Neu! Boots Are Made For Walking DAY THIRTY-EIGHT – Ellen Phethean

Society Begins In The Womb

that night-bed of little fishes
which turn into fingers and toes
in the shop floor of the human race
each with the stamp of their manufacturer
all the way through like Brighton Rock.

Brighton – with its wind
and pebbled shore,
and rusting iron pier that collapsed
like pleasure that never lasts –
though we never know if we’re happy or in the middle
because we don’t know when it will end.

And the end is so sudden,
like the collapse of the pier,
that we keep going,
shrieking like harpies
like peacocks in the trees,
who berate us with their careless

beauty and wild
freedom that we crave,
though boundaries are simply hours
and routines we create –
eat, wash, work –
cradle to grave

for fear the world will implode,
windows bulge, go blank,
the phone never ring –
except for that last cold call from India
which will disturb the dust  –
Just a few minutes of your time, consumer

Is this what you
signed up for?
this has been recorded for training and quality monitoring purposes



Ellen Phethean’s books include Wall (Smokestack Books 2007), Breath (Red Squirrel Press 2014) and Portrait of the Quince as an Older Woman (Red Squirrel Press 2014). Her young adult novel Ren and the Blue Hands was published in November 2016 by Red Squirrel’s Postbox Press imprint.


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