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1 Minute Read


pity poor Dante

he rides upon a rouncey

Rocinante rears

his inestimable neigh

as fierce as any dray-horse

caught in flagrante

he makes the bouncey-bouncey

inside the pantry

downs ale-jug after ale-jug

shag-hot hobble-de-nag

glimpsed from the gantry

Beatrice minus flounces

a sweetest nose-gay

against the jeers her ear-plugs

white-noise as any Noh-play


poor Don Quixote

his castles all rotary

reins Rocinante

nostrils plugged with morning dew

nibbles tough-tooth feverfew

wills a full goatee

furious where once so fey

fetlock and forelock

Cyrano De Bergerac

wore a nose a paper-cup

pity poor Beatrice

wounded once if not twice [ once ]

on the rebound tense

collapses with an ague

not redeemed by feverfew


him they garrotte

solder-off his testicules

left a hanging nowt

where once a fullness rose

recompense? a bag of oats

farewell old rouncey !

Rocinante gone to glue

galvanised bath health-spa-ice

mortals fall no recompense

as Marxists yell ‘Avanti!’


pity poor Dante

his rearing Rocinante ,

still rides out on his rouncey

About Matthew Caley

Matthew Caley's debut Thirst [Slow Dancer, 1999] was nominated for The Forward Prize for best 1st collection. It was followed by The Scene of My Former Triumph [Wrecking Ball, 2005]; Apparently [Bloodaxe, 2010] and
his 'lost second collection' Professor Glass [Donut, 2011]. He's read everywhere from The National Portrait Gallery to Wayne-Hollway Smith's salons, The Gypsy Hill Tavern, The Novi Sad International Poetry Festival, Prague's Alchemy, for Paris Lit Up; at The Globe Theatre to The Morden Tower, Newcastle upon Tyne and on BBC Radio 3's The Verb. His 5th collection Rake is just out from Bloodaxe http://www.bloodaxebooks.com/ecs/product/rake-1110
and he's launching it at many readings and festivals:

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