I've been thinking about infatuation and unrequited love and the time when you decide you've got to get a grip. To an observer it can seem like a complete overreaction if you are nursing a broken heart and nothing has really happened between you and the object of your affection.

But all sorts of things can have been happening in your head. I thought it would be great if there was a phrase for this, so if someone noticed you seemed a bit down, you could say to them "Don't mind me, I've just finished with my imaginary boyfriend/girlfriend" and they would understand.

I sat down to write a poem based on this idea but before I knew what was happening I'd created an actual imaginary boyfriend for myself, like the imaginary friends children sometimes have.

For quite a while the poem was called 'My Imaginary Boyfriend'. It already had the line 'he has no second name' and I was walking past the Houses of Parliament on my way to work when it dawned on me that the title of the poem needed to be my imaginary boyfriend's first name and that his name was Stanley.


Yesterday evening I finished
with my imaginary boyfriend.
He knew what I was going to say
before I said it which was top of my list
of reasons why we should end it.

My other reasons were as follows:
he always does exactly what I tell him;
nothing in our relationship has ever surprised me;
he has no second name.

He took it very well
all things considered.
He told me I was to think of him
as a friend and if I ever need him
I know where he is.