Graduation

November 28, 2010

I wore the silly hat
the gown was like a habit

the ceremony went for hours
I clapped after every certificate.

My mother drank
5 glasses of free champagne

my tea-total father even had one
to be sure of getting his moneys worth

We went for lunch in a tiny restaurant
French flags and brisk waiters

My mother cried
too much wine
we talked about religion

We talked about anorexia
and white fish and old attics
diners listened over soup
a couple smiled
as they passed our table.

There was snow all the way
as we drove back home

I slept on a rug
in front of a fire.

I dreamt of reading
and frozen poems

and paper scrolls
and icy tires.

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Graduation

November 28, 2010

I wore the silly hat
the gown was like a habit

the ceremony rang for hours
I clapped after every certificate.

Michael Parkinson was there
and a correspondant
who’d been to the desert

afterwards there was a buffet
with plastic dishes
of pesto pasta.

My mother drank
5 glasses of free champagne

my tea-total father even had one
to be sure of getting his money’s worth.

We went for lunch in a tiny restaurant
French flags and brisk waiters

I had an omelette
with chips and cabbage

My mother cried
too much wine.
I said I loved her.

There was snow all the way
as we drove back home

I slept on a rug
in front of a fire.

I dreamt of reading
and frozen poems

and paper scrolls
and icy tires.

Calling Venus

November 14, 2010

Calling Venus

In the dark, dark forest
There was a dark, dark lane
And down the dark, dark lane
There was a dark, dark town
And past the dark, dark town
There was a dark, dark city
And in the dark, dark city

There was a dark, dark road

On the dark, dark road

There was a bright, bright light

And by the bright, bright light

There was a red, red box

And in the red, red box

There was a black, black phone

And by the black, black phone

There was a pink, pink card

And on the pink, pink card

There was a short, short name

And the short, short name

Was ‘Venus’.

I dialed the number beneath the name

And a ring tone rang

A woman crooned

Into my ear:

“Hello, this is Venus”

I said

“I’m Venus”

She said

“OK Venus – what do you like?”

So I told her:

“Seagulls and razors

and…seaman…and crabs.”

There was silence on the line

And I could hear her breathe.

I fed her coins, to keep her with me.

She told me she was wet

So I asked

“Are you in the sea?”

Then she started to talk

About fingers and seams.

She said

“Are you there?”

And I nodded down the phone

She said

“Are you there?”

Then she started to moan.

I hung up the receiver

But rang straight back

She called me a tease
And started to laugh

Then a car slid by

Then a woman with a man

I curled a finger round the wire

And lent against the glass.

And she wanted me to come

But I didn’t know where.

She asked about my clothes

I told her I was bare.

There was litter on the road

And her breath seemed to quicken

I said

“Who are you?”

She said

‘Whoever”.

Venus Calling

November 13, 2010

In the dark, dark city
There is a dark, dark road
And on the dark, dark road
Is a bright, bright light
And by the bright, bright light
There is a red, red box
And in the red, red box
There is a black, black phone
And by the black, black phone
There is a pink, pink card
And on the pink, pink card
There is a short, short name
And the short, short name
is ‘Venus’.

I dial the number beneath the name
And a ring tone hums
Then a woman breathes
inside my ear:

“Hello, this is Venus”

I say

“I’m Venus”

She says

“OK Venus, what do you like?”

So I tell her:

“Seagulls and razors
and seaman…and crabs.”

There’s silence on the line
And I can hear her breathe
I feed her coins, to keep her with me.

She tells me that she’s wet
So I ask

“Are you in the sea?”

Then she starts to talk
about fingers and seams.

She says

“Are you there?”

And I nod down the phone

She says

“Are you there?”

Then she starts to moan.

I hang up the receiver
But ring straight back
She calls me a tease
Then starts to laugh

Then a car slides by
Then a woman with a man

I curl a finger round the wire
And lean against the glass.

And she wants me to come
But I don’t know where.

She asks about my clothes
I tell her I’m bare.

There’s litter on the road
And her breath seems to quicken

I say

“Who are you?”

She says

‘Whoever”.

Calling Venus

November 13, 2010

In the dark, dark city
There was a dark, dark road
And on the dark, dark road
There was a bright, bright light
And by the bright, bright light
There was a red, red box
And in the red, red box
There was a black, black phone
And by the black, black phone
There was a pink, pink card
And on the pink, pink card
There was a short, short name
And the short, short name
Was ‘Venus’.

I dialled the number beneath the name
And a ring tone rang
A woman breathed
into my ear:

“Hello, this is Venus”

I said

“I’m Venus”

She said

“OK Venus, what do you like?”

So I told her:

“Seagulls and razors
and seaman…and crabs.”

There was silence on the line
And I could hear her breathe
I fed her coins, to keep her with me.

She told me she was wet
So I asked

“Are you in the sea?”

Then she started to talk
about fingers and seams.

She said

“Are you there?”

And I nodded down the phone

She said

“Are you there?”

Then she started to moan.

I hung up the receiver
But rang straight back
She called me a tease
Then started to laugh

Then a car slid by
Then a woman with a man

I curled a finger round the wire
And sighed against the glass.

And she wanted me to come
But I didn’t know where.

She asked about my clothes
I told her I was bare.

There was litter on the road
And her breath seemed to quicken

I said

“Who are you?”

She said

‘Whoever”.

Calling Venus

November 11, 2010

New poem, written as part of ‘The Venus Papers’ show. First draft, unedited…might be able to fit it into an extract performance, at The Y Theatre, on December 11th…

Calling Venus

In the dark, dark city
There was a dark, dark road
And on the dark, dark road
There was a bright, bright light
And by the bright, bright light
There was a red, red box
And in the red, red box
There was a black, black phone
And by the black, black phone
There was a pink, pink card
And on the pink, pink card
There was a short, short name
And the short, short name
Said ‘Venus’.

I dialed the number beneath the name
And a ring tone rang
A woman picked up:

“Hello, this is Venus”

I said

“My name’s Venus”

She said

“OK Venus, what do you like?”

So I told her:

“Seagulls and razors
and seaman…and crabs.”

There was silence on the line
And I could hear her breathe
I fed her coins, to keep her with me.

She told me she was wet
So I asked

“Is it the sea?”

Then she started to talk
about fingers and seams.

She said

“Are you there?”

And I nodded down the phone

She said

“Are you there?”

Then she started to moan.

I hung up the receiver
But rang straight back
She called me a tease
Then started to laugh

And a car slid by
Then a woman with a man

I curled a finger round the wire
But kept the mouthpiece from my mouth.

And she wanted me to come
But I didn’t know where.

She asked about my clothes
I told her I was bare.

There was litter on the road
And her breath seemed to quicken

I said

“Who are you?”

She said

‘Whoever”.