Not the full Fiat

Pushing up, lying back,
I imagine a Fiat 500
clamped to the end of my toes,
flying into space.
500cc, 500 kilos,
give or take,
that darling wee Italian.
I am at 450kg, so not
the full Fiat, not yet,
but it’s like birthing a bambina.
Or bambino, for weight
doesn’t discriminate.
My knees swell like tyres.

PS Cottier


Yes, possibly the boastiest poem ever. I am managing, sometimes, to load 400kg on the leg press and to push it up and back, even if not far enough down to be beautiful.  (The machine itself weighs about 50kgs, without added plates.)

The statement ‘weight doesn’t discriminate’ is a bit iffy, as obviously, most men can move more weight at the gym. Upper body particularly. But the leg press is a bit of an equaliser, I think.  Or could be, as I have to say that most women are less likely to push themselves to the point of vomiting than the current writer, who is just discovering strength at a comparatively advanced age.

I have no idea if this particular 500 is 500 kilos or not, but it looks great, and allows me to include the word Spotto!  Which has to be a good thing.

(Image by TTTNIS Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.)


I feel almost forced to reflect, like a cross between Narcissus and the kid in that eye device in Clockwork Orange.


I leg pressed 200kg, which is pretty damned good.
Lots of publications. Lots!
My chapbook Quick Bright Things came out.
I did more live readings this year.
I was highly commended in many a poetry competition, which is winning’s peculiar cousin, sitting in the corner playing endless games on his device.

Not so achievey:

I spent too much time worrying about the news, and letting it affect me.
My budgie won’t talk.
My canaries won’t sing.



I don’t do resolutions, partly based on the fact that I heard two very fit people at the gym sneering at those they called ‘the resolutionists’, who join in January and are never seen after February.

But I will continue with the poeting, the gym, and letting the budgie teach me budgie. And this blog will continue as long as blogging is a thing, and Tuesdays exist.  Back to Tuesdays after the celebrations end.

Happy New Year, and easy on the Rabbie Burns!

Walking out of the bar
(Seventh in a long series of nasty little poems)

There is a place that humour goes to die
like superannuated elephants.
The three part joke:
first this
than that
then punchline.
No final mild tingle
can ever atone
for the violence done to the ear
the appalling cringe of taking time
and parking a huge lump of
premeditation there.
People, mostly men,
dump these jokes like turds
to mark the boundaries of thought.
This is a funny! It moves like a funny!
So it must be funny!

You never shed boredom, m’dear.
You just packed it into a new shape;
a triangle of sludge, which you call
a joke. There is no jazz
to such a thing; no quip.
You play your lardy triangle
with a tardy limping tongue.
I listen for inadvertent puns,
or simply walk away.
Far better rude than bored,
says the woman in the beret,
unbearably self assured.
She’s walking out of the bar.

P.S. Cottier


Over at Project 365 + 1, I just posted a poem about the gym which I like quite a lot.  It has the optimistic name ‘Four times a week’.  Aspirational, one might say.  This was poem number twenty for that project, so I will do another ten days.  It makes the gym seem easy, I must say.

Tuesday poem: My lover Jim

November 5, 2012

My lover Jim

is ramrod straight, and flexible as steel.
Once he’s on top, it’s hard to make him shift.
He makes me sigh, and grunt and feel
pain, though sometimes I can just lift
him before he renders me 2D.
I have swooned and swallowed blood.
Nausea breaks like a fainting sea,
and I have to stop before it floods.
My legs at such weird wide angles
kicking the heavy sky; or squats:
my hair sweated into ratty tangles,
and arms tied in barbarous knots.
Knees squeak like fearful rodents
in the famous verse by Burns, Robbie
as I scythe myself into components.
He’s more an addiction than just a hobby.
Jim’s real charms show up in rear view
when I’m alone with a looking glass —
four times a week between one, and two,
makes miracles of muscle unsurpassed.

P.S. Cottier

My legions of loyal readers will have noticed that I just took slightly more than a week off. There were many reasons for this; a little disappointment here; a mini-existential crisis there. But my attending the gym four times a week had something to do with it too.

Now that poem above is something of an exaggeration. I have never fainted at the gym, although I have come close. There is nothing miraculous about the changes I am seeing. Some are so slow that they are only noticeable over months rather than weeks.

My legs and back are much stronger than my arms and chest. I may never be able to bench-press very much. But I am already doing much better than when I started, about four months ago. And it is a long time since I felt this fit, and that is a good thing.

With my bike and Jim, I will be a powerful beast by Christmas. I am so hoping that the beast will be a koala.

(And incidentally, a man who acted like the anthropomorphised Jim in the poem would be given short shrift by one little convert to exercise. Shrift shorter than a short string. Look! My very own tongue twister!)

Now, my dear weaklings, click this feather, if you can manage that, and head over to New Zealand for more poetry:
Tuesday Poem

And, if you’re interested, fellow Tuesday Poet Tim Jones posted a review of the recently published Triptych Poets, of which I make up one-third. You could also head to his blog to read that.