Sunday, June 21, 2020

New Poetry by Paul Tanner

*with no irony

there’s a big bloke bleeding on the ground 
and a couple of smaller dudes standing over him
looking bored. 
then at me – 
I shrug as if to say, none of my business
then go in.  
it’s not my usual advisor, it’s this woman with 
long nails and she says you know,
you should really widen your job search.
I’ve applied for everything from 
toilet cleaner to shelf stacker, what else is there?
she says well you know, 
everything’s online these days, there’s always call
for more drivers to deliver to customer’s houses.
I say I don’t have a licence.
and she says well maybe you should get one
and I ask: how am I paying for that?
and she says woah, woah, I’m just trying to help, 
there’s no need to get aggressive,
we won’t tolerate abuse, here at the jobcentre* so I give up. 
outside, the big bloke has gone 
but the two little ones are still there,
standing over the blood puddle where he was.
weird. there’s 
a bus stop across the way 
bent like your grandma. there’s
a flower somewhere. 
one of the little dudes, he smiles. the other doesn’t.
I wasn’t even signing on today, I took that bitch’s shit
for nothing. kind of like signing on. 
somewhere there’s a flower 
and the bus stop is still in use

- © Paul Tanner 2020

Paul Tanner's novel, “Jobseeker”, is available now at Amazon. He was shortlisted for the Erbacce 2020 Poetry Prize. His latest collection, “Shop Talk: Poems for Shop Workers”, is published by Penniless Press.

No comments: