Breaking the poem-drought

This has been my first prolonged period of creative block and I can’t say I like it. I’ve scribbled words, tested phrases, jotted and rejotted but all to no avail. I could have made an interesting art installation out of the crumpled and discarded notebook pages. So, I stopped and got on with something else – tidied the workshop/shed, inked some doodles, that kind of thing and finally this popped out. It won’t win the Forward Prize, but it has got the word-juices flowing again…


I cannot sleep to the yan-tan-tether
of imaginary sheep,
or through the use of muscle-rest techniques,
instead I list from A to, if I’m lucky, Zzz,
start with bands I’ve seen –
Accrington Stanley (yes like the football team),
Adam and the Ants, Aerosmith,
try to fall asleep before having to admit to
Bronski Beat (please don’t judge me, it was free);
another night it’s films – Eastern Promises,
Ed Wood, Elfie Hopkins,
so on, so forth, each night
a solo game of Scattergories.