SHIRT

Posted: October 9, 2015 in Chat
Tags: , ,

shirt1

Circa ninety-five, a hot long evening
the Edinburgh Festival, the auditorium
of a Peter Handke play with no script;
scanning the crowd for a feel
of the vibe of the night, saw
a man decked out in a Bob Dylan shirt,
from circa sixty-five.

‘Hey!’ I said,
‘scuse me, ‘scuse me, Hey….’
‘They were big in Berlin. Last year’, he said,
then the house lights dimmed, and so crept
to my seat, my son, and the set
of a desert town: was it Mexico?
The actors passed hesitantly, afraid,
more boldly; or so we read, misdirected,
recognising-not-recognising
a character, storyline, place;
stringing together a time-line as the desert ebbed
and flowed in the light over… Sinai? The Negev?

Back in the back places of England
where nothing ever happens, more than twice,
I saw one, that shirt –Yes!
heart in hand, hand on card, card flexing in the reflex
over debits and credits… bought it.
Black, with large white spots. That’s it!
‘In the press photos’ my son said, ‘it’s green.
With white spots.’ ‘You misread it!
You’ll have the shirt off my dream!’ I snapped,
‘with your new generational take
on an older generation rap!’

The child is father, and I the man, he pointedly didn’t say
before leaving for the city; where things happen,
they say, every day.

dylanpolkashirt

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Comments
  1. Daedalus Lex says:

    Weird Dylan pic. I like it 🙂

  2. Maybe he was having a weird day? Thanks; appreciate you reading.

  3. viennafamous says:

    City life isn’t what it’s cracked up to be…canals are underrated!

  4. The whole poem is based around oppositions, and/or pairings: city – backwater; Scotland – England; home – abroad… and also the waiting for Godot critic response that nothing happens, twice. Even father – son. So at the end everything is qualified, nothing is sure or secure. Not even the city as place of happening things, because ‘ they say’ it is so, only.
    And as for canals… they’re only substitute rivers!

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