My father had a problem
when it came to animals.
He couldn’t leave a pet store
empty-handed; always a hamster,
or a mouse, because for five minutes
it was just the cutest thing around.
And now you know why I exist.
His ex-wife filed the restraining order
and he missed the thrill of procreation,
thought round two might bring
more humorous results, pretending
it was all planned-out, that I was not
an anchor, their joint tenancy,
an obligation keeping them in check.
I would feign narcolepsy on our car trips,
hoping for a timely slip, but mother,
she was clever, and the puppet show
continued, nothing left to chance.
We had a system set in stone.
Mum gave me pocket money
and my father beat it out of me –
the money stayed within the family
so there was no reason to complain.
Have You Seen the Snow Today?
Nothing brings the English camaraderie like
snow. I broke temporary bread with fellow
prisoners, the girl from Vietnam, her toddler
who continued asking questions, who accidentally
called me dad. The Westward Guest was livid.
“Stop drawing attention,” my fiancée said.
She wasn’t getting it herself. I conversed with
the Jamaican man because I knew she loathed
his accent and because I hoped he’d give me
lines for free, something foreign and unique.
What do people think of me, my big black
hat, my trench coat and my stompy boots,
when I pull out a notepad or computer on the bus?
Do they see poetry, or an attempt at poetry?
I don’t like to write with someone right beside me.
Luckily, The Guest was only sometimes there.
We started at the South-side stop and looked up
to see the South-side stop, covered up in white.
She asked if I’d be staying overnight this time.
I told her that the snow looked beautiful at home.
Marc is an author of poetry and realist fiction for adults, currently residing in South London. Marc first discovered poetry at university under the tuition of Julian Stannard, and since obtaining his Master’s degree he has been published in various outlets across the UK, including a top ten placement in 2016’s National Poetry Competition. His poems have also appeared in video form. He is affiliated with Poets Anonymous and The Poetry Society, having performed by invitation at the latter’s Poem-A-Thon charity fundraiser in Summer 2017, and his work has been described as displaying, “Humour and energy…with behind that a dark resentment,” and “an occasionally shocking sense of realism.” His debut poetry collection, Keep it in the Family, is available via Dempsey & Windle from October 2017, and he frequently performs readings in-and-around London. He is also active on Twitter and Facebook.