When I was young, around fifteen to my mid twenties, I wrote poetry. Not the sort of thing you readily admit to your friends growing up in a large boisterous council housing estate. Poetry still has a flowery, whimsical, image. All about clever word games, flights of intellectual fancy and philosophical conundrums. I've always liked impact poetry myself. Poetry from the heart which is dragged, raw and hurting, onto the page. Poetry that means something and provokes strong emotions in the reader. Like Poe's Annabel Lee. His last and a theme which had haunted him throughout his life. He finally nailed it down on paper.
As a teenager my canvas and inspiration became the people and world around me. A fascinating mix of minds and every vice and virtue imaginable.
Most were sociable and friendly. Some were good and enjoyed helping others; some were out strictly to help themselves and immediate family; some were isolated, remote and indifferent to society and seemed to prefer it that way. Others, a small percentage, always seemed to be angry and at war with the world around them.
Myself, I liked to go on mental journeys from time to time, projecting myself into different mind-sets to imagine how each brain worked. This is a poem from that era. Early 1970's.
Born with the trust of humans
Wheels of the dark green volvo crawl, through puddles at dusk, sniffing for prey.
Outside it's the jungle.
I love my work.
Today is Friday. It's Raining.
Nothing can wash the trail away.
Radial gets a scent and takes control, winding and cruising through the speed of the trees.
I park in a thicket of billboards to wait.
Minutes pass. An hour.
Some far country this. Like Africa only better. Dismal and bleak.
Heavy with honey and the thrill of pleasure domes.
There's a ball in my head that swings when I stop.
I pull down the shades; say 'hello' to my 32 Sadie's.
They'll calm the cogs inside me. Numb the pain.
I need to see you sixties girl.
You're cold beautiful; dazzling and hard.
A sunrise in stainless steel.
We're two of a kind you and I.
Reflections in a metal feather. Birds of a blade.
It's your birthday Susan. Day of daises, night of stars.
We'll wake up to ceiling wax dripping in ovens.
I promise you plenty. A cake and candles. One for every year.
I'm dreaming of game when I slow for a zebra.
Cant do a thing. Wardens behind me.
I'm starving yet I've just had dinner.
Does he know it's me whose cutting his numbers?
It happened so fast I knew it was easy.
Suddenly, all around. Shadows of silk, slit skirts and stilettos.
A million whores in a million windows,
and little pimp pictures of my guardian angel,
dripping on doorsteps, showing the way.
A few leak red syrup, I merge with the pavement.
The shore of a chin speckled with rain.
Down by the beach I stop for a clean up,
dip hands in the ocean, wash face in the spray.
My brothers taught wisdom; my cousin mixed poisons.
I still hear their voices; they whisper in seashells,
once you blow out your candles always leave them to drain.
Back on the street, yet again there's a zebra.
Three! Sleepy and dark. A wobbling invitation.
Baby candy. A golden opportunity too dumb to miss.
and I certainly don't.
Wheels of the dark green volvo roar, over game at dawn, on the break of day.
Outside it is the jungle.
J'aime mon travail.
Today is Saturday. It's still raining.
Nothing can wash the blood away.
Then down the embankment, casually dragging your prize,
with the roar of the dead in the darkest of eyes.