His Arms Were a Graphic Novel

It wasn’t the person from Porlock; it was my aunt

Who got on the bus, brought my poem to an end.

My notebook slumped on my lap as she told me

The long sad story of a friend.





When she got off I had my chance but this young bloke

Sat next to me, iPod blaring, hair swooped back.

It was the White Stripes live from Splendour.

How could I not listen ? It was Meg and Jack.





But then a cross-eyed biker got on, hair in a rat’s tail,

Skin graffitied with tatts. How could I not look?

His arms a graphic novel. Then a woman got on

Shouting into her mobile, angry as ‘The Angry Book’.





The sad sack on the other end was out for the count.

Luckily Coleridge didn’t board this bus

while he was dreaming ‘Kubla Khan’. He wouldn’t

have written a word. The poem would be dust.





  • picture courtesy of Pinterest by TheTatt

Okay, I looked but I didn’t stare

On a road trip the other day

we got talking about birth defects you don’t see

any more

like hunchbacks, birth marks, cleft palates

though Simon

whose father was Lord Mayor of Mars had one

and spoke with a lisp.

Then at this café in the mountains

we were served

by a barista

with a raspberry stain on his left cheek

the shape of Africa.

Is that a birth mark, I asked him. We were just talking about them.

Yes, it is, he smiled.

It was just another feature on his face, like his nose.

or a mole

It was nothing special.

Yet it had a strange sort of beauty.

He poured me the greatest cup of coffee.

I was glad that I had asked him, that I didn’t wuss out.

It’s okay to be curious.

Spiral Staircase

My extension cord is kinky.

It winds around itself, gets tangled up in knots.

What can you do?

Iron them out?

I have kinks too.

The world would be a straighter, sadder place were it not

for kinks.

Our quirks, our oddities, the little handbag we carry around our talents in.

How we’re wired, the way we spin, the bands we listen to.

Kinks.

They’re in me and you.

Those pairs of long thin strands coiled like the banisters of a spiral staircase.

Our DNA.

You don’t want to untangle them.





post courtesy of dykeanddean.com on Pinterest

Dark Spots

There’s an ad on some Word Press posts saying,

‘Don’t Cover up Your Dark Spots’ and I thought,

Whoa, isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?

Keep our sins and prejudices in the attic,

not hang them out like dirty linen in public,

to hide our inner trolls, I know what the ad means.

I’m not stupid. Just got carried away by the metaphor.

And anyway I almost put up a post yesterday

Revealing a darker, nasty side of me but my therapist

Urged me not to put it up, that there are dark spots,

she said, that are best concealed.





  • Tribute to Blenholt by Natalia Zaratieger on Pinterest

My Walter Mitty V- Neck

Do you like this hi-neck sweater? she says. I’d like to buy it for you for Xmas. But you’ve got to keep it a secret.

I don’t know, he says. I prefer V-necks. Will you buy me a V-neck instead?

What have you got against hi-necks anyway?

You can’t whip your iPhone out or wallet from your top pocket at a moment’s notice, he says.

You’re not Walter Mitty? are you she says. You’re not a gunslinger.

But, but ….

And your top pockets are not holsters, are they? And this is West Lakes Shopping Centre NOT the Wild West!!

Can’t a guy dream? I smile

  • do you know who Walter Mitty is?
  • do you sometimes fantasize about being someone else?
  • do the clothes you wear create fantasies or do you buy certain clothes because they ‘feed’ a fantasy?

Okay, I looked but I didn’t stare

Microbiology_gram_stain

On a road trip the other day

we got talking about birth marks

and how you never see them any more

then at the airport

I saw this barista

with a mulberry stain on his face.

I had to ask him,

is that a real birth mark? I asked

we were talking about them

and how you never see them anymore.

Yes, he smiled

as if it were just another feature

on his face

like a mole or scar.

It looked almost beautiful.

Then he made me the greatest cup of coffee.

Thank you, I said

glad that I had asked him

and didn’t wuss out.

It’s okay to be curious.

 

is anyone else fascinated by birth marks ?

what would you have done?

And the Way He Glares at Me

close-up-of-the-yellow-cat-eye.jpg

I don’t want to face him again today. Each morning it’s the same. He’s hung over, strung out, bleary-eyed, unshaven and his hair —- it looks like something slept in it overnight. He could make an effort. Spruce himself up a bit but no, the same old, same old. Mr, Ragamuffin. And the way he glares at me first thing in the morning. Is that really necessary, moaned the mirror ?