Thursday, 25 April 2013

on the naive & sentimental in literature

the whisper of fortresses
is silkier than forests by
far. slow tears tumble from their TV screens
I’ve cut my left big thumb 3/5ths of the way up

then they said
let’s go to the lido
it’s a beautiful night
we can hide from the sun /

that didn’t happen
it never happened
it never will happen
it’s happening

& yet I didn’t choose that shirt
it wasn’t a colour I loved
I stained my lips with a cherry drink
& don’t often remember or forget their dreams. 


  1. A very interesting poem which gets yet more interesting with re-reading (always a good sign that).

    The title casts a long shadow over what didn't and never did nor ever will happen yet is happening.

    The cherry drink seems to spill upwards from the eleventh to the fourth line, and in this curious percolation the gash in the left big thumb grows raw and large... and the bloody colouration then pervades everything in view (as well as a good deal of what is not in view).

    We probably weren't intended to wonder about the size of the speaker's other left thumb -- the not-big one -- but still, we do so wonder, especially in view of the fact that the thumb in question has been compromised in the manner so graphically described. It would be good to have another handy, then. (That opposable function, indispensable when one comes to think of it... as one did and does do, here.)

    In any case, enjoying your work Simon, and hope you won't mind my linking to your blog from mine. (One never knows... nor doesn't.)

  2. Thanks Tom - very happy that you link to my blog from yours.

    Now I wonder about that "left big thumb." There's nothing in the poem to say anyone in the poem is human or inhuman, I suppose.
    (It's good luck I still have teeth, the quantity of sweet fizzy drinks I drank as a child; Cherry Cola was an especial favourite.)

    I've been re-reading Junkets on a Sad Planet - I love that book (much better than Cherry Cola).


  3. Thanks Simon, that's now done. Happy you like the Keats.

    BTW a possible fresh opening in the reading of this poem came up when it occurred to me that these events might be occurring not amidst the lagoon and canals of Venice but in the vicinity of another body of water entirely.

    Well, that perhaps gives the game away -- I'm a bit slow... not to speak of old... and let us not bite too hard into the worried question of teeth, for I shall be leaving this world without any. (Oh, Cherry Cola and all the other sensual joys of youth! Where art thou now?)

  4. Tooting Bec Lido is the most likely another body of water entirely (I'd embed the link if I could, but I can't. Being slow on the uptake!)

    Thanks again for putting a link to here on your beautiful blog.


  5. Thanks Simon, that's a help.

    Would that one resided nearer Tooting Bec.

    (At this stage any lido at all would do better than these lethal freeways... a bit over a year ago I was run over by a speeding auto on the access road to one of them, just outside the house, and that's left me unfit for much, save this... not that isn't a pleasure & c.)

  6. Without its lido Tooting Bec would not be much to write home about (though it may have changed since I was last there).

    I'm so sorry to hear of your being injured. That's a terrible thing. Please accept my very best wishes / thoughts.