Poundland Cashier Number Four

And I will hasten down aisles,
avoiding skyscraper piles
of Tommy Walsh Mini-Screwdriver sets,
bubble-gum flavoured cartridges for e-cigarettes,
the dustied, desperate overstocks
of a hundred Pam St Clement canvas clocks,
the lunchboxes, kitchen roll and other millions
of godforsaken products infested by minions,
and yesterday’s shelf-stacked opinions
of Colin, recently appointed store assistant manager,
who, as he extols the virtues of stock rotation,
seems, at long last, to have reached his true vocation.

I will hurtle past these and so much more
for the merest glimpse
of Poundland cashier number four.

And I will speed down the aisles,
thunder past the rows of Jeremy Kyle’s
still remaining remaindered autobiography,
Disney Frozen lip balm (five for the price of three),
twin packs of glue-on false eyelashes,
and neglected sets of fake, funny moustaches.
And I will use my mobility scooter as a chariot
to proceed like a prince through the proletariat,
ready to defend with shield of sturdy cardboard,
a tube of non-stick Baco foil will be my shining sword.

For I will fight all others to the floor
should they get in the way of me
and Poundland cashier number four.

And now I’m here, I’ll wait as long as it takes,
even if she’s off again on one of her fag breaks.

Special Offers

I took the volume to the counter
where the bookseller said to me,
“You do realise, sir, that today
is Buy One Get One Free.”

So I went and chose another book,
and waited patiently in the queue,
but this time he pointed at a sign
which said Three for the Price of Two.

I thought I’d go for something lighter
and so I came back with a thriller.
The bookseller said, “The Impossible Dead!
That means you get to sleep with Cilla.”

His assistant took me by the hand
and led me into the stock room;
we made love against an unsold stack
of biographies of David Hume.

The bookseller had more to say,
when I returned to the shop floor,
“As the 100th person she’s had this year,
here are the keys to the store.”

He took an urgent phone call and said
“It seems that you’re in luck again.
Head Office have told me to tell you
about “Win One Store, Get the Chain.”

And so it went on for days and weeks,
each special offer bigger than the last,
I won shops, businesses, countries, planets,
my empire was boundless and vast.

It wasn’t easy running the universe;
indeed, every spare moment it took.
So busy was I, no matter how hard I tried,
I never got to read my book.

black friday

few knew what lay in store
that Friday

it started (as such things always do)
with the haberdashers
where reckless price slashers
offered ten per cent off
cerise beading trimming
and soon the place
was full to brimming

as the prices lowered
the tension rose
resulting in a bloodied nose
by the children’s clothes

over in winter wear,
a couple of kerfufflers
turned to scufflers
over discounted mufflers
and there was more fighting
amongst the table lighting
as a shopper got lamped
and then put in the shade

there was carnage in the cardigans,
burnings in home furnishings,
a fracas near the nail lacquer
and a murderous mascara massacre

into luggage leaked mustard gas
and the worst case scenario
came to pass

thirty-five shoppers malled to death
who lost their lives in the fray,
the casualties of consumption
to be remembered on Black Friday

A Fine Afternoon’s Work

I said I’ll have a plate
Of your finest platitudes
With a side serving of insouciance,
Easy on the relish.

My custom no longer welcome
At Chicken Cottage,
I moved on in pursuit of other fowl to fry,
Three pound twenty
And a paraffin lighter
Burning a hole in my pocket.

Crowds had gathered
In front of Fred’s Discount Store.
30% off lilac and lemon Pringle sweaters
Was proving quite a draw.
I resisted the impulse.

My attention was roughly grabbed
And hauled into Help the Caged,
A new charity shop
Committed to ending the plight
Of budgerigars the world over,
Inside which I rapidly parted with my money.
Cooking with Charlie Dimmock and
A cassette tape of The Blow Monkeys
Sing Songs from the Shows,
My spoils of war.

I hurried home.