Four Poems by Matthew J. Hall


French Manicure

She thought about
getting a new sprinkler
for the freshly mowed
lawn. He had worked
on it for an hour, sweating.

He was sweating now
while her pondering
moved to the kitchen,
where she would have
him fix the dripping tap.

She let out a little moan,
while he worked away with
his tongue. She thought about
the loose floorboard in the
bathroom. The sticking back-door.
The shelving unit still in its flat pack

She tightened her legs a little, against
the sides of his ears and moaned a
little. She looked at the top of his balding,
bobbing head and thought about the fault
bull-cock preventing a decent flush.

He was flushed now and sweating.
She let out a little squeal.
He worked a little harder.
She looked at her fingernails.
He had given her vouchers for
a French manicure.

She raised her legs.
Moaned again.
Squealed again.
Screamed a bit
and sighed,
while all the time,
studying her perfect
finger nails.

Better by Electric Light

The hill across from where I live
is at its best at night.

I like to watch the car lights,
disappearing and reappearing
as they drive past the buildings.

I’m intrigued again by life.
Those strangers in their cars and houses
take me by surprise

At this distance
at this time of night
I start to believe,
all is not lost.

It is Wednesday Now
Mid-week sits firmly as a state of mind
in this city of weak-ass weekend idiots
who pour themselves vodka and energy drink cocktails
before pouring themselves into taxi cabs
driven by drivers who work seven days and nights a week

In this artistic city of idiots
blonde bitches and barrel chested bastards
cackle and leer
look forward to the weekend
live for the weekend
as amateur drunks
as part time thugs

Escaping the trappings of humdrum lives
by hiding in the flames of this burnt out city
theirs is an excess that leads only back on itself

It is Wednesday now
the cattle are only half drunk
half mad
half hearted and half convinced by half truths from previous nights on the town

There are too many sad faces smiling today
but there will be more tomorrow
and the following day is a tragedy
and the next a massacre
and the last is for the meowing wounded
who will have no choice but to accept Monday
as the first day fixed firmly
set solidly in an idiotic city
in these, their idiotic times

A Lifetime Away
The purple leaves across the street don’t shimmer at this hour
six cigarettes into sleeplessness
blowing smoke into cold air that masquerades as night
the street lamps are doing a sterling job, the pavement seems orange and lonely

People don’t walk their dogs at this hour
or water house plants
or curse the rain

The traffic down there is slow and sporadic
life, in this moment seems a lifetime away
the city at the foot of this hill seems a lifetime away

In a short while the sun will shine on this far side of the world
and someone else, a lifetime away
will blow smoke
stare at a cameleon tree
consider life
the city, the moment, the sun

While we walk our dogs
water our house plants
curse the rain
clutter the grey pavements and blow smoke
into the air which masquerades as day


Matthew J. Hall is a writer who lives in Bristol, England. More from him and links to published work can be found at

Rachel Charlene Lewis

Rachel Charlene Lewis is a writer + social media editor, covering sex, identity, entertainment, and beauty. Her work has been published by Refinery29, Teen Vogue, SELF, Glamour, Autostraddle, and elsewhere. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @RachelCharleneL.