Creative Column: ‘Nights Out Are Overrated’ by Sam Steele

Welcome to SCAN’s new regular column that showcases the best of our university’s thriving writing scene.

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This week, Arts & Ents section editor Sam Steele shares his thoughts on nights out. Want your work to be featured? Email scan.arts@lusu.co.uk with the subject line ‘CREATIVE COLUMN’ to submit poems of no more than 50 lines and short prose of no more than 1000 words.

‘Nights Out Are Overrated’

Part I

set against the cool black sky there lies a husk of neon
a generic pleasure palace squashed in between two takeaways
enticing adolescence like a snake charmer
with muffled thudding drumbeats
exotic luminous drinks
and the incandescent glow of lust
it lures the plastic people
naïve and impaired
they’re not prepared to enter this den of assimilation
where creepy cavaliers set the gazed apart
someone disappears
taken by the dark
friends turn into strangers
the moment they get pissed
big guys look quite dangerous
girls keep getting frisked
gender is conforming
identity’s on show
some folks find this alluring
but I just wanna say no
no to lurid thrills and no to those faux-socialites
no to evening chills and no to those depressing sights
escapism     I wanna escape it
nights out
they’re overrated

Part II

taxi fares
leery stares
a midnight full of dread
the queue is packed
and bodies stack
cattle in their fenced-off shed
the bouncer’s gaze
from his prison days
invites me in through the open doors
to sticky floors
where stiletto sensations and polo shirt prats
prance around the awful sound
my organs pound
self-inflicted      self-prescribed
time to solve my sickness DIY

shuffle over casually pretending nothing’s wrong
moving to the blackout loos where dizzy dancers throng
the tactical vomit
two fingers     get on it
time travel exists
I just saw my dinner fly before me

the post-toilet grope  a signalled elope
give me a break not that trick again
men’s bodies and boy’s faces
assimilate
they know their places
well I know mine        it’s out of here

romantic dreams are snatched from hatching
friends are on the pull
whilst I’m left hanging around
in an alcoholic lull
greasy chips
queasy dips
my company tonight
stumbling home to the bed
alone
the death of each day’s life

the morning after
embarrassed laughter
the general consensus
that night
a disaster
I hated it
wasted it
can’t stop berating it
trying my best to replace it
escape it
nights out     you say
I say     overrated

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