Review of HIKE (available here)
by Ursula Caresse, 3:49am July 10th 2022

‘Grisly & visceral’

I’m taking a risk writing this.

Possession of the book is

A crime, according to The Mayor.

But The Mayor is dead.

We all know that, tho’

Nobody admits it.

His guts have been spilt

Too many times.


 

I only read the book

Because Mrs Anderson,

The old lady with the fishy breath

Who sucks on Uncle Joe’s Mintballs

To no avail

Left it on the counter,

Told me I was mentioned in it.

Twice. Laughed.


 

At the beginning and end Mark

-bewildered and beautiful –

Believes his mistake was

Following Si to Bear Creek

But his real faux pas

Was to assume we checkout girls

Just ‘wait for fresh flattery’

Mindlessly, smoking and hanging around


 

- and that’s why

I can only give him

4 /5 Bears.

Because we Creekers know everything

Before it happens, but Mark

Was too beguiled by Simon

And snowglobes, tricked

BY a pack of dogs.


 

The twins tried to warn him

But he could not read the signs.

He should have come to us

for booze and fags.

WE checkout girls slip more explicit

Warnings into Marlboro packets.

Bear Creek can seriously damage

Your Mental Health.


 

There’s a door out the back of

The storeroom of Lloyd’s

To a lane running parallel

To Main Street.

Debbie Harry’s singing of

Incense and peppermints

I’ve seen the Editor

of Bear Creek Gazette


 

Ambling along there

Muttering about ponies.

But we know he knows the score.

About quantum

Entanglement and shit.

He knows we could have saved

Mark. He also knows

We couldn’t.


 

On Parallel Lane

There’s a bar called

The Sleeping Cat.

We prefer felines.

We meet upstairs

in the room

With the holographic clock

Whenever there’s a need.


 

In Hike, Mark Ward gives

Us a grisly and visceral

Trip, which is somewhat

Satisfying. But he

Underestimates his

‘Minor’ characters,

Misses a trick.


 

WE checkout girls

Invite Mark to

Come to the store

And ask for Ursula or

Calysta. He’ll recognise us

By our tribal tattoos

And fractal eyes.

Ask for a bottle of Redds


 

Apple Ale and 20 Marlboro

Go through the storeroom to

Parallel Lane

And head for the Sleeping Cat.

The barman is and isn’t Si.

The code Si asks for is in the

Cigarette packet.

Trust him.


 

He’ll lead you up

The spiral staircase to us

To an emergency meeting

Of The Cassandra Complex.

We were never waiting for

Flattery.

We only want to

Save everyone.

ursula bears.jpg