I’ve always hated buttons.
Fiddly fumbly four-eyed flat-faced
offending my digestive system
off otherwise majestic
military jackets. No, give me a zip any day,
a zip you can flick up and down by a microphone
and sample its wavy and sibilant sounds
onto some electrofunk folk punk
with panpipes, balalaika, glockenspiel
and twelve-inch ruler
twanged off the edge of a chair,
you can’t do that with buttons.
I shared a thermostat with Stella,
a seamstress who sat by her sewing machine
all morning. In her bedroom
lay boxes and buckets and bowls full of buttons
that glittered and glinted and
dribbled their vomit-provoking
vapid glory. On the wall outside her room,
a button the size of a dinner-plate
glared its purple putridness.
“You’re a real koumpounophile,” I told her.
fluttered around the asparagus plant.
“That means you like buttons.”
She replied, “Oh, I see.
I thought you said I was a paedophile.”
Eight years later, strolling round
a lake in Poland,
Lake Stretchyourneck or something,
Shchetchanek? Stcheshanek? Whatever.
Past a huge coconut made of old deckchairs and drawers
on a stage, and a metal
star on a stick, there it stood.
A button the size of a bus shelter.