Pint of Milk

I’m just a lonely pint of milk,
I stand outside the door.
It isn’t quite so lonely, when the
customer wants some more.
For then I have companions
and we have a chance to talk.
And looking at the people who pass,
we can watch the way they walk.
But how I wish when empty,
you would wash me nice and clean,
‘Cause when I am cloudy,
I’m ashamed of being seen.
So please remember Ladies,
before you put me out,
Give me a rinse, so I can be,
proud to stand about.

New Abode

Goodbye to the cobwebs, that gathered dust
with their static clinging, hanging like sailors
ropes, the filth their devoted mollusks.

Goodbye to the threadbare carpets, that gave a
clear view of the floor boards, their perfect lines
like a summer garden, laid out with turf, the broken
cassettes, cigarette burns, rusted cans and two year
old birthday cards its blossoming flowers.

Goodbye to the lounge, with vast fortunes of copper
that fell behind each seat, the patter of falling plaster
like lazy April hail, that falls in time with the creak
of each door, the drop of every tap.

Goodbye to the evenings blazed in smog, our voices
like the lights that hung bare, our hands too lazy to
dress them with shade. Our palms however, never empty,
with prayers among dust; goodbye to childhood.

@martinadams

Martin Adams hired a black Ferrari for 24 hours,
He instagrammed over 2000 photographs that day,
and entered over a million hashtags,
By the evening he had lost all of his followers.

Sunday Afternoon

We used fingers and thumbs,
hands squeezing bums,
but no tongues
in and around delicate places,
just in and out of each
other’s faces.
It was fun,
something to do on a
Sunday afternoon.

Carrot

You & I shall create a person.
As acting cruel God, I will beset him with a toothache; rendering most thoughts
metaphysical & esoteric the best part of redundant.
You could put her in a beat up & battered pair of german paratrooper boots, a size
too small, if you so wished.
Akin to many of life’s fortunates, I shall make him of mixed-race parentage: Father
of Polish extraction? A sturdy & stern, upright & downright political animal of a man
from Lower Silesia. A slow-burning splenetic to boot, perhaps?
Now for her Mother – a Ceutan? Yes! A blithe & libidinous ochre flame made
feminine by flesh. To be near her is to be in the presence of one of Mother Nature’s
favoured daughters. An obscure descendant of Ammi-Saduqa, no less.
Let’s score in some rudimental sensibility for him. We can make her favourite joke,
in its contextual entirity be: “Mam angielsku zagadke dla ciebie! Co to jest pomarancza,
i brzmi jak papuga?………MARCHEWKA!”. After you translate this to English, shake your
head & ask him why – she blushes & would like to change the subject.
Time to send our man forth to stumble & gawk in the labyrinthine corridors of the
collective mind.
Paying no attention to the pattern (which you quite like for its Art Nouveau qualities) on
the path-worn carpet, she has picked up pace now & if she had not of spent most of
the quarter-mile walked assessing & cursing her footwear, she’d have noticed that
every fifth door to her left is painted a pillar box red & ajar.
Bored of this, I have him stop, turn to his right & come face to face with a diesel-blue,
riveted metal door with CALIGULA ROOM scratched upon its surface.

Cats Know What’s What

The cat has turned
her back
on the tidings
of Magpies
high up on the roof.
She has concerned herself
with paw licking and
catching the last
rays of summer
It’s all about
Wood Pigeons
these days
anyway.

