FOCUS, The British Science Fiction Association’s Magazine For Writers, Winter 2012/13 No. 59, had four pages of poetry in 40 pages so I was delighted to be one of the six included poets (especially cheeky as I don’t subscribe).
There’s some excellent guidance for would be sci fi poets from poetry editor Charles Christian, including keep it light and deft. He says, “… the most popular subjects [were] Doctor Who, vampires and zombies …”
To be honest, when I subbed I had no idea anyone would sit down to write about Doctor Who and, really, my poem is only obliquely about that; it’s mostly about a gorilla. And celery. Perhaps that’s deftness. Or just daftness.
The New Blue Kiosk
The kiosk door is closing.
“I need some freesias, please,”
I plead, wedging the crack
with my foot.
He shoves a plastic bag into my arms:
“Last of the day: free to a good home.”
The door slams.
Mental health issues, obviously:
young men don’t wear bow ties;
and he’s given me celery,
beyond its date.
At home, I snip the packet’s end
wallowing in disappointment:
the contents are furry
and smell like Grandad’s wind.
I leave it on the table
while I make a cuppa.
The fur moves:
tensing, bulging – splitting the packet.
Not a butterfly but an enormous elbow,
bicep, pecs and paw
– no! Hand: fur-backed, leather palmed –
a huge face: two eyes, deep-set yet gleaming;
beneath a brow, frowning
over a yawn of yellowed canine teeth that would
cow a lion.
As would his breath.
An entire gorilla – silverback,
not a comparatively petite female –
My Ikea table cracks, collapses;
he fills the kitchen;
the grill vibrates with his resonant
“Did you eat my celery?” I wonder.
He looks sheepish, stifling a burp.
Then, with a theatrical sleight of digits,
he sweeps a spray of freesias
from an alternative universe.
* eclose is the term for a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis