Space Hopper


public transport is no joy
i’m sat in front of a disgusting boy.
the yukkas line The Avenue
“yuck” i thought… and wonder if
he knew the sketch, that his absent manners
made me retch. if i thought he would blow
his nose, i’d offer him a tissue

but i know, by the “fuck you” tattoo on his neck, how he’d react
to my etiquette. two flags adorn a high rise window:
a saltire and a rampant lion.
below, again, the sign reminds us that
drinking Coke can cause diabetes.

my will to live is dissipating
that boy behind
is irritating.
Jenna opens up her, somewhat, tarnished
salon, dressed in white with optimism, she claws
the shutters with varnished heart
and scarlet talon.

“be clear, Buccaneer!”
support a local charity.
a mangey mutt rolls on his back
to some amusement and hilarity
of three small kids on big boys’ bikes
by the butcher’s shop, standing
still. as a viking longship
sails through a field
of wheat – i kinda wish i’d sat
in a different seat.

on Summer Road the homes have new doors
a vestige of hope like a fresh cake
of soap. the stammering boy struggles
to buy a ticket, and says to his friend
“i don’t like c-c-c-cricket!”
but still, the pig behind me snorts as
the long-legged girl adjusts her shorts.
the sky is low and white, like

chelated zinc. i close my eyes and ears
and think
of distant, warmer, climes as the day-glo vests
synchronise and work out
how best to fix these broken roads.
meanwhile a double-parked brewery truck
unloads: another day, another dime. i fear
i’m a headless horse in this
pantomime here…

as we rumble through the coastal towns.
berries & mushrooms (hand-picked) for sale,
i frown, and notice the number
of “For Sale” signs has grown.
there is no ‘Second Chance’
today, due to Saturday’s shit
storm. the storeman has packed up
and sailed away

in a boat that never left his garden,
ivy clad and chestnut laden;
his grey-white laundry is quickly drying;
flapping as he stuffs
his face with a bap of bacon, bare-bellied with no shame.
fortune tellers become future dwellers,
call 0800 for auctioned lots for the lonely,
for the bespoke Broadway Carpets
call for appointment

but it’s only 8.42 and it’s already raining
in Peru.
while the disgusting boy continues to play
his catarrh in a Bb nasal bung,
my thoughts turn to one styro-filled lung.
the sea, grey, like molten lead
i think of ways to kill him

as intolerance grips me by my core
i realise i’m a slave, a whore,
to time and constant travel. ’tis almost becoming
a daily ravel. oh…
i see, i see: “Mains of Test”
and [hahahahaha!] “Footway Closed” – at best,
that seems appropriate, i must admit
my mind fleets

from the stretch of the Standin’ Stanes Road
to Jason’s defeat of The Symplegades
and the golden fleece he did parade.
an allotment, facing south, would
be nice, but potted plants will have to suffice
for now lying, deflated, by an unwanted sink –
i see the fat face and grin
of a Space-Hopper and

think back to at time when i was 10
i would bounce and bounce until i came
upon by chance, the place
of adventures past – and where i’d travel
to tame
the lion and the wildebeest
with broken scales and gavel.

(c) Kat McDonald 2016


4 thoughts on “Space Hopper

  1. I’m waaay behind in reading past posts, but I’m so glad I came back to this one. I love the rawness of the first person narrative, and the observations that are shared. It is a piggy world at times, indeed. No wonder the author wants to bounce back to the world when they were 10…Very very good.


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