From The Sonnets, Mostly Bristolian

Sonnet 23
There is a grove past which the Avon flows
where Squalor's hierophants have built his shrine;
and here with heroin and Buckfast wine,
traduced their Eisteddfod in mangled prose.
Crushed cans still hang here, gibbeted on twine:
an arcane signal? Or just toys to hit.
And here a junky - squatting - had a shit
while in this saucepan cooking ketamine.
Some art, depicting cleavages and clits,
composts among the clumps of buddleia.
Sprayed in acrylic on the wall: "gayer"
makes up in frankness what it lacks in wit.
Past this X runs, made speechless by his rage;
a Suetonius for the modern age.

Sonnet 26
What art thou, Puss? Shining nonentity,
thou space where photons go like hope to die.
Fix not on me those heartless compound eyes,
nor compass me with swart plasticity.
‘More kibbles! ' ever was thy vacant plea,
and susurration of the beast at rest.
Betimes thou murther'd rodents, raided nests,
perchéd inscrutably in random trees.
Thy rapine's circuit latterly contracts,
thy depredation's lately not as bold;
wherefore, my surmise Puss: thou dost grow old
and ought most leisurely repent thy acts;
which I, for all thy roguery, dispense
despite thy manifest indifference.

Sonnet 69
When I stare grudging at this screen of mine,
then slowly fill it with my old man's scrawl,
change font from Papyrus to Palatine,
upload my bilious and sneering drawl,
the angel on my shoulder bids me stay
my hand, not dip my feathered plume in stink,
forgive the dank, soiled actualité,
o'erlook fatuity and foisted fink.
And thus, though vendredi be frittered out
and Baron Samedi rape again the clock,
my freshened pen acts palimpsest to doubt,
that ice be broken, genius unblocked,
and Indian Summer with his rays console
the dampened animus its thwarted goal.

Sonnet 75
Leigh Delamere, you should have written verse:
a minor, whimsical, Pre-Raphaelite,
or modernist perhaps, but not too terse,
although stooping betimes into the trite.
Now come we in our cars to chew your stodge,
buy petrol - ludicrously over-priced -
take part in orgies in your Travelodge,
and moan about your toilets not being nice.
Leigh Delamere, I've been your Porlock too.
I've visited your stately pleasure dome
skidmarked your nylon sheets and blocked your loos,
stolen your towels and buggered off back home.
For these foul desecrations, let this be,
Leigh Delamere, my true apology.

Sonnet 77
Old Mr Victor's robbing graves again,
but shall be back anon in Bayley Street
with shrivelled gonads of Amartya Sen
sewn into his exquisite trouser pleat.
Inside his office, on his trophy shelf,
Woolf's womb, formaldehyded in a glass,
floats next to smirking shrunken head of Self,
wordless for once (and thankfully) . Stuffed arse
(a buttock each of Amis père et fils)
does duty as a very tasteful pouffe.
A Welsh oak desk's mounted on limbs (MacNeice) ;
and Eliot's eyeballs stare in mute reproof
from collage painting made of choicest cuts
of Malcolm Gladwell and Kurt Vonnegut.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021
Topic(s) of this poem: sonnet
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