The Fringe, 1980

 We picked up my sister and Gail at the station –
“we” being me and my friend, Michael Boyd.
He needed a flatmate, the sooner the better,
and Gail had been looking for somewhere to stay,
so now they were meeting at my invitation.
Too dishy for words and enchanted with Freud,
she showed us her goldfish the minute we met her.
The general idea was to take in a play.
Politely informed that we wouldn’t be able
to get into Latin! Tobacco and Boys,
we ended up choosing my second suggestion,
a Hamlet so wretched we laughed till we cried.
This guy spent an hour assembling a table.
Not once did he speak, though he made lots of noise.
“To BE-e, or NOT to be: THAT is the QUEStion…”
a speaker intoned, and our merriment died.

We no longer found our protagonist funny;
he simply dismantled the table he’d made.
The two other punters had long since defected,
but we were good Scots; we’d been taught if you’d hired
a seat you should keep it because of the money.
The long and the short of it was that we stayed
to give our applause. It was then Gail inspected
her goldfish. “The bastard! It’s fucking expired!”

Duncan Gillies MacLaurin

If you have any comments on this poem, Duncan Gillies MacLaurin would be pleased to hear them.

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