Militant Thistles

polemical poetry to prickle the politics of "permanent austerity"

atos Poor Doors Sheriff Stars spikes

thistles stretch their prickly arms afar

Black Triangle bedroom tax Disrupt and Upset

Elaine Cusack

Full of English


I’m British and I comfort eat.

I eat because I’m British.

Stiff upper lips crave fish and chips,

kebabs and battered sausage.


Junk food’s the way to cope with life,

it dampens down emotion.

I’m British, I won’t make a fuss.

I’ll never cause a commotion.


I’m British so I comfort eat,

I binge because I’m British.

Uncertainty breeds anxiety

and I need sugar and sausage.


“Media’s to blame,” I crow online,

swallowing whole the Same Old Story.

Bloated, I stagger down high streets

puking England’s ‘Power and Glory.’


I’m British and I comfort eat.

I eat because I’m British.

Stiff upper lips crave fish and chips

and the right to remain English.


Elaine Cusack was born on Tyneside in 1970. Her teenage writing was praised and encouraged by Bloodaxe Books and her first pamphlet, Bed and Breakfast with Lydia Lunch was published in 1986 . Since then Elaine's poems have won numerous awards and appeared in various collections as well as on national TV and radio. Her latest book is illustrated poetic memoir, The Princess of Felling.  Elaine lives in Whitley Bay and blogs at

Take away culture


Your hometown was panini-ed and frappé-ed.

It was mocha-ed, latte-ed, pulled then crafted.


Your birthplace, that square of South East London

you cherished and shared with your family

and friends is gone.

                               The area’s been knocked down,

updated and gentrified.

                                    This process

is inevitable, unstoppable.


They’re building palaces for Big Business.

Your London’s been gobbled up by Crossrail,

rebuilt by “considerate contractors.”


They’re creating a bespoke capital

for overseas investors with capital.

Revamped London does not belong to you.

The city’s economy and ecosystem are

changing forever

                        for no good reason.