If you like the book, tell your friends. If you don’t like it, tell your enemies.
Summer doesn’t come round again
Because no two summers are the same.
If you’re waiting for love to revisit
The parks and sofas and cars,
They’re gone – under concrete,
Crushed and melted down, landfill.
No, summer won’t come round again,
Look forward to the unborn,
Look backward to the long gone.
In winter, don’t wish your life away.
There will be another season
For you, there will be a new day.
The mile-high club is grounded.
Sand dunes on that beach are in tier four.
There are cobwebs in the public toilets.
(Mind you, there always were.)
The back row of the flicks is nixed.
Wake up little Susy, it’s over, we’re dead.
You can look at it one of two ways.
You can say there’s sodden paper
On the ground
Sunlight shines on one side
Of the weed-grown back lane
Behind the shopping parade.
A smell of paint thinner is in the breeze
And the corner of an outdated poster
On a gable billboard
Opens like a door.
Our supple living green has turned to paper.
Rusty, soon-to-be shadows wander around.
The rushing south-westerly is a friend,
saying anyway it’s time to blow this town.
Autumn rain darkens terracotta tiles
to match the rotting leaves, tones down
white eaves, redbrick walls and gables,
soaking pavements from beige to brown.
Even the clouds, leading my way
at dusk, back down this road in Harrow,
kiss goodbye to pearlescent yesterdays,
thinking, echoing only woodsmoke.
Fear no more the squibs of the fall,
No more climbing up the wall.
Thou thy worldly task has done,
Home and ta’en thy tennis ball.
Now you know I have to say this, it’s concrete poetry.
There may be horrors on the floor of the sea
and ever more sorrows down a stony road,
but we are not at the bottom of the sea
and where this road winds nobody knows.
So while there’s still rosé from France
and seasick priests are going green,
might I have the honour of this dance
with you, my ginger Rosaleen?
I started making notes about the view on the 9:25 p.m. (Tuesday) train from Cardiff to London, Paddington. I sat facing in the direction the train was going.
A wig of cloud on the mountain head
A cloud embryo in the belly of the horizon
A goldscape cave and coral clawscrape
Shockhaired fogey in a tunneled blackout
[illegible] of [?] striplight switchback [?] [illegible]
Then we were diverted after some station, and the train sped backwards the way it came, and I saw the same things again. Weird.
I’d worked late after Sunday midnight, caught the 7:45 a.m. train from Paddington to Cardiff on Monday morning, and worked continuously on software at a new customer site and afterwards in a hotel through till dawn on Tuesday, then skipped breakfast and back on-site again from 8 a.m. till 9:10 p.m. jumping into a taxi that had been waiting since 9:05 p.m. and pell-mell back to Cardiff Central station.
I’m telling you this to give you some idea how I felt on the train. I’d had to skip breakfast though I nipped out for a sandwich and Starbucks soy-latte. Thanks to Great Western and a charming young lady in the buffet car, my dinner on the train was a heated ciabatta mushroom omelette sandwich, and two cold tins of Stella Artois. The effect on me was something like a tranquiliser dart meant for a hippo.
I read a bit (Martin Amis’s ‘Money’) then I fell asleep writing (Carmencita Aikenhead).
The last line instead of being horizontal veers upwards back over the previous lines. I’d conked out mid-sentence. I’ve no idea what the last two lines are supposed to mean.
I got into London after midnight and shambled onto the last Central Line train to Baker Street, where there were still trains running on the Jubilee line to Willesden Green. I was stocious.