Paul Tristram

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Artwork by Gene McCormick

I’m Going To Fuck-Up Today… You Just Watch!

“I’m going to fuck-up today… you just watch!”
he hissed, disgruntled, through gritted teeth,
leaving the bar doors swinging closed
upon a couple of exiting patrons behind him.
Swaggered on over to the polished wood
as straight as an ‘On A Mission’ crow flies.
Ordered one and a half pints of Welsh ‘Skull Attack’
and three shots of ‘Don’t You Dare Drink Me’
all for himself, surveying the barroom with a scowl.
“Hey, I like your style and attitude!”
half smiled/snarled a broken divorcee,
exactly 18 months away from drinking herself to death.
She told him her story… he yawned bored
“We’re all in it, you are not special!”
And she smiled, for the first time in a relentless eternity.
A touch of warmth returned to her face
which she had thought forever gone…
something snapped and cracked in her shoulders
and chest bone… a release of some kind.
She stood up and kissed his forehead lightly
“You give ‘em all hell from me, you hear!”
Then walked back out into the street,
not fixed nor free… but, no longer on the ropes
and able to distinguish colours and sunshine again.

Down From The Mountains… On The Lash & Rampage

Somebody better call ahead
and book my police cell
for later on this evening.
Three weeks up in the caves
distilling Welsh Moonshine.
The Twelve of us are gagging
for real ale, skirt
& Inner City street mayhem.
Zigzagging the main drag pubs,
downing rivers of Brains Skull Attack.
Faces scarfed and hoodies up
on the in-between amble.
Amphetamine bombs, poppers
and brass knuckled pockets.
Gobbing at Bouncers
and flicking the digits up
at CCTV cameras.
There’s an Affray kicking off
down the far-end of The Kingsway.
Football fans upturning taxis
and rocking fillings
from the teeth of riot vans.
We’re heading over there,
on the trot, right now.
Passing by Gang-Girls sent out
to gather empty bottles
& rocks from the swarming back lanes.
As we burst, adrenalined & roaring
out and onto the manic, insane scene.

He Tried Beating Him To Death With A Dostoyevsky Book
(No, Not That One… The Thicker One!)

It happened in the hallway just outside the Library door.
A fucking new guy, first time in… clueless & stupid.
Asked him for a Rizla, and as you know, no one asks him for fuck all.
Even the Screws verbally let him know when they’re approaching,
so as to not take him by surprize, in case he’s in one of his dazes…
talking to dead people and all that scary, mental bollocks.
Anyway, he only went and handed him the whole packet,
I think it was simple curiosity, you know…
and the daft cunt went and took two instead of one, for fuck sake!
Now, you can’t break down individual Rizla’s into money,
they’re only pence a packet and there’s 50 of the fuckers in there,
but, the ‘Taking The Piss’ principle is a different matter altogether.
He beat him with that fucking book just the same
as if he’d caught him buggering his beloved, dead grandmother.
It took 6 of them to drag him off and the help of another 4 to ‘Block’ him.
I was gonna read that book next an all, oh well,
guess I’m just gonna have to re-read Lorna Fucking Doone again…

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography 
published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight; this too may pass, yet.