King of Pingers

Photo by  rawpixel  on  Unsplash    [Image Description: Clear capsules filled with an assortment of heart shaped confetti, star cut-outs, and multi colored glitter.]

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

[Image Description: Clear capsules filled with an assortment of heart shaped confetti, star cut-outs, and multi colored glitter.]

pinger: /ˈpɪŋə/, n. inf.: A tablet of the illegal drug MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy.

the king of the pingers

is never less than spangled

silly stepping down the years

though the years stay slippy

cutting shapes like sunken continents

escorted out the disabled loos

the king of the pingers

pours paint stripper all over your juice bar raves

point-to-point through the city, starry tar in the mouth

not to be disturbed when it’s on and it’s on now

not having come here in order to be well

the king of the pingers

wants boys though they don’t please him still he wants them

google searching how to get home like he has one

carpet biter creeper switching sim-cards on the comeup

huffing mad sacks of the fumes which you run on

manhandled so much and never once got touched

the king of the pingers catches drag queen dick in Ubers always

the king of the pingers seven-league stomps through mayday ash

the king of the pingers cries out to no-one, not wanting to stop

the king of the pingers

reaches out and touches both sides of the night

that’s squats sidled through, bugs up in the blood

war zone bopping just to feel it, boys boys

freaking on the ballroom floor spit slick

lung bust just to catch a breath of the real

like u could starve for it easy, boys wild out

and the kid stays crooked, silly wonky

hot sweat cooking on the collar bone

the king of the pingers


could never be a gin tasting weekender gay

could never be a no chems zone sort of gay

could never be an isn’t this nice sort of gay

could only be a freaking out the clientele gay

no touching no kissing get it gone sort of gay

a backed away from wtf are you ok gay


the king of the pingers

could cook an egg in what he’s sweat off (but won’t eat for days now)

cannot be touched (but who’d want to touch that)

surely cannot be well (he is so very well now)

the king of the pingers

cannot get away with it all anymore

the king of the pingers

like the mantis keeps his dear ones close though his head’s chewed

in slums where suns come up so wrong it gets the sky bent

graveyard snorting gaspipe sucking just to try it

bed for the night is where it breaks down, but it never

limbs twitching weird out the vibe like they shouldn’t

doing it again in the lock-in though he shouldn’t

doing it again in the daylight though he shouldn’t

doing it again on the tuesday though he shouldn’t

the king of the pingers

is not gay as in reach out to me

but queer as in i can’t feel my face

the king of the pingers

has no way out but out out

no way out but further in


Matt Broomfield is a poet, activist and writer currently living and working in Rojava, in solidarity with the socialist-feminist revolution there. His debut fiction pamphlet was published in 2018 by Dog Section Press, his poetry has been shared across London by Poetry On The Underground, and he is a Foyle Young Poet of the Year.