Anna is a regular at the St Ives Arts and Literature Festivals and the Farrago Poetry Slam as a feature poet. Other poetry appearances include the Oxford University Poetry Society; the Oxford Radical Forum; Apples and Snakes; the Royal National Maritime Museum; the Stoke Newington Literature Festival.
You can check out Anna’s live performance dates here.
Now for a poetic interlude …
Hemingway dreams of an old man mastering Mother Nature
Wrestling single-handed with a 200 pound marlin
off the Gulf of Mexico while I tussle
with Ernest and the semi-unconscious of the U. S. of A
Ernest loves a drink, his blood, and a fight, his meat.
He’s got grit ‘n’ spit ‘n’ spunk in his veins
He should’ve been a matador
Bulls are only one vowel away from ‘balls’
And they are built with horns
No prize for guessing what the cat means there
Herman Melville got it on with a cat named Ahab
Fed his leg to a fish called Moby Dick.
What kind of a name is that to give a fish that will be studied in the schools?
Moby Dick was big and he was wild and he thrashed around a lot
Which is kinda funny when you think about it
You may as well give us a story about a killer whale and call it ‘Free Willy’ or somesuch
But now I am being ridiculous
What kind of a name is that?
All the American heroes
Why’ve these cats all got weird names?
John Wayne was called Marion
He would have preferred Marlin, I bet,
But Brando beat him to it
And became a four hundred pound Marlon
Marion and Marlin
So close and yet so far.
If the U.S. of A. was a land of milk and honey,
Did the early pilgrims in their coastal habitats have too much fish in their diet?
What is fish roe, anyway?
Whatever it is, I think the founding fathers O.D.’d on it
I’d like to blow
Edgar Allan Poe
On bended knee
Like Annabel Lee
I’d like to snort snow
With Edgar A. Poe
Swing into the pit
Of his infernal wit
I’d like to sink low
As Eddy A. Poe
I’m eager to share
His gloom and despair
Dear Ed can you please
Give me a disease
As cool as the red one
Transmitted by fleas?
Some political poetry from Anna Chen
MARGARET THATCHER DIED AT THE RITZ
Margaret Thatcher died at the Ritz.
It fits. Her blitz on the poor,
national assets thrust into the mitts
of corporate bandits.
Wealth trickled-down like a horse shits
undigested grain for birds that flit
round what it is its rear end emits.
Compassion deficit, dried out tits,
the country in bits, run by greedy gits.
Her fans omit the price of crimes
her class commit.
Her legacy is the pits.
(And she closed them as well.)
Thatcher’s blue touchpaper stayed alight
til the nation was run by her acolytes;
she took a look round at pauperised Brits,
said, “My work here is done,” and called it quits.
8th April 2013
BAG FOR LIFE
‘Bag for life,’
So Tescos tell me.
Maybe a bit ropey around the edges but not that bad, surely?
Bag for life.
Well, that is fine for you to say,
Dame Shirley Porter,
Westminster City council supremo
And guilty as sin
Only not half as interesting.
Bag for life
Is not a sentence handed down to ladies who lunch
In between sticking the poor into asbestos-riddled tower blocks
Or who blow 27 million pounds of somebody else’s money
And then abscond abroad with their loot intact.
Have you bagged your plot on the Mount of Olives,
Next to Robert Maxwell,
Honoured among thieves?
Perhaps the headlines should have read,
‘Life for bag’.
THE DISS PERSISTS
For are we not a cruel race?
I’m told that often,
By people who are cruel
Who make a virtue of their viciousness
In the way only the truly callous can
Who then turn around and say
Ha! We can do that to you,
True, we can,
And there’s nothing you can do.
So here I am,
Furiously stroking my pussy
Like a comic-book villain
And twirling my moustache
Which I call Lyrical
Because I wax it.
I am your reflection in the deepest night
When your bowels pack-up and collapse in fright
I am the yellow brick road to hell,
I am that part of you that is not well
Yellow dog, yellow peril,
Yellow fear, yellow feral,
A letterbox beaver
The stripes on a wasp
The colour of piss
But still the diss persists
And still the diss persists
Should I slit my wrists
Or just get pissed?
I grind my teeth and shake my fist
I’m diced and dissed
I remain unkissed
And still the diss persists
Still the diss persists
So stick me with a yellow star
I see it coming down the tracks
Must be heroin left over from the opium wars
I should have stuck to crack
(c) all copyright Anna Chen