date night: door

 

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I don’t even get to say

That I swing both ways,

Because she won’t even look at me.

But this is par for the course,

Head off at ninety,

Peeling labels off sauce,

Amassing salt,

I’ve seen it all before.

 

What was it she said?

Transparent? One-sided?

A pushover? Unhinged?

As critique, it’s technically weak,

As I have two sides, at least

And four hinges, at the time of press,

And some kinder souls might allow that,

A glass heart ne’er did harm

To fair wench, lest a gentleman hold me ajar,

With his limbs outstretched

And wait and wait but remain unchecked.

And also, i might add, if I  may,

This coat’s fresh on today.

 

No exit, no fires, no names in lights,

Royal timber, hewn from evergreen block,

From chainsaw blade and sopping twine,

To brassy pushplates and a fat waiter’s behind

That is my jamb, my friends, that is my jamb.

And who goes on a date with a door?

Maybe this isn’t a date, more a fixture.

No, wait, this is a date.

I’m a fixture.

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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

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

hyperchondriac

woman-in-red-shirt-with-hand-around-her-throat

found a new vein in my neck

it runs perpendicular

anterior to apple

prominent

particular

check

think it’s responsible for the sores in my mouth

and the rash on my leg

and the voices

pertinent

peculiar

death

dunk

Hobnobs

For readers in foreign climes, a hobnob is a delicious biscuit, indigenous, I believe, to the British Isles.

Although it may have seasonal migratory behaviour that I am unaware of. Thank you.

Anyway, that’s the least of your worries with this one.

“it’s kind of like chess,” she says

and we take seats at a board

that’s hexagonal, at best

there’s no chequered pattern

or pieces as such

just sea shells and tendons and spherical fluff

it’s your turn, she says

and confused, i remove a tendon or two

from where they had been

and place them between

two balls of dust and look up

and our audience erupts with whistles and jeers

which i find quite strange

because i’m sure they weren’t here

when we sat down to play

stroking her chin, she debates a move

that ends with placing tendon end-on in a groove

there’s a muffled hush as the crowd go mild

and she sits back, arms folded

smiling devious child

as rules, it would seem

are thin on the ground

i see her her tendon and raise her some crumbs

from a couple of hobnobs, that i stash in my sleeve

for occasions like these

the crowd are asleep now, you really can’t blame them

we’ve been playing a week, it’s not entertainment

we’re just pushing round biscuits and bits of the sea and bits of cow’s knees

with no victor in sight, through a yawn and a scratch

i forfeit the match and she stands up and bows

and says, tearfully prone

“Well done, you won. I want to go home.”