Going to the Wazza in the Wetherspoons

Poem

A fond and fatalistic farewell,
Sweet fingertips touching and the sickly embrace of souls,
So teary-eyed, this overwrought scene played out
Amid plush furnishings, boozy background chatter
And pro-Brexit propaganda,
Two sweethearts parting, like lovestruck badgers,
Like swans mated for life,
Indeed, like nations
Pulling out of economic and socio-political union.
With a heavy heart, and a heavy bladder,
Does Brad’s long expedition begin, for he is
Going to the wazza in the Wetherspoons.

A varnished plywood sign points the way and gives his heart hope,
As he waddles like a pregnant duck
Past tables piled high with triple decker burgers,
Through this labyrinthine, eccentrically carpeted converted sock factory
This utopia of rhythmic belching and exquisitely crafted fart jokes,
How grave this soul, like Shackleton,
Like Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tensing, he’s
Going to the wazza in the Wetherspoons.

An anonymous door next to the serving hatch hell hole
Through which chefs sweat over the bolognese
And churn out searing hot synchronised steak pies,
Leads to a flight of zig zag carpeted stairs up,
Up, to a landing, then on to another landing,
Then up to another landing, how our hero
Hums to himself as the pressure builds, accumulated
Through several coffees, diet Cokes, Apple and Raspberry J20s,
A gallon of water glugged at the gym,
Oh my god, why didn’t anyone stop him?
He goes up to another landing,
Then through a door behind which is another landing,
And then a corridor, and then a flight of stairs,
Until it seems that this accursed maze should
Somehow subvert physicality itself,
And become psychic, subconscious,
Or maybe they just want you to be sober
By the time you get to the bogs,
Going to the wazza in the Wetherspoons.

A flight of stairs.
A landing.
A flight of stairs.
A landing.
A corridor.
Bizarrely now, a flight of stairs going down,
Immediately followed by a flight of stairs going up,
WTF,
A landing,
A flight of stairs,
Vision blurring, the zig zag carpets
Beginning to resemble swastikas,
The walls melt like a wedding cake
In a jet engine,
There’s no mobile signal,
No sign of human life,
Going to the wazza in the Wetherspoons.

Around the next corner he finds a haggard straggler,
Stooped for oxygen against the wall.
Go on, the old man says, you go on without me,
Tell my wife and kids I love them dearly.
Another door, another flight of stairs,
He thinks he hears the howl of a distant wolf
Or maybe it is time itself, mocking him,
He imagines his fate relayed to those who loved him,
They whisper his name on rainy afternoons,
The man who wanted a wee in the Wetherspoons.

Delirium comes to every soul.
A survival instinct kicks in.
How he pines for the gleaming porcelain of the urinals,
That he might lovingly caress their shiny brilliance
And lose himself to the lemony goodness of the urinal cakes,
A mirage ahead gets his hopes up
But turns out to be the mop cupboard,
He feels like crying, collapsing,
Scrawling his last message on the wall,
My name is Brad, I only wanted a slash,
Going to the wazza in the Wetherspoons.

A final corridor turns back on itself,
Reveals a door with faux gold embossed lettering, Gentlemen,
And he crashes through, almost sobbing with relief,
A journey done, a quest fulfilled, like Homers Odyssey,
Like Jason and the Argonauts,
Like those sodding Hobbits in Lord of the Rings,
He runs to the urinal and fumbles with his fly
At the exact moment that the fire alarm goes off.

The Unicycle Bride

Here’s an old poem I wrote after chatting with my friend Max at the wedding of Bryce and Oriana. My friends have quirky names, but at least I have a quirky imagination!

She’s a unicycle bride
You should see her glide
You’ll never know what she’d hide
Down there deep inside
Underneath her dress.
A unicycle.

She moves spooky
Her legs are concealed
She’s not as tall as she looks
She’s not as cool as she
Thinks she looks.

Will you take this man?
She teeters as she stands.
I, woh!
I do.
They think she’s got hiccups.
She’s covered in petals.
She’s also got pedals.

