1 The constraints: 1) No more than
one hour. 2) No more than 20 lines.
The result ? Genius or Not.


6th November 2010

By Michael Egan | 2010 November 06

someone is stubbing cigarettes out
in the landlord’s potted geraniums   tipping
one of the twenty rums   into his rose bushes
the alcohol drips out and coats petals like dew
and the roots are as drunk as the three
leftover hippies    who are talking
about a stone circle in the lake district
where one of them woke to hovering
orbs of lights      went down to the village
shop    to get bacon and that
where they told him how everyone in the village
had seen the same orbs     even the children
and as he tells this story he taps
the ash from his cigarette    over a lonely
cactus     whose spikes do no good
against the burn of a loosened lump
of smouldering tobacco    if the place
had laws     by rights he’d be taken into
the toilet now and have his nose shoved
up against the graffiti there     those dirty
marked words are the landlord’s second
pet hat     he told us   on a similar
night when the rain lashed the corrugated
roof of the yard   that if he ever caught
someone    marking his white tiled
walls   the ones he says he scrubs every day
then he’d smash their noses   and see
what that red ink writes    see if their
phone numbers bleed from their broken
noses   or if their claims for good times
run from their fractured skulls
but here the landlord is   watching the hippies
and the walls of the toilet are never clean
and the plants in the yard are never watered
their buds dead   their leaves brown and falling.

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