Death In The After Hours

The Landlord, Ash, clears half-drunk beers
And bolts the door against the rain
Drops streak the toughened glass like tears
He only cries at wet cocaine.
No moon to guide the pilgrims’ walk
Just muffled chitters, howls and caws
Old Ash retrieves the dartboard chalk
Then, grunting, stoops, and slowly draws.
Each man arrives equipped, robust –
A sheeted cage, a hutch, a jar –
Sid brings the quintessential dust
And chops some lines out on the bar.
O’Hagan parks an unmarked van
While Cracky flouts the smoking ban.

A piece, a piece,
O what a piece
O what a piece of work!
A piece, a piece,
O what a piece
O what a piece of work!

Gregg the Mental runs a book
Cash changes hands in filthy slabs
While punters jostle for a look
At hamsters, stoats and hermit crabs.
Encased within a turtle’s shell
A turret gun spews tongues of fire
The trainers deck their charges well
In barding, leg spurs, razor wire.
From golden fire to cellar door
The crowd stand waiting cheek by jowl
And clog the room from roof to floor
With vapours pestilent and foul.
‘All right then, gents – you know the drill:
Two falls, two ring-outs, or a kill.’

A clump of fur
A pound of flesh
A claw
A tooth
An eye
O what a piece of work is man?
O what a piece am I?

Some new boy’s talking up his duck
But Ash is on him like a shot:
Serrated bill? Mate, give a fuck!
I’ll tell you just this once what’s what.
I’m easy to provoke-a-mon –
You want to watch your gob my son
I only had to peek at you
To know you’re not our bloke-a-mon.
You think it’s all a joke-a-mon –
Let’s see if you’re still having fun
When a mongoose gets its skull stoved in
And you’re off your nut on coke-a-mon.
A bunny in a choke-a-mon?
A goat with half its jawbone gone?
A puppy with its legs gnawed off
Impaled on a spoke-a-mon?
A newt with its spine broke-a-mon?
You know the world is sick and wrong
When you stand and watch two spadefoot toads
Get buggered till they croak-a-mon.

O what a piece of work am I?
And what a piece are you?
Delighting while three octopi
Asphyxiate a shrew
You think that you’ll escape, yeah?
That your fate ‘ll be less gory?
That your soul ‘ll rise like vapour
From this sterile promontory?
A piece, a piece,
A piece of work!
O what a nasty piece!
A wretched, shoddy, cowboy job
Of blood and bone and grease!
O what a piece of work is this
Entranced by pastimes cruel and odd?
In action, like an angelfish
In apprehension, like a cod

1 thought on “Death In The After Hours”

  1. Hi,

    Love your humour! I happened upon your site via a Guardain article. More power to you: anyone that can do stand-up poetry well has my utmost respect – it aint easy.

    I also write humorous poetry albeit completely different in style to yours. You’re welcome to pop on over sometime.

    Take care.


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