Open 11am to 8pm
Royal Festival Hall (Level 5), Southbank Centre, LondonOpen Tuesday - Sunday from 11am to 8pm
From Split World: 1990-2005 (Bloodaxe Books, 2005). Southbank Centre, The National Poetry Library
Because everyone is
Because America does not need me
Because America has not yet Earned My Love
Because I'm fond of the decorative arts
Because I love faces
Because Hélion Before
is better after After
Because nobody is
Because I'm also as it were
an Abstract Expressionist
Because dribble's better than drivel
but still dreadfully drab
made the first moon landing
Because beach buggies
are just dinky
of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The walls are very thin up here, sky, birds -
I'd grab if I could their Norfolk idiom
stuff it in my pocket to trickle out
and listen in. The sun floods rectangles
into the room and I’m imagining
you now at the RA, your face raised
to Anish Kapor's hovering wall-full.
Think of a big yellow belly button!
I woke and heard your feet pad from Whitehall
to Picadilly. Remember? we'd glut
our eyes, then head for coffee. You'll like the blood
slugged at white space, the great rope of it circling
far into the future. Oh my darling
these birds tear heart and soul out of thin air.
Noon passes in this twentieth century.
My pretty wife sleeps in a hospital bed.
My young wife's pretty eyes are dying.
I watch the helpless hands
I watch the helpless eyes
Of all the sad doctors.
You build great aeroplanes,
You build lightning missiles,
Force powerful energy
Into small bombs.
O men men men
Can you promise nothing but death
To we who settle this planet?
Why can't you kill
of my pretty wife
of my young wife?