Fake poem

Niall O’Sullivan‘s started a blog of fake poems (as well as editing my pamphlet, hosting London’s premier open mic night, teaching at London Met University, being a full-time dad and writing a few poems).

My fake poem, The Smile, appears here.

What’s a fake poem? Here’s what it says in the blog’s About section:

when we say a poem is a “fake poem” we don’t mean that it is inferior, if anything we mean the opposite. a lot of poetry suffers from a sense of its own importance. interesting things happen when conventional and unconventional texts veer towards the poetic. interesting things happen when poems forget that they are poems. this blog is a literary version of that moment when a child tries to look at the edge of their vision but doesn’t quite get there quickly enough.


1.21 Gigawatts


Steal plutonium from Libyan terrorists.

Leave them a shoddy bomb casing

stuffed with the guts of an old pinball machine.


Take me to your bed sweats and dead end stories

that get lost and end up in Morden.


Take me back to the future we’ll never have.


Give me ornamental sheep and waterlogged teeth

so our kisses



Set the time circuits twenty years from now

and show me how you midlife crisis.

We’ll ride through your fat Elvis years,

your alarming flirtation with crystal healing.


Send cables streaming in a bruise of sky.

Wrap fingers tight round a bolt of lightning.


Show me worthless fights

and you missing my fortieth birthday

to drive Tony to the airport.


Abort the embryos of memories.

Let our thirty-something stalemates wrinkle backwards.

Shed them to powder.


Headbutt the dashboard and tell me

– I should have done you better

– I should never have bought that almanac

– this is all my fault


Now step into the DeLorean.


Catapult me out of you.


You are twenty-nine.

You make a rift in the continuum.

You erase my timeline,

my face from your photo,

with your insulting lack of infidelity,

with your slap-sharp beauty,

and I feel like a twat

in my matching yellow jumpsuit and helmet.


Take me back to that future we’ll never have.


Turn the crank of truth till I’m ready to homewreck

the marriage of cause and effect.


Return to an empty car park

in the shoulder of night,

five unmarked minutes tapping the hour


and tell me it’s over.

It’s ok.

I’m ready now.