“Durban North, 2009” by Nick Mulgrew

Durban North 2009nothing good happens
at the Shamrock Inn
the aircon is broken and the
beef pies are too hot to eat

when it’s thirty-six degrees
in the evening but the draughts
are cheap only thirteen rand fifty
we heard they were gonna put them up

like the cartoons from the Hustler 
they put in the men’s room
all hairy fannies with protruding
labia like prego rolls and fat men
with tiny cocks while you stand
there with your own penis out
trying to aim into the right
tin urinal and not splash back

onto your Quiksilver shorts
and when you come back through
Kaviran says hey bru did you see
the cartoon today and then you

say yho man it was rough hey
and then you all laugh except
for your childhood friend’s
new girlfriend because she

still hasn’t quite figured out the
group dynamic why everyone
is still really into computer games
then you go up Mackeurtan

at nine to Kim’s house and drink
his father’s Stroh 80 by the koi pond
and then you wake up in your child
hood bed on Tuesday morning and
the car is in the driveway
and you don’t remember driving it home


Nick Mulgrew was born in Durban in 1990 to British parents. He is the author of the poetry collection, the myth of this is that we’re all in this together, and Stations, a suite of short fiction. He currently lives in Cape Town, where he works as a writer, publisher and editor.

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