Speed Poem

Here’s a speed poem (poem written in 10 mins) that I did at London City Airport just now. I think there’s some ok lines, but as with a lot of speed poems the ending suffers because I didn’t really know what I was writing about before I started. If it’s worth salvaging let me know, and how I might go about that.

Composed at London City Airport

It’s all men at the airside bar

logging on and mobile muttering to people called Damian

thus far, I’m the only one who has smiled at the waitress.

Or said please

And I’ve been here ten minutes.

These chips are frozen inside.

Look, they’re hard when I bite them

Says one man, butter-faced and double chinned

I silently egg the waitress on to reply

They freeze when they go near your heart

but instead she apologises and takes them away

that’s why there’s a compulsory 10 % tip

which you know she’ll never see,

even though she brought you vinegar

in a little white bowl.

I tell myself I’m better than these so-so chaps in suits

But we’re all here to treat ourselves

Butter-face puts 2 sugars in his coffee

Before tucking into an ice cream sundae

I drink Becks Vier and check my e-mails.

How many places like this do we see in a day?

How many concourses do we dream our way through?

Safe places with fake walnut surfaces,

Beige wall uplighters and filthy carpets.

Butter face is probably alright underneath

But each day’s a battle and he makes his own luck

And who’s to say my way is better than his

You need some kind of release

when its not second nature to judge people in verse.

6 Comments

  • Raymondo June 19, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    I really like this, it’s just a simple observation but you do it well. I wanted to know more about the waitress.

    Reply
  • Chelsey Flood June 19, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    I think it’s worth working on. There are some good unshowy lines, like:

    “that’s why there’s a compulsory 10 % tip

    which you know she’ll never see,

    even though she brought you vinegar

    in a little white bowl.”

    though the bit just before is a bit heavy handed, perhaps.

    “I silently egg the waitress on to reply

    They freeze when they go near your heart”

    Also think you’re right about the ending not being quite right.

    “You need some kind of release

    when its not second nature to judge people in verse.”

    I think the strenght of the poem is that it shows a moment of understanding – the writer judges everyone harshly then adds himself to the list of men looking for a safe place to have a beer or eat a bit of icecream.

    Maybe the ending doesn’t work because it steps too far away from this small quiet moment of understanding, is too self aware?

    Just thoughts. I like it though.

    Flood x

    Reply
  • GarHab June 21, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    They freeze when you go near their heart – It reminded me a bit of an episode I had in my local chippy, there was a bit of a queue and the chips were on, I was second in the queue but the bloke in front, some lumpen ignoramus, starts abusing the girls because they’re standing around chatting, but like Im said the chips were on. Anyway when they served me I tried a smile and said something (can’t remember what) trying to be nice, but the look I got was pure ice, I think the smile was in a language she just didn’t understand. I left the chipper feeling that my crime was the worst committed. So yeah, chips frozen in the middle, I’d say that’s an image to keep.

    GH

    Reply
  • Sarah June 22, 2009 at 8:41 am

    I really like it. For something you threw togther in ten minutes at an airport it is really good. Fair play. Sarah, Dublin

    Reply
  • Anonymous September 7, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    hi

    Reply
  • alhexisz January 10, 2015 at 5:44 am

    i liked it so much….. camshahamnida

    Reply

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