No 4 - 1975
I: Biographical Material
Wistful to us as daguerreotype
The photos of our dreams, and failing theirs.
Plages distanced only by the bathing suits,
Similar mourning of the cruel sea,
Its cheap peepshow of what the butler saw:
Skeleton in bright wardrobe, Bluebeard chez
The Villa Marie, wine and roses, wine.
Breaking down lifetime letters’ danse macabre
To tighter terms of their lives’ regimen,
The thrill of authenticity withdraws
A faster mayfly while a curving hand
Revamps the flapping Punch and Judy jinxed
Until the great hand closes up the box:
Future writes up the writing on the wall.
II: Going East
Going places, switching continent fast
Outstripped the season, green, green paperchase
On through Depression, valley of ashes.
The green hat, gold hat, old hat that still fits
Peacock flared west; sunset beyond colour.
The wine-red sunset bleeds the days to come,
They’re using their own skin for wallpaper:
High-bouncing lover, fall guy, gold finger.
Reading the letters rediscovers us
All green-eyed monster after golden touch,
Identifying madly, guiltily.
Phoenix sentiment spared to scholarship
From her poor end, terminal fire: a pair
Of stockings frenzied by its rushing wind.
Snapshots developed to legend across
Two continents, the fall, and taking in
The Riviera, magic of a name,
When ‘Vincent Youmans wrote a new tune’. Cash
The wildfire that accompanied treatment.
Collage of clippings, costlier words, spent
— Lacklustre photos fade into casebook —
Paying her back with plainness, new false hope
Impoverished the princess’s old set:
The diamond as clear as crystal, cut.
Merciful evidence of dental care,
Charred slipper to identify regressed
Cinderella, the lie of sepulture
Distinguished from the quarrels of mass graves.
The party’s over — next door: letters’ ploy.
This raw material, times killed: cut up —
The packaged product waits, melancholy
Station news-stands — the best-selling milieu,
Entertainment. Browsing at our good distance
An authentic scene: they ghost for the ghost
Of jelly-beans, datura enigma,
Soul under bushels of hothouse produce.
The breeze that blew the curtains on a set-
Ting of luxury, her voice is rich
— Excites a naughty frisson and we fear
Taken behind the strongroom of the mind,
All art is justification and fear
Driven between the real and real.
- 10th Muse
- Angel Exhaust
- Blithe Spirit
- Brando's hat
- Brittle Star
- Cannon's Mouth, The
- Coffee House, The
- Dream Catcher
- Floating Bear, The
- French Literary Review, The
- Frogmore Papers, The
- Global Tapestry
- Grosseteste Review
- Homeless Diamonds
- Interpreter's House, The
- Journal, The
- Lamport Court
- London Magazine, The
- Modern Poetry in Translation
- Monkey Kettle
- Neon Highway
- New Welsh Review
- North, The
- Obsessed with pipework
- Oxford Poetry
- Painted, spoken
- Paper, The
- Pen Pusher Magazine
- Poetry Cornwall
- Poetry London
- Poetry London (1951)
- Poetry Nation
- Poetry Review, The
- Poetry Salzburg Review
- Poetry Scotland
- Poetry Wales
- Private Tutor
- Purple Patch
- Rain Dog
- Reach Poetry
- Review, The
- Rialto, The
- Second Aeon
- Seventh Quarry, The
- Smiths Knoll
- Strange Faeces
- Tabla Book of New Verse, The
- Tolling Elves
- Ugly Tree, The
- Wolf, The
- Yellow Crane, The