Friday 26 November 2010

#101: Surprise Twist Ending

It is Bill's funeral
and I cannot wait to get your clothes off.

Your eyes flicker at me
from behind black mesh, your black hat
at a rakish angle, a black carnation
perched on the brim
like an oil fire
caught in a tornado.

Bill's casket lies
to the right of the vicar,
a perfect ingot.
Bill will be buried in it.
In light of his injuries,
cremation seemed

The service is easing towards
its inevitable end,
like all of us, I suppose,

when we begin to detect
the faintest tinny warble,
like a ringtone going off
in someone's pocket.

Ears prick, hackles rise
at the disrespect.
Who the fuck forgets
to switch their phone off
for a funeral?

I think, casting
dirty looks about the church.

Then, a pounding on the lid.
From the inside.

The vicar looks startled, and,
to his eternal credit, tries
to keep going, then the coffin pops
like a vault

and it's Bill, standing,
peeling off fake burns like crepes,
dropping trou and mooning
as a 30-second wav of Monster Mash

loops over
and over

#100: All The Pretty Corpses

Howard does their smiles
with a rivet gun -pfft pfft-
two studs in either cheek.

At last, he's found his metier.
He combs still-growing hair
over exit wounds, cooing in a slight

subvocal manner like his mother
used to. He finds it soothing
and, in some strange way, he imagines

they do too. He's never been allowed
to look after someone before -
folks sneered as if it a bad smell,

sometimes literally (building that manse
out of dung left him pungent
for a full month) -

he finds he likes it.
He runs a hand across their cold arms,
holds them in their blindness.

Most would call it creepy.
Howard calls it kindness.

#99: My Garden Shed Is Bigger Than This

Callum regards St Michael's Basilica
with fists on hips, shaking his head.
'Well gay,' he says, kicking off
a domino run of face palming
right down the line of mortified acquaintances.

He turns away. 'Well,
I wouldn't want to live here.
Let's go get some tapas
and sangria, eh padre?'
slapping the bishop
on his cassocked back
the way you might
encourage a horse.

Suddenly, this whole trip
seems a very bad idea.

#98: The Long Limp Home

Endurance tests yield a shameful sort of victory -

slightly sickened praise, that asks
now was that clever, really?

Like shitting enough broken glass
to fill a fancy handbag

or toasting a bagel
with only lit farts

Not everyone can do it, sure, but why would they?
Come on now, son - is it art?

#97: Turnip Wars (The Latent Era)

The Separatists would leave one
on your pillow, with a cheeky little face
carved into it, as a warning.

The Federalists responded
with a release of turnip moths
so vast, they blackened the sky.

Spuds were just collateral damage.
That was how crazy things got.
Fields lay fallow for seasons,
ploughshafts collapsed with dry rot.

#96: Danielle, You Go Girl!

We cheer her on, though,
strictly speaking,
this is probably going to get her killed.

I have made a banner
with help from my girlfriend.

UNAIDED! x' There is glitter
and some stars I cut out

from tinfoil.
As she poises on the cusp
of the bridge, adjusting

her goggles, (decorated
with lightning bolts she painted
on herself, the talented

thing) looking up
I think I detect
the slightest hint

of hesitation.
'Come on Danielle!' I bellow
through cupped hands.


#95: The Dog And The Man And The Other Dog (The Disappointment Thereof)

Nothing really happened.

No understanding passed between them,
no flicker of kinship leapt synaptic sparkwise

from one hound's eyes to the other's.
The man smoked a cigar he'd found in an old jacket
and thought no smart thoughts,
just turning over the possibility of taking his car
in for an MOT, his mind a tumble dryer,
the dogs like tofu facsimiles of dogs,

the big top behind them
burning to the ground.

#94: Billy's Cart

He'd wheel it up just before sunrise,
slip a wooden wedge beneath a wheel
to keep it steady, then unbutton
the dew-damp tarpaulin.

Nothing was for sale:
not the clamp jars with wolf fetuses in vinegar
nor the conical hats made from pasta;
not the clockwork smelting plant
nor the incontinent scrimshaw ballerina;
not the godshoes
nor the primping stick;
not the hasped mouth
nor the candlegun;
not the impossible radio
nor the compendium of improprieties bound in hogsflesh.

He'd just stand there,
gloating over it,
hissing like a goose.

#93: My Life As A Goldfish

I liked the castle best.
It gifted my tank
a sense of history.
Some nights, I'd settle
on the battlements
and look out across
fluxing weed fronds,
coloured gravel,
waiting for the day
when gravity inverted,
and I'd turn my burnished belly
to the ceiling.

#92: Sexy Sexy Time

I dance into the classroom
in my crotchless pants
and do a little finger-jive.
'Sex for you, sex for me,'
I sing, shooting the gun
and the wink at Alfonso,
who looks absolutely baffled
with sexy feelings.
'Sex for two, sex for three,'
pointing first at Miriam,
then at Lionel, who is crying
with arousal.
I am ad-libbing the song
as I go along,
and this spontaneity
gives it a sexy edge.
I throw in a few made-up words,
slap my bumcheeks
then bow.

The silence is sexy as hell.