Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Peter Finch, Three Poems

Peter Finch, image by John Briggs 

John Ashbery Visits Lidl 

Everyone loved what they saw.
The rough displays, the mitre makers
The marigolds and the clothes
The persimmon velvet curtains
The garlic tea cloths
The passionate biscuits
The Slavonic chocolate
The wines from Cricklewood and Westphalia

The whole family are keenly interested
They arrive in droves.

The first year was like icing
The man with the red hat
The girls protected by gold wire
The music that never ceased.
Now they swear by tennis balls
the unknowable crispbreads, the meats in vacuum packs.

Sometimes they come because their cars do
Sometimes they are profligate
Sometimes they are radiant
Sometimes they shop because there is little else to do
Mostly though it’s pedantic Cindy without brio or élan.

The family they just want to save money
They always do
They have this furious passion.

They buy onions
They buy the weirdly branded tins,
the fold-up beds, the spread-on chocolate,
the spanners.

Clearly the song will have to wait
amongst all this great saving
How brave they are
buying marigolds when they don’t need to.

In the queue there he is but no one recognises him
why would they, the joker,
self-portrait in his trolley,
his New York face peering out of that so realistic convex mirror.


3 Feb, 1874 – 27 July, 1946

You are down here in the ground of
Pere Lachaise beneath a stone
big enough to hold you down.  The space
around you is full, names you’d know,
Max Ernst, Paul Eluard, Modigliani, de Nerval,
Perec, Proust, Pissarro, Wilde, Alice B, Appolinaire.
This is no humble place, it’s a city.
To get around you need a map

Given what you did I expected uproar like Morrison gets.
Excited girls with tattoos, young men with that
look of beat nonchalance that belies the roaring
they have inside their heads.   But there’s nothing.
It’s as if you’d not changed the twentieth
challenged its serial monogamy made it
ripple with how the brain turns.  There’s no bramble
nor trees near you.   No ivy growing across
your name.  Just a rose someone has left,
shrivelled  now,  and a stone in the
shape of a heart dropped  above
where yours might be.  You had one once.

July  the twenty-seventh is simply not prepared for.

Try to be try to be try to be try to be try to be try to be
be to try try it go on try just try to be try to be
it’s not really hard at really not not at all

Some Blats


for Ifor Davies

is England Green
is Wales Welsh
is Tzara a dadist
is money yellow
is love an illusion
is stillness silence
is time t9ight
is America there
is Barry really an island
is war needed
is money a failure
is black a colour
is the easywayout easy easy
is man an animal
is the poem finished
is yellow yellow yellow
is eternity locked up
is rock and roll here to stay
is the sun an orange
is the moon soon
is grass suitable
is moss small hair
is the language strong enough to carry a revolution
is the muse worthwhile
is the doctor really learned
is the Big Bopper on the right track
is laughter music
is sex an excuse
is sound holy
is death a disease
is rain too much
is a cold a prison
is Agamemnon a person
is red out of date
is smoke silent
is the stream sorry
is the sky strong
is the blutone drunk
is the moon somewhere beyond America
is a tree a large flower
is petrol a sin in the sun
is carbon paper
is the sound of one hand clapping no more than silence
is venus false
is the moon a martyr
is a monk brown throughout the year
is this time going to be the last time
is this side the other side
is hope worth bothering about
is the answer to it all in a bottle
is tomorrow when
is a wail free
is wine loud
is a vegeatable sane
is paper thinkable
is a tank a table
is a running man a risk
is thunder the sound of clouds bumping together
is fast and bulbous
is come on come on ready 4 the crush
is a lawnmower an object of beauty
is fire capable of creation
is destruction retaliation
is a roll a weak rock
is a guitar an instrument of depth
is ink the only obliterator
is black cloud a toner fog
is death the easyway out
is a gaz a stove
is metal heavy
is plastic alive
is blood forgotten
is air emulsified
is an ant a giant to a microbe
is an atom a star
is chess the product of bicycles
is seawater evil
is rubber hollow
is stereo vision three deamon
is fishfood malutricious
is the jaw no more than a door
is the head a hat
is music the lack of silence silencio
is smoke filled full of dreams
is distribution valid as an art
is fantasy votable
is voltage a distant relation to the sky
is impact possible
is the hand a mountain
is Ifor ivor
ifor ivor ivor ifor ifor ifor ifor ivor ivor ivor
ifor ivor ivor ifor ivor ivor ivor ifor
is ifor ivorivor ivor rrrrrrrrrrrrrr
is ifor rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr ssvip
is really chuzz chuzz
is lipwork possage
id worthman plinleered
it is youngleigh light wooshezesez
id jomp a lerrkmmmmp
is a distraktengivor a bengingpop
is a toomwow a yearing vor tort
is a menmann gardes lompes gloo[p
is creakslis fanapzwash
is a salerang unda beatlum greal growl wow
is heartbustingflip le boutisgarg loopalaiy foor mee
is nonstap ifor ivor finnslerg god
is fishfled flags
is wishta ta
is goerdistfl longgonongham
is glad flijouy
is flomgsd flaggs
is fat loompnoph gius fat
is ghaj fgads westfring for
is hsfdomdom sloss tross ss
is flopssuu ususus s
is gadsas s
is flodsd ss ssgss hsf vr
is testraljss tsssghdes ss desssss ssssssjs sss
is sflossfgssssjss sssss ssss sshgs
is ssssjs sss sssskss ssssksss
is sssss sssss ssssslss sss ss
is sss sssss ssssss sss sssss s ss sssk
is ssss ssssss sss ss sssss sss ss s
is s ssss sssssks ssss sssssss s ssssss
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is ss sssss ss sssssssssssss ssssssss s sssss
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is sss sssssssss sss ssss
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is ssssssssssss ss sss sssssssssssssssssssssk
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Peter Fin sh sssssss