Featured Publication – This Poem Here by Rob Walton

Our featured publication for April is This Poem Here by Rob Walton, published by Arachne Press.

When Rob Walton went into lockdown, he didn’t know that he would also go into
mourning.  Here he writes about the life and death of his dad, and how sadness seeped
into various aspects of his life. He also manages to find cheap laughs, digs at the government, celebrations of the young and old, unashamed sentimentality and suddenly disarming moments of
tenderness.

Walton is a master of musical, looping, refrains as he gets closer and closer to the troubled heart of
things.
” Deborah Alma

This unusual collection, is, in its well-crafted way, a parcel of the sad, funny, unfair and beautiful
aspects of ordinary life… as irreverent as it is poignant, this is the ideal collection for you if you want
your deepest forebodings about the state of the UK confirmed, with a side helping of big belly
laughs.
” Kate Foley

Walton’s lines are expressed neatly and sparely, yet hold such purity and poignancy beneath them
that they stop you in your tracks.
” Jane Burn

this poem here

Christ, if I went through all the regrets
I have about my dad and the things
I could and should have done
I’d write poem after poem after book
and it would be a full collection
dissected in some online journal
or some blog and recommended
to someone’s 167 twitter followers.

God, if I went through all the regrets
I had about my dad when I was a full-grown adult
it would make an award-avoiding pamphlet
that one person would ask me to sign
and I’d spell their name wrong
even after I’d carefully asked them.

Jesus, if I were to write about the fact
my dad saw me in some strange pantomimes
and acting the goat on other stages
and even telling so-called jokes on the boards
of Kinsley Labour Club and how I regret
he never saw me reading poetry
never saw me reading poems
in celebration of him and my mum
well that

That would be a poem.
That would be this poem here.
That he’d never read.
That he’d never hear.

and in lockdown

and in lockdown
it seems perfectly reasonable
to get tearful
over the Jersey Royals
untouched and forgotten about
in the cupboard under the sink

and now the girls
have gone back to their mum’s
you’ll have the Jersey Royals
on your own
on their own
or with a bit of butter
but snide Lurpak
won’t help them pass
the lump in your throat

June 1 st

What did you do on your first day back, darling?

Lick Yusuf.

Oh, right, and what did Yusuf do?

Nothing. Him on top of Shira.

Mmm. And did Ms Key do anything about this?

Couldn’t. Twins stuck on her legs.

The Alton twins?

No, them in helper’s hair,
play with him mask.

And how do you feel about going back tomorrow?

Stay home. Watch stupid men on telly.

Prime Minister’s Questions

Are there any other countries you’d like to break?
If you grow it out a bit, would you like me to cut it into a bob?
Do you miss the good old days of racist newspaper columns?
Is the dandruff cultivated to evoke sympathy?
Will you answer the question about the inflatable Cummings?
Do you understand the difference between a million and a billion?
Who’s your favourite bully?
How about a nice lie-down?
Who’s spaffing now?
Could you tell the House which of his houses your dad is in at the moment?
Is it the Ready Brek that makes you glow inside?
Have you got Brexit done?
Do you miss the good old days of the zip wire and the flags?
Are there any other countries you’d like to break?

like in the olden days

I want my daughters’ friends to come for tea
I want to serve them uninteresting pasta
with a jar of Aldi tomato sauce
and some veggie parmesan
and maybe
I don’t know
a coke float
or an ice cream
or pretty much anything really
I just want my daughters’ friends
to come for tea

like in the olden days
you know
like in the olden days

Scunthorpe-born Rob Walton lives with his daughters in Whitley Bay.  His poetry is published by The Emma Press, Strix, Butcher’s Dog, Culture Matters, Atrium and others.  His short fiction is published in the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada and New Zealand.  He collated the New Hartley Memorial Pathway text.  Twitter: @anicelad.  

This Poem Here is available to purchase from the Arachne Press website.

The Darker Side of Val Doonican – Rob Walton

The Darker Side of Val Doonican

O’Rafferty gets into his motor car
and thinks, This is great, this
but then he spots McGinty and his goat
leaving the shebeen
and O’Rafferty thinks again,
Will you look at him
with his fucking goat!
And so he puts his foot
to the floor and mows them down
then comes back for more
in reverse gear.

Word is he’s now got his eye
on Delaney’s donkey.

 

Rob Walton is from Scunthorpe, and lives in Whitley Bay.  Poetry and short fiction for adults and children published by The Emma Press, Butcher’s Dog, Frances Lincoln, Bloomsbury, IRON Press, Red Squirrel, Northern Voices, Arachne and others.  He collated the New Hartley Memorial Pathway text.   He sometimes tweets @anicelad

post – Rob Walton

post

i
Sad news today, folks. Alan English off Scotter Bottom passed at the weekend. Not the Alan English from Cleethorpes with the unicycle, this one had a proper pushbike took the free papers to the old folks’ home in a co-op carrier bag.

ii
I’ve been asked by my cousin Maureen Burn was Shaw went to Australia with her first husband dead now that was Mick known as Pob off Plymouth Road let me know and I’ll pass messages on she’s only got months.

iii
Remember them gigs organised by them who had the pub in the precinct they had all the top bands from that Channel 4 one with her who went right off the rails and they were all introduced by him with the glasses who got done for drugs and was said to have four kiddies by four different lasses but I don’t know how he did it because he was nowt to look at.

iv
Anyone remember Denis’s Denims on Church Road used to be a church there then was a big denim warehouse not made of denim but stocked it hahaha got all the skinny ones for the kids and everyone went even my dad once lol him who had it also had a stall on the indoor market behind that second-hand bloke who was a Labour councillor who went independent and split the Labour vote and I never swear but I had him down for a right wanker.

v
Thanks to all who contributed to the site but afraid this is going to be the last post because me and the other moderators have had to put up with some abuse not from the regulars it’s just not worth it so we might resurface in some other form or we might not resurface in any form other form or otherwise.

 

Rob Walton is from Scunthorpe, and lives in Whitley Bay.  Poetry and short fiction for adults and children published by The Emma Press, Butcher’s Dog, Frances Lincoln, Bloomsbury, IRON Press, Red Squirrel, Northern Voices, Arachne and others. He collated the New Hartley Memorial Pathway text. He sometimes tweets @anicelad

 

Items that weren’t on the shopping list – Rob Walton

Items that weren’t on the shopping list

John got an Elvis Hawaiian throw
with a fringe
for two pound fifty
at a car boot sale in Hornsea.
All the way from Memphis that, love.

Steve got a Bruce Forsyth album –
Bruce was singing, not dancing or gurning –
from that second hand shop in Hinderwell.
Are you a big Bruce fan, like?

I got a Dewar’s whisky water jug
at the Gala in Buckden
when Mark and Stefan did the fell race.
There’s a little crack there, love, but none of us is perfect.

Apparently, one of Simon’s friends
got an axe from the flea market at Tynemouth Station
but this is going back a while.
That’s just blood: shouldn’t take much shifting.

 

Rob Walton is from Scunthorpe, and lives on Tyneside.  Published by The Emma Press, Butcher’s Dog, Firewords Quarterly, IRON Press, Red Squirrel, Northern Voices, Arachne and others.  He collated the New Hartley Memorial Pathway text.