Spirit guide in the bar – Ramona Herdman

Spirit guide in the bar

Watch the drunk the other side of this drink.
She’s the you you’d be if you drank it.
The you you’ve been before. That your dad was.
The you your children would be
if you thou’d them into existence.

She’s smiling at you. She thinks you look
pretty hot, pretty important,
pretty witty, pretty good fun, exactly
the sort of woman who should put down
her book right now and saunter across the bar

with a devastating pick-up line
and a half-conscious back-up line
in the back of her head, to cancel
tomorrow’s inconsequential commitments.

Ramona Herdman’s latest pamphlet, ‘A warm and snouting thing’, is published by The Emma Press. Her previous pamphlet, ‘Bottle’ (HappenStance Press), was a PBS Pamphlet Choice. Ramona lives in Norwich and is a committee member for Café Writers.

The witch hair – Ramona Herdman

The witch hair

It’s the strongest shoot of me,
the devil’s mark. It hooks
its seed-serpent fang out
from the scar under my chin,
fetching my finger to its itch.
I pull it out and burn it.
It comes back like a bone
turned up by the plough,
glinting its hard little head
out of the scar-line’s crest.
It teases for a week –
too short to tweeze.
I see its silhouette on Zoom
and its wink in the mirror
as I mad-dog brush my teeth.
I pull it out once it’s long enough.
It comes back with the new moon.
Sometimes it raises a helmet
of neon green pus
as its egg sac, curling inside
like a shark foetus swimming.
The devil is subtle.
He believes in the minuscule.
The world is falling apart
and still he has the time
to come to me at night,
his flea-jaws working,
suckling at the one wrong hair,
giving it life.

Ramona Herdman’s latest pamphlet, ‘A warm and snouting thing’, is published by The Emma Press. Her previous pamphlet, ‘Bottle’ (HappenStance Press), was a PBS Pamphlet Choice. Ramona lives in Norwich and is a committee member for Café Writers. ‘A warm and snouting thing’, is available from The Emma Press website.  
www.ramonaherdman.wordpress.com twitter: @ramonaherdman