Paul Robert Mullen

college nights and days

  standing on the edge of 
the barricade                rain falling on his shoes
3am                 petrol station lights     
laughter in the alleys  
the mathematician fucking the rich kid
up against Mary Blaine 
beloved wife and mother / b.1863 – d.1937
doormen gathering                  sirens
she was half in love on the avenue
leaning            boy with man’s hands / chrome wheels
relax, don’t do it                     the late-bar
dying with the hour
late november fog curling round the carparks
and warehouses like clenched fists
streets waking up                    garlic mayo under finger nails
            hypnotic jangle of fruit machines
medium or large?
no taxis / no jackets / blowing air into blueing hands
what you lookin at lad?
temples            breath              guts                 anus                 
all in bits
fall asleep                    cock in hand
headphones in
            her face                       with him
alarm               alarm               alarm               MOTHER       alarm               MOTHER
you were late                          
undulating country roads                    hedges scraping / whipping windows
            bloody traffic lights                            every single one
no texts                       the emptiness of it all
            stripping his insides
sausage barm              no sauce
            everyone fucked
she appears                 from somewhere deep inside of him
this town is cancerous           she whispers
            rolled-up cigarette / expresso
purple-yellowed eye               half way between exhaustion and submission
did he do it?                            i don’t ask
(he’s somewhere in the canteen)
a thick black knitted jersey hanging               fleshless shoulders
flakes of skin              like flies trapped in bulky yarn
scatty hair / barb-wire knots / gnawed nails
pool balls click                        the notice says no tobacco
in the common room                           she rolls another
            stooges on the jukebox
            the cure on the jukebox
did you see the graffiti?                      she forces smiles
legs crossed / twitchy 
by him?                       i do say it                    I do say it
drilling in the walls                 two middle-aged overalls grin
they’ve picked the ones they’d love to screw
               she mouths                  by him

Paul Robert Mullen is a poet, musician and sociable loner from Liverpool, U.K. He has three published poetry collections: curse this blue raincoat (2017), testimony (2018), and 35 (2018).  He also enjoys paperbacks with broken spines, and all things minimalist.

Twitter: @mushyprm35