Poetry: Selections from Michael Pollentine

Stubborn Refusal Onslaught

I am so tired
Of patience
I want to smash its teeth
Provoke it to fight back
And knock me out
Because why shouldn’t it
Help out?
In my corner
Where everyone has left
No towel to throw
Nor revive
Count me out
Numb my brain
From endless washing
Machine torture
Thoughts of you
And what you did
And what I did
Big shots from afar
Moves for clinch
Trade body shots
In waves
The dissection of every conversation
Of every glass memory
Of any photo
Even unfocused
Like a blistered vibration
A stunted lethargy
What a fucking mess
Exhausted I crash on a broken
Fold out bed
In a forgotten flat
In a place where you don’t know
I am lost
And separated from touch
I want to die
But lack the will
For violence
Yet harbour all the thrill
And the desire to fall back
To dirty my face
And ruin the edges
Apathy is holding my head up
And drying my eyes
Through apathy
I survived

Spent a week in an opiate triangle

Sail skull fields
Long after music
Drink hot tea.
Possibly eat cheap rice pudding.
Hard shit.
That was it.
Until we ran out.

A Recollection for James 

She chose me over you
Stroked my balls
To get a bite
’60, 60, good sex, yeah,’
Yeah right.
Later at the club on a boat
Too many absinthes
Threw me overboard.
You saved my life.
Sat on steps with Irish guys
Watching pit bull twins
Kick the shit out of
A skinny dude.
Walked to our apartment
Two girls called me over
Pointed at you
And asked
‘Is he a black?’


Drank himself
To Death
When not gambling
Or running the clock
She didn’t go to his funeral
I never knew him

Online Date

Too intense
Later found out Valium.
Why did I go back with her?
Well, durr.
Stuck on some crazy horror film
And scattered a pile of cash
Over the bed sheets.
Kept expecting a man to burst out
And I’d contribute
A footnote to a YouTube video
About a killer couple.
Holding out for 4am
(The next train).
Said you wished to tear your coil out
So, I could get you pregnant.
About half three
The air tasted antibacterial.

Cutter’s Choice

Brixton. 2007.
Flatmate left a tenner for gas.
Stuck in the chipboard like a middle finger.
His turn,
Blew it off,
He was like that.
Awoke 10pm.
The flat cold.
Oven colder.
Better go to the fucking shop then.
Harboured cold thoughts the way there.
Door: a black guy like a bouncer.
Gave a nod.
Hindsight didn’t need gas.
Three Asian guys counter side and large black customer.
Shopped oblivious.
Munchies, milk, toilet roll.
“You work for me.”
The black guy’s mantra.
The shopkeeper answers
“Right now, as you’re my customer.”
My turn.
Bagged up.
Asked for gas.
To my right this repetitive conversation.
“You work for me.”
Fuck’s sake.
Needed tobacco too.
“Right now, I do.”
Cutter’s Choice.
My brand back then.
And small green Rizla.
None? Shit.
Blue will do, but not red.
Counted change.
Outside black guy nodded.
As did I.
It’s just polite.
Walked home and put the gas key in.

Michael Pollentine loves adrenaline-laced pulp fiction, characters that epitomise the freaky nature of the human condition, and peculiar landscapes. His main influences (after Iggy Pop lyrics) are David Lynch, Roald Dahl and exploitation movies. He lives in South Wales with his wife and their hamster Betsy.


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