriMo 4.22: The Thereminist Hails a Bus


Lydia Kavina played some wonderful contemporary classical for theremin, as well as some marvellous sci-fi and mystery classics, like Mars Attacks! and The Day The Earth Stood Still (which I must rewatch – no, NOT the Keanu Reeves one, which was awful – the 1951 film).

We went to St George’s in Bristol last night (who it appears are fundraising for a rather splendid extension), to see this musician:

It was delightful and mesmerising. I particularly enjoyed the Mars Attacks! theme performance for its soundscape-y and dancy/movement quality…

(Also, I was just reminded in watching that title sequence how much I love the Sarah Jessica Parker and Pierce Brosnan scene where they kiss while he has no body, and her head’s attached to her chihuahua’s body – inspired).

My favourite ‘classical’ (written in 1941 though, I think) was Bird of Paradise – which you can listen to here on Spotify (I didn’t know I could embed these here! Always learning…)

And so, I wrote a piece celebrating the thereminist, the instrument and the wonderful way they are played, with the above title – but am keeping it offline, as I might enter it into some things.

As is now tradition, here’s that sign:


NaPoWriMo 4.21: Entrance Only

We were at a funeral yesterday and I wrote something about waiting to go to such a ceremony at a crematorium – and also touching on them as spaces (hence the title above).

There’s certainly something there I’d like to develop: funerals are of course an intense, shared, human experience – but there’s also the curious nature of the edge-of-town hinterland quality of crematoria.

It’s a peculiarly Victorian industrial process, even though this one was very well designed (much less of a sense of being ‘processed’ than some).

So again NaPoWriMo-wise: There Are Currently No Animals in This Enclosure. They’re off elsewhere, being preened and fed up, to be released into the Wilds of journals, magazines and competitions.


I’ll continue sharing elements of the process of writing – just to affirm that I am writing every day and this year (perhaps more than any other) finding that discipline immensely rich.

NaPoWriMo 4.20: An Omission in the City

It appears I’m writing more that I might submit elsewhere this year – which makes for a less interesting blog, but a more hopeful prospect of publication…

I wrote something on Tuesday about a ‘gap’ near me, which I pass every day: it’s a square of brick, with a couple of small trees in, which has – for the year we’ve lived here – also had a ragged chair in one corner, and an unplugged TV in the other.

It’s a very strange image (not unlike an art installation), and one which I think many people will walk past without noticing – but that’s the joy of being a poet/writer: noticing is part of your job…

So I’ve written something about it – which contains the phrase ‘an omission in the city’, which feels somehow significant.

That’s all!

NaPoWriMo 4.16: Nut Milk


If you’d like an actual, not silly, article about this subject, go here.

Inspired by a rum-punch hangover conversation:


Mid-shot carton on green screen, labelled NUT MILK.

Narrator: Nut Milk. A common everyday product
for many vegans. But just how
is it made and is it humane?

Cut to wide shot, pastures, slow
zoom, accelerating into individual
blades of grass.

Narrator: Here on the Great Pastures
Of Al-mond, the nuts
are farmed.

General Views of nuts

Narrator: They are tended
the much smaller
peanuts, specially trained
to herd and milk them.

Cut to outside
macro shot

Narrator: The Dairy…

SFX: Ominous music.

Cutaway of carton pouring
into cereal. Slow zoom
onto flow of white, turn-
ing slowly red.

Narrator: But it’s what happens next
that causes
the controversy…

NaPoWriMo 4.15: The Turnspit


It’s very late and I have to work tomorrow, so this is a piece of Uncreative Writing, by turning this article content into a not-yet-very-good pantoum…

(The thing I liked the most about this rather hasty process was learning the word ‘lumpenproletariat’…)

The Turnspit

The downtrodden, lumpenproletariat, turnspit:
Small, low bodied, short crooked front legs
Darwin said, Look at that. That’s an example
Because they were useful as foot warmers.

Small, low bodied, short crooked front legs
They move faster if you throw in a coal
Because they were useful as foot warmers
They were allowed to come to church.

They move faster if you throw in a coal
Not too close to the fire or they faint
They were allowed to come to church
Kitchen Dog, Cooking Dog, Vernepator Cur.

The transition from small boys to dogs
Darwin said, Look at that. That’s an example
Cheap, mechanical spit turning machines
The downtrodden, lumpenproletariat, turnspit.

NaPoWriMo 4.11: Looking Through the Patio Doors at Dusk, April 2016


“In a terracotta pot, day-/glo plastic pegs cling to the edge…”

I liked the NaPoWriMo prompt today – the idea of the last, abstracted line in an otherwise concretely descriptive poem is really useful as an approach…Here’s mine:

Looking Through the Patio Doors at Dusk, April 2016

On the ledge by the fence
the rosemary is thin
the lavender long-unfragranced
all just pricey twigs.
In a terracotta pot, day-
glo pegs cling to the edge,
some snapped, some twisted. 
A lantern with star-shaped holes
its tealight becoming an ancient 
island with one burnt-out tree.
Drips queue on the washing line. 
Everywhere the rich are 
cocooning themselves.

NaPoWriMo 4.9: Drag Queen Bingo


Well then: I’ve written something based on Drag Queen Bingo on Saturday night.

But I’ve decided it’s probably too offensive to put on here (such is the joy of Drag humour).

The poem takes the form of a Bingo Card, of course – with some very interesting rhymes (some adapted from the calls, some entirely new). I might spruce it up to submit it, should the right publication arise…

The numbers on the card were as follows – so I set you the challenge of coming up with your own risque rhyming number-call for each:

Number Three