Poem (People Keep Mistaking Me For Tom Daley) 


Got mistaken again last night

For Olympic diver Tom Daley.

That’s the third time this week.

The classically handsome features,

The tanned, toned physique,

That winning smile,

Just like Tom Daley.

A lot of people have said

We could be twins.

Coming out of Morrissons with a

Supermarket trolley,

Some yob shouts from the bottle bank,

Tom! Tom! Tom!

Tom Daley! Tom Daley!

It’s Tom Daley!

Swimmer bloke! Trampoline swimmer bloke!

Tom Daley! Divey swimmy divey divey

Swimmer bloke!

From the tv!


Tom Daley Tom Daley Tom Daley Tom Daley!

He then peered at me closer and said,


In the coffee shop,

Flapjack please and a decaf cappuccino 

The barista above the steam gurgle machine

Says, half heartedly, ‘hon haley?’

And I say, what?

And she says, 

‘hon haley? hon haley?

and I say what?

And she says,

‘hon haley.

Nothing, nothing

I thought . . .

Sitting in the coffee shop

Avoiding eye contact



Tom Daley is one of my favourite athletes.

This is because of the way that Tom Daley dives.

Tom Daley climbs up the ladder and then

Tom Daley dives off of it and Tom Daley

Hits the water and then Tom Daley swims to the side

And Tom Daley climbs out of the pool.

You could buy Tom Daley an ice cream and Tom Daley

Is the sort who would say thank you for buying me

An ice cream because that’s the sort of person

That Tom Daley is.

I dreamed that he came round

And we chatted about Professor Brian Cox

And now his to shows, informative as they are,

Might be half an hour shorter

If he didn’t speak



The cat wanted to go out and

Tom Daley volunteered.

Come here, Kevin, he says,

Come here.

The cats called Kevin.

Sometimes people mistake me for

Professor Brian Cox, too.

I’m not Tom Daley

But if I was I’d probably

Wear a false handlebar moustache

In public

In case someone dropped their handbag

Into a river or a harbour

And a call went up among the throng,

‘Is anyone here an Olympic diver?’

Another invitation this week

To open a summer fete.

Just wear your swim shorts, the email said,

So we can put pictures in the staff magazine.

They thought I was you know you.

I’m fed up that

People use me just as a sex object.

Turned on the tv last night.

Diving championships,

Happened to be on.

Just in time to see Tom Daley

Clambering up for another

Rocket ship from the springboard.

And the commentator said,

‘And now here’s something different,

It’s performance poet Robert Garnham’.

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