Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hotel Breakfast Room

It is a bad idea
to look into a hotel breakfast room
in winter, on an empty stomach,
because no matter how content you are,
it will instil only
the deepest longing.
Silver flip-top hot-water pots
gurn your face back at you in aluminium,
cheeks pink like a baby,
but without the softness.
Your eye meets a man
with over-scrambled scrambled egg
swinging from his lower lip.
He scrapes it off
without breaking eye contact,
and the egg falls onto the plate;
you can imagine the wet slap it makes
without actually having to hear it.
Your hands are thrust deep in your pockets,
while theirs clutch ceramic cups,
coffee steam steaming up their glasses,
palms clammy with condensation
while yours crack and creak with cold.
Your collar is turned up,
but their coats are lined in some cloakroom
like tweed and woollen soldiers
with gloves stowed in inside pockets.
You forgot your gloves today.


PSP Man, you are ruining my life.
Wait, no.
That's too dramatic.
You're ruining my life between the hour of 7 and 8,
On the daily commute to London.

You're 40-plus
But you've got the gadgets,
The iPod, the Blackberry...the PSP.
Everything you could possibly want,
Tucked into your shiny suit pockets.

With Lara Croft in the palm of your hand
And the earphones plugged deep in your ears,
You're furiously playing
In the Quiet Zone,
And the clicking of buttons is driving

Click-click-click, click-click-click.
You may have all the gadgets
But your manners have gone for a burton.
And you chew your gum, your Orbit Whitening gum
So the clicks are accompanied by chomps.
Click click click,Chomp chomp chomp.

I'd block it out with my own music,
But the cheap mp3 player I bought is dead,
And no amount of staring into the back gardens of Upminster
Is going to block you out.
PSP Man, you are ruining my life.
Between the hour of 7 and 8,
If you could keep it down,
That really would be great.