thoughts on craig raine’s gatwick*


thoughts on craig raine’s gatwick

as if according to wiccan principles or

karma’s schoolyard tit for tat, old craig raine’s latest

hornéd spree of underworked verse in the LRB called forth the curse

of hissy twits from the red-sash brigade,  critiques of little greater wit

than raine’s parading of his need to word-fuck

every wrinkle-free chick within his neck-chained reading

glasses’  fucking range as if

the disparity in age is why

the pome bit. well

do old dogs still paw buried

memories of gnawing lust like

treasure bones? if yes who else

should write such pomes? or is lit’s report of lived experience

owned only by yoof’s sententious

remit? fuck orf

you kids with your rock-red abs and

puritanic fits. what we’d more better abhor is this:

for much too long the published poetaster’s pulpit

of bully has been an unreflected sniper’s nest, targets picked

off from which at the safely incredible

distance of cluelessness

(that is)

(when last the time lord raine caught glimpse)

(of an unforgiving surface with his own sad can)

(death-naked  in it?)



*this poem refers to THIS and THIS


    1. “Poetry” in the Anglophone sphere is now, more than ever, it seems, Dear Mimi, in need of a barium-and-driveway-gravel colonic


    2. PS (I’ve worked a hidden transatlantic pun into this poem, btw: “Gat” is yankee slang for “gun” [as in gattling gun] and “wick” is UK-ish for “penis”… so, the title “thoughts on craig raine’s gatwick” ties in with the bit about a poetaster firing from his “sniper’s nest” at the end of the poem. If I were a famous poet I wouldn’t explain but as few will read this, and armies of nerds won’t be poring over it for hidden meanings for years to come, the onus is on me to out the clues myself… occasionally. Larf)


    3. PPS Some wag wrote a limerick, at the Guardian, I think, attacking Raine:

      There once was a poet who went
      To very great lengths to invent
      An excuse for his boner
      Which shamed its poor owner
      And turned his shorts into a tent.

      Which I found sort of weak. The fourth line needs a re-write. So I came up with:

      There once was a poet who went
      To very great lengths to invent
      An excuse for his boner
      (although “bone’s” a misnomer)
      so all of his poems were bent.


  1. the biggest problem i have with the “POME” (besides its mere mediocrity) is the word “splayed” – so vulgar! – and used so early in a brief and fleeting encounter with a young woman in cute boots

    more thoughts, no time, at work


    1. Mimi! At work… ? Even my URL is NSFW! laugh

      For me, the mediocrity on offer is the cardinal sin… the vulgarity can be a tool like any other; Ms Anne (Lady Sexton) wrote “Give me your nether lips/all puffy with their art”, for example, and I have no problem with it. Raine, on the other hand, is, first of all, a member of that club of Interchangeably Sucky Poetasters (like the atrocious Carol Ann Duffy and the post-Birkenstock cliché-slinger Ron Silliman and the nearly-impossible Billy Collins and the sub-Hughesian Hair Poet Jorie Graham) who make me wish Poetry would finally just go the way of pottery, as another middle class, mid-20th century hobby of useless self-expression, and go very quiet… back into the locked diaries and church basements. Now that’s it largely just columnized twee and sweaty “slams” for semi-literate kids, what serious thinker/feeler should care? So there’s that.

      Even worse, for me, is Raine’s phony truth-telling in “Gatwick”… the “frank” assault on the non-nubile woman who had the misfortune of sitting too close to his target. Surely, truth-telling should start with the Poet his/herself? But all Raine does is flatter himself and demonize middle age in a woman. It’s not on. It speaks to his utter dishonesty and unseriousness and his ear full of cork as a writer with a platform.

      Speaking of Vulgarity… I’ve decided to refashion a sliver of one of JJ’s delicate letters, to Nora, as a fine Pome:

      My love for you allows me to pray
      to the spirit of eternal beauty and tenderness mirrored
      in your eyes or fling you down under me on
      that softy belly of yours and fuck you up
      behind, like a hog riding a sow, glorying in the very stink
      and sweat that rises
      from your arse

      Dublin 2 December 1909


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