I Can, I can’t…

I may have mentioned running before. I have a playlist for this. It can be found here because I can’t work out how to embed Apple Music playlists. It’s an ongoing labour of love (the playlist, but the running too). It contains songs that I love and have meaning for me. It’s called Dropsonde (another word learned via a Post Rock band, this time it was Caspian) because that was going to be the name of my book. It’s the playlist that I put on when I want to not have to think about what to listen to and it’s the one that will be used as the one that I use to promote my book (You have to have a book playlist these days, no? Surely it’s de rigeur).

Still feels weird to be thinking about having a book. 2023 is still a while off. NB this year is the year to start getting ducks in a row for it—the poems I thought would be it have changed already, but nothing is set in stone yet. However, that’s an entirely separate post, etc, so we’ll park that for the moment.

I mention this playlist because a song from it came up during my run on Tuesday morning that got me thinking.

The song is called Made Up Love Song #43 by The Guillemots. You can hear it below.

It’s a lovely pop song that I think should be more widely known, but there are plenty of those around. A couple of things struck me as I was hyperventilating my way up a hill towards Crystal Palace when I heard the lyric “there’s poetry in an empty coke can”.

Firstly, I haven’t really written a new poem for a while (not worried about that, there are notes and drafts aplenty), but the other thing was how might I respond to what is essentially a creative prompt from the singer, Fyfe Dangerfield. I know folks have mixed feelings about prompts, and I do too. I am generally ok with them, but not when they are your sole source of inspiration.

However, I got to thinking about how I might respond to the prompt. I’ve not gone anywhere near writing it yet, but here are the thoughts I have for exploring it…perhaps these even count as my own prompts…

How did the can get there? Was it thrown away, left there by someone? Is it in a bin? Has it fallen from a lorry on a way to a recycling plant? Is it still awaiting recycling because its owner is next to it?

Who is the owner? Is it someone on a picnic, are they alone or part of a group? A runner (them again) gasping on a hot day?

Where is it? On that picnic? Outside a pub, inside a pub (Oh god, I’d love to be doing that right now), left after a dad took his kids to the pub on his day with them.

Is it in the street being kicked about by kids, or grown-ups, is it being blown about by the wind?

Who is near it? Is there a wasp hovering around the ring pull?

Is it cold or warm?

Is there any liquid left in the can at all? 

Is this just an excuse to post this song because it mentions poetry?

Who knows?



55k running – It was meant to be a down week this week, but a couple of longer ones this weekend have kept the momentum up
0 day of 2 x 7-minute workouts, but the above means I don’t feel so bad
100 days of insults between my friend and me on Twitter. He started it. We finished it on Wednesday.
0 x rejections:
1 x acceptance (subject to edits)
1 poem worked on: Lock in
0 poems finished:
1 new Submissions: Brotherton Poetry Prize
37 poems currently out for submission
59 Published poems*:
44 Poems* finished by unpublished
30 poems* in various states of undress
554 Rejected poems* Eg I’ve decided they are not good enough
1 Review* written and submitted. 1 still to do though, so must crack on
1 month, 3 weeks without cigarettes..
1 more week that I’m not having an affair with Eva Green

* To date, not this week. Christ!!


Wild Leaps
The Spend of a speeding bullet
Marquis De Sadface
Cheery Tree
Calm Goose Chase.


Arun Jeetoo: I want to be the one that you think of at night
Lawrence Sail: Guises
Matthew Francis: Mandeville

The Waterboys: Room To Roa
Robin Foster: Penisular II
The Hold Steady: Open Door Policy
Roberta Flack: First Take
Neil Young: Mirrorball
Sun June: Years
Kikagaku Moyo: Stone Garden
Daughter of Swords: Dawnbreaker
Smashing Pumpkins: Cyr
The Kandinsky Effect: ST
Elvis Costello: Hey Clockface
Hope of the States: The Lost Riots
Camping: Dancing Days
The Hold Steady: Open Door Policy
The Waterboys: Dream Harder
Sad Eagle: Haircut Vol1 Mix
Alessi’s Ark: Love Is The Currency, The Still Life, Time Travel
Mogwai: As The Love Continues
The National: Cherry Tree, The National, Alligator, Black Sessions
A Winged Victory For The Sullen: Atomos VII
Bryce Dessner – Tenebre: Ensemble Resonanz
Julien Baker: Little Oblivions
The Wedding Present: Locked Down And Stripped Back
Richard & Linda Thompson: Pour Down Like Silver

Devils S1

Zooms, etc
Carcanet Launch 1 for New Poetries VIII

The Archers
Ari Poetry Pickle Ep1
Foxhole Companion E1 &2

Lint Brush
Florence Welch Book for Flo
Kate Fox: The Oscillations
Rebecca Farmer: Not Really

New Poetries VIII Carcanet
Conor Cleary: Priced Out – The Emma Press

3 thoughts on “I Can, I can’t…

  1. Pingback: Poetry Blog Digest 2021, Week 8 – Via Negativa

  2. Yes, the Guillemots seemed lyrically and musically very adept, which makes it surprising how quickly they went off the radar., from a general-listener point of view. That song was on my holiday playlist throughout 2019, and your blog drew me back to it.

    • Hi, I’m glad to have done some good with this then. I’m like you, in the sense that they fell off my radar too. I am slowly coming back to them, and looking for Fyfe’s solo work too.

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