Creative Writing

A Collection of Poems by Beth Cunniffe

Great Britain (Based on Allen Ginsberg’s ‘America’)

Great Britain I’ve given you twenty-one years and you’ve broken me
Great Britain six pounds and eight pence October 1 2011
I can’t stand the people.
Go fuck yourself mediocrity.
I’m not too good and it bothers me.
Does writing a poem require an unsound mind?
Great Britain when will you live up to your name?
When will you realise we’ve got it made?
When will you stop demanding so much of me?
Great Britain why are your libraries not full?
Great Britain when will you send me someone to love?
I am sick of my own demands.
I lack the narcissism and beauty to go buy what I need with my looks.
Great Britain after all no one is perfect.

Great Britain you made me want to be someone; something.
Are you serious or is this a long running practical joke?
Great Britain stop pushing I have no idea what I’m doing.
I have so much to say and yet nothing real to write.
I wish I could get to the point.
Great Britain the leaves on the trees are falling.
I read the newspapers online; I miss the print on my fingers.
Great Britain I’m sentimental for my childhood, it wasn’t lost I’m not sorry.
I smoke cigarettes when I’m drunk.
There are no smoking signs everywhere.
I could sit in my house for days but there will never be roses in my wardrobe.
I go to Chinatown but never do karaoke.
My mind is made up it’s all bollocks.
You should have seen me reading Plath and Duffy.
Every week I had to say the Lord’s Prayer.
I have no visions or cosmic encounters, just this.
Great Britain I haven’t told you everything, I don’t think I can.
Who am I addressing?
I tell myself not to get too invested in television.
I’m obsessed with television.
Great Britain don’t worry that’s my fault.
I don’t think it’s serious.
But when will you knight Stephen Fry?
It often occurs to me that I can’t do this.
I am doubting myself again.
All these things I have to consider Great Britain.

Time is against me.
I’ve got as good a chance as any.
I don’t consider myself to have many resources.
My resources consist of processed food, scribbles on paper, and books by authors long dead, too many reality shows and hangovers.
I say nothing about the state of the economy or the rise in tuition fees or even the constant banging upstairs.
I have abolished nothing but haven’t made anything either.
My ambition was to be the first woman prime minister but Margaret Thatcher ruined it for us all.

Great Britain how can I write when I’m not in the mood?
Great Britain should I continue?
I will sell you my work for anything you will give me.
Great Britain I have a tendency to deliver false promises.
Great Britain when I was three my parents split up it was no big deal my mum pretty much
raised me by herself I had no idea this wasn’t the norm I spent time with my grandparents
I was happy. Every family is different.
Great Britain you don’t really want to war with Europe.
Great Britain thank you for keeping the pound.
The Euro might have destroyed us.
Great Britain I think it’s serious.
Great Britain this is the impression I get from overheard snippets of drunken politics student’s ramblings.
Great Britain is this correct?
I better put pen to paper.
It’s true all I want to do is read, eat chocolate and drink wine.
Great Britain I seem to have a chip on my shoulder.

Collage Sonnet 1

randomness is his faith
determined to escape the dilemma
patriarchal light from ancient candles
that bursts the cells of your body
I will expect you there
for acts of God, crises and power
the fence can be seen from afar
white stones found in the mist
it is called here at this point and point of time
nine holes in the soul
here she begins humming
controlling certain types of movement
all this is very fine
dust in a steady shower

Collage Sonnet 2

birds in layers on the sky
they are waiting for me to die
sand scorches the feet
wishes crackle on all sides
love distinguished absence and death
someone calls me
of Egyptian origin
cast out by the seaside, lost and beat
the accent isn’t new to recognise
the voice in the water slithering
the barest coolness of your tongue
he is alive, he is breathing freely
sunday was pardon and desperation
we don’t even bother to laugh any more

The Day I Read O’Hara

It is 11:30, a Tuesday in Salford
and I do not need to leave yet
but I do because I still haven’t given in the cheque
and I set out because I don’t know how long it will take
I’ve given myself extra time
because the man behind the desk likes
to make things difficult
in my head I’ve named him Richard
I suspect he hates his job and possibly
everyone and would prefer if the building was empty

I walk across the way with the wind and rain
hitting my face and for once in his life
Richard is pleasant and then I go back outside
and the weather has calmed
and I think unpredictability all round
so then I walk towards the university not
listening to my iPod because I have too
much to contend with already

the crescent is busy with people and I try
to guess what people are hurrying for
and I decide that the petite girl in the
fur coat is a drama student late for a lecture
and the tall boy with the steady stride
does business and then I get tired
because it is just too easy

It is 11:55 when I reach the SU
and I am early but it gives me
time to go check my makeup
and then Zoe lets me know her lecture
is over and so I sit and wait in the pool room
I am alone so I read O’Hara from my anthology
“It’s a summer day,
and I want to be wanted more than anything else in the world”
when I read that I think Zoe will love that line
and so when she arrives I show her and we discuss
the price of a coke and agree it’s extortionate
but we’re thirsty and now I’m calculating all the money I’ve spent there


21The hook with the ballerina was mine. Spinning three times one way and then the other. Brand New in the cash office. The skateboard didn’t go fast enough so our hands got dirty quickly. The cat had to be smuggled in, past my mother. She knew I hated pepper but I ate it to prove a point. Tracksuits and dancing just isn’t for me. How many times will she say above and beyond today I wonder. It started off pleasant but the swans became aggressive. My eyes stung from the smoke in the room. I could never reach the top shelf with the crystal bowl on it, but I tried every week. Knees touching under the desk. I rearranged my bedroom furniture many times that day. We would go the library on Fridays after school. She just couldn’t understand my obsession. I was told a creative writing class was available but I decided against it. The dog was bigger than I was and ate everything in sight. Once we’d gotten out of the car and stood on the moors I could feel the wind rushing through my hair. Holding my breath. In the sand, in the water. Pink isn’t pretty.

Collaborative Sounds

Shrouded anatomy
intrepid locomotive
Romanticism indicative of mourning
Sycophantic pimp revival
Nihilarian theory and eminent technology
Encyclopaedic limerance
impish conflagration
Uncanny tyrotoxism conundrum
Resplendent platypus surgery like unimportant disasters
Harbinger mammoth chilled cool
Mungo dude soliloquy and verbose waffle
Tom foolery enlightenment with procrastination machination
Finnimbrun immersion within dystopian bubbles

Widdiful physicist solidifying fait
Erinaceous chap modifying his mosey
Saucy miasma ratio and sardonic ascendancy
Inaniloquent kismet pickled by
Selcouth zabernism found in scopperloit rastaquouere axolotl pulveratiricious

Iamprophony eejit prone two mesonoxian
Depone to phenakism



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