Hokey Cokey

As of Monday I will be blogging for the quite wonderful and fairly new literary magazine Under The Fable. Anybody championing good, new writing deserves your unending support, so go check them out and love them @ http://www.underthefable.com.

Work on my debut collection continues unabated. I currently have a long list of about 60 poems I need to trim by a third, which is difficult for me. Here’s one that didn’t make the list, mainly because its silly. And we don’t like silly.

My friend is an agoraphobic

Who hates his wife

His porch

Is immaculate


Anyway, I believe back when I started this blog I promised some music, and since I have a particularly good tune playing as we speak (or type) I will honour that promise for the first time.

Thanks, as ever, for reading.





This life dictates

We stumble past kings

To consume the flesh of visions

(We let our blood

For a glimpse of jade)

Eternal ferment

Teeth chatter from the walls

Viscera pour from the ceiling

Outside spring bursts forth

Parturient symphonies

I wake up an angel

I wake up a demon

Kirigami arms

Blistered smile

The factory beckons.


When I get home

From town

I like to put on some classical music

Vinyl, of course

Make myself a herbal tea

Snack on some seeds

Whilst completing a cryptic crossword

The Times, of course

I like to lie back

With a challenging

Yet inspirational

Piece of literature

Russian, of course

And as I drift off to sleep

In my Egyptian cotton pyjamas

I like to pretend

That the highlight of my day

Wasn’t the chips, cheese and gravy

I bought from Kev

That I can still feel

Waging an endless war

With the seeds

And tea

And denial.

©Stuart Buck

Under the Fable/The Stares Nest/The Wasps Nest

Had a great night last night at the Under The Fable poetry night in Manchester’s Castle Hotel. Though wracked with nerves and real ale, I managed to perform for about 20 minutes. Longest one yet, and met with goodness throughout.

My poem ‘What I Do Not See’ is featured on http://www.thestaresnest.com today. Go read it, its great.

In other news, we have a wasps nest, so I wrote a poem.


It started at one a day

An annoyance

Gold and black

Pointless aggression

One a day is makeable

But as we slipped further

And further

Into the depths of frustrated idleness

They began pouring in

Five a day

Five an hour

Dozens an hour

Still we sat


Watching television

A wad of kitchen paper on the coffee table

Ready to pounce

I had mastered the technique

In fact

I was so capable

I would surely go down in folklore

Songs would be sung

Paintings commissioned

Chapters written

The bin began to fill up

Kitchen paper

And bodies

Viscera smeared the windows

Ensuring even in death

They ruined the view

Still we sat

As the room filled

Each step like a tightrope walk

Each day hazier

Filled with humming


Insatiable anger

They circle overhead

Banging and crashing


I sit here now

As they fill my body

Crawl through my veins

Up to my brain

A black cloud

Of barely repressed rage

My breath rattles venom

Where once was life.



Books don’t belong on shelves

In a library

Laden with dust

And false promises

Books don’t belong as a showpiece

Something to impress prospective fucks

‘Oh you’re reading Mrs. Dalloway

Well allow my legs to open’

Books don’t belong on screens

Where the sensual smell

Of paper and print and a person’s soul

Is locked behind tubes and cells

Books don’t belong in libraries

Shuffling and shoving

For the attention

Of the masses

Books belong on the bathroom floor

Pages still damp from where it was dropped in the bath

Books belong on the floor and in bed

Pages frayed and folded, over used and loved

Books belong in the excited arms of children

Their heads full of what could be

Books belong in our bags

Taken with us for fear of separation

Books belong in our hearts and our minds

Memorised and absorbed

Books belong between the fists of a father

And the silent sigh of his child

Books belong in the eyes of the vulnerable

Moments before the unthinkable happens

Books belong in the hands of the daughter

Gripping their mother one last time

Books belong in the barrel of the gun

The sheath of the sword

The ideas of the dictator

Books can save us

Or books can destroy us

You choose.


Who doesn’t enjoy a good haiku?

For those who don’t know, haiku is an ancient Japanese style of poetry, usually (although not always) consisting of three measured lines, with a syllable count of 5,7,5. They used to be fairly focused on nature, but modern haiku’s cover just about anything.

Jack Kerouac, the famous beat poet, was also a master haiku writer. Here are five of my (not as good) efforts.

For man is sculpted,
Rent and ripped by time and space,
And returns to dust.

We entered with naught,
Leafless and blinded by light,
The snake eats itself.

Eternal ferment,
Parturient symphonies,
Play out in real time.

Gossamer eyelids,
Fixed shut through my vain rapture,
See what I have done.

Stars efflorescent,
Creation and destruction,
Violent beauty.

All ©Stuart Buck


The poem below will be featured on the quite excellent Stares Nest (www.thestaresnest.com) next week.

I have been invited to perform in Manchester at the Castle Inn @ 7pm on the 20th August. First time I have actually been asked to perform rather than just turn up half cut with poems in my pocket. Exciting!

Anyway, here is ‘What I Don’t See’, a poem that will surely be included in my first collection, available from Rowanvale Books as of Oct next year.

What I Don’t See

To the BBC News,

When I look outside my window

I do not see famine

I do not see rapists and murderers

I do not see pit-bulls mauling children

I do not see poverty

Or Aids

I do not see the failings of the health system

Or a cocaine snorting politician

I do not see people growing old

And dying

I do not see gangs of feral youths

Stabbing immigrants

For iPhones

I do not see cancer

I do not see the rain

I do not see obesity

I do not see guns


Grand Theft Auto

The movies of Eli Roth

Or anything else causing violence

I do not see prostitutes

Or drug dealers

I see two sheep

One chicken

And lots of hills

Please report this at once

To cheer everyone up.

©Stuart Buck