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Bobby Parker


Bobby Parker lives in Kiddermister in the West Midlands of Britain. He was selected as Small Press Poet of the Year in Purple Patch magazine, and has previously been published in the following magazines: Agenda, The New Cauldron, The Coffee House, Curlew, Fire, Global Tapestry Journal, Iota, Krax, Obsessed With Pipework, Orbis (where he was Featured Writer in issue 147), Rain Dog, Raw Edge, Purple Patch, Quarry, Urban District Writer and Weyfarers. He also has work on the webzine Ink Sweat and Tears.


He recently founded Last Change Before Bath Time publications ( LCBB), which publishes pocket size poetry pamphlets. A website is planned for 2010. Recently they published Geoff Stevens' The Instability of Nitro-cellulose. Future plans include an LCBB magazine and poetry anthologies. 


Dancing with your mouths so sure of yourselves
it seems my eyes were meant to chase your words
red ribbons blue balloons sparks and flags
drifting into the sky like cigarette smoke
while my body becomes an armchair 
the sun slaps my back and I cough black dust Ė
you think Iím sullen strange too quiet? 
you should see me when the lights go out 
I canít stop singing I canít stop feeling sick I canít
see enough of you Ė you make me want to break
you make me want to break whatever it is in my hands 
a fragile kind of distance Ė you thought I was smiling.

A moment outside we talked about your death
not before the great novel not before another year 
lost and mad and full of disease but happy as a criminal 
in the land of Apocalypse Now 
I will visit you if it means I can be you for a day 
the way you talk and they all laugh and tilt their heads
the confidence man the bright ice over the dark water 
it was perfect they cast you in the film I wrote 
it was perfect when a girl interrupted us and you joked
suddenly suddenly the sound of glass breaking underfoot
if we swapped lives would we appreciate poetry? 

Thanks for the drinks and the laughs going over my head 
so sure of yourselves so close so funny an energy I canít touch 
my soft fingers popping and melting on your funny stories 
I pluck a few ribbons from the air and take them home 
I catch a spark in my pocket and wait for the fire. 


I donít feel guilty about money

I donít feel guilty about money
I could burn what I owe you and spend the night 
picturing your face twisted like a used tissue 
picturing your face considering my face 
kind of smiling but not smiling 
a wince Yes a wince for the money I owe you because
I didnít ask for more and youíve surely got enough
with your three jobs rich daddy savings account 
dodgy deals and girls that pay for hanky panky 
in some field where the sun doesnít quite make it
to the dark green edges wet and heavy with that grassy stink 
that followed me through my school days 
my lonely school days outsider with a face for dreaming 
a face for your money the pocket book you keep 
my name scratched in thick black inky rage 
I would ask for more if you hit your head and forgot 
the last twenty odd years and maybe thought I was your brother 
back from the war with a face for silence 
and two hands that shake when you say 
something my father used to say when he didnít want 
to take me to the park because I kind of freaked him out
with a face very much like his own face in the world. 

Iím Not Alone Youíre Alone

Iím not alone youíre alone, that is to say
Iím not with you. Put some bread in the toaster
wait for it to burn then call me to describe 
a quiet house that smells of burnt toast. 

Iím not alone youíre alone, that is to say
Iím not with you. Your words are confetti,
the biodegradable kind the church prefers;
they stick to the bottom of my black shoes.

Iím not alone youíre alone, that is to say
Iím not with you. Order a pizza and when 
the delivery man arrives call me and ask him 
to tell me what youíre wearing. 

Iím not alone youíre alone, that is to say
Iím not with you. And since I hate cars, trains,
boats and planes, imagine I am in the next room 
writing poems. Shouting for coffee. 

Pictures of Screaming People

I knock his door. His girlfriend answers.
A few pounds lighter and she could be a model
but what do I know about beauty, Iím trying 
to sell a painting to a lad tormented by psoriasis. 
He doesnít get up out of his chair, I look at his 
girlfriend as she flips through a magazine. 
Maybe she doesnít want to leave him because 
she doesnít want him to think itís the psoriasis . 
However, I am prone to thinking horrible things,
horrible, horrible things. He doesnít like my paintings.
He scratches his neck, swats at a fly. She rolls up 
her magazine, pats an awkward beat on her left thigh.





copyright © Bobby Parker