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  You could have a big dipper   

Gremlins by Adam Kelly Morton

okay blah blah here we go

jotting things down on the page

words like weight

gained and lost and gained again

and maybe I should go for a run

no no I already exercised today

plus I have to get dinner ready for the wife and kids

some environment-destroying steak

made while washing down lashings of rainforest-burning coffee

and plastic-in-the-teabag tea

lukewarm from earlier

when I submitted a poem no one wants

all about Covid

an abusive father

and an embattled wife

the writing’s shit

no no don’t listen to that that’s just the voices

she calls them The Gremlins

and they tell you to eat more

and that your self-care is vanity

and that you’re mean to the kids

and that all your scripts are garbage

and that you don’t deserve any success

and that no one’s interested in your work

and that nothing you create has any kind of heart

and that you’re missing out on life’s precious moments

and that all you can do is sit around and scribble and edit bullshit

and that if there weren’t a pandemic going on you’d have even less meaning in your life

at least now you’ve got the family to drive around and to shop cook clean for

and you can still sit at home writing endless pages of shit lost and shit gained

that no one will ever read

like this poem

there’s the doorbell

another package of pull-ups

shit lost shit gained

my wife ordered them

she texted from the hospital to say work sucks she misses me

I told her I miss her too

she filled out the Census last night because she’s the one with the full-time job

while I do 60+ hours a week for us and the kids

but unpaid doesn’t count so I must be lazy

not an upstanding taxpaying Canadian fucking citizen

just a forty-eight-year-old part-time student pursuing yet another MFA

Masters in Fuck All


Adam Kelly Morton is a Montreal-based husband and father (four kids, all seven-and-under). He's had stories published in Canada, the US, and the UK, and has an upcoming piece in A Wild and Precious Life: A Recovery Anthology. Adam is working toward an MA in Creative Writing from Teesside University, UK (distance).

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