A quiet pub…

A quiet pub. Gumph | a simple chap in workman’s overalls stands with a pint of Worthington’s best bitter nattering to the bartender. Dermott | a fop | head to heel in a heavy mustard suit | a near baize-like material it’s so heavy— he looks out of sorts with the other patrons. He walks up & orders…

Dermott: “…Pint of London Pride please my good man. Make it a good head will you sir.”
Gumph: “You ‘eard?”
(Dermott leers down at the funny looking little man).
Dermott: “I don’t hear | I listen.”
Gumph: “Wotz the diff’rence?”
Dermott: “Firstly | there is the semiotic…”
Gumph: “’Semiotic?’ D’ya need antibiotics to clear that lot up? Sounds painful.”
(The bartender & Gumph laugh hahahahahahahahaha).
Dermott: “It is the study of signs & symbols. One’s humors | if you’ll excuse the pun | don’t come into it my good man. Anyway | I’ll beg your pardon not to interrupt | it is poor etiquette. The semiotic difference means that they are two entirely different words with subtle differences in meaning depending on context. Therefore | ‘to hear’ in my esteem is to have something done to you or happen to you against your will. Whilst ‘to listen’ is something you do of your own volition | it is processing with one’s full attention. It is a matter of control.”
Gumph: “I ‘av problems controlling my bladder & tongue :itrunsawayfromussometimes&Ijuststarttattlingonabout’owmissusCornerstoneoftheemporium&dancehallstarletonceabloodyniftydancer&abostingpairofpegs&titson’eronceusedtogivemecreambunsjus’fershowin’upearlyonaSaturday…”
Dermott: “DESIST your infernal blathering you peculiar little spud of a man!!… what was it you wanted to tell me that ‘you ‘eard’ for I’d very much like to escape you & go drink my pint of nectar in peace?”
Gumph: (Scratches head) “O erm… wot…erm… woz it now? I forgot.”
Dermott: “O grief to a man | spare me these rigmaroles.”


To purchase Isacoustic volume 1 featuring poetry by me & a spectrum of other fine poets click here.



  1. Worth it too just for DT staring back at ya. ….I was put in mind of the Irish too, the Cyclops scene in Ulysses, I was expecting a bread roll to stand in somewhere for Odysseus’ spear & get shoved in Gumph’s eyeball

    1. i always have a large part of the conversation in mind first, the dialogue is essentially characterless, then i fill in the scene around the dialogue. i actually had in mind a lawyer who used to come in the paper shop i worked in when i was a wee lad. He wasn’t a fop, nor derisive, but he was out of place & odd He always wore mustard tweed, he spoke very refined English, which sounded odd in our town & looking back, he lived alone & was probably a closet homosexual; at least they were the rumours. Gumph could be literally anyone between the ages of 45 & grave bound in my town, haha.

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