All entries for Sunday 11 April 2010

April 11, 2010

Of course, in an alternate universe things would be perfect

I read the story of a cult leader who used to address his followers while under the influence of laughing gas. I was preparing a best man speech at the time and it got me thinking. I wrote this poem sitting in this square:

I was the only tourist and, apart from my pale complexion, shorts and sandals (everyone else was wearing jeans and jumpers), I think I blended in well.

Of course, in an alternate universe things would be perfect

I gave the speech and,

despite your objections,

I used the nitrous oxide.

It wasn’t pretty but I think I made my point.

The groom’s mother looked at me with murderous intent;

it’s the same expression whenever we meet.

I can see she’s planning a few frames in advance;

looking at my throat like it’d be no trouble.

She’d have a fresh pair of marigolds in her handbag,

bought from a supermarket out of town, with cash.

She’d just have to rinse them under a tap,

run a bit of washing-up liquid over them.

No one would suspect a thing:

the gloves would go to the Shrewsbury WI;

she’d put them in the Men’s lavs at St Peter’s

during one of their monthly meetings.

Nothing ever happened at St Peter’s, she’d think;

they couldn’t even shift Joan’s sponge there,

and the steward was the only man

who ever went near the place.

Her domestic automatons-of-a-certain-age

would encase me in pastry

and my flesh to raise enough money

for a whole school, with a teacher.

She thanked me for being best man;

her eyes narrowed and she applied foundation.

I said it was no trouble when

really I meant: ‘Make your move.’

April 2010

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