The Intense Humming of Meaningless Small Talk by John Doyle

Out from her glass-case she steps,
sneakers, then her smile going on,


I can see her ticking a list just to be sure,
that mathematics degree is hard to shake off,

fellow staff make inquiries,

one even manages to string some deeply profound
Marxist shit together, but, she never studied arts –


a muttering old man who knows him second hand
by his mad bastard local activities nickname

drags him off. What are my chances?
I’ve no raincoat but I can flick coins and chew gum,

I can mimic leaning on a skyscraper
as her smile remembers where her face is,

template small-talk sends a galaxy spinning
on all fours, don’t forget – discreetly namedrop the boyfriend,

just pour some shit on that fire,
bony-arsed blessed virgin, self-locked in glass case again.


John Doyle is from County Kildare Ireland, or so he alleges; he finds poetry to be a therapeutic release from horrors he must endure every day, like television sets fat to their faces with celebrity chefs and cops shows, and endless wailing of neighbours’ children having overdosed on ice-cream. He is one year older than the age David Brent was when he said he was in his 30s.


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