Pat Sharp’s Mullet

Pat Sharp’s mullet
went solo years ago

Pat Sharp’s mullet
now lives in Mexico

Pat Sharp’s mullet,
his middle name is Trouble

Pat Sharp’s mullet
is a highly paid stunt double

Pat Sharp’s mullet
saunters when on set

Pat Sharp’s mullet
lives life with no regret

Pat Sharp’s mullet
wears Primark never Prada

Pat Sharp’s mullet
drives a clapped out, old blue Lada

Pat Sharp’s mullet
likes sushi, coq au vin

Pat Sharp’s mullet
is a ruthless ladies man

After a long run of hard luck…

… Anton won big at the casino. Let’s not get specific but it was a life-changing amount; more than enough. Anton didn’t have to take his own life, but the fact remains that this is what he did. Is it important to know why? Is it of interest? Perhaps and perhaps. He was a roulette aficionado if anything, but triumphed on the blackjack table. The rope was already coiled up in a cupboard back home. Make of that what you will because who keeps rope in their home anymore? I myself will probably go that way some day, but not like that, how Anton did it. He might have abandoned the game halfway through but for he caught a lucky break, being dealt a run of hands so winning that they beamed. By the end of the night he’d won, he calculated, more money than he’d ever put into the whole venture. The rope was long, longer than him and it was thick, like gym rope in a school. It’s hard to say how he was feeling as he turned in his cards. He had to loop it though a fixture in the ceiling and when it came down it piled handsomely upon the floor. The chips took some time to count out, stringent checks were performed upon his ID and there was a moment where he thought he was never going to be allowed to leave. Priapism is a common side- or after-effect. He exchanged a small amount of chips for cash and the rest was wired to his bank. A cab took him back home where he loosened his tie, poured himself a drink and sat down to take in the enormity of things. After that, well. After that is after that and we all know what happened next.

Battlestar Senatehouse Library

if we were aboard the
Battlestar Galactica
you’d probably be a Viper Pilot,
and i’d probably be an engineer
or a deckhand or something
probably i was blown out of the air-lock with the rest of the
nobodies
back in the mini-series
i’m pretty sure you’ll still be there by Season 3, caught-up in a
sub-plot
about the Cylons
and whether you’re one
i don’t mind, but
when the writers finally decide
it’s your time,
spare a thought for the generic overalls guy

Penance

He told me he’d come back if I pulled up my socks
up past my thighs, up at where the leg stops.
He told me he’d stay if I wore only an apron
while brewing him coffee and frying his bacon.

Now I’m not quite sure if he’s aware of this
but bacon’s grease is angry, it hisses and spits.
And this may not matter but when you’re wearing no clothes
it bites at your shoulders, your breastbone, and toes.

It’s a lamentable thing that no compromise comes
when you’ve done something awful and you’re in the wrong.
For his begrudging forgiveness, by his rules I’ll abide.
I’ll click on the gaslight and burn up my pride.

ABOUT MY BED

Oh no, not again I said
I’m dreaming things
about my bed

With a lettuce quilt and
a cream cheese spread

I sleep on a piece
of soft white bread.

Fumble mouth

The longer he had not been with a girl, the more nervous he found himself when chatting to them.

He would say “Anyone told you how attributive you are”.

He wished he could summon up the witty banter his circle of friends texted each other.

Out of his mouth came ‘Can I buy a pretzel girl like you a drink’, or ‘You doing anything latex tonight’.

The problem worsened. In the end a psychoanalyst told him he had developed predictive talking.

Cynthia’s great disappointment.

Cynthia lived in a lighthouse.
The bulb had gone.
So it was just a house.

Cigarette Girl

I took a drag from a tab
then you floated out.
Like slow motion smoke
you hung in the space
in front of my eyes
for a few seconds, smiled,
and faded into the night -
as if the air sucked you into its lungs
with no intention of blowing you out.

Yet, still that image stirs sensors,
in a section of my brain
that deals with senses.
And that snapshot of December has me remembering
how the cold felt,
and how the air smelled of Marlboro reds,
and how we met at the bar later on,
and how now,
I breathe you in
and you dissolve into me.

Stolen phone on George’s Street

Swimming upstream
Against the lunch crowd
coming down
Two mangy otters
high on river junk
have opportunity
in their eyes

Strike, a quick swoop
a long skinny arm
goes in for the lucky dip
and pulls out a fancy phone

Everybody swims on
over the man on the ground
holding on, red faced, full of instinct
But too weak against the strength
of a junky on a mission

The glee in his eyes
The smile on his face
The speed in his
body as he gets away.

Away off up the road
to god knows where
Dissolving into Camden street
with the Galaxy in his hand.

