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A changed man


F.F. Teague, ’Slug-man’

For months, I said (I lied) I didn’t mind
the rolling home at 2am or 3,
the messing in the wardrobe. I was kind,
until the ghastly night he vommed on me.

“I didn’t mean to!” Laughing, though, the git.
“Sod off!” I threw him out and locked the door.
It’s time he changed, I muttered, or that’s it!
He made his bed the grimy greenhouse floor.

Come morning, he was changed. He couldn’t stand.
His skin was orange, slimy to the touch.
Was that a – yikes! – a suprapedal gland?
He lay there eating lettuce, far too much.

These days, he doesn’t party. He’s been clean,
albeit mucousy, since Hallowe’en.

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Published on Snakeskin, October 2021

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I composed the first draft of this poem in October 2017. Back then, I wasn’t submitting to journals, so once the poem had been workshopped it was just filed away. But at the end of September 2021 I had an inkling that, if I performed a few tweaks to the latest version, it might be worth submitting. And it found a very good home, at Snakeskin magazine. Thank you, George Simmers! (George is editor there.)

I’m pretty keen on paranormal series The X-Files and especially the show’s Monster of the Week episodes. The monsters have included rather interesting hybrids on occasion, such as Series 2 Episode 2’s man-and-flukeworm. I thought it would be fun to write a poem about a man-and-slug.

The ‘I’ in the poem is my character Fran. She pops up in my poetry now and then, and just seems to attract weirdness!

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