Friday, 25 May 2012


(Many moons ago, Niall O'Sullivan had the idea of starting a fanzine of terrible poetry called "Chihuahua", to run as a cheap and tatty, stunted idiot brother to James Byrne and Nicholas Cobic's rather grander, more upstanding "Wolf" project.  So that's probably where the basic idea for this poem started.

As for the poem itself - it's the little things that will get to us in the end.  The virus under the microscope.  The death by a thousand paper cuts.  Or a thousand rejection slips from poetry periodicals with tiny readerships.  Or - true case in point - I was once beaten to a pulp by some particularly terrifying skinheads in Southend in the mid-nineties, but the only time in my life I've ever needed stitches was when I tripped over a loose paving slab in Walthamstow and landed chin-first.  The poem isn't necessarily the most original idea I've ever had, but it just about hangs.  A bit like the flap of skin on my chin that fateful Monday morning).  

Don’t be fooled
by all this talk of
fight dogs in the news.
I am more than
you suppose.
My tooth in your leg
contains, written in
Braille, the number of an
old partner for
whom you felt only lust.
I cough up her name
when pulled on a
leash, and each pant I
puff smells like the
bottled breath of
pub laughter gained
from lazy jokes at
undeserving targets.

Complacency is inadvisable.
I’ll wear you down with
Unpleasant irritations.
My fur reeks of the stale
bathroom towel you
dried yourself on
before meeting a
lover, and the fleas
on my body are
miniature toy tanks whose
remote controls have
broken, and who have
issues of war with

I can go on forever
without sustenance.
There is cactus juice and
fat beneath the pods of
my scaly paws.
My yelp detunes
guitars and throws poets and drummers
and just by thinking I am
better than you, I instantly am.
I am keeping my eye on
Your easy chair as we speak.

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