‘Number three all over my friend’
for which he’ll charge me £9.50
It’s been a few months
since the last haircut
One of the other barbers says
‘Oh fuck look at this!
He’s put his knob in a cow’s mouth’
Some film on his phone
‘Honestly’
says the chap
cutting my hair
‘He showed me a woman
blowing a horse’s cock earlier
did a proper job on her mind
spunk all over her face’
I ask him
‘Horses have very big penises
don’t they?’
‘Yeah’
he replies
‘Honestly what’s wrong with people!
why would you do that!’
Meanwhile one of the oddities
pays a visit
He likes to come in
gives us all a middle finger
and tells us to fuck off
hobbling out with a black eye
which one of the barbers
wished they gave him
‘He’s here all the time!’
says my barber
Then in comes oddity no.2
likely pissed
definitely disturbed
I don’t understand him
he’s mumbling in Italian
but my barber does try
to engage in conversation
wishing he’d also fuck off
Eventually the Italian
drifts into Anglo Saxon
Oddity No.2
shouts out loud
‘Oh they really
fucked me up this time!
Oh, good and proper
fucking up
my penile sphincter
the cunts!
Every time I takes a piss
it’s red!’
None of us asked
if he just got out of hospital
Me
I just grinned
and laughed quietly
I looked at myself in the mirror
number three finished
I pay the barber
and thank him
‘It’s been a pleasure’
I tell him
then go and collect
my coat and satchel
off the hanger
‘How old are you then?
What year were you born?
Says oddity no.2
‘1985’
I shake his hand
and he doesn’t let go
‘You that old!’
he shouts
I force my hand
out of his grip
‘A pleasure’
I tell him
and walk out
smiling
closing the door behind me
Oh yes
I look forward to my next visit

Selected byJordan Trethewey
Image Creditmostafa meraji

Mark Anthony Pearce lives and works as a Receptionist in Bristol, South West England. Mark’s first collection, co-authored with Danny D. Ford, ‘Perforated By Sirens’ (December 2020) was published by Analog Submission Press. His poetry has been published in University of Essex Poetry Journal, BS Poetry Magazine and online, Inefável, Coronaverses, Winamop, Horror Sleaze Trash, Duane’s PoeTree, Piker Press, Albany Poets, Ten Million Flies, Open Arts Forum & Cacti Fur. Mark’s writing has also featured in ‘Anne Bean: Self Etc’ (Live Art Development Agency and Intellect Books, Autumn 2018)