I Threw Out All My Pants Today

I threw out all my pants today.

I did not like them anyway.

They were too tiny for my arse,

I’ve set my bottom free at last

It’s time to let my derriere

get loose and let it get some air

because, to tackle tasks with ease

your vulva needs a steady breeze.

Acrylic, nylon, polyester,

stuff that lets infections fester;

if it’s designed by blokes and chaps

it is not healthy for your flaps.

I do not know why anyone

would want to have a hungry bum

and spend, oh, twenty quid a go

on things that give you camel toe.

I’ve swapped my high leg, low rise lace,

my itchy guts, my squinty face,

for pants extending up my torso –

like a sturdy vest, but more so.

They come in packs of five, or triples,

they nestle underneath my nipples.

They are not made of see through netting,

they mop up when my boobs are sweating.

The question that we all should ask

is – Are these pants that multi-task?


Is it really underwear

if you can’t keep your keys in there?

I cannot run or dance or laugh

with my butt cheeks cut in half.

I cannot argue or clap back

with knickers half way up my crack

I can’t think clearly, I am edgy

when I have a giant wedgie.

These times are tough, resolve must harden

so be kind to your lady garden.

Be kind to yourself, full stop.

And let your body flow and flop

all over rigid patriarchy.

I’ve had it with this ‘should’ malarkey:

‘Should’ and ‘must’ can take a hike –

I’ll wear the fucking pants I like.

Things That Have Fallen Out Of My Nursing Bra Upon Removal For The Purpose Of Love-Making

1. Crumbs (miscellaneous)

2. Banana peel (contemporaneous)

3. TV remote (a small one, truly)

4. At least one breast (large, unruly)

5. A crayon (from Macdonald’s, green)

6. A biscuit that I had not seen

7. Every piece of information about my body and sexuality that I have internalised via the Cosmo Sex Quiz and the pervasive misogyny of a patriarchal, capitalist culture for over thirty years so far

8. A different, screwed up nursing bra.


I must bear the lead lined apron
For you are centre stage.
I hold up your lines
And canisters
While they frame your tiny chest
And take a shot.

I ask when I can hold you
on my knees again.
Lights up behind the glass,
We spot your marks together.
We search your sunny soul
for clouds.


I swung on that rope like the lights

Of a racing car

High-beamed and arcing and

Beating out time.


Only the hawk saw, hung low

In the monochrome,

The black of my legs spreading

Lines in the frost,


His cry and my creaking a

Shadow of sleeping; the

Sun creeping over the

Valley’s far side.

Westminster Bridge

That it would happen on a bridge
Was inevitable, I suppose.
That thin saliva strand
between the beggars in the south
and the beating heart
of empire
that Monet loved
And I did too.
I’d forgotten.

I used to walk between the lines
in those days, from
do you mind to
fuck you miss
at each end of the river
with the wind blowing up
from the banks in the distance,
muddy with money.

And the bombs,
we’ve forgotten, there have been so many,
but they used to call them in, then.
Nothing sudden about
our Troubles.
New bodies in the tunnels,
with the navvy bones, forgotten.

No hire cars then or odd little
stabbing motions on sunny afternoons, Britain first
lest we forget forensics teams
shot from helicopters, kneeling
for all the world
like bunches of flowers
left by the railing.

We’re marked as safe, we happy few:
Spinning wheels and far away curses cannot touch us here.
No blood on our hands.
My cabbie calls them pricks
and will not go
south of the river.

And we keep calm and carry on
for this is London.
And in a week or two,
We’ve forgotten.

In Case

For the bathers, I am the oracle.
Supplicants gratefully received
By me, the nodding goddess,
Watching in case they drown.

The sunbeams are towelled out of their hair.
I draw the curtain on monsters
And notice again, the holes
Left by the cords I cut.

It is late then, when she asks
Will I live to be one hundred,
How long do people stay alive?
I don’t know, I answer.
There is no if for this, no but.

And she doesn’t want to be six, any more, she’ll stick at five.
You’re a bit young to be worrying about death, I say,
And turn off the fairy lights
In case they burn the house down.

Running Through Stroud Cemetery Looking Down On The Heavens

The hubris of running full tilt
Through the churchyard.
The rests and the legs and the lungs I’m alive
And the beat of my feet I’m alive past the
Leaning cross mossed
Dead Victorians,
Spire cocked and spinning
Above, fat with crows.
And that tender white line
Hoots and rattles below me
A spine through the cuttings,
It beckons and rolls with the
Flint teeth that clack with each
Pound on the track
And I feel our joints hang like a
Necklace of lights through the dark
Tunnel runs a live rail to the

We Want Malm.

The entrances are closed today
We hear the fire alarm
We home improvers turned away
From textiles, Daim, meatballs and Malm.

We’ve travelled miles for Swedish styles,
Spring cleaning since they changed the clocks.
For hygge’s found by walking round
a blue and yellow, sunless box.

We hope that there’s no trouble,
That nobody comes to harm.
And we hope a standard double
Fits the back seat with the Malm.

We want plate racks, pinewood dressers,
We chant, sliding glass against
our palms.
Storage units, garlic pressers,
most of all please
We want Malm.

Please don’t push the guards say,
Everybody, please stay calm,
But the crowd is shouting, louder now, that
We want Malm.

The cops are here and rumours spread
Of packages; an hour long wait
And security’s no surety
of the correct use of evacuate.

So we shuffle off to Costa:
Women, children, then the rest
We order flat whites somehow
Feeling greatly dispossessed.

Our happiness a spare part; missing,
We have no still small voice of calm.
Instead we hear our heartbeats hissing:
We. Want. Malm.