Fifteenth May, nineteen eighty-five, Brighton,
a Top Rank Suite, for an evening’s adoration,
standing, a puntered-audience of boys’ bad skin,
but fast forward, here, now, sat-settling,
in gentrified Hove, off the low Western Road:
Waiting, stalled, greyed women and men,
pot-bellied, various middle-aged friends,
like the rank of boorish South Africans,
love-locked, along with billy-no-mates,
who arrived, drunk-stumbled, seated late:
‘You missed Rattlesnakes,’ Mr Cole said,
looking equally pissed at their loud entrance.
And I ended the concert, stood at the exit,
removed by my stiffened need to stretch,
whilst the audience sat, politely applauding,
I shifted, mine the only standing ovation.