One of the most common complaints about this website is that the pages are too long.  There's a reason for that.  Brevity costs time and time is money and this website is free.  Also I am a chronic bore.  For years before the internet even brevity cost money so here for the cost of 99p on Kindle or £3.49 if you're silly enough to still be using paper are all my old poems and printed rubbish from before the internet was invented.  As previously published in Envoi, Iota, The Journal, Krax, Orbis, VIZ... and other less literary tomes.  It's only slightly above my dignity to give this rubbish away for free which is why it's the absolutely lowest price you can put something on Amazon for.  As it's electricity and print on demand no trees have unnecessarily slaughtered to make this happen either.  Those that do die will be killed humanely.  Besides which in about 14 years between 1992 and 2005 I only wrote about 20 ish poems that might be worth re-reading so it isn't like you could publish a proper collection ...and yet it's not so worthless I think it's worth nothing ...just next to nothing.  Besides which poetry is personal and if you're that nosey you can cough up some money.  There's also some waffle at the start and end about how the printed poetry scene worked and life before the internet when ranting on the page was tough and it took 3 months to get a poem read and then 6 months to 2 years to get it published and possibly read by less than 1000 people.  The great thing about comedy is that however bad the gig goes I - not the promoter or an editor - have the edit.  And the great thing about these pages is there is no editing at all - it's just endless waffle... you're all just too young to realise why that's so wonderful......

...oh yeah and if you can't face a whole book of A E Miller I'm also anthologised here I think.  Actually reading the book I find I'm not... although they did write and ask if I wanted to be in it or maybe in something else some time - it was a long time ago - which proves at least one person genuinely liked one of my poems once.  Anyway I mustered up the enthusiasm to send out some review copies.  As if to prove my hypothesis that the poetry world is needlessly obsessed with paper and more than mildly intellectually snobbish some bloke called Wolfgang Görtschacher at Poetry Salzburg instead of just not reviewing the book as I suspect most sane people would actually............... bothers to writes back:

"we neither cooperate with Amazon nor will we ever review a book published by or with the help of Amazon"

So here are some of the poems he refuses to read simply because I haven't used the politically correct publisher:

I, psychologist

Someone crying separate tears
Must be an oblique testament of the figure
So to indicate the experience
I have inserted arrows and labels

We can learn a lot about the way such children see the world
From oblique arrows and labels, I think

At any discussion it is more constructive
Than casting my mind back

For although I once was a child
I no longer am

Because my testicles have lowered
because I have grown horrible hair
because I have fancied women
and been able to do something about it
for all these reasons I must be wiser
and not remember childhood

It stands to reason, I think

I think it stands to reason.


Bazaars shout out the wide and shifting stream
and then it is a theatre
and then it is an office block
and all along the Strand
there is black brick

it is the trick of the effluent sewer
not to be seen or heard or spoke of
as even a phenomenon of sound now

How do you write about a common experience
become uncommon to the point where even the slightest trickle
is tapped away to a glint?

My father said the worst riot to hit the city
was when the offices of Lloyds crossed the road.

It seems another world now that showed the river last
the secret of Limestreet deep
the Eldorado sparkling river
which now and again will still seep forth labour unfairly
In turds to turds for turds for turds to weep

There are no bathing-steps on the river front now.
No temple. No worshipping lowly
That that is neither holy neither pagan.

Indeed, there is no river front.


I want to write something crisp
as a freshly minted note – a fifty!
although a twenty would do
or failing that a fiver.

Better than money
Would be something that can be spent
But not devalued
But everything does devalue
I am afraid

I am afraid
that I want to: “satisfy the intelligent reader”
to be: “ a topic of conversation”
that I want the people in Hampstead to have said:
“Ezra Pound, Sylvia, Ted Hughes,
all had interesting poetic views
but for literary sagacity
you can’t beat ‘Anthony’”
“A.E.”, “Edmund”, “Anty”, “Miller”
all as good as the other
so long as they mean me.

Maybe I could be discussed in “Acumen
as poetically fake and appalling:
“Successfully bad”.
That would be something.

Even if I was a footnote in the Poetry Review
or an anthology artefact some one in fact read
at least I would be read
which would be something
not that sparkling.
I seem to write small change.

Where there is discord

Flirtatious as an old prostitute “Thatcher”
springs jack-in-a-box-like to my box
as if she never knew she'd gone
hangdog as Macmillan
and that her very name now is an “ism” and a flag of hate
for the right to rally to, the left to hate.

