SJ Moran – Wake-Up Call

Wake-Up Call
Leeds sleeps rough.
The night does not descend
but rather abandons her
to the horizon.

She has made her bed
out of unmade car parks
that pit and flood
and reflect the void.

The station hotel
is the foyer of Hell
where uniformed demons
guard the forecourt.

Inside this cruise ship
all walk in a swell,
leave shoes outside doors
and settle down to porn.

Blue Nun from the mini-bar
is followed by Pils.
The free preview is enough,
it won’t show on the bill.

You are dried-up and sleep
the burnt sleep of the damned.
Trains shunt and hammer you awake
From nightmare with a yowl.

In the morning you will go
where the natives swarm,
be a stranger in their offices
and eat curd tarts for lunch.

You’ll pass by the night club
where Leeds footballers sank
too many drinks and kicked
two Asian boys nearly to death.

The suits are astir now,
squirming with their itchy groins.
Stilletto P.A.s are powdered, ready
to gun their Beemers round the square.

The high Victorian statuary
is bigger than all these boutiques,
travel agents and burger bars
crushed into one paper cup.

S. J. Moran was born in Dublin, emigrated and ended up in London in his mid-twenties. He is married with one grown-up son. He has had poems in Gargoyle (US) and a couple of other print publications as well as many online. Some of his stories have been published in magazines and anthologies. He published a short story collection in 2004 that – mercifully, he says – is now out of print. (