Alas! [Poem]

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“Poor Yorick” my ass. I got off easy.
Heredity is kindest when it’s short.
Let the forest weep, the poisoned king
dream of pythons and immovable heaven.

We who carry princes on our backs
stoke another’s brawny passion,
infected, jaw-to-toe, with fatigue
and a double-helping of soreness.

The thicket’s the ticket to catch
the breeches of the riding dauphin,
scratch off a flea for quick relief
and a momentary cigarette break.

Even my skull has become your souvenir.
Remember me fondly, parasite.

Silk Over Steel: First Review of The Knowledge

Good things happen on Twitter.

I have Gail Borrow to thank for introducing me (and my work) to Rachel Stirling via this recent tweet exchange.

I scrambled an electronic review copy of my forthcoming book The Knowledge, and she read deeply into the poems.

The poet moves from couplet through the numbered stanzas to free verse, and back again, with confidence and grace. The pace is impressive, largely because the poems are a joy of enjambment. … The work is elegant and strong. If it is silk then it is silk over steel.

You can read Rachel’s full review, and many equally astute others, on

Also, if you write reviews in print or online and would like to peruse your own copy of The Knowledge, please do get in touch.