WWEOT: Prose Poem

Hey all,

So I’ve been researching the Women who eat on Tubes phenomenon, what’s that all about? London Tubes, facebook group of 23, 294 members as of today, all admiring stealth photos taken of women eating on tubes. The guy who came up with this idea says its because he noticed more women than men were eating on the tube. Huge backlash, but the group is still in existence and opinion articles are battling it out.

I’d just like to share a prose poem I wrote in reaction to this, also I’ve been reading up on the defence of the group, (I’m afraid that included an awful Daily Mail article, where he basically said shut up to all people who have a problem with the WWEOT group, not great). So this has been written from different reactions to the group. Some of it is taken from comments on facebook pages, some of it from news articles. I assure you I am reliable. Enjoy your meal.



What are you talking about, the sandwich isn’t that big? well if that’s how you’re being-
Obviously you misjudged the time and the place for this snack.
Make it stop? Well the tube does stop anyway so-it’ll be over by then but not
Ended, moments have a way of stretching out, the internet has many eyes and they’re not all
Nice some of them are going to judge you.

What’s with the feminist reaction anyway? They’re basically trolls it’s just
Harmless fun, like studying animals in a zoo,
Or a bird in a cage, look at them peck and chew like large mice.

Enough of that, keep your jokes non-obscene, keep it PC
All these misreactions, I didn’t mean,
That it’s only women is weird? But that’s why it’s funny, because women should

Only eat at lunchtime, or home not on public transport
Neither should men really, it’s a dirty habit, intrusive to eat in public.

That’s not what we’re saying, it’s just funny, an honest moment in our lives of
Untruths, women especially they fake it all over the place, look at them, falling off the pedestal
Banal really isn’t it, bananas and McDonalds, no oral fixation.
Even if we are still taking the pictures we’re not calling the

News Articles

Campaigners hold Eating Protest against Women who eat on tubes facebook group

Why Shaving and Snacking are Feminist Issues 

Founder of Women Who eat on Tubes 




New publication call to arms!


Quim the perfect and submit some writings :D

Originally posted on a slice of imagination:

Quimperfect Tense is a new online publication and literary development group run by myself, Rebecca Audra Smith and Jacky Hillary.

We’re women-focused (hence the name), but we really just want to feature writing that treats women well as characters. We’re open to submissions from anyone, no matter what gender you identify as.

  • Our first submission window is open from April 1st – April 30th, and the (suggested) theme is The Body.
  • Short fiction should be no more than 1000 words (if you have something a bit over, please contact us) and flash fiction (less than 500) is preferred.
  • Poetry should be 40 lines or less, and again, shorter pieces are ideal.
  • We are also interested in pitches for short articles, interviews, short form comics, and creative non-fiction.

Send submissions to quimperfecttense@gmail.com before April 30th for the chance to appear in the first issue!

At the moment we are unable to…

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NaPo’ 14: Three’s a crowd

So I just wanted to name this post Three’s a Crowd, like a badly named episode of Friends. It has no hidden pun. Asides from that I’m still a day behind.


May the days be weak and well watered
may the rain be warm
investigating how to be a sleuth
praying for pandas and a life
of bamboo.




NaPo’14: Day 2

What has happened. It’s the third day and I missed out day two. Here it is, partly influenced by my re-reading Selima Hill’s Portrait of my Lover as a Horse. 

Creatures from Japanese Legend (as known through Wikipedia)


You are a famous monster

Living at the bottom of a pond

Like a frog’s sister, or the nephew of a

Wave long crashed. Some days we find you

Gnawing at cucumbers.



People say that you are aimless

As if to prove them right you head

To the desert and there crash between cacti

The lizards silently watch you flame.



I bet you never believed in ghosts before

And once stroked your reflection as all humans do



Role Attribution:

- A female ghost who lurks in an abandoned imperial palace.

- A famous water monster with a water-filled head and a love of cucumbers.

- A creature that flies aimlessly engulfed in flames.


NaPo ’14: Mslexia

Happy first day of NaPoWriMo ’14.

Really liked NaPo’s prompt but could write nothing with any of the quotes that were given me. The prompt was to use Bibliomancy, a lottery style roll round in the libraries of the world. I just kept spinning it and couldn’t stop. Here’s one of them:

first roll


So I skipped to Mslexia’s writing prompt. First found five titles I liked from the Contents of Black Cat Bone, John Burnside:

  1. Weather Report
  2. On the fairytale ending
  3. Notes toward an ending
  4. Death room blues
  5. A game of marbles

Changed one word in each:

  1. Weather Vane
  2. On the fairytale beginning
  3. Words toward an ending
  4. Summer room blues
  5. A race of marbles

Selected two to mutate into my own versions:

  1.  On the garden’s ending
  2. Summer room bed

and wrote a tiny poem called:

Summer Room Bed


At the beginning of summer we kissed faces

It felt as strange as that, like jumping

Into cold water, as immersive, as summer is.


