Saturday, 29 January 2011

Writer's Circle Post - January 2011

No Florence

Lilith sucked lazily at the cigarette that hung from her lip, inhaling the chemicals deep into her lungs. She savoured the power of the smoke on her tongue, tasting it like a lover. Then, when the potency of the vapour was almost at its height, she expelled it out into the cold air. The smoke lingered in the stillness of the dark evening, curling like parchment towards a pale crescent moon.

She wondered listlessly about the evening ahead. Who would she take tonight? A question that had once filled her with passionate longing now fell flat, like a deflated balloon. Work had been such a drag these last few months.

Lilith took a moment to examine the lethargy that lay, crumpled in the place where otherwise a heart might have dwelt. Despite her current feelings, the job had seemed like the perfect way to feed her hunger. It allowed her to abuse her authority to the advantage of her desires. Men who might have run from her were now booking appointments and waiting in orderly queues for her services. It was convenient, there was no doubt about that. Lilith had never heard of McDonald's, but if she had, she might have laughed at the similarities between fast food and her current situation. But there was little challenge in stealing from the generous and the yielding of her victims only served to increase her longing for something more nutritious.

She missed the chase most of all. The giddy nausea that swan under her skin as she selected a victim and initiated the game. It was difficult enjoy the hunt if the fox presented himself to the hounds, rolled over to expose his fleshy underside and parted his fur to enable a clean bite. The game had been spoilt when Lilith broke the rules, and for that she was truly sorry. But it was too late to apologise now and in the end the only person who had been cheated was Lilith. The men would die regardless of how the game was played. Their part in the drama was small.

But her victims always went to their graves happy. How many other demons could boast such a service?

Lilith smiled and inhaled another lungful of smoke. She remembered the face her last victim, the bliss etched into every cell of his skin and they writhed together, performing his last rite. The chase may have been dampened, but the act itself was still exquisite.

Still, in this new shape, Lilith felt decidedly uncomfortable. The Hippocratic oath was anathema to her, and if her sisters could see the depths to which she had sunk...

Lilith plucked at the name badge on her lurid blue uniform. 'Lilith Stevens, Clinic Nurse.' She leant over and spat meditatively onto the ground. It wasn't an ideal situation, but it served her ultimate purpose. That purpose was to feed. She contented herself in the knowledge that she was the duplicitous arachnid, hollowing out the body of a larger insect and using its familiar colours to lure its prey.

And just like a predator, she would wait.

The wind had begun to bite now and frost had already begun to appear on the windscreens of the cars parked opposite the entrance to the clinic. Lilith finished the cigarette and immediately lit a second. There was no reason not to.

She considered returning to the chase. She could leave here and begin afresh. Prowling the nightclubs and seedy back-water drinking dens, where persuasion and charm would ensure that her exacting tastes were met. But it would be foolish to give up on such a good thing – especially given the steady influx of willing volunteers. Most were drifters and would not be missed. Suspicions would not be roused for some time.

As she began the third cigarette, a young man approached the entrance to the building. A dusting of snow clung to his hair and shoulders, and he brushed it off with a gloved hand as he moved through the automatic doors. Lilith watched with detached interest as the man stamped the snow from his boots and crossed the atrium in the manner of a child, fearful of being caught at mischief. Lilith smelt his scent and the taste of blood rose in her throat setting her eyes ablaze. It was time to steal. Time to feed.

She entered the building, moving silently through the open-plan space and alighting, like a glittering moth, at the reception desk. The young man glanced at her through long greasy hair.

“May I help you?” Lilith intoned.

“Yes,” Said the man, whose face was thin and pre-maturely lined, “I'm here to donate some sperm.” The man glanced down at his shoes once more as he uttered the last word.

