local_library Fleurs du Mall

by Stephen Pain

Published in Issue No. 18 ~ November, 1998

she hung about the mall,
her loose socks like dandelion clocks,

except she didn’t know how to tell
the time, she was fifteen, turned to crime,

she wore a touch-me-not school uniform
that would entice any fool, any salariman.

A “little whore”, a venus flytrap
that knew how to display her sundew

on the Japanese Webpage, “Hemlocks”,
with numerous teenage links

the guy who pushes her about, nice guy
in the entertainment industry, has style

and a pistol, and mobile, and wears shirts
loud, very loud, like lesser celandine

yellow, drinks only the best French wine,
knows how to treat a lady, buys flowers

for her next of kin, no I’m only joking
he gives them nothing, but a slap,

but you’d like him, talk with him for hours
on how all life turns on a floral axis

meeting the customer with a complex:
needs to control, to dress in a lady’s smock

and act out his damp manga dream
in which he could bang her bad, make her scream

out for mercy, such power between the legs,
his philosophy taken from the dregs

of his coffee cup, the one in the Ministry
of Finance, it is of course, plain economics

the supply and demand, the surplus, the push
and pull the very essence of sex

the vicinity of the bedtown station,
a pub cafe that’s half asleep, sense

of years and years of frustration,
inner city unease and deeo blues

colour her words, cigarette smoke
blossoms, she clears her throat

as a local takes off his coat
and removes his tie, casually

like trees that lose their leaves
and his desire is autumnal,


off his grandfather at the nursery
where she paints red fuchias

and she exposes her tummy to all
the other kids with bright rosy futures

in banking and maybe insurance
who knows even in government,

a young diplomat shits his pants,
while she watches with amusement

and then she feels a little awkward
when at last she sees his wild orchid!

the private garden of guts and money
they order another round of lager

and wait for the teenage honey
to come on over, they badger

her, “sit here”, “Lift this”, she wears
hibiscus in her hair, and has an

unusually highly infectious laughter
that dates back to when he raped her

and translated her innocent childhood
into a very bleak and short adulthood.

account_box More About

Stephen Pain is an Anglo-American writer, born in London (1956) a stone's throw away from John Keats' house. He has had numerous poems published on the net. He currently lives in Japan.