Life is a Labyrinth, Wearing a scuba mask and Unlock-up by Simon Maddrell

Life is a Labyrinth
(We like to think)
It’s really a maze
A euphemism for mistakes
Not having an English parliament
Fancy ruling a kingdom for a thousand years out of boredom
Instead of doing what you love
Life is not an autobiography
Saying you’re dead doesn’t prove you’re alive
After the Forth Bridge, go and paint another
Halving your next step is like standing still
Don’t make a deal with a crocodile
An arrow is only still if you look
Leap over the horns of a bull
You’ll end up in a grave anyway



Wearing a scuba mask 


in the city park grass

made me think 

everything was bigger

than it really was

the old man’s tache like the Lorax

Truffulas doubling as wind turbines

the starling a buzzard circling

lions, a lynxed-up tabby, a leopard even

chasing away giant beagles & the sun 

clearly heading for earth. 

Making my escape in a Hummer Mini

the Grim Reaper popped up

in the rear-view mirror

looking much closer than he maybe is.


Unlock-up
A house-bound cat
Over-fed, under-slept
A lion caged
Eats out too soon
Mayhem helped
The few
Got away
Red-handed
The many
Empty gravesides
Claps & tea
Here is a castle
I can’t unlock up
Every dungeon
A cornered rat
The fear of breath
A ham-faced man
In sadness sneezes
Spits on a grid
Our ceiling drips

Simon Maddrell was born in the Isle of Man. After 20 years in London, he moved to Brighton in 2020.

Simon writes as a queer Manx man, thriving with HIV. 

In 2020, Simon’s debut chapbook, Throatbone, was published by UnCollected Press and Queerfella  jointly-won the The Rialto Open Pamphlet Competition.

Facebook/Instagram/SoundCloud: @simonmaddrell      Twitter: @QueerManxPoet

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