27 April, 2015Issue 28.1Creative WritingOriginal Poetry

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Poetry Competition 2015 Winner

Ian Dudley

Fish and Chips

I ticked the box that said here for business,
but it made no difference. There’s sand
on the floor of the lift and two women
in bikinis chatting across my face.

It’s yesterday, my soul is in England,
and I want my bed so I can lie awake.
When I come down I’m the only zombie
in the restaurant, drinking whisky sours,

forking french fries and bronzed red snapper.
When you get older you think about the last
time you’ll see things. I won’t miss coming here:
the strip malls, nail bars and clip joints, the

indistinguishable varieties of salvation. I’m
burning bridges when the ghost in my phone
trills a hurricane warning. I know it’s time
to leave when it starts raining in my room.

‘Fish and Chips’ was the winning entry in the Oxonian Review‘s 2015 poetry competition, awarded by the poet Jamie McKendrick.


Ian Dudley was a 2014 Jerwood/Arvon Foundation poetry mentee, and has had short stories broadcast on Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra. ‘Fish and Chips’ is part of a sequence of poems called Business Class.