Neither Here Nor There

Rating: 5.0

'They've all gone….'


'No-one left….'

Left where?
What are you on about?


Oh… I get it:
Were in Neither-Here-nor-There-Land:
Between Living and Nod.
Cain's exile East of Eden.
East of Eden.
Film of Steinbeck's book…
James Dean, wasn't it?
Was it?
Not sure now..
Who else?
…. If it was him in the first place.

'No-one left. … All gone.'

Where, Love, who's gone where?
Hmm, 'Who's on First':
Abbott and Costello.
Is that Abott or Abbot or Abbott…
And why don't I know?
Did I know once?
'Where's on first' wouldn't have worked,
would it?
Wonder if they wrote it,
Or if there was some
Barry Cryer-type gag-writer
Paid a pittance
To make them look good?
Did they have movies then?
Maybe it was just 'sound good', then.

'On the beach…'

Which beach, Love?
Shell Bay?
Dunes to hide and make love in;
Or that time Barry Pike
Kicked the football into the nudist camp
And hadn't got the balls to go and get it.
Wonder where he is now …
And whether his nerve arrived with the years.

'But they're gone! '

Yeah, I've got that, Love:
They've all gone…
To the beach maybe?
Would be fun today in the snow.
Snowball-fighting on the beach: crazy!
Then maybe a dare to plunge in.
Hang on you idiot, you did that once in 5°C
But that was well before you were 50 -
You remember the statistics
For middle aged heart-attacks:
You don't need me to tell myself again do I?
Mum died at 56.

You're right, Love,
You're right:

They're gone.

Alison Cassidy 17 February 2009

What a fascinating absurdist sort of write. Reminds me of the script of a Pinter play, where all the characters talk at cross purposes and there is no actual communication. It also seems to have something to do with dementia - a husband and wife, or brother and sister, perhaps? I enjoyed the filmic nostalgic touches of East of Eden, Abbott and Costello, On the Beach as well - as those more intimate reminiscences about things closer to home. My Jerry has written some fabulous film scripts in a similar vein. Like him, you have a great grasp of dialogue. Excellent poem. Love, Allie ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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Jim Norausky 09 February 2009

I like this poem. Our aging mind free verses looking for memories to provide a foundation for the present. But indeed, the events and at least most of the characters 'are gone'. Jim

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