Don’t get me wrong, I’d love nothing more
than to commune with Mother Nature.
But what can I do? It’s out of my hands:
Nigeria are playing Croatia.
What’s that? Another meal on your own?
You’re quite right, there is nothing bleaker.
But this is the big one. I’ve waited all day.
Switzerland – Costa Rica.
Sorry I shall miss your mum’s funeral
but I should be there in time for the wake.
Do understand, it’s Morocco – Iran
and for both teams there’s so much at stake.
I see that you’ve filed for divorce.
I’ll sign the papers as soon as I can,
just ten minutes more (plus time added on)
of Colombia versus Japan.
Love was being left on the table.
Assets were unleveraged, needles unmoved.
Low-hanging fruit dangled down forlornly,
He’d eaten the reality sandwich
and knew a new game plan was needed;
something to deliver a bang for his buck,
open the kimono, rub his rhubarb.
He sought alignment.
He flipcharted in the ideation laboratory,
pondered his own value proposition;
it remained unclear as to whether he had one.
He noted this down as a pain point.
He reviewed his immediate pipeline:
Fran from finance; Linda from sales;
Barbara from inhumane resources.
He imagined hotdesking them,
onboarding them, piggybacking them.
The thought was as welcome
as putting socks on an octopus.
So he thought out of the box,
bought in external lists based on key attributes:
Gender (female); Age (25-35);
Status (unmarried / unhappily married);
Interests (sex / cooking / golf).
Prospects were surveyed,
core competencies interrogated
and hot leads pumped into his funnel
for further nurturing and nurdling.
Only Melissa from Melton Mowbray
survived the process; the capability matrix
clearly showed that she was where
the rubber hit the road.
He brought her in for a focus group,
with a view to further quality function deployment,
and sat and listened to the Voice of the Customer.
She thought him a twat.
in the supermarket of her love life,
she rummaged in the rubble of reduced items,
looking for something edible,
if perhaps not entirely credible
in the bagging area of her bed,
she found the unexpected item of Fred
when Jane described Clarence
as being like an onion,
he was thrilled to think
she saw him as multi-layered,
with such a lot going on
beneath the surface that
only after much peeling
would the revealing
of the real Clarence
and so, later,
he was disappointed
to hear that she was referring
to his purple-red, papery skin
and the fact
that he would
a volatile gas
that would bring tears
to her eyes
she was sick
of seeing Keith
playing with it
he would whip it out,
like a magician
producing a bunch
of plastic flowers
from under a gaudy silk scarf
for an audience
long since inured to ennui
it was the weight of it
in his hand
as an assassin,
creeping up the staircase,
in his revolver
the evening when her parents
came over for dinner,
she could tell
Keith was fiddling with it
under the table
from his glassy-eyed look
of distracted concentration
the fidgeting, the fudgeting,
the fingering, the lingering looks
he gave it when he wasn’t holding it,
(looks he never gave her anymore)
pushed her buttons
that Christmas, in desperation,
she bought him a phone
and he never played with it again
Soon it would soon be January again.
She simply did not know
where the year had gone.
Eventually she found it
in a shoebox,
under the bed,
along with 1997
He had taken the best years of her life.
five years passed
admitted to herself
that they were never
going to get it together
yes, they were close
but it was like there was
and although they
worked on it together,
talked things through,
looked at it from all angles,
tried new things out
(this way and that),
it never seemed
why Mike should think
that flat-pack assembly
was such a good idea,
Denise would never know
She would write
little poems for me,
and scatter them
around the house,
like unexpected confetti.
these notes of seduction
2 tins toms, read one,
Cuc x 3, caulie, bread rolls.
Dead Sea Scrolls
would be decidedly
I came to adore
these lettres d’amour,
and would secretly clamour
for their post-it-note
Boiler on blink. Phone man.
Dinner in dog
not the prettiest
was one of her
I hate you
And I hate your stupid face.
I am leaving you.
was the pinnacle,
and so clinical.
Such a shame
shortly after that.