Welcome to Pig Town

where our roundabouts are magic
and James Bond runs across Motorola.
Our lot don’t put up with David Brent
and Disneyland Paris was our twin.
Melinda is our messenger,
Billie is our piper,
Diana is our Dors.
Steam runs through our train track veins,
our sky is poured concrete:
durable, hardworking and present.
No matter how big your smile is
you will be asked Alright?
Yeah fine, you?
Yeah, you?

Welcome to Pig Town.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

At first sight

I promise to be alive
in your curious way.
I will put burgers in hot cross buns.
I will watch TV shows about yachts.
I will drink Ribena in the morning.
I will stand at the window a 3am
peering through the blinds with you
when strangers are gossiping outside.
I promise to stand in the sun sometimes
and pretend to be a gorilla
and take a joke
and moan when I’m annoyed
and feel lost
and struggle to get out of bed sometimes.
I promise to be alive.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

Face

Written using sentences found by searching for ‘face’ in my WhatsApp search bar.

Now that is what I call a face.
Such a great face in that photo.
He looked at me with that little strained face
and a tiny nugget came out.
Look at the satisfaction on that face!
He likes it when you brush his face.
It hit him right in the face, poor bloke.
The face says it all.
I’d love to see your face.
I miss your face.
Such a lovely face.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

Ingredients of a Mercedes apprentice

4 tbsp of freckles
2 earrings, mocked
4 front teeth, finely chopped
3 German homeworks, finely copied
2 buttery goalie gloves
500g of text messages
2 missed calls
1 nightmare
6 x 400g cans of tears
1 memorial tree, planted
1 large glass red wine (optional)
8 mates, crushed
4 tbsp of Prince Charming on repeat
1 tbsp of trying our best
Anniversary pint, to serve

© Carl Burkitt 2021

Contacts

Someone you’d travelled with –
wet eyed, beer foam-lipped,
in a reindeer onesie –
found everything you said funny.
Things he had never told anyone
chirped from his mouth like birdsong.
At the other end of a panicked call
the man in the onesie – set for a fall –
back to being a stranger
dead in your mind only six hours later.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

(Written by grabbing a paragraph from Mark Watson’s book ‘Contacts’, rearranging it to a 10 line poem, removing lines 2,4,6,8,10 and replacing them with my own.)

Knees in the shower

I’m not a giant.
But at six foot four
I need to bend my knees in the shower.
I look like a flower
moving its head to find the sun,
except I hunt for rain clouds.
If a shower is too powerful
it can feel like a group of wet snipers
completing their mission through my chest.
If the drizzle is too light a sprinkle
then what’s the point?
I used to blame a weak shower
for my dour moods, or disappointing smell,
or for the drought that would leave me
too dry to get out of bed.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

Q & A

I’ve always eaten the crusts on my sandwiches.
10.5 in trainers, 11 in football boots, 12 in wellies.
The weather is fine up here.
It’s called vitiligo.
I was about 18 and 2 months old.
Daniel Bryan.
A chippendale or lead singer of Status Quo.
Roast dinner.
Being falsely imprisoned.
It depends when you ask,
but right now Salt and Vinegar.
I think about him every day,
it doesn’t matter how long you know someone.

© Carl Burkitt 2021