Declining Nude

The first task in Zoe Quinlan’s Macc Writers’ workshop on 1st. February was to sketch our neighbour, not with the customary words, but with pen, pencil, whatever we had to hand. We tentatively set to work in pairs, most of us managing some sort of credible likeness – providing they were viewed from the right distance! Here’s a bit of nonsense, the best I could do with an art-related writing exercise.

Declining Nude

With his eyes he caressed me, assessed me

and the gaze was disarming but lewd

and on canvas, possessed me, undressed me.

It was brazen and terribly rude,

so his portrait distressed me, obsessed me

when I thought how it might be construed.


I couldn’t handle the public scandal

as they flocked in to see it and queued.

Under the heading, next to T. Emin’s bedding:

“Still Live, Still Alive: Declining Nude”.


New Year’s Resolution: Mark My Words

Having just realised that the poem I posted a few minutes ago had already been on the website since mid-January, here is a replacement in which I doff my cap (yet again) to the talents of Macclesfield-based poet and friend, Mark Rawlins.

New Year’s Resolution: Mark My Words

My resolution’s write like Mark,

always rhythmic, often dark.

His politics are sharp and swingeing.

He has the Tory true blues cringing.

His words drill through you, never bore.

His skilful use of metaphor

and simile flash like the stars,

is red and shimmers, just like Mars;

alliteration boldly broaches,

our subconscious minds encroaches.

Adept with onomatopoeia:

clitter clatter, bing bang hear

and never once do his words clunk,

even when his subject’s punk.

Imagine Mark with hair in spikes

and bovver boots in place of Nikes,

kite high, crowd surfing to The Clash an’

studs and chains the height of fashion.

In Verse v Verse, his repetition

sees off all the competition,

sees off all the competition

(in my case, with expedition).

It’s so unfair. It ain’t half gallin’

Sod it! I’ll leave it to Mark Rawlins.