A Touch of Love (aka thank you all very much)
thick-lensed, sexless and romantic
ised, you keep shaking imaginary
dust off your sweater but it's real, and
infectious because i start too, suc
cumbing to the pressure.
i realize i'm going to struggle, that
i have never been alone for a long
duration with someone so lyophiliz
ingly handsome, someone in
dungarees no less, and willing to eat
peanut m&ms all evening, and giggle
to the sound of my nervous tickle
of a cough.
this movie stars sandy dennis, not
sandy denny. william butler yeats is
generally considered one of the only
writers to have written his best work
after he won the nobel prize. well, be
that as it may, it's a murmurous gloom
we, whatever, cultivate beside ourselves,
and a groovy pincushion we sit on as
we suppose: is that a sofa-bed or am i
getting carried away?
Lucas still has his green harness on,
which digs in a bit as he cranes his
neck to the port hole. His baggy white
t-shirt says "I heart Debra Winger". It
is untucked, of course, because nobody
tucks a t-shirt into blue cycling shorts.
I'm still nervous so as I eat handfuls
of jelly-babies, powdered sugar coats
I feign choking slightly and gently blow
feathery clouds that descend over the
green lines and blue curves and it's not
that light so I can almost pretend I am
staring at the Earth as we rocket further
away. Lucas is. Fixedly. My baggy white
T-Shirt says "I heart Erich Fromm".
I haven't unveiled it because it seems a
little coy now he went down that route.
Someone will see it on a T.V. camera
before I get changed for bed. I seem to
be distracting him. We can still hear
cheers from the launch area through
the system, and interviews and chats.
I draw a love-heart with my sugared finger
on a camera and get told off. I write
"I'm sorry" and wipe the whole thing.
Carol Ann Duffy is reading while my thoughts
wander, not lonely but nasty, embittered and
silly and sexy and they turn on innuendo to write
a shortish poem. I make a paper swan following
the method of the handsome boy in Skins, and
allow it to float merrily merrily from where I am
(the Gods). It gets tangled in a man's curly hair I
guess (I'm too frightened and embarrassed to look).
The words fight free of the swan (they're meant to),
are about to tickle a nose when of course they
sweep clean away. It does not take a syllable,
much much less.
The words disperse; I notice
a man get 'slap', a beautiful woman get
'tummy' and a phrase surging past Kathleen
Jamie on the way to Douglas Dunn: 'we have it
in common that we both need food shelter sex
books and love'.
Bio: Colin Herd lives, works and writes poems in Edinburgh, Scotland. Some of the poems have recently appeared in print and online, in 3:AM, Dogmatika, Gutter, Shampoo and Streetcake. He edits print journal Anything Anymore Anywhere.
Poetry in Aldeburgh 2017
7 months ago