Mare che fiumi accoglie

Veronika was hopelessly drawn to Tom's smothered chops
you're the only one here not chasing tail          she crooned
          (which wasn't         strictly speaking          true)
          as she eased herself out of her mermaid costume
making me spoil the track by overdubbing 2 & 3 on 1
               l'angelo nero    persuaded    Schwanda the Bagpiper
to pork around with trollops                 smoke in public places
tinker with strangers' appendages & duff designer trinkets –
even blow down the end of drugged octopuses
     reworking maritime ballads      & blues-inflected shanties
     into glistening yards   of slightly twisted spawn
            his soul was as stuffed with sin's fat roe
            as an infected gap in the head with bright lime mucous
            full of the salty tang of young sea-lettuce in spring
one day        poised to abuse a beached whale at Brancaster
Schwanda was saved              by a  mystical German sea creature called
the Omniscient Mussel           sung tonight by Jill Grove  (mezzo)
     Schwanda der Dudelsackpfeifer
     let me tell you      pronounced the Mussel     in gritty German
     you are coming to a sticky end              as usual
     having a whale   of a time
     but dribbling  your prodigious gifts into the sand
     you're giving skateboarding a bad name too
fuck off     said Schwanda breathlessly     lighting up a Camel
you're not even in this opera          it's just poetry in motion
          yet Schwanda was given another chance
             & returned from hell without that natural backward glance
                I myself have just been practising                      modal shifts
                   & have tipped the spit                                     out of a student model
                      (soprano)                                                     it's the end of an era
                        this could be the last time                  I don't know
Helen didn't even go to Troy
she spent that decade in  Egyptian resorts
doing yoga & aerobics
Tai Chi            organic gardening
the odd poetry workshop
auditioning for girl bands
& snuggling up with Menelaus for counselling sessions
today we're doing the history of the mind
a bit of distance learning                 Kurt Vonnegut said
we're here on earth to fart around

Norfolk         April 2007