A New Suit by Neil Uzzell

Last week I bought a new suit.
I've only worn it once,
but I think if I put it on
It could start wearing me.

So it hangs there,
in the closet.
gathering dust.

Before I bought it,
I stood there in the dressing room mirror,
staring at the young man
my grandmother admires
on the Sabbath Day.

Sure it looks nice,
it fits perfectly.
and I've always wanted a suit.
Black, with white stripes,
a skinny black tie.

the saleswoman
thought it looked good.
She even made a point
of coming in the dressing room
and showing me how well it fit at the inseam.

But now,
it's Sunday morning around ten o'clock.
I can already hear the alarmclock
homogenizing my dreams.
And I feel the new neck tie
cutting off my circulation.
Worst, I can see the porcelain smile
I'll be wearing tomorrow at 7:30.

Last week, my friend said,
"Man, you've got to quit that shit!"
And to that I responded,
"I have to pay the rent."

Breaking for the summer

Last Spoken Word... jusqu'à la rentrée.
Thanks all who came - a cracking night. Maybe Conor's last one too as he's off to Korea. Who will forget his audience-participation rendition of Poe's The Raven? Poetry in 5 languages last night which must be some kind of record. Good to see a lot of the regulars and some new and old irregular faces too. Running these things is like having a party with loads of your good friends and I'll miss it in August.
Farewell to Norma and Denis too who're moving to Boston.
If only more of you would follow Nila's example and get tied down here to a French guy or girl.
For those who aren't leaving Paris, we'll be back some time in September.

Bitter Valentine by David Barnes

Last year I sent you flowers
But this year – none of that crap
This year I sent you
A Venus Fly Trap

You gave me your heart
Now you’re asking for it back
Well I’ve cut it into pieces
And I’ve fed it to my cat

I used to send you roses
Now the only rose you’ll get
Is a red rose dyed in hamster blood
With a message from the vet

Oh my bloody Valentine
I’ll send you chocolates in a box
Chocolates laced with laxatives
And small bits of my socks

I’ll sign the note "Anonymous"
So that you won’t suspect
You’ll just eat them all up greedily
And then they’ll take effect

And if I hear you’re suffering
I shall pray that you get worse
For this is not a love letter
It’s a Valentine’s Day curse

And if I seem a little heartless
Then you’ve correctly understood
This is the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre
I don’t wish you any good

This letter that I’m writing
Is written in poison pen
The love I had for you is dead
And it will not live again

It will not rise like Dracula
Nor hideously laugh
For this is not a love poem
It’s an ep-i-taph

4th July

A cracking night, thanks all who came for making it that. Over two hours of continuous poetry and song, broadcast by phone to Norma in the Alps - we should put one of these nights out as a podcast. Naomi's last night since she's off to England to get rich. To give you just an idea of some of what was read: American greats included Whitman, e.e.cummings, William Carlos Williams and Ginsberg. Alexa had rerservations about America, but not about kissing. Neil spun out a story the way only he can. I did my fastest ever poem. Erica was all paper hearts for Jack & Jill. Stephanos loaded his dice and revealed he knew that everybody knows.
Sadly missed: Conor & Gideon.
For those still around there'll be another Spoken Word at the Lizard Lounge in July before we break for summer.
Photos: Naomi Wood, Neil Uzzell, Colin Joseph Wolfgang Mahar, me.

Photos from 4th July reading