After the Ad on Gumtree

 
Photo by Melissa Reid

Photo by Melissa Reid

I gather up clatter after clatter
of cutlery, the cheap stuff gleaned
secondhand from Partick diners, 
still vague with the smell
of fried comforts. 

There's the old airbed, crumpled
and blubbered, washed up
at the edge of the room
where the carpet unravels,
where the cat once chewed
the frays of the earth, 
fibre by fibre,
then spat from her mouth. 

A desk lamp, flickering
nicely, as it did
the day we bought it, not bothering
for a new bulb. God knows
I never had epilepsy;
though the strobe
effect was magic, and I’m sure
my papers reflect it. 

You had no use for stationary. 
Neither of us wrote; it was like
we were scared of language, 
its swirl and surge, its
ineloquent splutters—
which did no favours
for our sense of reality. 

All boxed up now. 
The tape binds tight
the fragile borders,
where the stuff
bulges with just so much
of us. 


Maria Sledmere is former president of Glasgow University’s Creative Writing Society and currently studies for an MLitt in Modernities. When she isn’t waitressing or obsessing over Tom McCarthy interviews, she can usually be found writing poetry or elaborate music reviews. Raised in South Ayrshire, much of her work is inflected by some of the region’s defining characteristics: the ocean, witchcraft, whisky, weird folk and their equally weird tales. However, she also has a developing interest in more experimental fiction, ecological theory and post-internet aesthetics. You can find her on Twitter and Wordpress.