Trying to sell a Nespresso machine
aaron saint john

"And this one, I think, is really nice 

              (though it is just a little bit dearer)-" 

she said, as if it were an accident 

that the one she thought the nicer 

was also more expensive, 

and she pointed at the thing 

which was lonely and bright 

and resembled the engine 

of a fancy old aeroplane 

in which some waxed Italian ace 

would finish his cigarette and toss it away 

and go winging off over the sunset 

down the white Dalmatian coast. 

Sheffield, December 2020 

On Wood Sticks

God loves you in the evening, when 

the stars are coming out; God loves you

in the morning, when you’re frying eggs.

God loves you in the hyacinth, God loves you 

in the grass, God loves you in the summer and 

the nuclear winter. God loves you on the

mountaintop, God loves you on the moon, 

God loves you when you kill and steal,

God loves you when you scream.  

God loves you like he loves the crunch 

of broken glass; He loves you like he loves

the taste of petrol. God loves you for

your pearls and the transparency 

of your bedroom windows.  

God loves you like the rock 

that killed the lizards. He loves you like

a magazine, He loves you like a snake,

He loves you like a thin red river. 

God loves you loves you yes He loves you

thinks of you all day He wants to  

wrap His spine around your neck your

lovely little neck and pull it off.  

         Sheffield, June 2020

Their Own Plastic Genius

Gentles we are facing a Situation – 

there is a Situation out there beyond those doors 

and by God you better believe it – 

there is a Situation out there with gnashing teeth 

and dripping jaws and Jesus – 

              you’d better call your mother, tell her 

              about the Situation – 

the Situation is big, offensively big – 

              the Situation is dark and imposing – 

the Situation is a cloud of collective amnesia 

              connected to quacks on the Moon – 

the Situation is satellite vision, is trouble 

              and capital strife – 

once there was no Situation and 

now here it is, we are all 

terribly horribly Situated out of our souls – 

              the Situation is here for a lifetime – 

              the Situation is here for the sun – 

              the Situation is here to extinguish 

              a peace of the mind – 

no one can reason with the Situation, not even 

              the doctors can help – 

the Situation is beyond all possible hope 

              of prevention – 

there is no alternative to the Situation, 

              no refuge wherever this Earth – 

the Situation is negative – 

the Situation is not – 

the Situation it must be addressed – 

              everybody call their mother, 

              tell her all about the Situation. 

Sheffield, January 2021 

Seattle 1951

In your deep blue jumper 

and goldfinch dress 

you smile at the camera, 

squinting a little, extending 

a look from inside a gone world 

of colours – 

             & next to you, a couple, 

your parents, perhaps, 

dressed in old people’s clothes:

             her white cardigan unfastened 

             over pale silk dress, his 

             navy suit jacket, grey trousers – 

             he doesn’t look at the camera, 

             looks off at the impossible instead – 

behind you a circus of signage announces 

a series of names: 

             “TEN TALL MEN” 

                         “WOMAN THEY ALMOST LYNCHED” 

                                     “BURT LANCASTER” 

                                                  “GILBERT ROLAND” 

& these names all smell like popcorn 

hot with butter, in front of them 

              you share your mother’s smile – 

your smile is beautiful, so is your dress, 

they remind me of another old picture:


              a man in thick rubber suit & glass helmet 

              scooping goldfinch yellow uranium 

              out of a bucket – 

he’s smiling too, only he isn’t showing his teeth.


Sheffield, February 2021 


Aaron Saint John (22) is an emerging writer based in Sheffield, UK. He has had poetry and short fiction published in both English and German, and since January 2018, has been a co-founder and marketing director of Only Lucky Dogs Theatre. In his spare time, he enjoys listening to records, lighting fires, and making pizza.