Lawrence – by Robert Ford

 

In Miss Owen’s English class we learned about The Writer,
a local hero, or at least he’d come from a town near ours
we’d heard of, and had written poems and books, and died

abroad. He wrote a novel famous for being about fucking,
she told us – or something – and for having the word cunt in it,
and getting banned. Her fish-batter hair bounced as much as

hair as short as hers could, and her cavegirl face with its dark,
moon-lidded eyes, ground pepper as she said the swear-words,
and feasted on the bony silence they’d milked. After the bell,

we mooched about in the schoolyard like sheep just shorn,
our tongues and lips clumsy with disbelief, the crown jewels of
our vocabulary now strangely blunted in our mucky little mouths.

 

 

 

Robert Ford lives on the east coast of Scotland. His poetry has appeared in both print and online publications in the UK and US, including Antiphon, Clear PoetryHomestead Review and Ink, Sweat and Tears. More of his work can be found here

One last cigar – by Robert Ford

 

I like to think I’ll smoke one more cigar before I go.
It won’t need to be some thick, ostentatious Cohiba,

just something slender, sweet, meaningful, cheap,
chasing the tail of a fractious day, a burnt-orange sun

aquaplaning into the water, a glass of rum, ice.
And you’ll be there, I expect, leading me astray,

like the knowing, older brother you should’ve been.
A ghost of bitter smoke will gather around my tongue,

factory-dry, and I’ll know that this is bad for me, which
in itself will feel better than anything good ever did.

 

 

 

Robert Ford lives on the east coast of Scotland. His poetry has appeared in both print and online publications in the UK and US, including Antiphon, Clear Poetry, Homestead Review and Ink, Sweat and Tears. More of his work can be found here

Ride – by Robert Ford

 

God once stopped while I was hitch-hiking,
barrelling south down the Ghost Road
through that endless stretch where
Yorkshire almost starts to resemble Texas.
He flung open the door of a long, white
Mercedes with seats made out of cows.
Given all His hard work, I couldn’t begrudge
Him it, nor the platinum signet ring on
His little finger. He looked – that day – not
unlike a young Topol, or Trotsky, with a
well-groomed neatness to His silver-threaded
curls and goatee. We talked about cars
and girls, the usual stuff, vulnerability.
He asked me how I liked His ride; I guessed
the ambiguity was entirely accidental.
What would you do – He asked me seriously
if I were to reach out and touch you,
right here, right now? What would you do?
The question hung in the slim air between us,
like a brand new planet, still in its wrapper,
hanging innocently in the heavens He’d built.
Gazing out at the reams of road ahead
waiting to be swallowed up, I shuddered,
understanding for the first time that my soul
was really only ever going to be on loan.

 

 

 

Robert Ford lives on the east coast of Scotland. His poetry has appeared in both print and online publications in the UK and US, including Antiphon, Clear Poetry, Homestead Review and Ink, Sweat and Tears. More of his work can be found here