Poetry as a Blog
I’m looking at ways to diversify the press and one of these is to open up this blog to submissions of poetry, critical reviews and general poetic chatter. I’m hoping to move towards an annual published journal and the poems published on the blog (not mine) will go towards that. To start with I might as well put up a couple of my own poems seeing as I haven’t had a sniff of publication for months. The first is a response, in a way, to WH Auden’s September 1, 1939. It’s sort of a political and tongue in cheek poem. It’s from a collection I’m working on called Zenzizenzizenzic. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I lost a few poems from Zenzi (as I call it, just me) when my computer died – mainly the title poem which now exists on a scrap of paper in my illegible scrawl. The second is an older, more abstract poem called Pelham’s Eye and the third is called Patience Is Bitter, But Its Fruit Is Sweet and is me being a bit of an arse about poetry. I think it’s sort of semi-satirical-Michael-you’re-being-an-arse-and-aren’t-most-of-these-references-incorrect-and-you’ve-never-been-to-Paris-and-can’t-speak-French-and-if-your-French-is-bad-like-you-expect-it-to-be-then-that’s-ok-because-it-just-adds-to-the-point-and-the-character-of-the-poet-or-type-of-poet-you-imagined-writing-it.
Patience Is Bitter, But Its Fruit Is Sweet
What Rousseau said about patience was true;
if you wait long enough you could find yourself
on the Boulevard de Sébastopol biting into a nectarine.
Bitterness must be sitting across from a Hungarian girl
on the Métro between Châtelet and Hôtel de Ville
and only being able to think of Sarkozy’s Bergerac nez.
Surely patience’s reward is being this kind of person;
I’m in Paris for the year painting nudes,
young women on the precipice of sensing lust.
And biting down on a nectarine’s stone is this;
I’ve only ever seen William Etty’s The Judgement of Paris
and that had nothing to do with joie de vivre.
Let’s imagine instead that I saved, I waited, I bought
a plane ticket and came to Paris, found an attic room
on the Rue Rambuteau where I drank litres
of Cotes Du Rhone and let my brush stroke out
burgeoning loloches and smooth moule all day,
woke early each morning tasting sweet nectarine.