The Miller’s Tale

It’s almost there. This is an almost there version. I’ve had some great feedback suggesting I make it more explicit and even closer to the original. And I’ll work on it. But the rewrite’s on hold: I need to work on The Manciple’s Tale  for the Canterbury Tells anthology i.e. something less rude that your mum could read (or more speficially, the mum’s of the young writers selected for the anthology).  But if you’re intrigued by The Miller’s Tale and dying for a sneak preview, read on…

The Kiss

Get me a pint of Southwark piss!
It all took place in a pub like this.               
My tongue is black as licorice,
my tale is blue and it goes like this:

I’m just eighteen and newly wed.
My husband’s old an crap in bed,
my lover’s fit, well hung, well read,
his rival’s heard I give good head.

Three loves I have an two are thick:
My husband, John’s a jealous prick,            
the rival, Abs, thinks with his dick.     
My lover’s sharp, his name is Nick,

he’s in his final year at Greenwich,
high on French and Astrophysics.          
He’s proposed but I’m a bitch,
I’d leave my husband, but he’s rich.

A carpenter, an ancient oak          
with a heart tattoo, a real blokes bloke,      
crashed out on what he thought was coke   
and fifteen pints of ale. Nick’s joke.

John owns the pub. We live upstairs
an every night he…says his prayers
while Nick, our lodger, flirts downstairs
where Abs, our bouncer, sells his wares. 

For weeks it’s been all talk an texts,
the kiss me quick with a pint of Becks.
Tonight’s the night, says Nick, an necks
those pills Abs recommends for sex.

This Abs comes on to guys and girls. 
He pushes weights an class A pills.
A grey-eyed blonde with baby curls
an a dick as hard as the drugs he sells.

He buys me wine, real ales an Pimms.
He likes his women weasel slim
with eyebrows plucked till they’re pencil thin.          
His drugs are class: I put up with him.

Three men walk into a pub like this
but only one can kiss the kiss.           
What is it makes my bottle fizz?
Je ne sais quoi my arse, hear this:       

What’s in a kiss? I’ll kiss and tell.
My husband’s kiss is Southwark ale,
my lover’s kiss is ‘fuck’ in braille
and I’m his fucked up femme fatale.            

My lover’s rival practises
on a rubber doll called Clitoris
but Nick, my Nick’s a specialist,
when I taste his tongue I hear him hiss        

like this! So John’s upstairs and pissed.
I’m in the bar with Nick. We’ve kissed
a thousand times but not like this
in all the cracks and crevices.

High on the pills we scored from Abs
we crawl around the floor like crabs.
We’re Adam, Eve, on hormone jabs,
we got The Knowledge like black cabs.

On bench and bar we fuck all night
and at dawn we still got appetite    
so when Abs knocks on the window, tight,  
wanting a ‘kiss’, we say, alright.

Ménage à trois in The Queen’s Head.  
Abs grabs my arse cheeks to his beard,
I fart in his face, but he ain’t been fed,     
Then, I swear on a pint of Southwark red, 

he says, as he grabs my lover, Nick!
All day my lips and dick have itched      
and I dreamt last night the food was rich. 
And Abs is dog and Nick his bitch

and Nick screams out so loud like this!        
and I can’t work out if it’s hell or bliss
and I hear the stairs and John’s still pissed 
when he slurs, What in great God’s name is this?

My husband’s so in shock to see
the men he sobers instantly
and doesn’t even notice me
until I’m dressed. So I’m scot-free

but Abs and Nick, he throws them out.
It’s made him even more devout.
Now, when I see them round about
I raise my eyebrows and I pout.

So, I was fucked; John’s a fuckwit;
and Nick, my lover fucked to shit;
and Abs scored twice, he’s fucking fit;
both men were fucked by the fucked off git.

If you drink your beer in a tulip glass             
and kiss the air cos you think you’re class     
and you don’t like this English farce,
bon appétitFrench kiss my arse.


2 thoughts on “The Miller’s Tale

  1. The poem is great thanks so much for sending me the link, love the line kiss the air cos you think you’re class, reminds me of studying at Cambridge!! Brilliant, gonna read it to my boyfriend now cos he doesn’t lime poetry but sure he’ll like it, great! Also posted it on my face ok page and loads of positive feedback x

  2. I read this out loud, which was an absolute pleasure. The story really rolls along, assisted by the quadruplets, which also worked perfectly for the bawdiness of the piece. As ever, there’s a real sense of depth to the language at the same time as an immediacy of story. Makes me very keen to get my hands on the finished anthiology

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