Geoff Cochrane

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Disassembling a Vacuum Cleaner

When he rings me up
to rail against Them,
he really means to rail against me.
I marvel at his fragrance.
I’m awed by his performance,
so orotund and bogus. The huge shell
he’s built for himself over so many years.
The huge baroque carapace
he totters about beneath.
I found an attractive machine
and bought it for its colours
(a sooty sort of grey and an ice-creamy purple),
but the thing has secret filters
it’s impossible to find much less replace.
This is the way to write but not really.
I’ve a hand that’s been old for ages.
Wasted, elongated, glossy,
I got it in a fight with an Australian gunman.
Soon, all the rest of me will be old too,
and I’ll hate it as I hate my hand.
Has it been my actual experience
that bullies are cowards? No.

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