The Poetry Takeaway in residence at 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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

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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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