Of Mice And Men (Doggerel #12)

This was a Scribblers Flash Poesy submission. The challenge was to base a poem around the title of a book. Now, parenthood, work and Netflix have conspired to create a situation where I average a pitiful number of books per year and I happened to be reading East Of Eden at the time. I couldn’t think of anything for that title and The Grapes Of Wrath only inspired an unpleasant mental image involving Mr Orange and some haemarrhoid cream, so I feel back on this GCSE standard. With hindsight, I wonder if the fact I last read the book when I was fifteen inspired the subject matter. Incidentally, this is one of about three pieces of mine to be placed first in a contest on Authonomy or a successor website.

*

What sultry sordid passion hangs,
Behind the lustrous brunette bangs

Of the comely and inviting lass,

Gazed upon behind the glass

Of the laptop screen astride the lap,

Of this dull, unprepossessing chap?

Len hasn’t seen his wife in weeks,

And when he does, he barely speaks,

As his thoughts return, again, again

To the simpler games of mice and men,

*

Far easier to get his kicks,

Through a furtive run of button clicks,

Than coupledom in the old fashioned way,

With drawn out talk about his day,

Which, once enjoyed, now seem to grate

As household chores he’s left too late,

And the awkward way he holds his fork,
Dominate the parlour talk,

Till he finds his thoughts wandering again,

To the gentler games of mice and men

*

Len’s lost his heart to an avatar,
In thigh length boots and peephole bra,

Who’s frozen like a mannequin,

Until he types his bank details in

Then when a playful smile you’d call coquettish,

She gratifies his Draylon fetish,

And the thing for lace he’s discovered lurks
With myriad other unspeakable quirks,

All awoken when he discovered his yen,

For the mysterious games of mice and men

*

And Len tells himself his wife doesn’t suspect,

The reasons behind the outrageous neglect

But she listens out, until she’s sure,

He’s locked behind the bathroom door,

Then creeps out for her tryst in the liveried van 

That belongs to her lover, the pest control man

As Len’s chases the past on a smudged laptop screen,
She’s the one who remembers what passion can mean,

She’ll remind herself later, on Tuesday at ten

More delectable games of mice and men

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