FIVE MINUTES ON A MIDLAND TRAIN
As the 12.19 to Smethwick Rolfe Street
pulls away from platform 5 she notices
it, the gobbet of matter stuck to
the grey canvas uppers of her British Knights
baseball boots. She takes a moment
to identify its properties. Mustard dollop
dropped from a hot dog she doesn’t recall eating?
Some hawked up yellow horror? She back tracks
to last night’s Slimming World salad,
the hap-hazard chopping of pepper,
pineapple, red onion, mint and…bingo,
it’s mango! She stares hard at it and knows
there’s a decision to be made about
wiping off or leaving on, about
being bothered or not. And in that carriage
in the July heat the balance between
taking a pride and letting things slide hangs.
At 12.24 the train reaches Coseley.
She is clean booted. In five minutes a lot
can be decided about mangos,
about life, about death, about carrying on.
by Emma Purshouse
Commended in the Fire River Poets Poetry Competition, previously published in ‘Close’ (Offa’s Press)
Something you should know:
What has not been said about Wolverhampton Poet Laureate and novelist, Emma Purshouse? Maybe this, finding her work for the first time is so special, it’s like finding a well tuned piano in a plowed field and finding yourself able to play and sing Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk through to the end. Which you couldn't do before. Emma is just that great. Her most recent poetry collection is ‘Close’ (Offa’s Press). Her first novel ‘Dogged’ (Ignite Books) was published early in 2021. Emma has performed her work at spoken word nights and festivals across the UK.
Emma's website is here. Emma in Outsideleft, here.
Joy to Enjoy today:
12.01am: Ancient Champion - Under Pressure »»
1am: Ade Crossen - Thoughtful Choice »»
2am: Jackie Stein - The Battle of Social Media »»
3am: Dave Pitt - Spiderman Brendan »»
4am: Jimmy Andrex - Festival of Brexit »»
5am: Brendan Hawthorne - We Are Here »»
6am: Ahmed Magare - We Cannot Walk Alone »»
7am: Emma Purshouse - Mermaid on the Number 3 »»
8am: Rue Collinge - That Year »»
9am: Deborah Alma - Mother of Pearl »»
10am: Steve Pottinger - Fatima »»
11am: Jay Lewis - Betrayal 1991 »»
12pm: Hollie McNish - Honestly »»
1pm: Emma Purshouse - Five Minutes on a Midland Train »»
2pm: Rebecca Stanhope - Take Your Hands Off Me »»
3pm: Michael Pederson - Here in a Glasgow Tenement - Not Asleep, Not Awake Either »»
4pm: Glyn Phillips - Doorways »»
5pm: PixieVic - Curious Choices »»
6pm Christian Present - Poeme »»
7pm John Robinson - My Reply To You »»
8pm David Benjamin Blower - 47 »»
9pm Emma Purshouse - Feeling Low? »»
10pm Steve Pottinger - Jam today: Mrs Veronica Blake’s manifesto for a brighter future »»
11pm Jay Lewis - The Starling 1976 »»
Publisher, Lamontpaul founded outsideleft with Alarcon in 2004 and is hanging on, saying, "I don't know how to stop this, exactly."
Lamontpaul portrait by John Kilduff painted during an episode of John's TV Show, Let's Paint TV
Outsideleft exists on a precarious no budget budget. We are interested in hearing from deep and deeper pocket types willing to underwrite our cultural vulture activity. We're not so interested in plastering your product all over our stories, but something more subtle and dignified for all parties concerned. Contact us and let's talk. [HELP OUTSIDELEFT]
If Outsideleft had arms they would always be wide open and welcoming to new writers and new ideas. If you've got something to say, something a small dank corner of the world needs to know about, a poem to publish, a book review, a short story, if you love music or the arts or anything else, write something about it and send it along. Of course we don't have anything as conformist as a budget here. But we'd love to see what you can do. Write for Outsideleft, do. [SUBMISSIONS FORM HERE]