Double Negative Party, by Melanie Branton

Double Negative Party

There ain’t no party like a double negative party,
ain’t nothing better you can get.
You think that sounds exciting?
Well, you ain’t heard nothing yet!

There ain’t no party like a double negative party.
Nothing never felt so great!
Don’t never start till midnight
and don’t never end till really late.

You’ve heard that they’re “bad grammar”?
You’ve heard they “don’t make sense”?
You’ve heard they are “confusing”,
sound “uncouth” or “cause offence”?

The French use double negatives!
The Polish use them, too!
There ain’t no foreign language
that supports that snobbish view!

They were used by William Shakespeare
and Chaucer! Goodness sakes!
Ain’t no-one gonna tell me
Will and Geoffrey made mistakes!

There ain’t no party like a double negative party –
the guest list’s full of stars!
Ain’t no-one who is no-one
would give that bash a pass.

There ain’t no party like a double negative party –
Not nowhere in no nation.
No-one don’t want nothing else –
just an invitation.

Melanie Branton is a spoken word artist from North Somerset who is totally obsessed with cats, linguistics, Vikings and vegetables. Her published collections are Can You See Where I’m Coming From? (Burning Eye, 2018) and My Cloth-Eared Heart (Oversteps, 2017)


Model Boat Club Blues by Charlotte Harker

The decline began after a spree of sinkings.
I think it was a submarine.
Someone is disobeying the finely streamlined rules.
I am facing a flotilla of ruse,
I’ve got those model boat club blues.

I am losing the plot and my concentration,
I keep getting the bow and the stern mixed up,
I’m caught in a storm at a lake so artificial,
Infighting and resignation over the sailing schedule,
Should a clipper give way to a frigate?
Yet more dispute,
I’ve got those model boat club blues.

In the clubhouse I’ve lost direction and rudderless
I struggle to make a course correction
to keep this armada in some order,
but there is no denying we are taking on water; oh whatever,
I am always on board,
to hell with the weather,
this is my ship and I’m going down with it,
I’ve got those model boat club blues.

Charlotte Harker is a Writer, Artist and Performance Poet. Her first collection of illustrated poems ‘The Wear and Tear of Conversation’ was published in 2018. Further information can be found at


We are open for business!

Hello, it’s been a while! Due to various technical gremlins, we’ve had to be off line for a while. But the good news is that everything is sorted and we are ready to roll again!

I would love to see all your poems and submissions are now open. Feel free to email me on the new address,

I’m looking forward to reading all of your wonderful comedy poems.

If anyone has been using the old address, then I do apologise. I’ve been locked out of it for a while now.

Thank you so much for your patience!

Robert x


Heathcliffe Enters Love Island, by Mark Connors

The new islander is something to behold
with his thick black hair and heavy black clothes
dressed for a winter on the wild, wild moors
but today it’s in the late 30s.
With all of the contestants already paired up,
he broods by the pool, under a parasol,
emitting nothing but the odd mirthless chuckle.
The buff boys with scar-less skin and insane white teeth
don’t see him as a threat, until the girls
huddle up, whisper, giggle a little too often,
now immune to cheap cheeky chap smiles
and made for ITV2 chat up lines.
Oh yes, some women love a bastard.

One by one, the islanders visit
The Beach Hut, but not to reveal
their coupling agendas but to talk about him.
the boys deride his inability to fit in,
be one of the lads, have a bit of a laugh.
But the girls are genuinely intrigued,
and not just by superficialities,
transfixed by his stares, smirks and sneers,
drawn to his darkness and elemental moods
like silicone and hyaluronic moths.
“A just haven’t got a clue what he’s thinkin,”
says Miranda from Birkenhead.
“Every time he looks at us, me heart falls out me arse,”
says Felicity-Jane from Wallsend.

Then come the challenges. First, arm wrestling.
Heathcliff finally strips off to a black loin cloth
and the girls get to see his old latticed wounds,
festooned behind considerable body hair.
He goes through the boys one-by-one, without
so much as a bead of sweat on his brow.
Then it’s problem solving, a general knowledge quiz
and not one of the lads can compete with Heathcliff.
So ,he wins, gets to stay in The Hideaway
and one lucky woman will join him.
He chooses a brunette called Cathy, from Hull.
“I wanted him the first tarme a saw him,” she says.
“I’ll give him the tarme of his larfe.”
But when she enters The Hideaway that night,
Heathcliff opens a window to let another Cathy in.

Mark Connors is a writer from Leeds. He has been widely published in magazines, webzines and anthologies in the UK and overseas. His debut poetry collection, Nothing is Meant to be Broken, was published by Stairwell Books in 2017.

For more info visit
Twitter: @markeconnors2


Fianna, ‘In the soup’ (after William Shakespeare)

Should I compare you to a bowl of soup?

You are less sloppy and more glutinous —

yet nothing could contain your bubbling gloop

so well as clay (twice fired and round you trussed).

There’s some mulligatawny in your mix

since spice and heat and noodles come to mind

and when I see you up to your old tricks

then bouillabaisse and bouillon seem too kind.

Gazpacho looks volcanic, just like you

but cools, as you do not, on summer’s night.

On simmer, you approximate to stew

with marrow-fat and bones in constant fight.

But ajo blanco added to your dish

would give me hope you’d turn out far less pish.

