Poem: The Train

First published on Patreon on 28th May

Here’s a poem that I have finally managed to finish…sort of. I posted the WIP for this months ago and promptly abandoned it. It’s as done as it will ever be but I’m not sure I’ll ever really like it.

Cream plastic

The seat back is made of

Cream plastic

And I think of coffee

Too pale

Too weak coffee

That tastes more of milk

And sugar

Than anything else

I want some coffee



With hazelnut syrup

And a biscuit

But it’s about

Three hours too late for that

(And no,

I don’t drink decaf)

He has red hair

And half stands in his seat

Looking awkward in a suit

And tired of the day

He’s not handsome

His skin is too pale

And his nose is too straight

And his mouth too small for that

But in this moment

With this quick glance

I am a voyeur and

I want to know him

I want to know why

The beginnings of lines

Around his deep dark eyes

Look like joy

Why the tight corners

Of his mouth

Look like mirth

I want to know his story

And then write it

And then forget his name

And move onto my next fascination

I want a muse

I want to use a man

I want to wring him out

Take his sweat and heat and life

And fuck it to poetry

I want to not feel guilty about that

I want to not care

The dictionary of obscure sorrows

Defines sonder as

The realisation that

Everyone in life is the

Hero of their own stories

And today,

On this Cross Country service

To Manchester Picadilly,

I, the tired fat person

With too many bags

And a very beige outfit,

Am an extra in the background:

Someone they’ll forget

As soon as they look away

My pride tells me I ought to be hurt

My ego informs me I should feel small


I ponder

What I will eat when I get in

I decide on cake

I want a light and fluffy

Vanilla sponge

Still warm

Served with whipped cream

And weak tea

I want to close my lips

Over the tines of a fork

And imagine

For a moment

I’m in a romance novel

And my eating is somehow sexy

I like to imagine

That my smile

Could be irresistible

And the curve of my thighs

Could make someone light headed

But I read too many romance novels

And my imagination

Has always been a little too strong

And the world has spent so long

Showing me my place.

So instead I write

And debate forcing this on

And entirely too indulgent audience.

I suppose this is the answer

Thank you all for your patience

Good night.


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