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Four Poems by Richard Barrett

August 6, 2012

POEM

1.

 

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

                                                                                     Heavy

                                                                                       Rock

 

                                                                                  Classics

 

2.

 

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?

 

 

3.

 

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

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

 

 

4.

 

And in the kitchen –                                                       What

                                                                                Happened

                                                                         In the kitchen?

 

We cooked omelettes together

Then ate them                                              Whilst T4 was on

 

 

LAKE DISTRICT HOLIDAY POEM

 

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

       Deftly

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

       Stoned

       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

                  boring

                  boring

From whichever direction?

 

POEM

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

 

from YES SIR, SIR

 

[1]

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

 

[2]

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

 

[4]

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

 

 [5]

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!

 

[10]

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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