Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, March 28, 2013

AKA Grey Goblin

by Ian Mullins

So they sent me to computer school
to help me get a job
and all day long I tapped diligently
on the keyboard
with other losers like me
in a room that smelled of old men’s sweat

and we all played our parts;
except for one man-boy
with grey hairs in his eyebrows
who only used his fingers to pick his nose
while decorating the desk with a knife.

One day he brought toys
to play with, a little Spiderman
from a cereal box and a Green Goblin
with a skull-bomb in his hand,
daring all comers to be small boys
with blackened fingernails
and tattoos reeking of dope,

but I didn’t take up his challenge;
told myself I had too much pride.

But when they threw the man-boy out
he left the Green Goblin behind;
and on my last day,
when I crept out like a burglar
ashamed to admit there was nothing
worth stealing, I pocketed the evil-doer
and brought him home to sleep
under my pillow, dreaming
he might swing through my window
and scatter my grown-up nightmares
like bad guys in a jewellery store

while me and Spidey duke it out
on the roof-top. And this time
the old Grey Goblin
with skull-bomb in hand

will still be smiling
when I turn the last page.

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