Comes out every now and then
When I lose the thread of an argument and desperately try to sew it up
When I chat with Tiff in her tank at night when there’s nothing on TV
When I slapstick my way across the mall just for the hell of it
In the bath on Sundays when I sing ‘Deep Water’ backwards, inside out and upside down to give my vocal chords a workout
At the hairdressers when I talk to Simon with the harelip about his dad’s imminent retirement as Lord Mayor of Mars
And lastly when we all stand together in Alex’s Salon and sing the Mars National Anthem on International Mars Day
- when do you speak Martian?
Is it the characters, then?
No, it is not.
the machinations of plot?
No, it is not.
Really? None of the above?
Then, pray tell, what?
Far more important
than any of those,
the vivacity of the prose.
* what is it you most treasure in a short story?
pic courtesy of Pixabay
Whenever the bowl
is boring, bland, stale , stodgy.
I bring out
those frisky little pellets
zest and zing
that put the sing
in snap, crackle, ‘n’ pop
nifty little metaphors for writing
that needs an uplift
a whiff of lightness.
that needs to find its funny bone.
open up its Id,
roll like a dog
the muck and merriment
My keyboard is monocultural
has no linguistic spark
for nowhere does it recognize
the diacritical mark.
It’s positively Neanderthal
it waves its arms and shouts
but nowhere acknowledges
our dear friend, umlaut.
Yes, it’s almost prehistoric
a keyboard Godzilla
never heard of a circumflex
or even the cedilla.
And what about the breve, brachy,
the wedge and the hacek?
My keyboard shrugs its shoulders.
Ah, Just as I suspect.
My keyboard is being sent
to a re-education camp
so it comes back enlightened,
Whenever you see the word ‘nooks’ you just know
that ‘ crannies’ is going to pop up somewhere:
they go together,
as the song says, like the horse & carriage,
welded together like conjoined twins;
once, they lived separate lives; like ‘topsy’ & ‘turvy’;
a rambunctious couple;
how they got together is anyone’s guess:
was it during a blind-date, or a casual hook-up in
some covert etymological corner
and their chemistry clicked?
Whenever I lose
a coin or capsule, I’ m never sure whereto look first:
a nook or a cranny?
Once I lived in a unit where there were no nooks
and another where there were no crannies;
I couldn’t wait to get out of either place.
- pic Pinterest by Julie Robin-Wagner
You can’t stutter in writing,
my speech therapist said
before I had thought much about it.
Maybe that’s how it started.
I felt I could sprint in writing
while in speech I hobbled.
I was good over short distances:
haiku, poems, flash fiction,
the occasional story.
Any further I flagged,
my efforts stuttered
But I don’t know.
I can speak now
but I still write.
Looking at the long, narrow columns of ‘Le Coeur Immense’
and trying to read the text with the French I have long forgot
is like that time I rode the train having just purchased my copy
of Sgt. Peppers that no radio station had yet been allowed
to play and trying to hear the ornate aural castles the Beatles
had constructed from reading the lyrics on the album’s
But is it poetry, John?
You mean, is it like Wordsworth’s ‘Daffodils’
you know the one, ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’
or ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’?
Well, How about Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost?
Come on, we’re talking 2020 here.
A little bit of Billy Collins, I say, and Billy Connelly,
a sort of mad mix, the demotic and demonic.
We let our dirty laundry hang out. moon the pious,
but always in an Aussie accent. Your country first.
Does it have to rhyme? you ask. Probably not.
It’s not like Aussie Rules. There are no rules.
Though it’s a game anyone can play.
Just let it rattle off the tongue, roll off the mind,
Ignore the referees.
My mother always warned me about loose women
to avoid them at all costs.
But what about loose lemons?
That’s a whole new ball game.
And I need one for my fish tonight.
Do I risk it?
And what about loose thoughts?
Isn’t that where creativity comes from,
thoughts that amble along like a jazz tune that’s lost its way?
I posted a poem last night about an invisible dog
that turned out to be a bit of a lemon.
Talking of which….
I’ll take one loose lemon, I say to the check-out girl,
and o, excuse the loose change.
Quilton Loves My Bum
I know it’s clever advertising
but it’s kinda creepy too
the idea that some stranger called Quilton
‘loves your bum’.
Going by his presence on the supermarket shelves
he seems to love a lot of bums.
I’m sure it’s Platonic
but couldn’t they have used ‘like’?
wouldn’t that have been preferable?
It’s sort of reassuring that Quilton ‘loves’ your bun
but it’s kinda creepy too.