Perfectmatch.com

She is made from freshly squeezed oranges
Bio ewes milk yoghurt
Organic nuts & apricots from Syria
Oolong tea & Tofu spread oatcakes
Moroccan Olives washed with sparkling dry wine
in the evenings while she listens to her favourite
Elgars Cello concerto.
He is made from strong milky tea
2 sugars please
fried egg sandwiches on the hop
burnt toast under beans & chips
sugary doughnuts pork pies and iced fingers
Golden Virginia & cans of Stella
in the evenings while he watches his favourite
A Touch of Frost episode.
Their rendezvous – in the privacy of their laptops
She gave him a vapour image; a surface smile
He said: ‘I like your style’
And gave her bland beige statistics in return.
She declared she wanted only a plutonic relationship,
Intimacy without sex,
someone to share events, experiences, to have fun with,
Nothing serious. Nothing more.
He said ‘Yeah….me too’
And shifted uncomfortably to change tactics
Music, favourite songs, favourite memories
Worst experiences, embarrassing tales,
boring dialogues about work
all shared feverishly every night
Till eventually
One night….
In an outburst of unguarded passion
Drinking one can of Stella too many;
Desire bred on his fingers
His lips, the root of his penis
And he declared;
“I REALLY WANT TO FUCK YOU”
Silence logged her out
The next morning, after a night of wrestling fantasies
She logged back on to find he’d sent her
The You Tube link
Of Frank & Nancy Sinatra
Singing ‘Something Stupid”
She would marry that sausage egg & chip man
As soon as he came back online….

A Moment’s Harm in the Graveyard

Say hello to Hendon for me, I said.
Did you make it to the Olympics? she replied.

We met in a coffee house in Golders Green,
sat and watched the parade of Jewish families,
shalom, hello, moving between bakeries,
cafés and restaurants, halal.
Everything made you laugh; my northern accent,
all of its foibles, and the names of tube-stops,
especially and always Cockfosters.
I did visit the Olympic village; she returned
to London one summer,
and walked Traf.Square,
St.Pauls, Pal Mal – went as far out as Windsor.

There was a garden once, I remind her in email,
deep in the heart of Farringdon,
in the grounds of a church, where we sat
for the first time alone and kissed.
You were all jostle and frisk, but
a true English Gent must push to resist.
Pulling towards dusk, in august, amongst
the gravestones, we kissed, kissed
and kissed.

Haircut

Weird it was
(disgusting too)
That fresh day
When quietly
Walking to Sunday
Market the
Three of us
Were
Showered by
The discarded
Falling remnants
Of a
Haircut
Hurled from some
Overhanging balcony
Window
Florence in her
New acrylic jumper
All of us
Unsure what to
Feel or think
Being touched all over
By the dry rain
Of somebody else’s
Head.

The Tea

I make some tea and we sit down.
He sips and looks at me.
We talk and laugh, I look at him,
He sits and sips his tea.

He sits, just where you used to sit,
Right across from me.
I look at him, he looks at me
And sits and sips his tea.

If he was you, I’d touch him now,
But since he’s not I don’t.
I feel inside I hate him now,
For the things you did he won’t.

His look is not the same as yours,
Nor is his smile, his touch.
I know it’s mean, he’s not to blame,
It’s you I miss so much.

The room, the tea, the chair, the night,
All how it used to be.

The only the thing that feels so wrong:
It’s not you who looks at me.

PERGATORY

Imagine pergatory’s a gameshow,
And Dale Winton is the host,
And he decides who goes to heaven,
By whose basket’s worth the most.

Under the Weather

He looked up. The cloud which had been following him for several days was beginning to leak. He sighed; this was the last thing he needed. He would turn up to his date soaked to the skin and she would peer at the clear blue sky and wonder why she had agreed to meet such a dripping weirdo.
He had woken up one morning and discovered the cloud balancing above him, bobbing and white. Half asleep, he had made a playful swipe at its middle and felt the moist fluffiness beneath his fingertips. The cloud soon got embarrassing, however, following him all the way to work and into his office. A few of his colleagues had thought it endearing until it dimmed and unfettered a small thunderstorm over his desk. His spreadsheets were ruined and his laptop was scorched.
He began to run everywhere he went, in the hope of losing the perfectly rounded cloud. But it clung to the place above his head persistently; he could not lose it. And now it was about to shower over his date. He screwed his eyes shut in despair.
In the black distance he heard a chuckle. Just as he arrived at the cafe, a rogue ray of sunshine had hit his little cloud. Over their heads arched a perfect rainbow, and the woman was clasping her hands in delight. No-one’s ever brought me a rainbow before, she said. He could only smile and pat his damp burden happily.

Hangover

A saccharine sensation, sticky and wet,
the morning on the tip of my tongue,
the night layered across my teeth.

Blue slithers of my eyes water themselves,
from between heavy lids, drip into waking
and find themselves regretful of their venture.

Hair plays at monkey games on my jungled face,
swinging from nose to ear to sky,
and i?
I remain unable to be swayed from the swaying.

