Where new writing finds its voice


Wayne Holloway-Smith

Unsettled among the coarse tongued talk
of football, bleached blondes, high street wear.
The trendy local bar heaves cleavage.
I feel the tightness of my Friday night seat

as the weekend begins, vulgar
bass lines and drum beats
force us to shout of our latest lays;

systematically, we go through the list,
ticking off each small town lad cliché:
gelled hair with frosted tips; check,
sly flick of the head to point out the tits

on that; check. We’re doing the snide
remarks on the mince of the local gay
and I start to leave. Until Dave
brings the next round, complains

of a frothy pint, which I drink instead.
And cringe knowing I’m resigned
to joke that the barmaid gives good head.

Sometimes, I skip Sunday league;
sit home with my diary, and stick
in a melody of stolen paragraphs
from long overdue classics.