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Miss Lady Macbeth

Julian Stannard

Son of Charles flew to Belfast, hired a car
and drove to a farm where they sold him
a tiny dog. Tiny dog now back in London.
Shepherd’s Bush if you please—

The dog was too tiny to leap onto the sofa
which somehow thwarts the reason for being a dog.
So Charles built a ramp, a tiny dog-to-sofa ramp.

And that might have been the end of it
were it not for the fact that tiny is now the word
of the day, the word of the month and catching.

The two cats, small, are smaller now.
Lady Macbeth becoming Miss Lady Macbeth.
The mice laughed at her, tiny laughs if you will.

The books in Charles’ house have begun to shrink:
pocketbooks, some the size of postage stamps.
The Brothers Karamazov a walnut whip.
Pop it in your mouth, won’t have to read it now.

And the cigarettes so very tiny too.
You’re smoking three packets a day
just to keep your hand in.

Or lie there on the sofa saying Fuck it!
watching tiny dog climbing the ramp
and wondering if the wife’s not shrinking too,
to fit in, tiny, why not?

Oh titchy tiny dog, let’s call him Toni, Toni Macaroni
tiny barks, tiny licks of the ear, tiny everything

The print issue of Exacting Clam No. 4 contains two more poems by Julian Stannard: "Summer Pudding" and "Thud".


Julian Stannard