Fan Fiction

When it comes to men in books
Everything’s about sex

They want

Mr Darcy in the drawing room

Heathcliff on the moors

Rochester and his great big

Dog

I don’t know
If I ever met Dorian Gray, I’d probably just ask him to tea.

London’s backwaters

12:00

In my hideout away from London in N1, I can hear birdsong and smell the sweet burnt coal from the boats. City noises evaporate and nature resounds.

High-pitched whistles and tweets from the birds push away the heights of crowded buildings, and the clouds are visible once more.

All I dream of is here, in amongst the concrete mass, yet so far removed. Urban sprawl conquered by nature’s sprawl. Lapping water carrying cares downstream.

And in the summer here, it is heaven. Only clouded by the thought of a full turn of the clock.

13:00 and London returns.

Sick Day

Discreetly sneezing into an elbow
(always your own)
in accordance with the latest advice
You are the master of cold and flu etiquette
Until, feeling bolder, you remove your cardigan
You forgot about the sodden tissues
stowed in sleeves
now raining to the ground
Your colleagues pretend not to notice
the two-ply chemical weapons you’ve just unleashed
Later they’ll say
She should have stayed at home.

Blue Bicycle

you drop it right there
your blue bicycle
in the almost-grass of april
and it sinks in
just a little bit
like a tired dinosaur
the blue kind
i don’t know all the kinds
you talk about them a lot
but i always forget

migrants

envious,
i watch them
splayed fat across the sky.

we are the same,
pulled from within
towards the warmth of our mothers’ bellies.

suffocating from cold
we scream -
squark!
‘let us be free from this place’.

they, freed by flight
squeal and shout;
‘join us!’
and then they are gone,
smudged into the horizon.

i am left.
flightless,
in the autumn leaves.

The Girl and the Tree

tree_girl

She first saw the tree when she climbed to the top of the Mount. She put down her satchel and caressed his skin; she pressed her cheek against his body and felt his strength. He sighed.

“Why were you born a tree while I was born a girl?” she asked him, gazing up to where his fingers touched the sky.

She visited the tree every day. In the summer months, the tree’s hair was green. She would strip off all her clothes and press her hot body against the tree’s cool flanks. In the autumn the tree’s hair turned reddy brown. She spent more and more time with the tree and spent less time in her home.

“You and I are just the same,” she’d say.

One evening, just as Autumn was becoming Winter, she ran away from home and went to see the tree.

“I wish I could stay here with you for ever,” she said.

She saw that much of the tree’s hair had fallen to the ground and lost its color. She felt so much tenderness that she wanted to scoop it up. She sat down, her back against him. The sun went down. When she thought about home, she knew that she would never go back. She would have to make her way up to the city. It would mean leaving the tree behind.

“Don’t you wonder what it would be like to be able to move around?” she asked him, wishing she could know what it was like to be so still.

That night, she told the tree all of the stories of her life. How she had never had anyone just be there for her before, or see her as she really was. She moved as close to his body as she could. She closed her eyes. She sensed the tree digging deep into the earth and growing into the air. She felt herself being drawn along with the Winter’s night inside the tree, melting out of her girl form and becoming part of him, held under his skin, an injection of love, mixing with his juices and flowing around his veins, pumped around all night by his mighty tree heart.

In the morning, the word ‘Goodbye’ fell from her lips as softly as the drops of dew that fell from her clothes.

Untitled

Just a quick note to say
hi I hope you’re ok
because I am
I have a new girlfriend
she has tattoos
she is more adventurous
than you you know
I didn’t want to become
that couple who chat
on the phone at lunch
because they can’t at home
but we did remember the time
we couldn’t go on holiday
because you had to work
fuck that was romantic

sent from my iPhone

Mooning

Let me tell you only two things from my youth. When I was five years old, my father told me a sci-fi story every night. The protagonist was a five-year-old boy whose parents had perished with everyone else on earth. I alone had been saved by an alien species, who called themselves “the golden men”. Even though they cared for me, I escaped every night to look for my real parents. One of my friends was an enormous ant who lived on the moon and had built a time machine which allowed me to go all over the place. I had many adventures this way though I also felt quite sad often. I wasn’t sure if I was entitled to be sad: after all I had been spared! This went on for several years. Much later when I was grown up, at least I’d begun to feel that way, my parents’ house was not the right place to fool around. I used to go to a park with my girl friends at night. It was a special park though since it belonged to an enormous open cemetery. We felt there could not possibly be any chance of discovery: a cemetery! (It wasn’t a creepy place at all, just empty and lush, the gravestones well hidden in the shrubbery.) I often had the impression we were being watched but I was never sure and in any case, we were beautifully busy. If there were voyeurs they were very discreet and cautious not to be seen. I suppose if there were voyeurs then we’d have a bunch of shared memories now. It’s fun to reminisce. It doesn’t hurt anyone to go back in time, perambulate the past, cull clover leaves.

