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BooksDecember 15, 2023

The Friday Poem: ‘This poem is asking the real questions’ by Alayne Dick

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A new poem by comedian and poet Alayne Dick.

This poem is asking the real questions

Where do big cranes go when they are not being cranes?
In other words
when they are not being used to build big buildings
are there bigger buildings built for them to be
where do they live?

Where do scooters go
when they get distressed?
Leaning, abandoned on the waterfront
screaming from being touched
but not committed to
eventually a dark van comes
they are tossed in the back and taken away.

Where do my food scraps go
in the dead of night
I dump them
in the compost bin
at the petrol station
and are the security cameras
proud of me?

Where have all my notifications gone?
little red stimuli
I am an internet rat
waiting for a shock or a treat
but there’s nothing
not even a hacked friend trying to
get me to join an MLM.

Where did my notebook go?
and the pen I acquired from work the other day
and the hair tie I swear was around my wrist
and the meds I always leave in my wallet
and my wallet
and my keys
and my ability to set
(Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely)
Ah well
guess I’m stuck in my flat forever.

Where did all the punctuation go?
First telegrams were full of them
like little handshakes
amiable agreements on when thoughts ended
then there were so many exclamation points!!!
once reserved for yelling
then used to make emails sound
neutrally warm
like a tired high five
and now
as if overnight
my phone inbox is filled with
unfinished statements
and I don’t know if we agree
or if we’re shaking our fists at each other.

Where has everyone else gone?
The bus to Brooklyn is
weirdly empty
last week it was impossible to find a seat
now, as we wind ‘round the hills
even the bus driver disappears
gone on a break, I guess
and so are the breaks
can’t slow this bus down, oh no
so we fly past bays and valleys
straight off a cliff
and as we soar
over the rubbish tip
towards the sea
beneath the wheels
a field of cranes … waving


The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed.

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