Series Editor - Jim Bennett

Introduction by Jim Bennett


Hello.  Welcome to the next in the series of CITN featured poets.  We will be looking at the work of a different poet in each edition and I hope it will help our readers to discover some new and exciting writing.  This series is open to all to submit and I am now keen to read new work for this series.


You can join the CITN mailing list at - http://www.poetrykit.org/pkl/index.htm and following the links for Caught in the Net.




On Raglan Road, Kavanagh’s finest,

gap where Pat gave it sparks like the magic trick

I saw another chancer try, one night,

in a Soho bar, card behind the ear (hand’s slight)

of a woman chatted up.



                 from;   On Hearing On Raglan Road.     by Deborah Tyler-Bennett





Good Time Girl  

Death of the Popular English Print

Shades of Snow - Churchyard Skylight

Last of England

Shades of Snow - London Clay

On Hearing On Raglan Road

Lost  Properties

Shades of Snow - Brighton Vermillion

62-64 New Walk





Deborah Tyler-Bennett’s current collection is Pavilion (Smokestack, 2010), set in Brighton, her first was Clark Gable in Mansfield (King’s England, 2003), selected poems are in Take Five (Shoestring, 2003), and a new collection, Revudeville’s forthcoming (King’s England).  First poems from Anglo-Punk (sonnet sequences on Regency dandy Beau Brummell) have been published (UK, Ireland, US).  A chapbook collection of three portraits in poems, Mytton, Dyer, Sweet Billy Gibson, is forthcoming (Nine Arches Press, 2011). 


Some of her work’s translated into Romanian (also broadcast on Romanian National Radio).  She has had over 400 poems and short fictions published (UK and internationally), and co-wrote The Victoria and Albert Museum’s creative writing web-package.  She edits Coffee House magazine.  In 2001 she won the Hugh MacDiarmid Trophy at the Scottish International Poetry Competition. 


She works as a poet for many national galleries and museums, including workshops for The Science Museum, The National Gallery, The Collection, and most recently being resident poet for Sussex Day at the Royal Pavilion Tearooms, Brighton.  In summer 2010 she was a Poetry Lives Here resident writer at Keats House, Hampstead.






                                      Good Time Girl




World’s biggest cliché, I know, falling for a shadow-

suited man, whose eyes are always shaded

Wrong un’, crook, alcoholic, always the short-con

for a man who could unhook

bra-clasps without me knowing.  Now he’s gone

(this time how long?)


Mirrored face stares back,

hair sleek as Betty Boop,

nasturtium lips.  In day-dreams I’m light

years younger, slimmer, tanned.

Mirror woman, scornful of her own hand’s

hasty packing.  Agent Provocateur

slip slung in without tissue-paper.

One thing rooting me,

stilettos, the only balance-keepers.

Their grip, an imprint of his grasp.

I totter reception-wards with minimal luggage,

key, excuses. 


Fogged face of the man I won’t forget burned on

my retina, like the West Pier’s negative

after a day of sun.




 Death of the Popular English Print



Squire James Mytton (1796-1834) was one of the most recognised Regency sportsmen and eccentrics to be depicted in public art.



 No more ‘Mytton Rides a Bear’,

‘To Hounds’, ‘On Fire’

(mad cure for hiccups),

frames fit only for the byre.


Annals listing bad behaviour

(and extreme) deny entry

to vanquished squirearchy.

Chilled, standing sentry


those who dreaded invites,

Parson wibbling on,

something about sins cleansed

carved heaven won.


Print-maker’s lament,

subject dust-bound,  

shunned visitors received,

now cold in ground.


No more ‘Mytton Set Alight,’

‘With Hounds’ … New gloom

consigns rich racing prints fit

only for a Bawd’s scant room.







Shades of Snow



Churchyard Skylight



Sallow ground

Hallowed ground

Carousing flakes

Muffled sound


Lead white

Stone white

Still-faced city

Blinking light


English red

Venetian red

Holly flambeau

For the dead


Fallow ground

Unhallowed ground

Toppling gravestones

Fresh dug mound


Stark white

Candle white

Starry feathers



Splashed red

Stained red

Severed beauty

Snow-drift bed


Snow drift

Drifting lace

Beauty spot

Ravaged face





Last of England




Could be going Stag, or kick-arse drinks,

but fighting later?  Now?

Butcher’s dog smiles, explaining hands,

gilt logo shirts.

                        One lurches bleeding,

J-Cloth against head’s stitches

barely holding.

                        Sits by two girls for sympathy

(they think he rocks).


Says girlfriend’ll kill him.  A and E

recommended he

walk up a floor for tests: ‘Sod that, we’re going out!’


His mates cheer on a toddler’s table-dancing,

Dad, sixteen, too pissed to register her fear dogged

features.  Blood floods sky-blue earthen on the J-Cloth.                     




Way home, near empty carriages bi-sect

towns on early closing since the mines,

boarded Welfares turn suspicious faces

to where poppies, eggs-and-bacon,

Well-Dress an armchair’s frame.

Willow-herb courses pub gardens as

shadow-man’s framed, head in hands.


Left energy’s ghost workers underground,

all fight reserved for Saturday’s club nights,

and gladness scarce as high held banners.


Yesterday’s journey, not all blood and jeers.

Some singing through the core of it remains,

lads cheering-on a Morris Man at Newstead who,

bowing, swept his tweed cap in an arc.


Floury figure diminished as their better-natured laughter

when Albion’s train pulled out.