Modern Romance

I never want to see you again.
- Angus (sent at 17:38)

Kitty Sashkovich sat there, crying
on the train
as suburbia passed her by.

She didn’t know
that he had sent the text
to the wrong number.

That’s Not My Name

I hadn’t had time to watch Thor
or to read any of the comics
so I had no idea why you
were wearing a red cape,
brandishing a large hammer,
and referring to me as ‘Jane’.

Just try

Oldskool. Words printed on cellulose papers and bundled up in a book. Now, that’s going a step further. Or, shan’t we say, back? Words printed on a cellulose paper then folded up and inserted in a bundle of papers with a bunch of words. That has its own charm. Try to stick this bookmark in an e-reader.

Jan Orrok

Inception Haiku

Five in the First line,
Seven in the Second line,
Five in the Third line.

Good Pluck

The day I was dumped

I stopped plucking

my eyebrows.

I haven’t had a good

pluck now for

nearly three months.

I used to pluck

every day. Or,

rather,

I wanted to pluck

every day but my

tweezers,

they only wanted to

pluck me every

second, third or fourth

day.

I’m getting pretty hairy.

Pioneers

This table
is the high seas
Open water, bread crumbs
We reach across
opposite shores
and let our glasses travel

Casting

A wild howl
Hunts from above
Tearing my cells up
In honeycomb hunks
Leaves fall from the trees
Moulting hair parting
Revealing me fleeing
That enormous tongue
Flickering and testing
The air like a snake
Narrowing on my body
Locking on, casting out
Plunging down
Like a drinking straw

Forged in your pits
I peel away from myself
Rolling and burning
Over and over
Hardening to a foetal
Spherical skeleton
Concertinaed and shifted
In upward contractions
Reaching wet cheeks
Swilled and spat out
Scuttling along the ground
Piddling ghostly trails.

Three Strangers

1

As the patter
of our passing feet fades,
I wonder
how hair on a head so young
could be so mortified to grey.

2

A pity,
that the mystery she weaves
can be dispelled
by a common name
scrawled on her coffee cup.

3

She careens across the street,
louche-limbed,
lush-lidded.
In her eyes,
a glint shines still.

Over It

I’m SO over that, says the girl student, imperious, to her sidekick boy. Y’know? SO past the age where, like, I have to get drunk and emotional. She sighs.

From the other side of the carriage, I smirk. The girl wears an outfit in a style pre-dating my student days. A twenty year cycle; now it’s the hip new thing.

An older woman opposite peers over her reading glasses at the paper. As the girl speaks again, the woman looks up at me. I realise I’m tutting out loud. As my eyes meet the woman’s in the hope of complicity, she drops them, and her mouth twitches into a smile.

The Look Out

I can immerse myself in stones

and pebbles here.
A gathering of tens of thousands
of boulders; rolling, rough but as
meaningful now as a human heart,
a similar size and as rich in history.

To my left a friend is
mapping out the coast;
rock-slides have left a minefield here,
deposits from another age –
but he’ll walk it.
I listen to nothing but the frish
and shush of wave-sets.
I look straight ahead and try
to see France.

The Grump

Lives his life in knives and forks
He often talks a kind of squawk
A clump of a man
Slumped into a beanbag
A complete mess
A face of stress
Going nowhere fast
The grump

Dear Andrex

I think I should tell you
I have been poisoning
Your dog
Because
It Watches me
Poo

Molar-coaster

Julie left the orthodontist clutching her mouth. She hated these visits. Her braces were tightened and the ache lasted for several days. She had always chosen colored bands to go over the train tracks but today she defiantly went with the natural color of the elastic. It was her protest. The truth was that she hadn’t been concerned about her teeth. She would have preferred a hip shaving operation in order to slim down the childbearing beasts housed within inherited chubby thighs. Julie stepped into the passenger seat of the car that her mother sat in, the engine quietly sniggering. The ache in Julie’s mouth continued the whole ride home and her resentment built. With each twinge of pain that eased the crooked pearly soldiers in line, Julie considered another part of her 13 year old complexion that could benefit from alteration.

