Monday, 28 July 2008

43. The Journalist

Somewhere in the swirl of smoke
stands a man entirely devoid of style
bad teeth cheap haircut unshaven

old enough to have seen Hanoi in the
very same venue, back before glam slithered
west to the coast and corrupted itself

and now five figures are on stage, each one as pretty
or as ugly, depending upon your preferences, as the
next one, each a killer in drag – who’s your favourite?

This, he thinks, is so fucking ridiculous
it can only be the future; this he writes
down shakily in a notepad, errant elbows

slopping watery lager down his skirt,
his cigarette stubbed into someone’s back
as the throngs shift and sways to the bombast

that’s emanating from the stage. No – wait -
he crosses it out and instead writes: this is

the now because there is no future.

He can’t pin-point it, doesn’t want to pin-point it
knows that the best bands can’t be described
because they are a feeling, a force, an erection of the soul.

Later this style-less man with bad teeth, halitosis
cheap haircut, unshaven, arse-side of his jeans
hanging over fleshless buttocks will leave alone.

He’ll leave alone and he’ll take the night bus home
to Hackney and there he will announce the future in his
most purple prose, fountains of hyperbole spewing forth.

He’ll smoke a cigarette, the ringing still in his ears
file his copy, then retire to bed, having just created
another career, lifted five more sweet souls from the gutter.

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