VOICES FROM THE FIRE: John Doyle

Vladimir

I knew the curry house was closed. 

Smoke punished its own sky, lashed it like a schoolboy’s hide in 1950.

I’d known how neglected it felt, how planets never really forgave it,

blocking their view of God.

The closet heterosexual was near the door juggling in advance for his new circus act, 

the millennials spoke of 2008 being an eternity ago. 

All of a sudden everyone spoke Irish, but still couldn’t say “Thai massage”.

He still talks of his Thai massage, his wife and Uncle running out the back door, 

faces covered.

I think why can’t men bash each other’s heads open instead of pestering Gaia, 

six blocks from here,

at the stadium car-park, then it dawns on me – 

they never stop bashing each other’s heads open. 

Simon says he’s 31 tomorrow, takes his delivery, 

heads for midnight, knowing something he won’t share

until he’s 34.

Simon’s 31 tomorrow. 

I don’t know Simon, 

only met him moments ago, it’s changed everything I know.

Then Vladimir arrives, engine still running. Vladimir looks worried

Unexpectedly

As a supersonic satellite that took him

soaring into bedsits stinking the sun from an Algarve vista,

as a weekend sedated in these Sundays we get, when we leave home

to learn how sneaky rain can be, to follow us like a fox that follows moonlight,

as a man not known for reason or self, or being, as that rain, equally shapeless

and trance-like soaring over that Algarve blotch some of them called sunlight,

others called groovy and mystical –  but no-one thought calling a medic might help.

All these variables could hardly be expected.

And so it was

– Unexpectedly –

A page 8 adjective that limits damage heroin can do – to a pride of lions, 

known in discreet Sunday chatter – hoarding page 12 –

as this mudslide unexpectedly coursed through him, our dear little boy, 

his dear old patch of mud, bitter to a touch, sinking him deep in death,

this fox eager to tame its dear old moon

Large Brass Beds in Old Fashioned Houses With Things Strewn Across Them

Like you see from a once-off character

in Little House on the Prairie,

sometimes on Alias Smith and Jones,

women in their 70s who smell of peppermint, never swear,

except to say good heavens, when children looking though

saloon windows report back how cardsharks got their comeuppance –

only then, does she touch her lip with her fingertip, as a sculpture

touches marble – to hide her illicit giggle;

Always though –

a curtain dances through a curt gust of wind,

and she holds her husband’s locket,

touches her lips, trembles a little.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: