Once the party had finished
I found him again, counting the labels,
Rattling through those same rhymes, a fish bowl
In my hands. I dragged him round the back
of America. Smacked him up against its spine.
‘You are shit,’ I told him. Your job is shit and
‘your rhymes are obsessive, they’re symbolic of nothing.’
A passer by suggested he invest in some menus
Or a few premixed sauces to speed up production
But he just shook his head, lolled his tongue
And smiled, as if that wasn’t what it’s about.
‘Something is wrong!’ we screamed, ‘Something is wrong!’
While he writhed in the neon, cried back Jaegerbomb
He convulsed then, and I held him
As he threw up in the gutter
The dregs of a barman’s last meal slinking away,
But we were complicit, I think,
As we pretended not to see him reciting the lumps
The potato, the haddock
The soup made from carrot
We returned to our poems, continued to serve them
Ignoring how much they looked
Like American drunks.