Thursday, 29 June 2017

Poems Scribbled in a Well-Graffitied Booth at Bon's

At our very cheap brunch at Bon's Restaurant today, niece Flora Jo Zenthoefer and I wrote four short poems together, taking turns line by line. Here they are, fresh and unedited, for the joy of writing (and for the joy of playing):


a shadowed pen and darkling sink                               (C)
a dip and then a pause to think                                   (F)
what words convey the thing I glimpse                        (C)
beyond the hayfields it limps                                      (F)



grinning moon disappears                                           (F)
sleight of face                                                            (C)
a starless spot, no other trace                                     (F)
but here on earth its absence slowly whelms               (C)
a holesome spot in my heart realm                              (F)



look! the spindle spins and thread unravels so              (C)
that a garment fine can be made                                 (F)
of anti-thread in anti-time with aunties all around       (C)
the weaver stops for a sip of Antarctica                       (F)
and there along its rim: an ant                                    (C)



a red plague dances                                                     (F)
on these shattered bones                                             (C)
a soft smile above blood-stained teeth                         (F)
but we—we who remain—determine not to fall             (C)
keep time and manage to keep step
            ignoring cuts from the jagged dance floor         (F)
and dance we past all plague and precipice                  (C)

Image Credits:

The Walls at Bon’s,
Bon's Off Broadway,

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Well, Here's One Way to Respond to Homelessness: A Friend in Need

I somehow didn't realize that a friend of mine had ended up where we all don't want to be, and where I have actively worried about being for the last year since my building sold--homeless. Now she has started a gofundme page to help get out of the homeless shelter with the overconfident mice. (Read more!)

May I introduce the lovely (and funny, and very good at swearing, though she doesn't do it here) Sam Whyte, who asks, "Help Me Back To Orange Street". (But where, we may ask, is Orange Street, exactly?)


Help Me Back To Orange Street

Well, this is awkward. No, it’s more than awkward, it’s an abdication of dignity and I really hope you wont think too badly of me. I left a very solid and dependable field of employment to do something stupid and frivolous for less money. It was great and I don’t regret it, except there’s no sick pay. If you are occasionally laid up and unable to do owt then it’s the difference between poverty and penury.
I’m loathe mention "charitable work"; firstly because you don't give your labour freely then assume to get something back; secondly because I know a lot of you will object, as I do, to the notion we should only help those who've been fortunate enough to be in a position to make a contribution in the past. But if it helps my case ...

I have happily done lots of community work alongside paid work; I have done free research, policy, and copy writing for the LGBT Foundation and additional digital support work for Mind ; I even kept a digital peer support project going on a voluntary basis after the funding ended because I was really committed to it . Now I need some help back and it bloody kills me to ask for it, but ask for it I must ...

As some of you may know my flat was sold by my landlord late last year after they went into administration and I had to put my possessions into storage. I am currently staying in a room in a council hostel with most of my things in a storage container.

Staying in these conditions has been incredibly difficult and my mental health has suffered to the point where I cannot work enough to put any money aside. I need  some money to get a flat deposit sorted and get my possessions, furniture and white goods out of storage.

Living out of a hostel in unsustainable in the long term and has such a negative impact on my health that I'm currently caught in a vicious circle.

It's shit. It's SO shit. There's no wifi and a grotty kitchen and bathroom I share with 12 other women. Not only are there mice crawling about, they seem in no way fazed by humans. I'm struggling to live in the same environment as over-confident mice. I feel like Robert Smith in the Lullaby video, only less compellingly sexy and with literally no musical accompaniment.

If you are able to help I would be extremely grateful. If not then that's completely cool too.

Much love,


Thursday, 22 June 2017

“To Eva on the Day of Your Surgery” (Poem by Casey)

where I sit
sun scatters wide
through sky and window
over smooth blonde wood

this streetside café
just me and pen and you
in my thoughts

where are you now
consulting with the anaesthetist
scribbled on by your surgeon
whose sure hands soon will
hold you
fold you back
and nick
where nick is needed
where knit is wanted
fold you in again

are you ladled yet onto the gurney
smoothed out on the cot
is your breathing easy

I see it easy
the sun’s fair light
finding you somehow
easing you

are you sleeping gently
anxiety a million miles away
are the stones and sun and stars
silent in your dreamscape
your heart strong
your heart strong

have you wakened
turned your head
looked about
are the drugs still playing games
with equilibrium and thought

have you seen our eyes yet
smiling      weeping
joyful      worried       loving eyes
all pleased to see you
waking up

do you know the love
a strong thick woolen blanket
scratchy      caring
swaddled round you

you are always loved
all and always loved
heartbeat strengthening
heartbeat deepening
your tender organ
filled now with our
reciprocating love

sleep now      Eva
rest and grow
we will be here
when you wake

copyright: Casey June Wolf, 2015.
Image: “Medical staff and female patient”, Wellcome Images, file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Internationallicense.