Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY TWENTY – Penelope Shuttle

Melania Fair

Oh Melania!    Silent soulful Melania!
You speak six languages but your silence persists.
What are you thinking, my lovely?

Statuesque Melania!    Tallest girl in Slovenia!
Tall as Michelle O or Eleanor R!
Beautiful secretive Melania!

Simon Cowell was a wedding guest.
So were Hil n Bill.
Your immobilizing wedding-gown was soon shed,

for its embroidery weighed a ton.
There’s a tad of Morticia Adams ’bout you, Queen Melania,
you’ve cast your spell on me!

Oh that Inauguration smile of yours!
Thy rose hath no canker, Super-duper Melania,

Do you suspect how subject old men are to lying?
Is that what your silence is saying?

Daughter of far Novo Mesto,
Sibyl of the fashion and cosmetics world,
let me be the dust under your shoe.

No one in my hearing will dare call you
a hollow pampered jade,
or fie you from news both fake and true.

While your lord and master mammocks away
to the general weariness of the world,
how do you spend your days, sweet Melania,

what vistas of horror and regret
behold through those hand-crafted lashes?
Ah but you persist, my gorgeous Flotus,
as doth the raven o’er the infected house.

Is your heart a stone?  If he should strike it,
will it hurt his hand?  Let us hope.

I don’t think you plan
to sing the sweetness out of that bear.
Instead you’ll wait till your mockery king of snow
melts to a White House puddle.

Then you’ll walk away, my Melania.

(with thanks to W.S. and J.M.)


Penelope Shuttle was born in 1947 in Middlesex, and has lived in Falmouth, Cornwall since 1970. Her first full-length poetry collection was The Orchard Upstairs (1980). This has been followed by several further collections, including: The Lion from Rio (1986); Taxing the Rain (1992); Building a City for Jamie (1996); and A Leaf Out of His Book (1999). A book of her Selected Poems: 1980-1996, was published in 1998. She has also written several novels and non-fiction books. Her eleventh collection of poetry, Will You Walk a Little Faster?, will appear from Bloodaxe Books in 2017.

Capitalism Stops Play (Temporarily)

Due to a coincidence in our work schedules meaning both editors will be away next week, New Boots is just resting for seven days but not actually pining for the fjords. Hopefully, there will still be a world to return to when we plan to resume posting.

So please do continue to send in lots of poems about the madness of Imperator Trumpo, the impulse cruelty of PM M, and the jolly japes of laughable faux FO Sec BoJo.

If any of these issues have affected you, send to azjackson65 at gmail dot com, or contact me by direct message on Effbok or in Much Twittering.

In the meantime, here is a pic of Trumpo being punched by Polar Bear Number Six (the one that shouts ‘I am not a number, I am a free polar bear!’ while, in Mexico City, the ghost of Carrie Fisher devours Devilled Brains of Bannon.


Neu! Post Truth Poetics DAY NINETEEN – The Trump Parodies

The alt-Trump Family
Peter Raynard

They’re creepy and they’re pukey
The old man grabs the pussy
More crooked than a bookie
The alt-Trump Family

Their house is a gold tower
Don likes a golden shower
The Ruskies hold the power
The alt-Trump Family

So get a fucking move on
Write poems that will rage on
A shit storm we can reign on
The alt-Trump Family


The Trump and the Pussycat
by Andy Piasecki

The Trump and the Pussycat danced with glee
At the beautiful swing state vote
He said hey honey I’m not short of money
I’ll buy you a new fur coat
The Trump looked up to the stars above and
Sang to a small guitar
O lovely Pussy, o Pussy my love
What a beautiful Pussy you are
What a beautiful Pussy you are

Dear Trump, said the Pussy, your love is requited,
How charmingly sweet you tweet
O let’s be united, get the Clintons indicted,
But what shall we eat for a treat?
They sailed away for a year and a day
To the land where the Wonga tree grows
And there in a wood
Boris Johnson stood
with some snot on the end of his nose,
His nose
His nose
With some snot on the end of his nose.

