For Iain Duncan Smith (Ode to the Death of another Benefit Scrounger), by Louise M. Hart

I read the news, today
Glasgow writer killed
By the hand
That did not feed him
A suicide statistic
Soon to be forgotten
Like the books
He laboured hard to write
Which no one ever reads

And sitting outside Wetherspoons
Alongside my companionable
Cigarettes and alcohol
I contemplate
The minister of The State
Who one day
Will withdraw
My disability living allowance from me

Because I can crawl
More than 2 metres
And write
Bloody awful poetry
I am the common word
More Smith
Than Plath
Pretentious enough
To be proud
To be working class

And, suddenly, life seems…
…like perpetual misery
And I become the future statistic
I do not want to be

Occupying his inflaming
Twin towers of ivory over-privilege
And prosthetic political power
The star player
In May’s corrupted cabinet
Of party members
Porn players, all
And secretarial back (side)
A stabber
Of the foulest form
Opens his whoring mouth
And laughs

Like Lucifer on crack
His Machiavellian throat
Issues sound that even Tony
Bastard bliar, bliar
After dinner speaker tones for hire
Cannot rival

Like a converse Jon Snow
Turned to Tory slush
He is the illegitimate
Legitimate bastard
In an ideological game
Of thrones
And human slaughter

United Kingdom
Lock up your sick and disabled
Sons and daughters
Iain Duncan Smith
Is on the hunt
Pheasant is so last season
New labour’s elected Sunday lunch
Human flesh
Is more appetising
These post-imperialistic
McSalad and fries days

So, with I.D.S. on my mind
I board the bus home
Grateful to still have money
In my pocket
And no student payday loan

But when I arrive home
I open the door
And staring back at me
On a crimson mat
Is a letter

I take out a blade
And with a frenzied slash
The faecal brown envelope
Bleeds ink
Dark as the gash
Adorning my wrist

I tear myself to pieces
Then I light a cigarette
Of my orange peel fingers tips

Ode to the death of another
Benefit scrounger
Homage to the demise
Of a seated disco dancer
And an inverted snob
Who thought she knew the answers

Section 3, By Louise M. Hart

Through the eons of my suffering
And the perpetuity of my pain
Dissociated from the familiarity
Of shared meaning
And consensual reality
The spectres of madness and misery
Fuelled my existential shame

Lost in the wilderness
Of unceasing mental flights
And the fights to still
The rapid thoughts
That summoned my ecstatic anguish
And melancholic blue delight
Like a whore I surrendered
To the inevitability of my plight

So, I dismantled my pedestal
Only to be captured
By the arms of jailers
Paid to determine my fate
I was to be the accused
In a never ending trial
By the hegemony of The State

Whilst my body became secured
Within a hospital ward
Policed by nurses and hate
My mind, formerly determinate and solid
Fragmented into a thousand fragile parts
Each one expressing the torment
Of my sick and tired heart
And my inner voice externalised
Into a universal yell
That began with a whimpering
“Help me nurse, I don’t feel well”
Penetrated the ether, like a needle
In the arse of my medicated hell
And culminated
In an angry roar of silence

I was baptised
For the second time
Not in holy water
But, my mutilated throat’s
Choking saliva
The shattered expectations
Of the socially excluded
The sacrificial flesh
Of my grubby duffel coat

Even my doting Mother
Could not perceiveThe blood and bones
I saw through human flesh
The words only I could hear
That inflamed my agitation
And saturated my soul with fear
And ontological distress

So, I challenged all perception
And claimed that reality was a scam
A grand hallucination
In which existence was woman
And matter did not matter
For I was the only one and true
Living Madhatter


Louise M. Hart lives in Birmingham. She is the author of 2 published novels and a poetry collection. Currently, Louise is studying a Masters degree in creative writing and assembling a new poetry collection.

Raggedy Man by Louise M. Hart

He sits silently

In a stinking underpass-

Raggedy man

His hollow eyes

Reflecting his soul, like glass

A benefit scrounger

Drops a pound coin

Into raggedy man’s hat

“Only the poor give to the poor,”

He thinks


He eats empty plates of thought

For dinner

And dreams of being fat

For his heart has no home

His body resides

In the West Midlands of nowhere

He does not even own a cat

Called Bob
Man, it is boring here

Where he cannot afford a beer

Or a filtered cigarette of regrets

His tongue is lined with the sweat

Of circumstance

Because his Mother called him, “a sinner”


Gay as fuck

He was big in Moseley once

Now he is invisible

Awaiting his ponce

In the city


Banker man leaves works at 5.33

He passes Mr Raggedy

And notices the delicate curve of his lips

His noble brown eyes…

And orange stained finger tips

He smiles

And takes him from behind

Parallel Lives By Louise M. Hart

“And you think your poetry interests me”

Thinks the man in black

Concealed at the back of the room

“Not the shape of your lips

Or the way you flick your fringe

Out of your eyes

And titivate the air

With your delicate fingertips

And you think your wordplay

Stimulates your audience’s creative desires

Not the way you wiggle your hips

At the climax of each line

And flash your baby sweet enticing smile”

When the performance ends

The man in black sweeps past

The slayer of words

Blank as a verse

In supermarket jeans

And a Primark anorak

But the poet sees no man

He hears only the echo of applause

A bird perched on both

Theatrically flapping arms

An ego as swollen

As his wrecking balls of fire


And when the man in black arrives home

He composes a secret sonnet

To the soul mate he does not know


No one claps