#inktober 31. SLICE


Very late and very tired but a fond farewell to InkTober. Feeling pleased to have made it to the end of the month with so much play and resistance working off each other throughout. My last piece is a sampler from the full month, in Java script form, where a slice is a function to take a ‘slice’ out of a list. For all the non-coders out there what the poem says is that my favourite ‘slice’ is: “stunk and damp that my tongue sings in the dark mind water”


const inktober = [“jolting heart”, “pattern has”, “an hour”, “all flashmob and glare”, “I see my path”, “trust”, “mud is the world”, “disbelief in enamel”, “I think”, “stunk and dank”, “that my tongue sings”, “in the dark”, “mind water”, “All day I have nothing”, “I notice the angular”, “the thinning weight of it”, “pulls my gaze away”, “Laughing glass”, “veil the river”, “a cruelish sort of colour”, “and glacial”, “it must be mapped”, “Small creatures”, “E______”, “over Kevin”, “inside the coop”, “May all your madnesses grow”, “beauty”, “I sweat, drip pale ink”, “make ruffled islands”]

const favourites = inktober.slice(9,13)

//Thank you InkTober ♥️



#inktober 30. JOLT


Eek! I’m fixed on the fast-approaching end of October – only one more day of InkTober (sad face). I’m making a spell to staunch the month so that I can apply a bit of InkTober to the rest of the year. I’ve come to really love this daily word play. I’m thinking about ways to continue it in some form or maybe I’ll just look forward to next October for more InkTober Poetry. Ah, my tea has gone cold again, while I scratched at paper with my inky quill.



This is a recipe for a styptic powder:

Al-Zahrawi’s double needle stitch

Ashmole’s pierced side of a bull

Ortolf van Baierland’s black wine

his red powder his ground mumie

Hartnell’s mundane moment of everyday

an arrow whose shaft is still in place

to stem the flow of blood, Wound Man

to spare the jolting heart, Cupid

“Pound all that together

make a powder out of it

and keep it as needed.”


#inktober 29. DOUBLE


Why did the prompt word DOUBLE send me diving for Anne Carson? I wanted to find Decreation, her opera on forgery. And in particular I must have remembered the duet of Simone Weil and her Papa where Simone mechanically denies the questions with a formula of language to arrive at an impossible sum that her father cannot penetrate finishing with

“Bulbs are not a question.

To accept a void in oneself is a question.

The energy has to come from somewhere else.”

So my double jotting is homage to Anne Carson’s operatic dramatisation of patterning and repetition in the trials of life. I called it My Double. Fitting on the day that my Papa comes to live with us for a while. Genetics must be on my mind!


Double are not the helix

Double are not the decker

Double are not the bind

Double can be the trouble

Double are not the blooms

Double are not the whiskeys

Double are not the question,

To accept the double in oneself is a question,

The pattern has to come from somewhere.



#inktober 27. THUNDER


I could only think in clichés today. Sometimes it’s like that. And they are so sticky! The more I tried to overturn them, the more they stuck to me like burrs. In the end I decided to go into the cliche of thunder being menacing but harmless, it’s his twin lightning that is never far behind him that does all the damage but thunder is full of noise and bluster. Once I accepted that I couldn’t get the cliché out of the poem and worked into it I had some fun with rhyme and keeping the lines rolling like the rumble of thunder until the sudden crack which inevitably follows.


Thunder, in your brontide drawl

I hear the same dump 

hunger that killed my sister thud 

thud in you blunder

all flashmob and glare

dropping that old number 

about sucker runners

following you five counts

ten counts behind always

playing you pushing til 

you holler and crawl how 

you’re only here to warn me 

you don’t want to hurt me

if I let you back in my life

how we could start over, begin 

living — CRACK!