Sunday, June 14, 2009

Poésie de foie gras

The voices of my education
cajoled coerced caned me until Yes
I remembered Adlebloodystrop and could
parrot a wet sheet and a flowing sea as
I walked beside the fag factory where
all our mothers worked
as I listened
with a host of phantom listeners
to gold flake accents on black and white TVs
on black and brown radios
as I repeated the lines of an
elegy in an outside toilet that left the
world to darkness and to me.

Such a pilgrimage were not sweet
it was the worst of times
facing the true north of cliché and predictability
in the old dispensation
with alien teachers clutching their gods
and us leaning cool on the wire fence
standing on our tongues
as the girls wiggled past
drinking anything
in pubs and cafés as we smoked our youth
spoke of novelists
musicians playwrights. But poets?

They were all dead and
would have conveniently remained so
if I had listened to the voices of
my accursed education:
understanding is clever
provided you understand
in one particular way which
in your particular case
will be denied to you.
So I struggled with
the naming of parts
had nightmares about vorpal blades
and wondered how the hell
eye could rhyme with symmetry.

Waiting is hardest when you are
all eager for the treat but not sure
what you are waiting for
but the weather as always
turned around I saw through
the folly of their understanding
missed fewer chances with the lords of life
realising that a cloud is never lonely
wrapping my tears in an ellum leaf
and delaying the deadly onset of
cyrrhosis of the ego.

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