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Wednesday 30 August 2023

Joshua Seigal Meets Michael McIntyre

So yesterday I was browing the papers in a newsagent in my hometown of Whetstone, a totally nondescript London suburb. A guy taps me on the shoulder, and asks if I could pay for his bottle of Lucozade. He said he only has a fifty Euro note, and that if I paid for the Lucozade using British cash, he would give me the Euros. I said I only had a card, and the newsagent said that that was no good, as the machine was broken. I suggested the guy purchase his Lucozade elsewhere, but he was adamant that it had to be HERE and it had to be NOW. We both cajoled the newsagent into accepting the Euros as payment for the Lucozade.

Anyway, the guy was Michael MacIntyre and he agreed to a selfie.

(I also gave him my poetry business card, like a right wally.)

Wednesday 16 August 2023


I’m eighteen, helping my girlfriend

clear out her grandpa’s shed. 

In among the tarpaulin sheets and plastic chairs

I saw it: the biggest bug in the world,

right there on the wall. A hideous thing. 

Was it a centipede? A scorpion?

My girlfriend said it was nothing more

than the shadows playing tricks.

We broke up not long after.

Her light bothered me. 

The things that were there.

The things she couldn’t see.

Joshua Seigal

Monday 7 August 2023

My Pet Lemon

I took a lemon home today 

to keep me company – 

an idiosyncratic pet,

I’m sure you will agree. 

It has a waxy yellow coat. 

It’s got a leafy stem on.

It doesn’t really do a lot – 

just sits there like a lemon.

Joshua Seigal

Saturday 5 August 2023

Fear of Flying

I’ve got a fear of flying.

It causes me to fret.

To see the ground beneath me 

makes me break out in a sweat.

It leaves me feeling giddy.

My stomach starts to heave. 

The scope of my revulsion

isn’t easy to conceive.

I’ve sought help from a therapist.

It didn’t do the trick.

Whenever I am airborne

I get bilious and sick.

You may contend it’s normal 

but this crisis is absurd – 

the thing is, my aversion

isn’t great when you’re a bird.

Joshua Seigal

Thursday 3 August 2023


We both wake up around eight, eight-thirty.

You sleepily ask if I want a coffee

and with the cat curled up on the ottoman

you rise to the kitchen to make it.

As you return with two steaming mugs

I prop myself up with a pair of pillows.

You climb back into bed next to me.

We sip our drinks in sumptuous silence.

We may or may not turn on the radio

and gradually start to plan our day.

Moments like this are what I live for – 

a softness we’ve worked so hard to gain;

a sense of stillness possible only in light

of the graft and grind that came before.

Dark towns may heap up on the horizon

but we’ll shut the window. We’ll lock the door.

Joshua Seigal

[this poem is a response to Philip Larkin's famous

piece 'Talking in Bed', which you can read here]