Last Year at Skegness
I seen you somewhere before?
Last year at Butlins Holiday Camp.
You were the mystery woman who swore
to come back next summer. ‘The same time,
the same place.’ Though now we know the score
- you have an impossible husband,
and I’ve a venereal disease.
I’m not sure why we’re coming back for more.
‘I guess it’s to find out where we stand,
resting in fierce peace on the far shore.
The North Sea, foaming with blood black wine,
would make a dead husband a deep freeze.’
Though my Wasserman test is now fine,
what you passed on I wasn’t best pleased
to get. Still I take you by the hand,
and walk you along the corridor,
just like last year. The scene of the crime
no longer has a pool or bandstand.
Bare ruined chalets. The tannoy has ceased.
We’re as well met as any pimp and whore...
Happy Anniversaire to Mary ParsonsThe voice said ‘cry’, and he said, ‘What shall I cry?’
The mind is a flower in a vase,
and when the water evaporates,
Left in the ground the shadow of the wind
rots the thought,
which is doomed to extinction unless
engraved in stone.
But all flesh is grass, and cut to last,
Wedding Feast at Cana
them water. They won’t
know the difference.
began to rise
with Fats Waller in full stride.
Jack Teagarden sighed.
Lester Young jumped in.
But it’s a false spring
and all the Billie Holidays died.
It had to do till the real thing
came along with Bebop
and the Lindy Hop.
Bird Parker cleared his throat
and hit the right note
to shoot up a snowdrop.
It’s Bud Powell’s open hour,
but Monk picked his flower,
and made it bear fruit.
Don Cherry didn’t give a hoot
of jazzmine as long as
the song in the air was
Blossom Dearie’s singing
‘It might as well be spring’.
Chacun a son gout.
and aerial ping-pong
how pointless it’s become.
And it’s no longer fun.
Fast and furious, gung-
ho, muscle-bound. In sum,
an overexcited scrum.
And refs are always wrong.
What happened to genius,
and slowing down the game,
and the grace of human
scissormoves, and snipped gain-
line side-steps, dance-throughs, hand-
offs, the legerdemain
which used to entertain
us with intelligence,
enlightening our sixth sense
that it’s only a game?
EmissionArte TV, May 23, 2010
The last surrealist
mused of what he’d obscene
and overdid. The gist
of his talk was, ‘I’ve clean
forgotten every thing’.
So nodding his bird’s head,
the beak opened to sing,
and his pipe fell out. Fed-
up, the mise en scène
changed to a flapping wing,
and he ceased to exist.
Rap-ture of Bee-ing
Death has no sting for me. I’ve
less fear of it than being alive,
a cut flower doesn’t survive.
The afterlife is a hive
where bees perpetually strive
to wax the nectar of life.
Will I be the drone who dies
fertilising the queen? Or thrive
to pollinate crops far and wide?
Who knows? But I’m not on a knife-
edge. A honeycomb would suffice.