. . . arse, by Mark Totterdell


I’m building an intricate mansion
from an infinite stockpile of stone,
and only I know where each stone has to go,
so I’m building it all on my own.

You might think that house is this poem,
but that would be really old hat.
It’s a stale metaphor that we’ve all used before,
don’t you think that I’m better than that?

I don’t simply write about writing,
how low do you think I would stoop?
Instead I’m now writing of writing of writing,
and on in an infinite loop.

I’m turning so self-referential,
it shows I have talent and class.
It would be no surprise if, in front of your eyes,
I disappeared up my own…

Mark Totterdell’s poems have appeared widely in magazines and have occasionally won prizes. His collections are This Patter of Traces (Oversteps Books, 2014) and Mapping (Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2018).’


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