Dear Pig are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your snot, said the Boris, I will.
So they took it away and cooked it up the next day
for a feast at Capitol Hill.
They dined on the snot and things quite hot
which they ate with pieces of nan
And hand in hand in white man’s land
They danced to the tune of the Klan,
The Klan
The Klan
They danced to the tune of the Klan


Humpty Dumpty Blues
by John Quinn

“‘When I use a word’ Humpty Dumpty said ‘it means just what I choose it to mean'”
(Alice Through the Looking Glass)

Word boardin word boardin long haul and short haul
rendition flights of meanin gleanin in and leanin on
buildin walls inaugural balls clarion calls,
from humpty numpty trumpty and dumpty
makin third words and turd words like
hard brexit breakfasts’ hard poverty porn.
Don’t need no OED to check out the new speak.

Word boardin word boardin long haul and short haul
misquotes rigged votes anti- social media bleedin  ya
accidental premiers lookin for le pen friends
misfirin missives on missiles from
Cruella tarantellas with the market malarkey an
fake news fake sheikhs you views and pew views.
Don’t need no OED to check out the new speak.

Word boardin word boardin long haul and short haul
hate crime date crime thought crime and nae crime
war on drugs war on terror war on error war on the poor
moot points mute points hecklers and experts
on reality on tele textin sextin and exitin
by particles of articles on mulled an annulled culls.
Don’t need no OED to check out the newspeak

Word boardin word boardin long haul and short haul
with lost romantics for semantics whisperin
in trade winds with tweets pinned to
women on pavements and grave men in governments
doin jargon far gone and arrogant in cant on
weapons massed for distraction an distortion.
Don’t need no OED to check out the newspeak



Peter Raynard’s poems have appeared in a number of publications including Prole, The Rialto, Under the Radar, South Bank Poetry, Ink Sweat & Tears and The Interpreter’s House. His debut collection is forthcoming from Smokestack Books in 2018. He is a member of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen and editor of Proletarian Poetry: poems of working class lives  (see


Andy Piasecki is a French to English translator living in South West France. Prior to moving to France he worked in the UK as a theatre director, freelance journalist for the BBC and university lecturer, at Royal Holloway, University of London, and later at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

John Quinn was formerly a schoolteacher based in Dundee. His poems have appeared in Poetry Scotland, Northwords Now, Southlight South Bank and Seagate III.

Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY EIGHTEEN – Emma Lee

The Job-Stealing Ghosts

Tell me about your burning ambition to be a fruit-picker,
to spend days out bending, picking, standing, until
your rickety bus ride to a shared bedsit where you slump
in a sleeping bag on the floor, too tired to cook,
bones aching too much to allow you to sleep.

Tell me about the years you spent studying medicine,
until your hospital was bombed and you finally fled
to a zero hours contract, where you get 15 minutes to wake,
wash, dress, breakfast and reassure a client who can’t
remember your name and shrinks from the colour of your skin

Tell me how you wanted to become crepuscular,
cleaning before workers arrive or after they’ve gone home.
Cleaning for a company who needs to cut wages and meet
the same standards for the tender they need to win
to keep you working with less equipment and smaller measures.

Tell me how you use the ATM, the self-service tills,
the help-yourself drinks dispensers, vending machines,
make connections on a smart phone,
and don’t see that its a computer serving you
not a person, not an undocumented ghost.

Tell me about those employers who choose not
to employ you in an interesting, fulfilling career
with progression, security and a generous salary,
but instead employ people who want a job
and understand doing it is their part of the contract.

Tell me about those employers who hear
about what you want but not what you can offer,
what you won’t do but not what you will do,
who see you as an unproven liability,
who know their own jobs rely on driving down costs.


Emma Lee‘s recent collection is Ghosts in the Desert (IDP, 2015). She was co-editor for Over Land, Over Sea: poems for those seeking refuge (Five Leaves, 2015) and Welcome to Leicester (Dahlia Publishing, 2016). She reviews for The High Window Journal, The Journal, London Grip and Sabotage Reviews and blogs at


Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY SEVENTEEN – Arwen Webb

Let’s Make Misogyny Great Again

On 18th January 2015, a Stanford college student sexually assaulted an unconscious 22-year-old woman. Although he was convicted of rape, he pleaded not guilty and the two rape charges were dropped. His convictions for sexual assault could have carried a fourteen-year prison sentence yet the judge sentenced him to six-months confinement – which he served three-months – and three years’ probation.
Below are some of the questions the victim was asked during the trial, and other questions I found from defenders of rape.*

How old are you? How much do you weigh? What did you eat today?
What did you have for dinner? Who made it? Did you drink? Not even water?
When did you drink? How much did you drink? What container did you drink out of?

