Gig

June 28, 2008

I’ve got a bit of a weird gig on Wednesday. I’m meant to be performing at an event marking the 60th anniversary of the NHS. I’m thinking of doing my newish poem – one of the pieces I wrote in Wales a couple of weeks ago – and getting the audience to do a bit of participation at the chorus. My plan is to get one half of the room to say “he was grasshopper lean’ and the other half to do ‘and millipede spry’. Of course, this plan will a: require me to get to a definitive version of the piece and b: require me to actually get the performance side down – especially as I’ve not performed it before. Obvious I guess as I’ve not even finished writing it yet! Anyway, as always, I’m using this site to work through drafts so I’m going to post up and work over some versions. This first has got some minor tweaks (to help the rhyme) so is a bit different comparative to the earlier version on the site. Mainly though, I think I need to work out which verses can be dropped. Needs tightening.

Butterfly Man

Legs like a stick insect
brain like a frog
The Butterfly Man
was as strong as a bug,
he was grasshopper lean
and milipede spry
and he lived in a house
with his butterfly wives.

His obsession began when he was a nipper
Got silk worms at school from his 7th grade teacher
He took them all home to keep safe over summer
kept 12 in a tank – fed green leaves like butter.

The butterfly boy would watch them at night time
Lie on his stomach, face down with a flashlight.
The silk worms would rear on their little back hind legs
Jut snouts at the glass like some kick-ass style hybrids.

They were nimble as fingers and clever as cats,
graceful as limas and stronger than bats,
butterfly man as a boy was entranced by
florescent green fellas that lived by his nightstand

Legs like a stick insect
brain like a frog
The Butterfly Man
was as strong as a bug,
he was grasshopper lean
and milipede spry
and he lived in a house
with his butterfly wives.

That summer from school was the longest one yet
and the silk worms grew slow as the oak leaves grew less;
but when waking one morning he looked at the tank
he found they’d all vanished replaced by white bands

The butterfly boy, was ridden with grief
and drove to distraction, picked up the left leaves.
Like yokels with grass stems, he chowed down on shoots
thought of his wrigglers and prayed for his troops.

Night after night he saw visions of green-ness:
curled up tight bodies unfurled like burritos.
The hours he slept in were hung up in flight plans
wing spans of patterns flew bright in his islands.

Legs like a stick insect
Brain like a frog
The butterfly man
was as strong as a bug,
he was grasshopper lean
and milipede spry
and he lived in a house
with his butterfly wives.

One morning in August he woke with a pain
an ache in his shoulders – a lumberjack’s strain.
He looked to his fish tank – saw broken out shells,
threads looped and empty – and wings spread like bells.

When he patted his muscles to ease up the joint
he found by his shoulders the nubs of two points
the two little lumps – were feathered and soft
and twitched like antennae and flapped like a moth’s.

Yes Butterfly Man had grown wings to be folded
Under his clothes like a laudry-day loaded
a couple of papery, leathery darts,
he pressed them out flat like a cloth when he bathed.

Legs like a stick insect
Brain like a frog
The butterfly man
was as strong as a bug,
he was grasshopper lean
and milipede spry
and he lived in a house
with his butterfly wives.

Now he’s living in Leicester, a man with no name
Raising his insects and miles around famed
He’s got stick insects, beetles, roaches and lice,
Weevels and slimy, milipede pipes.
He ‘s got

legs like a stick insect
brain like a frog
The butterfly man
is as strong as an ox ,
he was grasshopper lean
and milipede spry
and he lives in a house
with his butterfly wives.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: