* I hereby vow to post something tomorrow that is neither empty, wanky, dumb or annoying.
Mr. Cringe is so absorbed with his speech
that he’s missed the cringe on his hostess’s face
as he fumbles home his closing line like a drunk.
Earlier on Little Lee had stolen his diary
and Cringe had raced down the street behind him dressed
in his purse suit, an eccentric number he pretended to like.
“That’s not like Lee,” Lee’s mother scowled in doubt
when Cringe explained to her this most awful of thefts.
He bought a new one right away, took out his pen
and stayed inside it until the onset of evening
like a pig, deriving as much as he could
from his own special filth, his messy sweat-stain scrawl.
He takes his time as he sits down post-speech
and hides it away in his pockets like a snotty tissue.
The guests smile politely, eating melons. Collie,
the hostess’s terrier, stares up at him knowingly.
“I knew that mutt was in it all along,” thinks Cringe.
“She must have given Lee all the info he needed.”
“All a long person needs is a room of his own,”
says a guest, whose trousers are choking on the hair of his ankles.
The rest of them laugh. Collie licks her own genitals.
Mr. Cringe makes his way out as soon as he can
with all the subtlety and skill of a stupid pun.
Another guest, a pundit, plays dumbly on words.
Cringe shuts the front door quietly,
the threads of his purse suit hanging loose like change.