Licensed Sex Shop
Manette Street, Charing Cross Road
Like an Amsterdam opening
Without the gusto
Neon umbrellas reflect
The electric rain
The gherkin in the pickled evening
The gangrenous penis seen
From Bank balcony
After Camden, reforming…
Shisha pipes drawing the
Close of day, as Cedric
And Omar take the stage
We discuss your conclusions
Met in collusion; on the
Error of my ways.
Sylvia Plath accompanies me now
In this place where life is so immediate,
On the tube trains to Mile End
And Notting Hill Gate; where the
Realists must call ‘real,’ and
Wyndham Lewis still exhibits.
Study every face on an escalator
And fall in love with every other
Woman’s. But even Hyde Park, when
Quiet in the even, isn’t Stephen’s Green.
I’m not a big fan of the London
Ales, but the Guinness is good in
Sawyers and Dickens; stowed
Away in a coved corner of the
Pub on a rainy day; medium,
Late and grey. Claustrophobic and
Disinterested; stories starving to be told –
A tale of a tube, of a pub, of
The little boy lost, drowning sorrows and
Morrows in London’s prosody.
But this is the poet’s city:
Something ethereally; underground
As much as o’er, creative of woebegone
Wonderment, more than Reading
Or Didcot, clasps the county-
Boy’s hand and racks his brain socket,
Filling his head with ideas,
Stifled by the heavy breathings
Of those buried tunnels.
– It’s yours, mover and shaker.
Paddington Station arches grandly;
Wood, glass and metal above me.
But Paris Nord has better destinations;
Bruxelles or Lille over Greenford and Radley,
And Amsterdam’s station was full of
Angels; Madrid’s streamed golden light.
No little lost bear there though;
With a red hat and a blue coat,
Who could never mix his paint right:
London had coloured my morning’s night.
Copyright © Daniel Bristow 2013
All rights reserved
The author has asserted her/his right under Section 77
of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988
to be identified as the author of this work.
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data.
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the British Library.