Marcel’s Last Day in Marseille

Of the options available
late, early or punctual
I am usually late

Toward the port
I stride through
Old Marseille

I see him there
in familiar dark grey
suit made from linen

Sat outside his favourite café
Le Coq Bleu
a small coffee cup and saucer
sits on the table
newspaper is open
leg crossed over other

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Are You A Vampire Or Not?

is it childish to write about make-believe?
I am writing about vampires here

you didn’t find it funny when I raised
the subject of vampirism
and I’m still not exactly sure why
what nerve I touched there

the next time it came up
by chance
with your man present
you both exchanged a knowing glance
one that silently communicated something
what still I’m not sure

I realise the famous vampire didn’t come from around here
where you live

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Homage to Martin

Some said Martin be wild
with his unruly red hair
his deep, penetrative glare

To be fair
I would agree
Martin possessed
that certain degree
of flair

which would not be there
without the unruly red hair
without the penetrative glare

And, maybe you think
he had not one single care
in this life
He certainly did not easily scare
as far as I be aware

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My Dad, the Lodger, the New Baby, and Me.

It was something that hadn’t occurred to me before.
But I found the answer after a moment’s thought.
The uncanny likeness, the affection and more,
the cot, all the gifts and baby clothes he’d bought.

My Dad, the lodger, the new baby, and me.
I quite literally turned blue with rage!
At breakfast I said, ‘Dad, do you really think I can’t see?’
Mentally, I calculated their difference in age.

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The Order of the Oaf

Gregorio Marañón, a man famous around the world as a physician, scientist, inventor, creative-historian, a serious writer and philosopher. Across Spain, he is perhaps best remembered for his attempt to invent the mobile telephone. The accompanying image to this story shows Grego – as he was known to his friends – with the original prototype placed atop a blueprint design.

The idea for a mobile phone first came to Marañón in his private study, whilst typing an article draft for Spanish smut magazine El Hombre, in early 1959. A telephone call had come through from La Quiniela lottery company, informing him of a ten million peseta jackpot win. By today’s value, this is equivalent to approximately two million pounds sterling.

Astounded by the news, Marañón had leapt out of his chair as if struck by high voltage electricity. A fly on the wall, had it been inclined to watch, would have witnessed a man punching the air, repeatedly bending down onto his haunches and leaping upwards, fast losing his composure.

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Big-Headed

Throughout all my life
people have said
that I am a big-head

I had no understanding
of this
this thing that they said

‘Look’, I’d say
‘I am actually
rather unassuming’

‘How,” I’d continue with urgency
‘could you possibly
describe me as big-headed’

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Nobody Knows

Nobody knows
what’s happened to my nose
Apparently, I’m meant to know

Nobody says
‘Don’t you know
what happened to your nose?’

‘No’ I say to Nobody
‘but you know’
‘Yes’ Nobody says ‘just like you said’

‘Surely you must know too!
You don’t just lose a nose
not without knowing nothing about it.’

‘It happened a long time ago,’ I tell nobody
‘and I can’t remember anything about last week,
something I used to joke about

‘but now I know this to be true
I forget to laugh’
Nobody listens on intently

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What Was My Home

This is where I lived for many years
I recall
fighting back the tears
‘But Brink in Field – or whatever your name is’
you say to me
‘That’s no house that’s
something else’

I know
I know
It’s not much like a house
but that’s on purpose
You see
nobody visited me while I lived there and to be fair
that’s how I wanted it to be
That’s exactly how I wanted it to be

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You Are Not Ill

1

Bryce stared out of his hospital single-bedroom’s window, feeling plenty of sorrow for himself. Sunday’s were boring to him. Up to this point, he’d not regularly attended church services, his parents were dead, he had no other family, no friends and in general, nothing interesting seemed to happen on the ward he’d been admitted to. Each day, the diligent sanitisation staff emptied bins and enthusiastically pushed and pulled on plastic brooms in practised patterns on their rounds, while remaining taciturn throughout. Over the last week, he’d developed a longing to get to know them. And yet, had he ever managed to catch their attention, the reveal would be that they held no desire to share any detail of their lives with him. Today, following yet another series of tests and measurements last Thursay, a final analysis was due. Upon waking up earlier, staring up at the ceiling, Bryce had fully expected to be discharged.

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Stoned

Matthew had a condition since being a baby, rather a serious affliction known in medical science as Medussanesia.

Because of the weight of his boulder-head, over years his neck grew strong.

Despite the truth nobody ever told him: “Aye, you’ve got a good head on those shoulders.”

Nobody in Polite Society remarked. Even the children encountered during his schooling in England would think twice and resist.

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