Saturday, February 4, 2012

“Croissants and Language on the Tongue” © Mike Absalom January 14th

I am sat in the Troubadour
garden beneath rusty lilacs.
After the death and
resurrection of the dandelions
a first autumn breeze came
nosing in and swept the seeds away into another dimension.
This breeze now lingers and
eavesdrops on the café conversation.
I can hardly blame it, for
there are poets-a-plenty here,
seeding the space left by the
departing piss-a-beds
and replacing the
vacuum-pack chatter of the long gone
with their own Morse code,
both literary and pheremonal.
The coffee smells good here
too! And it is!
The breeze is in no hurry,
for every zephyr needs a little cash-and-carry gossip to trade with the African

That breeze had slipped
through the lilacs on uneasy reconnaissance,
and now, beneath the buzz of
café conversation I can hear it probing the dead leaves under the bushes, scrabbling
about like an old man’s hands round a young woman’s waist.
An hourglass, in whatever
incarnation, always incites different kinds of desperation.
Around the marble tabletops and
beneath the rustic decorations
of superannuated farm
implements and broken bits of iron we sit
like a funeral committee discussing
the preparations for a spectacular burial.
That of language, most

With a mouthful of buttered
croissant my neighbour starts to speak to me.
Smiling a smile of arch
obscurity and spitting small flakes of pastry like a tropical plant disgorging
seeds he says: “the bulimic day creeps
full bellied over the horizon and vomits out of sight!”
I think his management of both
tongue and vocabulary in the same mouth is masterly!
Not to be outdone I reply:
“within this limpet pool called time, clinging to the
present moment,
I drink my coffee, going nowhere.”
Across the table his wife tries
to smile as she slowly withers
like a plum alone in a fruit
bowl when the family has gone on holiday.

Aah! 1968 was a good year for

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