Julie proceeded through life blaming her parents for highlighting the flaws of her body – for pointing out the imperfections that she had once been blind to. Their casual indifference to ‘correcting’ their daughter lingered, and Julie’s confidence slowly diminished. At first Julie tried extreme dieting – altering her body shape through juice cleanses and cabbage remedies in an attempt to reach what she believed could be perfection. Next it was her lips; they received multiple collagen injections and her face was hardened with repetitive botox. After some careful consideration and a lifetime of self loathing, Julie decided she would be more comfortable as a man. She lived as the opposite gender for over a year and booked a sex change operation with the local consultant. Julie’s mother pleaded with her to only have the breasts removed, but ever defiant, Julie had her vagina turned inside out and made into a makeshift penis. To Julie’s father’s surprise, he actually found his daughter more alluring as a man.

Julian had some real poise. And a perfect smile.

The Anus Scale Chart

o
Sparrow

o
Otter

o
Pig

o
Debbie McGee

o
Leopard

o
Bison

o
Elephant

o
Whale

o
God

John Allison

Gastropods

I watched it so,
As to not be seen.
Cracks of chapped lips,
Received Vaseline.

Now on her face,
Encased in slime,
Two slugs do rest
But not entwined.

Outside the doctor’s

Walking past the surgery
A queue of ailments
Wish I knew what you all had

The Shift

Again in this extended box,
that isolates any chance of my
escape plan mutating alongside
the others here,

whom I know search a similar plea
with empty hands, that struggle
to have their previous contents replaced.

We hold out our callous free palms,
hoping our life lines will be once again rubbed with gold, just enough
to keep any wolves at bay.

But for now, our fingers hover like dragon flies, over the keyboards that are now clogged with dead skin and visible traces of boredom, and the voices then start to pour down the lines with a vaccine-less venom.

And to release each one at will would be a far to easy escape; instead I allow that headset to
melt with my skull, and allow the first hour to take its toll, and lead me once more in this merry dance.

Blue vein

blue_cheese

Admiral of cheeses,
placed on high behind the glass,
your steady survey indifferent
to the taunts of creamy sisters
who flaunt in rows for late night shoppers.
Who are they to me?

You reason in my basket and whisper,
humiliate my bread and beer
with lectures of exalted pursuits
and simple daily pleasures
when rhyming poets walked with gods.

I will not martyr you in modern ovens,
nor melt your maturing angles
(and with it my prejudices)
on burning toast,
but slice your flesh and serve you with a cheerful dried fig.

Alley

  I still hear
          the split of your laugh

the sound of the half-way dead nee alive

      in the smallness
growing, dizzy on dark
          at the back of the old cinema
making homes for strays
and legends
      myths
      unravelling at the hems

our laces brambled tangles
and pockets
       bleeding an unpieced puzzle
on forgotten tarmac
discarded
       debris of our ghosts
turning walls in the day-lit hours
            until our echoes ring faint

and no-one remembers
us
      or the traces that we left.

The other

We’d gone to see it on our way home,
That place he’d held noisome fun before St Vincent ended the party.
Standing on the path, we looked past
His house, the thing we’d come to visit, and elsewhere,
Out onto that palely glowing surface.

When it happened,
When the white sun melted into a sheen and the waves broke
Far away, you took my wrist
And asked me if I felt it,
The soft, cold approach of night
That made our day curl backwards
In on itself. I did.

But that evening had been our friend,
So I kept quiet, not wanting to spoil what was coming,
To leap ahead to darkness and miss the twirl
Of thin, translucent, bright grey silent light.

Emily Jeffrey-Barrett

And then there was light

The Lady of the Night had the darkness wrapped in a colossal handkerchief. She settled the cloth over the town of her creation – because not only was she the Lady of the Night but the lady of life. This was, if truth be told, a rather large hankie, but equally this was a rather large lady. As the fabric fell the light crept in and the sky without moon lay on its back across the ceiling of the town hour upon hour. Shortly before the sun stretched out, creaking its bones, and awaking the belly of fire, there shone a beaming voice shattering the town:

“Ellie breakfast is ready. Hurry up!!!”

