He swaggers downstairs and stops
To see who might be looking, hesitates
And joins a group who loll against the wall;
Drags attention from a fag burn in the carpet
By dramatic adjusting of his shirt,
Then squats. "Got a fag?" he asks,
Grinning deliberately, willing them
One of them, to ask: "Where is she then?"
Only a slight exhalation indicates relief at being asked.
Slowly, he draws a breath,
Like the drumroll preceding the high wire act
And rolls his eyes.
"Upstairs y'know. Sortin' herself out."
And he smiles a lazy smile
And hooks his thumbs in belt loops,
Stage whispers, "First time y'know: hers, not mine of course."
And his audience lean back appreciatively.
"Where's that fag then? Gotta light?" Deep drag now.
"Well, yeah, bit of a slag, but a goer. Oh yeah! A real goer."
They are reeled in, staring and envious.
"Did you really?"
"Oh yeah, too right!"...
While upstairs,
Mascara tears
Rain black
Into the basin

from Poems with Attitude (Hodder, 2000), copyright © Andrew Fusek Peters and Polly Peters 2000, used by permission of the authors and the publisher

Where next?


Buy album £0.00

1Where were the Experts when it came to Kissing?

2What my Mother Said

3Brace Yourself

4Skate Date

5Goldilocks and the Phwoar Boys

6French Verbs

7Unevensong (Sung by the Stupid)

8Bruises Heal

9Remembrance Day

10Under my Skin - Self Harm

11It's All In A Name

12The Nighthawks (After Edward Hopper)

13Slugs And Snails And Puppy Dogs' Tails

14Sugar And Spice And All Things Nice

15Good to Be a Lad

16Perfect Blend

17He and She

18Luv my Bruv

19For Mark

20A Period Costume Drama

21Our Steve


23The Long Waiting

24The Professor of Philosophy

25Red Ribbon - World Aids Day

26First Drink

27Recipe for Disaster


29The Pearls of Primrose Hill


31Icarus Sickarus

32The Night Kitchen




36Size Matters



39Performance Pressure

40On the Radio On the Way Home


42Nat - The Rollercoaster

43Carl - Afterburn

44Kate - The Heart's Haiku

45Mrs Newbury - One Week After

46Precious Autumn

Books by Andrew Fusek Peters and Polly Peters