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 ?
Get yr feet off the table I was told.
Get yr feet off the pouf.
And I thought, what the ^%$#@ ?!?!
What does it even matter if I dangle my feet
from the chandeliers?
What’s feet got to do with it anyway?
But somehow they alwats march in.
I often start off on the wrong foot these days
Step on people’s dignity
Tread on their toes
Or worse put my foot in my mouth
A mean anatomical feat if ever there were one.
So now I keep my feet firmly on the ground
Close to each other
And far enough from my mouth as possible.
This seems to keep people happy.
Maybe it’s the way I look or how I carry myself
but each time I go to the service station for fuel,
the attendant takes a good look at me and says
“Have a good day. [pause]. If you can”
as if I was constitutionally incapable of it.
It makes me try a little harder.
You can’t say ‘no’
to a bloke in a wheelchair with one leg and a busted right eye
so I reached into my pocket
to pull out some coins
he said he didn’t want money.
You got any grass? He said.
Weed? I answered. No.
Look at me.
You’re asking the wrong guy.
That’s the third time in two years I’ve been mistaken
for a druggie.
Perhaps it’s that flannelette shirt and the
Faraway look I’ve had
since I was a kid.
Maybe I should wear sunnies.
You open your mouth. A pink hippo comes out. You scratch your ear, a purple gorilla. You blow your nose, a polka dot egret. You pass wind, an emerald marmoset. You wonder what will come next. You go to the toilet. You piss piranhas. Defecate falcons. Can I have some more you ask the anaesthetist but the anaesthetist has gone, the effects wearing off just as an oleaginous eel slithers from the long wound in your leg from which the surgeon removed veins for your blocked arteries.
You’ve always been jealous of thin guys, admit it, so this puny poem is a dig at ultra thinness; the humour hides the venom:
Watching this dude
How he fits
The spider’s squandered his chances.
The fly sits on the shelf.
The sun preens itself in the mirror
Studying the glory of itself
Deposited on the mat
Early one morning
A furry centaur
A gift from cat
Half bloodied stalk
Half grey rat.