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“Voraciously experimental, precociously accomplished.” Poetry International

“Multifaceted, mega-fabricated, louche architecture.” Magma

Jon is a Derbyshire-born writer, editor and researcher who specialises in amalgams: hybrids, mixtures, collections and crossovers, of poem and game, fantasy and realism, curation and composition. He writes micro-texts that often take the form of character portraits, nature lyrics or puzzles, and combines them with the work of other writers and artists in genre-blurring anthology books.

Poetry London have called him a “poet of fantastic inversions”, but such inversions are just one way of rethinking the poem as an object of readerly play and investigation. His work has been published in The Sunday Times and performed on BBC Radio 4, as well as appearing in a number of British and international journals. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 2012 and the Poetry London prize in 2014 and 2016.

He has also published academic papers in the field of game studies. A monograph, Dual Wield: The Interplay of Poetry and Videogames, was published in 2022.

For a fuller account of his approach to writing, with examples, check out the short essay 'On Toys'.

Get in touch: jonskeletone [at] gmail.com. Or subscribe to Stray Bulletin for irregular updates.


(This is a role-playing poem. It asks you to make choices, to perform minor actions and to imaginatively rethink your surroundings as you read.)

You’re standing in a beam, or in a shaft. Furred in it, in fact.

So you slide your head inside [the owl mask | the jackal mask | the mistral mask | the soap mask | the shepherdess mask | the rattlesnake mask | the honeycomb mask | the snow mask], and load yourself, like an overstuffed suitcase, onto the seat of your jetbike.

Look about you. I mean really look about you, away from the page or screen, at the spun wilderness. Find the point that lies furthest in the distance, and pin your gaze to it. That is an outpost of Surrenderpity.

Idly finger the throttle.

What is the highest visible peak, stage or spot? Skewer your gaze on it. This is a minaret of the City of Seize Everything.

Look the other way. What is closest to the centre of your gaze? Around there, according to the map: the hidden entrance to the catacombs of Diegodly.

[Choose a destination.] What is it you’ve tied about your waist, my friend, now caught and teased by a wind you neither feel nor hear?


There’s a rich history of didactic poetry (poetry that instructs), but it’s only very recently that this form has come into contact with tabletop role-playing games, and single-player micro-RPGs in particular. I like the idea, as espoused on the Reddit for Top 10 Games You Can Play In Your Head, By Yourself, that the result is ‘daydreaming with rules’.

This poem is indebted to (and seeks to channel aspects of) Shedworks’ 2022 game of the same name.


The poems accessible on this site are dispensed randomly from a digital capsule toy vendor, or gashapon machine. You could think of it as a broken jukebox that plays whatever track it likes. Or a lucky dip. Click in this box to pick another one.

More projects


On Toys

What is



of Forgery

Dual Wield

The Hipflask








Super Treasure

Death Daydream

Sidekick Books

Core Samples




site by jon