A slightest touch of hangover after yesterday’s 12 hour open mic to raise money for cancer research, to which I was able to contribute a couple of wildly inappropriate poems. They were flogging Estrella behind the bar and maybe I should have stopped at six….
Here is another poem from Prole that I liked, this time by Robin Houghton. I enjoy sharing other peoples’ stuff so much maybe I should start my own magazine; I don’t know of any Leeds-based ones right now.
This poem works because I suspect we have all had holidays that fit to both “halves” of the poem. All of my trips with my second wife were like part one. Before all that, in another life, there was a magical weekend in Florence. Another in Barcelona after.
One duff clutch on the Hardknott Pass,
one haunted cottage and a coalfire dead
on its knees, mud and more mud.
A photo shows me posing on a stile
in pink sweatpants, that curly perm,
a blurred expression. the miniature train
to Muncaster Castle, hills we couldn’t
name, pubs full of climber blokes up
for Striding Edge. I don’t recall the sex.
Now and then we left the third floor apartment
to fetch bread, or olives or a jar of ragù, to catch
a flash of a Plague Doctor’s white beak crossing
from a blind alley, or a tethered gondola aloof
and rocking. A palazzo doorway was our heartland
and the city drew close, warmed its hands in ours.
We almost touched the prancing horses of St Mark’s
from our window. Every night, in this church or that
we could have heard the Four Seasons by Candlelight,
we talked of it but never went, and instead grew fat
on the silence of lapping water and our own mystery.
Winter was over and Spring sensed our impatience:
we didn’t know how long we had, nor, if Venice
were to sink and send a thousand Titians out to sea
if we, naked and joyous as cherubim, would notice.