If your city never sleeps, it needs a doctor

An obese city never sleeping,
Shitting in the Thames.
It bloats with poverty and weeping
Even as its skin distends.

As fleets of flabby pre-fab flats
Flow out across the flattened hills,
We’ll all ignore the City’s sickness,
And fail to heal her ails and ills.

A pomp-pocked, prettied pestilence,
She wears a cheap cologne:
Of corporate souls, and things she stole
From cultures not her own.

For all her gawdy-tawdry masses,
Less is more and more’s the pity
Such a vileness underscores
Our poorly painted prosti-city.

This is a little thing I wrote about London. There are good bits to London too, but it’s difficult to see how we can continue to swell the population and polution in our cities with the overwhelming volume of damning research on the subject. And yet we do.

Anyhow, comments and criticism welcome – either leave a comment below, or chat to me on Twitter @Sellpen 🙂


The Game Renaissance

We are living through a renaissance. The last one went on for four hundred years, and was only noticed after it ended, so you are forgiven for missing this one. Now you know, however, so you have no excuse whatsoever to avoid indulging in it. Take advantage of the golden age in which you exist. Go get some art in you. I am, of course, talking about board games.  Continue reading “The Game Renaissance”

For the next fifteen minutes…

I’m back with a bang. A poem for World Poetry Day. Which it still is…

For the next fifteen minutes…

It’s world poetry day, or Christmas, or somebody’s birthday.

A funeral, maybe.

And you’ve promised the world to yourself and yourself to the world.

But your speech is all cloying and clogged and saccharine-sticky and gummed to the roofing tar of your mouth.

Your fingers scrape away at the keyboard, windscreen wiping the dust from your monitor, and the cobwebs from your mind.

And your brain starts to churn and to contemplate,


Summon up stories and sorceries,


Rhyme and Rhythm and Reason and Rhapsody, lyrical, spill from their chamber-chains as rusted keys find long-forgotten locks,

and words first trickle then gush.

In a pro’s repose, you repurpose purple prose, and remember, finally,

the truth.

That you are a magician.

And your powers dwell within you, and without you.

And the magic that you weave burns in the world-page.


Well, at least for the next fifteen minutes.


Bang. In before midnight. You’re welcome world. Hit me up @Sellpen on twitter, or leave me a comment. xxx

A Birthday Mishap

The postman arrived unusually early with a large lumpy package under one arm. Amy signed for it and the postman hurried away, looking back over his shoulder at the delivery. Amy took the parcel and placed it on the sofa in the front room. The delivery began to wriggle and squirm to try and free itself from its brown-paper confines. This was curious and unusual behaviour for a package. Most of them, in Amy’s experience, did not do this. She decided to intervene. Tearing open the paper, she saw a small dark blue Dragon that was struggling in a doomed-but-determined sort of a way against the cellophane that bound its wings, and trying to bite through some duct tape with little success. Amy fetched the scissors and freed it. Continue reading “A Birthday Mishap”

Do Actors Deserve To Be Paid?

Do actors deserve to be paid?


Thanks for reading. As always, you can leave me a comment or get in touch on Twitter @SellPen.





…all right, look, this is a complicated question and deserves a slightly longer answer than that. I’m a little worried to be writing this because I’m sure that I’m going to tread on a few toes here, but this is a very important topic to me, so I’ll throw my tuppence into the great swirling void that is the internet. Continue reading “Do Actors Deserve To Be Paid?”

April 2016 – A look back in hunger


Well now! It’s been quite a month. Over my two-week posting period of March I managed four challenge pieces and an article. I promised to do better in April. In fact, I promised 30 pieces. This didn’t happen. There are several excuses I could make for this but none of them are very compelling. Suffice to say that I failed my April objective. But has it been a total wash? Let’s take a look. Continue reading “April 2016 – A look back in hunger”

Teacup Universe

The kettle hums and whistles as it sings
Of unborn civilisations soon to die.
Those sepia worlds of sodden, soaking things
That spill their innards into spoiling sky.
A thousand fractal eddies writhed and roiled,
A million possibilities emerged
A click and silence, as the water boiled
And from the metal juggernaut it surged.
The teabag peoples were a valiant race,
Who fought and struggled bravely to the last
But under piping onslaught, met disgrace
And bled brown blood to stain the china glass.
If only those immortal Gods could see,
The universes sundered for their tea.

This is a sonnet I wrote for the JoshCrisp 20 Minute Poetry Challenge. I was set the title, and this happened. As ever, feedback is welcome on twitter @SellPen.