Temporary Cups

A small, strangely philosophical,
badly typeset sign caught my awkward,
afternoon wandering gaze;

“Temporary Cups for temporary people”

yellowed sellotape held it
precariously against the wall above a neat washed row
of permanent staff mugs
emblazened with suggestive slogans, forgotten places, cherished faces;
I was badged with a white plastic disaster
thin enough to scald my veins
recycled like so many desk dwellers
long gone before me.

So easily crushed between finger and thumb
I held it by the rim and looked at my poorly polished shoes;
I thought of my mothers wide, skyward rolling eyes as I
sheepishly stork like balanced
cleaning one foot
on the calf of the other;

I lost my grip and fingerprints on the cup
contents pooled around my unnecessarily cleaned shoes;
I jumped hopscotch sideways
and only one blinked an eye
as I kicked aside my cup and dignity;
my gallows laugh filled “cancer corner”
where all the worlds problems were solved
in twenty minutes chunks
once in the morning and twice after lunch.

With stained shoes I stood surrounded
never feeling so alone;
I started smoking to fit in
and my lungs nearly fell out
I swallowed back smoke and pride
made small talk with little impact
and made comments that left conversational craters;
the outsiders words not ready for the inner circle;
but you, you smiled a wry smile
as I picked up my lungs
and put them back in my chest
I remembered my fragile freelance heart.

© D.Archer May 2012

8 thoughts on “Temporary Cups

  1. I’ve resumed Play Backward through your fossil records. I feel safer here. (Thank you for being so gracious over my neurosis. Then raising the bar, ya swine!) Why don’t you offer the interpretive plasticine upload widget? I could entertain you with my braw mouldings. But I digress.
    “..pooled around my unnecessarily cleaned shoes;” it’s all so lusciously dry but this especially cracks me up.
    For tonight’s star prize, that cheque book and pen, what blink or blinks an eye?
    Now, don’t you go instantly gratifying my craving for that charming and chortlesome reply. As Kim Wilde recommends, “you just keep me hanging on.”

    • Apologies for not replying sooner as that would be impossible if you subscribe to a linear based understanding of the universe or would indeed involve the use of telepathy, a science I am un-gifted in.

      Anywhooo…I will be adding the “interpretive plasticine upload widget” or “Morph” button as I like to call it to all my future posts, this button will translate all your Welsh references in Yorkshire-eeze, therefore rendering them decipherable to this this particular lumpenpole. (Incidentally, I googled “Braw Mouldings” and it came up with the alternative suggestion of “Bra Mouldings!…. I almost almost followed the link!)

      Thanks for the No Prize offering of the cheque book an pen but I have a hankering for a dusty bin myself, or half a kitchen, or a speedboat. Maybe I’ll have that etched on my gravestone “Look what you could have won”.

      I’m also glad you referenced Kim Wilde for your “hanging on” metaphor and not anything to do with the Sylvester Stallone “film” Cliffhanger, that, like the afore mentioned “film” would have been a disaster!

      • You cut that fine; I had just begun chewing my second chamomile teabag.

        I similarly sought definition of “currente calamo” since, as you point out, I don’t speak Yorkshironial – apparently current clamps. Presumably these attach to the ‘rashers’ in your sordid ‘bra moulding’ underworld? I’m leaving “lumpenpole” well alone. Bother, I can’t get those eupheworms back in the canister.

        Wheesht now, I would never accuse you of a “linear based understanding”! How, for example, will you get the conveyor belt into your crypt? And who will you have host, if not Baloney Stallone?

        Plasticine is my only hope, to skip back a couple of tracks…
        My tuber sculpture and S&M paint,
        Degraded to a potato print.
        Alas the legume’s no erudite,
        The swollen-headed mere crudite.
        So get your finger out with the Morph button; I’m fashioning a foil dress especially.

      • Noooooooooooooooo! I was under the impression that “Currente Calamo” was latin for “Pen in Hand” now I know why Ive been getting so many hits, people searching for weird electrical induced thrills have been stumbling across my monstrosities! Gee I bet they are disappointed.

        Anyway, you do know you’re supposed to suspend teabags in hot water and not eat them direct form the packet? It takes up an awful lot of saliva chewing them as you do.

