Britain’s Most Wanted


It was while opening a package from the States

That it happened

The package contained the artwork to my latest novel

Burrito Deluxe

By Calif’s finest

Jose Arroyo

Holed up and rolling with the punches

East of East LA

The artwork was perfect for

The novel and nobody but Arroyo could’ve come up with it


But as I stood there admiring the creation

Britain’s Most Wanted

Came on the television

A list and faces of UK’s most wanted criminals

And the shock when I heard the name

And looked up

And there on my television

In High Definition

Was the hero of my novel

The inspiration and catalyst to

Everything that had happened

On our great Mexican adventure

The man who once said the creation of a myth

Was the only thing he was interested in

And that if you join them, you will always be at odds with them

And everything they stand for

And there he was on the run

Still running free

And laughing at the sun

Long may he run.





Don’t Talk Put Your Head On My Shoulder


They say that first love never dies

And maybe that’s true

What I do know

Is that I remember you

And a darkened room

And Pet Sounds

Played over and over

And we didn’t talk

And you put your head on my shoulder

And listened to

My heartbeat





Police Cell Blues


At the station it was the same old scene

Fingerprints, mug shot, DNA swab

I followed instructions in muted fashion

Having a bit of trouble with the thumb print, turning the wrong way and shit

My belongings placed into a sealed bag

Belt and shoelaces included

And when the heavy door cell slammed shut

It was 3.30AM, the cell was cold, and I was aching all over

In the cell next door, some freak banging his head against the wall

And a disembodied voice screamed the eternal incarcerated scream

I fished through my pockets and found a five pence piece

Carved Annie on that cell door

And waited for the dawn




Miracle on Lordship Lane


We were on the verge of splitting up – the Belle and I

The constant rowing had worn us down

And we’d almost reached the end of the road

Our race – as they say – had been run

And yet it hadn’t

Just as we were about to say sayanora

And walk off into our separate futures

A miracle occurred

On Lordship Lane

Where we lived

In a tiny housing association flat

With a rat infested garden

Sex fiend for a neighbour

And squirrels in the chimney

A baby was born

A baby boy

A son

Sole heir to the Ridgwell dynasty

The last Ridgwell on God’s

Mad earth.








Joseph Ridgwell was raised in East London and is a cult figure of the literary underground both in the UK and abroad. Ridgwell has published five collections of poetry, two short story collections, three novellas and two novels. A second collection of stories was published by New York’s Bottle of Smoke Press in Summer 2015:

In November 2015 – Leamington Books – published his long-awaited debut novel – Burrito Deluxe – On the Road for the Offbeat Generation.

His second novel – The Cross Part 1, 2 & 3 were published in serial format by Paper & Ink Press in 2015/2016.

Also due for publication in 2016 are Jamaica & Mexico which will form a trilogy with Cuba, which was published in 2014. The trilogy is published by Pig Ear Press.

Ridgwell is currently working on his 6th collection of poetry and a prequel to Burrito Deluxe.

Ridgwell Stories was nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize and was long-listed for the 2016 Saboteur awards.

For further details of the authors work and current state of mind go to his website:


featured photography by badpoem