Phrase Hack


As dry as ice.
As wet as a whistle.
As clean as a clergyman’s clavicle.
Grayden depressed the receive-call button on his headpiece and yawned 
his automated greeting:
‘Welcome, hello, and can I or (why would I or) how can I help you?’
As Greek as to me all.
As twice as the knock of how often the postman.
As hotly as from off its tin roof the cat as anticipated.
Just as gain does, no gain involves a concomitant dollop of agony. No gain, pain. 
If he wasn’t the kind of depressing one offers awareness-raising to 
in a cheerleading outfit he would tell it with pom-poms: pee aggressive, P-E 
As cold as a baby’s coffin.
As soft as a cell.
As clear as a jelly.
Grayden’s mother, also called Grayden, worked at the bureau of 
schadenfreude, sturm und angst, or births, deaths and marriages. 
‘It’s me,’ she retorted, hanging up on him.
As wide as a nun’s garden.
As shaggy as a story of a dog in the 1970s.
As sweet as silk.



Nick Ascroft’s new collection of poetry Back with the Human Condition (VUP, 2016) is very dry and difficult to get through. One poem is called ‘Heraclitus’s Riddle’. And it’s a sonnet. Who has enough time in the day for that? You’re better off buying something else.