Jamie And The Human Torch

What’s that, poets releasing songs over ambient post-rock backgrounds you say…?

This was an old poem, the current version of which is out somewhere, so I can’t share it, but my friend Steve wrote the music for this at least 12 years ago…

Just saying’.

All jocularity aside, I’m very pleased for our laureate*. And this is a great song. I look forward to the album, having previously enjoyed The Scaremongers.

I can’t** imagine Ted Hughes banging out an album of glambient floor fillers with beats built from the caws of crows. There’s those bloody birds again.

* He’ll be relieved, I know.
** I can

Also, please go and look up A Sunbleached Industry…My dear friend Simon has made some awesome music.


54.3k running – The 0.3 is very important. A lot for this week thanks to 14K yesterday and 15 more today – fuck you, Storm Ciara…

0 Poems worked on – Not a blooming’ sausage..What a busy week at work, but

1 lovely meeting with Matthew Paul

1 lovely meeting with Mark Anthony Owen

1 Podcast recorded

3 days without cigarettes.

1 more week that I’m not having an affair with Eva Green


  1. What You Talkin’ About Incey Wincey Willis?
  2. Well My Legs Are Fucking Trembling, How About You?
  3. Sometimes Only A Monster Will Do
  4. AI Can Tell You What A Postage Stamp Is And Does, But It Can’t Lick It



The Masked Singer, Love Island, The Lighthouse.

Listened to: 
Joni Mitchell, Heijra
10,000 Maniacs, In My Tribe
Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan, Ballad of the Broken Seas, Sunday At Devil Dirt
Isobel Campbell, There Is No Other
Supergrass, Road to Rouen, In It For The Money
Tycho, Awake, Weather
Kristen Hersh, Hips & Makers
and of course, The Archers…

A Crow In A Crowd Is A Rook, A Rook In A Crowd Is A Crow

I’m not deliberately going bird-themed every week, especially after last week’s chicken gibberish (giblets??)—but there has been something of a crow-theme to this week.

The most notable of these was the launch of the trailer for Crows 3: The Crowening.

Please note, this potentially contains Schitt’s Creek spoilers…

The Crows Have Eyes 3

I’m assuming, of course, that you are a fan of the mighty Schitt’s Creek. If you’re not already, then I wholeheartedly implore you to get over to the Netflixes and catch up on the previous five series.

The above video is taken from series 6 – due here in May, but currently broadcasting in Canada. As it’s an ITV Studios show I’ve been lucky enough to watch the first 8 episodes of this, the last series, on a special internal site and I can say that this series wonderful…so far.

For those unaware, think of it as a reverse Beverley Hillbillies. Although that’s a massively reductive description. I love the show, it’s heart-warming stuff and I will miss it when it’s gone. There hasn’t really been a duff note in any of the episodes, and I can’t decide if I want to be David or Moira when I grow up. Watch it, watch it, watch it.


Ah yes, I’m sure you can find TV recommendations anywhere.

Well, yesterday, my friend Mark Antony Owen launched Iambapoet. Have yourself a look over there at the list of excellent poets, but I’ll steal Mark’s own description :

‘iamb’ is part archive, part quarterly journal. A place where established and establishing poets can showcase both their writing and their readings of their own poems. Ten poets will be added each season – at first, by private invitation, then later, through public submission.

I can’t wait to see how the site develops, but it looks great, it has some ace names attached and you can read and hear some excellent poems. Finish reading this post and then get over there.

Ah, you want a crow connection. Well, Mark’s poem on his own site, Subruria, starts with Crows (Ok, Rooks, but we all know how you tell them apart, right?)


Other trends will come and go and come again, but I’m pretty sure it is de-rigeur for poets* to have a crow poem—that Hughes feller casting some sort of shadow—just as there was a trend for bees a while back.

I’ve written both, my bee poem will be available in the second issue of the Fenland Poetry Journal soon – alongside two others, but my crow poem has take a while to find a home. It was one of the first poems I worked on with Matthew Stewart and it’s fair to say it’s largely unrecognisable from the version I first sent him. I was all proud of myself and in love with some of the images and sounds it had. I soon realised I was wrong and had a long way to go (still have), but I very much like where the poem ended up. It had been round a few mags to no avail and so I put it back in the folder until somewhere suitable came up again.

