Drunk the Poet
Stewed features lean in, eyes checking
that I’m still listening
and I am still listening.
He’s dragging me down a path to God-knows-where.
‘Are you with me?’ I am,
poised to catch him when he falls
for fall he will, he has no doubt about it.
He embarks on a rant against rhymes, form,
tearing into line endings and the nausea when it’s
wrong, throws up the vowel sounds, juxtapositions
and stanzas fully formed.
He launches a tirade on readings where no one came
or he stole the show from the headline act
and how the kids think he’s great.
And I think he’s great,
a great waste of talent spilling from the glass
and I want to save him, I do.
He needs someone to mind him,
listen to and forgive him —
God forbid — sleep with him.
But that’s a good deal to ask, I can see
a lot of worry, stains and troubles ahead,
lost days, late nights, all this
for the sake of a few poems?
What if, after all this, he wasn’t, won’t be —
what if he’s not that great?
The Light Fantastic
Beyond the back of beyond
along a high-hedged meander,
a heavy pause rested
like the silence on an empty beach
after a surfers’ wave.
I sat with my finger on the map
as you tried to read between the folds.
You pulled over at a sign saying
Dancer Cows Crossing
and we watched the Friesian hoofers
pirouette out of the field,
conga up the lane
and soft-shoe-shuffle into the yard.
The farmer quickstepped the gate shut,
and we tripped on.