Phone Call at 3a.m.

I get a phone call at 3a.m.

Who calls at 3a.m?

You think the worst.

I glance across at the screen.

The call’s from Algeria.

I don’t pick up.

I don’t know anyone from Algeria.

I used to get phone calls from ‘my mate’

in Mogadishu asking me how my bank account’s going

but since I told him I’m a pisspot he’s stopped calling.

But Algeria?

I don’t even know where the fuck it is.

Africa somewhere?

But here’s the funny thing.
It rings three times then silence.

What’s the point of that?

Is it a scam?

How can you scam someone unless you speak to them first?

Perhaps he’s inordinately shy.

Perhaps he’s a mute.

Perhaps he only speaks Martian.

I knew a young man once, Simon whose father was the Lord Mayor of Mars but that’s another story.

I look up Algeria on the map.

No clues there.

But he’s there. Somewhere.

On his cell phone.

Now who shall I phone tonight? he wonders.

Whose puffy slumbers can I puncture?

Bizarre.

The Ninth Crypt

I am about to read a book called ‘The Ninth Crypt’,

A novel I acquired for twenty dollars at the supermarket

But fear I may have made a grave mistake:

Browsing through the blurb I see mention of only

The ninth crypt, all well and good, but what about

The other eight? Perhaps the author is planning prequels

Based on the success of this volume but seeing he is

Now a septuagenarian who came to writing late,

This is most unlikely; perhaps if I bury myself deeply

in the text I shall disinter enough cryptic clues

To keep me happy — but at 800 pages !!! I await

Clarification; in the meantime this tombstone of a novel

Shall stand on my shelf of great unread books.





  • have you got any big unread books on your bookshelf?
  • photo by Grangeburn on Pinterest

Zen

This is Max.

He’s a happy lab.

Bathed in love.

Now he’s bathed

in water.

A dog wash.

Every muscle,

every fibre

slouches in a beanbag

of content.

Max is in the moment.

Since the Break-Up

I’ve been taking myself to the cinema again

watching brooding masterpieces like ‘The Dry,’

learning  to play Scrabble by myself but not too often

as I’m a bad loser; giving my self-esteem a face lift,

shed a few kilos, muscled up, become sharper;

I post more , comment more especially on posts

that comment on mine: the noble art of reciprocity;

but, most of all, I move more easily in the world.

have got to know myself more, and know in spite

of slurs like ‘nutcase’ and ‘creepy lizard’ I’m not

such a bad guy

Berating a Barramundi

We were talking about Milly, Bev’s cat

who had just butchered a baby blackbird

when Rob went feral.

I have never liked cats, he said. They should be locked up. Murderers all.

Go easy, I said. You ever eat at a restaurant?

Of course, he said.

Ever ordered a barramundi?

Often.

Ever sent it back because it was too fishy?

No, of course not.

Well, I said, you may as well berate a barramundi

for being a fish

as to castigate a cat

for being feline.

Don’t Throw Away Yr Old Stuff

Don’t throw away your old stuff.

You will never have enough

new material to work with;

writing can be tough.





Put away your frail and flaccid.

put it in a book.

And in an idle moment, open it,

lighten up, have a look.





Give it iron, backbone,

a new voice, beat

find it a new form.

Let the old be reborn.





Everything will have its place.

Everything its time

the giddy, garrulous, the gruff.

Don’t throw away your old stuff..

Dragonflies: a Quartet

the Maserati of the insect world

they leap from dawdle to dash

in one second flat





at one moment hovering helicopters

the next fighter planes

daredevil pilots at the controls





coupling in mid-air as if refuelling

how do they do it?

sex on the run





& here comes junior, red-headed

as a matchstick, parents in tow,

learning the ropes

Affliction

It wasn’t an affliction

like polio

though it crippled you

just the same.

There were no calipers

for crippled speech.

You had to hobble around

conversations

as best you could

hoping no one would notice.

They did.

When things went badly

when you were teased

you put yourself into

the iron lung of shame —

& stayed for days.

*pic courtesy on Pinterest