Worst Case Sceanarios

May 5, 2008

One afternoon, in the middle of delivering
a poetry workshop, my mother appears
and without even knocking (as usual,
of course) shoulders her way in.

She stands, Marks and Spencers coated,
sensibly shoed and commanding
the full attention of the entire group,
announces quite simply: “Lydia.

Your father and I are getting divorced”.
Nobody says anything. My mother
pulls up a chair and makes herself
comfortable, arms folded over lap,

2 huge, bulging bags placed like sphinxs
round a throne – the room’s paused.
My mother says: “I can wait-
or you can just give me the keys.”


My boyfriend is a terrorist.
We’ve been together 6 years
but one day, when we’re in the sky
flying over Tokyo, he stands up

and tells everyone that
despite all this time
appearing to work in
Literature Development

having a degree in Media Studies
an MA in narrative theory – and no interest
whatsoever in any kind of religion
he’s actually been a member of the Mujahadeen.

He’s got 12 pounds of semtex
hidden in his trousers –
when our Ikea sofa comes
he won’t be taking delivery.


I’ve just finished taking a relaxing bath
when I get out and being alone in the flat
walk naked into the hallway.

My landlord has removed the front door there
and sold tickets for people to come and watch
People are asking what size bra
and if lap dancing

costs extra.
In a fit of post
post feminist, avenging angel
I high kick the punter leering at my navel

and, having speedily reattached the towel
jab squarely in the groin, my landlords,
lying, cheating, Peter Stringfellow.
The next day I go looking for a new flat.


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