Imagine Joker Reading This by Jim Murdoch

Imagine Joker Reading This

“This is a safe space,” that is what they say, in that voice,

you know the one, the reassuring one, the calm one,

“I’ve got you. I’ll catch you. Trust me.”

Feel free to read this poem in that voice.

If you want. If you like. If you think it might help.

Oh, and breathe. They’re always on at you to breathe:

“Iiiiiin through the nose, out through the mouth.”

You don’t need to do that here, not among us mouth-breathers.

Needless to say, this isn’t a safe space. Not remotely.

Every poem you’ll ever read is a car crash waiting to happen.

Every. Last. One.

Take all the precautions you want—

         comfy chair, frothy coffee, a whole box of frou-frou cookies,

         whatever supports the il-… I’m sorry… the delusion of safety—

but remember there’re no certainties in life bar death and…

No, wait, just death.

So, this is not a trust exercise but,

as the song goes,

where’s the fun in that?

I’m game if you are.

My Dodge is right behind you.

Jim Murdoch lives down the road from where they filmed Gregory’s Girl which, for some reason, pleases him no end. He’s been writing poetry for fifty years for which he blames Larkin. Who probably blamed Hardy. Jim has published two books of poetry, a short story collection and four novels.

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