Simon Robson – 2 poems

IF I MADE MUSIC

I’d have Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett
on the bass, Stockhausen in the same room,
thrills at all times,
pulverising them until they’re sore,
backwards piano, cymbals, drums,
Buddhist monk music,
tinkling little bells,
petrol forecourt attendants
smelling of Debussy, extravagant stuff –
everything syncopating in rhythm and time,
flying preachers –
I’d have petals floating backwards,
soft fragrances, cymbals, drums…

‘Come back baby,
I wish you would…’

You’d need an ingenious bastard translator
to understand me, my music,
new stereo speakers –
it wouldn’t be like Sibelius, peaceful and soothing…

I’d have everyone walking on a barbed wire
torrent of fuzz,
seaweed, a new sound system collapsing your lungs,
slaying your senses, banging drums, bass –
Buddy Rich on drums and codeine –
songs, I’d sing about new horizons,
only there wouldn’t be any…

The Mad Professor, mushrooms,
ear lobes pierced and bleeding, time capsules,
deep unquenchable thirsts, a long guitar solo,
Maggot Brain –
lots of new material for a wider audience,
the smell of burning, plastic fingers…

If I made music –
rusty, twanging, all fired up, ready to go,
the girls rolling their eyes,
staying on their strict diets of oven cooked fish in tinfoil,
no taste for anything but honey and warm milk,
Guinness, whiskey –
I’d give praise and thanks.

🍃

BACK IN 1972

When Cyprus was at war,
the Mediterranean gurgling,
bubbling in blood, Greece, Turkey –
playing Subbuteo, ‘flick to kick’ –
I was George Best, Jason and the Argonauts,
Walt Disney with four fingers, Daffy Duck…

I know smoking kills,
emphysema and cancer –
I haven’t smoked this brand of cigarettes
since my mother sent me out to buy a bottle of Mateus Rose, fifty pence…

I remember feeling accomplished,
coming back from the Naafi, army Gibraltar,
lots of submarine wire, hoops to skip over,
tunnels, dark spiders, an underground hospital,

rusty equipment, mattresses, beds, poisonous…
Blue Rothman’s, King Size –
I was eight-years-old,
a Greek-Cypriot corporal, chef –
he’d who’d won the Victoria Cross,
German paratroopers down his chimney,
shock troops
before he’d massacred them into red tea,
rubbery octopus soup,

Doctor Who, football results in black and white,
sleeping in a separate room from his wife…

Blue Rothman’s, King Size –
supreme, filter tipped cigarettes
from my boyhood memories.
there on my mother’s lips, curling smoke.

🍃

Simon Robson

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