Sunday, December 31, 2006

283. Béarla

Between the lines
the tines
behind the briars of the rose
awkward living memories.
our hands
in these neighbouring
but disparate lands
and make us feel
that blood and bone
alone are real.
With resignation
and accommodation
may the grass grow slowly
on the weirs.
May we put an end
to endless tears.


282. sweetness descends in its arc of meaning

The sodium lights
cast an orange gleam
over the rain-drenched
city streets; a white van
approaches, halts,
its door slides wide,
and a body tumbles
down to the pavement.
The van glides softly
silently away, and the lights
shine down on Portadown
on this typical scene
with a dull orange sheen.
Meet Johnny Dempsey.
He moves, then rises,
shakes himself down
and checks the aching head
for new bullet holes;
discovering none, he pulls out
a crumpled fag, then swears
when he can’t find
his bloody matches.
Hi ho, says Johnny D,
It’s a long walk home.

Much much later
(leaving out the boring bits,
just like in the movies)
Johnny reaches the gate
at 42 Mulberry Crescent
and can’t find the bleedin
door keys; Shite, says he,
and gives the aging wood
a good clatter of his boot.
Aber das ist nix gut,
for inside, with her brain half-fried,
Dolores McShane (Dolly to friends)
makes a manic dash to the jax
and in panic and the absence of hope
flushes away the supply of dope.
O Jayzuz, Johnny, I’ll make amends,
says she when our hero enters
by way of the downstairs window.
Ah, you’re grand, girl, says he,
brushing aside the shards of glass.
Gerrup now, Dolly, get on yer trolley,
for it’s been that sort of a day –
and I’d kill for a cup of tay!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

240. The Twelve Days of Christmas (update)

On the First Day of Christmas
my truelove sent to me ...
a pink and perfect Mustang
with a V-8 supercharged engine,
fuel-injection, radial tires, and ...

On the Second Day of Christmas
my truelove sent to me ...
a complete set of 50 CDs,
digitized, remastered, all the
classic acts from Fillmore West, and ...

On the Third Day of Christmas
my truelove sent to me ...
an apartment lease, paid in full,
with tenant approvals signed and delivered
on the tony Upper West Side, and ...

On the Fourth Day of Christmas
my truelove sent to me ...
a beach house in Florida, a yacht
with a stand-by crew, powerful
engines and GPS navigation, and ...

On the Fifth Day of Christmas
my truelove sent to me ...
two-and-a-half tons of marijuana
in safe storage, zip-lock bags
delivered by discreet couriers, and ...

On the Sixth Day of Christmas
my truelove sent to me ...
five million dollars in government bonds,
telephone cashing facilities, plus two
accounts in the Cayman Islands, and ...

On the Seventh Day of Christmas
my truelove sent to me ...
an impatient demand to respond
to her marriage proposal, by fax
telephone or e-mail, and ...

On the Eighth Day of Christmas
nothing happened ...
On the Ninth Day of Christmas
nothing happened ...
And on the Tenth and Eleventh
nothing happened either.

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas
my truelove sent to me ...
her psychopathic brother, two
Federal Agents, a subpoena,
and a foulmouthed parrot.

That's what you get, ye hobbledehoy,
that's just what you get
me bright-eyed boy;
that's what you get
(croaked the parrot)
that's what you get
for messing with ME!

So it's back, I guess,
to the homeless shelter,
to toothless Peggy, zonked-out
Ben, Stinky Pete, and the guy
who won't tell us his name.
But the parrot fits right in.
We're teaching him
to clean up his act:
"God bless us everyone",
he tells us now. Awrrkk.
Subsequently ...

On the Day after Christmas,
St Stephen's Day,
Boxing Day to the Brits,
I was rummaging through
the rubbish
(the things you find!)
and came away
with an M-60 machine gun
in full working
order, a bit oily,
but devoid of bullets.
So I called on the parrot,
now named Pedro,
and we took a cab
to West 13th Street
where these things
can so easily be arranged.
I suggested a social call
on my thin-lipped fiancee
at her townhouse
soiree, following
the private performance
at the Kennedy Center.
The enthusiasm
of dear Pedro
(we have become quite close)
caused hesitation:
how can he dislike her
more than me?
I think I shall leave
the whole affair
in his competent
claws: I can see
the headlines now --
"NY Debs Machine-Gunned
by Outraged Parrot".
There are times in a man's life
(and this is so difficult to say)
when you have to step back
and let the better parrot
take the lead; indeed
he will spatter them
to hell and gone
with his chocolate