Olympic Mentality and other poems

by Jack Little

Olympic Mentality


The Olympic Football Final – I don’t watch it, preferring

to observe Mexico City life where I pass vital moments,

a semi-welcomed guest among the bars, bordels of insecurity

(mine or someone else’s) and a sense of belonging

gotten lost, unworldly.


Auxiliary guards carry guns and watch on nonchalantly,

I catch a glimpse of the score and there’s been an early goal:

It has been a disappointing year. I rob red bricks

painted white from the high walls of surburbia, floating,

wishing for a glimpse of the old world I once knew


the dangerous and inviting. My favourite bookshops

are closed on Sundays and the nightclub got shut

down until the fine will be paid to a shadow. Drunken

buses pass, with huge unkempt flags, faster, faster, faster


with no where in particular to go, swaying and surfing

on the rotten wooden floor of a packed out combi heading

for war. Mexico won gold today and nothing will

stand in her way for now she has a “winning mentality”


quite unseen before. Dancing people at the station, cars honking

loudly and there is no water in the taps tonight and the light shall

most likely falter for these are difficult times, the nights ringing bells

of an uncertainty that befell this city not less than half a millenia ago


reassuring yet taxing to the senses, the winners declare

this day to be “a base upon which to build for the future”



On Finding Myself to be Rather Similar to a Cabbage


I read a book on hormones today

and it’s really quite remarkable

just how our bodies work

at attaching new atoms, and breaking them down,

signals passing too -and-fro millions of millimeters

from toe to head and back again.


And then, that got me thinking,

(which can be very dangerous)

where do I fit in, in this body of mine?

am I just the sum of this not quite so tall machine

and unfathomable passing of bodily fluids and electricity

between tubes and organs… A silly percentage made of water

and 47% the same DNA as a cabbage.


So, dear sir. Please do cut me open and find a Victoria sponge,

Placed meticulously in thin layers of cream, cake and jam.



Fourth Birthday


A photo from my back pocket,

a boy in his best black waist coat

like a 1990s snooker player – Don’t pot

the black too early lad – I whisper,

his forehead hasn’t been grown into yet


My best party outfit, my best friends

of turning four fill the foreground

of life passing in cycles, the passing of parcels

the stopping of music. Unpack these moments

and write them down – my teddy bear wears

that waistcoat now



Late August, 2012


the evening denies her promise

of rainfall, a day off

and the excitement of entrapment.


a man blames expectation as his cage

and asks for directions to somewhere beautiful.


the citizen smiles politely in silence,

the ripples of a thousand “I”, ‘I”, “I”s merge into one,

another year now over halfway done.




Jack Little (b. 1987) is a British poet living in Mexico City where he runs The Ofi Press, a bilingual online poetry magazine and publishing company which organises regular poetry events. His work has been published in 3:AM Magazine, Warwick Unbound, Calliope Nerve, The Bubble, Eunoia Review, Blue Pepper Poetry, Kerouac’s Dog,  and mostly recently in Bakwa Magazine (Cameroon). Forthcoming publications will appear soon in Drey, Wasafiri and Ink, Sweat and Tears. In March 2012, Jack read at the Linares International Literary Festival in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. As well as his literary related activities, he also manages the Mexico national cricket team.www.theofipress.webs.com


Photo by Eleanor Bennett


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