Poetry: Writing a war in the margins

This is something I wrote about some poetry that made me particularly angry… I hope that the kind of poetry in question is apparent from the writing.


shuffle the words

a fan of cards

spread hand

five and fifty

it is almost


the lengths we stretch



spin money away

flatten our dread

into stocky equaliser lines

maybe I shall

begin with a single word. So.

A fragment: surely that

will course up the ire and itch

of prescriptivists

incite a war in the margins

or perchance

a dictionary definition

the delicious skill of

copy and paste

is our lunge and riposte

[it will save time if

you declare your ignorance

in the prologue]

Franz Gruber said

‘we fall back on the classics


we are too lazy to improve’

I shall begin with quotation – in latin for preference

[it will save time if

you declare the reader’s ignorance

in the prologue]

history is a puzzle that is mostly sky

Perhaps I should bring out

a squat blue fragment

at random; magnify it until

it fills the frame of reference

until everyone can see

yes this is a piece of sky

‘Is it gold flecked, imbued with

the sweat and suds of promise,

with crystallized language?’

no, no, it is after all, only sky

George Wolfram said

‘If I name all shades of blue

in a towering column, that must

be poetry’

It certainly cannot be science

You are

the discarded parings and dregs

of history and philology

perhaps we should move

away from the 800


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