Nathaniel Frankland

Instagramophobe

‘I’m an acrophobe’, so reads my daily reservation,
On sunless nights sat alone in the
Vertical Bar (Never a cancellation)
Right side of the rooftop,
Wrong side of the Earth…
And, as the barman flicks on another television screen,
I’m glued to the cable wire with
Eyes that fade to pools of
Green food dye,
Even butterflies don’t fly this high.

‘I’m an autophobe’,
And each night I’ll pull up a stool,
Push-button mechanics, propping up the scrollwork with my
Preprogramed hand (No brake band)
And though from time to time they might
Tart up the front with naked neon bulbs and
Flashing lights,
The interior always stays the same:
Dour décor, drink for one,
‘Daft dickhead – Don’t know what he’s won!’
But I’m miles away,
Too busy wearing holes in the soles of my
Thumb.

‘I’m an atelophobe’,
With a cracked mirror for a left hand,
Seven years of bad luck, (look bad!)
Three drains crossed, life’s a drag,
But what chance do I stand against Kismet anyway?
As another Statue of David waltzes in,
Uninvited,
With a pack of six beers and a Californian sunset between his
Teeth,
One man’s golden hour is another man’s month of misery,
And my watch is on the fritz.

But at that moment,
As the bar staff start to cling film the taps,
Daybreak comes in the form of you,
A star-studded banderole to appease the
Wildest of seas,
And in a heartbeat,
I forget every storm I’ve ever endured
Because you’re the anchor that keeps me
Moored.

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Instagramophobe by Nathaniel Frankland was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition March/April 2020 judged by Mandy Pannett.

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