DiscoverDickens and Quips - Poetry Pod02 Joe Thomas and Christina Thatcher
02 Joe Thomas and Christina Thatcher

02 Joe Thomas and Christina Thatcher

Update: 2020-09-21


Welcome to the second episode of Dickens and Quips!

This week we have Joe Thomas on the show and I shall be reading from How to Carry Fire by Christina Thatcher.

Find Sam at @joefishthomas on Twitter and Insta

Christina Thatcher is @writetoempower on Twitter.

We are at

Twitter: @dickensandquips

Instagram: @dickensandquips


Prompt for this week is "fire extinguisher" and you don't have to be an established poet to submit a poem.

Featured poems:

An Improper Kindness

Worth Telling

What If

All available in How to Carry Fire by Christina Thatcher.

Supermarket by Dee Dickens


I’m on the floor in the grocery store


Great globbing


snotty trails on my jumper.

Everyone has been so nice.

It’s just that

my brave face is so damn tired.

My arms ache from wiping their tears.

My throat burns with words unsaid.

I make tea and hope they

don't taste the salt water.

Supermarket guy comes over to ask,

Is everything alright?

No, supermarket guy, everything is not alright.

I want Yorkshire pudding,

and I can’t find the batter mix.

He’s smiling, but his eyes say confused,

there's a tilt of a head

from a passing old woman telling me

I should just make my own.

I can’t remember how.

I don’t know the ingredients.

I can’t focus on anything

but the emptiness of my belly.

Except that I need to have


To know that something inside me is still alive.

Scrimshaw by Eley Williams

Imaginary friend: by Joe Thomas


I’m an imaginary friend

that’s been thought into existence

or maybe you wished hard enough.

I don’t know. You tell me.

I’m the madman who fell from the sky,

and before anyone says it, I’m not him.

Mr love of my life and Mr man of my dreams

aren’t nearly chaotic enough.

Mr Right’s entrance runs too smoothly

to come down to Earth with a crash.

How boring.

No, I’m not here to be your first choice

but I know what

“I like you…

a lot…

like more than a friend…

but not…

you get me?”

means when I hear it.

Don’t worry. It worked.

I’ve been doing this

long enough to know

we wouldn’t be here

talking right now if it hadn’t.


If you’re interested

here are the rules.

Take food as a given.

If you stalk my social media,

if I find a heart react

on a selfie I took with my cat

because I’m in the picture

you’re doing it wrong.

If you scroll past my pictures,

“Oh my god!

He’s so cute!

I LOVE him!”

and you didn’t mean the dog

but come out with “I want in,”

you’re brave, I’ll give you that much…

If you try to make me choose

“Who is it going to be?

Friend 1

Or friend 2?”

when ‘universal’

by definition means:


I’m sorry,

it’s not going to work out.


In return, I can only give you a hug

one you can still feel long after it’s finished

one that clings on and will not let you go.

If I do it right, it should squeeze

every “You’re not as good as you think

you are” thought until they pop

I write you a pretentious poem

which, at the end of the day,

is just a glorified shitpost

that I crafted to look like a love letter

because I don’t know how else to say it.

And yes, I do it better than most

of your real friends ever could

We keep our streak going.

We let months go by

between conversations

which last for two messages,

an unspoken “You didn’t have to answer

but thank you for coming back.”

No, being left on read is not rude,

we haven’t run out of small talk

It’s an electric “Until next time

Love from an imaginary friend

who was lucky enough to come to life.”

Prompt for this week is Fire Extinguisher









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02 Joe Thomas and Christina Thatcher

02 Joe Thomas and Christina Thatcher