Poem: Fanatic

August 5, 2019

 

 

Sitting bolt

upright

in the chair

the psycho

analyst

questioned me

in a game of

snappy

word association

 

            frost:tossed

            gold:bold

 

why did you

say that?

why not?

 

            tend:er is the night

            sleep:sleep

            shoes:Michael Jordan

 

did you watch

the game?

no, I was crazy

to have missed it

 

            air:Michael Jordan

            web:net

            net:basket

 

they make me

make

baskets.

Like I’m

Michael Jordan

or something

 

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Poem: Dead Heroes

July 29, 2019

 


Frank Zappa, Jerry Garcia, Brian Jones
And all those Grateful Rolling Mothers
Taught me that play is serious business

That play lives in the moment
That play is life

That an extended bluesy riff
Is infinitely more important than a timeclock

That a jiving rolling rock tune
Weighs so much more than a brand new car each year
So much more than a mortgage
And a closet of three-piece suits

That Janis Joplin was more beautiful than Ally MacBeal

That Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix
died for our sins
that their deaths preceeded ours by just a blink
in geological time

that if music be the food of love
I am obese with passion

That a great rythym guitar is better
Than bad sex
And that great sex is even better with rock and roll pounding in your head.

Play on, dead heroes
Play on and on and on ….

 


Poem: Alphabetizing Two Worlds

July 22, 2019

 

 

It was easy to place History before Politics,

Medicine before Physicians; and

“Snow Fell on Cedars”

had to come after

“Escape From Alcatraz”.

But how was he to choose

Literature over Culture

or Astronomy over Alchemy?

And Asimov could go anywhere,

With his reflections about water

On the half-moons of Venus.

With bookcases brushing the ceilings,

And more volumes stacked halfway up walls,

melding the books, shuffling the pages,

was turning out to be the hardest part

of moving in together.

 

Amid the piles of unsorted memoirs he halted,

His unpacking abandoned.

He remembered the dancing, the dinners,

The walking.

It was easy to place Love before Duty.

 

 


Poem: Another Sunday Morning

July 15, 2019

 

 

the air

after all that rain

had the texture of twilight fireworks

 

glowing

gently above the ground

then bursting into a sun-splashed grey.

 

the chill

had gone while those

of faith pondered greater mysteries

 

and those

who preferred a faster tempo

drew other conclusions from the game.

 


Poem: Calculation

July 8, 2019

 

 

It’s the poor that give

to the poor.

Those who can actually afford it walk by

the outstretched hand and box

with sneering dismissal.

 

“Get a job,” they whisper under their peppermint breath,

knowing, as bosses,

they would never hire some bum

begging on a street corner.

 


Poem: I Used To Be Homesick

July 1, 2019

 

I used to be homesick

 

for the smell of the old Sainsbury’s butchers shops, the sawdust, the red raw hands of the fat-armed butcher’s boys;

 

for the extinct pink Financial Times and the Sporting Life, for their columns and columns of incomprehensible numbers and symbols of form and potential, neither suitable for fish and chip wrapping;

 

for the smell of the Tube tunnels as a rushing train pushes warm stale air across faces and platforms;

 

for the hop skip and jump it used to take to keep drinking all day in the days of the mysterious licensing hours;

 

for the certainty of location in a spoken voice, always the region and often the very suburb or streetscape;

 

for the red squirrels in the parks and the water rats in the ditches and the horses that pulled the rag and bone mens’ carts on a Saturday morning;

 

for the hordes of rednosed rawboned hoop-shirted hooligans whooping it up on a Saturday afternoon, street level nationalists;

 

for the exciting stink of the Standard Wallpaper Company fire way back before the clean air acts when the thick smoke billowed invisibly within the choking smog;

 

for Toots & The Maytals and Cliff Richard & the Shadows, and the Yardbirds and the Uxbridge Fair, for Eel Pie Island, the Marquee Club, and the Orchid Ballroom, Purley;

 

for the taste of raw beer hoppy and alive in an alehouse more ancient than America where ₤100 is a busy night and the beer and the bread and the cheese are homemade;

 

for the rank taste in the mouth when the gasholders were full and leeching and the air smelled green;

 

for Prince Charles and Coronation Street, and Mastermind and Marjorie Proops and the Sunday Mirror and the Evening Standard and the Guardian crossword, and the suckers getting taken at Piccadilly Circus;

 

for eel-pie and mash, for meat-and-potato pies, for streaky bacon and fat-filled bangers, for two pieces of rock and six pennyworth o’chips, for Bisto and Bovril and Daddie’s Sauce, for Marks & Sparks Christmas puds, for hot runny custard, mushy peas, black pudding and kippers;

 

for the china chink of cup on saucer across the village green as your team takes to the field in whites and off-whites and green-stained creams, running and stretching and yawning off the dozen pints of the night before;

 

for the narrow roads and tiny cars and miniature houses and rose gardens and muddy resorts and back lanes where it is safe to walk.

 

I used to be homesick before you.

 

 


Poem: Unwinding The Thread

June 24, 2019

 

Memory is

the first traitor

 

It is such a waste

to undo the syntax,

to untie the tender meanings,

to try to catch the logic

that meant little then

and nothing now;

to wonder what

was meant.

Was there a

design back then,

that leaves no traces?

 

Memory is

the first traitor