Shtisel Said It All

Nobody’s dead, it’s okay.
The people who made you
are in you. And those you knew,
whose folks were in them too,
came into you as well.
And the crowd of you mingled
into the crowd of them,
Late arrivals ringing, appeared
and oh the reunions,
the smiles, the sorrys,
and the laughter.


Photo: The Bohemian Society, Dublin. My grandfather Peter Moran is seen in profile, seated on the right. I don’t know who the others are or the date, possibly late 1930s.

Last Day, Final Reductions

Wake up to
A bubble in my ear.
And in my other ear.

Sit.

A gap under the door.
The idea of a mouse exhausts me.

My attitude is no good.

My skin is no good.

                    My history is no good.

                    My character is no good.

                                        My personality is no good.

My behaviour is no good.

                                        My poetry is no good.

                                        I am no good.

                    Make a note.


Photo: Mothercare store closed (Harrow, June 2022). Handwritten signs on the windows say “Last Day” and “Final reduction” .

That’s me reading poems at the Torriano Meeting House

12 June 2022: It was a pleasant Sunday evening of poetry and friendly chat, meeting local poets and listening to the top of the bill, Judi Sutherland’s commentary and excerpts from her epic poem, Following Teisa.

For the record my “set list” (because I’m like Bob Dylan y’know) was:

As well as getting two poems out of my referral to the Western Eye Hospital, as I said at the Torriano, I also got this blog post, which should be subtitled “Angels or Demons,” and several other mercifully unpublished poems.


Photo: “Frankie Pedantic at the Apollo” cartoon by Zoz (aka yours truly.)

Wild Cotton *

The number of all the raindrops that ever fell on England
raised to all the snowflakes that ever fell on Japan
by the number of jelly beans in a very big jar,
that number of words,
would not outweigh a pinch of wild cotton
as would make a pillow
for a fairy.

* Wild Cotton is a rewrite of the poem “The Weight of Words” from Day of the Flying Leaves. I was inspired to rename it by the beautiful photos shared by YorkshireShepherdess on Twitter. (Stephen)

Come up and see me in Kentish Town

I’ll be popping in to read for a few minutes as a guest poet before the main act. I’ll bring copies of my book and sign them for you, unless you would like one of the rare unsigned ones. (The old jokes are the best.)

June 12th – Judi Sutherland reading from her new pamphlet ‘Following Teisa’ introduced by Pauline Sewards. Here’s the Facebook event link:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1705216489818793/

7:30 pm, Sunday, June 12th
Torriano Meeting House
99 Torriano Ave, London NW5 2RX.

Tickets £5/£6 on the door.

Impromptu

If I think of a poem
as I take the next step
on the stairs of my home,
I will fall to my death

and you’ll never have known
that I loved you the best,
because I lost that poem
when I missed the next step.


Photo: Traditional eve of Mayday bouquet on doorstep

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