Shades of Snow


London Clay


Glimmer-pigmented, city breaking

under champagne-chalk, reports speaking

rush hour’s vacated streets.

Later, flakes aching

statues’ stony cheeks

in parks fox and geese

print swiftly covered tracks.

Night - Furnace … ivory … lamp black.


Scrooge’s Second Spirit shifting,

uplifting over chimney-stacks,

moments timeless … gifted …

undesired:  Vagrant sleepers,

mausoleum-boxes, backs supine

on dolphin-ornamented bridges; vine-

black churchyard, trudging man; manganese-

black windows, Gothic’s crumbling cake. 

Time-shifts freeze, flats breathe

below blizzard’s wake.

Queues for phantom buses, make

coated people, as if lain to be snow-angels,

risen, scaled fishy-silver, angles

matter for artistic speculation …

Shifting winds cause infiltration

of a satellite

                    ashen TV screens scatter bone-black night.





On Hearing On Raglan Road.




In a film’s yarn (Irish mobsters hiding in Belgium)

hearing that song recalling Grafton Street,

now hustling without Pat Tierney, ballad singer.


Gap of him, empty doorway where

runic poem-boards were,

no melancholic air, smile wishing fair

morning, no telling if a ballad’s his.


Human voids, hidden in rush-hour’s midst

until waylaid songs illuminate

as if newly fitted arc-lights.


On Raglan Road, Kavanagh’s finest,

gap where Pat gave it sparks like the magic trick

I saw another chancer try, one night,

in a Soho bar, card behind the ear (hand’s slight)

of a woman chatted up.


She bought drinks, as pub doors swung

someone spoke a name, her man was gone,

presence, gap between stools, dropped cards …



Skimming night, space white

as Pat’s uneven smile,

strong as his gone voice, livening

On Raglan Road’s closing

with its own hard-grafted music.






The following poem is from a sequence of sonnets, Anglo-Punk, based on the life of Regency Dandy, Beau Brummell.






(For Nikki Clayton)







Delicate, spun-sugar, hand-blown glass,

mementoes: Mottled pages, old loves placed

in strong-clasped boxes, stored though crackle-faced

as wax dolls.  READ ALL ABOUT IT –  Massed,

Byron’s grave-goods: Buttons’ tarnished-brass

to locks of time-blanched hair, not commonplace

but marvellous.  One girlfriend formed an encased

shrine to his old sunburned shreds of skin (gross



                   Brummell’s catalogue – Debt-

seized objects d’art, though not his long-gone screen,

snuff-boxes re-jog rides on Rotten Row.                             

Only his sketches seem to hold him yet,                          

those private musings that late came to mean             

Regency, its scurrilous after-glow.






Shades of Snow



Brighton Vermillion


Light flooded abandoned houses,

in recycled buildings, past tenants’

lives, pigmentations rousing

city under pale siege.

India Yellow shivers boards

covering Regency casements, conveys

evening muslins, waistcoats,

pavilion blues and greys.


Close by, Time’s petticoats rippling,

flakes mask interiors lively with

dead cards – Faro fluttering

buried fortunes.  Bulbs swinging

outside bars and restaurants tinsel flinging

(despite Christmas long done).  Carriages rumbling

past Max Miller’s statue, vanishing

clean through The Accountants’ flat-tiled wall.


Nash’s Mini-Pavilion, skirts rippling

short distance from contemporary shops,

like tattoo ink pinking skin,

ghost-presence of a once live Fop,

budding waistcoat

blooming vermillion

                     Queen of Hearts

                                     slapped over stone-faced, lesser cards.




                                                                            For Stig Evans




62-64 New Walk


Somewhere, the boarded building’s ancient heart

beats, faltering, and something fast,

a pulse, occurs.  New Walk’s new pedestrians pass.

Inside - Sieved plaster, marked by bats,

mice, doubleted-beetles and, perhaps,

ghosts - thumbprints staining glass.


Windows’ eye-holes flash

dark Rococo mirrors,

Greek-key tracery withers

like dried Bride-cake.

                             Somewhere, heart beats make

skips.  Faint pulse, guttered

guffaws on broken stairs, question uttered

for bats and mice:

‘Has he gone down?  I won’t enquire twice.’


Somewhere, brushing coat-tails, fleet,

twisting time, done candle’s winding-sheet,

un-noticed by commuting feet

en-route to pressing lives.


Regency elegance survives,

ageing Dandy pulling tattered coat

round bankrupt beauty, pock-marked throat

corrupting vision, refusing letting go -


Spent eyes reflecting truths old buildings know.




3 - Publishing History


Good Time Girl - Poem from Deborah Tyler-Bennett’s current collection, Pavilion (Middlesbrough: Smokestack, 2010), 18. 

Death of the Popular English Print - Poem forthcoming in Mytton ... Dyer … Sweet Billy Gibson (Nine Arches, 2011)

62-64 New Walk - This poem was written for and displayed at the Celebrating New Walk exhibition at Leicester’s New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, by the W.E.A., organised by Martin Hyams.



4 - Afterword

Email Poetry Kit - info@poetrykit.org    - if you would like to tell us what you think.  We are looking for other poets to feature in this series, and are open to submissions.  Please send one poem and a short bio to - info@poetrykit.org

Thank you for taking the time to read Caught in the Net.  Our other magazine s are Transparent Words ands Poetry Kit Magazine, which are webzines on the Poetry Kit site and this can be found at -