Sex and the Wheelbarrow – by Boltini


Not being that smart or lively at thinking
I was never much good at what you might call
the Art of Conversation. Consequently I don’t settle in
and I don’t feel at ease at parties,

so I was just sort of standing there
surrounded by everybody on my own, in the kitchen at Zoe’s
when a woman in the red dress turned to me,
and what is it you do? she said, smiling nicely.

Well I was taken by surprise, but I didn’t let it show,
I’m a gardener, I said. And remembering my manners –
it’s polite to ask – and what about you, I said, what do you do?
She said, I’m a sex therapist.

Oh-my I said, My-my. By Jove that’s interesting,
so you must be a really good fuck then.
There was a pause. She didn’t say anything,

so I went on –

Well, you know, when I say I’m a gardener, what I mean is,
I’m not the sort of fellow who can graft your fruit trees,
bring a lovely bloom to your peaches up against a hothouse wall,
fettle your bromeliads, that sort of thing,
I’m more of a labourer you see, slash and burn,
I spend a lot of time digging and weeding,
going backwards and forwards with my wheelbarrow

and d’you know what, damn and blast it, it was only this morning
I got a flat tyre with a full load on among the viburnums.
It were touch and go I can tell you, a right tricky moment,
a ruddy great thorn from off of floribundas had…
er… had worked its way in…

but the woman in the red dress had gone.
Just goes to show, like I say,
I’m not very good at parties,
not too hot at the Art of Conversation.




I could not pin down Boltini for a bio, but he is a Yorkshire poet with a unique and beguiling voice. His collection Narrow Ruled Feint with Margin is available here from Otley Word Feast Press.

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