The ice cream van pulled up outside the park

Someone rolled their car window down

Standing under the blossoming tree, we look.


Windows are bees harvesting light

Each room a honey cell and the bed

crawls into dusk.



Response to Britannia an Art Installation in Manchester City Gallery by Joanna Vasconcelos.


Sarah Miller’s beautiful poem from the Steaming: Ahead Workshop at Manchester Art Gallery

Originally posted on sarah miller:

In response to Britannia, an art installation in Manchester City Gallery by Joana Vasconcelos as part of her exhibition ‘Time Machine’ .

(Manchester City Art Gallery 15th March 2014)


Monsters and fantasies
Wild beasts and carnivals
All breasts and ovaries
Teeming into life

Fur and feathers
Flowers and pom-poms
Trim polite drawing rooms
with their enlarged vulvas out

Tasselled and stretched
into saggy boobed strippers
Twisting and cha-cha-ing
Roots writhing about

Evolution run riot
in the petri dish of art
Makes a northern rainforest
or a Manchester tart

Escaping old cotton
Layers cutting deep
to embrace hedonism
In search of its own
glittery bass beat.


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Week 11: Bookcase

Prompt 52: 11

The prompt for Week 11 is to write a poem in praise of something. I decided to try and write about my bookcase. I’m a week behind so here goes catching up:

when will I ever sort it out

when will I ever sort it out


In praise of my bookcase


It staggers like a drunk

In the surf, odd piles retreat

Then build again.

I do not predict or calculate its tide

Although I am the goddess of its hunger

Feeding it paper, words, now its mouth

Is full, from stomach to tongue

It tastes the written lies, gullet stuffed

A thrice roasted bird, a nine bird meal

A fiction diet with smatterings of crime

From the below deck shelves

that vanish behind a chair


If I could only sort you out

Once and for all

Pare you back till you are

A fine set of American teeth

All gleaming straight

Not slipping from the gums

I need a dentist with a set of drills

My badger mind digs itself in

Behind the twice stacked shelves

It finds the old ones, the broken bodies

Here I am, I sit down to chew and pulp.



What we make from nothing

Reflecting on some of the creative writing workshops that I’ve been a part of lately. There is such a variety out there at the minute. The few I’ve recently been involved with I’ve written quite strange pieces from, one of which you can find online here in The Rag-which describes itself as:

Ranty feminist poetry that doesn’t take itself too seriously. 

We enjoy a joke with our anger. The poem was written in the Stirred: Riot workshop and the exercise was to take the title of the poem Themes for Women and write from that. The last line of the poem was ‘the smell of blood’. The last line became my starting point for the poem I began.

The results of group poems from two other workshops are here:

The Suffragette conference-Landays

These landays were prompted by google auto complete poem which I had made before the workshop, so are a combination of found poetry and fresh words. It also makes a nice pattern through the repetition with some phrases being more popular than others so that the verses are like echoes that bounce back and forth and become more resilient.

Full Steam Ahead workshop-group poem

This is one of my favourite group poems with its topicality and freshness. I also loved the way people were engaging with the artwork, just as we sat around people were exploring in depth the metal hooks that attach the piece to the wall and the juxtaposition of old paintings with this modern new piece.

Breathing Lightly prose and poetry workshop-collaborative poem 

This piece has wonderful variety from line length to focus, the theme was joys of the body and the range of voices ensured a really vibrant piece of writing. Other tasks in the workshop focused on the body as a vehicle, body as a series of choices, body as a rite of passage from one form to the next. Everyone responded really well to the task, you wake up, you are an insect, start writing.

Anna Percy, Steph Pike and myself are working on a collaborative set of poems which look at themes of violence against women, suffragette history and the pursuit of beauty. We all contribute a stanza or couplet, working with found poetry, more form based poetry and the latest one is free verse tied together by a repeating phrase.

The workshop this Sunday is Stirred: Phoenixleading up to Stirred: Transformations performance night on Monday. Click on the below image to go through to the facebook event.  What words will we drag out from the nothing…  

Cycnus and the Heliades

The next big full day QUIMPERFECT TENSE workshop is on May 10th, theme:

Making Ourselves Heard. 


Full Steam Ahead: Workshop

                  Ekphrastic writings:                 Joana Vasconcelos 

The Full Steam Ahead workshop took place today at Manchester Art Gallery in response to Joana Vasconcelos-Time Machine. Myself and Sarah Logan are interested in her exploration of the feminine and masculine in her work and use of traditional female occupations in a high art context. Quote from an interview with the artist:

The sexual revolution was not that long ago, and it takes much longer for cultures and mentalities to evolve. The piece of advice I would give comes from a political rallying cry that was popularized during Mozambique’s war for independence and has become a cry for democracy in general: ‘A luta continua’ (the fight is still on)! 

Full Steam Ahead is the name of one of her artworks and I took it as a continuation of the need to keep going, keep writing in our case and talking about these issues. Here is the workshop plan with the prompts and works responded to: JV Workshop. We focused on the works that are free and permeate the art gallery, gave us a chance to reflect on the relationships between the different works also which was really good.


Britannia Writings

Here’s a short group response piece to Big Booby #2!

Big Booby #2

Big Booby #2

Bouncing off the wall like a shout;

I wish I had been so beautiful and round and full at 15 in the showers after P.E.

Page 3 tears through me like a hook.

Suddenly needing to strap my chest down. That’s new.

If only I could cover up all staring eyes,

smother and suffocate the randy boys.

The idea is like a hook in me. I lure them out with the promise of my flesh,

and when they lean in to steal a kiss, I push them down and drown them

in my pinkly burning brimming bosom.

It is a fake breast, like my mothers,

The illusion of something soft and inviting

disguising sharp hooks.

You are enormous. That or I am small again.

You hang there, waiting for your turn to speak. We are listening.

A fabricated lie

A promised cushion off glittering hooks

Breasts as armour, willing to sever it to strengthen our aim.


Thanks to the nine participants who wrote these lines and were so generous in taking part, really enjoyed writing with everyone today and felt we all explored new territory in our writing and got to hear fresh perspectives on the works. I hope everyone goes back to see more of Time Machine, on till 1st June.

This workshop was run as part of QuimPerfect Tense.


Blog Tour: How’s writing work?

This post is part of Blog Tour, a series of posts by poets and fiction writers, in which they respond to four questions about their writing process. Janet Rogerson invited me to participate and here is a link to Janet’s blog, where you can find her amazing work. At the end of this post I’ll link to the next writers and so the blogging baton will be passed on.

1) What am I working on?

At the moment I am working on two series of pieces, poetry based. One is inspired by Ellen Gallagher’s Art Work Watery Ecstatic, and the myth of  Drexciya which I will outline:

According to the myth, Drexciya were those unborn children of the pregnant African women who, having learned to breath underwater in the womb, adapted seamlessly to life in the ocean and formed a sea population.

Watery Ecstatic at the Coral Exhibition at the Manchester Museum.

Watery Ecstatic at the Coral Exhibition at the Manchester Museum.

I am trying out watery free verse forms for this project. I am also thinking about a new series called The Moth-Wife. The first one of which I’ve only just started writing. I also have an ongoing Marilyn Monroe project, I aim to have twenty pieces at least where Marilyn Monroe lives a twenty first century life. These pieces are generally four/five line stanza based and are at once personal and very distant.


2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Putting poetry into a genre is sometimes hard. I would say I am lyrical, narrative based poetry, but my particular emphasis is normally on a type of dialogue with silence, in particular women’s silence and how it operates across time and situation.


3) Why do I write what I do?

I write because I enjoy the texture of words and link words to food quite a lot. Words occupy the same nature to me as food does, so it is partly an enjoyment of that.  I’m interested in writing for people, it helps to feel like I am writing for a person. Many of my poems begin because I feel for example, that Marilyn Monroe didn’t get a chance to talk enough so I better have a try at saying something to her.


4) How does your writing process work?

I write because words are the most familiar and reassuring tools to me, but they take me to new places and challenge my thinking which enables me to try out different vocabularies. I am always looking for topics, prompts, art, anything that will help me refine what I am trying to say. Each poem is a new attempt to say something powerfully with the best words and form possible. I also write out of my own silence, and a reluctance to talk till I know what I want to say. On the page you have absolute control over what you present which you never have in daily life. 

Next Writers:

Anna Percy‘s poetry is usually concerned with love, loss, losing your mind, the natural world and the surreal. She performs regularly in both Manchester and Norwich. She runs creative writing workshops, Shaken, and has a book published with Flapjack Press Livid Among the Ghostings. 

Sarah Grace Logan is an itinerant scribbler and general layabout. She runs a writing group called CAKE.shortandsweet and workshops as QuimPerfectTense. She has performed her work at Stirred Poetry, Bad Language and Tongue in Cheek Manchester. Her first publication, Humping the Boonies is a self-published chapbook available directly from the author, or from Travelling Man, Manchester.