War Poets

Paul Verlaine’s Chanson d’automne
was coded – still popular poetry –
to give notice –

his long sobs of French-sung violins
declared an Allied invasion
to those listening

Whilst she never understood speeches
of love – and our common
mistakes –

I would rarely read to her – she rarely read
my mutterings – my weight-pared
compositions

She never understood what was being said
She found poetry too difficult
Her own résistance

 

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Beer Mat

What you readin?

A repine novel
This is my bar work
as larynx~stretched
guffaws
& shrieked screams
tie up eye~readied lines
Dont mix booze
& dry books
Youll re~read
one typeset line
far too many times
tween knocks of beer
& lifted rounds
of re~filled tumblers
& mispronounced
bloody foreign wines
Shot~sworn drunks
& their pissed~up lovers
make stabs for clarity
Itll never be possible
to take hold of
any one paragraph
for long enough
without that jolt
off slammed drinks
& loud slaps
of theatrical hands
on bared thighs

Put yer book down ~ Mike
it’s time for a pint

The Chair

My fumbled-for decision of whether
to sit in my reading chair with my back
to my slow-to-rotting bay windows
took rare time to work out –
to atone

Do you face out –
sit there on show?
Or settle –
reversed to that view
with a low sun on any held book

But then not ideal for bright screens

So besort my riposte in that still-hunt

Only read off unpowered paper –
take bright retreats –
stay offline –
turn your chair from poking eyes –
write unplugged from all devices –
and leave biscuit crumbs
on well-thumbed pages

My chair can swivel