Two Poems by Rupert M Loydell

Minor Details
for Luca

We talk about films the other
does not know, and are surprised
by what we watch, the blurring
between horror and strangeness,
murder and David Lynch. Conspiracy
theories do not help: there are no faces
in the clouds, no subliminal messages,
and it does not matter if the image
shakes. We did land on the moon
and ran out of colour film; they
did not actually have sex in front
of the camera crew. Fade to black
and into an exterior shot, watch
the boat traverse the main canal
and sixth formers mortar bomb
speech day guests. On the roof
we sing of poverty and wealth
as rock stars merge into gangsters,
and an astronaut crashes through
galaxies and stars to be born again
on the big screen. Later, he quietly
cycled home in costume, make-up
smudged, the day's work done.
Minor details can be later changed.


She told me she hadn't expected to ever be
this old, to be walking around at this age;
that she hated how things took longer and
joints and muscles ached. When we got home
she slept on the sofa, full of the half-portion
she'd had for lunch, tired out from our visit.
I got lost driving home through endless lanes
that all looked the same, then came off
a roundabout the wrong way. We might fall
over the edge and leave without a deal,
are holding out for a second vote, second wind,
new editions of our favourite books, missing
students to turn up, management to trust us.

Kingsley set off the fire alarm, tired out and
leaning on a wall. He wasn't going to tell me
but a porter came to our table and laughed.
The mackerel was crisp-skinned and soft inside,
resting on a bed of chilli, onion and salad,
all on chargrilled toast. The pizza was the best
I've had: soft eggs and cheese, fresh spinach;
we didn't need dessert. Jessica's skull drawing
is amazing, the way she's shaped the shadows
round the bone, better than the student work
I saw earlier today. Ashleigh has brought in
cupcakes for Amber's birthday: we all have
sticky fingers and sweet-tasting smiles.

by Rupert M Loydell