Priti Patel’s Denial

Priti Patel’s Denial


Kevin Higgins




 “I just wanted to hear [them] deny it.”

Lyndon Baines Johnson



It is not true that at our meeting today

I forced the Foreign Secretary and

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to bathe

in piping hot custard and gently

scrubbed their backs, bellies, balls

with my bristling, steel wire-brush

until they were strip-loin raw

and roaring to God

for me to stop.


The whole thing was their idea in the first place.


Nor do I make

the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

wear a gimp suit to all-day

meetings, during which I only unzip the mouth

to feed it occasional morsels

of uranium washed chicken kebab

with my long hot fork.


She turns up dressed like that entirely of her own volition.


And the rumours I ram

an electric hair straightener

with a loose connection

up parts of the Secretary of State for Wales

not designed to take

an electric hair straightener

with a loose connection

have been vastly exaggerated.


Said implement was in excellent working order.

I even took care to wipe the remnants

of the last guy off it.


Nor is there, for the most part,

any reality to online accusations

that at our most recent

meeting I covered the Attorney General

toe to forehead in cats’ blood

and locked him in a closet

to be fought over by my pet

Staffordshire bull terrier, Enoch

and a one eyed East African wild dog

called Field Marshall Idi Amin

I keep around the place

just in case.


The closet you speak of remained unlocked

during the entire process

which my Right Honourable friend appeared to

thoroughly enjoy.


He was still telling what I think were jokes—

it was difficult to make out fully formed words—

as I drove him slowly as possible

to hospital.



Bio: Kevin Higgins’s Song of Songs 2:0 – New and Selected Poems will be published by Salmon Poetry in April. His poems have been quoted in The Daily Telegraph, The Times (UK), The Independent, and The Daily Mirror. The Stinging Fly magazine recently described Kevin as “likely the most read living poet in Ireland.”

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