Friday, February 3, 2012

Shopping trip - a modern Odyssey







Shopping trip

1

‘Over time, Jem,’ Jenny,

Slightly stoned, says to me, ‘The basis

Of the universe is

An ineluctable decline to stasis.’

I never take entropy specially seriously

And certainly not as my destiny,

But I guess you don’t mess

With a philosopheress.

2

The squat is hot.

‘There‘s nothing to drink,’ I think.

Then: ‘Let’s go shopping,’ says Ken,

Fingers at home on his chrome smart phone,

‘I’m on BBN and Fatty has tweeted that Curry’s is open,

Stacks of stock. No staff.’

With a meat pizza hurled at a video of Queen,

Last week, Ken trashed our present screen.

3

I think, ‘A new screen would be good.

Maybe two. A pair of Vieras?’

‘It’s late,’ says Jenny, tottering across the room,

‘But never too late to consume.’

Ken says, ‘But there’s time for a line.’

Jenny grins but I decline.You can’t be stoned all the time.

4

So, later, we three mates clatter down eighteen flights.

The lift has never lifted, never shifted. It’s a toilet nowadays.

On the way we stay away from the pleading of the bleeding

Crackheads and avoid their chemical gaze.

Indoor parcours on the banisters is fun

And soon we’re standing on a landing.

Ken says, ‘It’s a dump,’ and nuts

A passing, grasping tramp who spills his guts.

5

On the ground floor the outside doors are stuck shut

But, thank fuck, someone’s nicked the glass.

No blame, no shame. We step right through the frame.

And Jenny, me and Kenny, on a night-time shopping trip,

Skip across the grass.

6

A hurried, harried crowd at Curry’s strips

The shop of all its stock. The air is hot and feral.

Jenny bags a hairdryer, a one-bar fire

And an HTC Desire. Kenny disappears.

I spot an overlooked, boxed Sony HX-723,

A forty-two inch plasma, just the thing for me.

I grab the screen, its power pack. The box is open wide.

To the door I stride and take a look outside.

7

Shit!

By the multi-storey, a fucking copper stands,

Dressed up like a robot, truncheon in his hand.

He’s looking at me looking at him and looking at the Sony

He’s eaten too much pizza with too much pepperoni.

He’s overweight and ugly, alone and looking lost,

Talking on a cellphone. No signal, fingers crossed.

Fleeing with a telly is a challenge but we’ll see

If agility and rapidity will save my new TV.

8

So, I’m running very quickly and I’m leaving him behind.

I think that I’ll surrender but then I change my mind.

I hear his laboured breathing as he gets a bit too near.

He smells of sweat and plastic with a hint of rancid beer.

I’m zigging down the precinct, he’s zagging through the crowd.

They’re shouting and applauding. It’s getting pretty loud.

Faster and then faster the two of us career.

And then he stops.

9

So I stop too and turn around.

He’s bending over, doubled up, being sick. Vomit on the ground!

I leave him to his heaving and scoot up to the squat.

I am thrilled with my new flat screen. The best I ever got.

Ken and Jen are dancing round piles of stolen goodies

They love my Sony so much they undo their hoodies!

We set the lovely Sony up, a tribute to Nippon.

Excited and delighted we switch it on to see what’s on.

11

Nothing!

BBC is snoring. ITV is boring. Freeview’s chewing gum.

We need a DVD!

Blockbusters here we come!

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