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P.W. Bridgman: a poem



A Pie in the Face for the Betrayed


“I think I need some space”, he says.


He's not the be-cruel-to-be-kind

type.


He's the tiptoe-around-it-for-years-

and-eventually-whisper-a-half-truth-

through-a-mouthful-of-meringue

type.


(Do not try this at home.

You'll blind your crumpling,

collapsing listener with a spray of

tiny white flecks of sweet and eggy

mendacity.)


A sour, bitter and lemony whole truth is blanketed

by frothy circumlocution, by a towering cumulus

built of straight-out-of-the-lab, sweet-and-airy,

Sweet'N Low, non-nutritive, low-cal

nothingness.


He knows where he's going; that he's

going.


Something may have shifted during flight.

She senses that this plane is going

down.


Visibility reduced to zero,

only billowing meringue and,

faintly, a burning engine,

are perceptible now through her

window.


His false, sticky reassurances

drip down from the overhead

speakers, even as the lemon-coloured,

lemon-shaped oxygen masks

deploy.



P.W. Bridgman’s third and fourth books – Idiolect (poetry) and The Four-Faced Liar (short fiction) –were published in 2021 by Ekstasis Editions. A fifth – a novella-in-verse entitled Deliverance, 1961: A Novella in Thirty-two Cantos – is forthcoming from Pooka Press in 2023. Bridgman’s writing has appeared in, among others, The Moth Magazine, The Glasgow Review of Books, Skylight 47, The High Window, Litro, The Honest Ulsterman, The Galway Review, The Canadian Poetry Review, the Canadian Journal of Irish Studies and The Maynard.

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