Who gave you the drink? How much do you usually drink? Did you drink in college?

You said you were a party animal.

Did you party at the college? Why were you going to this party in the first place?
Did you go out alone? Who dropped you off? At what time? Exactly. Where?

What did you do when you got there? Are you sure you did that? How can you be sure?

What time did you do that? Exactly.

What does this text mean? Who were you texting? Was your phone on silent when your sister called?
Do you remember silencing it?

Because on page 53 I’d like to point out that you said it was set to ring.

When did you urinate? Where did you urinate? With whom did you urinate outside?
How many times did you black out? Do you remember what time you woke up?

What were you wearing?
Were you wearing your cardigan?
What color was your cardigan?
Do you remember any more from that night?


Are you serious with your boyfriend? I mean, are you sexually active with him?
When did you start dating? Would you ever cheat? Do you have a history of cheating?
What do you mean when you said you wanted to reward him?
Was this just a date that got carried away?

Did you try to get away?
Did you try to close your legs?
Did you close your legs firmly?
Did you close all your female organs?


*The title is my own yet the main body of text has been taken verbatim from the victim’s statement, and also police officers views on rape not related to this case and closing statements made from other judges in rape trials.


Arwen Webb lives in Richmond, North Yorkshire where she regularly performs her poetry. Her poems have appeared in the New Boots blog and The Morning Star among other publications. She teaches Sociology at a sixth form college.


Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY SIXTEEN – Keleigh Wolf

Lipstick on the 211

You enjoy symbolism – balance this off your Barthes:
You are lipstick-tube traveller, sat atop
the 211 bus to penetrate a Waterloo sunset.

Once you’ve slipped through the sucrose oranges
slinking off into the darkness of a rioting night,
your feet will follow the historic path of the pissed-off
to heave your well-weighed, twice-measured, once-cut
ideology to the sky with the exuberance of a Pentecostal choir.

These protests will fall onto the ears belonging to those
who have cut off their nose to spite their face.
They will answer in, what is to you, an accented tongue,
whose sveltely rolling vowels tempted your
nail-on-chalkboard consonants enough
put two rivers & an ocean between yourself
& the bucolic-minded dialect of your peninsular hometown.

These Powers That Be will answer in polite rhetoric with a pussyfooted:
“Oh, terribly sorry…but: NO!”

But you will not be twice seduced – tempted again
by the flame that once warmed, then burned you at the steak.
Not while its tongue is down the throat of fascism
grown from your own rooting soil, full of those people
of whom you do not speak – shameful racist relatives
at holiday family gatherings who drink too much,
eat too much, then, with a yawn, pass out,
collectively hit the snooze button & roll over.

So you toil valiantly, scaling pedestals
without chipping your nail varnish –
chanting witchy wordplay with sexy
Machiavellian panache – until you reach
into the locus of the pathological matter at (tiny) hand,
& pull out the slimy organs & dripping tubes
found within every behemoth, & knock its
lights out – softly, with a muscular smile,
& masticate its blackened heart
between meticulously sharpened fangs.

After you have done this, you will reapply your lipstick.

Keleigh Wolf is a dissenting American poet, activist & Marxist journalist living in London. Her work is an act of cannibalism & catharsis, using witchy wordplay, gravity-defying gravitas, & pure absurdity – all housed in the lithe frame of her alternate universe. Hell hath no fury like a woman who writes verse.

Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY FIFTEEN – Paul Summers


he’s off the tabs
& off the drink.

two days into
a miracle diet

that saved some wee lad
in rural scandinavia.

he’d seen it in ‘hello’,
on monday, at the barbers.

the nag has bolted,
all truth be told.

the doc says he’s fucked
or words to that effect.

his emphysema’s
not for turning.

his liver transformed
to shippam’s paste.

a case of when not if.
a time to start giving

a bit of thought to which
neil young song he wants

playing at the crem
& who’ll do the buffet,

a time to make peace
with his brother, the copper.

& slumped in the bucket
of his da’s old armchair,

his attention is divided
between personal & political:

gramsci’s prison notebooks
& a mobility scooter catalogue.

he contemplates the future,
with half an eye on bargain hunt;

wrestling with hegemony
& the puzzle of complicity.



Paul Summers lives in North Shields. His last couple of books are Union (New & Selected) & Primitive Cartography. His next collection Straya is due out in March 2017.