Saturday, 25 May 2019

The Fug on the Fringes

The sun was the colour
Of piss on chrome,
Of marigolds in baskets,
Of marigolds in sinks,
Of lager
in the last flat roof pub.
The riotous fug.

Al limped in.
He’d worked in Bloomsbury,
before the concrete set in.
There was a moment
When 50% cotton,
50% polyester,
Felt like silk on skin.
He was made of XS,
But took a XL knock-off
Ralph Lauren in white.
The lash.
Bog rolls on string.

They’d got their Sunday’s caught
in the zip of the afternoon.
Kev of Mancunia,
was double cross.
‘Av shot people for less’,
Would not leave it out.
Till Lydia,
Cut his throat with that look.
‘Missed Frank earlier’
She said out the side of her mouth.

Al thought:
‘I don’t need to miss this place
to know that they were there.
I took photos of fairies
in the willow by the canal,
when I walked me dead mum’s dog.
Did you see them?
Do you even care?’
Another version of him
walked the awful meadow
of dead tree stools,
bar mat lilies,
unpolished brass,
and lino grass, unkempt
and took the sharp step
down to the gents.
A patchouli bottle,
salvaged from Mum,
Holloway, early 70s
raised to his undamaged nostril,
veiled the stench.
Eyes to the heavens,
He’d daily threw
and was home,
Somerset 1922.

He flicked his thinning overgrowth,
nicked his finger
on the crack in the safety glass
And gave his lips some rouge.
He tied a Help The Aged
ladies scarf, tight.
Thoughts came like
pretty girls on crutches,
with glossy dogs, then
in flaxen highs,
with dandy handsomes
all camomile lawn laid.
The fug of the day.

The fruit machine flashed back.
Fellow nymphs,
gambolling through beck and field,
were fellow scrimpers,
gambling through Sky Sports racing.
John Maynard Keynes
would have had a
good-to-firm field day.
Cornflower pens
behind ears.
A horse named Ripp Orf ran the 2:15.
Kidneys processed the chop.
Al raised his Chianti coloured conk
and silently declared:
‘A damn fix, unfair!
In all my time recorded,
such power, such grace
should not go unrewarded!’

The vape was opiate.
the insults, appropriate.
The expression
On Dave’s dog’s visage.
The brawn by the pawn shop.
Salute tattoos on the arms of Ian.
All soaks, masquerading
as functioning human beings.
The sadness in Al’s jade eyes,
named each:
‘That ghastly prick’,
as the fug of the day came in again,

had a perfectly working
washing machine,
but preferred the launderette.
Odds-on there was a
gender mix-up in under-garments,
or something to that effect.
Meaning he was cubicle confined
To pass the Danish export flat,
else the question;
He dared to be asked,
by none of these oafish oiks.
The lash.

Last month, he’d arrived
on his import flat screen,
at The Danish Girl on ITV 3.
It made his year.
He was awake at 8,
to watch the re-run
of Match of the Day 2,
The Arsenal’d won and
time and talk had to be passed on
and on and on and on.

He filed each nail,
each visit,
on the breeze block
in the bogs.
Spat on the toe of his Reebok,
polished it on his calf
and saw the reflected portrait
of a young man,
never aged.
Not half.
Vent Axia was magnolia fly-stuck where
The buttoned-up let loose.
Money was tight.
Unlike his arse,
From the pills, twice daily,
He took for his heart.
He sniffed up at
the narcissus ivy,
that fingered its way through
the window.
It wrapped his imagination
like the dress,
on the absinthe advert,
next to the dartboard.
It was a story full of holes.

The fug of the day came stronger.
With relief,
Vanessa tolled, unamused.
The crowd predictably
and life would be:
‘Same again love’
as both
Al and Algenon,
all too bastard knew.

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