Monthly Archives: October 2012


I find Mitt Romney a
cure for insomnia,
blathering on with his
Cold War Tourette’s.

He would keep Poland and
safe from these terrible
‘Soviet’ threats:

‘Russia’s our number one
foe.’ Oh my God!
Do they have bayonets?

My first political poem! And a true story…I couldn’t sleep Monday night and decided to watch the debate live (which started at 2AM in my time zone). I watched 40 minutes of pre-game show, then the moment Romney started to speak I was out cold. Woke up again 2 hours later.


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My First Pub Poetry Reading

No, I didn’t read, I just listened. Even that takes courage. I worried that pretentious overblown tripe would give me the giggles and I would be shunned; but the standard was actually pretty high, even for the open mike. It helped that the open part was short – people were limited to 2 minutes each, and there weren’t even enough of them to fill the slots available.

The 2 established poets who had longer sets weren’t bad. One of them I even liked. That’s a far better hit rate than the auditorium poetry reading I went to as part of Cambridge Wordfest, where we got to hear 3 poets read at length and I disliked them all. Maybe I’m developing an ear for free verse. Or maybe this one guy was actually good. I should figure out what his name is. Alan something.

The atmosphere helps: it’s a function room at the back of The Punter set up with rustic tables, mismatched chairs, and assorted candelabra. And alcohol helps too of course: if there’s a particularly awful poem you can have a swig to reward yourself for getting through it. It covers up the frozen trying-not-to-laugh expression on your face.

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A Little Bit of Politics

A fellow poet commented today that my blog has been silent for a while. I’m amazed and delighted anyone noticed, but in case I’ve disappointed anyone else out there….

Blame Obama. No, I’m not ranting at the lack of government subsidy for my ramblings. I’m chair of the local chapter of Democrats Abroad, so I’ve been busy organizing debate screenings, voter registration drives, and an election night party. And I’ve been on the telephone. Good Lord, have I been on the telephone. The party’s number one priority is that we ring everyone on our mailing list and harass them to get their absentee ballot sorted out. I’ve personally rung over a hundred people so far, many of them twice. They’ve been great –none of them have complained about being bothered at home (with one paranoid exception who thinks the government will track her down), and they’ve mostly been grateful for the reminder. But I’m phone-shy and it’s a peculiar torture for me.

You would think I might be inspired to write some political poetry. People do – New Verse News is full of nothing else, and that’s just the progressive angle. But I’m too cynical to write idealistic pro-Democrat poetry (Don’t be a dope – vote for hope! etc etc) and too idealistic to write attack poems (Ryan’s so common, he / smells worse than Romney…).

No, actually I wouldn’t mind writing a satirical anti-Republican poem if I had any clever ideas for one. But how can I compete against Big Bird? The big guns are already out. My favourite response to that Romney comment was a tweet from Big Bird (supposedly) saying, ‘Today’s episode of Sesame Street is brought to you by the letters F and U.’

Now that’s poetry.

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