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Four Poems by Richard Barrett

August 6, 2012




What? Morning                                    Remember? Morning

And falling, almost                into the car to        Boost sales

I suppose, I mean           Why else give away        A free CD


                                                                                     Of 80s








See that settee? (We sat there together)

See that carpet? (We played Tetris on it)

And right out of bed it takes, precisely

Half an hour now to remember                        I’m out of bed


Disaster averted though

You self dramatising nob                                          Lurching


From one disaster to      A N OT H E R (indented randomly /


What’s a disaster?





See the shape of this – could it be better?                Well

Of course it bloody could             We could do it ‘open-field’





And in the kitchen –                                                       What


                                                                         In the kitchen?


We cooked omelettes together

Then ate them                                              Whilst T4 was on





This pub

Is not the only pub 

Round here. Or even

On this street


But this conversation

Is the only possible one

Now. Given the circumstances

Of just me, you and him talking


They’re the only circumstances


I want ‘another conversation’ please

In a different pub

I feel some distress

I am not famous

Nor are you

Though he was famous in the 80s


Me. At the bar

Me. Carrying two beers and a coke


Me. Thinking what to say

Me. On the subject of Lake District holidays

Me. Silent

Me. ‘Oh yes, I went there once

       With my girlfriend

       And we walked round Coniston water


       And it was fun’


In one of these pubs nearby

Some pub less ‘down at heel’

With a younger crowd maybe

Working in the media and IT

Would that have been an interesting thing to say?

Or is it just boring



From whichever direction?



for Cheralyn


Then you were stood, waving

And we hugged

We’re hugging here

This is us hugging

In a café, meeting up again

After several years

3, I think


Hugs will enclose the evening

In brackets


With, the other side of them

2012 to welcome





Can confirm nothing

From here, just that you could spit there

                                 (the precinct)

From here

                                 (the office)

Just that


To ask ‘what’s the news?’

When no one knows the news

Is stupid, no? See how warm it looks out

For Autumn


According to official sources

And GM police’s Twitter-feed earlier


2 cups of coffee drunk

12 sugars in total

1 packet of crisps consumed

1 banana, unfinished. As the news that I care about

Not The Money Shop



On Friday then, late, speak –

And speak properly

Not like that


Lose the word ‘love’

Or not

If not

Clarify your meaning


Look now –

Something 6 sided, heavy

And brick-like

Is probably a brick


Amongst desks


And desks and desks and desks

And amongst office-workers



This feels exciting

People are acting excited

And saying they’re excited

I am definitely excited

I don’t know if more or less excited

Than anyone else

In this network

In this excitement network


Extracted from this network

Would my excitement remain?


Is an interesting question

But one which at this moment

         I am just far too excited to ask


Maybe dangerously excited


It looks warm out

And it’s warm in as well

The air-conditioning is broken



A knot of

Downward pressure from the boss

And intuitive knowledge

Of who can be manipulated, plus

A tick-like flirt response

To the opposite sex

So, not ‘love’ then

Clearly not

The word was badly chosen


Unlike off-white lounge suits

Off the court

Kit stowed in a scuffed Head sports bag –


No, it isn’t ‘love’


I said that!

I said that!



Which might be true now but

Can’t always have been true


A contradiction exists


Between the sanctioned version

And that coming from the scene direct

A ‘re-imagining’


As of the precinct’s main tower


Having told the driver:

                                      You know the one

                                      With the arrow

                                      Pointing down

                                      And in red?


Obelisk-like, heralding the next big step

Up evolution’s ladder


This gorgeous day


Music playing                       

                        But those noticing it notice just


Its unfamiliarity, and wonder


Is this a prologue of some sort?








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