Signpost Twelve, ‘Wordslast’, by Stephen Daniels

My Signpost Poems


Reproduced here by kind permission of the poet, is the extraordinary poem, ‘Wordslast’. Have a good look at it and don’t worry if you don’t immediately ‘get’ it. The joy of this poem is that it creeps up on you, opening doors in your mind until it becomes part of your own experience:

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This poem plays with words, using wonderfully thrifty language (not a hint of a hint of pretentiousness or verbosity).

The title is clever and suggests a technique for coming up with your own poems. Notice when you hear or use a phrase to describe a situation and think about the relationship between the situation and the phrase, then try playing around with the words. Here we have ‘wordslast’, which brings to mind the saying, “famous last words” , which implies impending doom. It also brings to mind the idea of a person’s last words; more impending doom…

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Rehabilitation – week 6 – Stephen Daniels

Rehabilitation – week 6

take my arm and press, open this door and pull the handle,

pull the handle, pull the hand, drag the door, open, move

and keep hold of hand, let loose grip of fingers, thump

your arms and march, bruises ask questions, of the pressure,

fingers resist, sit down, chair takes weight and force up,

push up, resist upwardly mobile, on the floor, horizontal

legs not upright, and scramble, twist arms, through routine

moves and spin, in a corner and brace legs, from laying,

precise legs, scratched in dust, scrape tiles, take tiles

and prise them, snap tiles, arm in hand, resist arm in arm,

resist, on face and leg on tile, and arm in fist, clutch at door

handles and turn away, toes on tiles, lose grip, toes on tiles,

shove, slip, toes on tiles, slip toes, on tiles, slip.

Stephen Daniels is the editor of 

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‘Tell Mistakes I Love Them’ – Stephen Daniels (V. Press)

Ben Banyard

I’ve enjoyed reading Stephen Daniels’ poems whenever they’ve popped up in magazines and on websites, including a couple that I published on Clear Poetry, so I was delighted to hear that he’d teamed up with the excellent V. Poetry to publish this, his debut pamphlet.

tmilt Tell Mistakes I Love Them – Stephen Daniels (V. Press)

Like V. Press’ other publications, it’s beautifully designed. The bright orange cover is instantly eye-catching, and is amber used as a warning of some kind? The cover image too is thoughtful and memorable – an idealised couple where the man is scratched out.

The collection kicks off in style with ‘Four-minute warning’ – it’s a useful way to ease yourself into Daniels’ slightly surreal and unpredictable style:

Drop the children
Fold the tea
Cook the cutlery
Iron the rug

Nothing is as it should be, and we wait with baited breath to find the…

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