Imaginary Slights

He had a bad case of imaginary slights,
a whole tribe of them, moving their
chesterfields up and down his sleeves,
taking their dublo cars to pieces
in the well of his pockets, dwarfishly leaving
nasty rumours in his turn-ups.

They poked their thin red noses in
where they weren’t wanted,
where his wife and mother were watching
every motion he made. His former friends
observed them taking slabs of umbrage
from his hot, hot collar,

and pasting his face with it. His
nose snubbed them, with their harpoons
and their picnic hampers and trilbies,
rootling through his belongings,
smug and safe in the sour knowledge
that they were imagining him.

From the book Robinson Crusoe's Bank Holiday Monday