broken home

playing  around with free verse. early drafting.

each night repeats the one before; the Red Lion
then back to a cold and empty home, alone.
a narrow crumpled bed awaits me.
the dirty washing heap’s turned sour –
maybe the launderette… tomorrow.
I had a cat – what happened to her?
the sink is filled with a greasy stack
of chipped enamel mugs and plates
and black-burned-bottomed pots and pans.
I’ll wash up next time I wake up sober.
I wanted a lover – but settled for lovers;
wine, women, and the ‘walk of shame’
from the beds of one-night stand
school-gate single-mothers:
them whispering from the pillow,
‘close the front door gently as you go –
mustn’t wake the kids too early.’
or strangers, legless on Bacardi,
who’d remember me as,
‘some bloke I might have shagged one night.’
married women occasionally,
winking assignations
over skinny lattes –
on a strictly casual basis.
no glances of recognition
when paths crossed unexpectedly,
at, perhaps, a buffet party; 
 ‘could you pass the veggie pâté?’
‘the pleasure’s mine.’
‘thank you. so very kind.’
Serena’s beach-baptism at Scarborough;
her crotch-deep rejection of the ‘works of Satan,’
and ‘hallelujah’ as some pastor
thanked the Lord and dunked her under.
Satan’s ‘works’ had been fine by her,
four times, or five, the night before.
a wedding one October,
Felicity in a stately
haute couture satin dress,
mother-in-law fascinator,
and implausible air of
orgulous dignity –
hard to square
with the hotbed-naked-wildness
I kissed ‘goodnight, sweet dreams’
and closed the bedroom door on
sometime mid-September.
after the inevitable reception sequel;
a drunken hotel fumble
with the maid-of-honour
catcher of the bridal bouquet,
I ambled home, and at the fish-quay
stopped to buy cod heads for Coco.

© coolhermit 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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This isn’t playing this is a seriously good start if this is a just draft. . . Effing good.

Just the right blend of tongue in cheek and bleakness.


Loved it a seedy but compelling view into the male mind that most women would expect to see I imagine. Sad, lonely and rather bleak with a cheeky wave flowing through. Sue.

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