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Poetic Republic Poetry Prize 2012

The deadline for this poetry competition is 30 April 2012. The rules are:

Any subject. Style: Poetry or Prose Poetry. Maximum 42 lines. Previously unpublished work. £7 per poem.


I’ve submitted, and to abide by the rules, the submitted poems won’t be available until judging is over.

Not what I consider my best, but Poo the Dog and Gut Instinct I intend to submit to Structo, and the latter is too long, as is Ending Epigraph, which works better heard than read (imo).

Given that the top three last year were narrative poems, and the fourth was a gem in rhyming couplets (One Last Request), I have little chance of winning anything; the top 48 are to be made available in an e-book though, so it’s worth submitting for a slim chance of a larger audience.

All judging is by entrants; contrapositively, only those who engage in the entire three-round judging process can win. Which gives me an opportunity to read some unpublished poetry.

Comments welcome.

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Soy single cream

I was accosted by a shop assistant and persuaded to buy 3 litres of short-dated soy milk recently, so thought I’d experiment with making soy single cream. This recipe is adapted from: http://www.veganbaking.net/component/content/article/40-recipes/frostings-icings-and-sauces/209-soy-cream.html. Makes about 7 fl oz.

16 fl oz (2 US cups) unsweetened soya milk
1 fl oz (1 tbsp) rapeseed (canola) oil
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp cider vinegar

Put the soya milk on a low heat and reduce to 1/3 of its volume (just over 5 fl oz), stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming. (If you’re in a hurry, then simmering would probably work just as well.) Whilst still warm, add the remaining ingredients and blend with an electric hand-blender/liquidizer for about a minute. Refrigerate.

Tastes creamier than most shop-bought soy cream.

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Live Music Highlights of 2011

#1 Gordon Gaino joining Clap Your Hands Say Yeah for a cover of ‘Kiss Off’ at End of the Road, 2–4 September

#2 Fucked Up’s lead singer, Damian, giving me a fireman’s lift and carrying me whilst moshing through the crowd and performing the second song of their set, Rainbow, Birmingham, 8 May

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Haiku with Ta


The air smells good here
Parting over tupperware
Street lights change to green


Over I write on
don’t discard it draw and write
Whispering away


Watching trains with a drink
Wait! You can’t get thrown out
Meet you there or later


Sitting in his hole
You like dubstep and hip hop
’got any juice?

[make up]

it’s lips or eyes
dot green dot gold to slide
hide in plain sight

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You’re not going to save me

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Robert Frost


Written June 21st, New England.

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I bought: ‘The teachings of Don Juan: a Yaqui way of knowledge’ by Carlos Castaneda.

ISBN-13: 978-0140030617

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Papa was a rodeo

The most beautiful, amazing piece of music I’ve heard this year; and the second time I’ve cried on 4-MeO-PCP. Listened to it on my Grado SR60s and wept until my tears had flushed the scabs out of my nose. Music is dead; I’d better make some.

via Tina:

All 69 Love Songs Played At Once

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Gerwyn’s Couch Medicine

This is a recipe I cooked up for my friend Gerwyn when he came down with a chesty cough as a secondary infection following a fever, poor chap.

Makes about a days’ worth of doses.

2–3 inch piece fresh ginger, unpeeled, thinly sliced
2 pts (1.2 l) cold water
1 tsp powdered licquorice root

2 tsp blackstrap molasses & 3 tsp golden syrup
(or: 2 tsp black treacle & 3 tsp light brown sugar; or: 5 tsp honey; etc.)

1–2 oranges, juiced
3 shots (75 ml) white sambuca (40% ABV)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Put the cold water and sliced ginger in a pan, bring to the boil, and simmer for about an hour (until reduced to 1/2 pt or less). Add licquorice root and simmer for a few minutes.

Add sweeteners and stir on very low heat until dissolved.

Remove from heat and add extras. Top up to 1 pt (600 ml) with hot water and keep in a thermos. Sip or glug as desired.

Additional: Gerwyn also recommends mixing with a hot blackcurrant drink.

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