Poor girl,
The guests murmur,
Oblivious to her
Concealed vehicle,
Must be some nervous condition.

She looks quite scary
But she’s not malevolent.
And anyway it’s her wedding
So she’s prevalent.

I’ve seen the groom.
She’s got good judgement.
She’s got good balance.

Here she comes now gliding
Hovercraft
Like a poltergeist among the
Wedding guests.
It’s all happening beneath the
Surface.
From the dance floor to the bar
Smoothly, the end of her trailing
Dress and fine lacework
Stroking the skirting board
Like a man obsessed with skirting boards.
A hearty slap on the back and she’s
Almost over.
Backwards forwards she
Rocks like one of those Texan
Oil well drills.

As they pose for photos they
Throw Brussels sprouts.
One of them knocks her out.

Promotional video for my new solo show

Here’s a link to a short video I have made about my new show, In the Glare of the Neon Yak

https://youtu.be/VKEXMdGwDME

And the latest tour dates are as follows.

See you soon!

Dawson’s Lake

Dawson’s Lake

It was the first day of summer.
A warm breeze breathed through the juniper bushes.
We went down to Dawson’s Lake,
Me and Emmy Lou,, Mary Lou, Betty Lou and Debs,
The hot sun glinting from the chrome grill of our
1957 fire red Lincoln Convertible,
Changed into our swimming clothes and fell under the spell
Of our youthful exuberance.

The water was cool and invigorating.
We frolicked in the shallows and then lay on the
Sand banks drying in the sun.
Mary Lou said that she was worried about sharks,
And we laughed.
Betty Lou said she was worried about axe murderers,
And we laughed.
Emmy Lou said she was worried about the
Representation of gender in the media
And I laughed,
And then I realise that nobody else was laughing.

I think I’ve found two grains of sand the same,
Said Debs,
She’d brought a microscope with her.
They’re around here someone, she said,
Looking at the ground.

I liked Betty Lou,
And I was about to suggest a session
Of heavy petting,
But her nose was running,
So we did some medium petting instead
And then
Chatted about nuclear annihilation.

Emmy Lou brushed her long hair in the hot sun.
She said that her uncle once met the poet Hart Crane
While ice fishing on this very Lake.
I didn’t understand why anyone would go ice fishing
When you can make ice at home
Perfectly well
In your freezer.

Mary Lou turned on the radio
Just in time for Del Shannon’s Runaway.
During the chorus I
Urinated behind a rhododendron.
Emmy Lou brushed her long hair in the hot sun.
Debs tried to alphabetise the shrubs.
I carved my initials in the rotting carcass
Of an armadillo.
Emmy Lou brushed her long hair in the hot sun.
Mary Lou and Debs arm wrestled over the last ham sandwich.
Emmy Lou wrote ‘I love James Dean’
On the side of a goose.
I urinated behind a rhododendron.
The radio played Elvis Presley’s Crocodile Rock.
Debs uses the car door mirror to
Apply her lipstick,
Wrenched if clean off the car door.
Betty Lou gouged a Pepsi and belched so loud
A flock of geese took off in fright.
Emmy Lou brushed her long hair in the hot sun
The radio played Del Shannon’s Runaway again.
Mary Lou upchucked over the hot dogs.
Emmy Lou shrieked because she thought she saw
Richard Nixon in the undergrowth.
I urinated behind a rhododendron.
The radio played Buddy Holly singing Shuddupa Ya Face.
I urinated behind a rhododendron.
I think I might have a problem.
Emmy Lou brushed her long hair in the hot sun.
The radio played Del Shannon’s Runaway.
Our lives are small and meaningless.

I really like my nipples.

Poem

I really like my nipples.
They’re kind of parallel.
The man who delivered the pizza last night
Said he liked them as well.

I stare at them in the mirror
For hours and hours in end
Singing, look at them there
All nipply nipply ever so tripply
Skippitty dippity doo
Which is how I got banned
From Primark.

The distance between
Male nipples
Equates to the size of their you know what
Equates to the size of their you know what
Dean used to say to me,
Boy, yours are so close
They’re making me cross eyed.

Crumbs from my crusty cheese roll
Get flaked in the forest of my chest hair.
As I brush them off
I accidentally touch a nipple.
Oh yes, I shout,
I forgot I had those!
Hubba hubba.
It’s how I lost my job
As a primary school teacher.

The box full of penguin nipple tassels
I sent to the Antarctic
Was sadly returned unused
I just thought
They would brighten up the place.

I dipped my nipples in paint
And tried to use them to draw
A map of the London Underground.
The Swedish tourist said,
It’s ok, I’ve got a leaflet somewhere.

I call my left one ‘Wayne’.
The right one doesn’t really
Have a name
They both look the same
And what really is a shame
Is that I can’t bend down
And lick them.

Darts players have got them.
The man in the newsagents has got them.
My friend Pete says he’s got six.
The train conductor this morning said,
Show me your ticket,
And I said,
Show me your nipples
And he said
There’s only one tit on this train.

My left one is pierced.
It’s where I keep my keys.
I come and go with ease.
They jangle when I sneeze.

He asked me out!
He asked me out!
The man of my dreams
Asked me out!
I put my hand down my tshirt
And had a good fondle and thought
You know what?
I don’t really need him.
Lol.

A progress report on In the Glare of the Neon Yak and how it’s going.

Or, ‘On being a submarine commander.’

Not long ago I watched a TV documentary about the making of the sitcom Seinfeld, during which Jerry Seinfeld, who was writing, producing and starring in the show, said that a season of it was like being a ‘submarine commander’, in that everything else became excluded from his life and he just concentrated on the show for months on end. It was an interesting description, and I’m starting to see what he means with my new one hour show, In the Glare of the Neon Yak.

I started writing it a few days after returning from the Edinburgh fringe last year. I came up with the title first, and then I bought a circus ringmaster costume, and I tried to think of a way of combining the two. In October I had a week off from work and I sat down and wrote the whole show in five days. This surprised even me, but I was really happy with the outcome and eager to get started on rehearsing it. However, at the time I was still working on Juicy, as it had a couple of dates left.

At the end of the year I did something either brave, or stupid. I reduced the number of hours I do in my day job, in retail management. This meant there was less money coming in, of course, but it also meant I had more time to spend on Yak, and making a career out of spoken word. Little did I know that the show was about to take over my life.

Now, it must be admitted that I have always had trouble learning anything from memory. Previous to the end of the year, I couldn’t even memorise a simple three minute poem. I was asked to appear at a theatre event in Hackney and they stipulated that I had to perform a five minute poem from memory. I set about learning it and, I must say, did a damn fine job doing so. This gave me the confidence to learn something slightly longer. So what did I do? I decided to learn the whole hour show from memory!

So since the end of January, when I did my last performance of Juicy, I have been solidly lining the script for Yak. I do it every day. I do it before work, and after work. I do it on my day off, I do it at the gym while on the exercise bike, and in the sauna. I do it whenever I’m on the bus, the train, or just walking. The whole show has been completely taking up my mind all the time except for when I’m at work. And when I’m not memorising the play, I’m designing the poster, dealing with photographers for the poster, speaking to venues, filling in fringe application forms, writing blurbs, buying props and costumes, rewriting sections, working on the backing music, it really is neverending. When it snowed and I got snowed in while visiting my parents, I rehearsed while looking out the window at the snow falling. When my work colleagues left and I was alone, I rehearsed in the store room of the shop. Every spare moment has been spent on the show.

Has my normal spoken word work suffered? Possibly. I have still been writing, but not rehearsing new material with quite the same zest. I’m still promoting two spoken word nights. I’m doing feature sets around the country.

Soon I’ll be working with a director for the next couple of months. It’s an exciting chance to get someone else involved and I’m looking forward to hearing what she thinks. She’s very enthusiastic about the project.

So now I know exactly what Jerry Seinfeld meant. Today, for example, I rehearsed for an hour, got the train to work while running over lines in my head, then again at lunch time, then on the train home. This evening I’ve been working on publicity material for the show, and prewriting some Tweets for a venue.