“This way,” Lilith smiled, leading the stranger towards the donating room. He entered and she pulled the door closed behind him, her hand lingering on the handle. She sighed, it wasn't quite the as satisfying when the lambs came so willingly to the slaughter. She went into the room.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Middle class problems

When you curse if Waitrose runs out of focaccia.
When you sympathised with Margaret Thatcher.
When an ill-judge tweet costs you your social stature.
You might have middle class problems.
When you feel awkward speaking to the cleaner.
When the okra you cooked has stained the steamer.
When wearing last season ruins your whole demeanour.
You might have middle class problems.
When the rosé's gone flat 'cause you left it uncorked
When the weather's inclement but the pug needs to be walked.
When it turned out it was the postman, and you weren't being stalked.
You might have middle class problems.
When you have aches and pains from your last squash lesson.
When you can't have that barbecue because you've run out of venison.
And when your iphone is your most treasured possession.
You might have middle class problems.
When downloading aps has given you thumb-strain
When your new suede shoes are ruined by rain
When next door's Christmas lights cause you emotional pain
You might have middle class problems.
When your Green Tea you made has too much honey.
And selling home made jewellery online isn't making you money
And no one at the cabaret night thinks your poems are funny.
You might have middle class problems.
Poverty and suffering's all very well,
But an under-dressed salad is your vision of hell.
I think you have middle class problems.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

The Contents of a Tabloid Newspaper

I was once so addicted to morphine,
That I tried to chew off my own chin.
I had surgery to fix my third bum cheek.
I was born with a tail and a fin.
I was held hostage in seventeen bank heists.
I once killed and ate a giraffe.
I foiled a bomb plot with tampons.
I could die every time that I laugh.
I wear women's clothes in the day time,
But a full badger suit after hours.
I've slept with my sister and all three of my dads.
I have an odd urge to eat purple flowers.
My nan is a call girl, my uncle's in jail.
I found a human toe in my pea soup.
I started a cult that worships baked beans.
I'm the only one in my blood group.
I was kidnapped by twelve nesting mute swans.
My knees hold secrets of national import.
I've made this all up for the fifty quid fee.
Enough current affairs, here's the sport.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Conditional (a modern love sonnet)

She might admit that she only said yes to him
While on the rebound from Michael Armstrong.
He propositioned her, drunk and on a whim
They're coupled till better people come along.
Her kissing technique leaves much to desire
While she lacks skill, at least she is keen,
Knowledge of the G-spot he's yet to acquire
But they're comfortable in their routine.
If she had her time over, they'd be history
There's no way she'd fuck him outside KFC
Most of that night's still a mystery
Now they're almost happy, anyone can see.
And comfortable is better than lonely
A three-year stop-gap relationship only.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Wistful and Melancholy Haiku Poems

When the Snow Melted

Monochrome landscape
fades to sepia with the
thaw; spring draws nearer.

Teenage Passions

Liquorish kisses
stain black my lips and eyes.
I only see you.


Waiting for a bus
I dropped my dreams in the road.
They're too hot to hold.

Friday, 14 January 2011


Labour pains
Cycle lanes
Men on trains
Guts and brains
Horses' manes
Horatio Cane
Fresh wolf's bane
Window Panes
Forehead veins
Extreme weight gains
Gravy trains
Trouser stains.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Balloon Animal Ballard

He didn't know.

With his nose like a navel
at the knot in the balloon.
No mottled brown fur
covering his sausaged limbs
or long black tongue
protruding from his
felt-tip pen smile.
A plastic Pinocchio.
Air sheathed in latex.
Excreted from the
back pocket of a clown.
He always assumed
that squeaky blue skin
and a distinct lack of knees
were as a giraffe ought to be.

It was kinder not to tell him
that one day he might burst.

An Unexpected Loss

The radiators were still on when we arrived home. No doubt this had accelerated the rate of decay. They lay, huddled and slumped on the table, skin shrivelled and flesh blackened by neglect. My father wept like a child. My mother, that most stoic of women, dropped her suitcase and set about cleaning away the debris.

The compost was an insufficient resting place. The husks would never mulch. Instead they would sit forlornly at the end of the garden, surrounded by potato peelings and grass clippings, reminding us of our carelessness.

There would be no bananas for breakfast that morning.