Tuesday 24 August 2010

Godawful Poem #4: The Incidence of Light

The incidence of light
on bee-hive glass panels
not unfavourably tinted by beer within.
The incidence of light
was the high point of that evening.

Cannot read the newly-acquired book
for reasons of tiny fontage,
will not talk to the gaping guzzler
for reasons of affrontage.

On that listless evening
when even the weather did nothing new,
the incidence of light
soon became minor gossip in the pub.

Now the bartenders insist
on bee-hive glass panels on their beer mugs:
It keeps the regulars happy,
it unites the lonely,
it makes patterns on the walls.

The evenings are still mostly listless
except for so many incidents of light.

Monday 23 August 2010

Godawful Poem #3: In which the sniffles take over

Sniffles,
like punctuation marks,
pepper my conversation.

Those who love me less
for being a stickler,
now detest the grotesque
nose-pickler.

It's far worse when I sneeze:
I feel like a stage artist,
suddenly naked,
everyone staring,
holding breath,
what will she say now,
will she embarrass her loved ones,
will she impress?

It's far worse when I sneeze:
Microphone in hand,
the first awkward 'hello',
a squeal from the mic,
people waiting, judging,
"today I will be singing..."
and the song is forgotten,
averted eyes,
poor woman, poor woman,
squirming and squeezing
the tissue in her hand.

Sniffles
are like the curtains opening
before a massive audience glares at you,
demanding their money's worth.

Now when I sneeze,
I imagine the audience is naked,
I imagine the spotlight is on them,
dimpled thighs and wrinkled breast.
The fantastic bark escapes my lips,
and I feel tall,
the sniffles that follow
are a raucous curtain call.

Inherited traits

She chopped vegetables by the window
for years,
watching her son grow.
The neighbours, his uncles, her lovers-
all the jigsaw bits of a father.

She chopped vegetables by the window
each day,
he grew taller and stronger and stranger,
in the image of his father,
forever earning, forever "abroad".

On the first day of his first job,
just for a moment nervous like the child,
he trembled at his mother.
Pulling a knot below his collar,
the stale scent of lavender sachets she put between clothes,
she looked into his eyes,
the eternal wall between them falling.
"You have your father's ties."

Sunday 22 August 2010

Godawful Poem #2: In which a muse appears

On most evenings when the ink runs dry,
I can explain why:
Poems are rarely of use
When there is no muse.

On such evenings, one appears in my head,
Of magnificent soul and passions that are red,
Of cruelty so attractive, and kindness like a drug,
With tears for a puppy, but for mankind just a shrug.

On these evenings, I steel my heart
I steel my heart, not steal my heart.
(Imagine the state of oneself,
If oneself were to fall for oneself!)

On these evenings, I steel my heart:
I turn away before I can start.
I put away the pen again,
Close the inkpot and count to ten.

A bad poem, even if factual
Is the result of a muse that is actual.
A good poem about an apparition
Is a lie, a farce, a kick in the shin.

Saturday 21 August 2010

Godawful Poetry Fortnight

Hello nears and dears!
Yes, I'm aliiiive. And it's Godawful Poetry Fortnight, which is right up my alley.
Here. Read about it. And 'attend the event' as they say on Facebook:


Here's my Godawful Poem #1

Poem #1

Some art is laboured like
learning to ride a bike,
some art is unforgivingly fun
like squeezing a bullet out of a gun.

I know how to ride a bicycle-
it's something you'll never forget;
but the gun-toting abominable
I'll never ever get.

Some art is weird, for example
a portrait of a stool sample.
But my heart in rooted in the thrill
of writing poetry made of swill.