Monday, December 17, 2007
Now, I realise, it was not. It was not saved, it is gone. So, I am trying to dredge my memory - I aim to recreate it. Folks, this is the rough end of the Being an Amateur Poet wedge – yes, The BAP Wedge, as we for-one-month-only amateur poets would have it.
As I have nothing other than this insight into ‘process’ to share here, do feel free to suggest a theme for a series of posts – the iller-advised the better. It will do you no harm, and it just might help drive me towards my short-term piggery ends.
Come, bathe with me in the mud of et cetera et cetera.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Shane: It’ll be Christmas soon.
Shane: (pause) What kind of a gift do you think I should get my Mum?
Alex: (thinks) Nothing!
Shane: Hmm - bit tricky – ‘nothing’. Maybe something else?
Alex: (thinks II) Love!
Shane: (double-take) Amazing! But what does that look like? And how would I wrap it?
Alex: It’s just hugs and kisses.
Alex: We sing a song at school about how the best gift that you can give is love.
Shane: So, not a Playstation or anything, then.
Alex: No - love.
And the retail sector, it did suffer. Beautiful though.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Stale cigarette smoke
A cold beer cellar
The club as church
One hell of a fella
Lines about the eyes
There’s untold stories
A glint and a grin
Speak of former glories
An ailing frame
With no admission
A held-back wheeze
A café on a cliff
Something to tell?
He turns and he sighs
Son, I’m not well
Look after your Ma
She’ll find it tough
- What d’ y’ mean?
You’ve had enough
Get over yourself
Don’t be daft
You’re not even old
I nervously laughed
But a joke’s a joke
And this was none
Living for the moment
But the moment was gone.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
You were funny in bed last night
Asleep within three minutes -
T-shirt wrapped around your head
I could just see your mouth
Your gentle breathing
Sound asleep you were
Until I put the light out
Then you did this funny breathing thing
And a puff
- And a blow your house down?
And a snorey purring gurgle
- A snorey purring gurgle?
A snorey purring gurgle
You were funny in bed last night
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
There’s a woman that smoked by the school gate
She shuffled and shifted and looked the other way
Her hair red and spiky and cheap
Her clothes practical and denim and, cheap
This woman at the school gate I thought she were a cleaner
I’d seen her go into the school as the kids buzzed home
She kept her head down, not acknowledging anyone
Made her stand out, that did
I was wrong about the woman at the school gate
Turns out she worked at the Travel Inn by the dual carriageway
Turns out she’d been having an affair with the head-teacher
Whose wife found out and chucked him out
So he’s staying at the Travel Inn now
In a way.
© 2007 Shane Wexford
The right of Shane Wexford to be identified as author of this work of fiction has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Looking back, I see a heady romance, tinged with noodles.
To a finger-clicking beat of 60 beats per minute, here’s an architecture-inspired songpoemthing from the archives (NB/ It is fictional... mostly):
Without any cares
Slowly up the stairs
A sight ahead of me
My heart -
It missed a beat
She did greet
Whilst taking a pee
Her look on the throne
It gave me a bone
I didn’t know constipation could do this
As she gripped her thighs
I stepped forth with glazed eyes
Knelt down and gave her a kiss
It felt so right
Her cheeks glowed so bright
Must have been love
Or a stomach ache
Romance and bowel problems
For heaven’s sake
A good combination
Do not make
Fallen in love
With a girl sitting on the loo
Fallen in love
With a girl trying to poo
© 2007 Shane Wexford
The right of Shane Wexford to be identified, frowned upon and pilloried as author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Emma: …So you see, I – we – we’re all for making schools better and improving everyone’s chances, but if the changes that have to be made to make improvement happen means that kids at good schools have to move or be integrated into wholly different mixes of kids and teachers as part of wholesale systemic change, then I’m not sure that change can be such a good thing… if some have got to lose out for others to gain.
I considered this, and replied - something along the lines of that being a great middle class tension – the kind of sentiment that underpins the idea that when there’s a case of haves and have-nots, you have to ensure that the haves become the haves-for-keeps before the have-nots can be raised. Clear enough? Admittedly, a bit wanky, but still, we were understanding one other, or so I thought.
Emma: You see, you make a lot of sense, I’m sure, but y’ know…
Shane: (pause) What?
Emma: Well, I just can’t take you seriously when you’re wearing that sweater.
Shane: It’s my new favourite lounging about the house sweater.
Emma: Yes. And it’s come all the way from America, because your old blogger friend sent it, because he said your’s was one of the better entries in a caption contest, yes, you might have mentioned something about that.
Emma: But you do look ridiculous, you do know that?
Shane: (pause) Jim doesn’t think so.
Emma: Jim is a cat.
Shane: He tried to wear the sweater too.
Emma: No – he tried to use the sweater as bedding as he commandeered the box that the sweater was posted in.
The sweater brought much mirth to the homestead.
Love from a whole household in the English Midlands to the University of Oregon… Ducks (Go Ducks! etc etc), and to all who support them.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
On foot, at 9:08am, I passed the attractive Kew Gardens Hotel.
Soon, I was waiting to move along the District Line; as were others.
