Poem of the Week - ‘Blonde Joke’ by Helen Mort
The one where she trips over a cordless phone,
or tiptoes past the bathroom cabinet
so she won’t wake the sleeping pills,
gets stabbed in a shoot out,
spends hours trying to drown a fish,
goes skydiving and misses earth.
The one where you clock her at the bar,
slip her a vodka-coke, nod to your mate:
What do you do when a blonde says no?
Buy her another beer. Later, in the taxi queue,
you stroke behind her ears: what does a blonde
put here to make her prettier? Her ankles.
Or the one where she binds your wrists
behind your back, ties you naked to the hotel
swivel chair, then props the door open,
walks out and leaves you waiting for the punchline,
laughter thinning to a wheeze, and the light
from the single lamp makes your own head golden.
Definitely the funniest blonde joke I know. In her classic, characteristic style, Helen Mort strikes a perfect balance between humour and serious commentary, between the sinister and the silly. This particular poem appears in the anthology CAST: The Poetry Business Book of New Contemporary Poets (Smith Doorstop, 2014), which features forty outstanding and original voices of contemporary poetry, including Niall Campbell, Christy Ducker, Suzannah Evans, Kim Lasky, Rebecca Perry, David Tait and Tom Warner.