Sunday April 28th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: the landlord.

Bit of a quieter day around here, as the major accomplishment was getting more tomato seedlings potted up this afternoon.

Actually taking an entire day off tomorrow. Well, we're going to try to, anyway.


He collects cheques
With a smile
That's a few teeth shy
Of perfection.

Calling his cell
Will get an answer,
As long as he's not lost
In reflection.

He'll fix your fixtures,
Leaving behind
Fingerprints and a hint
Of garlic in the air.

You'd move out,
But the next place
Is likely worse...
So you don't dare.


Greg said...

I misread tomato seedlings as tornado seedlings first time round. I thought you had a singularly interesting gardening strategy for a moment! Good luck with the day off, I hope it's peaceful and sunny for you :)
I quite like the sound of your landlord, he seems slightly odd in a safe kind of way, and I like the smell of garlic. The poem itself seems kind of dreamy, which then rubs off on the landlord. It's really quite nice.

The landlord
"I've got a problem, a leak," I said. The phone crackled a little with static, probably because the leak was dripping onto the junction box it used. "I was told I needed to contact the landlord."
"Ah, we're just the letting agent," said the anonymous female voice on the other end of the line. "You need to call Derek on this number," and she recited a number to me. I wrote it down on my notepad.

"I've got a problem with a leak, and I was told to call Derek on this number," I said. The leak was getting worse all the time, and the carpet beneath my slippers squelched.
"Oh no, Derek's not the landlord, you need the landlord. Derek's the windowlord."
"Well who's the landlord then?" I asked, and dutifully wrote down the new number on my pad.

"I've got a leak and I was told to call the landlord on this number," I said. Water eddied around my ankles, and my toes were going numb in the cold.
"You've got the wrong number, love," said a male voice that sounded like it's owner could build walls and lay patios. "I'm the wall-lord, you call me when the electricity's doing something wierd. You want Joanne." Another number, on my now soggy notepad.

"Joanne? I've got a leak." As hard as I tried I couldn't keep the impatience out of my voice. The water level was up to my knees.
"You want the landlord then," said a breezy female voice. "That's Derek, he's on this numbe–"
"I've spoken to Derek, he said he's the windowlord," I interrupted.
"Oh really? Does that mean we've all been reallocated again? I swear, they never tell me anything. Let me try... there, how's your leak?"
"Worse," I spluttered as a geyser of water struck me in the face.
"Ah, looks like I'm the plasteringlord then. Sorry. Call Gordon, he keeps the master list of numbers, and tell him that everyone's been reassigned again."

"Hello, Gordon speaking. Hello? Hello? How odd, Mabel, I could swear I've just had a phone call from someone drowning. Who would call me to let me know they're drowning?"

g2 (la pianista irlandesa) said...

Tornado seedlings sound like the best things ever. Gotta keep'm well-pruned, though, otherwise they get too big and get wicked out of hand.

I have a little story with my Czech landlord from whilst I was abroad appropriate for the occasion.

morganna said...

She's drunk again in the middle of the afternoon
Yelling about trashcans misplaced by renters who only do as they're told
The rent's due, and she's nowhere to be found
Knock on her door -- who's there?
Another tenant never met before
How many people live here?

True story -- it was a split-up house, we moved after realizing we had no idea how many people were living in the building or who they were.

Marc said...

Greg - well, that's certainly becoming a prompt at some point :)

Oh my, that is one place I'd rather not live! Your poor narrator...

g2 - yeah, exactly.

Haha, the joys of living in strange and interesting places :D

Morganna - eek, moving out certainly sounds like the best option.