When Our Father was a Blimp
Our father took to helium
and tethered himself to the roof.
There, he trembled
like a first-day safety flag
until he covered the sky.
His meat was undeniable.
We used to throw javelins
for nervous behaviour,
but our weaponry
and ability to challenge
had been tamed as he reached
his final overblown state.
Man is man, even at this scale.
The blood sleet of our father
began to wilt the petunias.
New strains of fish in the pond;
angsty carp, bloodshot and hungover.
We boys prayed to him
about our sexual encounters;
still inflation evades us!
Our father knew only too well.
The other day I took a job advertising
some new blood pill. I walked the one-way
system of the suburb dressed as a heart -
a mammoth heart, not a people heart -
the kind of heart they put in museums.
People threw fast food from their cars.
BMXers vandalised me,
used me as a ramp, trying to get blood
to pump out. ‘It’s just a costume’, I yelled
out of the left ventricle.
They stuffed me with peaches.
Who takes peaches to a BMX park?
Passed out til night-time - super unhealthy -
then took a backroad home.
All the mansion burglar alarms
twinkled like rigged stars
that would never go off -
who can afford to burgle a mansion -
you need artillery, right?
A behemoth was hanging out on a rooftop,
its arrowed tail TP’ing the facade.
It had the head of a great white shark,
eyes as deep as the heart of a shadow.
It was gasping and gasping.
‘Do YOU need blood pills’? I started my pitch.
It sank to my level, opened its mouth,
a tunnel of teeth. ‘I’ll feed you
but you gotta buy the pills first.’
Around me, suburbanites had convened,
humming little things –
shopping lists, trike memories,
what Angela had done to the hedge -
and they were carrying offerings.
You know, pies, bunting, house plants.
They were all glowy, shuffling
into the throat of this great-white-thing.
Lost my commission, like that,
as swathes of people were swallowed
by their deity. It shut its mouth and stared.
‘I need to eat too’, I said, turning away.
It unleashed a great-white coo
and all was slowed. So empty feeling.
Didn’t get to my door till sun-up,
even though it’s a fifteen-minute walk.
Emily’s milk teeth were still on the doormat,
uncollected. No one at home.
Neighbourless. The pinnacle of privacy.
Antosh Wojcik is a poet, sound artist and drummer. His cross-disciplinary
performance piece, How To Keep Time: A Drum Solo for Dementia, was
commissioned by Penned in the Margins and toured the UK & internationally. His
writing has appeared in anthologies published by Bad Betty Press and Nine Arches