John Osborne – The gibbering sea

The gibbering sea
You arrive, dandy with a hat on
and a story of the hat, but I was like
a full bin bag that needs to go inside
another bin bag.

When your washing machine leaks
the whole town floods,
but we’re used to it by now
we sleep with sandbags.

You arrive with memories of punchlines
but I can’t sit here and listen again.
All our stories have oars
and are rowing away.

When you keep the taps running
with the plug in, it’s inconvenient
for the people who live downstairs. Your floor
is their ceiling and their floor is the ceiling

of the people who live below and on
and on until the core of the earth.
The soggy core.
The damp centre of everything.

John Osborne writes poems, scripts and stories. His poetry has been broadcast on Radio 1, Radio 3, XFM, BBC 6Music and Soho Radio and has been published in The Guardian and The Big Issue. His new collection A Supermarket Love Story is published by Go Faster Stripe.

Photo by Steve Johnson on