Sunday, January 23, 2011

Everything's been thought of

I am delighted to be able to introduce this poem by guest contributor John Arnett:
Many thanks, John! Hope to see more of your work.

Everything’s been thought of

Celebrity culture
Media vultures
Electrified fences
Flood defences
No win no fee
Reality TV
Airmiles and turnstiles
BOGOF and log off –
Everything’s been thought of
There’s nothing we’re short of.

Binge drinking
Joined up thinking
Conspicuous wealth
Emotional health
Identity theft
Empty nest
Look away now
If you don’t want to know –
Everything’s been thought of
There’s nothing we’re short of

Attention deficit
Short term benefit
Trophy wife
Allergic to life
Recreational drugs
User name
Repetitive strain –
Everything’s been thought of
There’s nothing we’re short of

Radical preachers
Burned out teachers
Human resources
Rising divorces
Prequels, sequels
Botox, detox
Factory farming
Self harming –
Everything’s been thought of
There’s nothing we’re short of

We’ve encountered a problem and we need to shut down
We’ve encountered a problem and we need to shut down

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Leicester Square

Leicester Square Cover Image

I see myself in Leicester Square
which is a kind of overcoat
loose and comfortable to wear,
with bars and diamonds
and tree motifs,
and the weave itself
made up of tiny laughter
and griefs.

Walking through mile-high drizzle
the people here
are dressed to dazzle:
there goes a giant eye,
here comes the Planet Mars.
Some are dressed
as teen-age gangs,
a few as cinemas.
A woman smiles at me,
her gown a shimmering clock
that strikes on the second.

The carousel has run amok;
you can’t see the old grey-beard
who thinks it’s Derby Day;
the clouds fly past him,
Hitchcock’s Birds are coming.

Now that
is weird:
I know that girl
In the mini-dress –
I remember her corduroyness.

A ghost steps out
of a Silver Ghost,
a crowd of masked lone rangers gathers
gasps. Someone whispers, “Diamond!” or
“diamonds…” Is it Legs
or Neil or that man Bond?

I tighten my belt
as erically as I can
and amble on: it’s my coat that wanders
out of the lime-light
into the night, no cares
but The Care of Time.*

The Care of Time was Eric Ambler’s last novel.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Why I am not a Rockstar

A Tribute to Frank O’Hara (although I think I would have made a worse rock star than he would have a painter….

You first realise
about John and the red guitar
when you see him with head down
guitar neck up and the note
the fingers wanted from the red
guitar flies out at the audience,
thru the floor, accelerates
beyond its old shape, and the singer sinks deeper
in his groove and the bassist
is fine-tuning the cellar.

In the interval with a beer
pleased to see us,
he looks up quizzically, seems to see
a spinning falling coin
or as if lightning is spreading
across the sea,
the next set coming...

By the time we
get to Angel
there are more people
going home than occupying
the restaurants and bars.
John’s a moving point
a van thru N.London
w/speakers amp and mikes.
Part of him has gone to Phoenix
and the rest of him’ll wake up to
the book he left off reading.

And who am I – the guy
who can pump hell out of an upright piano?
or hold it all together on the drums?
My band is a wavelength
and my notes are in pencil –

today with a Staedtler 2B pencil
in a notebook that cost a pound.
The bracket opens does not close
and a line ends/
or at least another begins