Monday, July 13, 2015

Neil Fulwood- Three Poems

At the Film Convention
(or: Twilight of the Icons)
Every stock character and square-jawed hero,
every homely sheriff and GI Joe, every
maverick ’tec with his tarnished badge,
every steel-nerved assassin with gimlet eyes
shadowed by the rim of a grey fedora,
every lone cosmonaut and galactic anti-hero,
they’re all here, in costume, in character,
inundated by fandom’s most fervent
and it’s all as civilised as a toff’s tea-party
until the shadowy corner crawling with vampires
erupts as if infiltrated by a man of God
with a crucifix crafted from tungsten carbide
and holy water on draught straight from God
although closer inspection paints a picture
of in-fighting inflamed by professional pride,
the cape-draped seductive bloodsuckers of old
incensed at the prepubescent popularity
of pasty-faced emo youths more likely
to slam their coffin lid in a huff
than bite the milk-white neck of a maiden,
sex-by-proxy amid billowing curtains,
Ruthven and Dracula and Nosferatu
giving the youth of today what for, a lesson
in history, tradition and honour: vampires
are dangerous and don’t fucking sparkle.

Arse End of Nowhere

This isn't Xanadu. Don't expect
Dave Dee, Dozy bogger and the rest of 'em
to cut loose with the whip-cracks, male
voice harmonies and the sound
of Samuel Taylor Coleridge turning
in his grave. Olivia Newton John
isn't on the guest list either.

This isn't Paradise City. Nobody
gives a fuck about the state of the lawn,
how pretty the girls are or which
Marvel superhero's being used
as a cheap metaphor. Social
disenfranchisement: if you mean it,
say it. Don't put a costume on it.

This isn't a long lonesome highway,
a dark desert highway or the last
parking space at the end of 
Lonely Street. They demolished
the Heartbreak Hotel decades ago.
Now it's a Costcutter, sandwiched
between the pawn shop and the bookie's.

Personality Types

I rang in sick the day we did that Myers-Briggs
bollocks so I don't know if you're an ESTJ
an INFP or a TWAT, but I'll tell you this:

while you were contriving your answers
to fit a leadership profile, I was making
short work of a Wetherspoons breakfast

and clocking an old bloke getting a pint in,
first of the day at half past nine, hands
palsied. Your future, mate, waiting to happen

and you don't even know it's already started,
only that it's years since you nailed that NVQ
and everyone seems younger, smarter,

more confident, more up themselves than you,
more tanned and toned and career-savvy.
Does it make you nervous at the interview?

Have you started to lie about your age
on the application form? Are you daubing
Grecian 2000 on the streaks of grey,

pointillist patterns in the bathroom sink?
Is KFC trouncing the gym in the battle
for your waistline? Do you drink?

I mean drink as in half a bottle of vodka
a night and a good slug from a hip flask
before you leave the house. Briefcase, car

you're barely making the payments on but
looks the part: marque, aura of success.
Yeah, right! You're driving erratically, half cut,

blurred vision, closing in on that mounted kerb,
that RTA. Bad suit, cold sweat reek of booze,
the cop calling you "sir" but meaning "wanker".

You're closing in on an HR-orchestrated fall
from grace: restructuring, downsizing, 
performance management, constructive dismissal.

I'd almost feel sorry for you, except for
the disruption you cause the department
working that ploy to make yourself look better

by making the rest of us look bad, whether
it means the rumour mill, back-stabbing 
or lingually polishing an ops manager's rectum.

I'd almost feel sorry. But my sympathy's
with the old bloke at the bar, for projecting
your future onto his misfortune. An apology

is owed. And a pint. I haven't heard his story.

Neil Fulwood is the author of film studies book The Films of Sam Peckinpah. His poetry has appeared in Butcher's Dog, Art Decades, The Screech Owl, Your One Phone Call and Medusa's Kitchen. He's married, holds down a day job and subsidizes several real ale pubs. 

No comments:

Post a Comment