I’m having an amazing time, and I can’t wait for people to see what I’ve been up to. It’s a departure from my normal style. According to my diary, however, my first free week off from Yak will be in early September. And that’s when the submarine will be docking for the next time!

The lad on the bus watching porn on his phone. A true story.

Poem

The lad on the bus watched porn on his phone.
He thought he was alone.
He was probably going home.
Sitting at the front upstairs on a midnight bus
Between sleepy Devon villages, he’s
Not realised I’m sitting there,
Four rows back, trying not to look.

His phone screen lights his little corner,
The attended windows reflecting on two sides
Lots of limbs and flesh and to be honest
I really can’t tell what’s happening and I’m
Trying to distract myself by memorising a
Pam Ayres poem.

He’s wearing a hoodie with the hood up and a
Baseball cap and a thick coat and trackie bottoms
And the poor lad must be hot under all those layers,
Unlike the man and the woman on his phone who
Aren’t really wearing much at all, though even I
Can tell that she’s faking it,
And the man for some reason is wearing a
Deliveroo cyclists uniform and one of those big boxes.
Straight people are weird.

The bus seat head eats form a valley of
Stagecoach orange plastic at the end of which
His quivering mobile held in landscape mode
Acts like a cinema screen at a drive-in.
I ask myself, what would Pam Ayres do?
She’d wonder what kind of plan he was on.
Some of these videos use up a lot of mobile data.
Apparently.

I try not to make a sound.
The 5p carrier bag from Poundstretcher is going
To get me in all sorts of trouble.
I kind of shift down in my seat a little bit.
Part of me is jealous, not only for the impetuosity of youth,
The readily available content and
His healthy spirit of sexual experimentation,
But also because he managed to grab
The seat right at the very front.

Hoodie boy lowers his hood.
He’s got a tattoo behind his ear in Chinese script
Which I momentarily mistake for the Lidls corporate logo.
The bus slows for a stop in a nowhere town,
He puts down his phone and cups his hands against the window,
Sighs deeply, as if suddenly conscious of
All the pain in the world, ennui, inconsequentialities,
The finite nature of human existence, environmental disaster,
The meaningless of life itself, and all the wrongs
Of society.
Seeing my reflection, he jumps, then says,
I hope this bus gets home quickly,
There’s . . . Something I need to do.

Mr. Juicy – the script

Juicy

(Bing bong!)
British Falcon Flight 7633 to Norwich, now boarding at gate 6b.
This is the first call for British Falcon Flight 7633 to Norwich,
Now boarding at gate 6b.
Thank you.

(Bing bong!)
Could Mr Mozarella, travelling with Air Italy to the Po Valley,
Please make himself known to a representative of his airline.

(Bing bong!)
Air Beagle Flight 133 to Exeter, now boarding at gate 6a.
This is the first call of Air Beagle Flight 133 to Exeter,
Now boarding at gate 6a.
Thank you.

(Bing bong!)

I called him Mr Juicy.
I met him at the gate of an airport departure lounge.
He was flying to Norwich, I was flying to Exeter.
Our planes were delayed because a fuel transporter had
Broken down, diagonally, across gates 6a and 6b.
Nobody could move it.
The two of us, me and Mr Juicy, we looked out the
Terminal plate glass window.
He asked if I had a dry wipe marker.
Why?
So I can go in the toilets, he said,
Add my initials to the hourly checklist.
You know.
Just for a laugh.

No sign of any movement on the apron.
Men in high viz jackets stand around, dumbfounded.
Mr Juicy, all grins,
Sits across two soft cushioned seats.
I sit opposite from him and he watches
As I stare at the floor.
What are you doing?, he asks.
I’m looking at a small dot.
Part of the fleck effect of the tiled floor.
Concentrating on this insignificant dot.
Soon I’ll be hundreds of miles away and the chance
Of seeing this tiny dot again
Will be very small indeed.
You’re weird, he says,
But I like you.

And I liked him.

Rip up the afternoon with your sheer existence!
Batter the world with your beauty,
Show no resistance!
Like a soldier marching, marching,
Left, right,
You are
All right!

