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Home » Bubbles & Tease | DS Maolalai

Bubbles & Tease | DS Maolalai


music, just bubbles

in silence. some concerto,

wild opera, then later

vaudeville theatre, then later

rock and roll

and rap and country, singer-

songwriters, mixed music, the creased

avant-garde. all of it: a river

flowing backward. influence just

a variety of stones. I love that bit

in beethoven

when cannons fire

suddenly, and rhapsody

in blue, shooting all lightbulbs

out. love all

modern music;

rap best – if it must

have words, make it

have a lot of them. make

words go to music –

air gets everywhere!

in mountain streams

bubbles! in a lake

there are bubbles!

The tease

he was quite drunk. we

both were, on the bus upper deck

an hour after bar-close,

going toward golders green

through hampstead from camden.

and we’d talked,

though I don’t know

what about. drinking. and anyway,

he’d invited me

to his place for a drink

and now we were there, sat

in an untidy apartment

with a warm can apiece

and this terrible gulf. I’d realised

only when he opened the door

what I’d done to him – I’m not gay,

after all, but I’m not

a tease either –

and he was on the bed now

with the space there

beside him. listen, I said,

I’ve got to get going. I’m pretty drunk,

it’s late, and I think

we’ve misjudged things.

you can finish the beer

if you want, or I’ll take it?

he understood – honestly

must have been really

a very good man. it

was late, as I’d said, and I guess

that he’d gotten me. let me

take the beer

for the walk even. hugged me

when I went to the door.

and I was smaller than him,

and there were dumbbells

in the corner. could have

crushed me. I was 22, loved

the girls, and of course didn’t learn

any lessons, though the lesson was obvious

and I wasn’t a fool.


DS Maolalai has been nominated eight times for Best of the Net and five times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, “Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden” (Encircle Press, 2016) and “Sad Havoc Among the Birds” (Turas Press, 2019)