Graham Clifford is an award winning poet. He was born in Portsmouth, grew up in Wiltshire and lives in London with his partner and two daughters. His pamphlet, Welcome Back to the Country, and full collection, The Hitting Game are published by Seren. His pamphlet collection, Computer Generated Crash Test Dummies is published by The Black Light Engine Room, and his collection, Well, is published by Against The Grain. He has a MA in creative writing from UEA and is a Head teacher in London. Clifford’s poetry has been described as having ‘coolly brutal frankness,’ and containing ‘vivid ideas at once familiar and strange.’ His fifth collection, In Charge of the Gun, is published by the Black Light Engine Room.


The White Baboon from In Charge of the Gun A white baboon became important. Everyone visited the zoo to see what he had done to become important. He reflected everyone’s life at the breakfast table back at them. Who could not be moved by the white baboon and his achievements? He was also an excellent draftsman. Sometimes it was the tops of houses he could make out from his cage, or a visitor he remembered. A keeper bought him canvases to use the paints he had made using oil from Tapir excreta and rocks that children still threw at him. By humanely removing the top of his skull, neuroscientists properly understood the white baboon’s importance and helped us to. This success coincided with a dip in zoo ticket sales; attributable to the allowable and expected mid-implementation slump bought about by edgy economic policy. There were no ill effects from his surgery or the subsequent analysis which involved sedated journeys to the best universities. They sold the research paper in the souvenir shop. At K. University he was allowed to dress in jeans and a t-shirt. The baboon was once beaten for an affair with a handler’s wife. The baboon went bald, grew back his hair, dreamt he was flying, dreamt of real places he’d never been to, and drew and drew and drew. He tattooed one of his peers with his own language and smashed three sons on a boulder near the tyre swing. In summers, he was captivated by the skittish algorithm of sunny gnats. He understood. The Two of Me It has become alright for me to tell everything about me: it’s as if there are two of me, the impossibly broken nocturnal endangered species caught in bulb light weeping perpetually covering its mouth stuffed with moths and crickets, loudly crunching and this other, newer animal. Similarly rare, but this one will hold your gaze. And it has learnt to enjoy pain, like microbes thriving iridescently under poisoned outflows. This new animal daily surprises itself, sometimes for the right reasons. It mimics the sound of humans so deftly others listen and actually agree and don’t see.


Launch night: In Charge of the Gun Join me virtually to hear poems from my latest collection here: Clifford’s latest collection includes such soon-to-be-classics as, Tuculescu?, The White Baboon, New Saint Crop and The Worst Poem Ever Written. Perfect as a gift or a veiled threat, this collection will not leave you wondering. Published by Middlesbrough's finest, the Black Light Engine Room. ‘…think yawning baby shark.’ Introduced by Harry Vegas @HarryVegas Books available from

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

Blog entries by Graham Clifford

The Rules (26/08/2014)

The Hitting Game (02/06/2013)

In Cars (09/02/2013)

The Hitting Game (29/07/2012)

On the dispersal of water (05/06/2012)

Gourds (03/03/2012)

The (very) end (06/02/2012)

Rivalry (01/02/2012)

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<Deleted User> (10123)

Sun 11th Mar 2012 14:54

Hi Graham,
Many thanks for the hello.
I think I'll put up 'Weeping Beasts' to open the garden gate. Tiny bit heavier but worth a blast - I hope!
Ta much,

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Laura Taylor

Thu 8th Mar 2012 10:01

Hi Graham

Thanks re I-Museum. That was the first thing I wrote upon joining the site in September 2010 - first thing I ever really properly wrote, in fact, so glad you liked it :)

Had a look at your page and yes, you were right, I DO like that poem! Never heard of Tadeusz Ròzewicz before but I just had a quick look at some of his stuff and wow - I must read some more of his writing, it's incredible!!

I will keep an eye out for more of your writing - I suspect I may enjoy it. ;)

<Deleted User> (6315)

Tue 7th Feb 2012 22:00

And a hello from me too Graham..bleak?..Oh I can do bleak ha ha ha :)

Looking forward to reading you. :)

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Ann Foxglove

Sun 5th Feb 2012 09:31

Hi Graham - welcome to WOL. Hope to see some of your poems on here soon! :)

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