Spare Line — Peter Boughton

Listen: redundant phone lines spoke a lead

Horizon; the roost of starlings, blackbirds, crows.

It might be song we hear, but what is said

Amounts to, ‘Fuck off, stranger, and crow

Your cunt-nosed, dreary prick-songs somewhere else.’

Misreadings make our days, salve the cold-sores

On our lips.  The things you thought I said-

I didn’t mean. Moreover, that time I called

The voice you heard was pantomime, a fraud

Performed by Punch and Judy: swazzled cock

And violence, words that fell like punches, cold,

Calculated, precise enough to knock

Your soft heart sideways, a springe for small game,

Nothing more. Poor me. Poor you. All the same,

Forgive me, if I long to hear your voice again.

Peter Boughton lives in the East Midlands. His work featured in two anthologies in the 1990s (both entitled Five) with Chris Jones, Matthew Clegg, Andrew Hirst, Tom Roder, and Adrian Head. Currently blogs @