Issue 18: John Regan
(Tom Raworth Memorial)

The Nurse

Rational as a flowscreed, sanctioned stamped

and sent.

The constant material flush on the

palate of the lift shaft. Signing in for

aftercare with mint, with due care and at

tention to the skin complaint a recur

sive blemish of the access plant is how

she understands payroll. All pensions are

deleted all lift cars suspended un

til July at which point the sweat will have

cooled on her neck, stained the collar and star

ted to smell.

Take the laminate to the fourth floor where

the walls are warm and keep right; show your lan-

yard. The moulds of the seats were derived by

reclamation. Your pale paper pass co-

ver is a contrivance of shale and

by some margin the reconstituted

panel tempers the rubber which in turn

hammers the stanchion under the weight. All

of which is collapsable sense since

sense is a fourth-floor warm pharmacy desk

which is polished and burnished to bear. Sign

for waning Neproxin. Muscle relax-

ants to the eighth floor, renal. Dean is well-shorn

but you hate that name. Muscle relaxant

arrives via the overnight via

eurotrans you’re much too caffeinated.

The walls of the fourth floor are warm and stick

y in parts owing to poor installa

tion. A view of Denmark Hill also means

a panel of sunlight sliding imper

ceptibly across the sober commerce

of the entrance desk which is ecotex-

durable recycled patinaed grey.

Needle disposal then lunch on the steps

of the church in the piss quadrant. Looking

up confirms: the hospital is a ro

coco bog. A hall of colour where the

bag check cloys its dockets with the metal

lic smell that stays on her fingers ’til home

time. Readmission to the palace of

air confirms: this is the air she was be

fore lunch, the no-sharps sign unpeeling a

bove the mobile oak cabinet. In the

palace of air the pill cups are at least

forty percent, percent. Forty percent

of floor three is Limecyclin and four

percent of the floor is mottled polish

and eighty six percent is tufo-style

polish-proof grained topic surface. All one

hundred percent of floors three through are

metal air and washing more doesn’t help.

Warm your foot on the desperate ledge by the

vent by the public toilets refitted

In April. Already the inside doors







(yeah spend monney u don’t have instead)

Meanwhile by the wash hand basin there reads:



TOLERANCE. An ornate, zero-sugar

mission statement prescribing unpaid ov


Out on Three and the metal smell dries by

the vent which is green and was installed last

October. Out past the foyer space two

men discuss blood transfusion; by the an

aesthetic gels the description is aud

ible through the frosted glass, one of the only

spaces which voids the smell for her with its

grey drawers of red tubes and anticoag. 

A forced laugh garlands the stiffened paint on

the rim, then a cough plays around the em

bossed braille on tired orange boxes of Skin-

oren and a pinned sublet notice by

the blood cupboard. Then a faint after puff

of vape breathing around more burnished oak,

under the proviso that the requi

site sadness has been observed in the pre

cise distance carved by the entrance pass. Pure

access deems the vape trail and comfort dri

ven deep among the bare shafts of dial

ysis, tries the trade door, tries the sharps dump,

tries the gel closet with the Diamorph

by the H.R spit out, tries the extrac

tion at source;  tries the nil by mouth. A bus

corrals near casualty and is spent. Hours

to come allow chronic stomach pain; from

a young age he has suffered it for all

the analgesic. Fully one hour on

ward six.

A tickle of cortisone quells the ro

tating pulse in the eustachian tube-graft

cast force, Ellesse plimsoles spattered with

fortified paint; the narrow standard  of

the rococo bog is permanent sti

fling matter. There’s matter in the air, mat

ter in the percent. Matter by the side

court obstetrics, by the pulmonary

image capture by the bright fish of the

foyer. Shoes, upper- time for water- a

dynasty of trays in their clattering

matter. All her breaths retain themselves in

the grouting between light pink tiles even

in the quiet zone by the sculpture, whole

shafts of air arrest light, dedic

tory plaque; light through shafts figures the slow

calcification of the hour, her dry

ing sweat and its difficult assumption.

The lifts are tired now, the afternoon hav

ing become what it is. All that remains

to do is start on the task card which sits

on the patterned platter of the over

cover of the tempered plastic of the

table, topped out and pressed, hardened and scratch

resistant. Pressed cover of the over

time surface hardened to a waterproof

cast mould bas-relief stir-fold starch card wipe

clean cuff laminated proxy for hours

spent in slow-motion lifts whose innards are

topped out by fibre-glass moulds for heavy

duty and repeated metal stress carts.

John Regan is a Scottish poet living in Cambridge. He is writing a book called Poetry and the Idea of Progress, 1760-1790.