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More Sad News From Your Stupid Planet

by Nick Holloway

A follow-up to last Tuesday's post: Luke Kennard has kindly agreed to let me feature something from his excellent blog, Planet-Shaped Horse, which collects together all the poems he's writing (the challenge is one a day) during American National Poetry Month. As the project has got going it's developed into a bit of a poetry sitcom, centering on the lives of Miranda, Simon and an enigmatic character known only as 'I'. A bit like Game On, actually - the normal one, the beauty, and the one that's 'batshit crazy' - but with better jokes. See for yourself below.


I make a cup of tea for each of the 68 cups in the house.
Given that matter cannot be created or destroyed,
Some of these cups must contain fragments of asteroid
From before the world began, which is amazing.

I arrange the cups of tea all over the ground floor.
When Simon arrives, I say, 'Hi Simon. Cup of tea?'
He's getting good; barely flinches. Picks up a cup.
Takes a sip. Sighs. 'You may be batshit crazy,' he says,

'But you certainly make a good cup of tea.'
Between us we drink every single cup. I am beginning
To like Simon, his courteous smile like a weak
Line-break, the fashionable cut of his jaw-line.

Miranda is out on the Vesper delivering death threats.
"This is just more sad news from your stupid planet."
She is the most private, ecstatic, non-confrontational
Person I have ever met. She owns several parasols.

Everything has been so, so wonderful today
I think I am going to drink some poison and not be killed by it!
But then it's back to the A&E for grim smiles, clipboards,
Ammonia smell, green walls, machines.

'Trouble is,' I explain to Simon before they ask me to count to ten.
'I'm so insecure I can't stand to hear anyone else complimented.
Even for something in which I have no interest.
If you said, Herman is the best mountain climber I've ever met,

I'd secretly resent Herman. I'd be like, And what am I?
Chopped liver? Am I some chopped liver trying to climb
A mountain? Flubbing onto the snowy rocks and partially freezing
On the underside? Picked at by huskies? Mountain doves?

But then I apologise for sounding all weird.
I am worried that Simon might be fired
Because I drank the poison on his watch,
So I call my notary public and have him witness

The following statement at my bedside:
'I didn't drink the poison because I was sad:
I drank it because I was too happy!'
And he writes it down, verbatim:

'Maybe an exclamation mark,' I murmur.
He disagrees. 'Where's Miranda?' I ask.

'She practically is an exclamation mark;
She'd understand. One... Two... Three... Four...'
Unconsciousness like an apple falling into a bowl of soup.
An apple thrown out of a mirror and caught, off-screen.