A couple of months ago my friend Gemma alerted me to a call out on Facebook for poems to go into an Anthology designed to raise money to help the wonderful Bookseller Crow On The Hill in Crystal Palace. They have been facing massive rent issues, raised by dodgy landlords and the local council have plans to convert the building next door to a McDonalds. You can donate to their #stokethecrow campaign here, but a last called Susan Watson has pulled together a collection of poems by local writers called ‘Corvids and Others’ to raise money to support the shop.

I’m a little bit stunned to find my little poem (that’s not really about crows) alongside work by Anita Ghahreman (trans. by Maura Dooley with Elhum Shakerifar), Gail Emerson, Anna-May Laugher, Kate Miller (I loved ‘The Observances‘, and now see there’s a new collection due this year), Gail Ferguson, Rebecca Farmer, Matthew Caley, Jenny Lewis, William Wyld, Suzanna Fitzpatrick (my Red Squirrel labelmate – get a copy of Fledglings if you can), Andrea Robinson, Sue Rose, Martha Oster, Jacqueline Gabbitas, Blake Morrison, Anne-Marie Fyfe, Katrina Naomi, Jocelyn Page, and Katie Rose. Some new names to me, all new poems, but from what I’ve read so far it’s worth it. It’s available either at Bookseller Crow On The Hill or via Greatest Happiness Press. There will be a launch event that I hope to be able to read at, or at least attend. I’ll let you know when it is.

I’ve been going to Bookseller Crow since we moved to the area – perhaps not enough, but it, like so many independent bookshops, is a wonderful resource. They have a well stocked poetry section and a range of events on to suit most literary tastes. I bought a copy of the latest Moth yesterday (as well as a copy of Corvids) that I’m saving for reading this week.

As an aside, the shop is next door to a lovely pet shop – we used to take Flo in most weeks to look at the fish and lizards, before popping into the bookshop for something to read. I’m 99% certain we would have bought a lot of our Emily Gravett books there and ‘Monkey And Me’ will always stay with me.

*Other types of writing are available

Finally, please either go and buy some pamphlets from HappenStance. They have some lovely pamphlets left. I’d like them all to be sold, for Nell’s sake and for the poets involved.

Or, get involved with writing reviews for Sphinx Reviews. Nell notes, in her latest newsletter, the ratio of female to male is not in favour of the menfolk. While this is normally a good thing, I think she’d like some more male reviewers. I’ve mentioned OPOI before and two of my reviews have gone up this week.


22.1k running – The 0.1 is very important. A slower week this week, but I completed Red January, and ended up running for

32 days on the trot. I’ll allow a slower week and I’ve gone mad and let myself have three days off. Then the training starts for Race to the King

3 Poems worked on – Cycle, Editing The Arecibo Message and Cod Psychology.

2 reviews published at OPOI

3 poems submitted to Finished Creatures

2 poems fedback to a friend

3 days without cigarettes.

1 more week that I’m not having an affair with Eva Green


  1. Memoirs of a Gopher
  2. Knick, Knack, Paddywhack, Give The Dog A Drone
  3. For you I’d Swallow Niagara Falls
  4. The Implications
  5. The Imp Locations
  6. Trial A Little Tenderness For Free, + £1.pp P&P
  7. I Was All Set To Join The Jet Set Which I Now Regret


Plot & Counterplot, Helena Nelson

The Masked Singer, Love Island, Endeavour (S4, E1), JoJo Rabbit, Booksmart and White House Farm Eps 1, 2 and 3. I’ve started Midsommar.

Listened to: 
J Mascis, Elastic Days and Tied To A Star
Erland Cooper, Solan Goose, Skule Skerry, Seachange
Gang of Four, Entertainment (RIP Andy Gill)
Andrew Bird, The Mysterious Production of Eggs and Are You Serious?
Julian Cope, Saint Julian and My Nation Underground
and of course, The Archers…

I’ve always had a soft spot for this song. It’s an unofficial anthem in Worstead