Two new poems by Geoff Stevens


Thickening pan of beef stew hallucinations
brain-clouded thermal mud
spluttering to let methane out
a bulb in bakelite holder
hung from a faulty flex
immersed in its stickiness
and glowering like a cyclops
while winking recognition to a diet
of light meals only
until the barium meal test comes back
and then who knows
it could be consomme through a straw
breath sucked in cold
a sudden sharp blow to the solar plexus.


Marjorie's got one of those
white nylon-fur fireside rugs
and an imitation log fire
he thought to himself
as he sipped a fine sherry
broke open a packet of cigs.
He had fourteen quid in his pocket
which was more than the toolsetters get.
Why had she stood him up?
Why couldn't she have said no
instead of having him wait
twenty-five minutes for nothing?
Everything seemed fine last time
with her pressing her body
soft and scented against him
but she had said that you can't
get everything you want at once
and he remembered that.

Make that a double whisky.

• West Bromwich-based Geoff Stevens is a poet and publishes the Purple Patch poetry magazine.

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