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Michael Laskey

The Man Alone

The Man Alone

sleeps in a single bed and downloads porn.
It's not what he meant, but who does it harm?
He suspects the birds of a vicious campaign
to wake him at dawn, he needs his eight hours.
The muscle he's pulled in his shoulder fills
the whole week. An unintentional slight -
you running late for a War on Want lunch,
not phoning on time -- he makes a meal of,
a bottomless cup. Of course he enjoys
his own company, but not these thoughts
he can't swat, can't stop copulating,
repeating themselves in his over-heated
sitting-room where he slumps in his farts.
He's let his beard grow - it's his dog
he keeps stroking, but out of control,
always rolling in things. He's given up cleaning
his shit off the sides of the toilet bowl -
the spiders knead the flies. He's sorry
for himself. And scared too now. Who cares?
He gnaws on the dry rabbit bones of old dreams.
Or unused to talking, he'll talk too loud,
gabble on too long to anyone kind,
overconfiding - his bout of d and v,
what he's cooking for his tea. No wonder
the Saturday girl in the Co-op's stopped
smiling at him and won't meet his eye.
He picks up his shopping, thank goodness, and goes.

The Man Alone: New & Selected Poems, 2008



23—28 September 2013
Totleigh Barton
Arvon Course with Helena Nelson Rekindling the Passion
9 November 2013
Mass Workshop with Jeni Smith at the twenty-fifth Aldeburgh Poetry Festival
11—15 November
Poetry Trust Advanced Seminar for the Aldeburgh Eight with Peter Sansom


The Poetry Trust
The Aldeburgh Festival