Neil Fulwood – three poems

Kids

Broken security light. Some kids
clustered near the loading bay.
CCTV camera on a rusty bracket:
maybe it works, maybe not.
Everything’s a silhouette anyway.

Shadows. Wash of headlights.
A split second in the passing
of a car or bus; you wonder
what they’re doing. Want to
know? They mucking about, giving

each other piggybacks; laughing.


Butchart Gardens, Vancouver

A Japanese lady offers us tea.
Her accent soothes. Wisdom
enclouds her like perfume.

“You are a businessman,” she says,
nodding towards my father.
And they speak of business:

the building up of things,
investment and effort and self-
abnegation. “And you –

you are not a businessman.”
This without looking my way,
a regrettable expectoration

between soft precise syllables
as if she’s seen the poet in me
and wonders if he knows already

or whether she ought to warn him.


The Following Previews Are Appropriate to the Feature Presentation

In a world
where painfully thin volumes of poetry
get the gravel-voiced movie trailer treatment

one man
stands between the hard-earned tenner
and an eighty-nine pence resale value on Ziffit –

the critic.
Some call him mean and cynical, some say
he’s haunted by Carol Ann Duffy’s sales figures.

A maverick,
a loose cannon, a man out for revenge
on editors and adjudicators and the Times

Literary Supplement.
He’s out there, watching, waiting, sharpening
his pencil. He’s had enough of the hipster trends

and the beards.
He’ll take your quinoa and introduce it
into an area of total eclipse. Forcefully. Just pray

he doesn’t find
your notebook, your pamphlet-length manuscript,
your heavily fingered acceptance letter from The Rialto.


Neil Fulwood is co-editor, with David Sillitoe, of the anthology More Raw Material: work inspired by Alan Sillitoe (Lucifer Press, 2015). His poetry has appeared in The Morning Star, Butcher’s Dog, The Lampeter Review and The Interpreter’s House. His hobbies include touring inns and taverns of architectural interest. Some people confuse this with pub-crawling.

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