        There is nothing sordid about “Bra Moulding”, it is mentioned on the internet, which everyone knows is ONLY used as a fine repository for fact based information of repute.

        I won’t need a conveyor belt because Giles Brandreth creates his own event horizon, therefore suspending the multi-verse as we know it on the very precipice of falling into oblivion. He doesn’t need paying or feeding either, he exists on pure energy! He is pure energy! All hail our magnificent overlord!

        As for the Welsh bit at the end “Fashioning a foil dress”, I haven’t a clue what you’re on about so I’d really better get on with the button. Away! To the William Shatner cave for applied sciences!

      • “It takes up an awful lot of saliva” – ohhh, I thought it was your dry wit. Hot water? Really? I suppose you put Angel Delight in, hahaha, cow juice or something.

        It was your “weird electrical induced thrills” tag that drew me in. Actually you’re doing not badly.
        Reputable repository, pah! I’m sure if I searched for your eponym* I’d be reassured that you’re a fictional character from a long-running Radio 4 soap.
        *I haven’t of course, since I care not a button.

        Giles Brandreth event horizon hahaha! Hmm. Are you wearing a jumper? And a maniacal grin? That’s it; we’re finished.

        Hang on, I may have jumped the grin there… Oh what joyous serendipity: I still have my inflatable 1994 Christmas cracker novelty – The Anti-Giles. I’m away to the shed for a pump though; no way I’m blowing that. The way it’s coruscating and crackling with anti-nutter I may get an overly hefty dose of that buzz you advertise.

        Which reminds me: should I be concerned* about approaching your 45,892..93..94 posts of October 2011? Is it fractal poetry?
        *Again, not that I care.

        “Pen in Hand”? Adorable. Indeed do give my fondest regards to Mr E. Black.

      • You must be really posh if you can afford Camomile teabags and Angel Delight, I must be conversing with aristocracy *Insert reverential doffing of cloth cap, bowing away in subservience*

        I did indeed die on Radio 4 and this conversation is but an echo through the time space continuum.

        I do not possess a Giles Brandreth tribute jumper nor do I care to imagine what you do in the privacy of your own shed, blowing and pumping indeed! There will be no such innuendo inserted in this sentence.

        I do have a rather nerdy interest in all things mathematical hence the posting of Pi to 100 places, the symmetry and rhythm appeals to me plus I could only find the word Liberace to rhyme with Fibonacci so I thought to leave that particular poem well alone, it was heading down a dangerous road.

        Yours Cincerely, Cicely

        Mr E. Black,
        BBC, ITV, DFM, Maj. General, Retired.

      • I rather like this doffing and bowing business. Bring me a pint of conkers! Polished! Er, please!

        Time-space is a funny puddle of goop. For instance did you know that between Berwick and Carlisle is 104 miles of slow glass? Our international dotted line is like passing through a glacier mint so I’m in your…um…60 over 8, carry the 3…chalk trumps napalm…flipped back over on to its wheels… Fruit and Nut. That can’t be right. Well, it loses something in the translation.

        Thank you for gallantly fishing me out of that precarious smut mire! Liberace with Fibonacci is inspired though.

        Crikey, that’s some list of qualificatory increditulations. All I got was 89% for melting my BBC 64K generating 8-bit colour images of the Mandelbrot set. 64K eh? These days you type “A” into Microwaft Word and it instantly weighs 73K. Shenanigans, I say.

        Spose I should take my leave, a couple of twigs and a bark flake for badness, and let you get back to illustrating your limbs. *sigh* Until next I’m delightfully derailed into your world, or you perfect the Morph button, thank you. Once again you’ve been a treat of a blether. Yours incicantly.

      • You and your crazy Welsh geographical and mathematical anomalies always brings a smile to my face.

        I too remember loading tape based games on my BBC computer only to return after 3 hours of playing football to find the dreaded words “Syntax Error” slow blinking on my old portable TV. Ahhhhh, those were the days.

        I too must away for the eve though I have no plans for any more tattoos less I turn into a Ray Bradbury novel.

        It has indeed been a pleasant conversation and long may it continue.


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