March Snakeskin

March 1, 2015

The backlog of poems has built up over a couple of months, while Snakeskin was given over to Jessy’s monsters.

So we’re now online with a cornucopia of new verse – I was spoilt for choice.

For next month, remember – we need short poems.


The monsters are here!

February 1, 2015


Spread the word!

Big thanks to Jessy Randall for guest-editing this month’s Snakeskin.

The Monsters are Coming

January 26, 2015

The special Monsters edition of Snakeskin, guest-edited by Jessy Randall, is now being prepared, and will arrive online on February 1st.
Meanwhile, here is a reminder that monsters can be found everywhere. It is a photograph taken by Bruce Bentzman in the men’s room at the Barnes Museum in Philadelphia.

Smiling Dispenser-2

I am a joke…

January 23, 2015

So what are we allowed to laugh at?

Here’s a poem sent to Snakeskin by Conor Kelly:

Je Suis Charlie

I am a joke.
I am a joke about men.
I am a joke about women.
I am a joke about sick children.
I am a joke about mothers-in-law.
I am a joke about doting grandfathers.
I am a joke about skinny-dipping hippies.
I am a joke about twerking female pop-singers.
I am a joke about lettuce-chewing Hollywood stars.
I am a joke about topless sun-bathers in Saint-Tropez.

Je suis Charlie.

I am a joke.
I am a joke about boobs.
I am a joke about sexting.
I am a joke about revenge porn.
I am a joke about tinder, grindr.
I am a joke about “50 Shades of Grey.”
I am a joke about naked selfies on-line.
I am a joke about lesbian films on Netflix.
I am a joke about girlfriends, housewives, milfs and cougars.
I am a joke about Patricia Lockwood’s poem, “Rape Joke.”

Je suis Charlie.

I am a joke.
I am a joke about God.
I am a joke about Buddha.
I am a joke about Muhammad.
I am a joke about Hare Krishna.
I am a joke about the Virgin Mary.
I am a joke about “The Satanic Verses.”
I am a joke about crossing the River Lethe.
I am a joke about Dante’s poetic view of Hell.
I am a joke about the banning of the burqa in France.

Je suis Charlie.

I am a joke.
I am a joke about guns.
I am a joke about soldiers.
I am a joke about World War 1.
I am a joke about the 6 day war.
I am a joke about the 100 years’ war.
I am a joke about “The Diary of Anne Frank.”
I am a joke about weapons of mass destruction.
I am a joke about shooting Osama bin Laden.
I am a joke about Kalashnikovs on a Paris street.

Je suis Charlie.

You may now laugh.

Je Suis Charlie

January 7, 2015


“Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today. I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity. ‘Respect for religion’ has become a code phrase meaning ‘fear of religion.’ Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect.”  –Salman Rushdie Read the rest of this entry »

Alison Brackenbury on Front Row

January 5, 2015


British readers (and anyone else who can catch BBC Radio Four) – don’t miss this. Snakeskin poet Alison Brackenbury will be on Front Row at 7.15 tomorrow, reading a new poem about January. This features, she tells us, dark mornings, icy rain – and her grandmother’s steamed jam pudding.

The image above is a page from her grandmother’s recipe book.

Happy New Year

January 2, 2015

 Snakeskin 214 will be published on January 3rd.


November 27, 2014

December Snakeskin will be arriving a couple of days late – on the 3rd or 4th of the month.

The editor is taking a short break in London.

The 100 Years War

November 25, 2014

The stage production The 100 Years War, which presents war poetry from 1914 to today, is currently touring Britain.

It includes some of the Holocaust poems translated by Thomas Land which have appeared in Snakeskin over the past few years.

Details of dates and venues can be found by clicking here.

Hurry, though, the tour’s nearly over. I’ve only just found out about the performance not far from me a couple of weeks ago.

Should we forget?

November 19, 2014

Snakeskin has recently received an email from someone whose verse we published several years ago.
The poems are light and witty, and slightly naughty. The poet has now moved on, and now has ‘a position which doesn’t benefit from having this poetry come up’ in Google searches. She has asked us to remove the poems.
I’d like readers’ opinions on this.
On the one hand, we hardly want to cause the poor lady distress if her early work is causing her embarrassment.
On the other hand, it might make matters worse if we replaced the poems in their Snakeskin editions with a notice saying that they had been removed because of inappropriate content. I’m sure people would imagine the poems to be far more outlandish than they are.
Or we could, I suppose, cut not only the poems, but also all references to them in the index pages of the issues in which they appear. But this seems to me a bit like falsifying the historical record. And it will not, of course, affect copies that are archived in various places.
This is one instance of what seems to be a growing problem. When poems were printed only on paper, the author could suppress them fairly easily by not allowing reprints. But what appears on the Internet stays on the Internet. Even when the editor and sole proprietor of Snakeskin passes on to a better world and his site disappears, those archived copies (at the British library and elsewhere) will remain.
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that we have a right for our past to be forgotten by Google (though most of those availing themselves of this right seem to be petty criminals.)
So in this case, what should we do?


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