Land of Opportunity
Here we are then, huddled on
the exhausted stained mattress
in the seaside boarding house of state.
Rusty springs squeak out
Rule Britannia whilst we make love
to ourselves. The bed, digging its heels
into a tidemark carpet that’s shrinking away
from the chipped gloss of the skirting boards
and the terrifying flora of the wallpaper.
Thin rayon curtains spill yellow light
onto our gilt-framed Boots the Chemist
reproduction of Constable’s The Hay Wain,
picks out the greyed varnish craquelure
of the wardrobe quietly looming in the corner
containing who knows what – a little shoebox
of secrets perhaps? Suitcases sticky with dust
sit atop – their handles ripped off.
Martin Figura’s The collection and show Whistle were shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award and won the 2013 Saboteur Award for Best Spoken Word Show. Shed (Gatehouse Press) and Dr Zeeman’s Catastrophe Machine (Cinnamon Press) were published in 2016.The Dr Zeeman’s Catastrophe Machine Show was shortlisted in the 2018 Saboteur Awards. He lives in Norwich with Helen Ivory and sciatica. Together they began hosting Live from The Butchery Zoom readings during Lockdown with leading guest poets, winning the Saboteur Best Regular Spoken Word Night 2021 Award. www.martinfigura.co.uk