Double Bass Sonnet

After 'Glass Jaw Sonnet' by Gabrielle Calvocoressi 


Doghouse, lethal chump, lamppost, magic trick,

Bass viol, 'Jaws' theme, banished from the bus.

Mule-load. Bug transporter, hourglass, wardrobe,

Good wood, finger-slayer, lover, splinter,

Boyfriend-in-a-corpse-bag. Football target.

Cuddleable, boom-hearted, big-bummed frump. Bed-

Mate. Nectarous. Charmer. Door-hard. Head-turner.

Fragile beast, nerve-calmer, gooseberry, baby.

Sinuses clogged, off red wine. High-rise.

Sentinel, toughneck, scratched-up. Sombre, Heart-

Beat, living statue, Swing King, truck sides, turnstile

Scraper, pushchair-cruncher. Creaking,

Ground-shaker, escape pod for mice. Tourist

Prop. Gloomy. Husky-dragged. Soften my heart.


by Gemma Boyd 


The above poem is featured in my handmade debut collection of poetry; 'Vivarium' (Brandy Publications, 2016), which is available to purchase for £30.00 plus shipping from this website under the link, 'Online Shop'. Copies of this book can also be found at the British Library, the University Libraries at Cambridge, Oxford and Trinity College in Dublin, and the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales.

I became a writer of poetry in 1996, during my years at the University of Chichester. Vicki Feaver (prize-winning poet; author of the revered, 'The Handless Maiden' collection, amongst others), was my encouraging tutor. After attending a recital by the incomparable Maya Angelou on her 70th birthday, I was truly inspired. From between 2000 to 2018, I attended Matthew Sweeney, Maurice Riordan, Simon Barraclough, Kathryn Maris and Meryl Pugh's Advanced Poetry Workshops at Morley College, London, and in 2014 studied at The Poetry School, London, with Roddy Lumsden and S. J. Fowler.

My poems have been published in the following magazines, journals, a chapbook and on websites: 

THE MARXIST - November / December 2000, MORLEY NEW WRITING 6 - 2000 / 2001, MORLEY NEW WRITING 7 - 2001 / 2002, FIRST TIME - editions 42 and 43, VOICE & VERSE - winter 2001, Issue 14, WEYFARERS 88 - February 2001, HEAVENLY HEN HOUSE LITTLE BOOK OF POETRY - THE VANITY PRESS (BRIGHTON WOMEN WRITERS) - March 2002, SPEAK OUT - SURVIVOR'S NETWORK - Issue 63 (Oct 2001 / Jan 2002), Issue 64 (Feb / March 2002) and Issue 65 (April / May 2002), HEAVENLY HEN HOUSE POETRY - THE VANITY PRESS (BRIGHTON WOMEN WRITERS) - March 2003, MISS MO PRESENTS - JOURNEYS - October 2010, on THE MACHINE MAN FORUM under 'Writing' at (May 2011), (24th June 2014), (1st August 2014), SOUTH POETRY MAGAZINE 50 - October 2014, (3rd April and 28th June 2015), MISS MO PRESENTS - JOURNEYS - 2006 - 2016 (CHAPBOOK) - May 2016, and on 9th May 2011, published an article entitled 'Poetry, film give voice for OCD sufferers' featuring my poetry and my take on OCD. 

My poem 'Double Bass Sonnet' was chosen by selectors at SOUTH POETRY MAGAZINE 50 to represent the magazine in The Forward Prize, Best Single Poem competition 2015.

I have performed my poetry at 'Oratory In The Open Air' at the Spires Centre, Streatham, 'Feed Your Mind' at the Union Chapel Project, Highbury, 'Harrow Words Live Literature Festival' - 2001, 'Cabaret Of Conscience' at the Peace Festival on Hove Lawns - July 2002, 'Gay Pride Brighton & Hove' - August 2002, 'Miss Mo Presents...Poets, Actually' at Koba bar, Brighton - October 2010, 'Poetry In The Park' in Coronation Gardens, Leyton - August 2011, organised by Paul McGrane of The Poetry Society, London, 'Wells, Pugh & Hammond' at Walthamstow Central Library, London, as part of the East London Libraries Festival - September 2011, at Tropicalia, Bistrot Culturel Bresilien, 114 Bis rue des Moines, 75017, Paris, France - October 2011, at Oakfield Lodge for older people in Ilford, Essex - January 2012, at 'Le Printemps des Poètes Aubervilliers' in Paris, France - March 2012, at 'The Betsey Trotwood All-Dayer' in Farringdon, London, organized by Roddy Lumsden and Tim Wells - July 2014, at the 'Poetry Please' group in Hainault, Essex - April 2016, and at Romford Folk Club, Essex - 2017.

For 2020 I have challenged myself to write one fifty-word poem a day for a year inspired by my abstinence from social media.