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At 29 Monnery Road
the balding carpet’s
ground thick
with jasmin rice and baby sick
and jet black hairs of pubic creed
gather and roll like refugees
in caravans of tumbleweed
from the mouldy bathroom
down the stairs
to come to rest
and make their camp
beneath kitchen chairs in the shadowed damp

At 29 Monnery Road
human beens
swim in the oil of their daily sins
trapped in wood and plaster tins
no time to question the why it is
just 47 varieties
of juicy improprieties

At 29 Monnery Road
I have dodged the bullets of spastic showers
watched the ticking of broken clocks
left my rent on plastic tables under plastic flowers
found food tokens sticking to unwashed socks

At 29 Monnery Road
inhaled through walls paper-thin
conversations click in ever stranger tongues
tempers and distempers loosen like belts
and talking cuts to the quick
walking precarious an ever thinning bridge
as resentment oozes
like that butter of Suzie’s
in a slick from the rusty fridge

At 29 Monnery Road
pretty girls play blushin’ roulette
on their knees frozen imploring
with men as creased as leather jackets
Under single flickering bulbs
mother’s morals and necessity conflicting
blurred horizons of grimy promise yawning
and dismally constricting

At 29 Monnery Road, you can never hear these smiles
and you can never see these screams
& their eyes are as distant and infinitely sad
as the weary miles of deserters’ dreams

At 29 Monnery Road
in room 4
someone’s gobbing
frustration frothing
in a coffee cup

At 29 Monnery Road
my dole papers
still haven’t turned
and where upon
the top floor
C-c-c-c-carl the wonky-eyed Übermensch
squeezed in a top knocked off from Bench
is gone real gone man
smoking fat ones through the kitchen door
The radio blasting everlasting spam
pushes stinking meat around the pan
and pitches with the hacking toe-tapping phlegm
and the waxing wane
of the sinking man

At 29 Monnery Road
the TV’s jammed on 1992
we look in the mirror and
like a bad joke
the timing’s off
and the punchline
never comes

At 29 Monnery Road
this is what happens when screws are put to thumbs
this is what happens when the meter stops
this is what happens when the poundland of flesh

and the penny




©Ben Clayton 2013


In todays featured poem, Ben creates a powerfully, darkly evocative picture of a moment in life, of a place stifling and forsaken. Through his use of structure, internal rhyme and brutally realistic imagery, he draws us into this world and leaves us profoundly affected by it. We linger on inside this miniature world long after we have escaped from its confines, back into the reality of our lives. A thoroughly effective piece of free verse, inventive and powerful.

Leave your thoughts below on this piece, and share it with anyone curious enough to step inside this world Ben has created.