This wasn’t a speed poem. I took a while over it and have no excuses other than a dearth of craft.
The men are building a wall.
On top of the wall is a large cobalt blue radio
With armoured sides and black rubber
Like a hornet trapped
In an ear trumpet.
It is built for being Humpty Dumptied
By a raconteur labourer’s careless fish-boast gesture.
When it hits the pavement, it will bounce.
These men do not care.
They are blasé to the point of nihilism.
One keeps a live timebomb as a mantleclock.
One watches Sorry on DVD.
They are clock-faced from gravity
And the Soviet bread-queue of beer cans
Upending into their water clock throats.
The one sat at the top of the stepladder
(he is working on the wall)
Throws a wet chunk of apple
To an Irish wolfhound with a dry nose.
The wolfhound rises from its spot on a cement path
And hungrily devours the morsel out of midair,
Like a peacock gulping down lead shot.
The wolfhound’s name is Gary.
‘I would love to visit Rio,’
Says the one on the stepladder,
‘And see that big Jesus statue, you know.’
He spreads his arms,
Knocking the radio off the wall.
‘I will go there
When we finish the wall.’
‘When we finish the wall,’
Says the one eating a ham bun,
‘I will march through my front door
And announce to my big fat wife
That I love her.’
He throws a strip of ham to Gary.
‘And I will mean it
‘I come back every night
With a hammer,’
Says the quiet one,
‘And knock out bricks like
Important words in a telegram,’
But nobody hears.