The queen of heart

By Roy Duffield

              Her line

                               that goes nowhere

              Her line

                               that couldn’t be drawn straight

                                                          with a ruler

              Her divine right

                                              to a pawn’s moves, and

              Her coronation

                   a corona bottle

                    to the face, and

              Her castle

   of broken glass

and sodden two-birthday

                       card, and

              Her Queen’s speech


                                          monotonous and


              Her swans

                                 just ducks

                                                     with dirty arses

              Her (pack of) hounds

                                      a lone fox

              Her portrait

                                       in the gutter water

                                  as she stops

                                                         to pick up the penny

                                                                         at the very


              Her royal family

                            of orphans

              Her only servants

                                her own hands

                                her own legs

              Her loyal subjects

                  Society’s rejects

              Her suitors—

Our Queen in drag


              Her Grand


                                who watches her sleep

                                                                           every night

                                                    from the pillow beside—

                                                                its pillow case

                                                                             of black



              Her United Kingdom

                                                                 of brain cells

                                                                 of bloody-mind

              Her crown

                                    of bald skin

       royally nuked—

              Her Thirty Years’ War

                                    on Cancer

              Her jewels


                                   on cracked,

                                                bare fingers

              Her guillotine

                                          that falls

                                             every day

                                             every minute

              Her royal lowness

              Her Majesté

              The Queen of Heart

              The only queen                          for me.

Roy Duffield was honoured to be picked to perform at last year’s Beat Poetry Festival in Barcelona. He only writes when angry, when something in the world needs to change. (He is unlikely to stop writing anytime soon.) This year his work has appeared in The Journal of Wild Culture, Anti-Heroin Chic,The Medley,Harpy Hybrid Review, Jalada Africa, Failed Haiku;the Pure Slush anthology Wrong Way, Go Back and the world’s oldest and most prestigious publication – his personal Instagram: @drinking_traveller.

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