The Poetry Takeaway in residence at 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Made-to-order poems and rotating cast of the UK’s best performance poets


This article is from 2011.

The Poetry Takeaway in residence at 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The Poetry Takeaway is the world’s first purpose-built mobile poetry emporium. Housed in a real fast food trailer (bought off eBay), it’s staffed by a rotating cast of the UK’s best performance poets and specialises in the production of free, made-to-order poems, delivered and performed to the discerning customer. The List asked head chef Tim Clare to cook up an Edinburgh poem …

Each Year

Each year, this city eats people;
I have seen Simon Callow hypnotised
By the slow, cud-chew spin
Of his own dirty smalls in a laundrette,
Giant Toblerone clutched to his chest
Like the key to some ancient pyramid.

Each year, idiots recite nonsense
to empty rooms;
Penises are tugged from trousers like balloon animals
And shoehorned into increasingly desperate shows:
Macbeth Gets His Cock Out
The King and I and Some Penises
Junior Masterchef of the Penis

Each year, a plague descends upon this city,
Like ten thousand indefatigable zombie double-glazing salesmen
Handing out business cards,
Opening and unopening the muddy roses of their hands,
Gurgling through ruined throats:
‘Comedy, 3pm. Four stars.’

Each year, a strange, communal brainfever takes hold;
I visit my orthodontist about the filling in my back right molar
But instead he performs a show called
Dentistry of the Penis.
I do not say ahh.
My newsagent refuses to sell me a pack of AA batteries
Until I watch him do a comedy PowerPoint presentation.

Even my local chip shop has succumbed to the popularity of burlesque –
Terry glum-faced behind the counter
In a studded leather thong
His nipple tassels hissing in the deep fat fryer
Each time he leans forward for a battered black pudding.

The Poetry Takeaway, Bristo Square, 4–28 Aug, noon–8pm, free.

Tim Clare has his own show, How to Be a Leader, Underbelly, Cowgate, 0844 545 8252, 6–28 Aug (not 15), 8.55pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9). Previews 4 & 5 Aug, £6.

Clare also appears in Aisle 16 R Kool!, Banshee Labryrinth, Niddry Street, 0131 226 0000, 5–27 Aug (not 16), 10pm, free.

This article is from 2011.

Tim Clare: How to Be a Leader

  • 4 stars

Overthrown your corrupt government and wondering what to do next? Love democracy (in theory) but prefer power, golden statues and tons of sweet loot? Channel 4 presenter and award-winning author Tim Clare can help. ‘Has audiences hooting. Sublime' (Guardian), 'The most compelling performer on the Fringe' ★★★★…

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