Mick Twister

Mick Twister is an anagram of Twitmericks.

Mick writes limericks about the news on Twitter, pretty much daily, as @twitmericks. These are also reproduced below, with links to the relevant news stories.

He is the author of There Was an Old Geezer Called Caesar: A History of the World in 100 Limericks (Anova, 2013) and There Once Was a Man with Six Wives: Kings and Queens in Limericks (Pavilion, 2017)

He writes limericks with a biblical theme for the quarterly 197 Piccadilly magazine. http://www.sjp.org.uk/uploads/1/6/5/7/16572376/____pp197_autumn_2013smaller.pdf

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It could be verse

A BBC radio anchor/

Thinks Twitter a hotbed of rancour/

But some of us know it’s/

A place to find poets/

As well as the odd boorish person.///

This limerick was prompted by a discussion on the Today Programme on BB Radio 4 this morning, in which Justin Webb was interviewing Lemn Sissay and Helen Mort about the growing popularity of poetry among young people. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000255m (login required)

Lemn observed that the current generation of young people “have received more written words than any generation before them, since humans were on earth – because of the internet”.  To which Justin responded “But those words are hateful, and prosaic… there’s no poetry on Twitter – well, not much!”

This prompted a spirited response, and not just from me. Moose Allain @MooseAllain began a thread asking for suggestions of Twitter poets, of which there are many, of course – and suggesting that “political journalists really need to step outside their bubble”.

But I think this also highlights a major image problem for Twitter. Of course, they need to do more to clear up the cesspit of vitriol that forms a part of the platform, and which rightly gets a lot of attention.

But why is Twitter so bad at highlighting the good stuff that is out there. Twitter could sponsor an annual poetry festival, gathering Twitter poets from around the world, livestreamed via Periscope. Or how about an wards ceremony, celebrating those creating the best poems, cartoons, jokes, mini-fiction or whatever? Come on Twitter, get your act together.

Oh, and I went with ‘person’ rather than ‘wanker’ partly so as not to reinforce the negative image, but mainly in the hope they might read the limerick out on the Today programme tomorrow – let’s see!

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Nineties rock

An ancient stone circle that stands/

On West Aberdeenshire’s green lands,/

Is 20 years old,/

Researchers were told,/

And built by the last owner’s hands.///

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Hotel hell

A high-tech hotel that employed/

A staff largely made up of droid/

Gave robots the sack/

And brought humans back/

Because they got guests so annoyed.///

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Blow for eel population

The river that flows through The Smoke/
Takes pee flushed by London-based folk,/
And now it’s transpired/
That eels become wired,/
From swimming through all of their coke.///

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Duke of hazard

A very old royal named Phil/

Has had to explain to the Bill/

He crashed his Land Rover/

And flipped it right over,/

But still isn’t over the hill.

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Confidence in confidence alone

A PM who’s now a lame duck/

Is nonetheless riding her luck;/

MPs expressed confidence,/

Despite her incompetence,/

And gave her more time up to fuck.///


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Theresa has lost her big fight,/

The May-backing Ayes to the right/

Not having the heft/

Of noes to the left/

Who reckon her Brexit deal’s shite.///

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Rock ‘n’ troll

When Williams got into a spat/

With Page in the neighbouring flat,*/

To get him annoyed/

He blasted Pink Floyd,/

Deep Purple and Sabbath – take that!///

*for rhyming and scansion – I know it’s a mansion.

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Quailing quisling

A Brexit supporter named Grayling/

Would like to see democrats quailing/

For fear that it might/

Incite the far right/

To find all their schemes unavailing.///

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Oh no it isn’t any good

A show with a beanstalk and Jack/

At Christmas came in for such flak/

They had to admit/

The panto was shit/

And give the admission fee back.///

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