Fianna (Fiona Russell Dodwell) is from Fife and lives in the Fens. She has had about 60 poems published both in print and in online poetry magazines.


Paul Waring, ‘Bob Hope Saved Me’

I lost my chuckle muscles
became a po-faced bloke —
once humour had deserted me
I couldn’t get the joke.

I never saw the funny side
of best friends’ comic wit —
when they delivered a punchline
I look confused by it.

I failed to find a doctor
who knew what I could take.
I went to see Marie Antoinette –
but she only offered cake.

This went on for months until
a friend suggested dope.
I found the cure by smoking it.
Praise be to god Bob Hope.

Paul Waring is a retired clinical psychologist who once designed menswear and was a singer/songwriter in Liverpool bands. Paul’s poetry has been published in journals and online magazines including Prole, High Window, Atrium, Algebra of Owls, The Curlew, Clear Poetry, Ofi Press, Amaryllis and The Lampeter Review.


Dora Wright ‘Down in the Woods Today’

If you go down in the woods today
you’re sure of a big surprise
there’s things going on in the woods today
you’ll never believe your eyes,
There’s people parking in their cars
some who’ve stumbled out from bars
come to see the action there
come to see some bodies bare
There’s “dogging” happening everywhere
Down in the woods today.

If you go down to the woods today
its best to go in your car
and take along binoculars
you wont have to travel far
The word goes round they all arrive
who said you shouldn’t drink and drive
they park their cars in open view
so you can share the action too
you should see the things they do
down in the woods today

If you go down to the woods today
you’ll get an education
from one on one, to three at play
and some oral stimulation
There’s even cans of dairy whipped cream
that splatter the windows covered with steam
as “Dogger’s” move from car to car
watching action completely bizarre
underneath the old “Dog Star”
down in the woods today

My name is Dora Wright I’ve been writing for nine years and have had some things published online and in local papers and magazines. I’m a member of three writing groups one of which has begun Open Mic nights which I’m really enjoying participating in.


Hannah Linden, ‘How to tell if you’re in the wrong story’, (after Louisa Campbell)

None of the animals will talk to you.
Your best friend is not a cricket.
Your hair breaks when it grows below your shoulders.

The frog you kissed sued you for harassment.
Instead of being put in jail and having ‘an adventure’
you got community service where you fell asleep
during the powerpoint presentation and missed the bit
about how to find the magical talismans whilst picking up litter
and all you found was a pair of dentures and a half-full
can of lager which you were tempted to drink.

You can’t think in short sentences that fit
neatly onto pages any more. Weird
line breaks keep appearing

You’re not sure that a subscription to Netflix
constitutes a happy ever after, especially
after they cancelled your favourite show
even though the season ended
on a cliff-hanger. And the hero
is now getting too old to play
the part of the prince convincingly
even if they change their minds.

You’re not sure binge-watching
several seasons over a weekend
is, technically, being in a story.

That media studies course you went on
has played havoc with the meta-levels.
You keep being out there when you’re
supposed to be in here and that’s
not the purpose of stories is it?

Hannah Linden, with Gram Joel Davies, won the Cheltenham Festival Compound Poetry Competition 2015, was Highly Commended in the Prole Laureate Competition 2015, and was longlisted for The Rialto Nature Poetry Competition 2018. Her poetry has been published in varied magazines and anthologies, most recently with And Other Poems; Ink, Sweat and Tears; Amaryllis; and The Interpreter’s House and is upcoming in Magma, Lighthouse and Domestic Cherry. She is working towards her first collection, Wolf Daughter, which explores the impact of parental suicide. Twitter @hannahl1n


Robert Garnham, ‘Poem’


He is wearing a lanyard
He’s obviously ever so important
He’s allowed right in to
Anyplace he pleases
The lanyard flaps
Whenever there are breezes
He. Has. Got. A. Lanyard.

He is rocking that lanyard.
It opens doors and gates.
He’s allowed right through
Different kinds of portals
You have to admit
He’s not like us mere mortals
He. Has. Got. A. Lanyard.

He looks so important in that lanyard.
Trouble is, that’s all he’s wearing.
His nakedness is stark
In all the elemental
It doesn’t take much
To check out his credentials.
He. Has. Got. A. Lanyard.

Over the years Robert has headlined at the top spoken word nights in the UK such as Bang Said the Gun in London, Evidently in Manchester, Hammer and Tongue in both Bristol and Brighton. He has won or been placed second at slams in Exeter, Wolverhampton, Edinburgh, Swindon and London, and performed at the National Slam Finals at the Albert Hall in 2018. He has recently headlined at the Duplex in New York and the King Kong Klub in Berlin. He often appears at comedy nights and has supported John Hegley, Arthur Smith and Paul Sinha.

His first collection was published in 2016 by Burning Eye Books, and a second in 2018, and he was long listed for the Saboteur Awards in the category Spoken Word Artist of the Year for three years running,p. He is currently working with the musical jazz improvisation group Croydon Tourist Office, and has narrated and appeared in two short films, ‘Professor in the Bathroom’, and ‘Beard Envy’. Robert provides workshops for adults and sixth form students in comedy poetry, and has been Poet in Residence at the Artizan Gallery in Torquay, and on the LGBT radio magazine show ‘Listen Out’ in Exeter.