Mrs & Mr Ululation

ubiquitous ululation using ukuleles usually undermines us
– Carl Leggo

She, a mouse of voice.
His voice a thick grass
with her crawling
along his vibrating dewy syllables

early in the morning.

So often though on lonely nights,
when she’s out putting

her tongue through the moon’s hole,

his thistly throat wrestles voice;
the poor sore voice bangs
against white bright teeth;
the tongue slices
the flying voice; and lips punch
the voice as at last it escapes,

only to be chased towards stars by


His baggage of lungs become
small sad grey sacks instead of big

pink holdalls.

At midday his unslept voice cracks
so little letter-sounds patter
in the dust, like crumpling cellophane.

The high sun then dries out
his last moist sounds.

Until, just in time, she squats
over his dying words and pisses:
a silver sound, that his husk-utterances sup up.
This tinkling from her other mouth fills
his grey stringy gasps – fills them out

back to a fat wet round voice,
gleaming like gold.

So, this evening her voice
is a stretched cat.
A coat of cat-noise falling
from her red mouth.
He is wrapping himself
in the soft luxury of her furry voice.
He is dressed, in black & white whispers,
like a dog’s dinner.

Her purry pronunciations go

in one ear & out
the other in
one ear & out
the other in
one ear & out

the other. O lovely!

And yet the claws of her story cling
to his zero-white bones
as needle-sharp fullstops …

… It’s these claws
that start him barking …


Mark Goodwin
Illustration: Claire Palmer


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