Three Bad Dreams by Bobby Parker

A machine that you go into as a pig and come out a sausage

The sausage looked so lonely

in the chip shop window

I had to buy it.

But I made a mistake

because the sausage was evil.

As soon as I unwrapped the soggy paper

I knew

this was a diabolical purchase.

I just get that spooky feeling about stuff


Like our German room-mate’s

well-worn Birkenstocks.

Bastard things in the world.

I carefully placed the greasy sausage

onto a clean plate that was still

a bit wet from the dishwasher.

It looked fine.

It smelled fine.

I threw it away and left the room.

That’s when it spoke to me,

with a voice like a chewed-up dog toy

squeaking in the depths

of the kitchen bin.

Do you want to know what it said?

No, of course you don’t.

No one wants to hear

what an evil sausage

has to say.

I did find, however, if you pay attention

to such phenomena

you can access the truth.

You sense the wickedness

in your surroundings

and the cruelty

in your neighbours.

At least, that’s what I thought

until Sock Head told me

they arrested Henry:

‘Why do you think

he always stayed with friends

who have small children…’

I threw up yellow string

by the side of the road

and started worrying

about everyone I know.

Were they evil?

I couldn’t tell any more.

That’s when I walked by the chip shop

and saw that godforsaken sausage.

I was vulnerable, you see.

The thought of carrying a device

that connects us

to more human suffering

than the brain

can possibly process

suddenly appeared to me

as a severed head


through an empty supermarket.

I was feeling guilty

for neglecting my family.

My poor nan has been waiting

months for me to visit.

She lives two streets away

from the chip shop

in a small flat

full of fake cats

curled up

in cute little baskets.

She used to paint the same ugly horse

over and over again.

Never told us its name.

Maybe I’ll go see her tomorrow.

I need more information

about the beast she sees

creeping out of the asphalt.

It's my favourite story.

Nan loves telling that one,

her flimsy hands mauling the air