The Sitting Duck

Every time I sit out the back on my three chairs a bloody poem

comes into my head. The Muse is not silly. She sees me sitting there, happily

drifting off like a Labrador in the winter sun





and says, ‘Aha: there’s a sitting duck’. I don’t know if sitting on fewer

chairs or more would make a difference. I suppose I could experiment.

I could bluff my way into intensity by having a book of heft





say ‘Sabbath’s Theatre’ open in front of me and my glasses resting

professorially on the bridge of my nose, my chin resting on my hand

in faux concentration. Maybe that would work





but She’s not buying it; She nudges up to me, the swish of Her gown

over the carpet of bluebells, the murmur of bees, Gus, the Jack Russel

yelping at ghosts next door, and says, I’ve got one for you





and She whispers a line in my ear, and she sure has, and I leap out

of my three chairs and dash into my study, onto my laptop where I’m

pounding down this poem, the one you’re reading,  right now

20 thoughts on “The Sitting Duck

  1. Nothing like three chairs, I say. I assume it’s one for one’s bottom, one for one’s feet and one for paperwork, coffee etc. But when the paperwork is lifted or the coffee brought to lips, lo! A spare chair for any wandering muse. Muses must get tired, flitting from head to head. They must rest awhile on any generously provided furniture and perhaps sip refreshments and pause among the bluebells for nourishment of the senses. Yes, you provide a hospitable home. And your guest is clearly grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my goodness John I loved this poem! The images you paint really make me feel like I’m there, watching, you as you leap from the chair and dash to write the words down 😆

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  3. Haha. I know this. Sometimes it’s in the middle of the night right before I go to sleep. Funny you picked Sabbath’s Theatre. I’m a huge Philip Roth fan. Portnoy’s complaint and smaller novellas like The Prague Orgy inspired me greatly.

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  4. Yes, I love Roth’s work; there’s a lot of stuff in magazines and newspaper supplements on him atm because of that massive 800 page biography but I won’t be reading it —

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