• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 06
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Desk Set

I went to the gym, the one in Charlotte Street,
With the electric rows of machines,
And the office girls in skim sleek
Tights, layered up to the holocene.

I bought a desk set, a tasteful nest
Of minimalist acrylate boxes;
And a plant, too, a fringe-tressed
Joke of fern whose soil-nested coccyx

Was the width my days should be,
If I could wear my hair in a messy bun.
Ninetofive not TenSixEightThree,
I would not lie awake in the dun

Pre-dawn little mornings wanting
Not wanting this ponytailed ordination,
In the aerobics studio mirror caught
Coordinate bouncing incantations

To the circularity of days:
Home, Work, Tube—normalcy.
Of which I, incapable, dormant

Dormouse death’s-head moth,
Too voluble for downers, too small-veined,
Too uncourageous for cocaine.

At Charlotte Street, I admired them
Aspired like potted aspidistra,
Like hipster Hackney Monstera deliciosa,


Desk Set

Perforate and photoshopped racing green:
The glimpsed life, the field of play,
Myself; limply legged and wiped-out
Flat, perspiring on the new-shorn grass.