Violence is such a lovely word.
I think you’ll find I used it first –
I think you’ll find I heard it first.
It wasn’t what they wanted.
They wanted me – the fools – to wear a hat
but I fought them on that,
and won, of course.
Can you imagine?
Afterwards, I went home and did chores.
I wasn’t a poet then.
Only a poet in rest.
So I say, don’t I?
Again and again, if they should so wish.
It’s the vowels I suppose.
(into the microphone)
O Vowels – how I miss you!
And I see I’ve made the news –
again and again, if they should so wish.
But it’s still me on one side,
and the fanatics on the other –
Lords of the Manor!
O how I envy them:
9 a.m. –
cigarette in one hand,
pen in the other,
surrounded by all their heroes and heroines.
On Fridays the bin men come
and pick up all their crumbs!
They hear the racket from their rooms.
I hear the roots of wild arum: growing down.
Lords-and-ladies of the manor!
And my oh my, they say now
that my speaking voice is sublime.
It improved when I crossed the Atlantic,
and spent a little time in the studio.
I went home and did chores.
Because I wasn’t really a poet then.
Only a poet-in-waiting.