Issue 1

Matthew Welton
Four-letter words

On 9 February 2008 Larry Goves' setting of this poem was performed as part of a special Lancaster concert hosted by Psappha. Click here to view the performance as a webcast on the Psappha website.


Push your door shut. Turn down your lamp.
Pour your self some coke. Grab some blue-bean soup.

Some days here it’ll feel like it’ll grow warm; some days it’ll rain.
Take down your book. Play with your biro. Doze till noon.

Then, when some nice dumb idea gets into your mind,
Tune into that folk rock show.

Don’t talk. Don’t stir.

Next – oops! – some tiny grey bugs will fall onto your desk.
Don’t shoo them away.

Don’t shoo them away.


Lose your door keys. Kick over your lamp.
Pour your self some beer. Grab some fish-head stew.

Most days here don’t feel that warm – well well well well – most days here deep snow will fall.
Chew your lips till they itch. Pour more beer.

Open your note book. Play with your fork. Doze till dusk.

When some zany idea goes – blam blam – into your mind,
Play your self some fast – ding ding – free – zing zing – jazz – ting ting ting.

Stay wary. Don’t call home.

Then, when some soft oozy slug gets – urgh – onto your desk,
Lock your room. Hide your bike.

Don’t undo your coat.


Why’d your back door just slam shut? Why’s your room this warm?
D’you want some fizz?


Does your roof leak? How’s your wife? Who’s that ugly girl?
Why’s some body like this need that much cash?


D’you like riot-grrl punk more than lo-fi folk? D’you like blue beat more than soca?
Soca more than soul? Soul more than glam? Glam more than prog?
Prog more than hard-core sucu suco?


What have they done with your nice tidy flat?
D’you find you’d have more lice here than itsy pink ants? More bugs than bees? More grey mice than rats?


funt funk fuse; fume fusm fuss futs fuss; furk fumn full furd cuck wack want cunk cuck wack cuck wack cuse wase cume wame cusm wasm cuss wass cuck wack cuts wats cuss wass curk wark cumn wamn cull wall curd ward dint arnk jick cont dink arck cose jime dise arme cosm jiss cose dime arsm coss jick dism arss jits cosm diss arck cots jiss coss arts coss jirk dits arss cork jimn cots diss arrk comn jill coss dirk armn coll jird cork dimn arll cord jick comn dill arrd jint coll dird arck cont jink cord arnt conk jick

slck slck quck shck smck slck shck crck twck frck drck slnt slnt qunt shnt smnt slnt shnt crnt twnt frnt drnt slnk slnk qunk shnk smnk slnk shnk crnk twnk frnk drnk slck quck shck smck slck shck crck twck frck drck slck slck quck shck smck slck shck crck twck frck drck slse slse quse shse smse slse shse crse twse frse drse slme slme qume shme smme slme shme crme twme frme drme slsm slsm qusm shsm smsm slsm shsm crsm twsm frsm drsm slss slss quss shss smss slss shss crss twss frss drss slck slck quck shck smck slck shck crck twck frck drck slts slts quts shts smts slts shts crts twts frts drts slss slss quss shss smss slss shss crss twss frss drss slrk slrk qurk shrk smrk slrk shrk crrk twrk frrk drrk slmn slmn qumn shmn smmn slmn shmn crmn twmn frmn drmn slll slll qull shll smll slll shll crll twll frll drll slrd slrd qurd shrd smrd slrd shrd crrd twrd frrd drrd

fuag fuut cuut fuim cuim waim fuag cuag waag coag fueg cueg waeg coeg dieg fuit cuit wait wait coit diit arit fuit cuit wait cuit diit fuap cuap waap coap fuat cuat woat fuig cuig jiag slim piut sleg caim slap tiag slat toeg slig jeit slat dait slim tuat sleg tuag drat heut drig daim drat jeag drap toey drit cait dieg piap drag smit sleg sheg shap crag creg crit crit twim twag tweg twit twil twap frat frim frag freg frit frit frap frat


Push your door ajar. Fill your guts with good, weak wine.

Play with your hair. Flip open your head.


Push your, hush
Push your pour your beer your door
More beer more here your more
More push-pull lush-lull hush-mush-mull

Grab your flab, grab your drib-drab crab-slab


Mish-mosh mash; much more such:-
Fish-mash hash-mush dish-rash

Some oozy, lazy loop
Mere dozy, cosy, more hazy
When your door won’t open
Must push much more