Alexander Hawkins

Proverbs For Families - Poem by Alexander Hawkins

Introductions! Here are the Proverbs!
Observe Rhea L. Proverb, presently
inspecting a harem of homogeneous hues, a selection of tasty ‘humble' mauves,
a gamut of colour choices upon which the hopes of a marriage hinge,
he (he being Kingsley ‘Hedge' Proverb, professional husband)
altogether more fixated on the Edgbaston test, cha-cha!
Cups of cold coffee collect cheerfully on the counter
next to what was a wholesome handsome buttock, remember that eh? Glory
abated by great gluttonous time.
Time tick-tocking, their homesome house, sitting proudly alone, no.28, Anamorphosis Avenue,
is meant to be ready by Christmas - an optimistic wartime declaration.
Fresh lick o' paint, bespoke furnishings, multi-dimensional doors, thatched roof, new-age toaster,
a new wall or two, fridge freezer with ice dispenser and digital clock, new skirting and all.
Expect that in a month it'll be half dust and plasterboard, style: Seasonal brothel,
south of France, WIP. Hedge quite likes the exposed brick…
doesn't want to get his dirty hands dirtier, but Rhea wants them covered. The bricks that is,
not clamouring for kinky latex gloves here, christ, this is a clean poem!
Both are stoic, stubborn, psychosomatic, allowing for awkward arguments,
spilt wine, his disappointment over wordless, actionless nights in bed,
her painfully ill-prepared silently-served meals with jolly
La Calavera Catrina looming over the dining table.
Why doesn't the tight bastard build a larger garage? And which voice said that,
and was it out loud? And which of the two can account for the marching band
whose collective gait is that of brash mock-confidence,
the purpose of which perhaps providing a din to put fin to the couple's hoo-ha.
The choice of colour exists only for show, just as ‘for show'
neatly summarises the couple's current co-inhabitants. And the work
has just begun! Wait for summer's simmer to be sullied, dulled
by the dimmer switch of winter's arrival and then audit
the accounts! Mrs Proverb's lux yet undeniably vogue
tastes are starting to overleech her poor hubby's capitol,
and their prodigious progeny Mazey Proverb and her already crippled mortgage
deposit savings have seen more belt-buckling times.
‘Mazey is quite the talented artist', Rhea will say
with zealous gasconade, ‘And hers is an eye that is as keen
as the frequent dream of the most polite butter knife'. I'm so bad at introductions!
Proudest place amongst prospective new décor is to be a painting
of real magnificence, pickhanded and plucked
like a fat turkey in a cosy little antique store by this daughter of haute persuasion,
an undiscovered piece by some big talk nineteenth century
fresco dabbler. The flowing strokes, the revolutionary pigments,
the painterly eye, they portrait a precise moment in fictitious time, some figment
of the painter's mind that flourished in brushed form,
a depiction of a violent disagreement between
men of the cloth backdropped by a grand stage lit
by the fiery malpractice of the fervour in front. Some overwhelmed Father
has picked his moment and starts a jaunty sing-song:

A Thing Or Two About Our Pal Moderno

Moderno on the mourning rocks
hums the highest do and sighs.
Upon these rocks, slit throats of cocks
numbering millions have died.
All in honour of the gods? ‘Pah! '
the salty sage Moderno cries.
‘Choose a fair few or side with none
or, if you're game for it, just one.
It's all the same for guys like me,
I've been around and then some.' Lies!
Don't listen to old Moderno,
nor his twisted tongue, because the
man has lost his marbles and he
no longer loves the sun.

The stage appears to be set for the unravelling of a painting,
a painting of some confused, messy, poorly researched gathering
of ramshackle Olympian figures in heated debate.
Hestia of the hearth has surrendered her seat
in honour of Dionysus, who rather steals the scene
like an up-and-coming actor gunning for a best supporting
Oscar, his ladylike locks lashing against a most lavish wind.
It's always stormy in Zeus's house. An especially macabre mood today.
Apollo owes Ares money - he always does - and the recession
has hit them hard, their mountainous expense, the constant toga-parties,
the booze, the golden statues, the debt piling up - there are cuts to be made.
Hermes fears he's most likely to go. So the entrance
of the drunkard arse with wine stained shirt and slurred hurrahs
upsets a house already unduly upset.
The priestly figures with priestly figures
who pack the theatre look as pissy as the gods
that inadvertently preside over their quarrels. ‘Divine painting,
darlin'', like an unhip, bandana'd 80's mum. A dust-sheet neatly covers the painting,
contract construction continues around the family's abode.
Spring time - the supposed completion date has long since
passed… six or seven times. Via prenup, Kingsley has lost the house, his dignity
and his job, and Rhea L. Proverb's new fling has come into a unheated home
unhearted by that highfalutin charade of a mismarriage.
But hey, at least the kitchen has a breakfast bar
with self-cleaning marbled surface,
milkshake maker discreet in a cupboard,
alcoved alcoves, storage for storage, blenders, barmaids,
mermaids, more knives than a slasher-film set, sneezy spice-rack, too many chairs.
‘And at least we have each other.'
Somewhere, I guess on the second floor of the north side of the west wing,
a strange calm encompasses the comfortable silence of people
getting along, a now congruous still in the discharged dusty air.

Mazey comes and goes at her leisure,
as do the lovers she grants pleasure.

Scrumptious salty sausage stink spreads through many corridors in sinful splendour,
ah yes, that sizzle of eggs, that yelp of bacon, that ooze of beans;
siren call of the domestic. Is this a happy house?
It is a house that has fallen down. Bad foundations Madam,
took out a fireplace that we shouldn't, heavy underlay, not enough outlay,
grey summer we had, seeped through the azure tarpaulin with rain,
insurance won't cover it, inherent vice.
Rhea's fling was vulturing for the sex (kar-kar! kar-kar! The imagined sound of the vulture)
and won't perform without a roof over the bed, for fear of diving birds.
Amongst the twisted ruin, one thing remains, strangely
solid without reason, a single room, the eternal garage.
With confessor's tears, Rhea L. Proverb outs her wrongs to her pridefallen
cast-off ex-husband, who, appearing out of a worm-hole installed by hurried Jesuits,
back bursting with forgiveness and forgetful of blame.
Sacrifice is born of necessity. Relief is the hug that hides dissatisfaction.
Now there's a need for a new home to be built,
stronger with better foundations,
grace not greed and fine intentions.
You might ask what became of that fine painting.
Torn asunder by cascading brick and mortar, it fell upon a bottle of Shiraz
(provided kindly by Dionysus) that coloured the blood of both
clergyman and pagan god, and both theatre and mountain and suburban residence
were reduced to rubble. It was the nail from which the painting
finally hung that brought the house down. Cause and effect. And now, new
shades of carpet to choose from, a most important decision.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, February 7, 2013

Poem Edited: Friday, February 8, 2013

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