Rumbling earth followed briskly beneath their feet. Houses tumbled and bounced and many a person was knocked along the ground. Time passed between the voice and the beginning of daytime, but daytime, they knew, would eventually shine. They were made in her image but on a much smaller scale; she brought so much feeling and hope to the people – the Lady is love!

When the darkness came they only ever assumed peace, quiet…darkness until the slow rising of the light much, much later. Water rushed and dragged homes with it – person after person lost in the swell. She with her mighty hands scooped the crushing, tumbling jar of light from its path of destruction, quashed the mighty waves and soaked up the town. She, the omnipotent – the gentle saviour.

Morning never came gradually, the time to adjust never factored in; it happened in a sudden sweep and those that have been around to testify say that you can see the darkness seep and drag across the blue sky like a magician’s table cloth tugging, pulling in it’s wake the sun from the ocean but leaving the sky un-harmed, leaving the stars and moon in place, hidden and outshone by the brighter. As we now know we have no organic order to control our cycle, there is only her, the Lady.

Film in 140 characters

James Bond, Freddie Krueger, “Dirty” Harry Callahan, Amelie Poullain, Bobba Fett, Sugar Kane Kowalcyk, Dirk Diggler, Patrick Bateman, Jessica Rabbit, Roy Batty, Withnail, Nurse Ratched & R.P. McMurphy, “Cool Hand” Luke, George Bailey, Scarlett O’Hara, Keyser Soze, Atticus Finch, Will Hunting, Martin Riggs, Hannibal Lector & Clarice Starling, Brody & Quint, Harry Potter, Rocky Balboa, Maximus Decimus Meridius, Donnie Darko, Mary Poppins, Ellis “Red” Redding, Marv, Mr Blonde, Cobb, Simba, Oskar Schindler, Jack Carter, The Driver, Phil Connors & The Groundhog, Randy “The Ram” Robinson, Hal-9000, Woody & Buzz, William Wallace, Tony Stark, Blade, Anton Chigurh, Rick Blaine, Tommy Devito, Ace Ventura, Hans Solo & Darth Vader, Ivan Drago, Annie Hall, Johnny Hooker, Michael Corleone, Forrest Gump, Travis Bickle, John McClane & Hans Gruber, Lt Ellen Ripley, Randal Graves, Lisbeth Sander, Luke Skywalker & Princess Leia Organa, Vincenzo Coccotti, Wolverine, Norman Bates, Axel Foley, Marge Gunderson, Ed & Shaun, Jack Torrence, Snake Plissken, Clark Kent, Fast Eddie Felson, Jigsaw, Daniel Plainview, Peter Parker, Don Logan, White Goodman, Leon & Mathilda, The Bride, Frank Booth, Napolean Dynamite, E.T., Dracula, Dr Rumack, Charles Foster Kane, The Elephant Man, J.J.Mclure & Captain Chaos, Batman, Bullet Tooth Tony, Ted, Jason Bourne, Tequila, Edward Scissorhands, Alex Delarge, Peter Venkman, Juno MacGuff, Yoda, Tony Montana, Indiana Jones, Harry Burns & Sally Albright, Martin Q Blank, The Wicked Witch of the West, Neo & Agent Smith, Lt. Frank Drebin, Marty & Doctor Emmett Brown, Jack Carter, Arnie Grape, Tony Manero, The Joker, Susie Diamond, The Dude & Walter Sobchak, Gandalf & Gollum, Marsellus Wallace, Truman Burbank, Wayne & Garth, Holly Golightly, Jacques Mesrine, Harry Lime, Annie Wilkes, Mrs Robinson & Benjamin Braddock, Captain Jack Sparrow, Tyler Durden, Mark “Chopper” Read, Ferris Bueller, Wall-E, The Man With No Name, Ron Burgundy, The Terminator.

mim

she taught me again today, the sea

(i returned like a reformed drunk

still ill with booze but ready for rebirth)

filled with the pomp of learning at

her altar yesterday, i stepped off the

shale ledge to commune with her, embalm.

The judder hyperventilation scramble footing

scraped furrows in clod thick feet

and soles communed with rapid death

to get out. YOU ARE NOT READY

the sun crackled salt skin like a piglet

on the spit, laid out on the trillion gems

that clickered millennia like rollers

casting factory carcasses off to cure. mim

Closer And Less Irritable

Like stubble on shaven genitalia
take the rough with the smooth
in those simple moments
of pleasure

Babes,
I’m a suicide case suited to you
and unpacked I found the light lit
with a match struck off the inside
of your thighs
and the outside of my face
-graze graced
we have that spark
that sandpaper charm

and it’s a true flame
not a lighter, perfect photo finish
or electric heater

just real unphotoshopped people
ugly in places
but smoothed out rubbed down
and repainted
in our own time

let’s go on holiday somewhere shit

so we can reminisce
about the good times
rather than try to recreate them

without realising we

distil nostalgia to be bottled up and aged
lying-in beds made only to be unmade
by making

not a vivid memory,
just a contribution to the bank
to something worth saving up for
that feeling
that we’re happy.

Unbuckle your bra strap
and I won’t wear socks to bed
and we’ll feel sexy for the effort
even though

we’re probably not.

And I’ll kiss you then snore
like a trumpet playing an ode to us
us happy unperfect perfectly happy us

 

James Wheale

J D Wetherspoons

A Haiku Cycle

i (spring)

damp leatherette seat
slowly dries under air-con.
special offer drinks
ii (summer)

a Beer and Burger
served on a sticky table-
J D Wetherspoons
iii (autumn)

aromatic spice
a taste of the orient
it’s raining in Hull
iv (winter)

at opening time
the loyal flock through the doors.
they are there at close

Andrew James Brown

Notice

A letter in her hand,
she walks slowly,
in brave, expensive shoes
to the exit.

Juliet Wilson

Life

The eternal conundrum that what which one calls “life” and that.

If
oranges
are
called
oranges
why
aren’t
lemons
called
yellows

?

John Allison

HSBC Boy

i really don’t know how to
tell you
that i have to stop myself
from
thinking about you,
mostly at night.
You seem to work the
days i go in,
and you look at me
everytime -
and its like wtf am i
supposed to do
i play it cool, too cool and
look at you
like i look at everyone
else,
which is so bad because
you’re not
everyone else,
and by the time i
withdraw cash
you’re sitting down in
your booth
talking to somebody
whose just
moved into London.

Sarah Chapman

The Client We Had To Kill

It wasn’t something we wanted to do
That, my friend, you and I both knew
We didn’t have a choice at all
We made that choice and made the call

You phoned that bloke in Kentish Town
I made the plan and wrote it down
We made a pact right then and there
“She has to go, it’s only fair”

The stupid comments and stupid hair
And stupid questions and stupid stare
The stupid meetings, her stupid voice
Her stupid logic for every choice

She used to leave us seething mad
With moronic points on every ad
We tried so hard to make it better,
You even wrote that lovely letter

But now she’s gone and never more
We killed the bitch, the fucking whore
We knew the cost and up we coughed
Come quarter three, we’ll write that off

Jerry Turner

Come Again

A child of breaking tendencies I grew up
on ‘mols & ‘phens See me?
See ma Ma’ Then the Lord grants me a
Benz
Come rain or shine Come again Come
right on time Come on the five, or on the
ten
You simply must make tea. There’s
no two ways about it. Come full circle,
marmalade accomplice Contrarily; I
doubt it.
Come rain or shine Come again Come
right on time Come on the five, or on the
ten.
I get a little mad at them as, They step
into my night time. Cuppah-OJ-Weet-a-
Bix-Get up and walk the line style I, mean
while..
Come rain or shine Come again Come
right on time Come on the five, or on the
ten
What’s your story, multi faceted. All MOD
cons, no knickers. Bit bitter for strippers..
slip of the tongue. Slip of the tongue.
Come rain or shine Come again Come
right on time Come on the five, or on the
ten
Sit down Fat Larry for I’ve known you a
long time. Furlongs of time, for long is a
long time. But little white ones tire, bore
even like minds.
Come rain or shine Come again Come
right on time Come on the five, or on the
ten
Brightest of boys but must try harder.
There’s no account for this misorder.
House of Lords. House of Strangers.
There’s no ‘Lords’. There’s no saviour.
Come rain or shine Come again Come
right on time Come on the five, or on the
ten
Hold your horses soldier Take one step
back and wave. Now sling your nose up
over your shoulder And keep walking,
dickhead.

Daniel Higginson