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Poem of the Month - January 2002
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The Very Spot *
from Scissor, Paper, Woman

Imagine the theatre folks imagine
yourselves in the dark
hitching on prickly plush
as you watch a made-up woman
read you this

A man in the first row
the portly impresario
leaps to his feet
shakes his fist and shouts
poets are parasites

& the woman with him
bejewelled in loosened furs
with wisps of blond hair and worry
playing over her beauty
pales shrieks Stop
tugs the tail of his tux . . .

Look look the streaming lights
are dancing with us motes

We got here by chance
just minding our business
sauntered through town
dazed a little dreamy perhaps
half-lost who knows
maybe quite lost . . .

When all at once by the Bank Street bridge
we spotted the map in a plexiglass case
a set-up
by the Ministry of Culture

With an x on the spot
it read You are here
and we opened the door
bemused distracted yes

admit this . . .
But the thought appealed
(though it also appalled)
that we had been found
by nameless strangers

So here we all are in a stage drama set
in a theatre bathed in matinée light

The reader peers blind
into hot white glare
there's the rustling stir
a cough here and there

That guy in the tux
the girl in the fox
every soul in the place
with a role to play

Just watch us

*  There is a passage by V. S. Naipaul in The Mystic Masseur (Andre Deutch, London, 1957) which reads: "Is like watching a theatre show and finding out afterwards that they was really killing people on the stage." pg. 126

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