No 65 - 1976
In The Old Days
Alan was standing there, talking so nonchalant. American
ladies were asking ‘Do you know Cyril Carnally?’,
praising a programme called Dixon of Dark Green. A well-known
writer had his fairy ring of mushroom admirers.
Everything was cool and opulent, cold Vichyssoise.
No one pushed away his plate - “This food is uneatable!”
That was the life! And what it depended on was simply
the long stability of our unstable money, no one
talked about the double helix, about spirals, or listened
for inflationary as a doom word. Oil? What was oil?
You poured it over salads, into cars. Had it something to do, one
with petrol? And why was that ever called gasoline?
With the money went the literacy, the douceur de vivre
of people who could only bring themselves to drink champagne.
If there were clerks in subordinate positions, they too
admired the rich manufacturers and landowners, patted
a vintage Rolls too affectionately on the bonnet -
and why did all Americans call such a thing a hood?
I sweated away with my eight-inch doubles, argued about
media with some jumped-up young whizzkids, posted off
the good books to the bad reviewers. Miners? What were miners?
Weren’t they the things Lord Lovely interfered with?
We were so set in our ways. In the Ritz Bar, mostly,
people were pronouncing the word impossible impassable.
Which can only be done by the British upper classes,
and depends on a certain pronunciation and spelling.
Everyone must contribute. Now they say. Like the
landowners and speculators and criminals? Into a fluid
fly wheel of a whirling economy I throw (my contribution)
the worked-on soi-disant artefacts of my poems.
- 10th Muse
- Angel Exhaust
- Blithe Spirit
- Brando's hat
- Brittle Star
- Cannon's Mouth, The
- Coffee House, The
- Dream Catcher
- Floating Bear, The
- French Literary Review, The
- Frogmore Papers, The
- Global Tapestry
- Grosseteste Review
- Homeless Diamonds
- Interpreter's House, The
- Journal, The
- Lamport Court
- London Magazine, The
- Modern Poetry in Translation
- Monkey Kettle
- Neon Highway
- New Welsh Review
- North, The
- Obsessed with pipework
- Oxford Poetry
- Painted, spoken
- Paper, The
- Pen Pusher Magazine
- Poetry Cornwall
- Poetry London
- Poetry London (1951)
- Poetry Nation
- Poetry Review, The
- Poetry Salzburg Review
- Poetry Scotland
- Poetry Wales
- Private Tutor
- Purple Patch
- Rain Dog
- Reach Poetry
- Review, The
- Rialto, The
- Second Aeon
- Seventh Quarry, The
- Smiths Knoll
- Strange Faeces
- Tabla Book of New Verse, The
- Tolling Elves
- Ugly Tree, The
- Wolf, The
- Yellow Crane, The