Colin Bell’s novel, Stephen Dearsley’s Summer Of Love, was long listed for the Polari Prize 2014. His new novel, Blue Notes, Still Frames, was published this January by Ward Wood. His poetry is published in the UK and the USA.
Why are they no help to me now?
(after Robert Lowell)
Furniture auctioned, old letters boxed.
Father’s photography – tricycle days.
Landscapes once playgrounds,
small hands held by ghosts.
Why no help those four minute songs
– The Beatles’ raw anthems of hope?
Rachmaninov’s G minor tragedy
no longer brings a tear.
Russian morbidity fitted the time
like the thrill of Gauloises cigarettes.
I’ve moved away from familiar rooms.
Time to write my own four minute song
– to sing unaccompanied this time.
as usual –
pounding familiar hometown streets.
This middle-aged man jogging is too odd to ignore
when his blinkered intensity
darkens the landscape.
Who is he?
his ritual begins.
He circles the town for an hour
with a grey sleeveless vest on his emaciated chest,
shorts too short for long hairless legs,
his white skin
and at breaking point
but he never alters his route.
His suffering might be just athletic frustration
or a deeper human malaise
but this routine is
[Running was originally published by Muse-pie Press in Issue 7 of The Fib Review (October 2010). Why are they no help to me now? was originally published as ‘Four Minute Song’ by Muse-pie Press in Issue 10 of Shot Glass Journal (May 2013).]
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