Like a porcelain hammer,
Like a grenade of love,
There is no grammar
For me to put into language
That I am made of love.
No longer
Afraid of love.

Let us be brothers in arms, primed to attack,
Let’s drill together, I’ll watch your back
Like two soldiers marching, marching
Perfect rhythm, perfect motion marching marching
Left right left right keep this up
All through the night.

You bludgeon me
With your masculinity
Batter me
With your beauty
Shatter me
You’re such a
Cutey
I want to be with
You, see

War zone decrepit and a scorch earth policy
To fight for love is the ultimate fallacy
Like a soldier
Marching marching
Into the inevitable
You can conquer me!

I’d lay down my arms.
Then lay down
With you
In my arms
If only
You would ask.

(Bing bong!)

We apologise for the slight delay to flights British Falcon 7633 to Norwich and Air Beagle Flight 133 to Exeter, currently awaiting boarding at gates 6a and 6b. This is due to . . .. Operational difficulties.

The driver of the stranded fuel transporter
Hops down from his cab, lands awkwardly,
And sprains his ankle.

(Bing bong!)

Could passenger Mr Mozarella, please make himself
Known to the Air Italy information desk, located
In the man terminal building,
Next to the Weatherspoons pub.

I tried not to look over at Mr Juicy too much.
I didn’t want him to think that I fancied him.
But then
I wanted him to know
That I fancied him.
Open, pleasant face and long, long legs, see them
Draped over the chair next to him,
Body-hugging white tshirt,
Purposefully unkempt hair,
The feint trace of stubble,
A ruffian with the soul of a poet,
Who’d just captured
The soul of a poet.

He said,
I watched that DVD the other day, you know the one,
The Neverending Story. But I’m suing the film company
Because it was only on for 118 minutes.

And another thing.
How come the logo for Universal Pictures
Is just of planet earth?

And how come
The Three Musketeers
Are called the Three Musketeers
When there’s four of them
And they don’t use muskets?

I smile, and laugh.
I want him to know that I’m, you know,
Not necessarily heterosexually configured,
But I don’t want to go too over the top.

Mr Juicy tells me about his mother.
She works at an old folks home, in the kitchen.
They have to perform miracles, he says,
They’re given a Chicken and told to feed
Thirty residents with it.
Rezzies, as those in the business call them.

If someone was not expected to live beyond the
Next evening, then their last meal would be
Rice pudding.
The solemn walk of death,
Carrying a solitary rice pudding from the kitchen
Through the dining room,
And all the rezzies wondering who it was who
Was going to be presented with it.
Poor Ethel.

Ethel looks down, sadly,
At her rice pudding.
Her whole life
Has led to this.

(Bing bong!)

This is another call for Mr Mozarella.
That’s Mr Mozarella,
Please make yourself known to the
Air Italy officials.
The manager is waiting to hear from you.
The head honcho.
The big cheese.

I like your . . . Body-hugging white t-shirt, I tell him.
Thanks, he replied.
Very fashionable, I continue, I’d wear one too,
But there are certain bodies which, you know,
Don’t look good hugged.
Everyone deserves a cuddle now and then, he replies.

Oh my goodness!

But like an idiot I say nothing,
And then when I do, I change the subject.
At school we had some weird fashions,
It was trendy in year eight to have a tin of
Mackerel fillets poking out of your shirt pocket,
You were nobody unless you had a
Tin of mackerel fillets in your shirt pocket,
The teachers would confiscate them,
They always looked so healthy, our teachers,
Must have been all that omega three,
And the poor kids, bless them, they’d go in
With these tescos own brand mackerel fillets,
Am I Rambling?

Everyone deserves a cuddle now and then, that’s
What he’d said, or did I imagine it?

I’m rambling.

He says,
My best friend is an astronomer.
He has been tracking a super massive black hole
For the last few years
Using mathematics and pure science to work out
It’s behaviour.
He’s calculated that a star fifteen times the size
Of the sun is heading straight towards it.
Can you Imagine? This gigantic star and this
Super massive black hole.
I said to him, what will happen to the star?
And he replied,
It will turn ever so slightly more red.

