Big Red Dog

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2018

It’s dog eat dog eat dog eat dog eat dog eat dog

up there and the last dog is massive,
pained with the weight of it, outstrained
and bleeding out, impassive.
Red seeping through and thickening the mane,
a Clifford of sin,
breathing breaths so deep to tear the skein,
stretch the skin.

One day blood will pour down redwood bark,
tons of it,
pour through the scratches and rain down thin

’til the ground is filth and the skies are cleansed
and the seas are filmed, filtered red
like the backs of breeching sharks
and the wings’ll be all too heavy to reascend –
unsolemn silence will smother the holes we open up –
and when no-one comes to help
no-one will cry again.

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Big Dog Gone

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2016

Where’s Big Dog gone?
Up? He was always tall,
Must be up
in the clouds
on the roof
somewhere?
Now there’s no-one left
bigger than me.

So long old feller.
Maybe he can hear me-
can you hear me
old yeller?
Alpha, papa, omega, dada,
Our Father,
man in the moon yeah,
what do we do now Pops?

Pop pop
pop.

Dracula’s Really Dead

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2015

Dracula’s really dead this time
and he’s not coming back when
you bleed on his bones. He’s still
in his tomb this time, still as they
go and when the wind moans
on the mountainside no-one cares
but you and no-one’s behind you,
no-one’s there with a big
bloody
smile for you.
No-one knows that you got scared.

Dracula’s neat black suit is slung-up
and will never be steam-pressed again.
You can put it on and cry on the sleeves.
This time tomorrow you’ll be still
there by the window, still in a frame,
hunched in an arch, eyes red, rolled
back, scrunched-up deep in lid skin,
wishing on a certain
star
and thinking of him
and how he used to watch you sleep.

DRACULA (1958)

 

Blinks

by Chris Buchanan
Flash fiction, 2014

The hand comes up on my shoulder and grips with a purpose. That purpose. He’s not trying to get my attention, or remind me he’s behind me, or make some point about intimacy; he’s gripping my shoulder. He presses with every segment of his fingers, in sequence. No deeper meaning here, no code: he just wants me to know he’s gripped my shoulder. All right. No doubts about it.

And he says, “It’s what she would have wanted.”

Oh is it? Oh, well, glad you let me in on that. So now not only is she dead but it turns out my brother knew her better than I did. Awesome, thank you for that. What else would she have wanted, Jay? Maybe I would have done it.

He says “It’s okay” and I can picture him making a face. I don’t spend the energy to tell him that it’s not actually okay and that she is in fact dead. I might get mad, get teary, start running, anything. And he could do whatever he wanted with any of those things. I feel like I’m trying to argue with the designated driver at the end of a long night out. I know I’m right, I know he’s being a dick, I know none of this is really my fault and in the morning I’ll still suspect it, but I can’t say anything in case I throw up.

He takes my hand and pulls the cables I’m holding, forces my knuckles. So he’s doing it, but we can pretend I’m doing it. That certainly is the ideal solution right there, Jay. It’s kind of conspiratorial, yeah? Good then. You do it.

The house lights up. He’s done a good job arranging them into a little scene. It looks like the Santa in his weird little yellow car – we loved that one – is about to fall off the blue gingerbread house onto the ski slope. The reindeer are scattered about the house at various points, as though chasing each other. Good work. It all blinks right – no piece of wall stays dark for too long. Silent. He doesn’t click for the ‘ho ho ho’.

I say something I’d rather not repeat, he says something I didn’t even understand, and he hits me on the back with a careful aim.

He’s out of there very quickly after the lights go up, when the headlamps of their car jump in and we turn away from the colours. Annie’s bobble hat is behind the light and it looks like she sees me looking at her. She must be proud. Jay certainly is. He swivels halfway back to me and nods at something he didn’t share with me, then slowly spins back away.

The decorations blinking to one side, to distract me from his exit and the awkward scene change. APPLAUSE.

See more of my flash-fiction in my new Amazon e-book! Please.

Dead Pigeon

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2012

Dear dead pigeon in the Longfield car park,
you’re not looking so good.
You’re spread-eagle, your neck to one side,
your deft little wings mechanically unveiled,
your collar cracked over, your beak barely perched
on the tarmac it scratched

I don’t want to move you.
It’s cold.
I

‘m worried about touching
your treadmarked breast, the rubber that stamped out
your pretty-in-miniature pastel painted entrails,
your swan-song, dashed through and sputtered beside
your squat, etched icon body.
Dead, bleached, ugly and unremarkable.

I don’t want to go on.
I just came to see if
Iceland was open at night.