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marcus slease





 A viking brought
little cups
of water in the shells
of peanuts.

I was hanging
on a tree.

The tree
was made
of rubber.

It was
a rubber tree.

The viking
was also
a kind
of squirrel.

He was
half viking
half squirrel
and very colourful
from the back.

After many
small cups
of water
in peanut shells
the rubber tree
bent over
and I fell
to the ground.

The viking whispered
in my ear.

He said
he wanted
to experience
a real
road trip.

I borrowed
a 1972
Pontiac LeBaron
and we drove
the midwest.

The viking
was impressed
with the gas stations
and small
hostess donuts.

He ate many

He dunked
his hostess
in a White
at every
gas station
from Ohio
to North Dakota.

When we went
his hair
the soft part
of my ear.

He pointed
to the weather
and said:
let me get
some of
that action!

He christened
the car Betsie
and we drove
a few tornados.

He clicked
the heels
of his star
studded boots.

He said
the midwest
was a good place
for a viking.






I was in a ghost town.

I don’t mean that metaphorically.
I mean a town full of ghosts.
Some of the ghosts had guns and some didn’t.
I was a ghost with a gun.
I didn’t want to use the gun so another ghost took it from me and fired at two small ghosts.
They fired many times and I could see the holes in their little ghost bodies with the light shinning through the other side.
I did the only sensible thing I could think of.
I ran.
I ran to Main Street with its one stoplight and felt something in my under wear.
I had the gun tucked into my underwear.
I didn’t like having it in my underwear.
I wanted to get rid of it. I reached down my pants to grab the gun in my underwear and was about to throw it away when a ghost policeman came.
He seemed more like a ghost cowboy than a ghost policeman.
This ghost policeman saw the gun tucked in my underwear and wanted to take a look.
He said: “And what do we have here?”
I showed him my gun and he asked if it had been fired.
I shook my head.
The ghost policeman smelled the end of the barrel to see if it had been fired.
He looked at me with a grin.
We both knew the gun had been fired.
He said: “Let me show you how to fire this puppy the right way!”
He opened the chamber and showed me how another chamber was tucked inside it.
The smaller chamber was made of wood.
He turned the wooden chamber over and over in his hands.
“You can never be too careful with a wooden chamber” he said.
He put the wooden chamber in his pocket and we went to the firing range where I learned





Marcus Slease was born in Portadown, N. Ireland and moved to Las Vegas at aged 12. Currently he lives in the Docklands of East London and teaches English as a foreign language. He is finishing up a new manuscript of poems written in the bathtubs of Poland. His latest book is Rides. Recent poetry has appeared in  Queen Mob's Teahouse , Similar: Peaks:: , Glittermob, and Prelude