If the ultimate state of the universe
Is chaos, I say,
Then that makes me feel better
About the cupboard under the stairs.

Everyone deserves a cuddle now and then.

I say to him,
I’m really worried that one day I’ll
Slice a loaf of bread
And accidentally split the atom.

(Bing bong!)

Ladies and gentlemen, once again
We apologise for the delay at
Gates 6a and 6b.
The operating difficulties are
Ongoing.
Please accept,
For your listening pleasure,
The following mood-enhancing music.

MUSIC

Mr Juicy smiles, leans back his head and closes his eyes.
The sun comes out, lightly caresses his face.
He looks so pure.

Unblemished by life
Unworried by the immediate
Unhurried unsullied unruffled,
Pure.

Unfazed by the obvious,
Unmoved by the oblivious,
Unabashed, unapologetic, unholy.
Pure.

Unmasked by circumstance,
Undressed by my imagination,
Untainted, unfettered, unforgettable,
Pure.

Pure.
Like the mountain air is pure,
Like the morning of a new day,
Like the mind of a nun is pure.
Like a babbling brook from a glacier,
The glacier itself renown for its purity,
That’s how pure you are.

I bet you don’t fart much
And even if you did
The people near you would say, my god,
Did it just get purer in here?

You’re as pure as a summer rose
Ensconced in morning dew,
You’re as pure as the air
After a thunderstorms been through,
You’re as pure as a paperback
That’s totally brand new
The Big Book of Pure,
Bought it this morning,
That’s how pure you are.

(Bing bong!)

Mr Mozarella, are you there?
(Bing bong!)
Mr Mozarella?
(Bing bong!)
Mr Mozarella?
(Bing bong!)
(Bing bong!)
(Bing bong!)

Where am I?
You fell asleep, Mr Juicy says.
Does this count, I wonder,
If I tell people I’ve now slept with him?
What’s the latest?
They’ve stretchered the driver away.
Now they’re trying to move the fuel transporter.
Some fuel spilled out.
They’re trying to mop it up.

I tell him,
Just before my mother was born,
The cleaner came in the room,
Wrung the mop out the window of
The hospital,
The head fell off.
How’s that for an omen?

POEM

Oh, Mr Juicy.
Juicy perfection.
Millions of years of evolution,
Of chance and random occurrences,
Births, death, circumstance,
His parents needs and his fathers
Sperm going for it,
Winning the race,
To create him.

And for everything to align just right
And in just the right quantity and appeal
To the very depths of my own personal
Masculine preferences,
Perfect nose,
Perfect limbs,
Perfect eyebrows,
Perfect skin,
And for him to be here now,
This morning, a freak of
Airport scheduling and airline timetables,
Just here, just now,
Fortune like a peach so juicy.

But . . .
What right has he to be so gorgeous?
What has he ever done to deserve it?
Why not me?
Why not everyone who’s
Gazed in the mirror,
Felt nought inside but pale horror,
Wanted to change the world,
Wanted to be loved?

I’m attracted to him so much
That I almost hate him
With his witty conversation and his
Affected nonchalance
He chats to me not that he enjoys
The fact of my existence
Or that he wishes to impress me,
But merely because it is all so
Easy for him.

I mean nothing.
I am a momentary distraction.
He’s got a nice arse.
In half an hours time he’ll forget
I ever existed.
In half an hour
I’ll be thinking about
Lost opportunities.

(Bing bong!)
Lost opportunities,
(Bing bong!)
Hold on to him,
Memorise his face.
(Bing bong!)
Memorise his face
Because you’ll forget it quickly.
(Bing bong!)
Massive disappointment.
(Bing bong!)
This is the final call for
Massive disappointment.

Can you imagine what it would be like?
I mean,
The pressure to be constantly amusing,
Me and him, together forever,
Going through each day looking for anecdotes,
Something happens and you think,
Oh good, some new material.
I can’t wait to tell . . .
Jesus Christ,
I don’t even know his name!

