Posted in Antarctica

Technical Assistance

It was called scullery
the place where returned dishes were washed
glasses, cutlery, plates, cups
the detritus of dinner for 1200.
It was my first day
they had been before.

Rinse, scrub, sterilise
they knew the drill.
I load and unload the machine
skipping from jaws to anus
of a 3 metre beast – of heat, noise and steam
which stops – unannounced.
The senior
squat, brick outhouse muscular
with chest thatch escaping his t shirt
onto shoulders
and down his back
bellows energetically
“kick it in the cunt.”
“Yeah,” growls the other without enthusiasm
“kick it in the cunt.”

I am motionless
with a grin to Jack Nicholson nervous
the hirsute one advanced on the machine.
“EEEEEyaaah,” overtures a roundhouse kick
it burst back into life.
“That’s how you do it.”
I spent the rest of the shift praying it wouldn’t stop again

For the back story click Backstage.



Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.

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