2 poems by Jack Stacey

The Unfortunate Time Machine

I contemplate my sadness on days off.

I’m alive in the paradise of monotony aka a star in galaxy - another ornament that blurs with the rest of universe’s grass.

I’m overseeing a trip among mountains the girlfriends of girlfriends past,

butterflies rendering the static heatwaves the recycled gravities – endless days, endless seashells, endless fossilised humans. My mind writes down fossilised thoughts so one day I can tell my unknown child what misery looks like.

I write to my child: I’m going to keep crying until I am sick of crying. When I’m finished, I’ll reintroduce myself. That’s where you come in. Controlling Alt and Zed

I was thirty-one when mother stopped being alive. Dad told me she was brought to accident and emergency as a precaution, pain on her left side, couldn’t stand up when she fell down, that sort of thing. Dad added she was calm, breathing fresh oxygen before she disappeared into the observation room forever. This he blubbed down my earpiece at 9am, still scraping gunk from my eyeballs.

She took the dog to the vet when he was walking funny. Vet said he was 99% sure there was cancer under his tail. Mother being mother wanted him put down. Don’t be sad, ok? She said down the phone as I pleaded with her from Winchester not to have him put to sleep. Mother’s death stinks of irony – Worried about her suffering dog, as her suffering heart pleaded for her to stop worrying herself to dead.

She didn’t die in slow motion like some mothers do. My dog survived another four months before I came home early morning saw him ‘sleeping’ outside, his small black paws riddled in condensation.

On Sundays we now eat Indian takeaways. Mum’s dried meat and sad potatoes were put to rest.


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Jack Stacey is studying for an MA in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of Winchester. His focus is mainly poetry, with previous studies including short fiction, scripts and non-fiction. He has also written various articles for FactualFacts and ViralVentura, and recently he directed the short play Record Numbers for the Theatre Royal in Winchester.