Sunday 9 January 2011

Poetry Bus - Get on board

OK, the Poetry Bus is finally out of the garage. Bit of a problem with the old spark plugs if you know what I mean.

Original prompt here

I took on the beat poem, but it proved too big a task for the time I had. Here's the first part. (The lines are long but get folded over in the blog. Sorry.


In a posh restaurant, you know the type, contemporary sludge coloured velvet,
uncomfortable chairs, this before the chef ran off with the artwork
and the maitre D.
It’s a big deal work do, himself, the chief, me, the squaw.

Our friend Ted’s there - sound chap - with his wife at the table, square plates and round glasses.
And the honoured guest, some bigwig, loud, wide shoulders, bursting out of his pink shirt,
holding forth on the rising economy, the falling Yen, trade prospects and the corporate tax rate.
He slugs Rioja into the spherical glasses, shakes my hand, eyes gliding over me
as of no consequence, no threat. Karl’s his name, After Marx? I say
triggering a belly laugh and a slap on the back that would floor a gorilla.
Himself does that ‘be good’ look at me.
And I try.

But Karl’s not trying. He slurps soup and ticks boxes. Merc. Tick. Rolex. Tick. Race Horse. Tick.
Second wife, blonde, tick, with admirable assets. Tick, tick.
I rearrange mine and bite my lip.
We weave around the conversational sinkholes, as he moves on to his half a bloody cow,
masticating as if we all want to share the experience, his nose now as red as the replenished wine.
They’ve moved on to rugby and he’s in the corporate boxes every match,
It’s all about who you know, he says. Scratch my back, baby and maybe, who knows. Do you scratch?

My back is itching now but I’d rather, I say, watch wood warp than thirty brickhouse men
run around with a ball from a distance. He does that backslap again
and I cough up some peas across the table at Himself who does that look again and changes tack
back to stock on the rise and the price of houses.
He has real estate in Budapest, Leeds and the prices are through the roof
and the roof isn’t on yet but he’s sitting happy waiting to flip them
on some poor sod who wants to retire there.

The talk’s of leverage and the Euribor and bore is what he is.
My cheeks are aching with not yawning but I bury my grievances in more Berry Pavlova
and when he shoulders his way outside for a cigarette, I gripe to Himself and ignore his chides
which slide off me like cream on very hot tart.
We all order an Irish coffees and Karl sweeps back flashing a phone as cool as the night.

Have to keep Herself at bay – he says and click-clicks the apps
to zoom in on their flats on Google maps
and to track his stock on the Iseq and the unemployment rate and all manner of things
that I don’t want or need.
It’s time to shed all the deadwood – he says – send them back to Brazzaville and Riga
and I confess I have to Google Brazzaville (it’s The Congo) but it’s obvious it’s Africa
and he’s all for diversity as long as his waitress speaks English with no accent

Like no one from Cork? - I say – or Birmingham or Dundee?
- That’s different. My wife’s from Surrey – he says
– not her fault – I say - How about Sydney or Cape Town or Quebec or Tennessee?
- That’s fine – So where’s the line? Hong Kong or Singapore? Nairobi or Delhi?
I’m on a roll here and he’s all bluster. I exert all self-control I can muster
And shut up.

Add a comment with your own blog post and I'll add the links. Remember to drop by the other passengers' tickets.

  • First on board, somewhat earlier in the week was Kat. Thanks very much for helping with the spark plug issue, Kat. Couldn't have started without you. Kat took on a legend from primary school.
  • Then a surprised (by herself) Rachel. Also early so she took on the task of cleaning the backseat. Everyone's favourite job. It must be to do with the rubber gloves. Rachel's poem takes on critics. She's not bitter and she's NEVER boring.
  • Next on board. 120socks who swallowed or was swallowed by revenge on the critic. 120socks kindly looked at the sticky problem with the emergency exit. An absolute whizz with an adjustable wrench. There is mention of murmurings in the poem that reminded me I had a critic poem I'll post here.

Monaghan Mosquitoes

There are mosquitoes in Monaghan the size of bats,
but easier to kill
and leave a telltale splat that swamps the bed.
But where there’s one, there’s more,
their whines as heavy as the dentist’s drill.
They can suck the lifeblood out of a woman
in 8.2 seconds flat.

At night, they crouch on my pillow
and chase me through my dreams,
whispering homespun criticism.
All those words -
it’s not very good, is it?
We’ve read it and it’s rubbish;
there’s no spark, nothing special.
We’ve read it all. Why do you bother?
Give it up, give it up.

