It’s the size of a bed with concrete spikes pointing upwards.
It appears to the spectator that anyone lying on it
would be injured or at least hurt, but the weight
of the rough sleeper is distributed such that the pressure
exerted by each spike is not enough to cause discomfort.
They provide a good night’s sleep for homeless persons.
They lie on the bed with a board on top of them. Cinder
blocks are placed on it and then smashed with a sledge
hammer. Despite the seemingly unavoidable force
the rough sleeper is not harmed: the impact is spread among the
the spikes, resulting in reduced pressure. The breaking of the blocks
also dissipates the energy from the hammer. Some beds have
rails mounted on each side to help users to lie down and get up
Defensible spikes induce a state of deep
relaxation and dissolve tension. They create an effect similar
to acupuncture and are used as health remedies such as back
pain relief, alleviation of head aches and menstrual cramps.
Many rough sleepers like to have motorcycles driven over them.
The record is 31 motor-cycles in 120 seconds.
Others have melons
chopped on their stomach by a samurai sword; the record for this
is 10 water melons in 30 seconds.
Some sleepers make spike sandwiches
in which bodies are piled on top of each other. Five bodies is the highest
number recorded. Traffic wardens are trained in the art
of inserting tickets in their anuses. The record number of tickets is 45
in 3 minutes, with no return within 1 hour.
that no-one has bad teeth.
You’ll love to know how much your molars
have increased in value, so Google the market price
daily to avoid being left out of dinner-party
conversations which these days are all about
added canine value. Mind’s a market leader,
so sign in with braindotcom, get preferential rates
for accessing positive mental images.
Check which moods are bankable
if you have the right sanity provider. One
phone-call is all it takes to get your thought-quote.
And did you know about the lung depository,
where all new lungs are stored, your baby’s
born with it’s pulmonary systems
on a lifetime leasehold and when he grows up
he’ll agree it’s only reasonable that he should
pay penalties for breathing polluted air now that
fracktheuniverse owns all available lung space.
Sex is of course the property of Libido plc
and your drives are shut down after 15 seconds
if you haven’t pre-authorised a debit
or have a prepaid account, but everyone agrees
it’s so much easier on payErect.
Your retinal-credit allows in bags of sunshine
which is owned by a tax-efficient solar consortium
based in Martinique and won a prize for Most
Compassionate Light-Source. You can sleep easy
now that sleep is properly metered and chargeable,
traded on the international sleep exchange
and as new parents you’ll be delighted
to pay extra for that Golden Sleep-Hours Deal.
Once the rich odour emerged it was noteworthy how short a time it took
to uncover illicit mushroom-cultivation. No senior humus-shoveller
was implicated. It was in March that we understood that Compostation plc
should have been cognisant of fungus-quotas although no law was broken and
there is no question of the forager footing the bill. As for the leaked -
illegally as it turns out - celebratory emails, they were different:
Forest-Floor had a penchant for turtle’s eggs; Scarlet Hood
promised themselves steak and sushi. Only as late as November,
Morels were laughing. Their Head of Spores can count himself unfortunate
to be let go, he serves at the pleasure of those who appointed him and had no direct
involvement in a salary of 750,000 Horn O’ Plenties. All his bosses are happy
and effected a strong defence of their mould-room growths. The Fungal Risk
Committee was split in two in late 2009; it was structured as a safeguard
for leaky trugs and was not totally invisible when a rogue truffler
was rampant in 2012 and justifiably did nothing when Shitake failed
to declare their Slippery Jack percentages - and leafwatch.com were also silent.
The Fairy Ring Standards Commission, The Parliamentary Committee
for Shaggy Ink Caps, The Serious Puffball Office, The Chanterelles
of England Regulation Authority, The Chancellor of the Giant Funnel,
The Manure Submissions Tsar and Compassion in Meadow Growth
were all consulted. It’s in the nature of their roles that they must
operate in darkness, so it’s unreasonable to ask them to shine a torch
- however dim - on the spread of the Red-Banded Polypore.
A grey, fine-grained basalt,
six tins of schist, a box
of granite powder and three slates
is my usual quota, give or take
a cache of gravel and a cake
of sand. Supplies of limestone
are strictly rationed and go quick
because of its high vitamin C content.
You have to be in the queue early
which means talking to the lady
with the puffy Oxfam anorak
who usually boasts of the luxury gneiss
she’s wangled. And the local church
is sometimes good for flints
to suck on.
there are loose pumice stones
going begging. I once tried
to make soup with some
but the kids turned up their noses.
They’ve acquired a taste
for mud; you have to cook it
which costs a lot in heating
so only the canned type will do.
I used to wait by the bins
behind the Geological Society
until they discovered me, smashed
any unwanted samples with a hammer
mixed them with asbestos
and polystyrene balls. I hear
there’s a community on Chesil Beach
which hasn’t been moved on yet.
The Badger Cull Cookbook
100 delicious badger recipes
brought to you by our team of expert chefs
from the ecologically managed woodlands
of royal Gloucestershire and sun-kissed Somerset.
Have fun creating mouth-watering sauces
to enhance that unique, gamey
flavour. Our highly qualified panel of nutritionists
show how to ensure the animals are absolutely free
of tubercules. Serving suggestions include:
badger steaks in stripy sauce; leg of badger in peanut butter;
consomme for that quick snack
made from pre-packed badger soup cubes -
simply add boiling water, stir, and serve with croutons.
And the No.1 favourite: spicy ’n tender badger-cub goulash
with thick dairy cream. Our specially developed
safe method of gun-shot extraction from all meat-fibres
means you can enjoy your badger cuts
with a quiet mind. And for the more adventurous,
badger bladder is suggested for our unique haggis.
Remember: we never recommend using meat from badgers
that have been gassed, (even though the majority
of gassed badgers are thought to be safe to eat by experts)
so only our recipes are free from cyanide. And don’t forget:
there are even some fabulous ways of enhancing
your kitchen with our oven gloves
lined with 100% heat-proof de luxe badger fur,
a must-have for any self-respecting gastronome
and completely free with five or more copies ordered.
Our mission is to conjure up. We don’t think
the not wholly unpleasant stink of urine
and rat fur, we think rocket, buzzard. Hey
climb to altitude with attitude, get to hug
with your inner Eiger, get glaciated, get iced.
Feel your cheeks being tugged to planet earth,
be touched by your primal yen for the moon, dare
to enter that quark, number-crunch the light-years
for all I care but ask yourself: is this elevation
bankable? While we curate your Resurrection I
am the hand of tony blair on your shoulder,
so you really really need charisma. I’m hearing
sang-froid, chutzpah and I’m seeing
glamour like everywhere. Can you see it too?
because only a facelift can get us out of affordable.
Bottom line: it’s you alone against gravity.
The only down is deep inside yourself where
you find personal lift-off like there are sharks
or hey, just half-chewed trainers, disembowelled
mattresses, dog turds and Costa mugs. Now
go to a place where there is no profound.
Profound is not a place. Back door is not a place.
Believe me, I’ve been to both. They’re dark, like
dark is social-dark. Okay! Man up everybody,
we’re going for this. Ready to rock and roll?
- Going up.
Josh Ekroy's collection, Ways To Build A Roadblock, is published by Nine Arches Press. His poems appear in Magma, Ink Sweat & Tears, Lost Voices (Liquorice Fish) and many others.
thistles stretch their prickly arms afar