The Dark Abyss

A blog post by Albert Semple

29 Dec 2022

Sure it's dark, but is it humour?

She's kicked me out, this time for real.
I'm in my car, behind the wheel.
The hotel car-park smells of piss.
I'm staring at a dark Ibis.
A torch within reception shone,
I guess the power must have gone.
How did my marriage come to this?
I step into the dark Ibis.
Reception say no checking in
Until electric does begin
To get their systems back online,
So from the dark Ibis, decline.
So I retreat, but not too far,
Resolved to sleeping in my car.
I step back from the precipice,
Returning from the dark Ibis.
Accessible version

This poem plays on the idiom "dark abyss" as a metaphor for depression (pronounced /ə'bɪs/), and the hotel chain, Ibis (pronounced /'aibəs/).

In the BBC's 2022 Christmas special of "Motherland", one of the characters mispronounced the hotel chain to rhyme with the void, which got me thinking: why would an Ibis be dark?

Only plausible scenario that came to mind was a power cut, so here's a poem about a depressed man trying to check into a dark Ibis.

I'm pleased with the wordplay, but as of today it's lacking a punchline (or rather, repeats the same punchline 4 times), so I was torn between putting it in the "Dark Humour" collection or the "Dark Poetry" one. Decided it was more humorous than dark, so it got the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I'll come up with a punchline later.