nthposition online magazine

Bruce Lee & Listening to Dylan Thomas reading his complete recorded poetry


[ poetry - april 06 ]

Bruce Lee

Evading the bubbles of our desperate
Love-lunges with a cruel speed
He was, like us back then,
Present and absent,
Often as not in the same class.
When friends, neighbours and enemies fell,
Without of course knowing it,
In a heap at our magical feet
They were victims of an imagination
Fast-forwarding the stubbornly quotidian.
And what was lacking in those blows
So effortlessly blocked and deflected
Was that mostly unrealised "Emotional Content"
Which is the only ingredient missing
From a Master's bag of tricks.
And which we would find soon enough,
In the absence of a single moment of truth,
At the bottom of a glass, in one more helping,
Across yet another dotted line.


Listening to Dylan Thomas reading his complete recorded poetry

With a white beer belly
That will not go away
Above the racket of the rat-run street
Through my precious morning off
The blame-machine, memory,
Kick-starts and we're off:
Dickinson; Hopkins; Kavanagh; Thomas;
You know who you are
And what you have done.
Thomas the ringleader for sure,
With the wrecking-ball swagger
And the storm-cloud charisma
Undermining forever the pinched language
Of, say, a textbook farmer Murphy
And his many stones of potatoes,
@ five pounds a stone
Making how many blackbirds,
Less interest and perfectly
Murderous sense.

Your refusal to mourn
What is lost to pregnant silence,
Prayer and the weight of dust,
The closest thing to fading dreams
Of palpable flight,
The trigger that began
The slow race of pen on paper,
The fluttering hand
That planted the bomb
That still ticks through
The green fuse of each morning
On the long finger of utterance.