On New Year’s Day
by Tim Turnbull
Your head is throbbing fit to bust,
tongue’s furred, eyes struggle to adjust
to nauseous headache light of day.
You will the acrid taste away
and wonder where you left the car
and what occurred in the back bar.
This pulsing migraine is perhaps
not unconnected to those chaps
who, sleek and plausible, held court –
though their perspectives were unsought –
from early doors, who took a sounding
of the broad mood and got a round in.
A hailsome claque of well-met fellows,
they puffed you up with blacksmith bellows,
confirming all that you believe
and that you’re right to feel aggrieved:
the world is rotten and unfair,
the undeserving take your share,
and more, conspire to do you down,
to steal your birthright and uncrown
you from your hegemonic right.
They wound you up into a spite-
filled cauldron of gammonic rage
a self-combusting autophage;
they said, don’t get took for a mug,
applauded as you trashed the snug,
and told you you’re the kind of bloke
they need, then over a rum and coke,
these masterly encomiasts
précised, whispering low and fast,
your many virtues, how you’re salt
of the earth, nothing is your fault,
you’re more sinned against than sinning,
hobbled when you should be winning,
and the world’s yours an all that’s in it
and we can right this in a minute,
just slip your X in this box here
for endless skittles, cake and beer;
and that’s the last thing you recall
until you woke up in the hall,
the door ajar, the floor ale-spilt
and a taste approximating guilt;
then you remember in your coat,
they left a promissory note!
It’s an IOU with fuck all on it
stained with someone else’s vomit.
Tim Turnbull is a poet, author and artist. His first poetry collection, Stranded in Sub-Atomica, was published by Donut Press on November 11th 2005. His latest is Avanti! from Red Squirrel Press. In 2015 his poem Ode on a Grayson Perry Urn, included in the Forward anthology Poems of the Decade. His collection of supernatural tales Silence and Other Stories was published in 2018.