maybe?, Ticking Tockers & hangover by Charlotte Smee

maybe?, Ticking Tockers & hangover by Charlotte Smee


the woman in the wrong is me, maybe?

I just think that, um, ah, maybe

I’m blunting my own spears with leaden maybes

patching up your hairline scratches with fluffy cotton maybe,

I mean, you know, it takes longer for me, maybe

to get out of the spinning circular circus of maybe

that you’ve never even noticed. or maybe

you have, in the back of your brain, soft maybe

seeping into your office, wasting your time, maybe

flittering around you, whispering you “it’s me, Maybe,

stop listening, she doesn’t know what she says,” and maybe

you listen to Maybe – but you don’t listen to me. maybe.

and then you grow to expect Maybe

her submissive, palatable, pale pink, frilly maybes

tiny eyelets of lace peeking out from snowy breasts, maybe

she’s butterfly kissing your ass; with dignity, of course. and it may be

that you prefer a woman dressed in Maybe,

bound tight in her own learned anxiety, but not too tight, maybe

it fits just right. and you know what? maybe

she is comfortable in her soft pastel tones, maybe

she likes it. and yet, I could never fit in Maybe’s

dresses. the woman in the wrong cannot be Maybe

pale pink never suited her, and maybe

sometimes she gets so frustrated that it streaks down her face and maybe

that’s okay. there is pink in red-faced Maybe

who realises she might be the wrong woman, maybe

you thought she was padding you with maybes

so you could tell her she was wrong, and maybe

when you spoke, and she pushed you up, Maybe

was listening for your Maybe,

watching you, bound tight in a suit of grey Maybe,

he cuts you into shape, speaking lines of “oh, maybe,

I can skip dinner tonight, stop writing that poem, maybe,

keep clacking away at endless, hopeless maybes,

in the hope that millions will come my way,” hm. maybe?

don’t you think it’s foolish to pin your hopes on a wisp of maybe?

maybe you’re the man in the wrong for expecting Maybe,

cloud-shaped pillow maybe, to pad your ego with. and just maybe,

maybe I’m not too sensitive. maybe you’re just a dickhead.


Ticking Tockers

There is an art to being late,

it should never take you by surprise

Time’s ticking fingers will not wait.

Time-fingers flick quicker, as you create

a finger-painted face, for ever-watching eyes

there is an art to being late.

Practice being punctual, pretend to calculate

arrival times, train schedules, finish that text, arrange your office supplies

click clack; time won’t ever wait.

Run from those tockers, tumble into a blind date;

just miss your cheap psychologist, skip breakfast, forget lunch and this week’s exercise

There is an art to being late.

Late to my mother’s wedding, fate’s

meddling hand had no part in it. Stop, realise –

that Time’s a ticking fucker, she won’t wait

for anyone, not even you. As I fixate

on passing minutes, the hour flies –

there is an art to being late,

ticking, tocking time will never wait.



cheese melts

into cracks of

a beef patty, bacon

inhaled, onions sizzle and pop

h e a l me


Find more from Charlotte on her blog or check out some of her work in Tertangala.


Executive Producers

Sue White

Daniel Henson

Karolina Ristivski

May Editorial

May Editorial

The Lumbering Pulse by James McKenzie Watson

The Lumbering Pulse by James McKenzie Watson