Under the Carob, Tired and Hallucinating

by Christopher North

We drowse in our sojourn beneath the rattling carob –
there goes Miss Death Knickers, Mister Pulchritude,
the Teeth twins and the Fat Man’s moll.

We remain silent. Our smells mingle,
we are in default ‘wait’ mode
and it’s waiting that sludges our blood.

There’s the couple from Morden,
(that we’ve renamed Mordor) and there’s Grubby Shirt
with the clipped Bassenthwaites.

This darkling place is now tinged suburban:
battened close-board, edge chipped porcelain
and hate headlines on a spindrift tabloid,

“We enjoy our ignorance.
We enjoy your fear” is the thought bubble
above Mister Blade with his bandages.

The carob adds creaks to rattle
and we ponder the possibility of ground heave.
We imagine a vibrating urn of cold tea.

We will be motionless for weeks, just eyes
in a place you can’t avoid passing,
Mister Turnip and Mrs. Excalibur with your cyst.

And now the Tuba Expert and Flint the Wise
with the Shrapnel’s daughter and terrier.
There’s to be an outbreak of drabness,

we feel it in our dry fingernails and thumbs.
All suggests sandy yet bibulous lust in a maisonette
alongside power tools and disintegrating adaptors.

Faces around sharpen like pencils,
then it all ends in a petulant collapse of tongs
and general indulgence in tepid, refreshing sobs.