sick squid

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you know, i pity the fool

who gets sucked in by you

there was an eight to one bargain plea

taken out by a jury of able seamen

and disabled heathens, replete with catgut

and the souls of little children

but life went on; repeat, repeat

while your many hands made work of me

you’d think you’d elicit sympathy

looking so tentacley and shit

but no, public opinion’s not cephalopod

friendly, it seems, so you’re left high

and dryin’ out on the harbor wall

where it all began, back in 2004

when i recall the first time i saw

your legs and the small

of your back and your shoulders

quite broad, and i thought “she’s a sort,”

you know, for a bird with a face like

Neptune’s sock drawer

then we got married, didn’t we?

on brighton beach, we stood in the sea

and you laughed because i fell over a wave

and i laughed because it was my perfect day

even soaking wet in a suit, I wanted to be there

i wanted you, and sure enough, post reception

we went back to the suite and we made love

in eight positions, it was a steamy affair

four arms and ten legs, slime on the chairs

and then we had bruce, our son and heir

a beautiful kid, he takes after you

except he doesn’t look like a squid,

which is really good news

ten years further on, it started going west

when you flirted with bruce’s judo teacher

laughing at his shitty jokes and suckering his chest

one night, i went to see him, to knock him out cold

but he put me in a choke hold and i passed out

and pissed myself in front of all the kids

and then they started calling bruce “pissy squid biscuits”

whatever that means, and we started to fight

every night and he cried and he cried

and he begged you to live with me

but you had the law on your side

cold and oblivious, they gave him to you

the situation was ridiculous,

because you’re three quarters terrible mum

and one quarter hideously amphibious

soon after I heard you’d hit the bottle

the stress of being a single mum

it hit you harder than most, I suppose, because

you can drink eight bacardis at once

but at least I got him back, little bruce

he’s safe and sound at home with me

and luckily he can’t see you now, head bowed

and naked, falling into the sea

you’re dried up and worthless

Kelly Mari

Hard of History: F Scott

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The telephone rings.  Zelda Fitzgerald thrusts herself from her armchair to answer it, nudging the table next to her and spilling her fourth pink gin of the day.  It is 9:22am.

She knows it’s Francis.  She’s been waiting for his call.

“Hello? The voice on the other end declares tinnily, “ Zelda, can you hear me?”

“Yeeeeah, I can hear ya…” Zelda says, the gin liberating her Alabama drawl.

“How you doing over there?” she manages, one eye partially closed.

Zelda was vaguely aware that Fitzgerald was staying with one of his Princeton chums after a class reunion at the university.

“Yeah, yeah, it’s going great here.  I’m thinking of staying over at Biffy’s a couple more days. Is that OK?”

Without waiting for a reply, F. Scott barrels on,

“Listen Zelda, my love, I’ve only got Biffy’s typewriter over here and the ribbon’s just busted.  Could you write something down for me?”

“Sure, honey,” Zelda slurs into the receiver, tongue on her cheek as her chubby fingers wiggle grotesquely in the pen pot before eventually retrieving one.

“Okay, honey, goffforrit…” she dribbles, pen poised over the baise of the telephone table.

“Okay, here it is… “In a real dark night of the soul, it is always three o’clock in the morning, day after day.”

“Whaaat?! Honey, the connection’s terrible, say it again, will ya?”

The line is crackling like an empty pack of Luckies.

At this point, the free hand she’s using to support herself slips from the edge of the table and she just manages to stop herself from falling over, skilfully using her forehead and the nearest available wall to save her embarrassment.  

She looks round sternly at the empty drawing room, challenging the furniture to make comment.

“Hello, Zelda, did ya get that?”

“Not quite, honey, just s-say it one more time, the line’s really bad.”

“Chrissakes woman, will you just listen for once?  This is really important and Biffy and I are gagging for a martini.  You ready?”

“Yeesssh…” she replies, twirling the pen between her fingers to facilitate the more traditional nib-down approach.

“In a real dark night of the soul, it is always three o’clock in the morning, day after day.”

The static on the line becomes so loud, Zelda holds the telephone away from her ear. By the time the static has passed, all that can be heard is the dialing tone.

Zelda, benefiting from her self-imposed best-of-three rule, finally returns the receiver to the cradle and looks down at the table.

She stares, baffled, at the sentence she has scribbled directly onto the green felt of the table top.

“Inner ear star light often sold, kisses honestly a cloth into mourning, stay outta jail?”

“Sheesh,” she turns and addresses the furniture again, “it sure ain’t one of his best.”

streeky

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it was one of those nights

we went out, invincible

with nothing to lose

except, it would seem, our wallets and shoes

and our fingers

they smell halfway between bacon and innertube

God, what did we do?

nobody knew

we were embarrassed to ask

incase we’d put wheels on a pig

at the tour de france

or put johnnies on our hands

and sucker punched a sow

or did we all have sandwiches

at some mechanic’s house?

we’re a little stumped

until it all comes flooding back

tackling that gang of butcher gimps

armed with crackling and hams and

very lean mince

and coming off worse, a gimp’s not averse

it would seem to thirty five quid

and some second hand Converse

oh it was one of those nights, alright

it was one of those nights

custerd (i)

I lift a lid
the “whites”of my eyes

have a tinge of yellow to them now

that can’t be right.

they have a dry yet glossy

just-dead sheen
like a nicotine-stained cue ball from a 1980’s snooker hall

i’ve been travelling for too long

i want to come home

i want to do something