The end of Barry, the beginning of Mabel (Or Venus and Adonis in Swindon)

After Shakespeare (Venus and Adonis)

BARRY: I wish the sun would come out. It's looking rather purple out there. Makes me weep!

MABEL: You are late for collecting the skips today. I've already done three loads of washing.

BARRY: Why always compare us Mabel? I'll go when I'm ready. It was a late one up at the Harvey and those poets kept coming.

MABEL: I went home at 9pm Barry. You are so much better than myself, and I began to have unnecessary feelings for you during your recital of 'The Visible Man'. I wondered about you giving me a kiss!

BARRY: (Palms sweating) Now Mabel! Don't start this kissing thing again. I'm working ... and Ursula will object.

MABEL: Here! Come and sit ... I'll smother you with kisses. (Pulling Barry by the sweaty palm towards her)

BARRY: You are a lusty horse woman! Go and sit on your twin tub and think of Dickens!

MABEL: Oh you are a dull boy today Barry (Takes Barry under her arm, paddle agitator in the other). Come on, I'll be quick.

          Mabel pushes Barry to the ground, strokes his cheek and purses her lips for kissing.

BARRY: (Pouting and frowning) You know the worst thing about this Mabel? The worst thing is that paddle agitator in my ribs.

MABEL: (Disappointed. Lips sulking) Why chide me like this Barry? (Crying)

BARRY: Ok Love. Come on. Let's kiss. (Offers up his lips)

               As Mabel brings her lips to Barry. Barry takes his teeth out and grins.

MABEL: All I want is a bit of kissing. Why can't you oblige me just this once? Don't be coy. Touch my lips with those tough lips of yours. Look in my eye-balls, there your visibility lies.

BARRY: Look, no more of this love! The paddle agitator does break my ribs. I must remove.

MABEL: Your truck has more lust in it. You have taken my heart Barry.

BARRY: Now, this melancholic malcontent won't be helping anyone. And I need to be working, so let it drop Mabel. I've missed the bus now and it's your fault, keeping me with all your weird love stuff. I don't recognise you.

           A war of looks is exchanged between them

MABEL: Why not stay then Barry? I'll make some tea.

BARRY: I know your kind of tea.

MABEL: Just imagine us naked in the bed - whiter than white! I don't know why you can't take advantage of this tea and lust I offer you.

BARRY: I just want to get to work Mabel, pick up a few skips, have a rummage. That's my love. You hurt my head with your whingeing; let us part, and leave this idle theme, this bootless chat: ope the door and let me get the bus.

MABEL: I have done my load , now it's press'd. How your looks and words kill me Barry (Mabel collapses in her lust and rejection)

Barry slaps Mabel's cheeks to revive her, believing she is dead. He wrings her nose, he strikes her on the cheeks, he bends her fingers, holds her pulses hard, he chafes her lips; a thousand ways he seeks to mend the hurt that his unkindness marr'd: he kisses her; and she, by her good will, will never rise, so he will kiss her still.

         Suddenly she wakes and Barry and Mabel enjoy some loving.

          Some hours later.

BARRY: Now I really must go. I have a skip to collect at 1pm and you have kept me far too long.

MABEL: And tomorrow? Tell me, Barry love, shall we meet to-morrow? Say, shall we? shall we?

BARRY: No; to-morrow I intends to collect more skips with certain of my friends.

MABEL: Those skips! I know you take Ursula with you (Going a sudden pale, trembles, throws her arms around his neck: sinks down, still hanging by his neck. Barry falls down upon Mabel's belly. Mabel covers him in more kisses)

BARRY: Now now! Let me go. You are crushing me.

MABEL: Oh do stay the night instead Barry. The skips can wait!

BARRY: I am going off you Mabel. I like you worse and worse. No, lady, no; my heart longs not to groan,
but soundly sleeps, while now it sleeps alone. (Exit Barry breaking out of Mabel's embrace)

          Mabel's tedious woeful ditty:

          How love makes young men thrall and old men dote;
          How love is wise in folly, foolish-witty:
          Her heavy anthem still concludes in woe,
          And still the choir of echoes answer so.

Mabel takes a bus to Cynthia's house and uses her phone with a fake voice, the plastic mouth of it against her sore pale lips. She calls Barry, orders a skip, in a fake voice, to Cynthia's address, scowling. The world's poor people looking on from the street as Mabel stands and waits for Barry's skip.

MABEL: (Screaming in the street) Hard-favour'd tyrant, ugly, meagre, lean, hateful divorce of love,
grim-grinning ghost, earth's worm.

As the skip arrives with Barry at the wheel, he sees Mabel and flees from the truck into an on- coming car and is severely wounded.

MABEL: (Running towards the death scene) Alas, poor world, what treasure hast thou lost!

          With this, she falleth in the place she stood,
          And stains her face with his congealed blood.


You can enjoy the Lucky Fin production of Venus and Adonis at the Swindon Festival of Poetry on Sunday 5th October at 6pm. See HERE for full details.


Men and Masters

After Dickens

BARRY: Well Mabel (in a windy manner). What's this I hear about Roy, refusing to be Mr. Tuttle's friend on Facebook, because he is friends with me?

MABEL: You know he is very sore Barry. And his book ... less said the better. He can be a pest, you are better off without him.

BARRY: I have reported him to the powers that be at Facebook management. He's a cyber bully!

MABEL: I wouldn't go that far. Just a bid sad.

BARRY: He has blackened my name to Mr. Tuttle. I didn't get my free bus pass last week, had to pay £2.45 to get to Lidl. Many cyberstalkers try to damage the reputation of their victim and turn other people against them.

MABEL: You should ask him to speak up for himself, like a man, since he is a man. Is he man?

BARRY: Ursula should know. There's history there.

MABEL: What kind of history?

BARRY: Just, history, his words not mine. I presume he means the history of some kind of sin. A wide-open comment. I am unsure, but he is certainly wary of me and lets the general public know. He is lowering my good name, or at least, that is his intent. Which is bullying in my book. He described me as a 'mischievous stranger' when I first met Ursula, this was on Twitter.

MABEL: He's just a mere specimen going in the wrong direction. Whereas you Barry. A man to be marvelled at. It can't be easy for Roy.

BARRY: His back-handed comments need to stop. He de-friended Murial Sparks when she wished me happy birthday on my wall and told her that anyone who wishes me happy birthday is no friend of his.

MABEL: Now that's something to complain of. Look how we live, and in what numbers, and by what chances, and with what sameness; and look how the twin-tub is always a going: death!

BARRY: Look how he considers us, and writes of us, and talks of us, and goes up with your deputations to the Poetry Society about us, and how he is always right, and how I is always wrong, and I never had a reason to sin, or write erotic Man-Lit! What planet is he on?

All the events, characters, and situations on this blog are a work of fiction. Any connection to real-life events is purely a coincidence and the writer takes no responsibility for the shame you might feel.

Swartz Metterklume, Poet

After Saki

Mabel picks up a new poet, Swartz Metterklume, at a poetry reading. Jeremy Paxman critizes the poets with regard to their taste in poetry and orders an inquisition. Barry takes care of it by asking Schwartz Metterklume, poet, a few questions down at the Harvey. Mabel advises that poets are allowed to run completely wild. Eventually, Mabel decides to go along to the Harvey to see what would happen.

MABEL: How Provoking. These poetry super-prizes are so careless. Why have that Paxman fella as a judge? Does he even write poems Barry?

BARRY: Does he need to? I think he has a point. I've invited him to The Harvey tonight, for a bit of poet questioning. First up, that Swartz Metterklume, he makes no sense.

MABEL: But Roy has been disgusted by the nature of this charge thrust upon us all. He has learned that Ursula has an artistic temperament when he asked her to account for 'Father Samuel'.

BARRY: Why. What did Ursula do?

MABEL: Russian!

BARRY: Her Russian poem that no one can understand, not even Russians?

MABEL: She also used a colloquial expression, as in the poem by Swartz Metterklume. The general public dislike it a lot. Not a very illuminating experience!

BARRY: I've never met him but, the least show of unexpected resistance goes a long way towards rendering them cowed and apologetic.

MABEL: When the new editor of Poetry Revenue failed to express wonderment at Ursula's efforts in Russian, she spoke only French for three days.

BARRY: I trust you are exaggerating! He drinks like a fish and beats his wife!

MABEL: And he's quite the most irritating bridge player.

BARRY: Tiresome. We will talk of this some other time. let's get down the Harvey and question some poets with Paxman.

(Mabel strides out over the West Swindon horizon destined to have a trail of embarrassment in front of her)