Sean Godley

Rookie (17/11/1981 / Cavan, Republic of Ireland)

The Scribe - Poem by Sean Godley

i remember with my breaking heart
when my poetess and i were starved
like all the other writers in the flats
and as we nibbled at the crumbs and crusts
of food we bought instead of washing clothes
how she would dictate to me and i
would scribble on the fading yellow pages
with the fading ink of Ladbrokes pens
and the crumpled papers lay about
as we made love to scream away the pain
that scorched our shrinking bellies through the days
and sometimes when i was the first one back
from work or sometimes after she had left
and i was yet to leave it was in those
hurried minutes that i took a moment
to stop and read the lines that she had spoken
and i was often late for work and she
was often angry with my distracted mind
when she came walking through the two-tone door
but i was only awed with what this woman
could put to page and of the certain fact
that i alone had read her flowing lines
one day for fun and after we had drunk
a bottle of chardonnay that we had thieved
we sent away a couple of her poems
to some distant land of publishers
and starved and worked and screwed away the days
then one dawn as she was speaking verse
and smiling i took down the twotone words
an envelope did flicker pon our floor
she rushed and opened it and in a flash
she wrapped herself around me screaming words
of joy in finding out her work had been
accepted by some kind of selling house
i hugged her back and spoke as if a smile
was on my lips and not a broken curse
and sure enough a few months passed and i
found her liveliness made me go quiet
and though she knew that something was not right
she was too lost within her recognition
and threw out all our old and dirty clothes
and the seeping furniture which i
had rescued from the skips when we were poor
and with the money that she was advanced
she bought herself some flowing Monroe dresses
and suits made by tailors just for me
and furniture on which i surely felt
i was too poor to park my skinny legs
i could take it though and could accept
that expensive restaurants were for
the people who had made it in the world
and as she smiled at me over dessert
i returned the smiled but not because
i glowed as she did with the happiness
of her success that saved her from the dregs
it was because i had just seen a man
and woman running laughing from
the bar and in his hand there was a bottle
of expensive stolen chardonnay
i could take all this and even how
there was rarely time for hurried sex
because of all her interviews and dinner
dates that came in dozens as the day
approached as we both knew with different fear
for the publishing of her first work
it came and sure enough she was a star
i could not read a broadsheet that did not
have at least one smiling photograph
and an interview but worst of all
the poems which only i had breathed inside
were sprayed across with little dignity
the length and breadth full of the countrys page
in bookshops and on buses and upon
the tables in the doctor’s waiting rooms
where any sick and dying soul could read
those sacred words that once belonged to me
this i could not take and so one night
at some awards which yes of course she won
when she made her speech and called me down
to share with her another platform of
her great success i took the microphone
and told the crowd she was a god damn slut
and slapped her face and as the tears began
to teeter from my eyes i left the stage
and though she has not seen me since that night
i saw her for a while each day upon
the sides of buses and in literary parts
of papers that i read but now i close
my eyes when i think i can hear a bus
and i don’t read the papers anymore
and even though my smoking makes me cough
dry blood i will not see the doctor yet

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Poem Submitted: Friday, May 12, 2006

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