Augustus Young       light verse, poetry and prose
a webzine of new and unpublished work

 After Pushkin

Poet, so-called, let’s call it off.
Your much hyped feelings are a sham
being made to measure and to scan.
The public never have enough.
Once readers went for locks of hair.
Now signing books in Waterstones,
they want your pants and not your poems,
breathless to breathe your poet’s air.
Your inner life’s worn inside out.
You’re hung like game until you’re high.
Your body in the sun rots dry.
Admiring vultures kiss your mouth.
Posterity’s the bottom line.
You’re forced to count bones at the feast.
But you’re no quick-change artiste.
Poetry must be given time.
Its secret is to play with fire
without being burnt on barbecues,
or swallowing whole the reviews.
You throw yourself on poetry’s pyre.
Wearing braces as well as belts,
you must pretend to act your age.
Before the passion on the page
you learn to abdicate yourself.
Homage to The Queen Of Spades, Pushkin
A sweet-loss game-play is not my favourite toy.
Not a born loser, I break it up in a rage.
Throwing the wreckage to the wind will me assuage.
I let go with the anger, and go with the joy.
In the casino of life I’m no bit player.
I don’t hedge my bets to give myself a chance
to break even. Neither am I given to the romance
of systems, and backing both ways, for I am there
to break the bank, and if that fails, the croupier’s gaffe.
I risk all with my rages (they are their own despair),
for the joy that doesn’t have to get anywhere
save by luck. Born winners always have the last laugh.
In the echo chamber of the bankrupt. Start again,
And bet on your beautiful temperament amen.
To Arthur Rimbaud
After Verlaine
Mortal (angel AND devil). That’s my Rimbaud.
You merit the premier place in my book. 
Well that the beady-eyed bastards took
you for a beardless wonder and holy show.
Spirals of incense, and the strum of a lute,
welcome you into the temple of memory.
Your haloed name will for ever sing to me.
You who once loved my poor self, and that’s the truth.
Women must have seen in you a fine strapping lad
racy of the soil, beauty and the beast, wild,
afraid of nothing, although only a child.
Legend has cast you as an immortal cad
who gloried in pure excess and played with fire,
your white feet lazing on the head of Desire.  
Geriatric Home Rhyme
Madame Billet-Doux
lives in a shoe.
She can’t get out of it.
Her foot’s stuck with glue.
She finds it de trop*.
So they cut off her foot.
And now she can hop-hop
to wherever she wants to,
like a kangaroo.
*pronounced as in English
The Last Mayor: M. Bo
The electric hair topping his hangman’s frame
could be harnessed to illuminate the streets.
The sacks under the eyes are full of junk mail.
The gnarled hands are emblematique of vines
stripped for the winter and the knuckles smoke.
His spit is pure spirits. It could be bottled.
But his eyes are unsalvageable shipwrecks.
The diver that meets them head-on will drop dead.