Neu! Boots Are Made For Walking DAY THREE – Bernadette McAloon

The Empress of Nothing

When your time comes you’ll take to the skies
fly through thin air: air
you were disappeared into for years
by nature of those who thought mother and home
meant nothing and nothing.
You’ll take with you a silken strand of pearls
leave behind stinking trotters,
swine troughing.

You’ll fly through time.
Out towards a place that exposes the lies
of emperors’ arses through the seams
of invisible trousers.
Next time round you’ll wear the crown,
redistribute the dowries.



Bernadette McAloon is studying for a PhD at Newcastle University researching Female Identities and Cultures in Poetry of Place. She has been a runner-up in the Mslexia poetry competition and winner of the Vorse Scribben section of The Basil Bunting Award. For the last fifteen years she has worked as a creative arts therapist for children’s charities in educational and social care contexts.

Neu! Boots Are Made For Walking DAY TWO – Kevin Cadwallender

The Shaming of Parts

(after Henry Reed)

[Click here for an audio version via Soundcloud]

Today we have shaming of parts.
Yesterday we had ethnic cleansing
and tomorrow morning we have
what to do after fracking, But
today we have shaming of parts.

      Swallows scythe the air
in all of the neighbours’
gardens but we must not feed
them as they are migrants
and don’t belong here. 

This is the upper class drivel, and this
is the middle and lower class drivel,
whose use you will see when you are
given your opinions and this is the
media’s power which in your case
you have not got.

      The sycamores hold the dawn in their
delicate filigree but we must intern them
as they are not indigenous. 

This is the twenty second catch,
which is always precluded by a
press release and please do not complain
if the press you read is not the press you
agree with as we are elected and you
must comply.

      The geese synchronise a ‘V’ sign
in the sky as they go back to where
they came from, never using their
fingers to signify, which in their case
they have not got. 

They call it pulling the wool,
it is perfectly easy if you have
any power in your fingers to raise
a ‘V’ sign for victory or fuckery.
Here at the point of balance
which in this case we have not got.

      The imported flowers and shrubs
in the border, silent, afraid, disbelieving,
and the bees who are all from Asia
going backwards and forwards
on registers which only take us backwards…
for today we have shaming of parts.



Kevin Cadwallender is a poet, writer, film maker, radio producer, composer and promoter. He is author of many poetry collections, the latest of which is  The World of… (Tenor Bull 2016). He was Scottish National Slam Champion 2012 and was shortlisted for a Sony Award for his BBC Radio 4 programme Voyages. He organises 10RED, a regular spoken word event in Edinburgh. He is Creative Editor at Hybrid/ House of 3, and his forthcoming poetry collection from Red Squirrel Press is entitled Polishing Demons

Neu! Boots Are Made For Walking DAY ONE – Meena Kandasamy

We Are Not The Citizens

naamaarkum kudiyallom, namanai anjom
naragathil idar padom, nadalai illom

We are not the subjects of anyone
We do not fear the god of death
We shall not suffer, were we to end in hell
We’ve no deception, we’ve no illusions.

naamarakum kudiyallom, namanai anjom
naragathil idar padom, nadalai illom

Nobody’s citizens and nobody’s slaves
Fearless of bombings and beheadings
Unscathed by the torrent of hell-fires
We do not tremble at certain death

naamaarkum kudiyallom, namanai anjom
naragathil idar padom, nadalai illom

As people, we refuse to be ruled
As people, we refuse to die
As people, we refuse to suffer
As people, we refuse to be deceived.

naamaarkum kudiyallom, namanai anjom
naragathil idar padom, nadalai illom

The lines “naamaarkum kudiyallom, namanai anjom/naragathil idar padom, nadalai illom”, adapted variously in this poem, are from the Thevaram, the classic Tamil poetry of the Bhakti poet Appar, who was persecuted by Mahendravarman, the emperor, for his faith. 

Meena Kandasamy is a poet, writer, activist and translator. Her work maintains a focus on caste annihilation, linguistic identity and feminism. She has published two collections of poetry, Touch (2006) and Ms Militancy (2010). Her first novel, The Gypsy Goddess was published by Atlantic Books (UK) and HarperCollins India in 2014.


These New Boots Are Made For Walking

Hello all, and thank you for staying with the project through thin and thinner with no prospect of dinner. The book may be out, but the website is still the place to experience the full rapid-response New Boots Experience. To celebrate the arrival of the anthology we will be publishing a new sequence of commissioned poems starting tomorrow. We’re also throwing open our doors for another period of Open Submission, so if you would like to write something reflecting the deepening unrealpolitik – the lame stumble out of Europe, the Transatlantic Trumpian Turkey Shoot, the nightmare we once knew as Syria, the Party Conference Season Theme Park , the Long Hot Winter of Discombobulation to come or Any Other Incompetent Business – then please send it as a Word document or pdf  to  

The door is ajar, but won’t stay so for long – submissions no later than midnight on October 30th.

Write. Write as if your life depended on it.

Andy & Bill


A selection of 100 poems from the initial running of the pantisocracies-coverproject is now available in book form from Smokestack (price £8.99) – go here to order.

As well as containing 100 poems from such luminaries as Ian Duhig, Roddy Lumsden and Sean O’Brien, the anthology contains an extensive foreword from W.N.Herbert setting out the context of the project and exploring the role of poetry in addressing discourse and dissent in the political world. Note also the fabulous Dury/Coleridge pastiche on the cover courtesy of Tim Turnbull.

For longer-lasting flavour and a deep clean even at lower temperatures use New Boots and PantisocraciesThe Anthology.