(Bing bong!)
Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you very much for your patience,

Comes the voice of doom,
Signalling the end of a romance,

We’re about to begin boarding flights
7633 to Norwich and 133 to Exeter
At Gates 6a and 6b,

Where the future will dissolve and crumble
Like an overlooked meringue

Please have your passport and boarding card
Ready for inspection.

That’s us, he says.
We’re on different planes, I point out.
I know, he replies.

Two parallel queues start to form at gates 6a and 6b. He
Gathers his belongings.

It’s been nice talking to you, I tell him.
Yeah, he says.
Yeah.

Two queues in tandem,
Shuffling forwards.
And I feel sick inside,
Incapable of telling him,
And stunted by social constrictions
That stand in the way of us
And a life together.

But I’d hate it.
Two queues shuffling forwards.
Is it not better, I tell myself,
To let him be.
To preserve it as the most perfect
Moment of all?
A love so deep that none was ever shared?

Two queues shuffling forwards.
He’s there in the corner of my eye,
And I’ll never see him again.
To know more now would spoil it forever.
I don’t even know his name.

Two queues shuffling forwards.
The skies await and with them
All is gone.

Bye, he says,
Smiling.
His queue is moving faster.

I’m momentarily distracted by a kerfuffle ahead.
I’m sorry, Mr Mozarella, the attendant says,
This isn’t your flight.
Exeter, Mr Mozarella.
No, not the Po Valley.
Exeter.

It holds up the queue, and when I look again,
He’s gone.
Mr Juicy has gone.
Through the gate and off to his plane
And things will never
Be the same.

It takes an age to sort out Mr Mozarella.
I trudge across the lonely windswept apron,
Giddy on more than just aviation diesel.
Up the steps of our Exeter bound plane.
I pause, briefly,
Looking back at the airport terminal
Hoping that he still might be there,
Waving, or even running towards me,
Across the concrete,
But he isn’t.
He meant so much,
And I meant nothing to him.
The wind ruffles my hair.
How transitory this life we all live
With its fleeting moments.

I’ll never find anyone else like him.
There were nights when I was so lonely
It seemed he dark itself were a million fingers
Pointing away from me,
My existence so transitory as to
Hardly be worth the breath.
Each moment a death.

I will survive this!
As long before I found my own solidity
That the love I had inside of me
I could share
Should still be there.

How many others will disappear,
Chance encounters and momentary infatuations,
Squandered beauty and sheer
Miscalculations, misread signals and a certain
Immobility deep set within,
That I should live to live to love
Rather than love itself
And forever remain
Hopelessly
Lonely.

Good morning, sir,
Welcome aboard.
My name is Josh.
I look up.
He’s the best looking
Cabin attendant I’ve ever seen.
img_3888

Zebra

My new book Zebra is out now! I’m hugely proud of it. I believe that it contains some of my best writing, and I can’t wait for other people to read it and let me know what they think.

Zebra is a book several years in the making. Not only does it contain more of my comedy poems including some old classics as well as newer pieces, but it also contains my more serious work as well as material from my two Edinburgh shows, Static and Juicy. It’s a layered, textured book, which really gets a grip on life and what it means to be alive. There are one or two deeply autobiographical pieces, dealing with growing up in the suburbs of Surrey, first love, school, as well as a poem written five minutes after learning of the death of David Bowie. There’s also plenty of merrymaking and whimsy, of course, playfulness and poetry.

So why is it called Zebra? There are several reasons, not least that it’s named after a poem of mine which I used to perform while sharing stage with a cardboard Zebra. At the Barnstaple Fringe a few years ago the cardboard Zebra started getting a bit ragged so a friend and and I went round the art and craft shops of Barnstaple to find some gaffer tape to fix it. On the way home from Barnstaple my friend’s car had its sump guard fall off, and the zebra gaffer tape saved the day! He used it to stick the sump guard back on. The other reason is that it’s a nod to one of my favourite groups, Yello, who had an album called Zebra. Everything I used to write at the time was done to that cd. I must have been about nineteen.

I’m enormously proud of Zebra!

You can purchase your copy wherever you see me, or here http://robertgarnham.bigcartel.com/product/zebra