The Motorbikes


They are everywhere. Passing, parking, loitering, turning and gathering. The ones outside my bookshop are very beautiful, they are lined up in perfect formation and the riders stand by in black leathers and look over everyone else’s ride. The motorcycles stand in the sun, taking the exam, fearing nothing.
But one rider is looking down at his front tyre. His friend says, a fucking flat! Just what you need.
How’d that happen? They all slowly gather, a leather council, to discuss events. More motorbikes idle past, they are very loud, the riders outside my store stop speaking and watch the flow critically, they look for flaws, for power and for foolishness.
One rider approaches the corner, roaring, he shatters the morning heat, heedless of pedestrians and loiterers. Then he pauses there, enjoying the noise until the driver behind helps him around with his horn. The standing riders, outside my shop, glance at each other and rock back and forth, still listening as that young rider drives off into Australia day.
They are all nodding, unimpressed.

So he reckons!

How about some food…



Captain Cock


Outside my shop window, passers-by linger, waiting for friends, for carparks and for arguments. My bookshop is on a busy corner, opposite a carpark and a train station and next to a bakery. Most people don’t come into my shop.
But I can hear everything:
Are you buying a book, Raymond? There are two men outside, one is looking through the glass, they have parked a caravan at the kerb, it shadows the window, everything is in reflection, they can’t see me.
God no, can’t read a book when I’m driving… you dumb idiot, but I’m just looking at this thing about Captain Cook, I always wondered about –
His friend, who is trying to read the titles, says: Who’s Captain Cock?
The man who wondered something about Captain Cook, said: Jesus, you’re a dumb prick, you need to read some stuff.
They moved away from the window and into the afternoon, still arguing, looking for lunch, placid with holiday.