Monday, 2 November 2009

Is it too late for a Halloween poem?

Californian Pumpkin-Carving Party

“Bring beers and a pumpkin,” called Jeff
as he pulled away from the kerb.
I watched him go, dreading the party
but knowing Hot Amy, Jeff’s girlfriend,
(pretty eyes, great ass) would be there
and Jeff said she’d be bringing friends.

Jeff was a big kid: he’d gone to town at Target,
buying armfuls of pumpkin crap
and wheeling the cart out to his car
under the luminous, sun-bleached sky,
sweating with the effort.

Orange scoops and plastic-handled knives,
books with themed transfers and skeleton-
design beer smothered the table
with their kitchness. Hot Amy had taped
a bat transfer on her pumpkin and her tongue
stuck out a little with the work of carving.
Her friend had a thick waist and coffee breath.

My pumpkin was the stray no-one wanted,
left on the shelf as the Christmas decorations
flooded in to take their place.
Too tall and thin to fit a transfer,
I freestyled (after three beers I had
more enthusiasm) and carved a bat like Amy’s.
But not like Amy’s. “Looks like a palm tree,”
said Jeff. So a sawed a trunk.
“That’s not scary,” said Amy’s coffee-breath friend.
I took the little knife out of her clammy hand
and made a couple of raindrops.
“That’s my idea of scary,” I said.

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