2016-01-17

The man who ate the world

I found another poem that was inspired by David Bowie.  This time directly, as I wrote it while listening to The Man Who Sold the World on repeat play.

As a poem, at the time, I never quite felt that it worked.  It needed something more than I had been able to put into it...

...and so it languished.  Until last week's sad news set me off on an extended session of listening to David, which necessarily included TMWSTW, and that lead me back here: to, re-read this.

And it has a lot going for it.  It needed some tightening, tuning, polishing; and it's not perfect of course.  There's a visible weld down the middle.

However, all-in-all this is as good as it's going to get, and if there is a time for this one, the time is now.








The man who ate the world

He eats.

He eats prawns, brawn, surf and turf
and lawn, and tiny-little handmade hors d'oeuvres
in fistfuls of a dozen.

It is Zen, a total focus, a mathematician's
locus of a point which moves
from plate to mouth. There's nothing else
of which he is aware.

He inhabits his moments with relish
especially in the topological sense: a manifold
whose destiny is to wrap itself round lobsters,
as many plates of fries, seasonal vegetables,
toast-and-pâté arrangements as it possibly can.

Bought his first café at twenty-one
soon angled on owning the pub next door.
The club was an obvious move;
had to take out a mobster or two
to get the hotel OK a whole chain.

Then it made sense to own his suppliers,
and the logistics people were for hire
and then sale.

It's a long walk, from talk of serving scampi
in a small town, to wheeling deals in front of
and behindentire governments
but he got here.

And still he eats:
genocide by chocolate, wonton soup,
coffee liquors, the cheeseboard,
a smorgasbord of goujons
and don't spare the ribs.

This is his way:
conspicuous consumption, the working luncheon,
in places appointed for filling faces, and he's the big man,
the master of this race: the suited, the college recruited,
plutocrats, the freshly commuted; all round and shiny
little parasites, who cling limpet-like
to unreliable accounts at anyone's expense

until today
when one of them mentioned
a small South-American country
that's up for sale.



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