A spectre exhales in the empty casino.

Binary digits caught in the corner of the eye,

F R  A   G   M EN  TS of a past regretted,

Compression of a future long gone.


A profile stalked in the mind, and the twist in the gut that kept it there.


A reminder of desperation,

An echo of obsession.


In a moment the world falls apart and a penitent psyche fractures into a formula of whimpers,

3.14 with hopelessness recurring in clenched digits that beat ineffectually at an immutable equation.

New faces and old friends scroll alike behind the dank glass of a solitary fruit machine,

Never double, never triple, never four, nevermore,

Always her.

Four in a row of a scowling face that once smiled back when the machine was new.


No lights flash.


No jackpot sounds.


No coins paid out.

Just the solitary clunk of faces that refuse to settle, juddering in and out of position.






I sigh and insert another coin.


View spangleburt's Full Portfolio
sweetwater's picture

Hello, welcome :-) This

Hello, welcome :-) This intrigued me and the 'Always her' caught me out, and left me wondering who she was or is. Never gambled as such so maybe it's a gambling term? Unusual layout too. Sue.

Spangleburt's picture

Hi Sue.   The poem is about

Hi Sue.


The poem is about trying to move on from a messy breakup (in a rambling kind of way), so the 'always her' line really refers to that point where you're actively trying to meet new people, forge new relationships, but your mind just keeps coming back to that one person. You keep playing the game, but it always comes back to them. Any other faces matching up would be the jackpot, but hers can never be, so the machine sticks and nobody wins.


It's a bit of a rough poem though, I'm rather out of practice :D

sweetwater's picture

Many thanks for the insight I

Many thanks for the insight I get it now, I do enjoy a poem of metaphors. It's very clever and well written. Sue.

allets's picture

To Judder

a new word for me. Nice adjectives! Welcome to - allets -

ps: I thought she was Lady Luck