Day 26 – April Twenty Six: I’ll be caaaaalllllllllllllling you!

I actually had a pretty good draft of this poem completed by midday.  Then I drank some wine.  Red wine.  Very rich plummy chocolaty tasting red wine.  It’s now just after 11pm.  (There’s a lesson in there somewhere!)

It’s based on a few notes I made a couple of days ago while dealing with my electricity provider.


thank you for calling Genesis Energy
please listen carefully as the following options may have changed

to feel frustrated, please press #1
to wish to kill yourself painlessly, please press #2
to be treated like a nameless shleck, please press #3
to be shunted back & forth between a variety of different Customer Assistant Consultants, none of whom will actually assist you, please press #4
to slowly go crazy as you are tag-teamed by a duet of equally perky but highly irritating male & female announcers who banter delightfully as they tell you 28 different versions of — “for other ways you can make a positive difference with Genesis Energy including Solar Heating, please talk to one of our Customer Assistant Consultants … today“, please press #5
to be utterly infuriated by the repeated-every-7-seconds burst of bland but groovy funky elevator jazz music, please press #6
to have your query answered quickly & efficiently, please press #9
(we’re just kidding of course, there is no option #9)

you have selected #5
thanks for holding
we apologise for the delay, your call will be answered as soon as possible
your call is in the queue, and will be answered in approximately < 8 > minutes



Image: Call centre hell

April 3 – Day Three: third day, three omens

Once again NaPoWriMo throws unexpected things in front of me.  I have a folder of articles / images / ideas I’d like to craft a poem from / on / around.  I thought I might get to the poem I first envisaged writing on Day 1 as an introduction to the month.  But life intervened … so I went with the flow.

The use of 3 line stanzas (although now appearing in two out of three poems this month) is unusual for me, but I’m sure understandable when you read the narrative of the poem.  The colons are a homage to my friend Thom Sullivan : who is playing with : creating poetic forms : using this device. I discovered in draft one that I had an abundance of them (around 5) so instead of deleting them as I normally would, I went the other direction to see what happened.  I like the effect … it feels airy …

Finally, the system of drafting in the morning, crafting in the evening is working well.  It allows for the grunt work to get done early, then the fun of shaping comes later. Enjoy.

omens : doves in the house

a flurry : as we’re startled by a flutter of wings : aching for air
two doves in the kitchen : the dog sees this as a sign : saving
him chasing : he’s quickly closed on the door’s other side

for the moment they sit : still on the sill : where glass windows
corner : the wild inside : panic temporarily jack-in-the-boxed
aware of what’s beyond : yet cannot reach : they know not why

slowly walk to them : slowly slide my hand : upwards
between the air humming : with their beating hearts : tender
one panics : flies high : the other stays still : trusting : terrified?

flick the latch : swing glass open to sudden sunlight : air
flighty bashes her way out : calm needs a fingertip nudge
soft feathers : heat : i’m shivered by this soft communion

continue my initial task : providing canine sustenance
unexpectedly discover : a third bird in the bathroom!
this one requires actual contact : a simple capture : calm

holding this speckled creature : tremulously : pillowsoft
frightened : tiny heart staccato tapping the skin
of my palms : warm : is this how god feels : overlording us

i sometimes feel overwhelmingly protective : when patting
Chester : late at night : his devoted heart drumming away
under the pianokey bones of his ribs : just us in the world
a friend catches birds : with bare hands : stalking
gulls : pigeons : semi-domesticated scavengers
why? : because she can : to hold life : perhaps

once : she was startled : after a snared seagull bit
back : she released it straight away : as i laughed
what should it have done : i joked : what would you

one book tells : seagulls are : souls of dead sailors
another : doves inside : blessed with luck : a third
that freeing a bird is both : a good act : a good omen

old wives : folk tales : suggests : deaths are imminent
i live alone : am i to die three times : the punishment
seems excessive : for simply leaving a door open
no : i will read it differently : make my own signs
weave my own supernatural : no one else’s omen
no one else’s sorcery : shall dictate : my feelings

in my mythology : the three deaths occurred more than
twenty years ago : lived with daily : my heart doesn’t doubt
this is a blessing : a gentle : otherworldly message

this is : my version of a visit : from beyond
a reminder : the brush of a loved one’s : wings
is never far away




Bird Three


The Third Dove: image: moi