Ode to Kitchen Porters

by Luke Otley

Skidding slightly slop on the floor!

HOT PAN FIRE IN THE ALLY

Put um out put um out fireman

Cutlery dropping crockery climbing water running hot never stopping level rising suds popping filled with grease greasy pans black hunks of soapy pig congealed cheese and egg and vinegar stinging eyes and nostrils clinging basin hands hot branded red then

FULL

Metal on metal scrub a dub dub in the tub here’s a waiter more plates NO!

Every god damn hungry blighter in Africa must be eating their supper through that hall!

The laughter roaring o sweet mockery I’ll kill em, I’ll kill em, CLANG

HOT PAN

FIRE IN THE ALLY

Stripe of sweat n muck from swiping flies hair out of eyes lids are tightly blinking blinded

Now here’s the head begins a-pounding no drinking chefs simply won’t allow it

Down down down down down gurgle and drain fingers digging gravely scrabbling fighting against swede and cabbage

Waiter comes in he says it’s done

The last of them are gone laughing on the street now can hear the smiles on the stairwell it’s deafening

Grab a drink kid

It wasn’t so bad after all