I had a coffee with Steve Redgrave this morning. I love Saturday Live. I wrote these poems for today’s show:
On parliament’s decision to send five hundred more troops to Afghanistan, October 09
Pin stripped, grovelling parliament commences
with talk of cuts and a sad mess of war.
Declaring to silence far graver expenses:
those for the game now a grim cricket score.
The work of a summer, whilst we sipped at beer
on LastMinute deals. Now they’ll send more,
another half thousand lost volunteers
to try and save face and fight an idea.
They say that smells can haunt you and tastes send you insane –
you’re nibbling on biscuit and then bang you’re young again –
but for me it’s sounds, just the slurp of a draining bath
and my damn Proustian lugs will have me weeping for the past.
A snatch of lyric, a bit of poem, the toppling of a bin
can conjure up bad haircuts and yellow bruises on a shin.
Football boots on concrete and I’m the last one to be picked.
I’m three and moving house from the clunk of brick on brick
The mutton croon of Morrissey with sponge and rusty spanner
takes me back to sixth form and a girl I loved called Anna.
An Evening Standard trader, the purr of a hotel room:
a suit that I’d grow into, a golden afternoon.
This symphony of kitchen drawers, the knocks and bangs and clicks
can leave me sad or terrified, my stomach slightly sick.
The past’s a disused larder, there’s much in there that’s rotten:
the ghostly whirr of a vacuum cleaner and moments best forgotten.