  • Next on board, Dave King here, who wasn't, then he was. He chose L'esprit d'escalier and comes on board pursued by (scary) bishop.
  • Bishop pursued now by Niamh at Various Cushions taking it out on a lady with famous friends (or maybe acquaintances). 
  • Welcome on board Dick at Patteran who is getting down and dirty with envelopes.
  • Leaping onto the bottom step is at Nuts4fruits who is Done with Mr Done.
  • Next is Helen at Poetry Matters who takes on Dumb and Mr Dumber.
  • Jeanne Iris boards at Revolutionary Revelry with a dreamy bluebird.
  • Triona at Domestic Oubliette jumps on board with a sad revenge poem.
  • Kipling leaps on board here kicking out
  • Welcome Conversing here on writing and waiting
  • Padhraig hops onboard up the stairs of wit with some fab vocab.
  • TFE leaps on muttering something about toads and bare feet here
  • Ann T hares along the road for a late ticket at Hathaway with her outspoken Gran in tow
  • Don't Feed The Pixies gets on. Exact change please. A triple ticket here
  • Titus scrambles through the rear doors when the driver's attention was on a crowd of penguins crossing the road. She's very fruity this ride. Offensive language in public is still a statutory offence in England and Wales but you're OK on this bus.
  • Another bus stop for Argent at Delusions of Adequacy toasting Miss Chapman, the late Miss Chapman
Any more passengers?
Enjoy the ride!


Niamh B said...

I'm on board now, thanks for driving!

Karl sounds dreamy :-)

Louise said...

Your on a roll with Karl!

Rachel Fox said...

Enjoyed the mosquitos poem. Buzz, buzz, buzz indeed.

Anonymous said...

The authentic Beat voice lurks within! Shades of Corso?

I'm on the platform with a response to the first prompt. (Great prompts, all).

Emerging Writer said...

Welcome Niamh. Karl is more nightmare-y than dreamy. Wait 'til you see what I'll do to him.

Emerging Writer said...

Thanks Rachel. I swat mosquitos. But these ones were big.

Emerging Writer said...

Thanks Dick. I'm so Beat I had to google Corso. Beat don't Google I feel! Welcome on board.

nuts4fruits said...

I'm on board too, marooned in a math notebook.

Those mosquitoes remind me of the relentless ones I encountered in Florida. The ones that would hang on to my body no matter how much I slapped them.

Domestic Oub said...

On board!

Totalfeckineejit said...

'before the chef ran off with the artwork
and the maitre D.'

LOve that line. Not so keen on Karl the C...

Kipling said...

Me to! I'm on board, Revenge sounds good!
There are mozzy's here in Waterford so big they would carry your shopping home if you could train them!

Padhraig Nolan said...

"...I’d rather, I say, watch wood warp than thirty brickhouse men / run around with a ball from a distance."

Love that! Yer man sounds very Ross O'Carroll-Kelly.

I'm aboard. (Whatever about a bard).

Hope you have a great 2011!

Emerging Writer said...

Thanks nuts4fruit. Rambo mosquitos in Florida, eh?

Emerging Writer said...

Welcome Domestic. And hope you wake up again before your stop!

Emerging Writer said...

Thanks TFE. It's slow progress with Karl.
Hi Kipling, You win some, you lose some with those mosquitos
Welcome PJ. You are certainly a bard now. ROK is barred too!

Totalfeckineejit said...

The deed is done.It just came out, nothing to do with me really.I don't even know Tim Munchkin.

Ann T. said...

Dear Kate,
Oops! I'm a day behind, and then left my ticket at an earlier post.

I've been reading! Been in that restaurant, with that exact same jerk. Ew, ick. You got him all right. Tick, tick. Love it.
Ann T.

Emerging Writer said...

Welcome aboard Ann and TFE. Enjoy the ride and the free beer on row 6

Titus said...

Late, late, late, but here now:

Hopefully catch up with the rest tonight!

Kat Mortensen said...

Sorry it's taken me so long to get back here.
So, that's why I hate mosquitoes so much!

I wouldn't know a spark plug if it bit me on the arse!


Emerging Writer said...

Welcome on board 3 latecomers, Titus, Argent and Don't feed the pixes. I feel the internet and the Poetry Bus is abetter place for your outpurrings.

And thanks to everyone who got into the spirit this week,.