Time for some of my peerless verse to hit the blogosphere, but first of all, thanks to Charlie Fish at Fiction on the Web, www.fictionontheweb.co.uk, for putting both my new site and my blog on his links list. Fiction on the Web maintains impressive presentation standards and offers a range of new fiction in a variety of genres, with the added option of feedback from readers.
Now that poem. I think I can honestly claim to be the only poet who has ever produced an entire piece about Dad dancing – correct me if I’m wrong – and, what’s more, made a bit of money out of it. ‘Philip Dancing’ won a prize in one of the Milton Keynes Speakeasy competitions and was subsequently published in Sarasvati Issue 22, one of the magazines in the Indigo Dreams stable. A number of Philip’s nearest and dearest, beginning with his niece, offer their opinions of his wedding dance, finishing with Philip himself. Poetry doesn’t always have to be remorselessly sombre or totally impenetrable; perhaps it’s better that it isn’t, for at least some of the time
Anyway, the masterpiece in question appears below, with a suitable illustration!
Philip Dancing, Reception, 9.36 – 9.53 p.m.
All cool, all great, really nice meal,
like, so-so speeches, a bit dragging on,
then, later, this sort of stone age music
and I’m like, I’m so not going to do this
and especially when I see Uncle Phil on his feet
with his shirt right open, and his gut, like, out;
gross, absolutely, on too many pints,
just deranging about, and I nearly, like, die.
Back at uni, Phil did it, as bold as you like,
marched right up to me, smiling, and offered his hand;
I missed a heartbeat, and my gremlin chuntered
about how he must have a bet with his mates.
He was agile, rhythmical, moved with the beat
and I played a bit part, while everyone watched him.
He’s a bit fuller now, in the face and the middle,
but he can still do it, even just for the laugh.
Philip was always my most exuberant son
which is nice, in its place – quite honestly, youth,
when it’s largely expected and indulged with a smile.
For men in their forties, seeking some throwback,
it usually provokes simply cringing embarrassment
as it really is now, to my toe-curling shame.
It was going so well; now I look to the floor
and wish it would open and swallow me whole.
He’s always had lots that a brother looks for;
honest and loyal, talkable to;
there’s not much rough, and a good deal of smooth,
you admire the complexion and live with the warts.
Exhibitionism outs, especially on beer,
that wild stomping Dervish, mind-blown warrior,
lurking inside the mild-mannered family man
like his own captured demon, let out to exercise.
I used to go to the socials and the end of term dances,
and bop on for hours, laying it down;
when the old songs appear, fresh as they ever were,
and some stirrer’s saying, ‘you ain’t got it no more’,
I’ll willingly boogie, and walk off with their tenner,
while all the young laddos watch it and weep.
I thought I’d been up there for half of the evening
but I’d shagged myself out after one quarter hour.