#NaPoWriMo Writing Exercise 3: THE FROG AND PIGLET

Game 1: Spend 2 minutes coming up with fake pub names (or cafes). List as many as you can.

Game 2: Pick the one you like the most.

Game 3: For 8 minutes, imagine you’re sitting in that pub or cafe. Write a poem with, as poet Tim Clare would say, “crunchy specificity”. Describe the place with great detail. What’s happening there? Who’s having a drink? Is anyone eating? Etc.
Carl Burkitt

#NaPoWriMo Writing Exercise 1: DREAM JOB

Game 1: Take a minute to think of the dream job you wanted as a kid.

Game 2: Imagine you have that job. Take 4 minutes to write a list of anything involved with that job. Consider: Clothes, things you’d say, people you’d meet, what would you have for lunch, do you enjoy the job, etc etc.

Game 3: Pop the job title at the top of a page and spend 5 minutes on a poem about a day in your new life. Aim for 10 lines (of length).


You are the oldest thing in this flat.
You’ve never not been my roommate.
My hometown, studytown, jobtown, worrytown hero.

You sit on top of the wardrobe these days.
Resting, but still on monster patrol.
Your insides remain rock hard,
your outer fluff a worn down thin skin.
Your eyes still shine when the right light hits them.

When things get dark and my pillow head
crashes through the hurdles of the day,
I melt back to my first hour on Earth
when Grandma lay you next to me.

© Carl Burkitt 2020


You’ve woken me up
more times than the sun.
A hot breeze through smiling hair
that can be found dotted everywhere.

A barber once told me to never use you.
Another barber told me to always use you.
I decided to trust the first barber
and my damp, beef smelling towel.

Remember that night you were my laser gun?
Pow pow!
It was 2am and we killed all
the negative thoughts about my curls. Pow pow!

© Carl Burkitt 2020


I must confess,
I love stuffing a sausage in you

But perhaps it’s about time
I got on my knees,
poked my head around,
got elbow deep
and gave you what for.

You are filthy.

(Don’t get me started on your dirty ring.)

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Lap tray

Lap tray.
Saviour of jeans.
Gravy blocker for the knees.
You are our baked bean wicket keeper,
our graveyard of stains.
A thousand tea time stories
splashed across your face,
you are a buffet of the past.
A dribbling artist’s finest work.
Morning, noon and night
you do great holding a plate
for my ring-finger room mate
and every one
of her glorious cutlery mistakes.
Lap tray.

© Carl Burkitt 2020


You’ve been built a bit premature.
A future alarm clock
poised in the corner of the room.

A friend of a friend
says he hears phantom screams
when he stays in hotel rooms.

My hangover won’t stop crying.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Clothes horse

You’re a peculiar looking bugger.
I wouldn’t put a penny on you at the Grand National.
You couldn’t handle a jockey’s weight.
The good news is, when I’m forced
to put you down, I can pull you up again.

You’d be lost in a motorway-side field.
Drivers would certainly stop and stare.

I’m still not used to seeing
bras and pants draped over you
like a wiry blue Tom Jones.

I’m excited to see you try on socks
a hundred times too small for you.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Welcome mat

You’re two feet long and nailed down.
You’re a hello hostage forced to small talk
with every shoe, flip flop and wellie.

Nice weather for ducks
I hear you cry
after rainy forest walks.

You hold on to shit for weeks,

struggle to brush off daily swipes
from the arrogant door
flapping its oily gums.

You sit and listen,
sharpening your bristles.

© Carl Burkitt 2020