South Kensington – I look forward to seeing Emma and Alex later.
Victoria – Sponge.
Euston – I’ll be back.
Mornington Crescent – I feel a bit nervous.
Tufnell Park – A young man up the carriage puts away the script he was reading. He now opts for a… an A to Z! Excellent! I’m not the only one heading into the unknown.
East Finchley – Get off.
As I approach, it is further brought to mind.
Here, I am within yards of my destination, as I begin to understand the ordering of the graves. I am not sure what to expect, though it seems that each small stone or cross bears only one name. I presume that this whole section is – was - for the unknown and the poor.
I have a grave number – 25192, though I see no numbers upon the graves.
The section is the size of a large garden. There is a great orderliness about the lay-out of the graves. It would not be impossible to walk amongst the graves and to wait for my uncle’s name to register. So I do. My heart-rate is up.
Two thirds of the way towards the far corner of the section, I turn to take in the space from a different angle. And I notice that upon the back of one of the larger stones is a number – a five-digit number. My task has become much easier. A quick scan of other stones – brushing aside leaves and scraping away occasional moss – indicates that the grave numbers descend right to left, and from back to front.
Confidently, I walk by six or seven columns of stones and recognise a number that is close to that which I seek.
But again, the name does not match. This is a little confusing. I check the number. It is one above my target.
And slowly, it dawns.
My return to the gate of the cemetery is a sad one. Befitting the whole journey that I have come on, I have been moved by an absence (as I later had explained to me by a very dear friend). It seems that the absence of a stone is appropriate for a life that, when push came to shovel in 1985, would seem not to have mattered. After all, who would there have been to have cared about a stone or any other memorial.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Saturday saw me make an early morning departure from our provincial homestead. At the station, torpor seemed to be the general air amongst those heading for the capital.
On platform number one, I gazed over a constellation of chewing gum.
Altogether, it had been a very brief trip, but a good one nonetheless.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Today, Emma plumped for a healthy lunch. I did not.
As I stood in the kitchen, pouring a drink, a nightingale sang:
Emma: (calling) That is pathetic!
Shane: (calling) What?
Emma: (calling) You have constructed a ham roof for your chips!
Returning, I met Emma’s eye.
Shane: The roof is in your best interests.
Emma: (pause) I suppose you think that’s funny.
Shane: Now, don’t let the ham come between us… my love.
Emma: (a sort of harrumphing snort noise)
See, when Emma said that I had to support her with the diet, I listened.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Alex: We can sell these apples for ten pounds each.
Shane: We can try.
Alex: I think I need some football boots – I was slipping over in my trainers.
Shane: Mm, ok.
Alex: Maybe I could get some like Cristiano Ronaldo's.
Shane: Or maybe those black and silver ones that were about eighty pounds cheaper.
Shane: Good man.
Back at home, we found Jim conducting a review of home security.
‘…a strong recommendation for increased cat rations, commensurate with the intensive perimeter monitoring that is a necessary response to the severe threat posed to food supplies by neighbouring domestic animals…’
He seemed to know what he was talking about.
At 1pm, my parents arrived. We lunched, then walked and talked. My Mum seemed happy, though Dad occasionally struggled – he was nursing a back injury. We talked about his older brother, who retired recently.
I had already chosen to not share with my Dad what I’d learned of his missing younger brother. My sister was sure that this was the right choice, for now. Given his relative fragility (no pun intended), I had to agree.
We went to a pub for an early evening meal, and were joined by Emma’s parents. Though it was all very pleasant, from where I sit, it always strikes me that Emma’s and my parents live highly dissimilar lives – in ways that make me wish for more for my parents. Emma rebukes me for such thinking.
At 6:30pm, Emma, Alex, and my parents and I headed for a ‘Fireworks Extravaganza’ – the kind that comes with a fairground and a small pop concert.
Shane: What did Cher look like?
Dad: (pause) Like Cher.
Mum: She was hardly gonna look like Meatloaf, was she?
Shane: I suppose not.
Emma: (suppressed smile)
Then there was a countdown.
Back at home, we drank hot chocolate. Alex was revelling in having such a late night. He headed for the fridge, and joined us carrying a plate of chocolate apples.
Mum: Wow! Who made those?
Alex: Me and Shane, last night. Do you want one?
Mum: Ohhh, I shouldn’t, but ok then - just the one.
Alex: (straight) That’s ten pounds please.
Mum: Oh, very funny.
Alex: No, really – they’re ten pounds – Shane and me decided.
Mum: But I don’t have any money on me.
Alex: That’s ok – Shane can pay for you.
Mum: What a good idea. (Takes apple) Thank you.
Alex: You’re welcome. (To Shane) You owe me ten pounds.
It was all very warming to see my Mum and Alex bond over the matter of shaking down Shane for a cool tenner.
My parents returned to the North East on Sunday. Upon their return, my Mum sent me a text:
Thank you for lovely weekend. Have got upset stomach. Had to stop twice on way back. Think it was choc apple. Mam.X
I have referred the matter to Alex. He refuses to respond until he receives payment for the chocolate apple. This will not be happening. Thus, impasse and a black mark to the Customer Relations Department.