Yet still I see she stuffs herself into tight suits and talks
earnestly to camera as if
at a lecture where a residue
is left in her test tube waiting to prove
the reaction isn't quite over and cover
some important ground
her students if they went without demonstrations
wouldn’t get but somehow haven't yet...
Poor Margaret— So pathetic to still be at it.
Stateswoman without a state yet perpetually in one.
On about Henry Moore: “He loved order.”
She loved ordering and now she can't her poise isn't

More like watching Mollie Sugdon, having preened
herself and her pussy, waiting to be served
by some toyboy
she hasn't the cash or cachet to attract.

Yes, I pity poor politicians
who've lived out or out lived their powers
like some bad actor who never could remember lines
landing rotting brains.

Who do you think you are kidding, pedigree breeder

So bigheaded it needed a knife
to separate him from womb
yet his air-passage is rasping
with such awkward constriction
it's like suffocating
every breath of what life
you can have in a skin so saggy
flabby upper-lip folds
become as ideal a place
for fleas and infections
as a tiny ear’s long tiny canal
ornamental not functional
free from air yet
a trap for sweat.

Do I need to go on on how he “lives”?
with a “Bulldog Spirit of the Blitz”?
by a eugenics so cruel
it would be a wonder if the inbred
creature didn't cry
through the misshapen eyes
so twisted his tear ducts

Ian Hamilton’s career by Edward Pygge

Someone would get it
our justice (not spite)
- would be the trite git
kicked from high pedestal
- falling till the brain and heart are separate!

We would believe it
— that we'd served a service to poetry —
eliminating from your community these charlatans
by causing their books not to be read
which they wouldn't be anyway
unlike our entertaining Arts Council displays
of block-yanked-off, stuck-out necks snapped.

Of course, it's only the sort of game one plays
when one’s young and imagines poetry matters to many people.
Anyway, I believed it then and if there were no sneers
where would be the cheers when anyone climbed the steeple?
It worked for me: I'm in the “Poetry Review”.
I've almost talked to J. D. Salinger too.

St Bernard and the Virgin's breast milk

The little lord Jesus — no crying he makes
but he does not seem entirely happy
about his dinner being sprayed in air
arcing with well preserved surface tension
all the way from Mary’s breast
and through thin air
to splatter on a saintly tongue.

And, frankly, who can blame the kid?
It's not as if the old priest's thin or lean
and surely the Christ child's own body and blood
should have more spiritual nutritional value
than his mother's lactation?
Why doesn't he take some?
After all, Bernard is a priest
he can do transubstantiation?
What’s eating him?

Then again maybe virginal Mary feels
That even if uou can eat her son any time
you need a bit of variety to escape impiety?
Perhaps even the Saintly need to be weaned?
Drip fed their doctrines and sacraments?

Eternal redemption or damnation being hard to swallow
when continually in the same form:
mortal, invisible pain and denial?

Poor old Osiris

After being hacked into fourteen and stuck together again
he was properly stitched up
for Set in his ways concealed the location
of mummy’s best friend: Osiris's penis.
Isis was furious with her jackass son
but her lover was impotent — could only kill and damn Set.
It was impossible to divine
this divine cock up.


Just to emphasise this is not black and white T.V.
but a technicolour horror
sumptuously shot on an enclosed set
with location filming at Pinewood
where these clipped dialogues were exchanged like legal papers
once upon a film
everything is slightly too colourful.

For while Dean and Marilyn
were dying to develop their method
Lee an Cushing became stars through stares.
Discovered true horror was standing
with a beautiful woman in a sumptuous room
and not acting or reacting or seeming to want to ever.

Anger and fear are the only emotions
scarcely seen— when they break the skin
they're righteous or hideous with nothing in between.

Oh, give us Bela Lugosi!
At least he could be flirty.

The Cream

These are the ones who wrote poems.
The Sassoons and Owens who made us feel slightly guilty.
Indeed, some of them were an embarrassment
because they were also the cream.

Cream is for spreading on strawberries and luxuries
and it's such bad taste for it to go sour
to be wasted on mud, machine gun, hun.
Particularly the prefects who'd become head boys.

There were others of course
that served at tables or attended lavatories
who did not write poetry or play cricket for their University.
Less eminent Edwardians who's contributions to our culture
were not signed and so attributed to “anon”.

And, of course, we also remember them.
We grieve for them too. Honestly.
But they were our strawberry jam
not our cream.


Did the first men who rubbed sticks
twig how their smouldering fire would spark
those men who open mined the first coal
who didn't dig how deep
they'd need to to excavate
all those black substances of millennia of death?

Do the viewers of Star Trek
realise that the trek to the nearest star is so far
that travelling at a speed where our matter would be energy
we’d be dead for eighty years when we got there
if we could live to 120 and repair
the fact acceleration would rip our
cells apart?

People may think the rising
of an odd ocean is the worst of global warming
but it is not the change of environment
but the rate of change of environment
that like the rate of change of speed in a crashing car

No civilisation ever thinks seriously of any ends.
The Greeks thought they had it cracked by enslaving
‘tools’ to do their washing and ironing
but when the Roman Legions
(and not that many)
came and saw and slaughtered
they leant what it really is
when things are cracked

Now they are ruins and cracked pots
we think the solution of just cracking petroleum
some hope.

Marketing Man of the World

Serve us up your finest pickle
from which you'll escape scathed but well.
Singed by truth. Child proud of scars.
Giggling at those foreigners.

Keep silent on fiddled expenses,
cramped seats on low cost airlines,
silence of basic hotel bedroom
and supplement charge for cable porn.

Remember how you put one over
even when you were the loser.
Talk of barters with gleeful gloat,
tell economically truthful anecdotes.

Cuts Both Ways

Thomas 5 Becket - struck head on
was cracked like a boiled egg;
his opened mind squidged still cogitating on consecrated stone.

Treading the prirnate’s grey cells under foot
fleeing knights immediately sensed they wouldn’t be thanked
for slaughtering this leviathan.

But it was because they weren’t that the unchivalrous pariahs
went on to become R.C. Crusaders for Pope Urban
absolved from sin with eternal felicity
thanks to public celebrity Peter the Hermit
their souls were saved and they saved souls.
Dispatching souls claimed Jerusalem for Christendom.

Dancing in the Rain

Under umbrellas clubbers skip in the rain.
Their teen ages shine vibrant as neon.

Their hair is loose and drips on anorak and coat that cover
the colourful, skimpy garments that don't need to reveal
but don’t conceal flesh.

Tonight, this moment, together yet not attached,
free from rejection and someone,
like their playground selves they laugh
from skipping, rain, expectation, fun.

The surrounding darkness is not threatening.
They are warm and not worried by liquids penetrating.

End of Term

The men in their suits.
The ladies in hats.
Teachers in gowns.
Pupils in blazers.
Secretaries of State for Education on the podium.

All of them bored and baked
in a stifling white tent
concealing the summer sun
but not stopping dehydrating
and sweating and sighing
and watch watching and yawning
through speeches as stirring
as unravelling string
and embarrassed fake chuckling
at badly delivered jokes
before prizes for the swots
and the winners of games.
Approved books.
Coloured strips.
Shaken hands.

At the back of the tent is a large table
with a thoughtfully prepared cold collation
which will also be ignored. Uneaten.

Marked Man

Bulldog clips on penis,
fingers, ears and toes
and just enough juice
to make all muscles convulse.

The noise is not human.
It is animal, primaeval,
as every nerve is fired
but his organs remain undamaged.

Later, when unplugged
there is only memory
and unblemished skin.

If he can still collect thoughts
in scrambled brain
he will tell his people:

Safety Last

For Harold Lloyd they made a glove
with fingers that were stuffed with cloth
to help the camera lie that two
digits of his did not now rot

For close-ups stand-ins’ hands were used
to fool fingers could grip and bend
just as the long shot human fly
sequences were done by a friend

Who’d caught his curiosity
by drawing such a loitering crowd
that loitered as they had round him
after he’d lit that hand-held bomb

Kept in hand for an unplanned test
to see first hand if it was the best
effect for a movie about suicide
when his power to touch tore his grip in a flash

Honestly the only reason I haven't put them all up or any of them up before is some of them are now parts of my set and some of them are too personal or about living persons.  One advantage of the small press was as no one read it except people obsessed with the perfect use of words rather than their meaning you could liberally libel everyone living without worrying too much.  It's old material.   Who cares?

Well ... University Professors of English who are presumably paid to make themselves aware of all forms of English literary culture declaring whole swathes of it anathema.  Doubltess they have some excuse like Amazon destroying small bookshops or some such other fig leaf of respectability - like any book shop would have ever stocked a book this obscure.  My bad.  Should have produced it in my back bedroom using a hectograph. Perhaps I should complain to the German Comedy Ambassador...

The German Comedy Ambassador writes that his colleague the German Poetry Ambassdor is unavailable for comment but "In the meantime I happily provide a quote without even bothering you for a copy "A masterpiece" ".  Now that's what I call literary criticism...

Ja, ich weiß Salzburg ist in Österreich nicht Deutschland, sondern es ist eine Art, an der Grenze, und es gibt nicht eine österreichische Komödie oder Poetry Botschafter, die ich kenne ... und wir sind nur leicht über stereotype Weltkrieg Witze.