Doctor Smith by Tom McColl

The surgery I go to
has a two-headed doctor.
‘Doctor Smith will see you, see you, now.’

It gets very confusing.
Doctor Smith, via his left head,
gives me a diagnosis
then, via his right head,
gives me a second opinion,
which always differs from the first
(and, as it happens,
that opinion’s
never the best one –
always the worst).

When Doctor Smith examines me with a stethoscope,
it’s in the left head’s left ear
and the right head’s right ear.
In other words, he makes a right pig’s ear
(and also a left pig’s ear)
of any examination he does.
However, when I once challenged him about it,
Doctor Smith’s left head
just said,
‘Can you breathe in a bit more deeply, please?’
while his right head shook morosely.

Apparently, his wife has got two heads as well,
and two pairs of breasts.
It’s said they met as impoverished but physically normal students,
earning money by undergoing laboratory tests.

Two heads are better than one, they say,
but I’m not too sure that comes into play
while attending an appointment with
the always-in-two-minds Doctor Smith.

Thomas McColl has had poems published in magazines such as Envoi, Rising, Iota and Ink, Sweat and Tears, and his first full collection of poetry, Being With Me Will Help You Learn, is out now from Listen Softly London Press.

website

 

Green Graffiti by Tom McColl

Buds, arranged to spell “Fuck U”,
have sprouted up along the edge
of every flower-bed in our local park.

Police psychologists conclude
that this spate of horticultural graffiti
has been committed by a lone teenage individual
whose background is an explosive mix
of broken home and well-kept garden…

Thomas McColl has had poems published in magazines such as Envoi, Rising, Iota and Ink, Sweat and Tears, and his first full collection of poetry, Being With Me Will Help You Learn, is out now from Listen Softly London Press.

website

 

Uncle Phil by Tom McColl

I was throwing darts
at the dartboard
pinned to a wardrobe
at my Uncle Phil’s.

Uncle Phil came in.
He wasn’t really my uncle,
but then he wasn’t really a dartboard either,
and when he said
I’m just getting something from the wardrobe,
and had his back to me
as he opened the wardrobe door,
I threw the dart.

How he yowled
as I hit the bullseye
right between the shoulder blades.

I was five,
and I’ve never felt so alive
before or since
as when I heard that dull thud
and saw my mum’s friend –
my fake uncle –
wince.

Thomas McColl has had poems published in magazines such as Envoi, Rising, Iota and Ink, Sweat and Tears, and his first full collection of poetry, Being With Me Will Help You Learn, is out now from Listen Softly London Press.

website

 

Barbie, Sindy, John and Mike by Thomas McColl

With her ten-fingered lynch mob,
my sister, Tracey, tore my Action Man apart,
after finding Sindy and Barbie,
both of them naked on my bed,
discovering the joys of lesbian sex.

I didn’t realise they were sisters
or that Barbie was due to get hitched that day to Mike,
or that my Action Man’s name was Mike.

Tracey, with a severed plastic leg still in her hand,
explained that Mike,
while serving at the front line
that stretched across the living room,
had ‘on purpose stepped on a land mine’,
distraught at having heard the news
that his bride-to-be ‘was a dyke’.

My other Action Man,
which Tracey named as John,
was married off that week to Sindy,
but the marriage was a sham.
With some encouragement from me,
Sindy and Barbie continued their lesbian love affair
at every available opportunity.

That Sunday afternoon,
with John replacing Mike at the front,
and Tracey out shopping with mum,
I brought Sindy and Barbie together once again
to have their fun.

Thomas McColl has had poems published in magazines such as Envoi, Rising, Iota and Ink, Sweat and Tears, and his first full collection of poetry, Being With Me Will Help You Learn, is out now from Listen Softly London Press.

website